Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 588
Pope Agatho (AD 678-681) sends an embassy, including three presbyters, to the III Council of Constantinople (AD 680-681), after which a group of Eastern clerics is exiled to Rome. Account of the "Life of Agatho", written in Rome shortly after his death, as a part of the Liber Pontificalis.
81. Agatho
[...] Hic suscepit divalem iussionem piisimorum principum Constantini, Heraclii et Tiberii Augustorum per Epiphanium gloriosum a secretis, missa praecessori suo Dono papae, invitans atque adhortans ut debeat sacerdotes vel missos suos dirigere in regia urbe pro adunatione facienda sanctarum Dei ecclesiarum, quod et ordinare non distulit. Et direxit Abundantium Paternensem, Iohannem Regitanum et Iohannem Portuensem episcopos, Theodorum et Georgium presbiteros, Iohannem diaconum, Constantinum subdiaconum, Theodorum presbiterum Ravennatem atque religiosos servos Dei monachos. [...]
There follows a detailed description of the reception of the papal embassy and of the proceedings of the Council in Constantinople.
[...] In locum vero Macari ordinatus est Theophanius abbas monasterii Baias, insulae Siciliensis, patriarcha ecclesiae Antiochenae; Macarus vero cum suis amatoribus, id est Stephano, Anastasio ex presbiteris, Leontio ex diaconis, Polychronio, Epiphanio et Anastasio ex presbiteris et inclausis, in exilio in Romana directi sunt civitate. [...]
(ed. Duchesne 1886: 350-354)
81. Agatho
 [...] He received the official order that the most pious emperors Constantine, Heraclius, and Tiberius, sent by the glorious Epiphanius, the secretary, to his predecessor, Pope Donus, inviting and urging him that he should send priests or envoys to the imperial city in order to unite the holy Churches of God; he did not delay in ordering it. And he sent Abundantius, the bishop of Cariati, John, the bishop of Reggio, and John, the bishop of Portus, the presbyters Theodore and George, the deacon John, the subdeacon Constantius, the presbyter Theodore from Ravenna, and religious monks, the servants of God. [...]
 There follows a  detailed description of the reception of the papal embassy and of the proceedings of the Council in Constantinople.
[...] Theophanius, the abbot of the monastery of Baias in Sicilia was ordained the patriarch of the church of Antioch in place of Macarius. Macarius with those who loved him, that is the presbyters Stephen and Anastasius, the deacon Leontius, the monks-presbyters Polychronius, Epiphanius and Anastasius, went into exile to the city of Rome. [...]
(trans. S. Adamiak)


Given the date, the exile was probably a part of the repression against the Monotheletes after the Third Council of Constantinople. At least some of the clerics mentioned here were reconciled about a year later: see [589].

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.


Non-Latin Origin - Greek
Religious grouping (other than Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian) - Monothelete
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Ecclesiastical administration - Participation in councils and ecclesiastical courts
Ecclesiastical administration - Ecclesiastical envoy
Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
Relation with - Heretic/Schismatic
Administration of justice - Exile
Monastic or common life
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: S. Adamiak, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER588,