Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 578
Pope Boniface V (AD 619-625) curbs the activities of acolytes and gives benefits to the clergy. The account of the Liber Pontificalis (written in Rome before AD 640).
71. Bonifatius V
Hic constituit ut acholitus non praesumat reliquias sanctorum martyrym levare, nisi presbiter.
Hic constituit ut acholitus non baptizet cum diacono, sed subdiaconi sequentes.
[…] Hic clerum amavit, roga integra clero suo dedit.
[...] Hic demisit omni clero pro obsequias suas rogam unam integram.
(ed. Duchesne 1886: 321)
71. Boniface V
He established that no acolyte should dare to elevate the relics of the holy martyrs, but only a presbyter.
He established that an acolyte should not baptise with a deacon, but following subdeacons.
[…] He loved the clergy, and he gave to his clergy the entire allowance (roga).
[...] For his funeral he gave to the whole clergy one entire allowance (roga).  
(trans. S. Adamiak)


Duchesne thinks that the rule does not refer to the translations of the bodies of the martyrs, which have not begun yet, but to the touching of various things to the tombs of the martyrs in order to produce contact relics (Duchesne 1886: 321).
The "roga" is difficult to translate, but it must relate to some kind of a financial gift.

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
    Ritual activity - Baptism and instructing catechumens
      Relation with - Lower cleric
          Devotion - Veneration of saints and relics
            Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: S. Adamiak, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER578,