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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 75: Quaestiones ad Dulcitium


NOTE 751

Quaestiones ad Dulcitium

According to the printed version of Augustine’s Quaestiones ad Dulcitium the text reads: In quadam epistola quam scripti ad filium meum nomine Mercatorem, qua incipit: Procul dubio notissimum vobis.2 Augustine cites a large piece of text in his own letter which is found in its entirety in Mercator’s. The Benedictines have given us this letter in their new edition from a manuscript from abbey of St. Bertin.3 However this letter begins with Littera dilectionis tua and the words procul dubio notissimum vobis are not found in the Benedictine edition. Mercator does not write to several people but only to one, te, tibi, and so forth. What Augustine cites in his writing to Dulcitius is not found precisely. The Benedictines do not respond to this difficulty and assure us the words qua incipit are not in any manuscript. Augustine is not accustomed to indicate the beginning of pieces which he cites. ← 461 | 462 →

1     See Art. 290.

2     Quaestiones ad Dulcitium 3.

3     Letter 193.

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