Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 2077
Presbyter Paulinus, later bishop of Nola, writes to Bishop Delphinus of Bordeaux (Gaul). Paulinus describes his cordial relations with Pope Anastasius. Account of Paulinus of Nola, Letter 20, AD 400/401.
Letter 20 to Bishop Delphinus of Bordeaux
2. Sciat ueneratio tua sanctum fratrem tuum papam urbis Anastasium amantissimum esse humilitatis nostrae; nam ubi primum potestatem caritatis suae nobis offerendae habere coepit, non solum suscipere eam a nobis, sed ingerere nobis piissima affectione properauit. Nam breui post ordinationem suam epistolas de nomine nostro plenas et religionis et pietatis et pacis ad episcopos Campaniae misit, quibus et suum declararet affectum et aliis benignitatis suae praeberet exemplum. Deinde nos ipsos Romae, cum sollemni consuetudine ad beatorum apostolorum natalem uenissemus, tam blande quam honorifice excepit. Postea quoque interposito tempore etiam ad natalem suum, quod consacerdotibus suis tantum deferre solet, inuitare dignatus est, nec offensus est excusatione nostra; sed officium sermonis nostri, quod uicem praesentiae reddideramus, acceptans, animo nos paterno et absentes recepit. Denique si dominus commeatum donauerit, ut ad eum usitato sollemniter nobis tempore recurramus, spero me ad sanctitatem tuam ei litteras exacturum, quibus etiam tibi nos incipiat commendare.
(ed. de Hartel 1894: 144-145)
Letter 20 to Bishop Delphinus of Bordeaux
2. So your revered person should know that your holy brother Anastasius, Pope of Rome, is most affectionate to my lowly person; for as soon as the opportunity presented itself of offering me his love, he hastened not only to obtain my regard but also to lavish on me his most devoted affection. Shortly after his consecration he sent letters about me, full of piety, devotion, and peace, to the bishops of Campania, so that he could reveal his own affection for me and set the precedent of his kindness before others. Next, when I attended the feast of the blessed apostles according to my regular custom, he welcomed me at Rome with as much charm as honour. Subsequently, after the lapse of some time, he was kind enough to invite me also to the anniversary of his election, a privilege he normally restricts to his fellow bishops. And he showed no rancour, when I excused myself. Instead, he welcomed the dutiful letter I sent to represent me, and thus he welcomed me in my absence with fatherly spririt. If only the Lord permits me to revisit him at the same time when I customarily go to Rome, I hope that I shall elicit from him a letter to your holy self, so that he may begin to commend me to you as well.
(trans. Walsh 1966: 1.185-186)


Paulinus was baptised by Bishop Delphinus ca 389 [2063].
Pope Anastasius was bishop of Rome from late 399 to late 401. The anniversary of his election fell, hence, in November 400. Since Paulinus states that he would like to visit Anastasius during his annuary trip to Rome (which, from 396 up to 406, always took place encompassed the feast of Saints Peter and Paul on the 29th of June), this letter was written between late 400 and June 401.
Paulinus had rather difficult relationships with the former bishop of Rome, Siricius, who even declined to see him when Paulinus visited Rome in 395. See [2067].

Place of event:

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

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.


Social origin or status - Social elite
Writing activity - Correspondence
Travel and change of residence
Reverenced by
Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
Equal prerogatives of presbyters and bishops
Devotion - Veneration of saints and relics
Devotion - Pilgrimage
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: J. Szafranowski, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER2077,