Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ID
ER 1668
Letters of the papal legates, Bishops Germanus and John, the Deacons Felix and Dioscorus, and the presbyter Blandus, AD 519 to Pope Hormisdas relating the events in Epirus during their travel to Constantinople. Letters 59 and 60 in the collection of the letters of Hormisdas (= letters 213 and 214 included in the Collectio Avellana compiled in the second half of the 6th c.).
213. [in Coll. Avell.]
 
EXEMPLUM SUGGESTIONIS GERMANI ET IOHANNIS EPISCOPORUM FELICIS ET DIOSCORI DIACONORUM ET BLANDI PRESBYTERI.
 
1. In ciuitate Aulonitana quo ordine cum dei adiutorio peruenimus et quomodo sumus suscepti ab episcopo ciuitatis ipsius et quid est actum uel qualem responsum dederunt et quia hoc promisit, ut cum metropolitanum suum faceret libellum, in alia epistola beatitudini uestrae significauimus. 2. Nam quod in Scampina ciuitate factum est, uestris orationibus tacere non omisimus. Antequam nos ingrederemur in ciuitatem ipsam, uenerabilis Troius episcopus cum suo clero uel plebe in occursum nobis egressus est, et quomodo deus in ipsa die benedictus est et quae festiuitas per ipsius  pietatem est subsecuta, ad notitiam apostolatus uestri referimus. 3. Nobis praesentibus uel suo clero et nobilibus uiris ipsius ciuitatis libellum scripsit. Porrigit: suscepimus et praesenti omni clero uel plebe in gradu a seruo uestro Petro notario sanctae ecclesiae Romanae est relectus. 4. Erat conuentus in basilica sancti Petri. Confitemur beatitudini uestrae: tantam deuotionem, tantas deo laudes, tantas lacrimas, tanta gaudia difficile in alio populo uidemus. Prope omnes cum cereis uiri cum mulieribus, milites cum crucibus in ciuitate nos susceperunt. Celebratae sunt missae, nullius nomen obnoxium religionis est recitatum nisi tantum beatitudinis uestrae. Noster episcopus uenerabilis Germanus missam celebrauit et promiserunt nec postea recitari nisi quos sedes apostolica suscepit. Quanta uobis operata sunt, deus propitius in uobis conseruet. 5. Istam epistolam ante triginta milia de Lignido fecimus sperantes ipsa die in eadem ciuitate cum dei adiutorio peruenire et, quomodo ad nos peruenit, speramus et ipsius ciuitatis episcopum similia facere. Quod si factum fuerit, data occasione rescribimus. 6. Scampis nos positos post missas hora cenatoria Stephanus et Leontius uu. ss. ab imperatore missi in occursum nobis uenerunt adhuc nescientes nos in partibus Graeciarum positos, quia talia mandata fuerunt comiti Stephano data, ut ad partes Italiae transiret in occursum nostrum. (Est Stephanus iste, quomodo dicitur, de parentela filii uestri magistri militum Uitaliani.) 7. Qui nobis nuntiauerunt Patricium senatorem proscriptum et in exilio missum; pro qua tamen causa, nisi quo modo ad nos peruenerit, non possumus dicere, quia non est de talibus rebus facile deliberare. Dicitur tamen et apocrisiarios Thessalonicensis ecclesiae teneri. Apud quos dicuntur et epistolas inuentas; pro qua causa, nescimus. Cum ipsis et Filuminum et Demetrium magistrianum et alias personas, quarum nomina ignoramus. 8. Ista sunt, quomodo praediximus, quae audiuimus. De causa tamen ecclesiastica cum dei misericordia prospera nuntiantur. Cosmatem tamen medicum, pro qua causa in Italia uenit, penitus intellegere non potuimus, nisi hoc, quia forte queritur. De quo debetis esse solliciti, ut sciatis, pro qua causa ibidem uenit.
 
214. [in Coll. Avell.]
 
ITEM SUGGESTIO QUORUM SUPRA.
 
1. In alia epistola significamus beatitudini uestrae de Scampina ciuitate de uenerabili Troio episcopo, quo ordine libellum dedit et qualis festiuitas est celebrata in ipsa ciuitate. 2. Cum dei misericordia uenimus ad Lignidum. Theodoritus episcopus uenerabilis uir ipsius ciuitatis similiter libellum dedit. Qui libellus in ecclesia est relectus et omnia secundum constitutionem uestram sunt facta.
3. Rogate deum, sperate ab apostolis eius beatissimo Petro et Paulo, ut deus, qui initia talia donauit orationibus uestris, similiter sequantur et prospera, ut tempora coronae uestrae in correctione ecclesiarum semper praedicentur. Quam epistolam ad apostolatum uestrum direximus die Nonarum Martiarum.
 
(ed. Guenther 1895: 671-673)
213. [in Coll. Avell.]
 
COPY OF THE RELATION OF BISHOPS GERMANUS AND JOHN, THE DEACONS FELIX AND DIOSCORUS AND THE PRESBYTER BLANDUS.
 
1. How we arrived to the city of Aulon with the help of God, how we were welcomed there by the bishop of this city, what was done and what answer they gave, and that he promised that he will make the libellus [of faith] with his metropolitan bishop, we give notice to Your Beatitude in another letter. 2. But we will not fail to tell to your prayers what happened in the city of Scampa. Before we entered this city, the venerable Bishop Troius came out to meet us with his clergy and people. We will tell your Apostolic Authority how God was blessed on that day and what festivity followed by the bishop's piety. 3. Having presented it to us, he read the libellus to his clergy and to the nobles of this city. The he said: "We accept it and it will be read again in the presence of all the clergy and people by your servant Peter, notary of the holy Roman church". 4. There was a gathering in the basilica of saint Peter. We confess to your Beatitude: we hardly saw in another people such a great devotion, praise to God, weep and joy. Then, all, the men and women with candles, the soldiers with crosses, received us in the city. The mass was celebrated. No name obnoxious to the religion was not recited but only the name of Your Beatitude. Our venerable Bishop Germanus celebrated the mass and they promised that nothing would be recited apart from that which is approved by the Apostolic See. May God who is so propitious to you keep what was done here for your sake. 5. This letter we wrote 30 miles from Lychnidos hoping to arrive with God's help to this city the same day and we also hope to do the same thing with the bishop of this city when he will come to us. If it happens, we will write to you at our earliest convenience. 6. Having been located in Scampa, after the mass at the hour of evening meal viri spectabiles Stephanus and Leontius sent by the emperor came to meet us. They did not know that we are already in Greece because in the orders given to Stephanus it was said that he should go to Italy to meet with us. (This is this Stephanus, they say, from the family of your son, magister militum Vitalianus.) 7. They informed us that the senator Patricius has been convicted and sent into exile. For what reason, we cannot say because it is not easy to learn the truth about such matters; we only can say how the news reached us. It is also said that some officers (apocrisarii) of the Church of Thessalonica were arrested because of the letters found in their possesion. For what reason exactly, we do not know. And together with them also Filuminus and Demetrius magistrianus and other persons whose names we do not know. 8. This is, as we have said above, what we heard. They give us, however, good news with the mercy of God on the ecclesiastical matters. In regard to the physician Cosmas, for what reason he went to Italy, we could not think of anything else than that he is probably wanted. You should be concerned, as you know, why he went there.
 
214.
 
THE RELATION OF THE SAME PERSONS AS ABOVE
 
In the other letter we informed your Beatitude about the venerable Bishop Troius of the city of Scampa, how he gave the libellus and about the festivity celebrated in this city. With the mercy of God we arrived to Lychnidos. The venerable man, Bishop Theodoritus, also gave the libellus. This libellus was read in the church and everything was done according to your decree. Pray to God, have hope in his holy Apostles, the most blessed Peter and Paul so that [thanks to] God who initiated all that responding to your prayers everything follows in a similarly prosperous way so that the time of your rule is always praised as the time of the correction of the churches. This letter we send to your Apostolic Authority on the day of Nones of March [=9 March].
 
(trans. M. Szada)

Discussion:

The libellus mentioned in the letters is the profession of faith which the Eastern bishops should accept in order to enter communion with Rome after the resolution of the Acacian schism.
 
The condemnation of Patricius and the arrests in Thessalonica were probably linked with the conspiracy against the emperor Justin I that was uncovered at the beginning of his rule (see Vasiliev 1950: 102-108; 174).
 
The language of both letters is very peculiar. Many emendations were proposed by the editors (especially by Baronius) but Guenther considered that the authors, and not the scribes, were responsible for the errors. See Guenther 1892: 22.

Place of event:

Region
  • Rome
  • Danubian provinces and Illyricum
City
  • Rome
  • Aulon
  • Scampa
  • Lychnidos

About the source:

Author: Hormisdas
Title: Collectio Avellana, Epistulae, Letters
Origin: Scampa (Danubian provinces and Illyricum)Lychnidos (Danubian provinces and Illyricum),
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Hormisdas was a bishop of Rome from 514 until his death in 523. During his pontificate he managed to resolve the Acacian Schism (see the discussion in [1581]) in 519.
 
Collectio Avellana is 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 c. 200 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:
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
A. Thiel ed., Epistolae Romanorum Pontificum genuinae et quae ad eos scriptae sunt a s. Hilaro usque ad Pelagium II, vol. 1, Brunsberga 1868
Bibliography:
P. Blaudeau, "Un point de contact entre collectio Avellana et collectio Thessalonicensis?”, Millennium Yearbook / Millenium Jahrbuch 10 (2013), 1–12.
O. Guenther, Avellana-Studien, Wien 1896.
O. Guenther Beiträge zur Chronologie der Briefe des Papstes Hormisda, Wien 1892.
D. Moreau, "Les actes pontificaux comme sources des historiens et des chroniqueurs de l'Antiquité tardive", in: L'historiographie tardo-antique et la transmission des savoirs, ed. P. van Nuffelen, P. Blaudeau,  Millenium-Studien 55, Berlin, Boston 2015, 23-54.
H. Steinacker, "Ueber das älteste päpstliche Registerwesen”, Mitteilungen des Instituts für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung 23 (1902), 1–49.

Categories:

Writing activity - Correspondence
Travel and change of residence
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Ritual activity - Eucharist
Ecclesiastical administration - Ecclesiastical envoy
Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
Relation with - Deacon
Relation with - Secular authority
Relation with - Noble
Relation with - Townsman
Relation with - Soldier/Warrior
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1668, http://www.presbytersproject.ihuw.pl/index.php?id=6&SourceID=1668