Show Less
Restricted access

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).
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Note 66: Eusebius’ Letter to Cyril of Alexandria


NOTE 661

Eusebius’ Letter to Cyril of Alexandria

Baronius presents a letter from Eusebius to Cyril of Alexandria which must have been written in 417, before Zosimus had written to Africa in favor of Pelagius and Caelestius.2 This letter contains pertinent facts concerning this era and there is no evidence of a forgery. Noris and Garnier receive this letter as authentic without difficulty.3 Valerianus whom the letter concerns is otherwise unknown. How many persons are known only in one place in history?

However the obscure and inelegant style of the letter causes us to doubt its authenticity. Is not percutienti retinnere in order to say “to respond to a letter,” more worthy of the ninth century than the fifth. Is the same not true of mea paruitas twice repeated in a short letter to make us aware of this repetition. Is in Christo frater so ancient an expression? At the very least this expression appears suitable only to a bishop. According to Baronius, this Eusebius is a priest from Cremona.4 Noris accepts him without difficulty.5 Garnier believes he is a bishop.6 If that were true, although this letter is humble in expression, it may be excessively humble even for a bishop. The letter is free in matters written to Cyril.

As for the facts, Eusebius strongly suggests the church of Alexandria had continuously been in union with Italy. This remark may not be a propos of 417 after the church of Alexandria...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.