380 - 399 A.D.


(Feature Photo: Painting of St. Jerome translating the Bible into the Latin Vulgate in the 380's by the artist Caravaggio in the year 1606; Credit: Wikimedia Commons)



Pelagius (a Celtic Christian who will go on to write a treatise on Free Will and be accused of heresy by St. Jerome and St. Augustine) arrives in Rome and is distressed by the moral laxity of moral standards which he found among the Christians there; He blames this squarely on the doctrine expounded in the writings of St. Augustine of Hippo (not considered a saint yet), which maintains that everything is preordained and that Man is polluted and sinful because he takes on the original sin of Adam; Further, he believes that God has already ordained this therefore Man had no free will in the matter (The Druids, pg. 181)



Jerome is commissioned by Pope Damasus I to translate the old Roman Latin version of the Bible, the Vetus Latina, into Latin, this translation is called the Vulgate (it was confirmed as the Catholic Church’s official Latin translation at the Council of Trent 1545-1563), Jerome will spend 30 years translating inside the cave where (traditionally) Jesus was born (the Church of the Nativity is already built over it)



Roman Emperor Theodosius I “in his zeal to wipe out all vestiges of paganism, issued a decree in 391 sanctioning the demolition of temples in Alexandria. Empowered by the imperial decree, Theophilos, bishop of Alexandria, led an attack on the Serapeum (temple of Serapis), and he himself gave the first blow to the cult statue of Serapis. His frenzied followers ran amok in the temple, destroying and plundering. When the destruction was complete, Theophilus ordered a church to be built on the site.” (Encyclopedia Britannica) 

(Photo: Bust of Serapis in marble, a Roman copy of a Greek original that was originally housed in the Serapeum in Alexandria, Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Jastrow)



In the late fourth, early fifth century AD, the "Celtic Christian Theologian Pelagius, of who Victricius (bishop of Rouen) so strongly disapproved, was eventually declared a heretic after his conflict with Augustine of Hippo. Pelagius was accused of attempting to revive Druidic philosophy on Nature and Free Will. Pelagius' argument was that human beings had free will, while Augustine believed in predestination." (The Druids, Pg. 19)