Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 802
The presbyters of Rome offer Marius Victorinus to make his profession of faith before baptism privately. Rome, ca AD 355. Account of Augustine, "The Confessions", AD 397/400.
Book 8
5. [...] Denique ut uentum est ad horam profitendae fidei, quae uerbis certis conceptis retentis que memoriter de loco eminentiore in conspectu populi fidelis Romae reddi solet ab eis, qui accessuri sunt ad gratiam tuam, oblatum esse dicebat Victorino a presbyteris, ut secretius redderet, sicut nonnullis, qui uerecundia trepidaturi uidebantur, offerri mos erat; illum autem maluisse salutem suam in conspectu sanctae multitudinis profiteri. [...]
(ed. L. Verheijen 1981: 116)
Book 8
5. [...] Eventually the time came for him [Victorinus] to make his profession of faith. Custom decrees that those who are approaching your grace in baptism make their profession in the presence of the baptized community of Rome, standing on a raised platform and using a set form of words which has been entrusted to them and committed to memory. Simplicianus told me that Victorinus had been offered by the presbyters the option of making his statement more privately, for it was customary to offer this concession to people who were likely to lose their nerve through shyness, but that he had chosen rather to proclaim his salvation before the holy company. [...]
(tr. M. Boulding)


The passage shows us the role of the presbyters of Rome in the process of accepting, preparing and baptizing catechumens.
The story was told at Milan to Augustine, not yet baptized at that time by Simplicianus, a presbyter and later the bishop of the city [842]; for this conversation, see [1886]. Marius Victorinus was a famous grammarian, rhetorician and philosopher.

Place of event:

  • Rome
  • Rome

About the source:

Author: Augustine of Hippo
Title: Confessions, Confessiones
Origin: Hippo Regius (Latin North Africa)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Augustine of Hippo wrote the "Confessions", rhetorical account of his life and conversion, in the first years of his episcopate in Hippo.
L. Verheijen ed., Augustinus. Confessionum libri XIII, Corpus Christianorum. Series Latina 27, Turnhout 1981.
Saint Augustine, The Confessions, trans. M. Boulding, New York 1997


Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
    Ritual activity - Baptism and instructing catechumens
    Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: S. Adamiak, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER802,