Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 661
Presbyters are present at the council in Rome in AD 495 presided by Pope Gelasius that rehabilitated Bishop Misenus of Cumae excommunicated during the pontificate of Pope Felix II (III) for communicating with Acacius, patriarch of Alexandria in AD 484. Gesta de absolutione Miseni (= Letter 30 of Gelasius), included in the Collectio Avellana compiled in the second half of the 6th c.
103. [in Coll. Avell.]
1. Residente synodo uenerabili uiro papa Gelasio una cum Bonifatio Maximino Epiphanio Basilio Uitali Claro Irenaeo Decio Asello Euplo Ualentino Martiniano Basso Benigno Primitiuo Palladio Uindemio Constantio Martyrio Candido Laurentio Deodato Mercurio Stephano Dulcitio Fortunato Paschasio Sanctulo Innocentio Chrysogono Colonico [Uiatore Salustio Luciano] Molensi Maximiano Ualentino Constantio Gaudentio Felice Uitaliano Petro Sereno Aucupio Timotheo Stephano Laurentio et Probo episcopis, 2. residentibus etiam Castino Laurentio Canusio Eugenio Ianuario Marciano Gordiano Petro Urbico Paulino Ualente Petro Asterio Smaragdo Bonifatio Maxentio Epiphanio Iustino Felice Redempto Proiectitio [Iouino Bono Paschasio Laurentio] Calixto Iohanne Ualentino Sebastiano Martino Epiphanio Andrea Seruodei Apellione Petro Seruando [Romano Marcellino Domnino] Agapito Abundantio Marcellino Litorio Laurentio Agathone Sebastiano Ualentino Anastasio Genesio Dionysio Epiphanio Acontio Paulino Agapito Adeodato Benedicto Dominico Redempto Seuero Iuliano Stephano Crescentione Septimino Cypriano et Epiphanio presbyteris una cum Amandiano uiro illustri et Diogeniano uiro spectabili, adstantibus quoque diaconibus Gelasius episcopus ecclesiae catholicae urbis Romae dixit: 3. "Meminit dilectio uestra superiore conuentu oblatum nobis a Miseno libellum in conspectu uestro fuisse recitatum, hunc eundem, si placet dilectioni uestrae, denuo recensendum, ut acta nostra contineant. Qui aliud se quoque petitorium prae manibus habere profitetur, <quo id>, quod etiam in hoc continetur, possimus agnoscere". Et adiecit: "Miseni libellus denuo recitetur".
The Deacon Anastasius reads the letter and further proceeding on the case of Misenus follow. The acts ends:
30. Professus ergo Misenus regulariter se omnes haereses, Eutychianam praecipue cum Eutychete, Dioscoro, Timotheo Helluro Petroque Alexandrino, Acacio Constantinopolitano Petroque Antiocheno uel cunctis horum successoribus sectatoribus et communicatoribus detestari eosque anathemate ferire perpetuo, communionis apostolicae et sacerdotalis gratiam, quam catholica traditione percepit, recipiet dignitatis’. Omnes episcopi et presbyteri surgentes in synodo adclamauerunt "Exaudi Christe: Gelasio uita!" dictum quindecies. "Domne Petre, tu illum serua!" dictum duodecies. "Cuius sedem, et annos!" dictum septies. "Uicarium Christi te uidemus!" dictum undecies. "Apostolum Petrum te uidemus!" dictum sexies. "Cuius sedem, et annos!" dictum septies trigesies.
(ed. Guenther 1895: 474-475; 487; names in square brackets are omitted in Thiel 1868: 437-447)
1. Present at the synod was the reverend man, Pope Gelasius, together with Boniface, Maximinus, Epiphanius, Basil, Vitalis, Clarus, Irenaeus, Decius, Asellus, Euplus, Valentinus, Martinianus, Bassus, Benignus, Primitivus, Palladius, Vindemius, Constantius, Martyrius, Candidus, Laurentius, Deodatus, Mercurius, Stephen, Dulcitius, Fortunatus, Paschasius, Sanctulus, Innocent, Chrysogonus, Colonicus, Viator, Salustius, Lucianus, Molens, Maximianus, Valentinus, Constantius, Gaudentius, Felix, Vitalian, Peter, Serenus, Aucupius, Timothy, Stephen, Laurentius and Probus, bishops; 2. present also were Castinus, Laurentius, Canusius, Eugenius, Januarius, Marcian, Gordian, Peter, Urbicus, Paulinus, Valens, Peter, Asterius, Smaragdus, Boniface, Maxentius, Epiphanius, Justin, Felix, Redemptus, Proiectitius, Jovinus, Bonus, Paschasius, Laurentius, Calixtus, John, Valentinus, Sebastian, Martin, Epiphanius, Andrew, Servodeus, Apellio, Peter, Servandus, Romanus, Marcellinus, Domninus, Agapitus, Abundantius, Marcellinus, Litorius, Laurentius, Agatho, Sebastian, Valentinus, Anastasius, Genesius, Dionysius, Epiphanius, Acontius, Paulinus, Agapitus, Adeodatus, Benedict, Dominic, Redemptus, Severus, Julian, Stephen, Crescentio, Septiminus, Cyprian, and Epiphanius, presbyters, together with Amandianus the vir illustris and Diogenianus the vir spectabilis; and with deacons standing by. Gelasius, bishop of the Catholic Church of the city of Rome, said: 3. "Your Affection remembers that at a previous meeting a report delivered to us by Misenus was read out in your presence; if it pleases Your Affection, this same report should be reviewed once more, so that it be recorded in our proceedings. And because Misenus declares that the petitory claim in his hands is different, we shall be able to perceive what is contained in that too." And he assed: "Have Misenus's report read out once more."
The Deacon Anastasius reads the letter and further proceeding on the case of Misenus follow. The acts end with the following words:
30. Therefore, let Misenus, having declared according to the rules that he execrates all heresies, particularly Eutychianism, with Eutyches, Dioscorus, Timothy Aelurus, Peter of Alexandria, Acacius of Constantinople, and Peter of Antioch and all who succeed, follow, and are in communion with them, and brands them with eternal anathema, receive the grace and honour of apostolic and episcopal communion which he obtained through the Catholic tradition. Rising to their feet all the bishops and presbyters shouted in the synod: "Christ, hear our prayer, long live Gelasius!" This was said fifteen times. "Lord Peter, preserve him!" This was said twelve times. "Long live his see too!" This was said seven times. "In you we see the vicar of Christ!" This was said eleven times. "In you we see the apostle Peter!" This was said six times. "Long live his see too!" This was said thirty-seven times.
(trans. B. Neil and P. Allen 2014: 128-129, 139; lightly adapted)


Bishop Misenus of Cumae was a legate of Pope Felix II (III) to Constantinople in 483 when the Chalcedonian bishop John Talaia had been exiled from Alexandria and replaced by a Miaphysite, Peter Mongos. John Talaia went then to Rome. The pope addressed a letter (carried by Misenus) to the Emperor Zeno in which he reprimanded him for allowing the deposition of John Talaia, and to Acacius in which he demanded the condemnation of the Miaphysitism, and confirmation of his adherence to the Chalcedonian faith. Later Misenus received additional instructions from Rome in which Felix II (III) convoked Bishop Acacius of Constantinople to come to the synod in Rome to respond to the accusations of John Talaia. Upon his arrival to Abydos in Hellespont he and Bishop Vitalis of Truentum were imprisoned and the papal letters they were carrying were confiscated. Additionally they were threatened to be put to death if they refuse to enter communion with Acacius and Peter Mongus. Misenus agreed to this condition, arrived to Constantinople and together with Vitalis took part in the liturgy celebrated by Acacius during which the name of Peter Mongus was recited from the dyptychs. After their return to Italy, they were excommunicated by the Roman synod for communicating with Acacius and Peter Mongus (considered to be a heretic by Rome) in 484. This excommunication is repeated at the synod in 485. In 495 Misenus composed the petitions to the Pope Gelasius in which he was asking for a pardon and expressing anathemas on Eutyches, Dioscorus, Timoty Aelurus, Peter Mongus. He was received to communion at the council in 495. Gesta de absolutione Miseni is a record of the proceedings of this council. See PCBE, Italie, 2, Caelius Misenus. Kosinski 2002. For a discussion on the schism in Alexandria and the Acacian Schism see also [1581]. For a detailed discussion of letter 30 in the context of Gelasian pontificate see Demacopoulos 2013: 81-84.

Place of event:

  • Rome

About the source:

Author: Gelasius
Title: Letters, Epistulae, Gesta de absolutione Miseni, Collectio Avellana, Exemplar gestorum de absolutione Miseni
Origin: Rome (Rome)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Collectio Avellana is a collection containing 244 letters issued by emperors, imperial magistrates and popes. The earliest item is dated to AD 367, the latest to AD 553. Hence, the compilator worked most probably in the second half of the 6th century. Two hundred documents of the Collectio are not known from any other collection. The editor of the Collectio, Günther noticed that it can be divided into five thematic parts (Gunther 1896: 3-96; Steinacker 1902: 14-15; Blaudeau 2013: 4):
1) no. 1-40 is an independent collection making use of the records of the prefecture of the city of Rome concerning two episcopal elections;
2) no. 41-50 that are derived from the records of the bishopric in Carthage, and consist of the letters of Innocentius I and Zosimus;
3) no. 51-55, the late letters of Leo I not known from any other source, regarding the exile of Bishop Timothy II of Alexandria;
4) no. 56-104 the group of letters from the pontificates of Simplicius, Gelasius, Symmachus, John, Agapet, and Vigilius;
5) no. 105-243 the letters from the records of Hormisdas.
The modern name of the collection derives from the codex Vaticanus Latinus 4961 copied in the monastery Sancti Crucis in fonte Avellana that was considered the oldest by the brothers Ballerini who edited the Collectio in 1787.
O. Guenther ed., Epistolae Imperatorum Pontificum Aliorum Inde ab a. CCCLXVII usque DLIII datae Avellana Quae Dicitur Collectio, Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 35/1, 35/2, Prague, Vienna, and Leipzig 1895
A. Thiel ed., Epistolae Romanorum Pontificum genuinae et quae ad eos scriptae sunt a s. Hilaro usque ad Pelagium II, vol. 1, Brunsberga 1868
B. Neil, P. Allen, The Letters of Gelasius I (492-496): Pastor and Micro-Manager of the Church of Rome, Turnhout 2014.
P. Blaudeau, "Un point de contact entre collectio Avellana et collectio Thessalonicensis?”, Millennium Yearbook / Millenium Jahrbuch 10 (2013), 1–12.
G.E. Demacopoulos, The Invention of Peter: Apostolic Discourse and Papal Authority in Late Antiquity, Philadelphia 2016
O. Guenther, Avellana-Studien, Wien 1896.
O. Guenther, "Zu den Gesta de nomine Acacii”, Byzantinische Zeitschrift 3 (1894), 146–149.
R. Kosinski, The Emperor Zeno: Religion and Politics, Krakow 2002.
D. Moreau, "Les actes pontificaux comme sources des historiens et des chroniqueurs de l'Antiquité tardive", in: L'historiographie tardo-antique et la transmission des savoirs, ed. P. van Nuffelen, P. Blaudeau,  Millenium-Studien 55, Berlin, Boston 2015, 23-54.
B. Neil, P. Allen edd.,  The Letters of Gelasius I (492-496): Pastor and Micro-Manager of the Church of Rome, Turnhout 2014.
H. Steinacker, "Ueber das älteste päpstliche Registerwesen”, Mitteilungen des Instituts für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung 23 (1902), 1–49.
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER661,