Publication Date

2014

Abstract

The election of Perigenes as bishop of Corinth in about 419 sparked controversy for a number of reasons. For one thing Perigenes had previously been elected bishop of Patras, although he had failed to establish himself there, and his election was contrary to emerging canon law that prohibited the translation of bishops from one church to another. For another, the question of which bishop had responsibility for overseeing affairs in Illyricum Orientale became a point of controversy as some bishops appealed to Constantinople and others to Rome where Boniface I was bishop. In 531, another disputed election in the region saw bishops appealing again to Constantinople and to Rome, where Boniface II was bishop. A synod was held in Rome in 531 and previous archival material, including that relating to Perigenes, was read into the acts. The record of that synod survives in a ninth- or tenth-century manuscript containing what has come to be called the Collectio Thessalonicensis. One of those letters from Boniface I to Rufus, bishop of Thessaloniki (Ep. 4, Beatus apostolus = JK 350) is preserved twice in the Collectio Thessalonicensis in a shorter and longer version. I suggest that this is the second letter Boniface wrote to Rufus about Perigenes. While it is not clear why two versions of the same letter are preserved, the suggestion is made here that the issue arose in 531. It is argued here that the second, longer version is generally of better quality than the first.

Document Type

Journal Article

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