Saint Caesarius of Arles
Caesarius of Arles (retable, Carpentras Cathedral)
|Bishop and Church Father|
|Born||468 470 AD|
Chalon-sur-Saône, Western Roman Empire
|Died||27 August 542 AD|
|Venerated in|| Roman Catholic Church |
Eastern Orthodox Church
Caesarius of Arles (Latin : Caesarius Arelatensis; 468/470 – 27 August 542 AD), sometimes called "of Chalon" (Cabillonensis or Cabellinensis) from his birthplace Chalon-sur-Saône, was the foremost ecclesiastic of his generation in Merovingian Gaul. Caesarius is considered to be of the last generation of church leaders of Gaul that worked to promote large-scale ascetic elements into the Western Christian tradition. William E. Klingshirn's study of Caesarius depicts Caesarius as having the reputation of a "popular preacher of great fervour and enduring influence". Among those who exercised the greatest influence on Caesarius were Augustine of Hippo, Julianus Pomerius, and John Cassian.
Chalon-sur-Saône is a commune in the Saône-et-Loire department in the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté in eastern France.
Augustine of Hippo was a Roman African, early Christian theologian and Neoplatonic philosopher from Numidia whose writings influenced the development of the Western Church and Western philosophy, and indirectly all of Western Christianity. He was the bishop of Hippo Regius in North Africa and is viewed as one of the most important Church Fathers of the Latin Church for his writings in the Patristic Period. Among his most important works are The City of God, De doctrina Christiana, and Confessions.
Julianus Pomerius was a Christian priest in fifth century Gaul. He wrote five treatises, only one of which, De Vita Contemplativa, survives. He was renowned in rhetoric and grammar and was friends with Ennodius and Ruricius. He appears to have fled from Mauritania, North Africa to Gaul to escape the Vandals, towards the end of the century. He became an abbot and a teacher of rhetoric at Arles, where he was known for the teacher of Caesarius, a great conservator of Augustine of Hippo's teachings. It is known that their titles probably emphasized the ascetic ideal.
Caesarius was born at what is now Chalon-sur-Saône, to Roman-Burgundian parents in the last years of the Western Empire. His sister, Caesaria, to whom he addressed his "Regula ad Virgines" (Rule for Virgins), also presided over the convent he had founded. At the time of his birth, Germanic kings de facto governed Burgundy despite nominal Roman administration. Unlike his parents, Caesarius was born with a very strong and intense feeling for religion which alienated him from his family for the majority of his adolescence. Caesarius left home at seventeen and studied under Bishop Sylvester for a few years. Afterwards, he found his way to Lérins (Lerinum), an island monastery, which was known to be a major dynamo for creative forces of work in the Church of Roman Gaul.After training as a monk at Lérins he devoted himself to reading and applying the scripture in hopes of improving the quality and organization of Christian life and serving the poor. He rapidly became master of all the learning and discipline the monastery communicated and was appointed cellarer. However, he proved unpopular at Lérins when, as cellarer of the monastery, he withheld food from monks because he felt they were insufficiently austere. As a result, the abbot Porcarius removed Caesarius from his post, whereupon he began starving himself; the abbot intervened and sent Caesarius to Arles ostensibly for medical care. After living at Lérins for over a decade and his health steadily decreasing from monastic over-exertion, Caesarius sought out a different clerical Christian community in Arles.
A convent is either a community of priests, religious brothers, religious sisters, monks or nuns; or the building used by the community, particularly in the Catholic Church, Lutheran Churches, and the Anglican Communion.
In law and government, de facto describes practices that exist in reality, even though they are not officially recognized by laws. It is commonly used to refer to what happens in practice, in contrast with de jure, which refers to things that happen according to law.
Lérins Abbey is a Cistercian monastery on the island of Saint-Honorat, one of the Lérins Islands, on the French Riviera, with an active monastic community.
The Christian community he joined fostered him back to health and he was soon popularly elected as their bishop. By middle age, he had “become and was to remain the leading ecclesiastical statesman and spiritual force of his age”.His concern for the poor and sick was famous throughout and beyond Gaul as he regularly provided ransom for prisoners and aided the sick and the poor. Upon arriving in the city, the Vita Caesarii claims that Caesarius discovered, completely to his surprise, that the bishop of Arles - Aeonius - was a kinsman from Chalon (concivis pariter et propinquus - "at once a fellow citizen and a relative"). Aeonius later ordained his young relative deacon and then presbyter. For three years he presided over a monastery in Arles; but of this building no vestige is now left.
A deacon is a member of the diaconate, an office in Christian churches that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. Major Christian churches, such as the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican church, view the diaconate as part of the clerical state.
In the New Testament, a presbyter is a leader of a local Christian congregation. The word derives from the Greek presbyteros, which means elder or senior. The Greek word episkopos literally means overseer; it refers exclusively to the office of bishop. Many understand presbyteros to refer to the bishop functioning as overseer. In modern Catholic and Orthodox usage, presbyter is distinct from bishop and synonymous with priest. In predominant Protestant usage, presbyter does not refer to a member of a distinctive priesthood called priests, but rather to a minister, pastor, or elder.
At the death of Aeonius the clergy, citizens, and persons in authority proceeded, as Aeonius himself had suggested, to elect Caesarius to the vacant seat, although Klingshirn suggests that there may have been considerable local hostility, that Caesarius' election may have been heavily disputed and that another cleric, Iohannes, who appears in the episcopal fasti of Arles may have been elected bishop. Caesarius was consecrated in 502, being probably about 33 years of age. In the fulfilment of his new duties he was courageous and unworldly, but yet exhibited great power of kindly adaptation. He took great pains to induce the laity to join in the sacred offices, and encouraged inquiry into points not made clear in his sermons. He also ordered the people to study Holy Scripture at home, and treat the word of God with the same reverence as the sacraments. He was specially zealous in redeeming captives, even selling church ornaments for this purpose.
As bishop, Caesarius lived in a political world whose main theme was competition for Southern Gallic control among the Visigothic, Ostrogothic and Frankish kingdoms which led him to the constant ransoming of victims during these wars. The aftermath of war in 507/508 between the Burgundians and Franks and Visigothic and Ostrogothic kingdoms was devastating to its citizens. Peasants had no food supply and were in danger of enslavement, exile and death. Although Caesarius saved and ransomed many countryside citizens, his actions in redeeming captives was quite controversial. Although he ransomed many peasants of his country, he also ransomed numerous barbarians and enemies of the city. He defended himself by stating that barbarians were human beings and therefore had the potential to enter the City of God.
The Franks were a group of Germanic peoples, whose name was first mentioned in 3rd century Roman sources, associated with tribes on the Lower and Middle Rhine, on the edge of the Roman Empire. Later the term was associated with Romanized Germanic dynasties within the collapsing Western Roman Empire, who eventually commanded the whole region between the rivers Loire and Rhine. They then imposed power over many other post-Roman kingdoms and Germanic peoples, and still later they were given recognition by the Catholic Church as successors to the old rulers of the Western Roman Empire.
The Burgundians were a large East Germanic tribe or group of tribes that lived in the time of the Roman Empire in the region of Germania that is now part of Poland.
A notary named Licinianus denounced Caesarius to Alaric II as one who desired to subjugate the civitas of Arles to Burgundian rule. Caesarius was exiled to Bordeaux, but on the discovery of his innocence, was speedily allowed to return. He interceded for the life of his calumniator. Later, when Arles was besieged by Theodoric around the year 512, he was again accused of treachery and imprisoned. An interview with the Ostrogothic king at Ravenna the next year speedily dispelled these troubles, and the remainder of his episcopate was passed in peace.
A notary is a person authorised to perform acts in legal affairs, in particular witnessing signatures on documents. The form that the notarial profession takes varies with local legal systems.
Alaric II was the King of the Visigoths in 484–507. He succeeded his father Euric as king of the Visigoths in Toulouse on December 28, 484; he was the great-grandson of the more famous Alaric I, who sacked Rome in 410. He established his capital at Aire-sur-l'Adour in Aquitaine. His dominions included not only the majority of Hispania but also Gallia Aquitania and the greater part of an as-yet undivided Gallia Narbonensis.
In the history of Rome, the Latin term civitas, according to Cicero in the time of the late Roman Republic, was the social body of the cives, or citizens, united by law. It is the law that binds them together, giving them responsibilities (munera) on the one hand and rights of citizenship on the other. The agreement (concilium) has a life of its own, creating a res publica or "public entity", into which individuals are born or accepted, and from which they die or are ejected. The civitas is not just the collective body of all the citizens, it is the contract binding them all together, because each of them is a civis.
Some rivalry appears to have existed in the sixth century between the sees of Arles and Vienne, but was adjusted by Pope Leo, whose adjustment was confirmed by Pope Symmachus. Caesarius was in favour at Rome. A book he wrote against the semi-Pelagians, entitled de Gratiâ et Libero Arbitrio, was sanctioned by Pope Felix IV; and the canons passed at Orange were approved by Pope Boniface II. The learned antiquary Louis Thomassin believed him to have been the first Western bishop who received a pall from the pope. François Guizot in Civilisation en France cites part of one of Caesarius' sermons as that of a representative man of his age; while August Neander eulogizes his "unwearied, active, and pious zeal, ready for every sacrifice in the spirit of love," and his moderation on the controversy concerning semi-Pelagianism.
However, throughout all this turmoil, unlike Boethius, another Christian philosopher of the 6th century, he was never charged with being a covert supporter of a revived Roman Empire. The old Roman political order seemed to have little significance to Caesarius who instead directed his attitude to reflecting and accepting Christian pragmatism.
According to William Klingshirn, "Caesarius also has the reputation of being the faithful champion of Augustine of Hippo in the early middle ages. Thus Augustine's writings are seen to have profoundly shaped Caesarius' vision of human community, both inside and outside the cloister; and Caesarius' prowess as a popular preacher is understood to follow from his close attention to the example of the bishop of Hippo.Caesarius was also highly influenced by his teacher, Julianus Pomerius. Pomerius had been inspired by the life of Augustine of Hippo too and insisted that bishops and members of the clergy live more like monks as opposed to aristocrats. This meant that any luxurious behaviour, such as participating in bountiful banquets, enlarging estates and enjoying “secular” learning, was condemned. Instead Pomerius urged bishops to give away all their riches and personal wealth as well as dress and eat simply. Caesarius's monasticism led him to the movement of church reform and he became one of its most influential spokesman. According to many of his testaments he stayed true to the teachings of Pomerius and Augustine by rejecting secular learning, shunning comfortable living and organizing his clergy into monastic living.
It is important to realize that Christianization in the late Roman and Early Medieval West was a slow, inconsistent and incomplete social and religious change. It required the building of churches, conversion of elites and a widespread adoption of Christian self-identity with a system of Christian values, practices and beliefs. The church was constantly struggling against the survival of superstitions and pagan practices that were widely common among communities and common folk.However, it was only with the consent and participation of local populations that these religious changes were able to take effect. Therefore, as Klingshirn so carefully puts it, this process was reciprocal. Although the elites and theologians implemented all of the goals and strategies, it was up to the peasants and townspeople of local communities to accept these practices.
The directions of Caesarius for the conduct of monks and nuns have been censured as pedantic and minute, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia . They certainly yielded to the spread of the rising Benedictine rule, but must be judged by their age and in the light of the whole spirit of monasticism.
The most important local council over which Caesarius presided was that of Orange (529). Its statements on the subject of grace and free agency have been eulogized by modern historians (see, e.g., Canon Bright, Church History, ch. xi. ad fin.). The following propositions are laid down in the Council of Orange's canon 25:
On the express ground that these doctrines are as needful for the laity as for the clergy, certain distinguished laymen (illustres ac magnifici viri) were invited to sign these canons. They are accordingly subscribed by eight laymen, and at least twelve bishops, including Caesarius.
The Council of Orange in 529 was said to have condemned "the teaching of grace that predominated in southern Gaul in favor of a modified Augustinian position."
As a preacher, Caesarius displayed great knowledge of Scripture, and was eminently practical in his exhortations. Besides reproving ordinary vices of humanity, he had often to contend against lingering pagan practices, as auguries, or heathen rites on the calends. His sermons on the Old Testament are not critical, but dwell on its typical aspects.
Several volumes of his sermons have been published in Sources Chrétiennes .
Caesarius has over 250 surviving sermons in his corpus. His sermons reveal him as a pastor dedicated to the formation of the clergy and the moral education of the laity. He preached on Christian beliefs, values, and practices against pagan syncretism. He emphasizes the life of a Christian as well as the love of God, reading the scriptures, asceticism, psalmody, love for one's neighbour, and the judgement that would come.
Through Pomerius's teachings, it is logical to conclude that many of Caesarius' homilies and writings were influenced greatly by Augustine. Caesarius' writings were known to be adapted as he reworked many other philosophers' introductions and conclusions, especially those of Augustine.Many of his writings and sermons, including the popular Vita Caesarii, were ordered to be written in French, German, Italian, and Hispanic. Caesarius did not believe that his readings and sermons should be restricted to the clergy. He did not just address the upper class and elite but instead preached to many literate and near-literate bishops, abbots, parish priests, and monks. He encouraged the clergy to read to both themselves and others. He targeted the illiterate and ask that they hire others to read to them after church in order to absorb the divine lessons. Caesarius encouraged reading divine lessons both at church and in their homes, at night and during the day, alone and with family.
More than just learning and understanding the lessons, Caesarius emphasized that a “believer who does not share what he has learned, is not achieving what God intended".Therefore, the believer is given a large responsibility as the lectio (divine reading) is God and therefore he should not be denied access to what belongs to Him. Caesarius believed that Christian People were God's new "elect" and he idealized incorporating men of places from all over the world into a believing, peaceful, and loving human community. This belief parallels Augustinian work as Augustine often referred to the populus christianus which can be translated as the Christian People. Revelation tells that God made a covenant with the populus christianus and the Christian epoch was predicted in all of the scriptures.
Scholars have remarked on two aspects of Caesarius's teaching and activity that deserve considerable attention. The first aspect deals with Caesarius who was stated to be “the creative leader who arranged at the Council of Orange in 529 a resolution of the century of disputes about grace and ‘good works’ which followed Augustine's death.
The Council of Orange in 529 was one of the most important local councils over which Caesarius presided. Its statements on the subject of grace and free agency have been eulogized by modern historians (see, e.g., Canon Bright, Church History, ch. xi. ad fin.). The following propositions are laid down in the Council of Orange's canon 25:
On the express ground that these doctrines are as needful for the laity as for the clergy, certain distinguished laymen (illustres ac magnifici viri) were invited to sign these canons. They are accordingly subscribed by eight laymen, and at least twelve bishops, including Caesarius.
The second aspect of Caesarius's teaching that deserves attention is his sermons. As mentioned previously, his corpus consists of over 250 surviving sermons.Caesarius was determined to edit, shorten, and simplify his sermons in order to make them more effective and available to the existing patristic tradition. About 1/3 of his sermons are efforts of this sort. His works travelled to all parts of the Christian West, spreading his medieval sermon tradition and its topics of Christian love, the meaning of the last Judgment, the rights of the poor and the notion of Christianity. His writings were used by monks in Germany, repeated in Anglo-Saxon poetry and turned up in the important works of Gatianus of Tours and Thomas Aquinas.
In DelCogliano's article, he mentions two other historians who studied and presented new critical texts of Caesarius's sermons. The two historians, Courreau and Vogüé, noted that although Caesarius's monastic sermons contain their own perspective and emphasis, his teachings are largely consistent throughout all of his sermons. Certain recurring themes include the expectations of monks in the monastery (i.e., important to attain Christian salvation within the safe haven of a monastery with the help of God) as well as being assisted on this Christian journey by fellow brothers who must offer mutual support. Caesarius, unlike other monks like Anthony the Great, did not believe in solitude in order to be blessed with the Grace of God; instead he emphasized brothers living amongst each other and providing edification and a good example to one another.
Caesarius’ Regula virginum (512), also known as the Rule for Virgins, is the first western rule written exclusively for women. In this text, Caesarius argues for the practice of claustration, the complete containment of women in the monastery from their entry until death. Caesarius also created a strict regime for women in the monasteries to adhere to, specifying times for prayer, limits on earthly luxuries such as fine clothes and elaborate decoration, and standards of modesty and piety.Caesarius begins the "Rule" by prefacing that the virgins for which he was writing this rule were the "gems of the Church" as they, "with God's help, evade the jaws of spiritual wolves." He also composed a letter of guidance, Vereor, for the women of his religious community in its early stages. As mentioned earlier, Caesarius was captured and later returned from Bordeaux. After he returned he began to build a monastery for women outside of Arles. The monastery was built for a group of ascetic women living under the spiritual direction of his sister, Caesaria. It can be assumed that most of the women entering the monastery were from elite families, as there were strict provisions in "Regula Virginum" against having servants, luxurious clothes, and excessive decoration. There had been no monastery for women in Arles which allowed Caesarius, possibly in the imitation of Augustine, to provide women with an equal opportunity for a monastic life. Caesarius viewed the women in the monastery as having a religious advantage in being separated from the anxieties and responsibilities of daily life in the city, as they were able to devote themselves to a life of piety:
“And therefore I ask you, oh sacred virgins and souls dedicated to God, who with you lamps shining await with clear conscience the coming of the Lord, that, because you know that I labored to establish a monastery for you, you with your prayers might ask that I be made a companion on your journey; and that, when you shall enter joyfully into the kingdom with the wise and holy virgins, you might obtain by your plea that I not remain outside with the foolish ones.”
It was Caesarius's goal to attain security of his place both among the Church elites of Gaul as well as in heaven through the creation of the monastery. By creating the monastery and writing the Rule, Caesarius was able to make for himself a place among the great Church thinkers of Late Antique Gaul. Simultaneously, through the intercession of the women in the monastery praying for him, Caesarius believed he could confirm his place in heaven after death.
As the occupant of an important see, the bishop of Arles exercised considerable official, as well as personal, influence. Caesarius was liberal in the loan of sermons, and sent suggestions for discourses to priests and even bishops living in Spain, Italy, and elsewhere in Gaul. The great doctrinal question of his age and country was that of semi-Pelagianism. Caesarius, though evidently a disciple of Augustine, displayed in this respect considerable independence of thought. His vigorous denial of anything like predestination to evil has caused a difference in the honour paid to his memory, according as writers incline respectively towards the Jesuit or Jansenist views concerning divine grace.
In Daly's article on Caesarius of Arles, he suggested that Caesarius in many ways may have anticipated the medieval notion of Christendom. His concern for others, redemption of captives and establishing bonds of peace, have been seen as a function of ‘his basic theology of love’. Unlike Augustine, who was a supporter and founder of the theology of Christian love, Caesarius stressed the clarification and integration of implications for spiritual activism. Caesarius promoted that God put the exercise of love in every man's reach. Klingshirn backs up this statement in his article when he describes how Caesarius was concerned with the barbarians and enemies of Arles as they were still within the City of God and therefore deserved redemption.
According to the previously mentioned scholars and historians who have written on Caesarius such as Arbesmann, Daly, DelCogliano, Ferreiro and Klingshirn, Caesarius lived through an era full of many societal shifts. Historians have stated that Caesarius was caught up in its early stages and lacked historical “hindsight and perspective” to this era. However, he witnessed and understood the beginning of the vast societal shifts which surrounded him and intentionally set out to shape this process. This was an influential stance as it has been said that the displacement of Roman by European civilization was a long-lasting, complex, and mystifying processCaesarius dreamed and saw an “expanding, world-embracing, world-uniting society”. Caesarius emphasized and spread his treatise and beliefs of patristic tradition to men and women around Arles and surrounding cities. This recognizable social model occurred in a time where social communities were disappearing. Caesarius helped to foresee the institutional shapes of medieval Christendom and may have helped create it with his ideas circulating for a millennium in the medieval West.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Caesarius of Arles .|
Celtic Christianity or Insular Christianity refers broadly to certain features of Christianity that were common, or held to be common, across the Celtic-speaking world during the Early Middle Ages. Celtic Christianity has been conceived of with differing levels of specificity: some writers have described a distinct Celtic Church uniting the Celtic peoples and distinguishing them from the Roman Church, while others classify it as simply a set of distinctive practices occurring in those areas. Varying scholars reject the former notion, but note that there were certain traditions and practices present in both the Irish and British churches that were not seen in the wider Christian world.
Caesarius of Heisterbach, sometimes erroneously called, in English, Caesar of Heisterbach, was the prior of a Cistercian monastery, Heisterbach Abbey, which was located in the Siebengebirge, near the small town of Oberdollendorf, Germany.
Christian monasticism is the devotional practice of individuals who live ascetic and typically cloistered lives that are dedicated to Christian worship. It began to develop early in the history of the Christian Church, modeled upon scriptural examples and ideals, including those in the Old Testament, but not mandated as an institution in the scriptures. It has come to be regulated by religious rules and, in modern times, the Canon law of the respective Christian denominations that have forms of monastic living. Those living the monastic life are known by the generic terms monks (men) and nuns (women). The word monk originated from the Greek monachos "monk", itself from monos meaning "alone".
In 534 Pope John II deposed the adulterous Bishop Contumeliosus of Riez, and authorized Caesarius of Arles to appoint a temporary bishop to the diocese. This is notable for being the first act of jurisdiction of this kind recorded of a bishop of Rome.
The Rule of St. Augustine, written about the year 400, is a brief document divided into eight chapters and serves as an outline for religious life lived in community. The Rule, developed by Augustine of Hippo (354-430), governs chastity, poverty, obedience, detachment from the world, the apportionment of labour, the inferiors, fraternal charity, prayer in common, fasting and abstinence proportionate to the strength of the individual, care of the sick, silence and reading during meals. It came into use on a wide scale from the twelfth century onwards and continues to be employed today by a large number of orders, including the Dominicans, Servites, Mercederians, Norbertines, and Augustinians.
John Cassian, also known as John the Ascetic and John Cassian the Roman, was a Christian monk and theologian celebrated in both the Western and Eastern churches for his mystical writings. Cassian is noted for his role in bringing the ideas and practices of Christian monasticism to the early medieval West.
A double monastery is a monastery combining a separate community of monks and one of nuns, joined in one institution. More common in the monasticism of Eastern Christianity, where they are found since the 4th century, in the West the establishment of double monasteries became popular after Columbanus and were found in Anglo-Saxon England and Gaul. Double monasteries were forbidden by the Second Council of Nicaea in 787, though it took many years for the decree to be enforced. In a significantly different way, double monasteries were revived again after the 12th century, when a number of religious houses were established on this pattern, among Benedictines and possibly the Dominicans. The 14th-century Bridgittines were consciously founded using this form of community.
Symeon the New Theologian was a Byzantine Christian monk and poet who was the last of three saints canonized by the Eastern Orthodox church and given the title of "Theologian". "Theologian" was not applied to Symeon in the modern academic sense of theological study; the title was designed only to recognize someone who spoke from personal experience of the vision of God. One of his principal teachings was that humans could and should experience theoria.
The Council of Agde was a regional synod held in September 506 at Agatha or Agde, on the Mediterranean coast east of Narbonne, in the Septimania region of the Visigothic Kingdom, with the permission of the Visigothic King Alaric II.
In the seventh century the pagan Anglo-Saxons were converted to Christianity mainly by missionaries sent from Rome. Irish missionaries from Iona, who were proponents of Insular Christianity, were influential in the conversion of Northumbria, but after the Synod of Whitby in 664 the English church gave its allegiance to the Pope.
Saint Martin of Braga was an archbishop of Bracara Augusta in Gallaecia, a missionary, a monastic founder, and an ecclesiastical author. According to his contemporary, the historian Gregory of Tours, Martin was plenus virtutibus and in tantum se litteris imbuit ut nulli secundus sui temporis haberetur. He was canonized in the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church for his work in converting the inhabitants of Gallaecia to Chalcedonian Christianity, and his feast day is 20 March.
Arles in the south of Roman Gaul hosted several councils or synods referred to as Concilium Arelatense in the history of the early Christian church.
Saint Cyprian of Toulon was bishop of Toulon during the 6th century. Born at Marseilles, he was the favorite pupil of St. Caesarius of Arles by whom he was trained. Caesarius ordained him in 506 to the diaconate, and, in 516, consecrated him as bishop of Toulon.
Aurelianus was Archbishop of Arles from 546 to 551. His predecessors were Auxanius and Caesarius of Arles. His father Sacerdos was an Archbishop of Lyon. His cousin Nicetius succeeded his father as Archbishop of Lyon. He died on 16 June 551 in Lyon and is buried in the Church of Saint-Nizier. The text of his epitaph is preserved.
Gaul was an important early center of Latin Christianity in late antiquity and the Merovingian period. By the middle of the 3rd century, there were several churches organized in Roman Gaul, and soon after the cessation of persecution the bishops of the Latin world assembled at Arles, in AD 314. The Church of Gaul passed through three dogmatic crises in the late Roman period, Arianism, Priscillianism and Pelagianism. Under Merovingian rule, a number of "Frankish synods" were held, marking a particularly Germanic development in the Western Church. A model for the following Frankish synods was set by Clovis I, who organized the First Council of Orléans (511).
Agroecius was a 6th-century bishop of Antibes, and the addressee of one of the extant letters of the ecclesiastic Caesarius of Arles.
The Second Council of Orange was held in 529 at Orange, which was then part of the Ostrogothic Kingdom. It affirmed much of the theology of Augustine of Hippo, and made numerous proclamations against what later would come to be known as semi-Pelagian doctrine.
Gallicanus I was the seventh bishop of Embrun. He was represented at the Fourth Council of Arles in 524, assisted in person at that of Carpentras in 527, and attended the Third Council of Vaison in 529. He was perhaps also at the Second Council of Orange in the same year. The councils of 524–29 were presided over by Caesarius of Arles.
Namatius was the rector of Provence under the Merovingians and later bishop of Vienne from c. 552 until his death in office. He is probably identical to the person with the same name recorded among the attendants at the Council of Orange in 529.