Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 2047
Eugippius, a presbyter and abbot in Castellum Lucullanum near Naples (Italy) makes an anthology of Augustine`s works and dedicates it to the virgin Proba, the early 6th century. Cassiodorus, "Institutions of Divine and Secular Learning", Ravenna, Vivarium, AD 530-560.
Book I
23.1. Convenit etiam ut presbyteri Eugippii opera necessaria legere debeatis, quem nos quoque vidimus, virum quidem non usque adeo saecularibus litteris eruditum, sed Scriptu­ rarum divinarum lectione plenissimum, hic ad parentem nostram Probam, virginem sacram, ex operibus sancti Augus­ tini valde altissimas quaestiones ac sententias diversasque res deflorans, in uno corpore necessaria nimis dispensatione collegit et in trecentis triginta octo capitulis collocavit, qui codex, ut arbitror, utiliter legitur, quando in uno corpore diligentia studiosi viri potuit recondi, quod in magna biblio­ theca vix praevalet inveniri.
(ed. Mynors 1961: 61-62)
Book I
23.1. It is also suitable for you to read the indispensable works of the priest Eugippius whom I myself saw – a man indeed not well educated in secular letters, but well read in Divine Scripture. For my relative Proba, a holy virgin, he excerpted from the works of St Augustine profound problems and opinions on a variety of topics that he collected, compiled, and organized into a collection of 338 chapters. This book is recommended reading, since this diligent scholar set down in one collection what can scarcely be found in a great library.
(trans. Halporn 2004: 154, lightly adapted)


Eugippius came originally from Noricum where he was a monk in the monastery founded by Severinus (died 482). He left Noricum for Italy in 488 with other monks and with Severinus's body in the evacuation ordered by Odoacer. They settled in Castellum Lucullanum near Naples, Roman villa offered them by the noblewoman Barbaria. In 511 Eugippius composed the "Life of Severinus". He also created an anthology of the excerpts from the works of Augustine dedicated to the virgin Proba from the powerful Roman family, the gens Anicia. This is the work about which Cassiodorus writes in this passage of the "Institutions".
We do not know exactly when Eugippius was ordained presbyter. He is styled "presbyter" in the letter to the deacon Paschasius preceding the "Life of Severinus" [2401], [2402] and in the letters addressed to him by Fulgentius of Ruspe [...].
Eugippius was still alive in 532 when he corresponded with Ferrandus of Carthage [...]. Most probably, Cassidorus met Eugippius in sometime in the 530s.

Place of event:

  • Italy north of Rome with Corsica and Sardinia
  • Aquileia

About the source:

Author: Cassiodorus
Title: De institutione divinarum litterarum, Institutiones, An introduction to divine and human readings, Institutions of Divine and Secular Learning
Origin: Ravenna (Italy north of Rome with Corsica and Sardinia), Vivarium (Italy south of Rome and Sicily)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
"Institutions of Divine and Secular Learining" of Cassiodorus is a treatise about Christian education and a sort of catalogue of books (in many respects similar to the genre of the De viris illustribus). It is usually connected with the community of Vivarium and the scholarly and literary pursuits of its members. The work, however, was revised several times and therefore, it is probable that the earlier versions were drafted by Cassiodorus already in the 530s when still at office in Ravenna, at the court of the Ostrogothic king. Mommsen (1894: ix) supposed that Cassiodorus borrowed the title from Junilius, the author of Instituta composed in 542 whose works Cassiodorus certainly knew (I.10.1). Moreover, Cassiodorus mentions Pope Vigilius as if he was already dead, therefore after 555. The composition and revision of the Institutions most probably took several decades, and possibly extended even past the 560s. It cannot be, however, more precisely defined (see Cappuyns 1949: 1371-73, Vessey 2004: 22-24).
R.A.B. Mynors ed., Cassiodori Senatoris Institutiones, Oxford 1961
J.W. Halporn, trans., Cassiodorus: Institutions of divine and secular learning and On the soul, Liverpool 2004.
M. Cappuyns, "Cassiodore", Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, vol. 11, Paris 1949, cols. 1349-1408
M. Cappuyns, "Eugippius", Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, vol. 15, Paris 1963, cols. 1376-78
Th. Mommsen ed., Cassiodori Senatoris Variae, Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Auctores antiquissimi 12, Berlin 1894
S. Ruiz, "Bellator", Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, vol. 7, Paris 1934, col. 828
M. Vessey, "Introduction", in: Cassiodorus: Institutions of divine and secular learning and On the soul, Liverpool 2004, 3-101


Education - Insufficient education
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Monastic or common life - Monastic superior (abbot/prior)
Relation with - Monk/Nun
Relation with - Woman
Writing activity
Education - Theological interest
Devotion - Reading the Bible and devotional literature
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER2047,