Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 188
Canon 1 of the Council of Hippo (North Africa, AD 393), preserved in the "Breviarium Hipponense" (AD 397), establishes 25 years as the minimum age for ordination.
Canon 1
b) Vt ante XXV aetatis annos nec clerici ordinentur nec uirgines consecrentur.
c) Vt primum scripturis diuinis instructi uel ab infantia eruditi, propter fidei professionem et assertionem, clerici promoueantur.
(ed. Munier 1974: 33)
Canon 1
b) Clerics and virgins should not be consecrated until they are twenty-five years old.
c) First those clerics who are well instructed in divine scriptures or have been taught about them since their childhood should be promoted.
(trans. S. Adamiak)


Apart from establishing the age of ordination as 25 years, the canon gives us an interesting insight into the ways of educating future clerics, being instructed "from infancy" is indicated as one of possibilities. Surprisingly, the canon names a good education in religious issues not as a requirement for ordination itself, but only as a help for a quicker promotion.

Place of event:

  • Latin North Africa
  • Carthage
  • Hippo Regius

About the source:

Title: Breuiarium Hipponense
Origin: Carthage (Latin North Africa)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
The bishops of Byzacena arrived too early for the African plenary council at Carthage in AD 397. Since they had to leave the city before the actual beginning of the proceedings Aurelius of Carthage charged them with editing the decisions of the Council of Hippo of AD 393. The document drafted in this way and accepted on 13 August 397 was called the "Breviarium Hipponense", and it was included later in the Canons in causa Apiarii from AD 419, Registri Ecclesiae Carthaginensis Excerpta, Breviarium of Ferrandus and Statuta Ecclesiae Antiqua.
C. Munier ed., Concilia Africae a. 345-a. 525, Corpus Christianorum. Series Latina 149, Turnhoult 1974, 23-53.  


Education - Home education
    Further ecclesiastical career - Unspecified clerical grade
      Described by a title - Clericus
        Impediments or requisits for the office - Age
          Act of ordination
              Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: S. Adamiak, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER188,