Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 206
Canon 4 of the First Council of Barcelona (Iberian Peninsula, ca AD 540) forbids deacons to sit in a place of presbyters.
Canon 4
Ut diaconus in consessu presbyteri nullatenus sedeat.
(ed. Vives 1963: 53)
Canon 4
Let no deacon sit in a place of presbyters.
(trans. M. Szada)


Sometimes the following translation is proposed "A deacon may not seat in the presence of a presbyter" (Hefele 1895: 209; see also can. 20 of the Council of Laodicea). The canon most probably refers to the to the rules to be observed inside churches (see similar canons where it is explicitly stated, e.g. Collectio canonica Arelatensis can. 15 [549]; 4th Council of Toledo 633 can. 39 [446]; Dockter 2013: 156).

Place of event:

  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Barcelona

About the source:

Title: Concil of Barcelona, Concilium Barcinonense a. 540
Origin: Barcelona (Iberian Peninsula)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
The provincial council was held at Barcelona ca 540 (for the date see Orlandis, Ramos-Lissón 1986: 120-121 and Schäferdiek 1967: 85-86) by the metropolitan Bishop Sergius of Tarragona. The other six bishops were present: Nibridius of Barcelona, Carontius of Emporiae (modern Empuries), Andreas of Lerida, Stafilius of Gerona, John of Saragossa, and Asellus of Tortosa (see preface to the canons of the council, Vives 1963: 53). In the Hispana collection the document De fisco Barcinonesi is attached to the canons. It is unrelated to them and was written in the time of King Reccared (586-601).
J. Vives ed., Concilios visigóticos e hispano-romanos, Barcelona-Madrid 1963.
G. Martínez Díez, F. Rodríguez eds., La colección canónica Hispana, Monumenta Hispaniae sacra. Serie canónica 5, Madrid 1966.
H. Dockter, Klerikerkritik im antiken Christentum, Göttingen; Bonn 2013.
C.J. Hefele, A History of the Councils of the Church from the Original Documents, v. 4, trans. by W.R. Clark, Edinburgh 1895.


Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
    Usurping presbyterial power
      Disrespected by
        Relation with - Deacon
          Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER206,