Prosper, St.

, of Aquitaine, a celebrated, learned and pious writer, in the 5th century, and one of the greatest defenders of the grace of Christ, after St. Augustine, was secretary to St. Leo, and is even supposed by some critics to have been author of the epistle addressed by that pope to Flavian against the Eutychian heresy. Prosper had before zealously defended the books of St. Augustine, to whom he wrote in the year 429, concerning the errors of the SemiPelagians, which had recently appeared in Gaul and after St. Augustine’s death, he continued to support his doctrine, which he did in a candid and argumentative manner. Prosper answered the objections of the priests of Marseilles, refuted the conferences of Cassian, in a book entitled “Contra Collatorem,” and composed several other works, in which he explains the orthodox doctrine, with the skill of an able divine, against the errors of the Pelagians and Semi- Pelagians. Many learned men have asserted, with great appearance of probability, that Prosper was only a layman but others, with very little foundation, suppose him to have been bishop of Reggio in Italy, or rather of Riez in Provence. The time of his death is not ascertained, but he was alive in 463. The best edition of his works is that of Paris, 1711, folio, by M. Mangeant, reprinted at Rome, 1732, 8vo. Prospers poem against the Ungrateful, i. e. against the enemies of the grace of Christ, is particularly admired. M. le Maistre de Sacy has given an elegant translation of it in French verse, 12mo. Our author must be distinguished, however, from another Prosper, who lived about the same time, and went from Africa, his native country, into Italy, to avoid the persecution of the Vandals. This Prosper, called “the African,” was author of a treatise on the Call of the Gentiles, which is esteemed, | and of the “Epistle to the Virgin Demetriade,” in the “Appendix Angustiniana,Antwerp, 1703, fo]. 1


Memoirs of Literature, vol. V. —Cave, vol. I. Blount’s Censura. —Saxii Onomast. Milner’s Ch. Hut. vol. II. p. 543.