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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 264: Council of Mileve (416)



Council of Mileve (416)

A provincial council of Numidia, assembled at Mileve, was aware of what the Council of Carthage had done.1 The conciliar fathers believed they should concur and therefore wrote a letter to Innocent. In this letter they indicated the danger of this heresy which denied the necessity of prayer for adults and of baptism for infants. They asked the pope, if Pelagius’ and Caelestius’ salvation could not be procured by correction, the salvation of others should be protected by their condemnation as heretics. This letter was signed by several bishops2—the address of the decree bore sixty-one names. The most well-known are Silvanus of Somme (Zomme), primate of the province, Valentinus of Vaie (Vaiane), later primate, Aurelius of Macomades, Alypius, Augustine, Severus of Mileve, Fortunatus of Cirrthe, Possidius of Calama, Novatus of Stesa (from another province but assisting at the council) Maurentius of Tubursicu, and Anthony of Fussale.3

The letters of both the Councils of Carthage and Mileve were brought to Rome by an African bishop Julius.4 Innocent replied through him and ordered Aurelius to send Julius back.5 Nothing further is known of this bishop unless he is Julian of Tasvalte indicated as present at the conference of Carthage. However, the latter is from Byzacena.6 Since Julius was obliged to return to Rome, the conciliar fathers took the occasion to give him the letters of the two councils.

Baronius relates to this Council of Mileve eight canons...

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