Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 105
Canon 10 of the First Council of Toledo (Iberian Peninsula, AD 400) forbids the ordination of dependents without the consent of their patrons.
Canon 10
Ut nullus obligatum cuique absque consensu domini vel patroni clericum faciat
Clericos, si qui obligati sunt vel peraequatione vel genere alicuius domus, non ordinandos, nisi probatae vitae fuerint et patronorum consensus accesserit.
(eds. G. Martínez Díez, F. Rodríguez 1984: 332)
Canon 10
That no one who is dependent shall be ordained a cleric without consent of his lord or patron
Someone bound to a house by financial commitment [peraequatio], or by birth, shall not be ordained unless he has a good reputation and the permission of his patron.
(trans. M. Szada)


G. Martínez Díez and F. Rodríguez accept the reading peraequatione - according to Weckwerth (2004: 147-148) it is a term derived from the technical language of late Roman tax law and here it means some kind of "financial obligation". J. Vives (1963: 22) accepts the reading per aeqatione and translates it "by a contract". Weckwerth (2004: 148, n. 72), however, notices that Vives version cannot be found in any manuscript (there is only pro aeqatione in Codex V or per aequationem in Codices F, G, U).
Access to the clerical offices is then hindered to two different groups. The first is the group of curiales who are bound to landowners by the procedure of the equalisation of tax. The canon does not allow them to avoid these burdens by enrolling in positions in the Church. The other group are slaves and freedmen, who need to obtain the agreement of their patrons (Weckwerth 2004: 148-153).

Place of event:

  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Toledo

About the source:

Title: Council of Toledo I, Concilium Toletanum I, First Council of Toledo, Concilium I Toletanum
Origin: Toledo (Iberian Peninsula)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
The First Council of Toledo was convened to deal with divisions among the Spanish episcopate caused by the conviction and execution of Priscillian in 385. Many people in Spain, the bishops among them, considered the judgement unfair and venerated Priscillian as a martyr. The acts of the council consist of the twenty canons with the preface and the subscriptions of the bishops, the creed (regula fidei) with 18 anathemas against Priscillian, the professions of faith declared by the former adherents of Priscillian and the closing sententia definitiva. The last two are excerpts from the full version of the conciliar acts which has not survived and has been transmitted in the manuscript tradition separate from canonical collection of Hispana (Chadwick 1976: 179-181; Burrus 1995: 104-105).
The date of the council is given in the beginning of the preface - it is the time of Arcadius and Honorius (then between 395-408) and of the consulship of Stilicho (400 or 405). The date given in the Spanish era is unreliable, because a lot of different versions survived in manuscripts. G. Martínez Díez and F. Rodríguez (1984: 326) thought that it was a later addition. Moreover, Ambrosius of Milan and Siricius are both already dead (the title sanctae memoriae is added before their names), therefore the council must have been held after 399. Also Hydatius in Chronicle dates the council to 400, so this is the most probable solution (Weckwerth 2004: 89-90).
G. Martínez Díez, F. Rodríguez, eds., La colección canónica Hispana, v. 4 Concilios Galos. Concilios Hispanos: primera parte, Madrid 1984.
J. Vives, Concilios visigóticos e hispano-romanos, Barcelona-Madrid 1963.
V. Burrus, The making of a heretic: gender, authority, and the Priscillianist controversy, Berkeley 1995.
H. Chadwick, Priscillian of Avila: the occult and the charismatic in the early church, Oxford 1976.
A. Weckwerth, Das erste Konzil von Toledo: philologischer und kirchenhistorischer Kommentar zur Constitutio concilii, Münster, Westfalen 2004.


Social origin or status - Slaves
    Impediments or requisits for the office - Social/Economic/Legal status
      Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER105,