Part Three: The Pelagian Crisis (411–430)
Edited By Frederick Van Fleteren
Note 88: Retractationes
De correptione et gratia is the last work which Augustine mentions in Retractationes. Thus he apparently finished both works at almost the same time in mid-427. Nevertheless De correptione et gratia raised a storm of protest among the Gauls apparently before Augustine had published Retractationes.2 This brings us to date the latter work in 428. It is difficult to say Augustine had finished it much earlier since in De doctrina christiana IV he says that it was eight years or more since he was in Algiers in September, 418.3 It would be necessary to place De doctrina christiana IV at the end of 429 at the latest and probably earlier.4 According to Retractationes, De doctrina christiana IV was written before reviewing the books which follow, that is to say nearly all those he had written over the last thirty years he was bishop.5 It is difficult to say he had finished his Retractationes after 428 since the work against Maximinus is not found there which apparently was written in that year. Sigisvultus with whom Maximinus had come had been sent to Africa in 427.6
Baronius alleges Possidius as a witness to Augustine writing his Retractationes a little before the arrival of the Vandals in May, 428.7 However, this dating would not prevent us from believing Augustine had completed Retractationes some months later if necessary. Baronius also objects Retractationes should be dated at the end of Augustine’s life. From what he wrote...