Early Church Fathers
1 Clementina was one of the ladies of rank whose acquaintance Gregory had made at Constantinople, and with whom he continued to keep up affectionate fatherly intercourse. Cf. I. 11, and the epistle which follows this.
2 It is a sign of Gregory's habitual courtesy to ladies of rank, as well as of their influential positon, that he moved to send her a kind of apology for the removing from Constantinople a priest whom she valued, and who may have been her spiritual adviser. See also the epistle which follows, in which the subdeacon in charge of the proceedings is directed to resort to her in person to solicit her consent. Amandus was after his death venerated as a Saint at Surrentum. In the Church of SS. Felix and Baculus there is this epitaph:-"Hic requiescit sacerdos Dei Amandus episcopus sanct( ecclesi( Surrentin(, qui sedit annos xvii. dies xxi. Depositus est die 13, mense Aprilis, indict. 5, imperante D.N. Heraclio R. Aug. anno 7. Orate pro me, sancte Pater," (Migne, Patrilog., in loc.)
3 Bishop of Naples.
4 As to the employment of notaries, see Prolegomena, p. viii.
5 Bishop of Catana in sicily, to whom a previous epistle (Ep. XXII., not here translated) on the same subject is addressed. Several years previously he had been summoned to Rome to answer certain charges against him, but had been honourably acquitted. Cf. I. 72; II. 33.
6 See III.65, note I.
7 The Agnoetae or Themistiani arose in connexion with the Monophysite controversy in the sixth century, being led by Themistius, a deacon of Alexandria, who taught the limitation of the human knowledge of Christ, referring especially to Mark xiii. 32, and John xi. 34. The majority of the Monophysites rejected his view, which was condemned also by the orthodox. Eulogius of Alexandria, to whom the letter before us is addressed, wrote a treatise against the Agnoeae from which extracts are given by Photius. Sophronius, patriarch of Jerusalem, pronounced the anathema against Themistius. On the same subject, cf. Ep. XXXIX. below. Gregory's arguments in Ep. XXXIX. against the views of the Agnoetae are interesting to English readers at the present day, when similar views have been lately put forward and discussed.
8 See Lib. VII. 40.
9 For a summary of previous dealings with Maximus of Salona, and his long defiance of the authority of Rome, see III. 47, note 2. It appears from this epistle that all former insubordination, which had called forth such fulminations, was now fully condoned.
10 Cf. IX. 9
11 As to the designation Scribo. See II. 32, note 7; V. 30, note 8. As to this Julian, so described, cf. IX. 41.
12 Cingula. "Speciatim cingulum adhibetur in re militari. Est enim militiae insigne; et metonymice pro ipsa militia ponitur." (Facciolati.)
13 Dromonibus "Est etiam hoc nomine genus navis longae, transvectionibus aptae, a celeritate dictae (dro/moj), a brigantine, cutter, yacht, carvel: cujus mentio fit in Cod. lib. 1, tit. 27, leg. 2, et apud Cassiod. 1. 5, Ep.XVII."(Facciolati.)
14 It was not the fact. The Lombard King Agilulph lived till a.d. 616. lived till a.d. 616.
15 At this time Gregory's apocrisiarius at Constantinople.
16 Cf. VIII. 40.
17 See X. 35, note 7.
18 Those who refused to accept the condemnation of "The Three Chapters" by the fifth council alleged that it contravened the Council of Chalcedon. It may be that the persons referred to here, in their defence of what had been decreed in the fifth council, had seemed to admit that it did contravene the fourth, which they consequently were supposed to reject.