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E02038: According to the Latin Acts of the Conference of Carthage (North Africa, AD 411), Catholics forbade the Donatists access to memorial shrines of unnamed martyrs in Vegesela (North Africa) some time before 411.

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posted on 23.11.2016, 00:00 by robert
Acts of the Conference in Carthage, AD 411

Session 1, paragraph 133

... Et recitauit: 'Priuatianus episcopus plebis Vegeselitanae, coram uiro clarissimo tribuno et notario Marcellino, suprascripta mandaui et subscripsi Carthagini'. Quo recitato, idem dixit: 'E diuerso est mihi Donatus Cillitanus'. Et accedente Donato Cillitano episcopo, idem dixit: 'Diaconos illic habeo, uicina plebs agit, dioecesis mea est'. Priuatianus episcopus ecclesiae catholicae dixit: 'Ubi conueniunt?' Donatus episcopus dixit: 'Et loca et memorias martyrum tamen prohibusisti. Candidum non habui presbyterum inde?'...

'... [Tribune Marcellinus] read: "I, Privatianus, the bishop of the people of Vegesela, signed the aforementioned mandate before Marcellinus, vir clarissimus, tribune and notary, in Carthage". When it was read, he [Privatianus] said: "There is Donatus of Cillium against me". When the [Donatist] bishop Donatus of Cillium approached, he said: "I have deacons there, the people go to service to a neighbouring community, the diocese is mine". Privatianus, bishop of the Catholic Church, said: "Where do they gather?" Bishop Donatus said: "You forbade the access both to the [holy] places and memorial shrines (memoriae) of the martyrs. Did not I have the priest Candidus there?"...'

Text: Lancel 1972, 756; Translation: Stanisław Adamiak.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Anonymous martyrs : S00060



Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Latin North Africa

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Carthage Carthage Carthago Karthago قرطاج‎ Qarṭāj Mçidfa Carthage

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - unspecified

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Appropriation of older cult sites

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy Heretics


The conference in Carthage was held in 411 with the aim of putting an end to the Donatist schism and re-establishing the unity of the Church in Africa. On the first day of the conference, the Donatists challenged the list of signatures of the Catholic bishops on the document. A roll call followed, in order to ensure that the right people were present. The tribune Marcellinus, who presided, called out the names of the Catholic bishops one by one, and their Donatist counterparts were asked to identify them. Then the roll call proceeded in the opposite way, with the Donatist bishops identified by the Catholics.


This piece of evidence suggests that Catholics and Donatists often attended the same memorial shrines of martyrs, and in Vegesela only the decision of Privatianus, the Catholic bishop of Cillium, put an end to this practice. See also E02042.


Edition and French translation: Lancel, S., Actes de la Conférence de Carthage en 411, vol. II (Sources Chrétiennes 195; Paris, 1972).

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