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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 76: Council of Carthage (418)

Extract

NOTE 761

Council of Carthage (418)

According to David, the council of Carthage where Faustinus first presented himself as Zosimus’ legate in behalf of Apiarius is nothing other than the assembly of deputies remaining at Carthage from the large council of May 1, 418.2 Novatus of Stesan Mauretania apparently assisted there and is not among the number of deputies listed from that province.3 That aside, Faustinus would have had to arrive and been informed beforehand that two deputies, Augustine and Alypius, had traveled to Algeria during September, 418. If that is so, why was the Apiarius affair not terminated in 418 in the four or five months still remaining? It would not have been necessary to re-assemble a large general council of Africa which in any event had been deferred to May, 419. Likely Faustinus arrived at the end of 418 and Aurelius immediately assembled the nearest bishops together with others who had met at Carthage. Since a general council was necessary, it would have taken place after the winter and Easter.4 Easter fell on March 30, 419. Thus the council should be dated in April, but indications are it occurred May 15 or May 20.5 It is difficult to see exactly when the council took place because of a large number of facts. The schism of Eulalius against Pope Boniface may have just taken place. For this reason, African bishops were to be sent to Italy.

David bases himself on the title of...

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