Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 383
Augustine, bishop of Hippo, meets the Presbyter Commodian. Augustine, Letter 9*. North Africa, AD 422-429.
Letter 9*
1. [...] Iam uideram presbyterum Commodianum et per eum scripseram non quidem aliquid de ipsa causa, quia nec propterea illum uidere uolueram ut id facerem, sed sollicitus ne forte aliquid actum fuerit cum homine quod ratione defendere non posset, scire uolui quemadmodum res gestae fuerint, de quibus ille conquestus est. Posteaquam mihi rettulit, nihil uidi agendum esse, si uentum fuerit ad iudicium uestrum, nisi ut quod factum est doceatur, quantum attinet ad eiusdem presbyteri causam. [...]
(ed. Divjak 1981: 43)
Letter 9*
1. [...] I had already seen the presbyter Commodian, and I had not sent anything about the matter by means of him because I had not wanted to see him in order to do that. Rather, because I was worried that something might be done about the man, which reason could not justify, I wanted to know how those events about which he complained had really occurred. After this presbyter had given me his account, I saw that nothing should be done if the matter had come before your tribunal, except to make known to you what happened in as much as it pertains to the case of the same presbyter. [...]
(trans. R.Teske, slightly altered)


Augustine sends this letter to Alypius. It mainly concerns the case of clerics who have beaten a man guilty of the abduction of a nun. The Presbyter Commodian referred the events to Augustine. There was some other issue concerning him, but it is not mentioned further in the letter. Contrary to some interpretations, Commodian certainly was not the man beaten by the clerics.

Place of event:

  • Latin North Africa
  • Hippo Regius

About the source:

Author: Augustine of Hippo
Title: Letters Letters, Epistulae
Origin: Hippo Regius (Latin North Africa)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
The letters of Augustine of Hippo cover a wide range of topics: Holy Scripture, dogma and liturgy, philosophy, religious practice and everyday life. They range from full-scale theological treatises to small notes asking someone for a favour. The preserved corpus includes 308 letters, 252 written by Augustine, 49 that others sent to him and seven exchanged between third parties. 29 letters have been discovered only in the 20th century and edited in 1981 by Johannes Divjak; they are distinguished by the asterisk (*) after their number.
The preserved letters of Augustine extend over the period from his stay at Cassiciacum in 386 to his death in Hippo in 430.
J. Divjak ed., Sancti Aureli Augustini Epistolae ex duobus codicibus nuper in lucem prolatae, Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 88, Vienna 1981.
J. Divjak ed., Saint Augustin. Lettres 1*-29*, Bibliothèque Augustinienne 46B. Paris 1987.
Saint Augustine, Letters 211–270, 1*–29*, trans. R. Teske. New York 2005.


Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Ecclesiastical administration - Ecclesiastical envoy
Public law - Ecclesiastical
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: S. Adamiak, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER383,