Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 571
The Liber Pontificalis (written in Rome, AD 530/546) describes the embassies sent by Pope Hormisdas (514-523) to Constantinople.
54. Hormisda:
[...] Sub Iohanne episcopo Constantinopolitano, cum consilio regis Theodorici, direxit Ennodium, episcopum Ticinensum, et Fortunatum, episcopum Catinensem, et Venantium, presbiterum urbis Romae, et Vitalem, diaconum sedis apostolicae, et Hilarum, notarium sedis suprascriptae. Euntes ad Anastasium Augustum, nihil egerunt.
The emperor tried to bribe them, but when they declined, he put them on some perilous ships. However, they arrived safely in Italy. When Justin I became emperor, Hormisdas sent an embassy to him:
Tunc Hormisda episcopus cum consilio regis Theodorici direxit a sedem apostolicam Germanum, Capuanum episcopum, et Iohannem et Blandum presbiteros et Felicem et Dioscorum, diacones sedis apostolicae, et Petrum notarium, quos monitos ex omni parte fidei, et textum libelli paenitentiae.
(ed. Duchesne 1886: 269-270)
54. Hormisdas
When John was the bishop of Constantinople, Hormisdas, having consulted King Theodoric , sent Ennodius, bishop of Ticino, Fortunatus, bishop of Catania and Venantius, presbyter of the city of Rome, and Vitalis, deacon of the Apostolic See, and Hilary, the notary of the aforementioned see. They came to the Emperor Anastasius and they achieved nothing.
The emperor tried to bribe them, but when they declined, he put them on some perilous ships. However, they arrived safely in Italy. When Justin I became emperor, Hormisdas sent an embassy to him:
Then Bishop Hormisdas, having consulted King Theoderic, sent from the Apostolic See Germanus, bishop of Capua, Presbyters John and Blandus, and Felix and Dioscurus, deacons of the Apostolic See, and the notary Peter; they were instructed on every part of the faith, and they carried with them the booklets (libelli) of penitence.
(trans. S. Adamiak)


The embassies mentioned here were aimed at ending the Acacian schism. The second of them, sent after the  succession of Justin I to the imperial throne, achieved its goal.
John is erroneously described as a presbyter here; we know from other sources (Collectio Avellana 148-158) that he was a bishop.

Place of event:

  • Rome
  • East
  • Rome
  • Constantinople

About the source:

Title: Liber Pontificalis, The Book of Pontiffs, Gesta Pontificum Romanorum
Origin: Rome (Rome)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Liber Pontificalis is a major source for the history of the papacy in the first millenium. It is a collection of the lives of popes, starting from St Peter and kept going through to 870. Liber Pontificalis is prefaced by two apocryphical letters of Pope Damasus and Jerome, but it cannot be dated to that period. Although Mommsen tended to put the date of the actual compilation as late as the seventh century, nowadays Duchesne`s view is generally accepted that there were two editions made in the 530s-540s. The first, presumably completed soon after 530, has not survived as such, though we have two epitomes made from it (known as “Felician” and “Cononian” from the names of the popes at which they end). Duchesne tried to reconstruct it in his edition, but we follow the second edition presented by him, which was completed by the siege of Rome in 546. The work was then left aside for some time, and taken up again probably under Honorius (625-638) or shortly afterwards; hence the additions were written shortly after each pontiff`s death.
Liber starts to provide some more reliable information with the times of Pope Leo I (440-461), and becomes very well informed with the end of the fifth century. The lives of earlier popes cannot be considered as a valid source of information about their lifetime. However, those notices are a precious source for the sixth century: we learn what was considered an old tradition at the time, and how the past of the Roman church was being seen and constructed then. It is especially important when we deal with the liturgy.
 L. Duchesne ed., Le `Liber Pontificalis`, vol. 1., Paris 1886.
 T. Mommsen ed., Liber Pontificalis pars prior, Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Gesta Pontificum Romanorum 1, Berlin 1898.
 The Book of Pontiffs (Liber Pontificalis). The ancient biographies of the first ninety Roman bishops to AD 715, revised edition, translated with an introduction by R. Davis, Liverpool 2000.


Travel and change of residence
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Ecclesiastical administration - Ecclesiastical envoy
Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
Relation with - Monarch and royal/imperial family
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: S. Adamiak, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER571,