Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 2069
Presbyter Paulinus, later bishop of Nola, writes to Presbyter Amandus of Bordeaux (Gaul). Paulinus` letter is carried by Sanemarius, his former slave, whom Paulinus sends to Bordeaux to serve in the church under Amandus. Sanemarius is to receive a plot of church land in arrangement with Presbyter Exsuperius. Account of Paulinus of Nola, Letter 12, AD 397/398.
Letter 12 to Presbyter Amandus of Bordeaux
12. Nunc Sanemarium portitorem huius epistolae commendamus specialiter unanimitati tuae, ut, sicut rogauimus sanctum episcopum et patrem nostrum, ita ordinetur a uobis. Conseruum enim eum data in domino libertate reddidimus; sed uobis in domo domini seruiat delegatis ad parentum nostrorum memoriam obsequiis, ut per religiosam seruitutem obtinere firmam libertatem sub uestra defensione mereatur. Age et apud sanctum presbyterum fratrem Exsuperium, ut in casa ecclesiae terrulam, qua uictum suum procuret, accipiat.
(ed. de Hartel 1894: 82)
Letter 12 to Presbyter Amandus of Bordeaux
12. Now I commend Sanemarius, the bearer of this letter, in a special way to your affection, that you may arrange things as I have requested of the holy bishop my father. For I have given him his freedom in the Lord and made him my fellow servant. But let him serve you in the house of the Lord, and let his services be utilised in tending the tomb of my parents, so that by holy slavery he may deserve to obtain stable freedom under your protection. Arrange with our brother, the holy presbyter Exsuperius, that Sanemarius be given a plot of ground to maintain himself on the church estate.
(trans. Walsh 1966: 1.115, slightly altered by J. Szafranowski)


Paulinus was Amandus' catechumen [2062].
Sanemarius was probably destined by Paulinus to be ordained to lower clerical rank.
It is possible that the Exsuperius mentioned here could be identified as the bishop of Toulouse bearing the same name active in the very beginning of the fifth century.
The dating of this letter is based on the analysis of other letters sent by Paulinus to Amandus and Delphinus of Bordeaux (Walsh 1966: 1.234–235).

Place of event:

  • Italy south of Rome and Sicily
  • Gaul
  • Nola
  • Bordeaux

About the source:

Author: Paulinus of Nola
Title: Letters, Epistulae
Origin: Nola (Italy south of Rome and Sicily)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Paulinus of Nola (Pontius Metropius Paulinus) was born into a very affluent family ca 335. Although most of his estates were located near Bordeaux in Gaul, he was appointed the governor of Campania in his early twenties. He then returned to Gaul. In 389, after being baptized, Paulinus and his wife moved to Spain. They both started to follow a semi-monastic way of life. Following the death of his newborn son, Paulinus was ordered a presbyter at Christmas 394. In 395, Paulinus established a monastery in Nola in Campania. He served as a bishop of that city from 409 till his death in 431. Paulinus corresponded with many principal Christian intellectuals of the era, including Sulpicius Severus, Jerome, Ambrose of Milan, and Augustine of Hippo. Of this rich epistolographic corpus, however, only fifty-one letters survived. For the list of all letters Paulinus sent as a presbyter, and their addressees, see [2059].
G. de Hartel ed., S. Pontii Meropii Paulini Nolani opera, vol. 1 Epistulae, Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 29, Prague-Wien-Leipzig 1894.
Letters of St. Paulinus of Nola, trans. P.G. Walsh, Ancient Christian Writers 35, New York 1966.


Writing activity - Correspondence
Further ecclesiastical career - Bishop
Functions within the Church - Urban presbyter
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Described by a title - Titles of respect
Ecclesiastical administration - Administering Church property
Economic status and activity - Ownership or possession of land
Relation with - Another presbyter
Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
Relation with - Lower cleric
Relation with - Slave/Servant
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: J. Szafranowski, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER2069,