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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 86: Leporius (2)


NOTE 861

Leporius (2)

When speaking of the error attributed to Leporius and others by him, Cassian says Leporius was born a short time previously et maxime Belgiarum urbe or as others read ex maxima Veligarum.2 The first could indicate Bellay on the Rhone in Bresse in Latin Belica. That harmonizes well with where Cassian says he had saved Leporius from his errors. Bellay is not far from Provence where Cassian lived. Nevertheless ex maxima apparently fits the text better. If it is the true reading, surely also Belgiarum urbe should be read and should be understood as designating Treve where Leporius could first have learned his errors before he came to Provence. Leporius spread his teachings among the Gauls and so it is not necessary to search for a Velia in Italy or to think of Treve as an ancient name for Rome. Cassian is not an antiquarian and could have dreamed of an unknown city in England. Garnier supposes his birthplace is Treve.3 ← 493 | 494 →

1     See Art. 329.

2     De incarnatione I,2;4.

3     Garnier I,222.

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