Show Less

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).


Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Preface xiii


Preface In presenting the translation, commentary, and annotation of La vie de saint Augustin written by Louis Sebastián, le Nain de Tillemont, the work has been divided into three parts according to the natural divisions of Augustine’s life. In this second volume, we deal with the years 396–411. This phase of Augustine’s life was productive. Louis gathers together the works, letters and the more important sermons from this period. He dates the writings, gives their background, and renders his historical interpreta- tion. In addition, he presents the annual African councils with a thorough discussion of their dating, participants, and canons. The effects of various councils and their canons are analyzed. Since Louis Sebastián had manu- scripts available to him which are no longer extant, his analysis presents a valuable hermeneutical tool in the interpretation of Augustine’s literary output. Through Louis’ work, Augustine’s life in its many and varied aspects can be more fully appreciated. In the preface to the first volume, we discussed many philosophical issues of translation and interpretation. We refer the reader to this first preface. Though we have continued to learn through the encounter with Louis Sebastián, much of what is written there remains valid. Our philoso- phy of translation and presentation of the text is the same. Since tracking down Louis’ every reference would take us too far afield, we have looked up many, but have left the remaining references as they stand in his text, insofar as we have ascertained and...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.