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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 330: Leporius (2)

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ARTICLE 330

Leporius (2)

Leporius was sincerely convinced of his doctrine and promulgated his errors both uiua uoce and by letter.1 His letter was heterodox and caused scandal. Protests were justly made against him. He defended himself, but only succeeded in increasing the scandal. In responding to objections, he fell into new errors. Apparently he held a conference. Cassian may well have been in Provence in 415 and together with other capable Gauls advised Leporius to correct his teaching.2

In this matter human discourse was useless, but divine providence willed to cure Leporius otherwise.3 Through the authority of prelates condemning his errors and punishing his presumption, God struck his proud heart. Out of solicitude and piety, the Gallic bishops wished no long disputes with him lest the evil increase.4 Leporius was banished from Gaul. The bishops condemning him were Proculus, probably bishop of Marseilles, and Quilenius (or Cylinnus), probably a bishop near Marseilles or perhaps bishop of Bellay, where Leporius may have been living. The historians of Ste. Marthe do not mention Cylinnus among the bishops of Bellay except perhaps under the name of Aquilinus who is listed as the eighth bishop in the sixth or seventh century.5 Le Cointe finds nothing more.6 The episcopal see, previously at Nion on Lake Geneva, was transferred to Bellay. Audax was its first bishop in 412 and two other bishops are placed between him and Vincent, bishop in 555. Leporius may have been condemned at Bellay by...

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