31 Leontius seems to have had little but his age to recommend him for this promotion: the name of his bishopric is unknown, and the weakness of the appointment may, I think, be gathered from Leo's insisting so strongly on the principle of seniority both here and in chap vi. Above.
1 Nihil sit inordinatum nihilque proeposterum: the two words are well chosen (as usual), and bearing a distinct meaning: the former expressing"disorder" in the sense of want of the divine commission, the latter "disorder" in the sense of choosing the younger over the old, the inferior over the superior, &c.; the same two epithets occur in Lett. XIX., chap. i.
3 Ante oetatem maturitatis. The Council of Carthage (a.d. 397), c. 4, fixed the downward limit for deacons at 25, and for priest at 30: and we may presume that that was the general rule in Leo's time, for we find the same ages ordained afterwards in the Novelloe of Justinian (535-565) and elsewhere.
5 No one will by this time be surprised to find Leo calling Sacred Orders either a sacramentum, as here, or mysterium, as in the next sentence: the two terms are indeed in his usage almost equivalents.
9 The shorter edition of this letter, which is extent, gives this sentence in a very different form: the qualifications are much more exactly defined, e.g. bishops are to have spent their lives in orders a puerilibus exordiis usque ad provectiores annos.I think Quesnel is right in considering this a later version and alteration the better to inculcate the usage of the Church. For although no doubt people were often mere boys [Readers (lectores) for instance: see Bright's note 46] when they entered minor orders yet the fact that one was an adult layman before taking orders could not ipso facto have precluded a man from becoming bishop, however desirable the rule and general principle might be. In fact Cyprian at least is evidence to the contrary.
13 Per legitama augmenta, cf.n. 7 above. This passage makes it clear what is there required is not the puerilia exordia of the shorter edition of this letter, but the multum tempus of this longer edition.
18 Here the shorter edition of the letter breaks off, and there are certainly difficulties in considering that the long coda or repetitions and fresh matter here attached formed part of the original draft of the letter. Is it possible that two letters (the one later than the other) have been welded into one ?
21 Cyprian (de hab. Virg.) speaks of women who have lost their virginity by their own fault.as viduoe antequam nuptoe, and S. Jerome, using the same expression (Lett to Eustochius on the preservation of Virginity), implies that they very often dressed like widows (plerasque viduas antequam nuptas infelicem conscientiam mentita tantum veste protegere): this will account for Leo's here providing that these unhappy women are not deiici in viduarum gradum. Ball.
7 Anastasius seems to have arraigned Atticus before the civil court of the Prefect of Illyricum: he sent his apparitors, who violently dragged him out of the church, and brought him in midwinter across country to be tried.