Early Church Fathers
73 An island, as well as Palmaria mentioned afterwards, near the Campanian coast, and hence under the care of Anthemius.
74 Alluding to the Lombards, who at this time were ravaging Italy.
75 I.e. of the Church in Corsica, as appears from the letter.
76 The clergy who had been married before ordination were not required to put away their wives. Can. Apostol. V. expressly forbids their doing so under pain of excommunication. The 3rd Nicene Canon, which forbids any bishop, presbyter, or any of the clergy, to have a woman dwelling with him except a mother, or sister, or aunt, or such persons only as are above suspicion, does not touch the case of wives, being directed against the custom of the clergy having females who where neither wives nor of their own kindred, to live with them who were called synesactoe, or agapetoe. Accordingly A law of Honorius and the younger Theodosius, made in pursuance of the Nicene Canon, adds to the above injunction, "That those who were married before their husbands where ordained should not be relinquished upon pretence of chastity, it being reasonable that those should be joined to the clergy who by their conversation had made their husbands worthy of the priesthood." (Cod. Theodor. lib. xvi. tit. ii. de Episc. l. xliv. Also Cod. Just. lib. i. tit. iii. leg. xix. See Bingham, Bk. vi. ch. ii. sect. 13). But in the West it was now the established rule that neither bishops, priests, nor deacons should have conjugal intercourse with their wives after ordination: and it has been seen under Ep. XLIV. how this rule had been extended to subdeacons. Gregory tells us in his Dialogues(Lib, iv. cap. 11)of a holy presbyter in the province of Nursia, who at the time of his ordination had a wife (presbyteram suam), whom he thenceforth loved as a sister. but avoided as an enemy, never suffering her to come near him for fear of temptation: and he adds, "For this is the way of holy men, that in order to keep far away from what is unlawful they cut themselves off even from what is lawful." Cf. IX. 60. "Hoc tantummodo adjecto ut hi, sicut canonica decrevit auctoritas, uxores quas caste debent regere non relinquant."
77 The vacant See referred to was that of Ariminum. See following epistle. Severus, who had been commisioned to act as visitor during the vacancy, was bishop of Ficulum, or Ficocle in the same province. See V. 25.
78 Turritana civitas, a city in Sardinia, called by Pliny (lib. iii. c. 7) Turris Lybissonis, and by Ptolemy (lib. iii. c. 5) Turris Byssonis.
79 Commodalibus dispendiis. The word commodum is used not only for a stipend, or a present or gratuity, but also for exacted payments, "Pro quavis pensitatione vel etiam exactione usurpat Gregor. M." Du Cange.
80 Religiosos ecclesiae. By the terms religiosi and religisoe were denoted not only monks, nuns, dedicated virgins, and clergy, but also other persons devoted to piety and good works in connection with the Church. Cf. xi 54, "laico religioso." See reff. in Index under Religiosus.
81 Angariis seu commodis. Angarium, or angaria, denotes any forced service imposed on people, either rendered in person or in money payment. See also V. 8, note 4.
82 Other letters addressed to or relating to this bishop, who was an old man of very unsatisfactory character are I. 63; II. 49; III. 36; IV. 8, 9, 15, 26, 27, 29; V. 2; IX. 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 25, 65; XIV. 2.
83 See II. 23, note 8.
84 Probably vestes palmatoe, i.e. robes interwoven or embroidered with palm leaves.
85 See Ep. XXXVI.
86 See Ep. II. If this Epistle is rightly assigned to the ninth Indiction, the title ex-proetor may possibly be an error in the text since Justin is still addressed as proetor in the following Indiction (II. 33). Libertinus appears to have succeeded him as Proetor of Sicily in the eleventh Indiction. See III. 38.
87 Two of these bishops, Gregory and Leo, are referred to afterwards as having been at Rome to answer to certain charges. See II. 33, and III. 12.
88 Extraneis, i.e. growers or vendors of corn outside the patrimony of the Church.
89 See I, 44, note 1.
90 The heretics (so called, though they were really rather schismatics than heretics) were the Donatists, who still lingered in Africa in spite of imperial edicts for their suppression. What Gregory here urges the Exarch to do is to put in force the existing laws against them. A series of imperial laws against the Donatists will be found in Cod. Theod. Bk. xvi. tit. 5, that of Honorius,a.d.414, being especially severe.
91 It was the immemorial custom in the provinces of Africa generally for the senior bishop of the province according to the date of his consecration to be appointed primate, instead of the bishop of the civil metropolis being such in virtue of his See, as was the rule elsewhere. (The province of Africa proper, or Africa Proconsularis, was however an exception; for in it the bishop of Carthage was always the primate). Hence in Africa the designation Metropolitan was not used, but that of Primate or Senior (senex). Gregory here, though allowing the old custom of movable primacies, forbids the necessary election of the senior bishop: and this in order to guard against the appointment of unfit persons. His main motive, as appears from Epistle LXXVI., addressed to the bishops of the province of Numidia, was to preclude the elevation to the primacy of any bishop who had once been a Donatist. For in it he allows the retention of the old African custom in all respects, save only that no bishop who had been a Donatist was ever to be appointed primate.
92 See I. 77, note.
93 "Chartularius. Qui chartas tractant, qui chartis deserviunt.... Dignitas ecclesiastica etiam u fuit." Du Cange. This Hilary is commended to Gennadius the Exarch of Africa, I. 75, and again mentioned as Gregory's Chartulary in Africa, II. 48: X. 37; XII. 28, 29.
94 See I. 74, note 9.
95 Sacerdotis. The term includes bishops as well as presbyters, and is used in this and the two following Epistles, as usually elsewhere by Gregory, to denote the former in distinction from the latter. The occasion of this And the two following Epistls will be seen to be as follows. The See of Saona in Corsica had been for some time vacant. It rested with the clergy and nobles of the island ( See above, Ep. LXXX.), to elect a new bishop; but they had failed to do so; and consequently Gregory remedied their neglect by himself filling up the vacancy. His right to do so would not be questioned there, Corsica as well as Sicily being among the Suburbicarian provinces which were under the acknowledged patriarchal jurisdiction of the See of Rome. Meanwhile he also commissioned Leo, the bishop of a neighbouring See (to whom this letter is addressed), to make a vistitation of the Church of Saona, and exercise episcopal authority there, till the new bishop should take possession. There are several other Epistles, not included in this translation, appointing visitors of various churches.
96 Cardinal bishops, presbyters, or deacons, meant formerly such as were regularly instituted and attached to some particular see, parish, or church, which, constituted their title (titulas). They were then said to be incardinati, the act of so instituting them being called incardinatio. Cf. II. 37; XIV. 7.
97 See I, 25, note 8.
98 See note under Ep. LXXIX.