Part Three: The Pelagian Crisis (411–430)
Edited By Frederick Van Fleteren
Article 245: Orosius (1)
After Augustine wrote of Psalms 67, 71, and 77 in Letter 169, he lists both the works he sent to Jerome through Orosius and the one he addressed to Orosius himself on the Priscillianists. Orosius, named Paul in the remainder of the works from his own pen, lived in that part of Spain bordering the ocean.2 He may have been born in Braga, Portugal since he calls Avitus his fellow citizen and Avitus was a priest in Braga.3 Avitus says he had seen the entire Braga church in the person of Orosius.4 Nevertheless Orosius himself says his hometown is Tarragona on the Mediterranean Sea.5 This may merely mean he was a Spaniard.
No doubt Orosius was ordained a priest before leaving Spain. From the beginning Augustine qualifies him as a priest, even when calling him a young man.6 Orosius grieved seeing his country ravaged by the Vandals, the Alani, and the Suevi from 409 onward.7 Orosius viewed these barbarians with dismay and avoided their weapons only with difficulty. After they had conquered the country, he humbly submitted to their cruelties. He was cautious of their infidelity and in the end escaped their snares.
He was Catholic by communion, pious and zealous by temperament. He lamented seeing the faith under siege in Spain through various errors more than he regretted seeing his country ravaged through barbarian cruelty. Priscillianism was troubling the Spanish Church. Two Spaniards, both named Avitus, went...