Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 41
Braulio, bishop of Saragossa (Iberian Peninsula), advises the Presbyter Iactatus to read Augustine, Jerome and Hilary of Poitiers, and refuses to send him relics of Apostles. Saragossa (Iberian Peninsula), ca AD 631-632.
Letter 9
Domno meo Iactato presbitero Braulio.
Exigere a me, frater beatissime, uelle te persentio uerbi pastum diuini, quod ultra uires meas esse intellego. Deuotionem enim tuam eo quam maxime approbo, quo etiam importunitatem tuam nec ibi cohibes ad sancti studii exercitationem ampliandam, ubi manet tibi scientia parum posse inuenire quaesita. Nam quum cotidie in lege Domini mediteris et beatissimorum patrum peritissimorumque reuolbas paginas uirorum, quid in nobis aut quantulum est, quod aut ipse uelis addiscere aut de quibus contingat tibi sacrum desiderium alere? Sufficit et ualde sufficit ut amicum tuum legas sanctum Agustinum, ut Hieronimum, ut Hilarium, ut ceteros doctissimos uiros, quos et mici commemorare longum est et te husui habere dubium non est. Eorum te sermo pascat, eorum sententia<e> instruant; immo isti cuncta que queris perdoceant eisque contentus nostram paupertatulam nec in propatulo trahas nec inuidentium oculis nudam uidendamque exponas.
De reliquiis uero reuerendorum Apostolorum, quas a nobis flagitastis uobis debere mitti, fideliter narro nullius martirum me ita habere, ut que cuius sint possim scire. Precessorum et dominorum meorum sententia fuit ut, quia passim aut furtim aut etiam inuito ipsi coacti multorum caritate ex his que abebant aut dare aut carere cogebantur, cunctorum notitie, ne ullius pateret indicium tituli, tollerentur et sub uno conclaui mitterentur. Reseruatae sunt tamen admodum septuaginta, que in usu habentur, inter quas eae quas queritis minime repperiuntur. Ad summam autem constat te oppido salutare et intentissima mente iterum iterumque precare ut pro nobis iubeas orare. Citatim, ut occurrit, dictaui; uacet neclegentia si aliquid preteriui.
(ed. Riesco Terrero 1975: 76, 78)
Letter 9
Braulio to my lord Iactatus, the priest.
I am informed, dearest brother, that you wish to demand from me some refreshment from the divine word, which I know to be beyond my power. I admire your devotion all the more in the you do not cease to demand the means of increasing your practice in divine studies, even when you have the knowledge that your questions cannot be answered. For since you meditate daily on the law of the Lord and unfold the pages of the most blessed fathers and of most learned men, what can you find in us and how little can it be that you either wish to add to your own knowledge or concerning which you happen to foster a holy desire? It is enough and more than enough to read your friend, st. Augustine, also Jerome and Hilary and other most learned men, whom it would take me too long to mention by name and with whom you are certainly well acquainted. Let their words feed you, their thoughts instruct you; in fact, they can teach you completely all that you ask, and if you are satisfied with them, you need not bring out into the open our humble poverty, nor expose us naked and visible to the eyes of the envious.
Then Braulio writes that he hopes to meet with Iactatus during the visit of the latter in Tarazona (Tirassona; Iberian Peninsula), which is close to Saragossa.
As for the relics of the most revered apostles, which you have asked me to send, I truthfully reply that I have not a single martyr's relic so preserved that I can know whose they are. My lords and predecessors were of the opinion that the labels should be removed from all of them to make them indistinguishable, and that they should all be put in a single room, since, in many ways, either by theft or against their wills or by the coercion of the piety of many, they were being forced either to give away or to lose what they had. Some seventy were set apart, however, and are in common use, but among them are to be found none of those which you requested.
(Barlowe 1969: 27-28)

Place of event:

  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Saragossa

About the source:

Author: Braulio of Saragossa
Title: Letters, Epistularium
Origin: Saragossa (Iberian Peninsula)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Braulio`s letters 9 and 10 [46] to the Presbyter Iactatus are dated to 631-632, because Braulio`s remark about "the storms and tempests which daily threaten shipwreck for us in our present situation" is identified as an allusion to the supposed revolts which king Sisenand had to quell in 631 after the very beginning of his reign (Barlowe 1969: 20, n. 2; see e.g. the usurpation of Iudila: Beltrán 1941: 97-101; Thompson 1969: 175, Collins 2004: 78). Moreover, the request of Iactatus for relics seems to suggest that Braulio was already a bishop. Lynch (1938: 76-77), however, thinks that Braulio was not a bishop because he styled the presbyter "a brother" and the title Braulio was using during his episcopacy ("servus inutilis servorum Dei") is missing. For this reasons Lynch dates both letters to 630.
L. Riesco Terrero ed. Epistolario de san Braulio. Annales de la Universidad Hispalense. Serie Filosofía y Letras 31, Sevilla 1975.
C.W. Barlowe, Iberian Fathers, v. 2, Braulio of Saragossa, Fructuosus of Braga, Washington D. C. 1969.
Barlowe, Claude W. ed., Iberian Fathers, v. 2, Braulio of Saragossa, Fructuosus of Braga, Washington D.C. 1969
P. Beltrán, „Iudila y Sunifredo, reyes visigodos (Estudio numismático)”, Empúries: revista de món clàssic i antiguitat tardana 3 (1941), 97-104.
R. Collins, Visigothic Spain, 409-711, Oxford-Malden 2004
C.H. Lynch, Saint Braulio, bishop of Saragossa (631-651) his life and writings, Washington, D.C 1938 (see also Spanish translation revised by P. Galindo: C.H. Lynch, P. Galindo, San Braulio, obispo de Zaragoza: (631 - 651). Su vida y sus obras, Madrid 1950)
E.A. Thompson, The Goths in Spain, Oxford 1969


Writing activity - Correspondence
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Described by a title - Titles of respect
Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
Education - Theological interest
Devotion - Veneration of saints and relics
Devotion - Reading the Bible and devotional literature
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER41,