Litovchenko Elena

Ruricius of Limoges, Caesarius of Arles, and Council of Agde 506

Litovchenko Elena (2022) "Ruricius of Limoges, Caesarius of Arles, and Council of Agde 506 ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia II : Istoriia. Istoriia Russkoy Pravoslavnoy Tserkvi, 2022, vol. 109, pp. 9-26 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturII2022109.9-26


The paper deals with the circumstances of holding the Council of Agde in 506 on the ground of the Council's resolutions, the epistolaries of Caesarius of Arles and Ruricius of Limoges. The study based on the context-historical analysis, which is especially useful for ego-documents, since it allows interpreting texts of personal sources taking into account specific cultural and historical conditions. As a result of the analysis, the author comes to the conclusion that the Council of Agde was convened on the initiative of the Visigothic king Alaric II, who, in a situation of the external threat aggravation, considered it as a means of consolidating the population of the former Roman provinces that were part of the barbarian state. The circumstances of the Council give an idea of the relationship between the secular and spiritual authorities in the period under study. The event was held under the chairmanship of the Bishop of Arles Caesarius. The Council was devoted mainly to issues of Church discipline. The decrees of this Council allow us to judge its significance and scale: representatives of almost all South Gallic cities (more than thirty representatives of Gallic clergy) took part in the Council; as a result of its work forty-seven canons were adopted. The correspondence of Caesarius and Ruricius about the Council of Agde acquaints us with the circumstances of its preparation and plans for the next meeting. It allows assessing the hierarchy of relationships within the Christian clergy, in a situation where one bishop (Ruricius) was subordinate to another (Caesarius) due to the seniority of his see, on the one hand, but, on the other hand, Ruricius had higher social status due to his origin. The latter fact, apparently, still played a significant role in communication between representatives of the clergy.


South Gaul, Alaric II, Council of Agde, Council’s canons, Caesarius of Arles, Ruricius of Limoges, epistolography


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Information about the author

Litovchenko Elena

Academic Degree: Doctor of Sciences* in History;
Academic Rank: Associate Professor;
Place of work: Belgorod National Research University;
Post: Head of the Department of World History;
ORCID: 0000-0002-1203-6049;
Email: litovchenko@bsu.edu.ru.

*According to ISCED 2011, a post-doctoral degree called Doctor of Sciences (D.Sc.) is given to reflect second advanced research qualifications or higher doctorates.


The author expresses her sincere gratitude to Gratsiansky Mikhail Vyacheslavovich, leading Researcher of the Section of General Problems of Ecclesiology, Candidate of Historical Sciences, leading Researcher of the Laboratory for the Study of the Countries of the Black Sea and Byzantium in the Middle Ages of the Faculty of History of Moscow State University, for his support and advices during the preparing of this article.