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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 347: Boniface and Darius

Extract

ARTICLE 347

Boniface and Darius

Count Boniface had unfortunately formed an alliance with the Vandals to conserve his temporal fortunes. God was content to execute through his evil will the indictment pronounced by divine justice against Africa. God had mercy on Boniface and gave him the means to repair the damage of his sins to some extent by reconciliation with the empire. Ancient authors do not say how this reconciliation occurred. The African bishops on the voyage from which Augustine asked news from Quoduultdeus may have been sent to deal with this matter.1 It would have apparently taken an important occasion for Alypius at his age to travel to Rome a third time upon which occasion he sent Augustine Julian’s works in 428. Alypius and the others could have been deputized by the African bishops at the news of the Vandals’ arrival in Africa. Surely these bishops were deputized by an African council. Augustine had been at Carthage during that time because of the Leporius affair. Procopius attributed Boniface’s reconciliation to his friends at Rome.2 They thought he was incapable of revolting because of personal ambition and found what he did surprisingly incomprehensible. Some of these friends went to Carthage, expressly at Placidia’s order, to ascertain the reason for his problem. They conferred with Boniface and found Aetius’ letters forcing Boniface to take up arms against his own inclination. They returned promptly to Rome to assure Placidia of the status of things and Boniface’s disposition for...

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