Part Three: The Pelagian Crisis (411–430)
Edited By Frederick Van Fleteren
Article 309: Julian of Eclanum (3)
Julian of Eclanum (3)
According to Gennadius, Julian possessed a “lively and ardent spirit,” knowledge of Scripture, and erudition in Greek and Latin letters.1 Julian was proud of his secular learning.2 He was subtle in Aristotelian logic but used it in a churlish and pedantic manner.3 This knowledge inflates instead of being useful, and gave him an air of arrogance rendering him ridiculous.4 Julian’s arrogance appears frequently in his abundance of fiery, inflated, and ineffective phrases. Augustine and others have remarked on his rhetoric.5 Prosper calls him the most pedantic defender of the Pelagian heresy.6 According to Augustine, Julian had more skill in language than understanding;7 in his discourses he speaks pompously over nothing.8 He was a charlatan in disputes and a hypocrite in piety. He used ineffective discourse to satisfy his yen to speak,9 and caused others to see poverty in abundance. In effect had he not written a multitude of useless words, why would he write eight books against Augustine’s mere one?10 “His eloquence was as blind as it was vain.” To make his eloquence apparent he at times contradicts himself.11 This tendency may have caused an attribution of infantile rashness. According to Mercator, to show his rhetoric and knowledge by flowing phrases intended to astonish the ignorant he clearly errs.12 Using an expression of Virgil against an excessive lover of poetry, Augustine calls him a presumptuous and proud young man.13 Prosper attributes to him the swelling of fatted...