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Rivalry between Presbyters and Deacons in the Roman Church

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Three Notes on Ambrosiaster, Jerome, and The Boasting of the Roman Deacons

image of Vigiliae Christianae

In this article I offer three brief notes on Ambrosiaster’s Q. 101, De iactantia Romanorum leuitarum. First, I discuss its relation to Letter 146 of Jerome, which also deals with the rivalry between presbyters and deacons and which bears a close resemblance to Q. 101; second, I examine the peculiar features of the church hierarchy at Rome that led the anonymous deacon to claim a superior status to presbyters; and, third, I explore some indications in Q. 101 and in Jerome, Letter 146, which point to the activity of deacons in elite households at Rome.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Cultures University of Kentucky


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