The Text followed in these Translations is the Benedictine one, as given by Migne in Patrologia, Vol. LXXVII., Sancti Gregorii Magni, Vol. III. The same Text of the Regula Pastoralis has been published with an English Translation by the Rev. H. R. Bramley (James Parker and Co., 1874). The Translation now given is an original one, though the translator desires to express his obligations to his predecessor in the same task. The selection of Epistles translated has been made with the view of exhibiting Gregorys various activities, his various styles of correspondence, his views and character, as well as of illustrating the history of his time. Those which relate to certain important subjects—such as the Lombard invasion, the English Mission, the dispute about the title of Œcumenical Bishop, correspondence with the Emperors and with the Potentates of Gaul—have been given in their entirety. Of such as relate to subjects of less moment specimens only have been selected, but sufficient, it is hoped, for presenting a picture of the writer under his various aspects, and in his various spheres of work. It is hoped also that the appended notes may serve to shew the connexion of the several Epistles with each other, and with the circumstances they refer to, as well as to explain obscure words or passages. For a better understanding of the correspondence relating to the Church in Gaul, a pedigree of the contemporary Merovingian Kings is appended.
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