S. Gregory I, letters 20657
20657 Gregory to Arigius, Patrician of Gaul.
We have learnt from the servant of God, Augustine, the bearer of these presents, how great goodness, how great gentleness, with the charity that is well-pleasing to Christ, is in you resplendent; and we give thanks to Almighty God, who has granted you these gifts of His loving-kindness, through which you may have it in your power to be highly esteemed among men, and—what is truly profitable—glorious in His sight. We therefore pray Almighty God, that He would multiply in you these gifts which He has granted, and keep you with all yours under His protection, and so dispose the doings of your Glory in this world that they may be to your benefit both here, and—what is more to be wished—in the life to come. Saluting, then, your Glory with paternal sweetness, we beg of you that the bearer of these presents, and the servants of God who are with him, may obtain your succour in what is needful, to the end that, while they experience your favour, they may the better fulfil what has been enjoined on them to do.
Furthermore, we commend to you in all respects our son the presbyter Candidus, whom we have sent for the government of the patrimony of our Church which is in your parts; trusting that your Glory will receive a reward in return from our God, if with devout mind you lend your succour to the concerns of the poor.
20658 Gregory to Theodoric and Theodebert, brethren, Kings of the Franks. A paribus46 .
Since Almighty God has adorned your kingdom with rectitude of faith, and has made it conspicuous among other nations by the purity of its Christian religion, we have conceived great expectations of you, that you will by all means desire that your subjects should be converted to that faith in virtue of which you are their kings and lords. This being so, it has come to our knowledge that the nation of the Angli is desirous, through the mercy of God, of being converted to the Christian faith, but that the priests in their neighbourhood neglect them, and are remiss in kindling their desires by their own exhortations. On this account therefore we have taken thought to send to them the servant of God Augustine, the bearer of these presents, whose zeal and earnestness are well known to us, with other servants of God. And we have also charged them to take with them some priests from the neighbouring parts, with whom they may be able to ascertain the disposition of the Angli, and, as far as God may grant it to them, to aid their wishes by their admonition. Now, that they may have it in their power to shew themselves efficient and capable in this business, we beseech your Excellency, greeting you with paternal charity, that these whom we have sent may be counted worthy to find the grace of your favour. And, since it is a matter of souls, let your power protect and aid them; that Almighty God, who knows that with devout mind and with all your heart you take an interest in His cause, may propitiously direct your causes, and after earthly dominion bring you to heavenly kingdoms.
Futhermore, we request your Excellency to hold as commended to you our most beloved son, Candidus, a presbyter, and the rector of the patrimony of our Church, to the end that the blessed Peter, Prince of the apostles, may answer you by his intercession, while, looking to the reward, you afford your protection in the concerns of his poor.
Gregory to Brunichild, &C.
The Christianity of your Excellence has been so truly known to us of old that we do not in the least doubt of your goodness, but rather hold it to be in all ways certain that you will devoutly and zealously concur with us in the cause of faith, and supply most abundantly the succour of your religions sincerity. Being for this reason well assured, and greeting you with paternal charity, we inform you that it has come to our knowledge how that the nation of the Angli, by God’s permission, is desirous of becoming Christian, but that the priests who are in their neighbourhood have no pastoral solicitude with regard to them. And lest their souls should haply perish in eternal damnation, it has been our care to send to them the bearer of these presents, Augustine the servant of God, whose zeal and earnestness are well known to us, with other servants of God; that through them we might be able to learn their wishes, and, as far as is possible, you also striving with us, to take thought for their conversion. We have alsocharged them that for carrying out this design they should take with them presbyters from the neighbouring regions. Let, then, your Excellency, habitually prone to good works, on account as well of our request as of regard to the fear of God, deign to bold him as in all ways commended to you, and earnestly bestow on him the favour of your protection, and lend the aid of your patronage to his labour and, that he may have the fullest fruit thereof provide for his going secure under your protection to the above-written nation of the Angli, to the end that our God, who has adorned you in this world with good qualities well-pleasing to Him, may cause you to give thanks here and in eternal rest with His saints.
Furthermore, commending to your Christianity our beloved son Candidus, presbyter and rector of the patrimony of our Church which is situated in your parts, we beg that he may in all things obtain the favour of your protection.
20660 Gregory to Eulogius, Bishop of Alexandria.
Charity, the mother and guardian of all that is good, which binds together in union the hearts of many, regards not as absent him whom it has present in the mind’s eye. Since then, dearest brother, we are held together by the root of charity, neither will bodily absence nor distance of places have power to assert any claim over us, inasmuch as we who are One are surely not far from each other. Now we wish to have always this common charity with the rest of our brethren. Yet there is something that binds us in a certain peculiar way to the Church of Alexandria, and compels us, as it were by a special law, to be the more prone to love it. For, as it is known to all that the blessed evangelist Mc was sent by SaintPeter the apostle, his master, to Alexandria, sowe are bound together in the unity of this master and his disciple, so that I seem to preside over the see of the disciple because of the master, and you over the see of the master because of the disciple.
Moreover to this unity of hearts we are bound also by the merits of your Holiness, since we know that you follow profitably the ordinances of your founder, and feel how you betake yourself with entire devotion to the bosom of your master, whence sprung the preaching of salvation in your parts. And so, when we received the letters of your Holiness, as much as our heart rejoiced in your brotherly visitation, so much is it oppressed with sadness for the untold burdens which you refer to, and we groan with you in brotherly sympathy for your grief. But, since a shaking of various kinds is extending itself everywhere, in the midst of a common need one should grieve less for one’s own, but study rather, by patientlyenduring, to overcome what we cannot altogether avoid.
But what we ourselves are suffering from the swords of the Lombards in the daily plundering and mangling and slaying of our citizens, we refuse to tell, lest, while speaking of our own sorrows, we should increase yours from the sympathy which you bestow upon us.
Furthermore,a little time ago we sent to Sabinianus, who represents our Church in the royal city, a letter from ourselves, which he should have sent on to your Fraternity47 . If you have received it, we wonder why you have sent us no reply to it. And accordingly, since caution must be taken lest the pride of any one whatever introduce offence in the Churches, it is needful that you should carefully peruse it, and with all diligence and full bent of mind maintain what pertains to your dignity and to the peace of the Church.
Now may Almighty God, who by the grace of His loving-kindness has conferred on you the disposition and charity that becomes a priest, protect you in His service, and keep you within and without from all adversity, and mercifully grant that the souls of wanderers may be converted to Himself by your preaching.
We have received with the charity that was due to the bearer of these presents, our common son the deacon Isidore, who brought to us the benediction48 of Saint Mc the evangelist. And you indeed, being resplendent in the merit of a good life, have sent to us the sweetly smelling word, which is nigh unto Paradise. But we, to wit because we are sinners, send you wood from the West, which, being suitable for the building of ships, signifies the tumult of our mind, as being ever tossed in the sea-waves; and we wished indeed to send larger pieces, but the ship was not large enough to hold them49 . In the month of August, Indiction 14.
Gregory to Castorius, &c.
The magnificent Lord Andreas presses me continually about restoring the use of the pallium in the Church of Ravenna according to ancient custom. And thou knowest that the bishop John wrote to me that it had been the custom for the bishops of the said Church to use the pallium in solemn litanies51 . Adeodatus, deacon of that church, when he besought me earnestly on the same subject,satisfied me by oath that the bishops of the said place were accustomed to use the pallium in litanies four times in the year. But the aforesaid Lord Andreas says in his letters that the bishop of Ravenna was in the habit of using the pallium in litanies at all times except in Lent. And these litanies, which he does not blush to say were daily, he asserts to be solemn ones. Whence I have been altogether astonished. But let thy Experience regard no man’s person, no man’s words; keep the fear of God and rectitude only before thine eyes, and enquire of senior persons, and of the Archdebon of that same Church, who would not, I think, perjure himself for the honour of another, and of others of older standing who had been in sacred orders before the times of bishop John, or if there are any others of riper age not in holy orders; and let them come before the body of Saint Apollinaris, and touching his sepulchre swear what had been the custom before the times of bishop John; since, as thou knowest, he was a man who presumed greatly and endeavoured in his pride to arrogate many things to himself. And whatever may be sworn to by faithful and grave men, according to the subjoined form, we desire to be retained in the same Church. But see that thou act not negligently, and that no one corrupt thy faithfulness and devotion in this matter; for thy zeal I know. Act assiduously, yet so that the aforesaid Church be not lowered in a way contrary to justice, but that it retain the usage that existed before the times of bishop John. Moreover, for satisfying thyself, do not enquire of two or three persons, but of as many as thou canst find of old standing and grave character, that so we may neither deny to that Church what has been of ancient custom, nor concede to it what has been coveted and attempted newly. But do all kindly and sweetly, so that both thy action may be strict and thy tongue gentle. The sword52 which has been left at Ravenna, as we have already written, bring hither with thee; and carefully attend to what our son Boniface the deacon and the magnificent Maurentius the chartularius have written to thee about.I swear by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the inseparable Trinity of Divine Power, and by this body of the blessed martyr Apollinaris, that out of favour to no person, and without any advantage to myself intervening, I give my testimony. But this I know, and am personally cognizant of, that, before the times of the late bishop John, the Bishop of Ravenna, in the presence of this or that apocrisiarius of the Apostolic See, on such and such days, had the custom of using the pallium, and I am not aware that he had herein usurped latently, or in the absence of the apocrisiarius.
20663 Gregory to Gennadius, Patrician of Africa.
We doubt not that your Excellency members how two years ago we wrote in behalf of Paul our brother and fellow-bishop, asking you to afford him the support of your Dignity in his desire to come to us on account of the trouble he was said to be undergoing from persecution on the part of the Donatists, to the end that, since it had been reported to us that he could get no aid against them there, we might, after ascertaining the truth, give him advice with fraternal sympathy, and treat with him as to what should be done in the way a wholesome arrangement against the madness of pestiferous presumption. And, so far as our aforesaid brother gave us to understand, he not only failed to get succour from any one, but was prevented by various hindrances from being able to come with safety to the Roman city. Yet, when we had caused your epistle to be read to him, he replied that he is not suffering from the ill-will of certain persons because he repressed the Donatists, but rather says that he is in disfavour with many for his defence of the Catholic faith; and he told me many things besides, which, since this is not a fit time for mentioning them, we have thought best to keep to ourselves).
Since, then, the question before us is not one of earthly affairs, but of the health of souls, and your assertion and his are different, we have been unable to say anything particularly in reply, not having investigated the truth, seeing that, when we received the letters of your Excellency, we were confined by bodily sickness. But when Almighty God, if it should please Him, shall have restored us to our former health, we will sift the truth as we can by diligent enquiry. And according to what we may be able to learn we will so settle the case through the mercy of God that not only the health of souls in the cure whereof you deign to take an interest, lost now by them that err, may be restored, but also that which the maintainers of the true faith still possess may, through the protecting grace of our Redeemer, be preserved.
But with regard to the above-named bishop, whom you assert to be deprived of communion we greatly wonder how it is that a letter from your Excellency, and not from his primate, has announced this to us.
20665 Gregory to Mauricius Augustus.
Amidst the cares of warfare and innumerable anxieties which you sustain in your unweariedseal for the government of the Christian republic, it is a great cause of joy to me along with the whole world that your Piety ever watchesover custody of the faith whereby the empire of Our lords is resplendent. Whence I fully trust that, as you guard the causes of Godwith the love of a religious mind, so God guards and aids yours with the grace of His Majesty. Nowafter what manner the serenity of your Piety, out of regard to righteousness and zeal for the purest religion, has been movedagainst the most flagitious pravity of the Donatists, the tenor of the commands which you have sent most clearly shews. But the most reverend bishops who have come from the African province assert that these have been so disregarded through ill-advised connivance that neither is the judgment of God held in fear there, nor are the imperial commands so far carried into effect; adding also this: that in the aforesaid province, through the bribes of the Donatists prevailing, the Catholic faith is publicly let to sale. But on the other hand the glorius Gennadius54 has likewise complained of one of those who made such complaints: and two others also have borne like testimony with him on the subject. But, inasmuch as in this case a secular judge was concerned, I have thought it right to send these bishops to the footsteps of your Piety, that they may represent in person to your most serene ears what they declare themselves to have endured for the catholic faith.
For these reasons I beseech the Christianity of my lords, for the weal of their souls and life of their most pious offspring, to give orders by a strict mandate for the punishment of such as you find to be such as have been described, and to arrest with the hand of rescue the ruin of those who are perishing, and to apply the medicine of correction to insane minds, and cure them of the poisonous bite of error; thatso, the darkness of pestiferous pravity having been driven away by the remedy of your pro vision, and the true faith having shed abroad in those parts the rays of its serenity, heavenly triumph may await you before the eyes of our Redeemer, because whomsoever you defend outwardly from the enemy, them you also set free inwardly from the poison of diabolical fraud; which is a still more glorious thing.
20666 Gregory to Athanasius, Presbyter of Isauria.
As we are afflicted and mourn for those whom the error of heretical pravity has cut off from the unity of the Church, so we rejoice with those whom their profession of the catholic faith retains within her bosom. And, as it is our duty to oppose the impiety of the former with pastoral solicitude, so it is fitting for us to bestow favour on the pious professions of the latter, and to declare their views to be sound. And accordingly, a suspicion of unsoundness in the faith having arisen against thee, Athanasius, presbyter of the monastery of Saint Mile, called Tamnacus, which is established in the province of Lycaonia, thou, in order that the integrity of the profession of faith might appear, didst elect to have recourse to the Apostolical See over which we preside, asserting also that, having been corporally chastised, thou hadst done some things unjustly and impetuously. And, although things done under compulsion by no means fall under the censure of the canons, and they are rightly accounted to be of no weight (since he himself invalidates them who compels what is unjust to be confessed and done), and though that confession is rather to be received and embraced which is shewn to proceed from the spontaneous will, as is known to be the case in that which thou madest before us;—yet still, to avoid the possibility of uncertainty, we took the precaution of writing about thee to our brother and fellow-bishop, the prelate of the city of Constantinople, that he might inform us by letter of what had been done. He, after being often admonished by us, wrote in reply to the effect that a volume had been found in thy possession, which contained many heretical statements, and that on this account he had been incensed against thee. He having lent this to us in his desire to satisfy us, we read the earlier portions of it attentively: and inasmuch as we found in it manifest poison of heretical pravity, we forbade its being read any more. But, since thou hast assured us that thou hadst read it in simplicity, and, in order to cut off all ground for uncertain suspicion, hast handed to us a paper in thine own handwriting in which expounding thy faith, thou hast most plainly condemned all heresies in general, or whatever is opposed to the integrity of the Catholic faith or profession, and hast declared that thou hadst always received and didst still receive all that the four holy Ecumenical synods receive, and hadst condemned and didst still condemn what they condemn, and hast promised also to accept and hold to that synod which was held in the times of the emperor Justinian concerning the Three Chapters, and, being forbidden by us to read that same volume in which the poison of pestiferous error is interwoven, rejecting also and condemning all that in it is said or latently implied against the integrity of the Catholic faith, thou hast promised that thou wilt not read it again;—we, moved by these reasons (thy faith also having clearly appeared to us from the paper under thine own hand, God guarding thee, to be catholic), decree thee to be, according to thy profession, free from all stain of heretical perversity, and catholic; and we pronounce that thou hast proved thyself, by the grace of Christ Jesus our Saviour to be in all things a professor and follower of the unadulterated faith: and we give thee free licence, notwithstanding all, to return to thy monastery, resuming thy place and rank.
We wish to write also on this matter to our most beloved brother, the prelate of the city of Constantinople, who has been ordained in the place of the aforesaid holy John55 . But, since it is the custom that we should not write before his synodical epistle has reached us, we have therefore delayed. But, after it has reached us, we will inform him of these things when we find a convenient opportunity).
1 See above, V. 48, note 3.
2 The ground of this charge against Marinianus was doubtless his aceptance of the condemnation of the "Three Chapters’ by the fifth council, which condemenation, notwithstanding Rome’s approval of it, was still objected to in many quarters as contravening the council of Chalcedon. See I. 16, note 3; IV. 2, note 1; IV. 38, 39; XIV. 12.
3 Cf. III. 47, note 2. As is there stated, Maximus does not seem to have paid the slightest attention to this letter.
4 This is the first of ten letters of Gregory to the notoriousBrunechild. A daughter of Athanagild, king of the Visigoth in Spain she had married Sigebert I., one of the grandsons of Clovis, who reigned over that part of the dominion of the Franks which was called Austrasia, having on her marriage renounced Arianism for Catholicity. Sigebert having been assassinateda.d.575, his son Chidebert II., then only five years old, was proclaimed King of Austrasia; whereupon Brunechid herself became the virtual ruler of the kingdom. So she was again after the death of Childebert,a.d.596, as guardian of Theodebert II., his illegitimate son, who succeeded him at the age of ten years. See Pedigree of Kings of Gaul, p. 30,The praises lavished on her by Gregory in this and his other epistles to her appear strangely inconsistent with the character given her by the historians of the time. It has been suggested in explanation; 1. That the historians may have maligned her, attributing to her crimes that were not her own; 2. That, whatever her misdemeanours, Gregory might not have heard of them, knowing of her only as a faithful Catholic, and a supporter of the Church; 3. That no such misdemeanours had become notorious when Gregory wrote to her in such flattering terms, the worst doings imputed to her having in fact been after his death. She survived him some nine years. Still, when we consider Gregory’s diplomatic turn, together with his habitual deference to potentates apparent elsewhere, we cannot think it unlikely that he might ignore purposely in his addresses to them even their known moral delinquencies, so long as he could enlist their support of religion and orthodoxy, or their loyalty to the see of Rome. And, after all, Brunechild may not have been much worse than some other Frank royalties, all of whom he would be naturally and properly desirous of conciliating, and making the best of them he could. A less defensible instance of apparently politic flattery is found in his letters to the Emperor Phocas and his Empress Leontia after the deposition and murder of Mauricius. See XIII. 31, 38, 39, and Proleg., p. xxvii.
5 Childebert II. (see (last note), who had been a minor when he came to the throne. He would now, if the epistle was written, as supposed, in the 14th Indiction (595–6), be about 25 years old.
6 Since the death of his uncle Gruntramn,a.d.593, he had become King of Burgundy as well as of Austrasia.
7 It was the sending of Candidus, a presbyter from Rome, to take charge of the patrimony in Gaul in place of Dynamius, a patrician, who had previously managed it (see (Ep 6), that offered occasion for this and the following letter).
8 Cf. last Epistle, notes 5, 6, 7.
9 See last Epistle note 8.
10 See IV. 30.
11 Probably because of the inferior value in Italy of Gallic gold. “Nullus solidum integri ponderis calumniosoe approbationis obtentu recuset exactor, excepto eo Gallico cujus aurum minore oestimatione taxatur.” Novella Majoriani.
12 Some kind of due, so-called. See Du Cange under Ablata: -"Abatio, Exactio, Tolta. . . ’Liberos deinceps esse constituimus ab omni tallia, ablatione et exactione, et questu.’ (A. 1173).’
13 This form of protest against simony is found, in the same words, in several other letters.
14 Institutionis; a legal term, denoting apparently the constituting of a person as an inheriter).
15 On the case of John of Chalcedon and Athanasius of Isaura, referred to in this and the three following letters, see III. 53, note 9.
16 Cf. VII. 34 and IX. 49, where the same argument, in nearly the same words, is set forth.
17 The reference may be to Canon xxviii. of the Council ofChalcedon, assigning rank and jurisdiction to the patriarchs of Constantinople, which was protested against by the Roman legates at the Council and afterwards disallowed by Pope Leo. It is omitted in the Latin version of the canons published by Dionysius Exiguus about the beginning of the sixth century, though it had been in the Prisca Versio which he amended.It appears as if Gregory, not finding it in the Latin version before him, supposed it to have been interpolated at Constantinople; the fact being that it had been purposely omitted at Rome, as not having the Pope’s sanction. If such is the allusion, it may seem strange that Gregory did not know the circumstances better. But this is not the only instance of his imperfect knowledge of past events, even in ecclesiastical matters. Cf. II. 51, note 2.
18 Baptisteries were anciently buildings contiguous to but apart from the churches. Cf. III. 59, note 7.
19 See III. 53, note 9, and reff there. It seems from what Gregory here says, that it was not in the East only, but also in Italy, at Ravenna, that the authority of the Roman See met with opposition, perhaps mainly on the ground of Ravenna having been an Imperial city, and being still the seat of the Exarch, of Italy. Cf. III. 57, note 4.
20 Spatam. Cf. VI. 61, note 8.
21 See III 47, note. 2).
22 In the letter to the Salonitans, which follows, it appears that Honoratus only among the clergy of Salona (having been the rival candidate for the bishopric and supported by the Pope), and Paulinus only among the suffragan bishops, had refused to communicate with Maximus.
23 See III. 47, note 2).
24 See III. 47, note 2. Jadera was one of the sees in the province of Dalmatia of which Salona was the Metropolis. The bishop of Jadera, Sabinianus, had communicated with Maximus, and probably assisted in ordaining him, but afterwards repented. See below, VII. 17; VIII. l0, 24. It may have been because Gregory had heard that there was already a party in Jadera prepared to renounce Maximus that he wrote this letter to strengthen it).
25 Cf. above, VI. 1.
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 50,61, note 7.
34 Cf. 50,34, 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” (Jn 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. 30,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. 2,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).
45 Childebert II. son of Sigebert I. and Brunechild, who had reigned over nearly all the dominions of the Franks in Gaul (see (VI. 5, note 5), died in this year.a.d.596. and was succeeded by his illegitimate son Theodebert II. as king of Austrasia, and by his second son Theoderic II. as king of Burgundy. These two kings were only ten and seven years of age respectively when their father died, and their grandmother Brunechild was appointed guardian of the former. Hence Gregory, writing now after the death of Childebert, addresses forma1 letter’s in identical terms to the two minors, but another (Ep. LIX). to Brunechild. See Pedigree of Kings of Gaul, p. xxx..
46 See I. 25, note 8).
47 See V. 43, which is probably the letter here referred to, being one sent to the two patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch, urging them to join in resisting the assumption of the title of universal Bishop by the patriarch of Constantinople.
48 Benedictionem, with reference to the present of sweet wood that had been sent. Cf. 2R 5,15, “Take a blessing of thy servant.”
49 Cf. VII. 40; IX. 78.
50 On the subject of this Epistle, cf. above, Ep. XXXIV., with references in note.
51 Cf. V. 11; VI. 34.
52 Spatam, a word usually signifying a kind of sword. Cf. VI. 24, where this same spata is referred to.
53 On the subject of this letter, see IV. 34, 35).
54 Gennadius was the Exarch of Africa).
55 Cyriacus (a.d.595) succeeded John the Faster as patriarch of Constantinople. For the letter written afterwards written to him with reference to Athanasius, cf. VII. 5.
S. Gregory I, letters 20657