Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 910
Presbyter Victor gives to the authorities the names of the lectors during the persecutions. Cirta (Constantina, North Africa), 303 AD. Account in "Gesta apud Zenophilum", 320 AD.
2. [...] Uictor respondit: fugeram hanc tempestatem et, si mentior, peream. Cum incursum pateremur repentinae persecutionis, fugiuimus in montem Bellonae. Ego sedebam cum Marte diacono et Uictor presbyter. Cum ab eodem marte quaeruntur omnes codices, negauit se habere. Tunc Uictor dedit nomina omnium lectorum. Uentum est ad domum meam, cum absens essem. Ascensum est a magistratibus et sublati sunt codices mei. [...]
(ed. Ziwsa 1893: 186)
2. [...] Victor [the grammarian] replied, "I had fled that storm, may I perish if I lie! "When we suffered a sudden assault of persecution, we fled to Bellona's Hill. I and Victor the presbyter settled with Mars the deacon. When all the codices were demanded from Mars the deacon, he denied that he had them, and Victor then gave the names of all the lectors. They came to my house when I was absent. The magistrates went up and my codices were stolen. When I came I found that the codices had been stolen." [...]
(trans M. Edwards 1997: 152)


Silvanus was accused, among other crimes, of giving up to the authorities the holy books and vessels during the persecution of 303 AD. Therefore, all the clergy of Hippo were obliged to testify on their behaviour at the time.

Place of event:

  • Latin North Africa

About the source:

Title: Gesta apud Zenophilum
Origin: Milevis (Latin North Africa)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
In 320 AD a trial was held before Zenophilus, the governor of Numidia, against Silvanus, the Donatist Bishop of Cirta, accused of many crimes, including simony. The proceedings of the process were preserved and transmitted in the dossier of anti-Donatist documents, probably gathered by the Catholics between 330 and 347. Their only complete text comes from the 9th-century manuscript of the work of Optatus (the manuscript of Cormery), so they are usually edited together with the works of Optatus; their authenticity is discussed, but rather accepted. They were known to Optatus and to Augustine, who uses them in "Against Cresconius".
K. Ziwsa ed., S. Optati Milevitani libri VII accedunt decem monumenta vetera ad Donatistarum historia pertinentia, Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 26, Prague-Wien-Leipzig 1893.
Optatus: Against the Donatists, translated and edited by Mark Edwards, Liverpool 1997.
Y. Duval, Chrétiens d’Afrique à l’aube de la paix constantinienne: les premiers échos de la grande persécution, Paris 2000.


Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Relation with - Lower cleric
Relation with - Secular authority
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: S. Adamiak, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER910,