Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 558
Gerontius, presbyter in Toledo (Iberian Peninsula, ca AD 633/636) goes mad because he insulted his bishop Justus. Account of Ildefonsus of Toledo, "On the Lives of Famous Men", ca AD 657/667.
Item cum successori eius Iusto episcopo Gerontius presbyter principis oblectamine fotus, contemptum aduersitatem que deferret, tam repentino motu uim perdidit intellectus, ut multis medicorum curationibus acto quidquid in medellam fieret, totum in pestis augmentum concresceret. Sic que perinualuit commotio mentis ut usque ad obitum suum horror esset homini eius uel participatio uisionis uel conloquium oris.
(eds. V. Yarza Urquiola, C. Codoñer 2007: 599)
In the same way the presbyter Gerontius, a favourite of the king who treated his [i.e. Helladius'] successor, bishop Justus, in a contemptuous and hostile fashion, all of a sudden lost his wits with the result that all the attentions of the doctors brought about something in his bones which merely served to make the disease worse. His madness reached such a pitch that until his dying day it was a horrific thing to see or to speak to him. [...]
(trans. A.T. Fear 1997:


For Bishop Justus see PRVT 246. He was a successor of Helladius, and he was a bishop from 633 (he signed the canons of the fourth council of Toledo in 633) to 636 when he died. In the previous section of the text Ildefonsus mentions a certain Justus, a deacon who insulted his bishop Helladius, and after his death "lived as a bishop himself." There is a controversy as to whether Ildefonsus is referring to the same person - it seems, however, more probable that the wicked Justus from the preface is a separate individual.

Place of event:

  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Toledo

About the source:

Author: Ildefonsus of Toledo
Title: On the Lives of Famous Men, De viris illustribus, Lives of Illustrious Men
Origin: Toledo (Iberian Peninsula)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Ildefonsus of Toledo wrote the continuation of the "De viris illustribus" written by Isidore of Seville during the time of his episcopacy in Toledo sometime between 657 and 667.
V. Yarza Urquiola, C. Codoñer eds., Ildefonsi Toletani De virginitate Sanctae Mariae, De cognitione baptismi, De itinere deserti, De viris illustribus, Corpus Christianorum. Series Latina 114A, Turnhout 2007
A.T. Fear, Lives of the Visigothic fathers, Liverpool 1997


Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
Relation with - Monarch and royal/imperial family
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER558,