'Praedestinatus' or 'Praedestinatorum Haeresis'


Among the manuscripts of St. Augustine is found a work with the above title, in three volumes. Its author is unknown, although various candidates have been proposed at one time or another, including Arnobius the Younger.

Book 1 is a catalogue of 90 heresies, mostly copied direct from Augustine but with snippets of personal and Roman information, suggesting it may have been written in Rome.  Book 2 is a treatise that the author says is circulating under Augustine's name, advocating ultra-augustinian views on Predestination.  Book 3 is a refutation of these views, and although it includes attacks on Pelagianism, it has been accused of also attacking Augustine's views on Grace from a Semi-Pelagian position, associated with Julian of Eclanum. However see also Tabbernee, Montanist Inscriptions, for a sceptical view on all these statements. Barnes tells us (p258) that chapter 86 is partly based on the De haeresibus of St. Augustine, and that the book dates to around 435 AD.

There are references to Tertullian, and to the Tertullianists in book I, and these are reproduced below, from the Patrologia Latina. As far as I am aware, there is no edition of this work in English.

It is possible that there are fragments from the lost works of Tertullian in these chapters. This is discussed more fully on the fragments page.

Here are the relevant chapters:

XXVI. Vicesima et sexta haeresis Cataphryges orti sunt, qui hoc nomen a provincia, non a dogmate assumpserunt; quorum auctores fuerunt Montanus, Prisca et Maximilla.

Hi itaque adventum Spiritus sancti a Domino promissum in se potius quam in apostolis fuisse asserunt redditum. Secundas nuptias pro fornicationibus habent, et ideo dicunt eas permisisse apostolum Paulum, quia ex parte sciebat, et ex parte prophetabat. Nondum enim venerat quod perfectum est. Hoc autem perfectum in Montanum et in ejus prophetissas quas supra diximus, venisse delirant.

Hactenus dixerim de Cataphrygis. Caetera quae dicuntur quasi incerta praetereo. De infantis sanguine eos accipere, quod ideo dicimus, ne videamur ignorare omnia quae de eis dicuntur: hi enim qui contra eos scripserunt nihil hinc penitus memorarunt.

Scripsit contra eos librum sanctus Soter papa Urbis, et Apollonius Ephesiorum antistes. Contra quos scripsit Tertullianus presbyter Carthaginiensis. Qui cum omnia bene et prime et incomparabiliter scripserit, in hoc solum se reprehensibilem fecit, quod Montanum defendit, agens contra Soterem supra dictum Urbis papam, asserens falsa esse de sanguine infantis, Trinitatem in unitate Deitatis, poenitentiam lapsis, mysteriis eisdem unum pascha nobiscum.

Hoc solum discrepamus, inquit, quod secundas nuptias non recipimus, et prophetiam Montani de futuro judicio non recusamus.

Objiciunt quidam Tertulliano, quod animam ex traduce, id est animam dixerit ita gigni ex anima, sicut ex corporibus corpus; quod catholica fides vehementer exsecratur.

26. The Cataphrygians came into being as the 26th heresy, and take their name from the province they came from, not from their dogma. The authors were Montanus, Prisca and Maximilla.

They therefore claim the arrival of the holy spirit promised by the Lord to be in themselves rather than in the apostles. They consider second marriages to be fornication, and say the apostle Paul permitted them for the reason that he knew only in part and prophesied only in part. For that which is perfect had not yet come. But this perfection they idiotically say has arrived in Montanus and in his prophetesses who we have spoken of earlier.

Up to this point I have spoken about the Cataphrygians. I pass over other things which are said as if they are uncertain. We only mention talk about drinking infants' blood, lest we seem to be ignorant of all which is said about them. For those who have written in detail against them mention nothing about this.

Holy Soter, Pope of the City, wrote against them a book, as did the master, Apollonius of Ephesus. Against these wrote the priest Tertullian of Carthage. Who in all ways wrote well, wrote first and wrote incomparably, in this alone did reprehensibly, that he defended Montanus, acting against the command of Pope Soter of Rome as mentioned earlier, asserting the talk of infants' blood to be false, asserting one God in trinity, the penitence for the lapsed, one Easter with the same ceremonies as ours.

"By this alone we differ," he said, "that we do not admit second marriages, and we do not reject the prophecy of Montanus on the future judgement"

Some hold against Tertullian that he says that the soul comes from sex ,that is he says the soul is begotten from the soul, just as the body from bodies; which is vehemently execrated by the Catholic faith.

XXVII. Vicesima septima haeresis Pepuzianorum, qui a loco quodam nominati sunt. Quam desertam civitatem dicit Epiphanius: hanc autem isti divinum aliquid esse arbitrantes, Hierusalem vocant.

Tantum dantes mulieribus principatum, ut sacerdotio quoque apud eos honorentur.

Dicunt enim duas ecclesias, Quintillae et Priscillae, in eadem civitate Pepuza. Unum sunt cum Cataphrygis. Contemptui autem eos habent, quod se isti Pepuziani caeteris aestiment meliores.

Dicunt enim hanc Pepuzam villam fuisse Montani, Priscae et Maximillae, et quia ibi coeperunt praedicare et ibi vixerunt, ideo locum appellarunt Hierusalem. Et quia habitatores loci sunt. ideo caeteris se esse meliores ascribunt.

Hos Apollonius superavit Ephesiorum episcopus.

27. The 27th heresy is of the Pepuzians, who are named after a certain place. Epiphanius says it is a deserted town: but they call it Jerusalem, believing it to be something divine.

They are even giving leadership to women, so that among them these are honoured also like a priest.

For they say there are two churches, of Quintilla and of Priscilla, in the same city of Pepuza. They are one with the Cataphrygians. But they despise them, as the Pepuzians estimate themselves better than the rest.

For they say Pepuza was the villa of Montanus, Prisca and Maximilla, and they began to proclaim there and passed their lives there, and therefore call the place Jerusalem. And since they live there, they call themselves better than the rest.

Apollonius, Bishop of Ephesus, overcame them.

LX. [...]

His Tertullianus uehementer occurrit, ostendens Dei Filium impassibilem esse et ista diuinitati non iniuriam sed laudem adferre : Sicut rex qui uolens anulum aureum cum gemma de cloaca lettare, induit se seruilem tunicam et sic descendit ad cloacam, ut stercoreas iniurias tunica illa suscipiat. et mittens manum et anulum aureum cum gemma eripiens, aqua abluit et digito suo regali induit, posteaquam inde ascenderit. Ita procul dubio Dei Filius formam serui suscipiens, uenit non solum ad inferos caelorum, ubi nos sumus, qui uidemur uiuere in mundo, sed etiam ad inferos inferiores, qui tanto a nobis sunt profundius, quanto nos sumus caelo, et ut inde humanum genus eriperet, cunctarum sordium, non suarum sed nostrarum, est squalorem perpessus. Pro uiuentibus sic uixit sicut nos qui uiuimus, nihil aliud distans nisi hoc quod immaculatam uitam exercuit, habens intra se Deum ; pro mortuis sic mortuus, nihil distans nisi hoc, quod tertia die resurrexit a mortuis ; et quod propterea sic descendit, ut sanctos inde erueret et mortis principem religaret. Quod autem anulum aureum cum gemma posuit, hoc in sequenti lectione edocuit, quod anulum corpus posuerit, gemma uero inclusam esse animam declarauit. Hunc ergo anulum de stercoribus antiquis et de cloaca huius mundi Christus eleuans ac baptismatis unda perfundens, ab omni squalore abluens, in suis fecit sanctis manibus radiare. Siquidem ita legitur : Iustorum autem animae in manu Dei sunt ; et iterum : Pone me sicut anulum in manu tua ; et : In manus tuas commendo spiritum meum. Et infinita sunt his similia in sacris apicibus, quae nos causa breuitatis omittentes...

60. [...]

Tertullian vehemently opposes these persons [i.e. the Proclianists], showing that the Son of God was incapable of suffering and that, to divinity, those things bring not damage but praise; As a king who wants to pick a gold ring with a jewel out of a sewer, puts on the tunic of a servant and thus goes down into the sewer, to intercept the damage of ordure with that tunic, and putting out his hand and snatching up the gold ring with the jewel, washes it clean with water and puts it on his royal finger after he has come up from there. So beyond doubt the Son of God taking the form of a servant, came not only to those below the heavens, where we are who seem to live in the world, but also to the lower depths, which by the same distance are deeper than us, as we are than heaven, and that thence he would pluck out the human race endured the filth of all dirtinesses, not his but ours. For the sake of the living he lived like us who live, differing in no respect except this, that he conducted his life without fault, having God within him; for the sake of the dead he died, differing in no respect except this, that on the third day he rose again from the dead; and that the reason he so went down was, that he might dig up the saints from there and bind the prince of death. But that he put on [?] the gold ring with the jewel, [should this not be gemmam?] he explained that in the following reading, that in the ring, he put on the body, but he stated that the jewel set in it was the soul. Therefore Christ raising up this ring from the ancient ordures and from the sewer of this world and pouring over it the water of baptism, washing it clean of all dirt, made it shine upon his own sacred hands. For we read as follows: The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God; and again; Place me as a ring upon your hand; and; Into your hands I commend my spirit. And there are infinite things like these in the sacred literature which we omit for the sake of brevity..."

(Translated by Robert Stonehouse in humanities.classics - thank you)

LXXXVI. Tertullianistas olim a Sotere papa Romano damnatos legimus. Cur autem octogesimam et sextam eos haeresem dicamus arripuisse, haec causa est, quod quaedam Octaviana veniens ex Africa, cujus vir, Hesperius nomine, videbatur duci Arbogasti valde conjunctus, qui etiam apud Maximum tyrannum multum potuit, haec Octaviana adduxit secum quemdam tergiversatorem versutumque daemonem, cui vix centum occurrent verbo sancti atque in hominem confidenti.

Hic cum se presbyterum diceret Tertullianistam, meruit per sacrum scriptum ut sibi collegium extra muros Urbis fabricaret.

Quod dum impetrasset a tyranno Maximo, sanctorum nostrorum exclusit locum, id est duorum fratrum Processi et Martiniani, dicens eos Phryges fuisse, et ideo hanc legem tenuisse, quam Tertullianus: atque hoc ordine per occasionem martyrum Dei populum seducebat.

Deo autem Theodosio religioso Augusto dante victoriam, punitoque satellite Maximi de cujus se Tertullianista potestate jactabat, statim fugit cum matrona quae venerat, nec viventis nec mortui rumore renovato.

Martyrum suorum Deus excubias catholicae festivitati restituit.

Tertullianus autem fuit civis et presbyter Carthaginiensis: opuscula eloquentissima et ferventia in defensione edidit veritatis.

Hic apud Carthaginem basilicam habuit, ubi populi ad eum conveniebant. Quae basilica usque ad Aurelium episcopum fuit. Agente enim Augustino Hipponensi episcopo, et rationabiliter cum eis disputante, conversi sunt, Ecclesiamque suam sanctae Ecclesiae contulerunt.

Tertullianum autem catholica hinc reprehendit auctoritas, quod animam ex anima nasci dicit, et defendit Montanum, et Priscam, et Maximillam contra fidem catholicam, et contra Apollonium episcopum Orientis, et contra Soterem papam urbis Romae, ut supra diximus, dum Cataphryges haereticos detegeremus: a quibus postea divisus, ne plebs Montani nomen Tertulliani videretur excludere, fundit a se omnem Phrygiae vanitatem et Tertullianistarum conventicula propagavit: nihil tamen in fide mutavit.

Nam et secundas nuptias condemnat, ut diximus, animam ex traduce venire asserit, et nos catholicos Psychicos titulat. Ubicunque autem legeris Tertulliani adversum Psychicos, scias eum contra catholicos agere.

86. We read that the Tertullianists were condemned at some time by the Roman Pope Soter. The reason why we've dealt with them as but the 86th heresy, is this. A certain Octaviana came from Africa, whose husband, named Hesperius, was seen to be very friendly with Lord Arbogast,and who also was close to the powerful usurper Maximus. This Octaviana brought with her a plausible and crafty spirit, whom 100 quotations from the saints could scarcely counteract, and she trusted in this man.

Here when he said that he was a Tertullianist minister, using the holy scripture he obtained permission to build for himself a college outside the walls of the city.

Which while he was secure because of the tyrant Maximus, he shut us out of the place of our holy ones, that is of the two brothers Processus and Martianus, saying they had been Montanists, and that therefore this was lawful for him, as a follower of Tertullian: and in this way he led astray the people during Easter.

But with God giving victory to the religious emperor Theodosius, and with punishment for the satellite of Maximus, with whose overthrow the Tertullianist was shaken(?), at once he fled with the matron with whom he had come, and nothing was heard even in rumour whether he was alive or dead.

God restored the joyful catholic festivities of his martyrs.

This Tertullian was a citizen and priest of Carthage: he wrote very eloquent and fervent works in defense of the truth.

He had a basilica in Carthage, where the people gathered to him, used continuously until Bishop Aurelius. By the agency of Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, discussing reasonably with them, they were converted, and brought his church into the holy church.

However the authority of the Catholic church censures Tertullian who said that soul is begotten from soul, and defended Montanus, and Prisca, and Maximilla, against the catholic faith, and against Apollonius the eastern bishop, and against Pope Soter of Rome, as we said earlier, when we covered the Cataphrygian heretics: from whom he was later divided, lest the ordinary Montanist should see the name of Tertullian to be excluded, he threw off every vanity of the Phrygians and set up his own congregations of Tertullianists: but however he changed nothing in matters of faith.

He condemned second marriages, as we said, asserted that the soul is generated by the parents, and entitled us catholics 'psychics' (fleshly). So wherever you read in Tertullian 'Against the Psychics', you should know him to write against the Catholics.

The text is that of Migne, although I did not notice at a quick glance any notable differences in Gori.  The crude English translation is by me.(RP). Words I couldn't understand are bracketted []. But the general gist is plain enough.

The usurper Magnus Maximus was from Britain, declared himself in 383 and conquered Gaul and Spain, but was defeated and killed in 388AD at the battle of Aqueila.


The manuscripts are listed in Gori, with references to catalogues and described.  This list is abbreviated from that.

A stemma is given in GORI, analysing the relationships.  None of them are copies; all descend from now lost exemplars.  Sirmon printed from R, but there is a praefatio to the work which is not in this MS, giving details of sources used by the author.  D is related to it; while A, C and L are related.  C2 had access to a text related to A.  A alone contained capitula - chapter headings - which are included in GORI, who ascribes them to Reginbert.

Sirmond also assimilated the text to what he believed to be that of Augustine's De Haeresibus.


GORI has some more, but these are the main ones.

Editio princeps: The text was first printed by J.SIRMOND in 1643 and 1644. This does not discuss the manuscripts or origins of the text at all. (Checked).  Gori(below) says that it was printed from the Codex Remensis.

MIGNE, J-P. (ed.), Patrologia Latina, vol 53, col. 587.ff. This reprints the text of Sirmond.  (Checked)

Praedestinatus is discussed in H. von SCHUBERT, "Der sogenante Praedestinatus, ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Pelagianismus", TU 24,4, Leipzig, 1903 (in the British Library, but not checked). (TU ref from GORI).

See also A. FAURE, "Die Widerlegung der Häretiker im I. Buch des Prædestinatus", Leipzig, 1903.  (Not checked)

It is also discussed in the article on Predestinarianism in the Catholic Encyclopedia, on the net at  http://www.knight.org/advent/cathen/12376b.htm. Checked

AMANN, È., Praedestinatus, DThC 12, 2(1935), 2776-80.(Details from GORI) Not checked.

ABEL, M., Le 'Praedestinatus' et le pélagianisme, Recherches de théol. et méd. 35 (1968), pp.5-25 (Details from GORI) Not checked.

TABBERNEE, W., "Polluted sacraments: Augustine's denunciation of Montanist eucharistic meals". This includes discussion of Praedestinatus. Checked

GORI, Franco (ed.), Il Praedestinatus di Arnobio il Giovane. L'eresiologia contro l'Agostinismo, Studia Ephemeridis Augustinianum 65, Roma 1999. 145 p. ; 24 cm. ISBN 88-7961-032-5. Price L. 35.000 (i.e. about £11). Published by the Institutum patristicum Augustinianum ("http://www.aug.org/publicazioni/augustinianum.htm"), from which most of these details, and from which it can be ordered. The first critical edition. Includes analysis of the manuscripts. (Not checked).

GORI, F. (ed), Arnobius Iunior: Praedestinatus, Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 25 B, Brepols (2001), 170 p., 155 x 245 mm. HB: ISBN 2-503-00255-2 , ± 70 EUR; PB: ISBN 2-503-00256-0 , ± 57 EUR , ± 2280 BEF. (Details from Brepols online catalogue).  Edited by F. Gori, and attributed to Arnobius the Younger, this is the first critical edition to appear (the CSEL edition reprinted Sirmond) and reviews the MSS and supplies a stemma.  All in Latin. (Details from Brepols October 2000 newsletter).(Checked).

This page has been online since 11th December 1999.

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