Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 106
Canon 11 of the First Council of Toledo (Iberian Peninsula, AD 400) orders to excommunicate those who rob the clerics and do not surrender to the episcopal court.
Canon 11
Ut si quis potentium quemlibet expoliaverit et admonente episcopo non reddiderit, excomunicetur
Si quis de potentibus clericum aut quemlibet pauperiorem aut religiosum expoliaverit, et mandaverit ad ipsum episcopus ut eum audiat et is contemserit, invicem mox scribta percurrat per omne provinciae episcopos et quosquumque adire potuerint, ut excomunicatus habeatur donec audiatur ut reddat aliena.
(ed. Vives 1963: 22)
Canon 11
That a powerful person who robbed someone and after the admonition of a bishop did not give back what he grabbed shall be excommunicated
If someone powerful robbed a cleric, or a poor, or a monk, and a bishop summoned him to his court, and he ignored it, a letter should be composed immediately and sent to all the bishops of the province and to anyone who could hear it, that the thief would be excommunicated unless he is judged by a bishop and gives back what he has stolen.
(trans. M. Szada)


The detailed discussion of the canon in Weckwerth 2004: 172-178.

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.


Described by a title - Clericus
    Public law - Ecclesiastical
      Disrespected by
        Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER106,