Pelagius, “Supreme Dimwit”?

If you think Martin Luther possessed the muse of smack talk, it may have been passed down to him from Jerome (whom, ironically, Luther didn’t particularly care for as a theologian). Here are a few excerpts from Jerome’s preface to his commentary on Jeremiah, written between 417 and 419 AD, in which he obliquely refers to Pelagius:

[My critics] suppose that they know something if they are able to disparage another man’s work, like the ignorant calumniator who recently burst onto the scene, who thought my commentary on Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians needed refuting. Nor does he understand, snoring with unbridled idiocy like he does, how commentaries work…

Nor does the supreme dimwit, loaded down with Scottish porridge,* keep in mind what we said in that same work…

* A reference to Pelagius’ portliness. (“Scottish” may have meant Irish at the time.)

Patrologia Latina 24:706-708

Luther’s Works (American Edition) 54:72, no. 445