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The Life of Augustine of Hippo

Part Three: The Pelagian Crisis (411–430)

Edited By 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 consecration (354–396); part 2: the Donatist controversy (396–411); part 3: the Pelagian controversy (411–430).
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Article 258: Heros and Lazarus



Heros and Lazarus2

According to Zosimus, Heros entered and resigned the episcopacy in a manner similar to Lazarus.3 However in his Chronicon Prosper reports the matter differently.4

Heros, bishop of Arles, was a holy man and disciple of St. Martin. He was exiled by the people of the city though he was innocent and not accused of any fault. They replaced him with Patroclus, friend and confidant of Count Constance, a powerful figure in the empire. By this means the people of Arles claimed to obtain his good graces. This affair caused divisions among the bishops of the province.

(Zosimus’ account is difficult to harmonize with Prosper’s.) Speaking of Heros and Lazarus, Zosimus says: “When they left their sees, land and sea were scoured but no one could be found to bid for their services.” This statement does not harmonize well with a voluntary resignation.5

What is said against these two prelates probably stemmed from Patroclus.6 Pope Zosimus appears well disposed toward him and he was in Rome in September, 417,7 near the time Zosimus wrote against Heros and Lazarus and in favor of Pelagius and Caelestius. History does not speak well of Patroclus; he was capable of deceiving the pope and maintaining false pretensions by camouflage and lies.8

Tiro Prosper can not be accused of prejudice against the Pelagians and their partisans. According to him Patroclus had the temerity to sell prelatures and traffic...

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