Part Three: The Pelagian Crisis (411–430)
Edited By Frederick Van Fleteren
Note 59: Orosius’ Apologia
Several scholars reject the authenticity of Orosius’ Apologia.2 Some historians confuse the conference of Jerusalem which Orosius mentions with the Council of Diospolis which he certainly did not attend. Others find at the end of the Apologia large passages taken verbatim from Augustine’s De natura et gratia which Orosius had never seen.3 But Scot and Vossius remark these passages are not part of Orosius’s original work and have been added later confusedly and haphazardly.4 In manuscripts a notebook of one author placed among the work of another is often found. These additions to the book ordinarily have neither sense nor purpose. If the added passages are removed, all follows well. In addition, in this case these passages have been stricken in later editions.
There is then no reason to doubt the authenticity of this writing. Vossius maintains it. Several capable scholars remark it is written in the same style as Orosius’ Historia.5 The facts reported in Apologia are not contrary to Augustine and are actually authenticated by him. Orosius’ report also serves to clarify Augustine’s remarks.
Some scholars object Pelagius would not have deceived the Council of Diospolis, if his heresy had been discovered previously by Orosius. But condemnation of this heresy was also present in Augustine’s works. Augustine’s works are cited in the memorandum read in the Council of Diospolis and in Jerome’s works. Orosius had written in Latin as a declared adversary of Pelagius. John of...