Vol. 1: A seculo VI usque ad 803
April of 559

Pope Pelagius I writes to Charles, the magister militum, regarding the Schism of the Three Chapters and the schismatic bishops.

Original lost; numerous later copies exist (cf. the edition referenced below); the editor has consulted the following manuscripts:
London, British Museum, Collectio Britanica, ms: 8873, fol. 34r-v (fragment only); copy from the 1st half of the 12th century (B); the manuscript is digitized and available online for consultation here
Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, ms. Vat. lat. 1363, fol. 215v; mid-12th-century copy (C); the manuscript is digitized and available online for consultation here
Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, ms. lat. 12519, fol. 203v; late 12th-century copy (D); the manuscript is digitized and available online for consultation here
Previous Editions
Pius M. Gassó and Columba M. Batlle (eds.), Pelagii I Papae epistulae quae supersunt (556-561), Scripta et documenta 8 (Barcelona 1956), doc. 65, pp. 171-73.
FIM Edition
Diplomatic edition based on C with readings from B and D.

[Pelagius Carello magistro militum]a

Quali nos de glorię vestręstudiis iudiciogratulemur, non solum vestram, sed multorum ac pene omnium credimus habere noticiamd, et idcirco nunc de his quę vobis pręsentibus ibi fieri stupemus, fiducialiter apud gloriam vestram duximus conquerendum.

Terciussiquidem atque Maximilianus nomina tantum episcoporum habentes, et ęcclesiasticamibi unitatem [perturbare]dicuntur, et omnes ęcclesiasticasres suis usibus applicare, intantum ut contra unum eorum, id est Maximilianum, usque ad nos per tam longum iter, necessitate compellente, quidam infatigabiliter venientes, pręces offerrent.

Ob quam causam Petrumpresbyterum sedis nostrę, sedet Proiectum notarium ad eadem loca duximus destinandos, ut ea quęcanonicis statutis a prędictis pseudoepiscopis compererint fuisse commissam, vel digna debeant ibi ultione compesceren, vel eosdem ad nos usque perducereo.

Et ideo salutantes paternoaffectu gloriam vestramq, petimus ut pręfatis, qui a nostra sede directi sunt, in omnibus prębeatisauxilium, nec putetis alicuius esse peccati si huiusmodi homines comprimunturs.

Hoc enim et divinęet mundanęleges statuerunt, ut ab Ęcclesięunitate divisi, et eius pacem iniquissime perturbantes, a secularibus etiam potestatibus comprimanturw.

Nec quicquam maius est, unde Deo possitis sacrificiumofferre, quam si id ordinetis, ut hi qui in suam et aliorumperniciem debachanturz, cumaa potenti debeant vigore compescibb.

Lectiones notęque

a) missing in CD ; the title of the letter in C is Quod nullis sacrificium Deo a potestatibus gratius est ut scismatici episcopi ab obediendum coerceantur ; in B Quod nullum sacrificium Deo a potestatibus gratus est quam ut scismatici episcopi coerceantur ad obediendum.
b) vestre D.
c) iuditio D.
d) notitiam D.
e) Techius BGassó and Batlle reconstruct is as Terentius.
f) ecclesiasticam BD.
g) missing in CD.
h) aecclesiasticas B ; ecclesiasticas D.
i) Missing in B.
j) Missing in B.
k) que B.

l) seudo B.
m) conmissa B.
n) conpescere B.
o) pervenire B.
p) patenti B.
q) missing in BD.
r) prebeatis B.
s) conprimuntur B.
t) divine B.
u) mundane B.
v) Ecclesie B ; Ecclesię D
w) conprimantur B.
x) sacrificium possitis B.
y) in aliorum B.
z) debacantur B.
aa) conpenti instead of cum potenti B.
bb) conpesci B.


Selected Bibliography
Giuseppe Cuscito, "Fonti e studi sul vescovo Eufrasio e sulla chiesa Parentina del sec. VI: Bilancio critico-bibliografico," Atti e memorie della Società istriana di archeologia e storia patria 75 (1975): pp. 59-71.
Rajko Bratož, "Povezave med Trakijo in severnojadranskimi deželami v pozni antiki," Zgodovinski časopis 42/4 (1988): p. 499.
Editor's Notes

The letter has nothing to do with Istrian bishops and as such there is little reason for including it in this collection of edited primary sources other than to demonstrate various dimensions of the Three Chapters Controversy that indeed gained ground in Istria. The main reason why the letter is included in FIM stems from Kandler's tampering with the document that ultimately produced many unnecessary distortions in Istrian historiography (cf. Kandler, Codice diplomatico istriano, doc. 23, p. 61).

Namely, Kandler took the text of the charter from De Rubeis's edition as featured in his Monumenta Ecclesiae Aquileiensis commentatio historico-chronologico-critico illustrata (published in Venice in 1748). However, for some unknown reason, Kandler decided to "correct" the text and change the originally written Thracius into Euphrasius as in the contemporary bishop of Poreč that was indeed mentioned by Pope Pelagius I in one of his prior letters (see the document here). This "modification" further engendered methodologically incredibly flawed interpretations that Bishop Euphrasius was of Thracian origin, an argument rooted in Kandler's tampering. Many historians, including renowned scholars such as Conrad Eubel (cf. Hierarchia catholica medii aevi, vol. 2, p. 231), were led astray by Kandler's "corrections."

The primary sources do not corroborate Kandler's "thesis" and neither can the bishop Maximilian be dubbed the bishop of Koper as Kandler would have him. Instead, the two schismatic "pseudo-bishops" as the pope dubs them were most probably linked to the region of Tuscany as argued by Gassó and Batlle (cf. the pope's letter issued to brothers "Guadentio, Maximiliano, Gerontio, Terentio, Vitali et Laurentio per Tusciam Annonariam" edited in Gassó and Batlle (eds.), Pelagii I Papae epistulae, doc. 10, pp. 31-32); this opinion is also accepted by the likes of Giuseppe Cuscito and Rajko Bratož (cf. Selected Bibliography).

How to Cite
First citation: Josip Banic (ed.), Fontes Istrie medievalis, vol. 1: A seculo VI usque ad 803, doc. 559_PL1, (last access: date).
Subsequent citations: FIM, 1: doc. 559_PL1.
Image Source and Info

The first image is from manuscript B, a screenshot from the digitized manuscript available on the official web pages of the British Museum.

The second image is from manuscript D, downloaded from the official web pages of Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

The editor has subsequently marked both images with red vertical lines simply to denote the parts of the manuscripts that are hereby edited.

All images remain under the copyright of their respective institutions.

The images from the Vatican library are available for consultation online, but the library's copyrights prevent the posting of these images on other webpages. The users are thus directed to this page.