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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 93: Sermo 345

Extract

NOTE 931

Sermo 345

The beginning of Augustine’s Sermo 345 apparently obliges us to say it was preached on Easter Day since we read quia hodie Dominus resurrexit. However, the solemnity of martyrs is also celebrated on this day. Was the sermon preached on Easter Day? Is it not better to delete hodie or to say that the beginning of this piece was taken from another sermon since the words Nos quoque admonet Apostolus are rather poorly connected with what precedes it?

The saints celebrated this day are called in one manuscript Martyres Suburbitae. Sirmond believes the text must be changed to Tuburbitanae.2 According to him, Perpetua and Felicitas are indicated; some scholars think they suffered at Tuburbe. Valois believes Perpetua and Felicitas suffered at Carthage and maintains the martyrs mentioned by Augustine are Maxima, Donatillus, and Secondus, martyred at Tuburbe, July 30 under Valerian.3 To Valois’ reasons may be added that, if there were other martyrs with these martyrs at Tuburbe as was the case with Perpetua, Augustine would probably have indicated them.

The rites of that time differ from our own and permitted joining the feast of saints to Easter, as the feast of Leontius may have been joined in Hippo to the feast of the Ascension.4 The reading Suburbitarum or perhaps the reading Suburitarum, found in the manuscript, should be retained. Ptolemeus places a city named Subur in Tingitane which evidently is the same as Subbar in Caesarean Mauretania.5...

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