Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 463
Ex-Donatist presbyters who converted to Catholicism are physically attacked by their former co-religionists. Augustine, Letter 105, North Africa, AD 409/410.
Letter 105
3. [...] Marcus presbyter Casphalianensis a nemine coactus propria uoluntate catholicus factus est; qua re illum uestri persecuti sunt et paene occidissent, nisi Dei manus per homines superuenientes uiolentias eorum compressisset. Restitutus Victorianensis
ad catholicam nullo cogente se transtulit; qua re raptus est de domo sua, caesus, in aqua uolutatus, buda uestitus et nescio quot dies in captiuitate retentus est nec libertati propriae fortasse restitutus esset, nisi iam paene propter ipsam causam Proculianus sibi exhibitionem uideret imminere. Marcianus Vrgensis catholicam unitatem propria uoluntate delegit: qua re subdiaconum eius, cum ipse fugisset, prope usque ad mortem caesum clerici uestri lapidibus obruerunt, quorum domus pro suo scelere euersae sunt.
(ed. Goldbacher 1898: 597)
Letter 105
3. [...] Mark, a presbyter of Casphaliana, became a Catholic of his own will, with no one coercing him. Because of this your people persecuted him and would have killed him, if the arrival of some people had not saved him from their acts of violence, by the hand of God. Restitutus of Victoriana moved to the Catholic Church with no one forcing him; and for this reason he was kidnapped from his house, beaten, thrown into water, clothed in grass and kept in captivity for I do not know how any days; he would possibly still be there if Proculeian had not seen that he may be called to the court for this. Marcianus Urgensis joined the Catholic unity of his own will. He escaped, but his subdeacon was nearly killed for this by your clerics with stones; their houses were destroyed for this crime.
(trans. S. Adamiak)


Augustine's letter is an example of the violence of the Donatists towards their clergy who changed sides. Restitutus of Victoriana is identified as a presbyter in another place [470], so we can assume that so was Marcianus, especially because "his subdeacon" is mentioned.

Place of event:

  • Latin North Africa
  • Hippo Regius
  • Casphaliana
  • Urgensis Civitas
  • Victoriana Villa

About the source:

Author: Augustine of Hippo
Title: 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.
A. Goldbacher ed., S. Augustini Hipponiensis Episcopi Epistulae, Pars 2, Ep. 31-123, Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 34/2,  Prague-Vienna-Leipzig 1898.
Saint Augustine, Letters 1-99, trans. R. Teske, New York 2001.


Food/Clothes/Housing - Type of housing
Religious grouping (other than Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian) - Donatist
Change of denomination
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Relation with - Lower cleric
Relation with - Heretic/Schismatic
Conflict - Violence
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: S. Adamiak, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER463,