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The Life of Augustine of Hippo

The Donatist Controversy (396 – 411)- Part 2 - Translation, Introduction and Annotation by Frederick Van Fleteren

Frederick van Fleteren

The seventeenth century was the century of Saint Augustine. In 1695, Louis Sébastien, Le Nain de Tillemont, finished volume 13 of his Mémoires ecclésiastique, entitled La vie de saint Augustin. The volume consisted of approximately 1200 pages wherein Louis Sébastien gathered from the works of Augustine and elsewhere all extant passages relevant to the biography of Augustine of Hippo. Completed in 1695, the biography was published posthumously in 1700. The work lies in the tradition of Jansenism from Port-Royal and the Leuven. Though an ascetic recluse on the family estate for the last twenty years of his life, he was in touch with important French scholars and the ecclesiastical movements of his time. Louis’ work is the first modern biography of Augustine and the most comprehensive of all Augustinian biographies, even today. Modern authors consult him and frequently adopt his theories without citation. His method exercises influence on contemporary Parisian scholarship on Augustine. This English translation has been divided into three volumes covering three time periods: part 1: birth to episcopal consecraton (354−396); part 2: the Donatist controversy (396−411); part 3: the Pelagian controversy (411−430).

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Dedication ix

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Dedication Geza Valentiny and his siblings took refuge in Austria after his father was executed by the Hungarian Marxists, two years before the official end of World War II. He came to Vienna. He studied theology at the Pazmaneum and Universität Wien. As a theology student he suffered a lung disease— one lung was surgically removed and his recovery lasted two years. Throughout the remainder of his life physical activity exhausted him. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1952. He first served as chaplain in five locales in Niederösterreich. He next spent seventeen years in the healthy air of Vorarlberg in the Austrian Alps. He was pastor of two parishes in Feld- kirch. His wish was to remain there, perhaps as Oberhirt, but the Church decided otherwise. In 1971 he was asked to become the deputy of the Austrian sector of Europäische Hilfsfond of the Austrian and German bishops’ Conferences and director of the Hungarian section. He carried out The Life of Augustine of Hippo x his work during the persecution of Church behind the Iron Curtain. He was occupied there for twenty-five years until retiring from it in 1996. During that time, he was involved with the Hungarian school in Kastl and was Seelsorger for the Hungarian diaspora in Germany and Austria. He was also involved with the Pfadfinders, the Austrian version of the Boy Scouts. During his retirement, if such it may be called, he lived, as he had since 1973, with the Barmherzige...

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