Part Three: The Pelagian Crisis (411–430)
Edited By Frederick Van Fleteren
Article 311: Contra Iulianum
Alypius carried Contra duas epistolas Pelagianorum addressed to Boniface and De nuptiis et concupiscentia II addressed to Valerius to Italy1 at either the end of 420 or the beginning of 421. Augustine’s desire for a prompt refutation of Julian’s abstract indicates he did not delay in sending Valerius his refutation.
The manner in which Pelagians picture Alypius’ trip indicates it was undertaken against them.2 Emperor Constance was pursuing the Pelagians. According to Julian, Augustine had arranged women and valets for Alypius.3 Alypius had brought eighty horses which had grazed on African soil for the imperial tribunes and officers. By their fear, Catholics witness mistrust of their cause. Not daring to declare their faith, Catholics poured out their adversaries’ blood and fought their opponents by destroying their power by making extravagant presents to important officials, by giving these officials lands and inheritances of aristocratic ladies, by sending with Alypius flocks of horses fed in Africa at a cost to the poor for Roman captains and colonels, by fomenting popular factions in Italy, and by awakening sedition in Rome through bribes. The Catholics had dishonored the reign of a pious prince by a scandalous persecution.
Augustine responds that Julian is either lying or rash.4 If he invented these stories himself he is evil; if he believed them on the authority of others, he is imprudent. No greater impudence can exist than lying in a book which...
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