I suppose that abbots in the section of the list following the signatures of the bishops are the superiors of the monastery (for comparison see the signatures of the Eleventh Council of Toledo in 675 in which abbots are identified by their monastery), but abbates in the section of the signatures of the deputies of the absent bishops are members of the diocesan clergy (see canon 11 of the council of Merida in 666  that puts them between presbyters and deacons). We do not know whether they had a presbyterial ordination, but see canon 3 of the Eleventh Council of Toledo in 675 AD  that mentions abbates celebrating Divine Office and mass. It is possible that abbas was a title of a cleric in charge of a basilica (cf. the study of the "abbots of the basilicas" in the 6th-century Gaul by Pietri 1983). Bishko 1941 acknowledge the difference between abbots present at the council at their own and those being the representatives of the bishops. He assumes, however, that both these groups belonged to the monastic milieu; he proposes that bishops from distant dioceses were asking the abbots of the monasteries from Toledo and its close proximity to represent them at the council, but there is no decisive argument backing his claim. It is, however, accepted by Orlandis 1986. For other cases of abbates representing the absent bishops see , , .
At the Fourteenth Council of Toledo for the first time some of the absent bishops (three out of seven) are represented by two persons - either an abba and a presbyter, an abba and a deacon, or two abbates.