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E01617: Pope Zosimus, in a letter of 417, justifies the primacy in Gaul of the see of Arles on the grounds that its founder, *Trophimus (reputed first bishop of Arles, S00617), was the first bishop in Gaul, and was sent by the see of Rome. Written in Latin in Rome.

online resource
posted on 2016-06-09, 00:00 authored by dlambert
Epistolae Arelatenses 2 = Pope Zosimus, Letter 4 ('Cum adversus', JK 331/JH 737)


Letter of Pope Zosimus addressed to Aurelius, bishop of Carthage, and the bishops of Africa, to the bishops of 'Gaul and the Seven Provinces', and to the bishops of Spain. Dated 22 September 417. The letter reiterates that the bishop of Arles has been given the exclusive right to ordain bishops for the provinces of Viennensis, Narbonensis I, and Narbonensis II.

Part of the letter reproduces word for word the passage about Trophimus quoted and translated in E00954. In Gundlach's edition, the relevant text appears from p. 8, line 40 to p. 9, line 2.

Summary: David Lambert


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Trophimus, first bishop of Arles : S00617

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Letters


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Rome and region

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Rome Rome Rome Roma Ῥώμη Rhōmē

Cult activities - Places

Place associated with saint's life

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Awarding privileges to cult centres

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops


Epistolae Arelatenses 2 (= Pope Zosimus, Letter 4, 'Cum adversis') is a letter from Pope Zosimus (Pope 417-418), dated 22 September 417, and addressed to all the bishops of Gaul, Spain, and Africa. The letter survives among the so-called Epistolae Arelatenses (Arlesian Letters), also known as the Collectio Arelatensis or the Liber auctoritatum ecclesiae Arelatensis, a collection of 56 letters and other documents relating to the see of Arles, dating from 417 to 557. The collection was compiled at some point after 557, presumably from the archives of the see.


This letter deals with matters arising from the privileges which Pope Zosimus had granted to Patroclus, bishop of Arles, in an earlier letter (Epistolae Arelatenses 1 = Zosimus, Letter 1), dated 22 March 417 (E00954). Zosimus begins by denouncing the action of Bishop Proculus of Marseille (metropolitan of Narbonensis II) in consecrating two bishops, thus defying Zosimus' instruction that the bishop of Arles should have the exclusive right to ordain bishops throughout the provinces of Viennensis, Narbonensis I, and Narbonensis II; he calls on the recipients of the letter to refuse to receive the two men in communion. Before closing, the letter goes on to outline the bishop of Arles' powers to consecrate bishops for other provinces, and to confirm the possession by Arles of two parishes which were disputed between the sees of Arles and Marseille. These passages reproduce word for word the corresponding sections in the letter of 22 March 417, including the justification of Arles' privileges by reference to Trophimus (for which see E00954).


Edition: Gundlach, W., Epistolae Arelatenses genuinae, in: Epistolae Merowingici et Karolini Aevi (Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Epistolae 3; Berlin: Apud Weidmannos, 1892), 5-83. Further reading: Dunn, G., “Zosimus' Synod of Rome in September 417 and his Letter to Western Bishops (Cum aduersus),” Antiquité Tardive 23: 395-405 (2015). Mathisen, R.W., Ecclesiastical Factionalism and Religious Controversy in Fifth-Century Gaul (Washington: Catholic University of America Press, 1989).

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