Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 576
Pope Boniface III (AD 607) sets the rules of the papal and episcopal elections. The account of the Liber Pontificalis (written in Rome before AD 640).
68. Bonifatius [III]
[...] Hic fecit constitutum in ecclesia beati Petri, in quo sederunt episcopi LXXII, presbiteri Romani XXXIII, diaconi et clerus omnis, sub anathemate, ut nullus pontificem viventem aut episcopum civitatis suae praesumat loqui aut partes sibi facere, nisi tertio die depositionis eius, adunato clero et filiis ecclesiae, tunc electio fiat, et quis quem voluerit habebit licentiam elegendi sibi sacerdotem. [...]
(ed. Duchesne 1886: 316)
68. Boniface III
[...] When 72 bishops, 33 Roman presbyters, deacons and all the clergy sat in the church of the blessed Peter, he established under anathema that nobody should dare to talk or create parties for himself when the Pontiff or the bishop of a city is still alive, but that the election should be held on the third day after his funeral, with the presence of the clergy and the sons of the Church, so that everybody who would like to do it, had a possibility of electing the priest for themselves.  [...]
(trans. S. Adamiak)


The number of the presbyters said to participate in the council is very probable. The Roman council of AD 595 gathered 34 presbyters (Duchesne 1886: 316).

Place of event:

  • Rome
  • Rome

About the source:

Title: Liber Pontificalis, The Book of Pontiffs, Gesta Pontificum Romanorum
Origin: Rome (Rome)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Liber Pontificalis is a major source for the history of the papacy in the first millenium. It is a collection of the lives of popes, starting from St Peter and kept going through to 870. Liber Pontificalis is prefaced by two apocryphical letters of Pope Damasus and Jerome, but it cannot be dated to that period. Although Mommsen tended to put the date of the actual compilation as late as the seventh century, nowadays Duchesne`s view is generally accepted that there were two editions made in the 530s-540s. The first, presumably completed soon after 530, has not survived as such, though we have two epitomes made from it (known as “Felician” and “Cononian” from the names of the popes at which they end). Duchesne tried to reconstruct it in his edition, but we follow the second edition presented by him, which was completed by the siege of Rome in 546. The work was then left aside for some time, and taken up again probably under Honorius (625-638) or shortly afterwards; hence the additions were written shortly after each pontiff`s death.
Liber starts to provide some more reliable information with the times of Pope Leo I (440-461), and becomes very well informed with the end of the fifth century. The lives of earlier popes cannot be considered as a valid source of information about their lifetime. However, those notices are a precious source for the sixth century: we learn what was considered an old tradition at the time, and how the past of the Roman church was being seen and constructed then. It is especially important when we deal with the liturgy.
 L. Duchesne ed., Le `Liber Pontificalis`, vol. 1., Paris 1886.
 T. Mommsen ed., Liber Pontificalis pars prior, Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Gesta Pontificum Romanorum 1, Berlin 1898.
 The Book of Pontiffs (Liber Pontificalis). The ancient biographies of the first ninety Roman bishops to AD 715, revised edition, translated with an introduction by R. Davis, Liverpool 2000.


Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
    Specific number of presbyters from the same church
      Ecclesiastical administration - Election of Church authorities
        Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
          Administration of justice - Excommunication/Anathema
            Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: S. Adamiak, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER576,