Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 461
Augustine, bishop of Hippo Regius (North Africa) sends a letter to Olympius, the magister officiorum at the court of Ravenna, through a presbyter of Milevis, who passed through Hippo on his way to Ravenna with the letters of his bishop and townfolk. Augustine, Letter 97, AD 408.
Letter 97
2. [...] Ego tamen, licet nullum consilium cum eis communicare potuerim, non potui praetermittere per hunc fratrem et conpresbyterum meum, qui urgenti necessitate pro salute ciuis sui etiam media hieme quomodocumque ad illas partes uenire compulsus est, et salutare et admonere caritatem tuam, quam habes in Christo Iesu domino nostro, ut opus tuum bonum diligentissima acceleretur instantia, quo nouerint inimici ecclesiae leges illas, quae de idolis confringendis et haereticis corrigendis uiuo Stilichone in Africam missae sunt, uoluntate imperatoris piissimi et fidelissimi constitutas [...].
3. [...] Propterea quippe memoratus presbyter harum perlator, cum de regione sit Mileuitana, ab episcopo suo uenerabili fratre meo Seuero, qui tuam mecum sincerissimam dilectionem multum salutat, per Hipponem Regium, ubi ego sum, transire iussus est [...].
(ed. Goldbacher 1898: 517-518)
Letter 97
2. [...]  Though I was unable to share in some planning with them, I could not, nonetheless, pass up the chance to greet Your Charity, a charity which you have in Christ Jesus the Lord, by means of this brother and my fellow presbyter, who was forced to go to those parts somehow or other, even in the middle of winter, because of the urgent need for the safety of his fellow citizens. I also want to advise you to speed up your good work with much diligence and concern in order that the enemies of the Church may know that those laws which were sent to Africa concerning the destruction of idols and the correction of heretics, when Stilicho was still alive, had been established by the will of the most pious and faithful emperor. [...]
3. [...] For this reason, of course, the presbyter I mentioned who carried the letters, since he was from the region of Milevis, was ordered by his venerable bishop, my brother, Severus, who salutes Your Charity sincerely together with me, to pass through Hippo Regius, where I am. [...]
(trans. R. Teske, slightly modified)


Augustine, already a bishop, calls an anonymous presbyter his "fellow presbyter" ("conpresbyter"). He carried the letters of his bishop, and probably of his fellow citizens, or was at least meant to represent them at the court of Ravenna, as he travelled "because of the urgent need for the safety of his fellow citizens".

Place of event:

  • Latin North Africa
  • Italy north of Rome with Corsica and Sardinia
  • Hippo Regius
  • Milevis
  • Ravenna

About the source:

Author: Augustine of Hippo
Title: Letters, Epistulae
Origin: Hippo Regius (Latin North Africa)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
The letters of Augustine of Hippo cover a wide range of topics: Holy Scripture, dogma and liturgy, philosophy, religious practice and everyday life. They range from full-scale theological treatises to small notes asking someone for a favour. The preserved corpus includes 308 letters, 252 written by Augustine, 49 that others sent to him and seven exchanged between third parties. 29 letters have been discovered only in the 20th century and edited in 1981 by Johannes Divjak; they are distinguished by the asterisk (*) after their number.
The preserved letters of Augustine extend over the period from his stay at Cassiciacum in 386 to his death in Hippo in 430.
A. Goldbacher ed., S. Augustini Hipponiensis Episcopi Epistulae, Pars 2, Ep. 31-123, Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 34/2,  Prague-Vienna-Leipzig 1898.
Saint Augustine, Letters 1-99, trans. R. Teske, New York 2001.


Travel and change of residence
    Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
      Ecclesiastical administration - Ecclesiastical envoy
        Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
          Relation with - Townsman
            Described by a title - Conpresbyter
              Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: S. Adamiak, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER461,