Early Church Fathers
26 Gregory appears to have communicated with this Secundus, rather than with the bishop of Ravenna, for reasons which appear below, and to have employed him in negotiations with the Exarch for peace with the Lombards.
27 A Castorius is mentioned in Gregory's letter to the Emperor as having been the magister militum in command at Rome during its siege by Agilulph. This may be the same person.
28 For his appointment to the see of Ravenna, cf. V. 48.
29 As to ownership by Jews of converted slaves, see Prolegom., p. xxi., and other Epistles there referred to.
30 Marinianus had succeeded John as bishop of Ravenna. For Gregory's dispute with John concerning the use of the pallium, see above, III. 56, 57; V. 11, 15, and below, VI. 61.
31 The occasion of this letter seems to have been some recent aggression of the Lombards in the Neopolitan district, resulting in the capture of many prisoners of war.
32 See II. 48, note 7.
33 Religiosi. See l. 61, note 7.
34 Cf. l. 34, note 8.
35 Cf. preceding Epistle. John, previously archdeacon of Catana, had been elected in the previous year (594) with Gregory's approval as the successor of Maximianus of Syracuse (V. 17), and had recently had the pallium sent him. (VI. 18.).
36 Cf II. 41.
37 Conversion has its usual sense of embracing monastic life.
38 See also on this subject, XI. 45, XI. 50.
39 This, with the eight following letters (51-59), were committed to Augustine, who is spoken of in several of them as the bearer , when he was sent back from Rome to rejoin his companions. Bede (H.E. I. 23), and John the deacon (Vit. S. Greg. II. 33), say that the missionaries-"cum aliquantulum itinerus confecissent" (Bede)- "post dies aliquot" (John Diac)- were deterred by what they had heard of the difficulties of their undertaking, and sent Augustine to Rome to request leave to give it up and that Gregory sent him back to them with letters of admonitionand of commendation. No commendatory letters seem to have been given them when they first set out. Those now sent are addressed to the bishops of Turni (al. Turon), Marseilles, Arles, Vienne, Autun, and Aix in Provenee, to the abbot of Lerins, to Arigius, Patrician of Gaul, to Theodoric and Theodebert, the two boy-kings of Burgundy and Austrasia, and to queen Brunechild their grandmother. who at this time ruled Austrasia as Theodebert's guardian. See Pedigree of Kings of Gaul, p. xxx. The letters which come first in order, 51 and 52, being dated 22 Julya.d.596, we may conclude that the misssionaries had been originally despatched in the spring of the same year. They appear to have got as far as the southern coast of Provence, since the letters to the bishop of Aix and the Abbot of Lerins shew that Augustine had already visited them, though not, apparently, any others to whom letters are now addressed. The mission was accompanied by Candidus, sent out as Rector of the patrimony in Gaul (cf. Ep. VII.), who is also commended in the letter. The patrimony appears to have been attended to previously in a way not satisfactory to Gregory by the bishops of Arles (see below, Epp. LIII., LV.). This letter is not found in the Registrum Epistolorum; but given by Bede (I. 23), and by John the Deacon (Vit. S. Greg. lib. ii. c. 34).
40 De Turnis; in Colbert. Turonis. The latter name itself would seem to denote Tours. But it is not easy to see why a common letter should have been addressed to the Bishops of Tours and Marseilles. And, further, would Tours on the Loire be likely to lie on the route which the missionaries would take to Britain ?
41 See I. 25, note 8.
42 See I. 25, note 8.
43 In Cod. Colbert. Stephen is described as "abbati de monasterio quod est Lirino;" i.e. the famous monastery on the island of that name (lerins) now known as L`ile de St. Honorat. This was probably Stephen's monastery.
44 The term Patricius was used to designate governors of provinces under the Frank kings. Cf. III. 33. "Dynamio patricio Galliarum," and Greg turon. (IV. 24), "Guntramnus rex, amoto Agricola patricio, Celsum patriciatus honore donavit. There were at this time two Burgundian Patricii, one called the Patricius absolutely, residing at Arles, the other at Marseilles (Greg. Turon).