Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ID
ER 1932
Abbot and most probably presbyter Porcarius from the church of Saint Hilary in Poitiers (Gaul) is sent by his bishop to negotiate the reconciliation of the excommunicated nuns with the bishops from the ecclesiastical province of Bordeaux. As he is unsuccessful, King Childebert sends his presbyter Theutharius on a similar mission, AD 589. Account of Gregory of Tours, "Histories", Tours (Gaul), AD 589-594.
IX.43
 
In the aftermath of the great conflict in the nunnery of the Holy Cross in Poitiers, the nuns who revolted against their abbess were excommunicated by the metropolitan, Bishop Gundegysilus of Bordeaux.
 
Post haec Maroveus episcopus, cum diversa inproperia ab his audiret, Porcarium abbatem basilicae beati Helari ad Gundegysilum episcopum vel reliquos conprovincialis eius distinat, ut, data conmunione puellis, ad audientiam veniendi licentiam indulgere dignarentur. Sed nequaquam potuit obtenere. Childeberthus autem rex, cum assiduas de utraque parte, monasterii scilicet vel puellarum, quae egressae fuerant, molestias patiretur, Theutharium presbiterum ad dirimandas quaeremunias, quae inter easdem agebantur, distinat. Qui, provocatis Chrodieldem cum reliquis puellis ad audientiam, dixerunt: "Non venimus, quia a communione suspensae sumus. Si reconciliare merimur, tunc ad audientiam venire non differimus". Haec audiens ille, ad episcopos abiit. Cum que cum his de hac causa locutus fuisset, nullum effectum obtenere potuit de communione earum; et sic ad urbem Pectavam regressus est.
 
The account of Theutharius' mission ends here. It was, therefore, unsuccessful.
 
(ed. Krusch 1937: 474)
IX.43
 
In the aftermath of the great conflict in the nunnery of the Holy Cross in Poitiers, the nuns who revolted against their abbess were excommunicated by the metropolitan, Bishop Gundegysilus of Bordeaux.
 
When Bishop Maroveus [of Poitiers] heard the hateful things which they were saying about him, he sent Porcarius, the abbot of the basilica of Saint Hilary, to Bishop Gundegysilus and the other [bishops] of his province to ask if they would permit him to administer communion to the nuns, and then appear before them and be heard. However, Porcarius was unable to obtain anything [from the bishops]. King Childebert, who was becoming tired of the never-ending stream of complaints from both sides, that is from the monastery [i.e. the abbess] and from the nuns [who revolted against her], sent the presbyter Theutharius to stem the tide of recriminations which they kept up between them. Theutharius summoned Chrodielda [leader of the rebellion] and the other nuns to appear before him. "We will not come," they answered, "because we have been suspended from communion. If we are received back into the Church, we will agree to appear." When he heard this, Theutharius went off to see the bishops. He put his problem before them, but he made no progress on the subject of the nuns' excommunication. Hence, he came back to Poitiers.
 
The account of Theutharius' mission ends here. It was, therefore, unsuccessful.
 
(trans. Thorpe 1974: 538-539, altered by J. Szafranowski)

Discussion:

Abba Porcarius was almost certainly a presbyter responsible for a basilica, in this case of Saint Hilary's church in Poitiers. More on presbyters described as abba, see Pietri 1983.
 
Judging by the place of this passus in Gregory's narrative, both Porcarius and Theutharius travelled to the bishops of the province of Bordeaux in 589.
 
Theutharius' mission is later recalled in Histories X.16, see [1939]. In there, Theutharius represents both King Childebert and King Guntram.

Place of event:

Region
  • Gaul
City
  • Bordeaux
  • Poitiers

About the source:

Author: Gregory of Tours
Title: The History of the Franks, Gregorii episcopi Turonensis historiarum libri X, Histories
Origin: Tours (Gaul)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Gregory of Tours (Gaul) wrote his ten books of Histories (known commonly in English as the History of the Franks) during his episcopal reign in Tours between 573 and 594. The books vary in scope and length. The first book covers 5,596 years from the creation of the world to AD 397, that is the death of Saint Martin of Tours, Gregory`s predecessor in bishopric. The second book deals with the history of Gaul between 397 and 511, the latter being the year of death of King Clovis I. The third and fourth books cover the next 64 years till the death of Austrasian King Sigibert II in 575. Finally, the following six books describe exclusively the sixteen years from 575 to 591. Probably in 594, Gregory added the list of bishops of Tours in the end of the Histories, with brief accounts of their actions.
Edition:
B. Krusch ed., Gregorii Episcopi Turonensis Historiarum Libri X [in:] Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores rerum Merovingiciarum 1.1, Hannover 1884 (repr. 1951): 1­-537.
 
Translation:
Gregory of Tours, The History of the Franks, trans. L. Thorpe, London 1974.
Bibliography:
L. Pietri, Les abbés de basilique dans la Gaule du VIe siècle, "Revue d'histoire de l'Église de France" 69 (1983), pp. 5-28.

Categories:

Travel and change of residence
Functions within the Church - Urban presbyter
Functions within the Church - Presbyter at court
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Described by a title - Abba
Ecclesiastical administration - Ecclesiastical envoy
Public functions and offices after ordination - Court office
Public functions and offices after ordination - Envoy
Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
Relation with - Monarch and royal/imperial family
Relation with - Monk/Nun
Public functions and offices after ordination - Public trustee/Mediator
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: J. Szafranowski, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1932, http://www.presbytersproject.ihuw.pl/index.php?id=6&SourceID=1932