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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 259: Council of Diospolis

Extract

ARTICLE 259

Council of Diospolis

The precise reason for the presence of Heros and Lazarus in Palestine in 415 is unknown. Discharged of the burden of the episcopacy they may have gone in search of quiet and edification in the holy land. They had risen up strongly against Pelagius. According to Augustine, they were offended by his corrupt teaching.1 Caelestius claimed before Pope Zosimus he had seen Lazarus in passing once.2 According to Caelestius, Heros had excused himself from this meeting since, before Heros had met him, he had bad opinions of Caelestius’ teaching. However they had parted friends.

Heros and Lazarus certainly wrote a memorandum in Latin concerning the errors of which they maintained Pelagius was guilty.3 This memorandum was taken partially from the works of Pelagius and partially from the works of Caelestius. These prelates realized these passages constituted an abridgement of extracts and they had not been able to cite complete passages. To this memorandum the articles for which Caelestius been condemned by the Council of Carthage (411) and what Hilary had sent Augustine from Sicily were joined.4 These two bishops presented themselves to Bishop Eulogius. Augustine places him as the first of fourteen bishops at the Council of Diospolis, even before John of Jerusalem.5 This placement causes Baronius and others to judge that Eulogius was archbishop of Caesarea and metropolitan of Palestine.6 John Chrysostom had initially praised him but later abandoned defense of his cause.

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