Era
Vol. 1: A seculo VI usque ad 803
Date
March of 559
Regestum

Pope Pelagius I writes to patrician Valerian, beseeching him to repress the schismatics and support the quest to restore union to the Church.

Source
Original lost; numerous later copies exist (cf. the edition referenced below); the editor has consulted the following manuscripts:
B = London, British Museum, Collectio Britanica, ms: 8873, fols. 31r and 36v-37r (fragments); copy from the 1st half of the 12th century; the manuscript is digitized and available online for consultation here
C = Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, codex 2153, fols. 53v-54r (fragments); 12th-century copy.
D = Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, ms. Vat. lat. 1363, fol. 215r-v; mid-12th-century copy; 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. 52, pp. 134-139.
FIM Edition
Reconstructive edition following the one masterfully done by Gassó and Batlle but based on B with CD used to reconstruct places omitted in B.
Transcription

[Pelagius papa]a Valeriano patricio.

De causis autem aecclesiasticis sicut gloriosa fuit semper vestra intentio, ita et nunc Deo propiciante effectibus ipsis appareat, nec iniquis hominibus et ab omni ratione sepositis passim Christi nostri Dei corpus, quod est sancta Ecclesia, dividere concedatur et ab unitate Aecclesie matris separare. Sed reprimantur et ab illicitis auxibusb, et eis ad animarum perdicionem secundum perversionem suam vagari non liceat. Sic per omnia divisionis sue mala etiam hoc eos ausos fuisse comperimus, ut fratrem vestrum virum excellentissimum dominum patricium Iohannem quasi excommunicare tentaverint; et quamvis Dei nutu factum esse non ambiguam, ut tantus vir ab scismathicorum pollutione incontaminatus quibuslibet occasionibus servaretur, tamen quante temeritatis fuerit in tanta ac tam ignocenti persona istud audire, [et] ipsam scelerisc immanitatem publicare, non dubium est.d

Peto ergo ut, sicut soliti estis, vindicandi talia sumatis aeffectum, et vos postsanctum diem beatae resurrectionis Dei et Domini nostri Iesu Christi ad ipsa ubi presumptum est loca fatigare dignemini, ut iuncti pariter cum excellentissimo viro fratre vestro donno  filio nostro patricio Iohanne, digna in huiuscemodi presumptores et legitima utamipotestate. Nec in hac parte vos homnum vaniloquia retardent dicentium, quia persecutionem Ecclesia faciat, dum vel ea que commituntur reprimit vel animarum salutem requirit.

Errant huiusmodi rumoris fabulatores. Non persequitur nisi qui ad malum cogit, qui vero malum vel factum iam punit vel prohibet ne fiat, non persequitur iste, sed diligit. Nam si, ut illi putant, nemo nec reprimandus a malo nec retrahendus ad bonum est, humanas ac divinas leges necesse est evacuari; que et malis poenam et bonis premia iusticia suadente constituith.

Malum autem scisma esse et per exteras etiam potestates huiusmodi homines opprimi debere, et canonice scripturę auctoritas et paternarum nos regularum veritas docet. Et quidem cismaticos eos esse tali per beatum Augustinum, quem universalis veneratur Ecclesia, ait enim, sententia convincuntur: “Vide, utrum scismatici non sint, qui se ab eminentissima et manifestissima auctoritate apostolicarum sedium separaverunt.” Quisquis ergo ab apostolicis divisus est sedibus, secundum istam beati Augustini sententiam in scisma eum esse non dubium est, et contra universalem Acclesiam altare probatur erigere. Siquid de talibus Calcedonensi synodo insertus canon habeat gloria vestra consideret, ubi post alia sic dicit: “Qui a communione semet ipsum suspendit Ecclesie et collectas fecit et altare constituit et noluit vocanti episcopo consentire, et noluit eidem adquiescere neque obedire et prius et secundo vocanti, hunc omnino depredari nec umquam vel orationem mereri nec recipere eum posse honorem. Si enim permanserit turbas et sediciones Aecclesie, per extraneam potestatem tamquam sediciosum conprimi.” Sed et item beatus Augustinus de talibus dicit: “Multa enim cum invitis benigna quadam asperitate plectendis agenda sunt, quorum potius utilitati consulendum estquam voluntati. Nam in corripiendo filio quamlibet aspere, numquam tamen amor paternus amittitur; fit tamen, quod nolet ut doleat qui etiam invitus videtur dolere sanandus.”

Ecce videtis, quemadmodum tantitestimonio patris nonpersequaturcohercendo talia, sed diligat emendando semper tales Ecclesia. Facite ergo etiam et vos, quod, sentientes intentionem christianitatis vestre frequenter hortamur, et date operam, ut talia fieri ultra non liceat,sed et hoc, quidem vobis facillimum esse non dubito, hi qui talia presumpserunt et piissimum principem sub digna custodia dirigantur. Recolere enim debet, celsitudo vestra, quid iam Deus per vos fecerit tempore illo, quo ad Hystriam et Venetias tyranno Totila possidente, Francis etiam cuncta vastantibus, non ante Mediolanensem episcopum fieri permisistis, nisi ad clementissimum principem exinde retulissetis, et quid fieri debuisset eius iterum scriptis congnovissetis, et inter ubique ferventes hostes Ravennam tamen et is qui ordinabatur et is qui ordinaturus erat providentia culminis vestri deducti sunt.n

Explete ergo nunc consuetudinem vestram et habebitis in hac parte et anime mercedem et opinionis gloriam.

Lectiones notęque

a) om. B.
b) sic! pro: ausibus.
c) written above the line.
d) B fol. 31r ends here ; the letter continues on fol. 36v.
e) written above the line.
f) sic! pro: domino.
g) sic! pro: utamini.

h) sic! pro: constituunt?
i) the following word potius underlined.
j) the following word testi scraped off.
k) written above the line.
l) corrected from persequitur.
m) B ends here ; the following is reconstructed from D.
n) D ends here; the last line is reconstructed from C.

Selected Bibliography
Claire Sotinel, “The Three Chapters and the Transformations of Italy,” in The Crisis of the Oikoumene: The Three Chapters and the Failed Quest for Unity in the Sixth-Century Mediterranean, ed. Celia Chazelle and Catherine Cubitt (Turnhout 2007), pp. 84–120.
Editor's Notes

The second in the series of six letters issued by Pope Pelagius I to Byzantine civil officials trying to persuade them to use their authorities to repress the schism and support the papal quest to restore union to the Church (for a full list of these six documents, see the edition of the first letter to patrician John edited here.)

The letter also demonstrates that position of patrician John. This Byzantine official was previously asked by the pope to confront the schismatics in the ecclesiastical province of Aquileia and deny any authority of the recently elected bishop of Aquileia Paulinus, a known schismatic (see the letter here). However, this letter shows that the schismatics threatened to excommunicate the patrician. Pope Pelagius I tries hard in this letter to persuade the Byzantine officials that it is better to be excommunicated by the schismatics than to enjoy their favor, but his plans to steer the two patricians to take actions against the schismatics were at this point not successful.

The second letter to patrician John continues the argument, this time by slandering the schismatics, especially Euphrasius, the bishop of Poreč (see the letter here).

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

The images are of manuscript B, screenshots from the digitized manuscript available on the official web pages of the British Museum.

The editor has subsequently marked the images with red vertical lines simply to denote the parts of the manuscript 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.