Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 1969
An anonymous presbyter in charge of the basilica of Saint Julian in Brioude ransoms his cupbearer from Count Becco, most probably 525/533. Account of Gregory of Tours, "The Miracles of the Martyr Julian", Tours (Gaul), AD 573/585.
A certain boy finds a falcon while walking down the road.
Erat enim puer ille pincerna in domo basilicae.
The boy is then accused by Count Becco of stealing his falcon. Becco chains him and plans to send him to the gallows.
Tunc sacerdos maestus valde ad sepulcrum sancti properat, reseratisque cum gemitu capsis, apprehensis decem aureis, per fideles amicos Becconi obtulit. Quod ille pro nihilo respuens, cum iuramento asseruit numquam se puerum dimissurum, nisi exinde aureos triginta acciperet. Quod presbyter desuper sepulcro sancti accipiens, Becconi transmisit; quod acceptos, satiata auri cupiditate, puerum restauravit incolumem.
Becco is then punished by Saint Julian.
(ed. de Nie 2015: 340-342, summarised by J. Szafranowski)
A certain boy finds a falcon while walking down the road.
This young man was a cupbearer in the basilica's residence for the clergy (domus basilicae).
The boy is then accused by Count Becco of stealing his falcon. Becco chains him and plans to send him to the gallows.
Then the priest (sacerdos), greatly distressed, hastened to the saint's tomb and, opening the collection boxes with a sigh, took out ten golden coins and had them taken to Becco by trusted friends. He, however, rejecting them as worthless, asserted with an oath that he would never let the man go unless he received thirty more gold coins from there. The presbyter then took these from the box above the tomb and sent them to Becco; after having received them, his hunger for gold was satisfied and he gave the young man back unharmed.
Becco is then punished by Saint Julian.
(trans. de Nie 2015: 341-343, summarised by J. Szafranowski)


Thisis one of very few pieces of evidence where the words sacerdos and presbyter are used interchangeably to describe the same person (another is [1976]).
Judging by the place of this passus in the Gregory's narrative, this anonymous presbyter, most probably identical with the one from the record [1961], was active around the same time when Duke Sigivald was governing Auvergne in the name of King Theuderic I (ca 525-533).

Place of event:

  • Gaul
  • Brioude

About the source:

Author: Gregory of Tours
Title: The Miracles of the Martyr Julian, The Suffering and Miracles of the Martyr Saint Julian, De passione, virtutibus et gloria sancti Iuliani martyris, Virtutes sancti Iuliani
Origin: Tours (Gaul)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
It seems that Gregory of Tours (Gaul) started to collect the stories of Julian`s miraculous interventions and his sanctuary at Brioude since the very beginning of his ecclesiastical career. In the second chapter of "The Miracles of Saint Julian" (Virtutes sancti Iuliani), Gregory mentions his journey to Brioude while still serving as deacon in Lyon. This is not surprising, as Brioude lies just some sixty kilometres south of Gregory`s hometown, Clermont. Julian maintained his position as a very important saint to Gregory after his episcopal ordination. During Gregory`s episcopate, Julian`s relics were brought to Tours and a basilica was built there in his name. By cross-reference, Raymond Van Dam proved that Gregory had finished his book on Julian`s miracles in the early 580s (Van Dam 1993: 162-163).
Recently, Giselle de Nie proposed a new edition of "The Miracles" which combines the earlier editions by Ruinart, Bordier, and Krusch. She normalised the spelling and punctuation, and provided a new translation "that stays as close as possible to the author`s train of thought" (de Nie 2015: xxv).
Gregory of Tours, Lives and Miracles, ed. and trans. G. de Nie, Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library 39, Cambridge, MA and London 2015, pp. 299-419.
Gregory of Tours, The Suffering and Miracles of the Martyr St. Julian, trans. R. Van Dam, in: R. Van Dam, Saints and their Miracles in Late Antique Gaul, Princeton 1993, pp. 162-195.


Food/Clothes/Housing - Food and drink
Food/Clothes/Housing - Type of housing
Food/Clothes/Housing - Objects of luxury
Entertainment - Feasting
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Described by a title - Sacerdos/ἱερεύς
Monastic or common life - Clerical community
Ecclesiastical administration - Administering Church property
Relation with - Noble
Relation with - Slave/Servant
Devotion - Veneration of saints and relics
Pastoral activity - Ransoming and visiting prisoners and captives
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: J. Szafranowski, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1969,