Part Three: The Pelagian Crisis (411–430)
Edited By Frederick Van Fleteren
Note 50: Council of Carthage against Caelestius
Council of Carthage against Caelestius
The Council of Carthage (416) reports Caelestius had been condemned by the African church nearly five years previously, ante ferme quinquennium, thus in 411 or the beginning of 412.2 The end of 411 is preferable for the following reasons.
In Letter 139 Augustine writes he had just finished Breuiculus collationis cum Donatistis, Post collationem contra Donatistas, and De peccatorum meritis et remissione et de baptismo paruulorum I-II. He was working on De peccatorum meritis et remissione et de baptismo paruulorum III, and his response to Honoratus (Letter 140, De gratia noui testamenti). All these works were written concurrently. In Retractationes he mentions a letter to the Donatists and says he had treated the same matter in another letter, in quadam rursus ad eosdem epistola, in the name of the Council of Cirthe or Zerte (Letter 141 dated June 14, 412).3 The word rursus indicates it was written after the great work against the Donatists. Both Post collationem and the other works written concurrently must be dated before the June, 412, since these writings, or at least those against the Pelagians, come after the condemnation of Caelestius.4 Thus this condemnation should be dated in 411 and the writings following dated from the beginning of 412, no later than June. ← 425 | 426 →