Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 2140
Presbyter Paulinus, later bishop of Nola, writes to the presbyter Alethius, probably brother of Florentius, bishop of Cahors (Gaul). Alethius asked Paulinus for an example of his "genius and eloquence". Hence, Paulinus sends his sermon to Alethius. Paulinus of Nola, Letter 33 and 34, AD 400/406.
Letter 33 to Alethius and Letter 34 "On the Alms Table"
In letter 33, which survived only fragmentary, Paulinus thanks Alethius for his epistle in which the latter asked for the sample of Paulinus' "genius and eloquence". It seems that Letter 34, which is in fact a sermon and not a letter per se, could be exactly the text which Paulinus sent to Alethius.
(ed. de Hartel 1894: 301-312, summarised by J. Szafranowski)


Letters 33 and 34 were sent between 400 and 406 as in this period Victor, mentioned in Letter 33, served as a courier between southern Gaul and Nola.
This Alethius, which three manuscripts describe as a brother of Bishop Florentius of Cahors, should be almost certainly identified with the presbyter Alethius, brought up briefly in Jerome's letter 121.
Gregory of Tours cites the text of Paulinus of unknown provenance which mentions Alethius as Bishop of Cahors around 407/409 (Histories II.13).

Place of event:

  • Italy south of Rome and Sicily
  • Gaul
  • Italy south of Rome and Sicily
  • Nola
  • Primuliacum
  • Fundi

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 - Clerical family
Writing activity - Correspondence
Further ecclesiastical career - Bishop
Functions within the Church - Urban presbyter
Relation with - Another presbyter
Education - Theological interest
Pastoral activity - Preaching
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: J. Szafranowski, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER2140,