Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 625
Augustine, bishop of Hippo Regius (North Africa) writes to Sixtus, presbyter at Rome, mentioning also the presbyter Firmus. Letter 191, AD 418.
Letter 191
Domino uenerabili et in Christi caritate suscipiendo sancto fratri et conpresbytero Sixto Augustinus in Domino salutem.
1. Ex quo Hipponem litterae benignitatis tuae per sanctum fratrem nostrum Firmum presbyterum directae me absente uenerunt, posteaquam illas, cum remeassem, quamuis iam inde profecto earum perlatore legere potui [...].
Si enim breuissimam epistulam tuam, quam de hac ipsa re ad beatissimum senem Aurelium per Leonem acolithum direxisti, exultanti alacritate descripsimus et, quibus poteramus, magno studio legebamus, ubi nobis exposuisti, quid de illo perniciosissimo dogmate uel quid contra de gratia dei, quam pusillis magnisque largitur, cui est illud inimicissimum, sentias, quanta nos putas ista tua prolixiora scripta uel exultatione legisse uel cura, ut legantur, quibus ualuimus, aliis obtulisse atque adhuc, quibus ualemus, offerre! Quid enim gratius legi uel audiri potest, quam gratiae dei tam pura defensio aduersus inimicos eius ex ore eius, qui eorundem inimicorum magni momenti patronus antea iactabatur? [...]
(ed. Goldbacher 1911: 162-164)
Letter 191
To Sixtus, his venerable lord, holy brother, and fellow presbyter, who is to be embraced with the love of Christ, Augustine sends greetings in the Lord.
1. The letter of Your Grace sent to me by means of our brother, the presbyter Firmus, arrived in Hippo when I was away. I was able to read it afterward when I returned, although its bearer had already left there. [...]
For we quickly and joyfully copied your short letter on this subject that you sent to the blessed primate Aurelius, by means of the acolyte Leo, and we read it with great eagerness to those to whom we could. In it you explained to us what you hold on that most pernicious teaching and what you hold against it on the grace of God, which is given to infants and adults and to which that teaching is most opposed. With what great joy do you imagine we read this longer letter of yours and with what great care do you suppose that we have offered it and are still offering it to whatever others we can in order that it might be read to them! For what could one read or hear with more pleasure than so pure a defense of the grace of God against its enemies from the lips of one who earlier was claimed to be an important patron of those same enemies? [...]
(trans. R. Teske, slightly altered)


Although it obviously does not result form this letter, the presbyter Sixtus is the future Pope Sixtus III (432-440). He is slightly reproached by Augustine for his earlier writings that may have been considered as pro-Pelagian.
Augustine soon afterwards sent another letter to Sixtus [633].

Place of event:

  • Latin North Africa
  • Rome
  • Hippo Regius
  • Carthage
  • Rome

About the source:

Author: Augustine
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 4, Ep. 185-270, Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 57, Vienna-Leipzig 1911.
Saint Augustine, Letters 156-210, trans. R. Teske, New York 2004.


Writing activity - Correspondence
Travel and change of residence
Further ecclesiastical career - Bishop
Described by a title - Titles of respect
Ecclesiastical administration - Ecclesiastical envoy
Relation with - Another presbyter
Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
Relation with - Lower cleric
Relation with - Heretic/Schismatic
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, ER625,