The problem of the „beginning of faith” (initium fidei) was among those which vividly captured the attention of theologians at the beginning of the 5th century, particularly in the wider context of the controversy concerning the relationship between free will and God’s grace in the work of salvation. Generally it is assumed that John Cassian, concerned, on the one hand, to show the Pelagians the necessity of grace and the radical Augustinians, on the other, the need for cooperation with the work of divine grace, failed to avoid errors which would subsequently be referred to as semi-pelagianism. With regard to the „beginning of faith”, his error is supposed to consist in the fact that the salvific initiative could derive from man. This view, however, derives from an over simplification of the thought of the Abbot of St. Victor: not only because most of his comments underline the necessity for grace in order for faith to begin in man (theological argument), but also because even in his rare „semipelagian” affirmations Cassian speaks of scintilla of good will in man, without however calling this the moment of faith strictly understood (philological argument). Above all, however, it is forgotten that for Cassian, who was educated in the spirit of oriental theology, salvation is simultaneously divine and human and lacks any form of „arithmetical” parity between God and man, which would make man an equal partner with God in the work of salvation. For Cassian, everything concerning the primacy of God in salvation is beyond question and human efforts are nothing other than the response expected by the Divine Pedagogue of His pupils as He leads them along the path of salvation, from the initium fidei to its end.