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Omelchenko Darya

Letters of Pope Symmachus to the bishops of Gaul and Caesarius of Arles: translation and commentary


Omelchenko Darya (2023) "Letters of Pope Symmachus to the bishops of Gaul and Caesarius of Arles: translation and commentary ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia II : Istoriia. Istoriia Russkoy Pravoslavnoy Tserkvi, 2023, vol. 114, pp. 119-143 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturII2023114.119-143

Abstract

This article publishes a translation of the 513–514 epistles of pope Symmachus (498–514) to the bishops of Gaul and Caesarius of Arles (502–543). The main issues discussed in the epistles are the claims of the see of Arles for regional primacy in Southern Gaul, women's monasticism and church discipline. The conflict between the sees of Arles and Vienne over ecclesiastical primacy dates back to the end of the 4th century and was connected with the fact that Arles became the political capital of Southern Gaul. During the 5th century, the papal position in this dispute was variable and was not accepted as a valid argument by all the bishops of Gaul. Symmachus confirmed the decisions of pope Leo I the Great on the division of ecclesiastical jurisdiction in the province of Vienne, and for the first time granted the bishop of Arles the privilege of wearing the pallium. Although Caesarius became the pope's representative in Southern Gaul, there was no real opportunity for the bishop to exercise this privilege for some time because of the political situation in the region. Regarding the property of the convent at Arles, Symmachus' decision could not satisfy Caesarius because of the vagueness of the pope's wording. As for church discipline, Symmachus could only once again condemn its violations.

Keywords

church cathedra, church discipline, metropolitan city, bishop, papacy, Symmachus, Caesarius of Arles, Southern Gaul, Arles

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Information about the author

Omelchenko Darya


Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in History;
Place of work: St. Petersburg Institute of History, Russian Academy of Sciences;
Post: Researcher;
ORCID: 0000-0003-3242-2315;
Email: dorothy_om@mail.ru.

*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.

Acknowledgments

The study was funded by the Russian Science Foundation as part of the project no. 23-28-00165 “The Correlation of Territorial and Ethno-Political Principles of Church Organisation in Late Ancient Gaul”.