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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 70: Paulinus of Africa and Zosimus

Extract

NOTE 701

Paulinus of Africa and Zosimus

According to Baronius, Paulinus’ request concerning Pelagius to Zosimus occurred in 418.2 In this opinion he is followed by other capable scholars. Doubtless they believe Caelestius’ condemnation by Zosimus of which Paulinus speaks was solemnly pronounced in 418 although that condemnation could have been related to Zosimus’ condemnation of Caelestius’ errors when Paulinus had wished to oblige him to condemn their errors in 417. Ut sedes apostolica qua oportuit ore duorum pontificum haeresim condemnari, ea damnanda praecipit quae a me Celestio fuerant objecta. In Baronius’ opinion, Marcellinus, the courier of the letters to the council of Carthage at the beginning of 418 or later, had made the same trip a second time at the end of the same year to carry Paulinus’ request. Paulinus says he was ordered on November 2 to go to Rome to respond to Caelestius. The year was undoubtedly 417 since the Caelestius’ affair was entirely ended by May, 418. Paulinus responds to this order on November 8. If it were a year other than 417, Zosimus would have surely indicated it. That Paulinus was ordered by the pope to come to Rome, and then waited an entire year to obey without giving a single reason for the delay, is improbable. The Pelagians were condemned solemnly by Zosimus in April or May, 418. It would be odd to wait until November to thank him. ← 452 | 453 →



1     See Art. 277.

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