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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 56: Demetriada


NOTE 561


Baronius evidently places Demetriada’s consecration to virginity in 411.2 His reason for doing so is his apparent belief God inspired this resolution in Demetriada the first time Augustine wrote of it. However Augustine does not use strong words.3 If Jerome wrote to Demetriada in 413 according to Baronius himself4 or in 414,5 it is not necessary or even likely he had waited two or three years to write about this matter immediately celebrated in the entire world. A date in September or October, 413 is preferable a little after Augustine departed from Carthage, post paululum. He departed on September 14, 413, the day after Marcellinus’ death. ← 434 | 435 →

1     See Art. 245.

2     Baronius 413, §131.

3     Letter 187.

4     Baronius 413, §56.

5     Vita Hieronymi 5, §133.

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