Part Three: The Pelagian Crisis (411–430)
Article 346: Dioscorus
Augustine submitted to Quoduultdeus’ request,2 especially considering the deacon’s name “what God wishes.” A priest from Fussale was to travel to Carthage. Augustine re-read Quoduultdeus’ first letter, intending to begin a part of this work and send it to him, to show him the difficulty of the task. However Augustine could do nothing because of other occupations which obliged him to interrupt even his response to Julian. These occupations were apparently his refutation of Maximinus and his response to Prosper and Hilary. Augustine is content to recommend the priest of Fussale and his problem to Quoduultdeus. He told Quoduultdeus, after he finished what occupied him and had responded to the five books of Julian, he would begin his work on the list of heresies and continue Retractationes, giving the night to the one and the day to the other, if Julian’s last three books would not arrive previously.
Augustine finished what he had promised and began work on De haeresibus at the end 429 or the beginning 430. He does not follow Quoduultdeus’ idea of placing vis-a-vis each heresy the corresponding orthodox belief. Augustine thought it sufficient to know the belief of the Catholic Church concerning a heresy. As for proving the truth of the Church‘s belief, he judged this to be a task he should not undertake.
Augustine resolved to write a first draft of De haeresibus setting down various heretical sects and their doctrines. He...