Augustine of Hippo is regarded as one of the most important figures in the development of Western Christianity.
Context Only four of his seventy-five years were spent outside Northern Africa, and fifty-seven of the remaining seventy-one were in such relatively out of the way places as Thagaste and Hippo Regius, both belonging to Roman provinces, neither notable for either cultural or commercial prominence.
However, the few years Augustine spent away from Northern Africa exerted an incalculable influence upon his thought, and his geographical distance from the major intellectual and political capitals of the Later Roman Empire should not obscure the tremendous influence he came to exert even in his own lifetime.
Here, as elsewhere, one is confronted by a figure both strikingly liminal and, at times, intriguingly ambivalent. He was, as already noted, a long time resident and, eventually, Bishop in Northern Africa whose thought was transformed and redirected during the four brief years he spent in Rome and Milan, far away from the provincial context where he was born and died and spent almost all of the years in between; he was a man who tells us that he never thought of himself as not being in some sense a Christian [Confessions III.
Perhaps most striking of all, Augustine bequeathed to the Latin West a voluminous body of work that contains at its chronological extremes two quite dissimilar portraits of the human condition.
In the beginning, there is a largely Hellenistic portrait, one that is notable for the optimism that a sufficiently rational and disciplined life can safely escape the ever-threatening circumstantial adversity that seems to surround us.
Nearer the end, however, there emerges a considerably grimmer portrait, one that emphasizes the impotence of the unaided human will, and the later Augustine presents a moral landscape populated largely by the massa damnata [De Civitate Dei XXI.
The sheer quantity of the writing that unites these two extremes, much of which survives, is truly staggering. There are well over titles [listed at Fitzgeraldpp. It is arguably impossible to construct any moderate sized and manageable list of his major philosophical works that would not occasion some controversy in terms of what is omitted, but surely any list would have to include Contra Academicos [Against the Academicians, — C.
Born in C. He subsequently taught rhetoric in Thagaste and Carthage, and in he made the risk-laden journey from Northern Africa to Rome, seeking the better sort of students that was rumored to be there.
Disappointed by the moral quality of those students academically superior to his previous students, they nonetheless had an annoying tendency to disappear without paying their feeshe successfully applied for a professorship of rhetoric in Milan. Augustine's professional ambitions pointed in the direction of an arranged marriage, and this in turn entailed a separation from his long-time companion and mother of his son.
After this separation, however, Augustine abruptly resigned his professorship in claiming ill health, renounced his professional ambitions, and was baptized by Bishop Ambrose of Milan on Easter Sunday,after spending four months at Cassiciacum where he composed his earliest extant works.
Shortly thereafter, Augustine began his return to Northern Africa, but not before his mother died at Ostia, a seaport outside Rome, while awaiting the voyage across the Mediterranean. Not too long after this, Augustine, now back in Thagaste, also lost his son The remainder of his years would be spent immersed in the affairs and controversies of the Church into which he had been recently baptized, a Church that henceforth provided for Augustine the crucial nexus of relations that his family and friends had once been.
InAugustine was reluctantly ordained as a priest by the congregation of Hippo Regius a not uncommon practice in Northern Africain he was made Bishop, and he died August in Hippo, thirty-five years later, as the Vandals were besieging the gates of the city. However, when Augustine himself recounts his first thirty-two years in his Confessions, he makes clear that many of the decisive events of his early life were, to use his own imagery, of a considerably more internal nature than the relatively external facts cited above.
From his own account, he was a precocious and able student, much enamored of the Latin classics, Virgil in particular [Confessions I. However, at age nineteen, he happened upon Cicero's Hortensius, now lost except for fragments [see Straume-Zimmermann ], and he found himself suddenly imbued with a passion for philosophy [Confessions III.
It is clear from his account of Cicero's effect upon him that his passion was not for philosophy as often understood today, i. For Augustine, the problem was of a more general and visceral sort:Augustine and his Thoughts on God Saint Augustine of Hippo 2/23/ Gloria M.
Daniel St Leo University “And men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty waves of the sea, the broad tides of rivers, the compass of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars, yet pass over the mystery of themselves without a thought.”.
Commencing with the invocation of God, Augustine relates in detail the beginning of his life, his infancy and boyhood, up to his fifteenth year; at which age he acknowledges that he was more inclined to all youthful pleasures and vices than to the study of letters. City of God (Image Classics) [St.
Augustine] on iridis-photo-restoration.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. No book except the Bible itself had a greater influence on the Middle Ages than City of God. Since medieval Europe . One afternoon in his garden Augustine was wrestling with his thoughts when suddenly he heard what sounded like a child’s voice repeating the words, “take and read, take and read.” When Augustine looked over the fence, however, no one was there.
Augustine: Political and Social Philosophy. St. Augustine ( C.E.), originally named Aurelius Augustinus, was the Catholic bishop of Hippo in northern Africa. Original sin, also called ancestral sin, is a Christian belief of the state of sin in which humanity exists since the fall of man, stemming from Adam and Eve's rebellion in Eden, namely the sin of disobedience in consuming the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
This condition has been characterized in many ways, .