University of Oxford

File(s) not publicly available

E06435: A letter of Pope Gregory the Great (Register 13.35) of 603, to Pantaleo, papal notary, reminds him of the oath he took before the body of *Peter (the apostle, S00036) in Rome. Written in Latin in Rome.

online resource
posted on 2018-09-11, 00:00 authored by frances
Pope Gregory the Great, Register of Letters 13.35

The opening of the letter:

Experientia tua, quod uel quale apud sacratissimum corpus beati Petri apostoli iusiurandum praebuerit, memor est.

‘Your Experience remembers what oath, and of what sort, you provided before the most sacred body of Saint Peter the apostle.’

Pantaleo was assisting in the administration of the papal estates in Sicily. Gregory condemns him for being slow in amending a practise which required poor farmers to provide more corn for the church than they were able to. Gregory orders him to amend the practise and warns him of Peter’s severity.

Text: Norberg 1982, vol. 2, 1037. Translation: Martyn 2004, vol. 3, 851.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Peter the Apostle : S00036

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

Major author/Major anonymous work

Gregory the Great (pope)

Cult activities - Places

Burial site of a saint - tomb/grave

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - entire body Oath made on a relic


A letter transmitted as part of Gregory the Great’s Register of Letters. This letter collection, organised into fourteen books, is large and contains letters to a variety of recipients, including prominent aristocrats, members of the clergy and royalty. The issues touched on in the letters are equally varied, ranging from theological considerations to mundane administrative matters. This collection of letters, which was possibly curated by Gregory, was originally much larger. The surviving Register comprises several groups of letters which were extracted at several later moments in history, the largest of which took place in the papacy of Hadrian I (772-795).


The letter suggests that papal administrators took an oath in St Peter's, to uphold correctly the duties of their office.


Edition: Norberg, D., S. Gregorii Magni, Registrum epistularum. 2 vols. (Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 140-140A; Turnhout: Brepols, 1982). English translation: Martyn, J.R.C., The Letters of Gregory the Great, 3 vols. (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2004). Further Reading: Dal Santo, M., Debating the Saints' Cult in the Age of Gregory the Great (Oxford: OUP, 2012). McCulloch, J., "The Cult of Relics in the Letters and Dialogues of Gregory the Great," Traditio 32 (1976), 145-184. Neil, B., and Dal Santo, M. (eds.), A Companion to Gregory the Great (Leiden: Brill, 2013).

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



    Ref. manager