Pelagius a very noted ecclesiastical character of the 5th century, whose origin and early history is much obscured, was the exponent of a heretical theory concerning the dogma of original sin (q.v.) and the necessity of divine grace. His contemporaries applied to him the title of Brito, from which it has been concluded that he was a British monk. His real name is said to have been Morgan (Marigena), which was translated into Pelagius; (πελάγιος). About the year 400 he went to Rome, when he began to teach the system of doctrine with which his name is generally associated. The chief events of his history are noticed under the article PELAGIANISM SEE PELAGIANISM (q.v.). The time and circumstances of his death are unknown. He was the author of the following works: Expositionum in Epistolas Pauli libri xic. These commentaries, consisting of brief, simple explanatory notes on all the Epistles of Paul, with the exception of that to the Hebrews, were at first attributed to Gelasius, bishop of Rome; they afterwards found a place among the MSS. of Jerome. They are printed in the Benedictine edition of that father's works, and also in that of Vallarsi. Quotations made from them by Augustine led Marius Mercator and others to the conclusion that they were the work of Pelagius, although they have come down to us in a somewhat mutilated form, as the editors of Jerome's works regarded it as their duty to expunge from them every passage which seemed to them to savor of heresy (see Garnier's ed. of Mercator, App. ad Diss. 6:367): — Epistola ad Demetriadem: a letter addressed to a Roman lady of distinction. Like the other works of Pelagius, this also was assigned to Jerome, and is found in the best editions of his works. Its real authorship was ascertained from the quotations made by Augustine in his De Gratia Christi. It was published separately by Semler in 1775: — Libellus Fidei ad Innocentium Papam. This also had a place among Jerome's works, and its real authorship was only discovered by quotations in Augustine's De Gratia Christi: — Epistola ad Celantiam Matronens de Ratione die vivendi, found among Jerome's correspondence, numbered 148, in Vallarsi's ed. of his works. Erasmus assigned it to Paulinus of Nola, and Vallarsi to Sulpicius Severus; but Semler has shown from its style and tone that it was the work of Pelagius. The following fragments of works are also found: Εὐλογιῶν Liber, designated by Gennadius as Eulogiarum pro actuali conversatione ex divinis scripturis Liber; by Honorius as Pro actuali vita Liber. It was a collection of Scripture texts, arranged and illustrated after the manner of the Testimonia of Cyprian (see Jerome, Dialog. advers. Pelag. lib. i; Augustine, C. duas Pelagianorulm, op. 4:8; De Gestis Pelagii, comp. Garnier, Ad M. Mercat. Append. ad Diss. vi): — De natura Liber, to which Augustine's De natura et Gratia was a reply: — Liber ad viduam consolatorius atque exhortatorius (see Jerome, Dialog. adv. Pelag. lib. iii; Augustine, De Gestis Pelag. c. 6): — Epistola ad Augustinum (see De Gestis Pelag. c. 26): — Epistola ad Augustinum secunda (see De Gestis Pelag. c. 30). See Augustinus, De Gest. Pelag. ch. 30; Voss, Hist. Controv. Pelag. (Lug. 1618); Tillemont, Memoires Ecclesiast.; Schrockh, Kirchengeschichte, vol. 2; and the literature quoted in the art. PELAGIANISM SEE PELAGIANISM .

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