Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ID
ER 1352
Bonosus, presbyter in Trier (Gaul), refuses to enter the communion with the bishops who during the reign of Constantius II complied with the Arian formulation of faith, but afterwards adhered anew to the Nicene party, ca AD 362/384. He is persecuted by them. Account of the Libellus precum written in Constantinople by the Roman presbyters Faustinus and Marcellinus, ca AD 383/384, included in the Collectio Avellana compiled in the second half of the 6th c.
The Roman presbyters Faustinus and Marcellinus write to the emperors Valentinian, Theodosius, and Arcadius in defence of the Nicene bishops who refuse to enter the communion with the bishops who during the reign of Constantius signed the the Arian creed at the councils of Rimini and Seleucia (for the full summary of the Libellus precum see [1342]). They give account of the persecutions the defectors inflicted on the faithful clerics:
 
77. Sed apud Triueros, Bonosus presbyter inclusus intestatus ac diu poenas senex dedit propter obseruantiam intaminatae fidei illius pro qua et inclytus Paulinus eiusdem ciuitatis episcopus in exilio martyr animam dedit.
 
(ed. A. Canellis 2006: 180)
The Roman presbyters Faustinus and Marcellinus write to the emperors Valentinian, Theodosius, and Arcadius in defence of the Nicene bishops who refuse to enter the communion with the bishops who during the reign of Constantius signed the Arian creeds at the councils of Rimini and Seleucia (for the full summary of the Libellus precum see [1342]. They give account of the persecutions they inflicted on the faithful clerics:
 
77. In Trier, the presbyter Bonosus, being an elderly man, was imprisoned without hearing and suffered the punishment for observing the incontaminated faith. For the same thing the famous bishop of the same city, Paulinus died in exile as a martyr.
 
(trans. M. Szada)

Discussion:

Bonosus was a presbyter under Bishop Paulinus of Trier who was exiled in AD 354 for refusal of condemning Athanasius of Alexandria. He died in AD 358 in Phrygia. Bonosus probably refused to enter the communion with repentant bishops, who had signed the creed in Rimini in AD 359, at the council of Paris in AD 360 (see Munier 1963: 32-34; PCBE, Gaul, v. 1, Bonosus 1, v. 2, Paulinus 1). The catalogues of the bishops of Trier known from the 10th and 11th-century copies mention as the successor of Paulinus a certain bishop Bonosus or Bonosius who was supposed to rule between AD 358 and AD 374 (the year in which the episcopacy of Britto begun, see PCBE, Gaul, v. 1., Britto). It is possible that this bishop is identical with the presbyter Bonosus (PCBE, Gaul, vol. 1, Bonosus 2; this is apparently accepted by Fernandez Ubiña 1997: 107), but it would be surprising that the presbyters Marcellinus and Faustinus did not mention in AD 383/384 the ecclesiastical promotion of their hero. The PCBE suggests also the possible identification of the presbyter Bonosus with the father of Bishop Rusticus of Narbonne (CIL XII, 5336; PCBE, Gaul, vol. 1, Bonosus 3).

Place of event:

Region
  • Gaul
City
  • Trier

About the source:

Author: Faustinus et Marcellinus
Title: Libellus precum, Collectio Avellana
Origin: Constantinople (East)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Marcellinus and Faustinus were presbyters in Rome who belonged to the party of the intransigent Nicenes and followers of Bishop Lucifer of Cagliari. The bishop was exiled during the Arian controversy, and after being revoked from the exile he refused to enter the communion with bishops who complied with the Arian creeds during the reign of Constantius (councils in Rimini and Seleucia). The mainstream Nicenes, especially in Rome, denigrated the attitude of Lucifer and his supporters, and attempted to portray it as schismatic or even heretic, and hence use the imperial law against schismatics and heretics to persecute the "Luciferian" party (Canellis 2006: 15-65, Pérez Mas 2008, Simonetti 1963). Thus, the presbyters, Marcellinus and Faustinus, exiled from Rome by Bishop Damasus, and staying in AD 383 in Constantinople, submitted the petition to the emperor in order to claim their orthodoxy, and ask for protection.
 
The letter of the presbyters Marcellinus and Faustinus is a formal petition (preces, libellus, supplicatio) submitted to the emperor. The submission of such petition launches a procedure per rescriptum (for a detailed discussion see Wesener 1965). The case was judged by the emperor, and his decision was redacted by the imperial bureaus. It was a rescriptum that had a force of law. We have the rescript in response to the Libellus precum of Marcellinus and Faustinus, see [1387].
 
The Libellus precum survived as a part of the Collectio Avellana (for a detailed discussion on the manuscripts see Canellis 2006: 66-83), a collection containing 244 letters issued by emperors, imperial magistrates and popes. The earliest piece is dated to AD 367, the latest to AD 553. Hence, the compilator worked most probably in the second half of the 6th century. Two hundred documents of the Collectio are not known from any other collection. The editor of the Collectio, Günther noticed that it can be divided into five thematic parts (Gunther 1896: 3-96; Steinacker 1902: 14-15; Blaudeau 2013: 4) :
1) no. 1-40 is an independent collection making use of the records of the prefecture of the city of Rome concerning two episcopal elections;
2) no. 41-50 that are derived from the records of the bishopric in Carthage, and consist of the letters of Innocentius I and Zosimus;
3) no. 51-55, the late letters of Leo I not known from any other source, regarding the exile of Bishop Timothy II of Alexandria;
4) no. 56-104 the group of letters from the pontificates of Simplicius, Gelasius, Symmachus, John, Agapet, and Vigilius;
5) no. 105-243 the letters from the records of Hormisdas.
 
The modern name of the collection derives from the codex Vaticanus Latinus 4961 copied in the monastery Sancti Crucis in fonte Avellana that was considered the oldest by the brothers Ballerini who edited the Collectio in 1787.
Edition:
A. Canellis ed., Faustinus (and Marcellinus), Supplique aux empereurs (Libellus precum et Lex augusta) précéde de Confession de foi, Sources Chrétiennes 504, Paris 2006
O. Guenther ed., Epistolae Imperatorum Pontificum Aliorum Inde ab a. CCCLXVII usque DLIII datae Avellana Quae Dicitur Collectio, Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 35/1, 35/2, Prague, Vienna, and Leipzig 1895
Bibliography:
K. Blair-Dixon, "Memory and authority in sixth-century Rome: the Liber Pontificalis and the Collectio Avellana”, [in :] Religion, dynasty, and patronage in early Christian Rome, 300-900, ed. K. Cooper, J. Hillner, Cambridge 2007, 59–76.
P. Blaudeau, "Un point de contact entre collectio Avellana et collectio Thessalonicensis?”, Millennium Yearbook / Millenium Jahrbuch 10 (2013), 1–12.
A. Canellis, "Introduction”, [in :] Faustinus et Marcellinus, Supplique aux empereurs (Libellus precum et Lex augusta), ed. A. Canellis, Paris 2006, 11–99.
J. Fernández Ubiña, "El Libellus Precum y los conflictos religiosos en la Hispania de Teodosio”, Florilegia Illiberitana 8 (1997), 103–123.
O. Günther, Avellana-Studien, Wien 1896.
C. Munier ed., Concilia Galiae a. 314-a. 506, Corpus Christianorum. Series Latina 148, Turnhout 1963
J. Pérez Mas, La crisis luciferiana. Un intento de reconstrucción histórica, Roma 2008.
M. Simonetti, "Appunti per una storia dello scisma luciferiano”, [in :] Atti del Convegno di studi religiosi sardi, Padova 1963, 70–81.
H. Steinacker, "Ueber das älteste päpstliche Registerwesen”, Mitteilungen des Instituts für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung 23 (1902), 1–49.
G. Wesener, "Reskriptprozess", Paulys Realencyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft, Supplementband X, Stuttgart 1965, col. 865-871.
 
 

Categories:

Social origin or status - Clerical family
Family life - Offspring
Further ecclesiastical career - Bishop
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Public law - Secular
Disrespected by
Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
Administration of justice - Imprisonment
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1352, http://www.presbytersproject.ihuw.pl/index.php?id=6&SourceID=1352