Following the death of Aquileian patriarch Helias, his successor, Patriarch Severus, together with three other bishops (including the bishop of Poreč, John) are imprisoned in Ravenna by the Byzantine exarch Smaragdus; in order to buy their freedom, the prelates agree to condemn the Three Chapters and reunite with Rome, a move that greatly angers other bishops in the ecclesiastical province of Aquileia. Finally, a synod is held in Marano (591) whereby Patriarch Severus is forced to formally acknowledge the error of his ways in supporting the condemnation of the Three Chapters (narrative accounts from Paul the Deacon's History of the Lombards).
His diebus defuncto Helia Aquilegensi patriarcha, postquam quindecim annos sacerdotium gesserat, Severus huic succedens regendam suscepit ecclesiam.
Quem Smaragdus patricius veniens de Ravenna in Gradus, per semepa ipsum e basilica extrahens, Ravennam cum iniuria duxit cum aliis tribus ex Histria episcopis, id est: Iohanne Parentino et Severo1 atque Vindemio2, necnon etiam Antonio3 iam sene Ecclesie defensore.
Quibus comminans exilia atque violentiam inferens, communicare conpulit Iohanni Ravennanti episcopo, trium capituolrum damnatori, qui a tempore pape Vigilii vel Pelagii a Romane ecclesie describeratb societate.
Exempto vero anno, e Ravenna ad Grados reversi sunt. Quibus nec plebs communicare voluit, nec cetheri episcopi eos receperunt. Smaragdus patricius a demonio non iniuste correptus, successorem Romanum patricium accipiens, Constantinopolim remeavit.
Post hec facta est sinodus decem episcoporumc in Mariano, ubi receperunt Severum patriarcham Aquilegensem dantem libellum errori sui, quia trium capitulorum damnatoribus communicarat Ravenne.
Nomina vero episcoporum qui se ab hoc scismate cohibuerunt hec sunt:
Petrus de Altino,
Ingenuinus de Sabione,
Rusticus de Tarvisio,
Agnellus de Acilo,
Maxentius Iuliensis et
Cum patriarcha autem communicaverunt isti episcopi:
a) sic: pro semet. b) sic: pro desciverat. c) sinodus decem episcoporum in Mariano al. man. add. in marg.
According to the highly contaminated transcript of the acts of the Synod of Grado (see the edition here), the bishops mentioned here by Paul the Deacon would be:
1) Severus, the bishop of Trieste.
2) Vindemius, the bishop of Cissa, the mysterious bishopric.
3) Anthony, the bishop of Grado.
4) Clarissimus, the bishop of Concordia.
5) The same as fn. 1.
6) Patricius, the bishop of Novigrad in Istria.
7) The same as fn. 2.
8) John, the bishop of Celje.
In these days when Helias, patriarch of Aquileia, had died after holding his holy office fifteen years Severus succeeded him and undertook the management of the church.
Smaragdus the patrician, coming from Ravenna to Grado, personally dragged him out of the church, and brought him with insults to Ravenna together with three other bishops from Istria, that is, John of Poreč, Severus and Vendemius and also Anthony, now an old man and trustee of the church.
Threatening them with exile and inflicting violence, he compelled them to hold communion with John, the bishop of Ravenna, a condemner of the Three Chapters, who had separated from the communion of the Roman church at the time of Pope Vigilius or Pelagius.
After the expiration of a year they returned from Ravenna to Grado. And the people were not willing to hold communion with them nor did the other bishops receive them. The patrician Smaragdus became not unjustly possessed of a devil, and being succeeded by the patrician Romanus, returned to Constantinople.
After these things a synod of ten bishops was held in Marano where they took back Severus, the patriarch of Aquileia, upon his giving a written confession of his error in taking communion at Ravenna with those who had condemned the Three Chapters.
The names of the bishops who had withheld themselves from this schism are these:
Peter of Altino;
Clarissimus [of Concordia-Pordenone];
Ingenuinus of Seben [future Bressanone, Germ. Brixen];
Agnellus of Trento;
Junior of Verona;
Horontius of Vicenza;
Rusticus of Treviso;
Fonteius of Feltre;
Agnellus of Asolo;
Laurentius of Belluno;
Maxentius of Zuglio;
and Adrian of Pula.
But the following bishops held communion with the patriarch: Severus, John of Poreč, Patricius, Vendemius and John.
[translation taken from Paul the Deacon, History of the Lombards, trans. William Dudley Foulke, ed. Edward Peters (Philadelphia 2003; 1st ed. 1907), pp. 131–33, and slightly modified by the editor.]
This is the only written testimony of the Synod of Marano held in 591. These two episodes - Smaragdus' violent treatment of Severus and the subsequent Synod of Marano - form part of a larger story arc regarding the Three Chapters Controversy in the ecclesiastical province of Aquileia (see more on that here).
The images come from the project I libri dei patriarchi, available freely online on the following link: https://www.librideipatriarchi.it/
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.