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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XII:
The Book of Pastoral Rule, and Selected Epistles, of Gregory the Great.: Epistle LXI

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Epistle LXI.

To Gennadius, Patrician and Exarch of Africa.

Gregory to Gennadius, &c.

That you have unceasingly the fear of God before your eyes, and pursue justice, the subdued necks of enemies testify; but, that the grace of Christ may keep your Glory in the same prosperity, restrain, as you have been wont, with speedy prohibition whatever things you discover to be committed wrongfully, so that, fortified with the arms of justice, you may overcome hostile attacks with the power of faith, which is the top of all virtue.  Now Marinianus, our brother and fellow-bishop of the city of Turris 1374 has tearfully represented to us that the poor of his city are being vexed everywhere, and afflicted by expenses in the way of gifts or payments 1375 ; and further that the religious 1376 of his church endure serious molestation from the men of Theodorus the magister militum, and suffer bodily injuries; and that this thing is breaking out to such a pitch that (shocking to say) they are thrust into prison, and that he himself also is seriously hindered by the aforesaid glorious person in causes pertaining to his Church.  How opposed such things are, if indeed they are true, to the discipline of the republic you yourselves know.  And, since it befits your Excellency to amend all these things, greeting your Eminence I demand of you that you suffer them to be done no more; but straightly order him to abstain from harming the Church, and that none be aggrieved by burdens laid upon them, or payments 1377 , beyond what reason allows, and that, if there should be any suits, they be determined not by the terror of power, but by order of law.  I pray you, then, so correct all these things, the Lord inspiring you, by the menace of your injunction that the glorious Theodorus and his men may abstain from such things, if not out of regard to rectitude, yet at any rate out of fear inspired by your command; that so, to the advancement of your credit and reward, justice with liberty may flourish in the parts committed to your charge.



Turritana civitas, a city in Sardinia, called by Pliny (lib. iii. c. 7) Turris Lybissonis, and by Ptolemy (lib. iii. c. 5) Turris Byssonis.


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.


Religiosos ecclesiæ.  By the terms religiosi and religiosæ 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.


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.

Next: To Januarius, Archbishop of Caralis (Cagliari) in Sardinia.

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