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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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Note 51: Letter 148


NOTE 511

Letter 148

Augustine cites Athanasius, Gregory, Ambrose, and Jerome in Letter 148 and mentions he was citing those who had lived before him in the Catholic Church. Thus they were all dead. These facts might oblige us to date this letter after 420 when Jerome died. However, these words should not be taken rigorously. Fortunatianus of Sicca to whom this letter was addressed was present at the Council of Carthage (411).2 Consequently he was the predecessor to Urban who was certainly bishop of Sicca in 416–419. Apparently Urban was also bishop in 413.3 Thus Letter 148 was written no later than 413. ← 426 | 427 →

1     See Art. 228.

2     Breuuiculus collationis cum Donatistis 1.

3     Memoire ecclésiastique V, §230.

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