Part Three: The Pelagian Crisis (411–430)
Edited By Frederick Van Fleteren
Note 94: Sermo 298 (Appendix)
Sermo 298 (Appendix)
Sermo 3 de tempore, which the Benedictines have placed as Sermo 298 in the appendix to Augustine’s sermons, was certainly preached at a time and place where the barbarians had destroyed the land2 but in a city not yet delivered over to the barbarians. Many illustrious cities and indeed entire provinces had already been ruined. Up to this point it can be believed this sermon was preached by Augustine during the siege of Hippo, as Baronius wishes.3
The city was besieged by a death-rate so great that those living scarcely sufficed to bury the dead.4 Possidius does not mention the death-rate in Hippo, still less that the siege already reported had taken place during Augustine’s lifetime. Possidius dates the siege later and Augustine died during the course of the siege. Possidius apparently wished to say Hippo had not yet suffered the misfortunes of war when the Vandals were conducting the siege during which Augustine died, ad eandem urbem adhuc in suo statu consistentem.5
Thus, this sermon must have been preached at Carthage or Cirta rather than Hippo. Since the final siege of Hippo happened after Augustine’s death, the sermon was preached at the earliest circa August, 431 or Lent, 432. The title of the sermon in the Leuven edition indicates it was preached the Thursday after Passion Sunday. The citizens may have already abandoned the city to the Vandals. The city where this sermon was preached was...