Early Church Fathers
15 Cf. I. 72.
16 For an account of the circumstances of the vacancy at Naples after the deposition of Demetrius, cf. II. 6, note 3; II. 9, note 6.
17 For an account of this Malchus and his doings, see II. 20, note 5.
18 Proconsul of Dalmatia: see IX. 5. For subsequent proceedings in connexion with the election of a successor to Natalis at Salona, see III. 47. It appears that the co-operation of the proconsul Marcellus, anticipated in this Epistle, was not in fact obtained, but that he acted independently, and in opposition to Gregory. Cf. IX. 5.
19 As to the great Metropolitan See of Milan having been anciently independent of the See of Rome, cf. Bingham. Bk. IX., Ch. I., sect. 10, 11. As to Pope Gregory's attitude with regard to it, as shewn in this and the two following Epistles, we may remark as follows. (1) The electors addressed (Ep. 29) are the clergy only, not (as is usual in other cases) including the laity of the Church. This may be due to the ancient custom of that Church. (2) The electors, having already made their choice, seem to have sent messengers to announce it to the pope.(Ep. 29). (3) Gregory disclaims all desire of interfering either in the election or in the consecration of the new Metropolian,according to ancient custom by his own suffragans, or in any way infringing the prescriptive rights of the Church of Milan. But he sends his own subdeacon, both to assure himself of the unanimity of the election and to see to the consecration being effected according to precedent. He also intimates (Epp. 30, 31) the necessity of his own assent to the consecration.
20 The reason of John the subdeacon being directed to go to Genoa rather than to Milan may have been danger from the Lombards in approaching the latter place, as well as the fact of many of the Milanese having, for the same reason, taken refuge in Genoa.
21 See I. 19, note 5.
22 As to Gallic money, cf. VI. 7, and note.
23 Cf. I. 26, note 3.
24 See II. 6, note 3.
25 In some mss. proetori, in others exproetori. It seems probable from the contents of this letter that Libertinus had succeeded Justinus (see I. 2) as proetor of Sicily.
26 See I. 2.
27 In Cod. lib. 1, tit. 10; "Judoeus servum Christianum nec comparare debebit, nec largitatis aut alioquocungue titulo consequetur. Quod si aliquis Judoeorum . . . , non solum mancipii damno multetur, verum etiam capitali sententia puniatur." Eusebius also (De Vita Constantini, lib. iv. c. 27) speaks of a 1aw passed by Constantine forbiding Jews to have Christian slaves, and ordering any that might be found to be set at liberty, and the Jew to be fined. Cf. II. 21.
28 Mulierem de matriculis. Matricula was probably a list or roll of names of widows and other who were supported by the Church.
29 For notice of the Metropolitan See of Salona, and Gregory's dealings with its former bishop Natalis, see II. 18, note 3. The appointment of a successor to Natalis engaged Gregory in a longstruggle for maintenance of his authority over the Illyyrican churches, which on this occasion seems to have been, for some time at least, slightly regarded. What took place, as gathered from his extant letters, may be thus summarised. Immediately on hearing of the death of Natalis he wrote to Antoninus, the rector patrimonii in Dalmatia, charging him to see to the canonical election of a successor and to its notification, when made, to himself, that it might be approved, as was customary, by the See of Rome (III. 22). This was in the 11th Indiction, i.e. between Sept.a.d.592 and Sept.a.d.593. Subsequently. having been informed that the clergy of Salona had elected their archdeacon Honoratus, he wrote to them in the letter before us approving their choice, and exhorting them to stick to it, being evidently aware of a party opposed to it. This Honoratus was the man whom he had previously supported against Bishop Natalis, who had attempted to deprive him of his archdeaconry. See II. 18, 19, 20; III. 32. Hence it was not improbable that the election of Honoratus would be opposed by the partizans of the late bishop who, as appears from his correspondence with Gregory, had been a convivial man, with a pleasant vein of wit, and thus likely to be popular with many. But, whatever the cause, Gregory before long received the startling intelligence that not only had the election of Honoratus, confirmed by himself, been set aside, but that another candidate, one Maximus, had been actually ordained under the alleged authority of an order from the Emperor. This defiance of his authority was the more offensive as he had already, having apparently got wind of the candidature of Maximus, prohibited his ordination under pain of excommunication of both him and his ordainers (IV. 10). He accordingly wrote a strongly-worded letter (IV. 20), dated May,a.d.594, prohibiting Maximus from undertaking any episcopal functions, and from officiating at the altar, till it should be ascertained whether the emperor had really ordered his consecretion. But Maximus treated this prohibition with contempt and appealed against the Pope to the Emperor, who thereupon wrote to Gregory, requesting him to condone the fact of the ordination having taken place without his assent, and bidding him receive Maximus with honour if he should resort to Rome, as he was apparently desired to do. This was at the time when John Jejunator, the patriarch of Constantinople, had recently incensed Gregory by his assumption of the title of Universal Bishop, and when the latter was urging the Emperor to disallow the title. Writing on this subject to the Empress Constantina, he alludes also to the case of Maximus, hoping through her whose religious reverence for St. Peter he appeals to, to move the Emperor. In his letter to her (V. 72), written in the 13th Indiction (594-5), he consents, in deference to the Emperor's wish, to look over the fact of Maximus having been ordained without his leave; but he insists on his appearing at Rome to answer to other charges, including especially that of simony, and his having disregarded the excommunication pronounced against him. He also protests strongly against his bishops being allowed to appeal to the secular power in ecclesiastical causes. But he did not thus move the Emperor, who appears from one of Gregory's letters to Maximus (VI. 25) to have directed any charges against the latter to be entertained in his own locality rather than at Rome. Meanwhile Maximus continued to disregard Gregory's, repeated letters summoning him to Rome, being apparently supported by a majority of his own people and of his suffragan bishops. For in a letter to the Salonitans (VI. 26). written in the 14th Indiction (395-6), Gregory expresses his surprise that Honoratus alone among the clergy of Salona, and one only of the suffragan bishops, had refused to communicate with Maximus, notwithstanding his excommunication. However, as time went on, Gregory's persistence seems to have had some effect. In the 15th Indiction (596-7) one of the suffragan bishops, Sabinianus of Jadera, who had previously communicated with Maximus, deserts him, and is invited by Gregory to come to Rome to be absolved,and to bring with him any other whom he could persuade to come (VII. 15) Sabinianus did not go, but retired for a time to a monastery by way of expressing penitence, afer which Gregory in the following year granted him full absolution (VIII. 10, 24). Perhaps about a year later, in the 2nd Indiction (IX. 5) we find Gregory writing to Marcellus, the proconsul of Dalmatia, in reply to a letter from him in which he had expressed his regret for being apparently out of favour with the pope, and his wish to be reconciled. This Marcellus had been, according to what Gregory says in his reply, the prime and original abettor of Maximus; and it would seem that he had now become desirous of cominig to terms with the pope. In the same year we find a letter to one Julianus, described as Scribo, at Salona, who had addressed Gregory with a view to peace, asserting that Maximus enjoyed both the affection of his people and the favour of the court (IX. 41). In replying to both these correspondents Gregory shews no signs of giving way: but in the same Indiction (588-9) he did give way to an extent that seems at first sight surprising, considering the resolute tone of his previous correspondence. He may have been partly moved to make some concession by such letters as those from Marcellus and Julianus, testifying to the character of Maximus and to the support he continued to receive; but the intercessor who really prevailed with him at last appears evidently to have been Callinicus, Exarch of Italy,resident at Ravenna, to whom Maximus had applied after failing to induce the Emperor himself to interfere. In one of his letters (IX. 67), Gregory says that Maximus, having failed to influence "the greater powers of the world" in his behalf, had betaken himself to the lesser ones, and implies that it was to their intercession that the concession he was prepared to make was due. It may be supposed that by "the greater power" are meant the imperial family, and that among "the lesser" Callinicus was at any rate the most influential: for in writing to the latter (IX. 9) he says, "In the cause of Maximus we can no longer resist the importunity of thy Sweetness;" and again to Marinianus, bishop of Ravenna, "I have received repeated and pressing letters from my most excellent son the lord exarch Callinicus in behalf of Maximus. Overcome by his importunity, &c." (IX. 10). Nor is the reason far to seek why the intercession of Callinicus should at that particular time prevail. For Gregory was in correspondence with him, and most anxious to secure his co-operation, in the reconciliation to the Roman Church of the Istrian bishops, who had so far been out of communion with Rome in the matter of "the Three Chapters" and was therefore likely to wish to oblige him. However induced, he now consented that Maximus should appear not before himself at Rome as he had before so resolutely insisted, but before Marinianus, bishop of Ravenna, and promised to accede to whatever the latter might determine (IX. 10). Nay, he even accepted the proposal of Marinianus that the charges against Maximus should not be investigated at all, but that a declaration on oath by the accused of his own innocence should be accepted as a sufficient purgation; requiring only that he should do such penance as the bishop of Ravenna might impose for having disregarded the excommunicition pronounced at Rome (IX. 79, 80). He wrote also to Constantius, bishop of Milan requesting him to proceed to Ravenna in order to act in concert with Marinianus in case of Maximus not having confidence in the latter (IX. 67). But the bishop of Ravenna appears to have acted alone: and the result was that Maximus was acquitted of simony and all other charges, and, after doing the penance assigned by Marinianus at Ravenna, was, seven years after his ordination, cordially received by Gregory into commuunion, and had the pallium sent him (IX. 81, 82, 125). The epistles to be consulted for a view of the whole proceedings are III. 22, 47; IV. 10, 20, 47; V. 21; VI. 3, 25, 26, 27; VII. 17; VIII. 10, 24; IX. 5, 10, 41, 67, 79, 80, 81, 82, 125.
30 See III. 22.
31 See II. 48, note 8.
32 With regard to Primates in Africa, see I. 74, note 9. The primate of Numidia at this time was Adeodatus. See below, Ep. 49.