Part Three: The Pelagian Crisis (411–430)
Article 236: Proba in Africa
Proba in Africa
Of all Juliana’s children we know only the illustrious virgin to whom Olybrus gave the name of his great-grandmother Demetriada, an illustrious woman of that family.1 Demetriada the younger was still a child when Pope Anastasius condemned the teachings of Origenism in 401. She was living in Rome with her mother and grandmother when the city was occupied by the Goths in 410 and she herself fell into their hands.2 Demetriada wept with Proba over the virgins forced to leave her house. This gives lie to the claim that her grandmother Demetriada opened the door to the Goths to put an end to the miseries the people were undergoing during the sack of Rome. Scarcely had Proba been freed from the hands of the barbarians when this ordeal gave way to another with the loss of her son Probinus.3 She endured this trial, hard as it was, resolutely as a worthy servant of Christ who had her hopes on the bliss to come. She was to be the grandmother of one of Christ’s virgins.
God tried Proba again in a different way. She left Rome after the Goths had recently set fire to the city. Fearing the return of Alaric, who had gone off to pillage the remainder of Italy, she entrusted both her life and that of her family to a boat. Juliana and her daughter Demetriada were surely among this number as well as several other holy...