Early 5th‐cent. Christian theologian of British or Irish extraction. Pelagius travelled to Rome as a monk c.ad 400 and was deeply disappointed by the lax moral standards there. He preached that strenuous efforts were needed to attain individual salvation. The theologian Augustine was appalled by this insistence on the effectiveness of free will. Pelagius twice suffered excommunication, and where and when he died is unknown. The new sect of Pelagianism was denounced by the Roman ecclesiastical authorities as a heresy, and St Germanus was sent to Britain in 429 to counter its influence in the British church.
Subjects: Classical Studies — British History.