Book Ten

10.1.1 - 10.5.7
  • Introduction
  • 10.6.8 - 10.27.38
  • The Search for God in Memory (For details see below)
  • 10.28.39 - 10.43.70
  • temptatio est vita humana super terram
  • 10.30.41 - 10.34.53
  • concupiscentia carnis
  • 10.30.41 - 10.30.42
  • Sense of Touch
  • 10.31.43 - 10.31.47
  • Sense of Taste
  • 10.32.48
  • Sense of Smell
  • 10.33.49 - 10.33.50
  • Sense of Hearing
  • 10.34.51 - 10.34.53
  • Sense of Sight
  • 10.35.54 - 10.35.57
  • concupiscentia oculorum
  • 10.36.58 - 10.39.64
  • ambitio saeculi
  • 10.40.65 - 10.41.66
  • The Search for God: Memory and Temptation
  • 10.42.67 - 10.43.70
  • verax mediator
  • If conf. were merely the story of A.'s ascent to God, the work could well end with 10.27.38;1 that it does not is a sign that the work is more ambiguously constructed, reflecting the continuing search for God and the continuing failure of that search to achieve perfect fruition. The themes of the two halves of this book (parr. 1-38, 39-70) were already linked at mus. 6.14.48, `quamobrem neque in voluptate carnali [i.e., concupiscentia carnis], neque in honoribus et laudibus hominum [i.e., ambitio saeculi], neque in eorum exploratione quae forinsecus corpus attingunt [i.e., concupiscentia oculorum] nostra gaudia conlocemus, habentes in intimo deum [cf. 10.20.29], ubi certum est et incommutabile omne quod amamus.' For temptation as the threat to mysticism, see Gn. litt. 12.26.54, `una ibi et tota virtus est amare quod videas et summa felicitas habere quod amas. ibi enim beata vita in fonte suo bibitur, unde aspergitur [see on 9.10.23] aliquid huic humanae vitae, ut in temptationibus huius saeculi temperanter, fortiter, iuste prudenterque vivatur. propter illud quippe adipiscendum, ubi secura quies erit et ineffabilis visio veritatis, labor suscipitur et continendi a voluptate et sustinendi adversitates et subveniendi indigentibus et resistendi decipientibus.' 2 (When temptation is sent by God--the temptations of this book are at least partly to be seen that way--they are a vehicle of self-knowledge: s. 2.2.2, `sic ergo ignarus est deus rerum, sic nescius cordis humani, ut temptando hominem inveniat? absit: sed ut ipse homo se inveniat.')

    The first half of Bk. 10 renews the ascent theme (see prolegomena).3 What A. learned to do at Ostia he now does, in writing this text. This is no longer an account of something that happened somewhere else some time ago; the text itself becomes the ascent.4 The text no longer narrates mystical experience, it becomes itself a mystical experience (for A.; it will further become in Bks. 11-13 a mystical experience for the reader as well). The failure to make the adjustment has led to serious failures to see the purport of this and the later books of conf.5

    The proof of these assertions lies in the close parallels between the structure and contents of the first half of Bk. 10 to the structure and contents of the Ostia vision (9.10.23-25). The main correspondences are shown here, while others are noted in the commentary.6
    9.10.23praeterita obliviscentesA. now in Bk. 10 turns his back on the past represented by Bks. 1-9 . . .
    in ea quae ante sunt extenti. . . turning to the rest of his life, the future.
    9.10.24, perambulavimus gradatim cuncta corporalia et ipsum caelum10.6.9, interrogavi terram . . .
    ascendebamus interius10.6.9, melius quod interius . . . homo interior
    venimus in mentes nostras et transcendimus eas10.8.12, transibo ergo et istam naturae meae, gradibus ascendens ad eum qui fecit me, et venio in campos et lata praetoria memoriae.
    ut attingeremus regionem ubertatis indeficientis10.17.26, volens te attingere, unde attingi potes
    primitias spiritusa state represented by 10.27.38?
    et remeavimus ad strepitum oris nostri10.40.65, sed recido in haec aerumnosis ponderibus et resorbeor solitis et teneor
    9.10.25, quoniam si quis audiat, dicunt haec omnia non ipsa nos fecimus, sed fecit nos qui manet in aeternum10.6.9, non sumus deus et ipse fecit nos
    quem in his amamus10.6.8, hoc est quod amo, cum deum meum amo
    subtrahantur aliae visiones longe imparis generis10.6.8, `non candorem lucis ecce istum amicum oculis . . . amo, cum amo deum meum'
    recondat in interiora gaudia spectatorem suum10.40.65, `aliquando intromittis me in affectum multum inusitatum introrsus ad nescio quam dulcedinem'
    si continuetur hoc . . . et haec una rapiat et absorbeat et recondat . . . ut talis sit sempiterna vita, . . . nonne hoc est: `intra in gaudium domini tui'?10.40.65, `quae si perficiatur in me, nescio quid erit quod vita ista non erit.'

    In the last year of his life, A. transmitted a copy of conf. to a friend, accompanied by remarks that show the opening pages of Bk. 10 firmly in mind: ep. 231.6 (in 429, to Darius), `sume, inquam, etiam libros quos desiderasti confessionum mearum: ibi me inspice, ne me laudes ultra quam sum; ibi non aliis de me crede sed mihi; ibi me attende, et vide quid fuerim [10.4.6] in me ipso per me ipsum. et si quid in me tibi placuerit, lauda ibi mecum quem laudari volui de me, neque enim me, quoniam ipse fecit nos, et non ipsi nos [10.6.9]; nos autem perdideramus nos, sed qui fecit, refecit. cum autem ibi me inveneris, ora pro me ne deficiam, sed perficiar [10.4.5, `consumma imperfecta mea']; ora, fili, ora.' (Cf. ep. 27.4, to Paulinus, `in his enim quae tibi recte, si adverteris, displicebunt, ego ipse conspicior, in his autem quae per donum spiritus quod accepisti recte tibi placent in libris meis, ille amandus, ille praedicandus est apud quem est fons vitae, et in cuius lumine videbimus lumen sine aenigmate, et facie ad faciem, nunc autem in aenigmate videmus.')

    E. Williger, Zschr. für die neutest. Wiss. 28(1929), 81-106, argued that Bk. 10 was the last of conf. to be written and inserted (p. 105: `eingefügt') in its present place; this thesis has found favor among scholars otherwise disposed to find strong and determinative neo-Platonic influence on A., and for whom the second half of Bk. 10 is thus particularly recalcitrant. Agreement was expressed in more or less detail by Theiler, P.u.A. 60-69, Courcelle, Recherches 25-26, and O'Meara 16. A variant is that of A. Pincherle, La Nouvelle Clio VII-VIII-IX (1955-58), 196-7 (repeated by him at Aug. Stud. 7[1976], 119-33), who claims (followed by Courcelle, Les Confessions 579-580, arguing the hypothetical influence of Paulinus of Nola) that only the examination of conscience (10.30.41-10.37.60) was intercalated after a first draft of the rest was completed. The most systematic refutation of the original thesis, from a scholar working without subjective assumptions about the content, is Knauer 19n1, 149-150, 154-155, and even so Plotinian a student of A. as R. J. O'Connell, Saint Augustine's Confessions (Cambridge, Mass., 1969), 121n1, saw a structural unity including Bk. 10.

    The main difficulty with that thesis is the absolute lack of attestation or parallel. A. in retr. offers no slightest support for such a reading, and nothing in the history of ancient literature known to the present writer offers a parallel for writing an additional book for a work already more or less completed and inserting the additional book in the middle of the text, with all the implications for renumbering of books, etc. In the one case we know of where A. did write an additional book for a completed work, Gn. litt., he added it to the end (retr. 2.24.1, `duodecimum addidi'), though for its subject matter it could as well have been inserted after Bk. 8. Bk. 10 is only scandalous to those whose view of conf. as a whole is partial and one-sided. The burden of proof must remain on those who would impose their drastic hypothesis on the text (and so simplify for themselves the task of reading the text as a whole).

    A more integrated view is that of P. Landsberg, La Vie Spirituelle 48(1936), 33, `Les neuf premiers livres des Confessions pourraient être intitulés Memoria, le dixième Contuitus, et la dernière partie Expectatio.' He was followed by J.-M. le Blond, Les Conversions de saint Augustin (Paris, n. d. [1950]), 50, and Knauer 160n1. If a single scheme is needed to explain the strucure of conf., this is the best; see prolegomena for discussion of other possibilities and of the need for a more pluralistic reading.

    The last four books of the Confessions have suffered the same relative want of celebrity that has befallen the last six books of the Aeneid.7 There are accordingly fewer studies, and fewer outstanding ones, to expound them. Of particular merit is C. P. Mayer, Augustiana 24[1974], 22-74; the approach is specialized (`Signifikationshermeneutik'), but for that reason the author is not tempted to claim that he has explained everything about these books, and what he has to offer is of correspondingly greater interest and merit. (Note, however, that his interpretation [38-9] glosses swiftly over the obstacle of the second half of Bk. 10.)

    What makes this relative neglect possible? (Whether it is justified is a meaningless question, but what happens must be explained.) Such discussions always run the risk of becoming narrowly subjective, and such has been the case with conf. The prevalent explanation seems to be that the first nine books are full of lively biographical interest, while the last four, confined to theological disquisition, are of less intrinsic interest. Better to pay heed to what might be called the `density' of the text: above all the density of scriptural allusion. That density consists not merely of frequency of echoes of other texts, but of the indirection with which those echoes are heard, hence the complexity of the explanation required. Bks. 10-13 are more (in medieval terms) literal than allegorical. What A. has to say now, he says on the surface, and says clearly. (This feature of these books is probably what has most effectively defused attempts to identify their sub-texts: for they seem so transparent, and so merely irrelevant--at least to some readers.) By contrast the `narrative' books are anything but narrative in their construction; their distinctive feature is not the lively biographical interest they evoke, but rather the complexity of the confessional mode, the allusiveness, and the indirection of the text's construction. It is not, in short, what A. says in those books that attracts attention (any more than it is what he says in the last books that attracts less attention), but how he says it.

    text of 10.1.1


    The opening paragraphs are artfully constructed. I printed a text per cola et commata at Augustiana 29(1979), 280-303, with an earlier version of this commentary. For the text here (specifically: from 9.13.37, `-lem, cui' through 10.3.4, `verum tamen') we have the witness of a fragment of a sixth-century manuscript in Madrid, now lost and known only through a photocopy preserved in the papers of E. A. Lowe (see Verheijen, Augustiana 28[1978], 13-17): the fragment agrees exactly with the text printed by Skutella (and Verheijen and here) except that at 9.13.37 the obvious error confessionus appears.

    cognoscam . . . cognoscam: sol. 2.1.1, `noverim me, noverim te.' The ambiguity of tense and mood made possibility by Latin verb forms is fruitful: perhaps more subjunctive in the first case, more future indicative (as the scriptural echo suggests) in the second; A. did not necessarily have to decide (subjunctive in both preferred by Knauer, Hermes 85[1957], 234n4, with few followers: cf. Mayer, Augustiana 24[1974], 27n26). W. Steidle in Romanitas-Christianitas (Festschrift Straub: Berlin, 1982), 476, takes the complementary phrase, `cognoscam te sicut et cognitus sum' to anticipate the two halves of Bk. 10. See G. Verbeke, Augustiana 4(1954), 495-515, for the demonstration that the link between self-knowledge and knowledge of God for A. is essential. Knowledge of God is only possible through knowledge of self (God is not, therefore, an object external to the self in the world of creature).

    1 Cor. 13.12, `videmus enim nunc per speculum in aenigmate, tunc autem facie ad faciem; nunc cognosco ex parte, tunc autem cognoscam sicut et cognitus sum.' Gal. 4.9, `nunc autem cognoscentes, immo cogniti a deo'; cf. also 1 Cor. 8.2-3, `quisquis autem diligit deum, hic cognitus est ab illo.' The texts suggest escape from the regio dissimilitudinis to full vision: spir. et litt. 24.41, `“cum autem venerit quod perfectum est”, et totum hoc “quod ex parte est” fuerit “evacuatum” [1 Cor. 13.8-9], tunc verbum quod adsumpta carne carni apparuit ostendet se ipsum dilectoribus suis; tunc erit vita aeterna, ut cognoscamus unum verum deum; tunc similes ei erimus, quoniam tunc cognoscemus sicut et cogniti sumus.' All three verses quoted at trin. 9.1.1 (n.b.: trin. 9 begins the second half of that work), alongside Phil. 3.13-15 (see on 9.10.23). God's knowledge of humanity: en. Ps. 1.6, `dictum est [“novit dominus viam iustorum”] ut hoc sit nesciri a domino quod est perire, et hoc sit sciri a domino quod est manere'.

    virtus [2]: Cf. 11.8.10, `in hoc principio, deus, fecisti caelum et terram in verbo tuo, in filio tuo, in virtute tua'; 1.5.6, `angusta est domus animae meae quo venias ad eam: dilatetur abs te.'

    sine macula et ruga: Eph. 5.27, `gloriosam ecclesiam, non habentem maculam aut rugam aut aliquid huiusmodi, sed . . . sancta et immaculata.' Since for A. the best way to clean and smooth cloth was to stretch it on a wooden frame, he reads this verse in a special way: en. Ps. 147.23, `ut abluatur a maculis, mundetur fide; ut rugam non habeat, tendatur in cruce'; sim. at en. Ps. 44.22, 132.9. A. later tried to prescribe a reading at retr. 2.18, `ubicumque autem in his libris [de baptismo contra donatistas] commemoravi “ecclesiam non habentem maculam aut rugam,” non sic accipiendum est quasi iam sit, sed quae praeparatur ut sit, quando apparebit etiam gloriosa. nunc enim propter quasdam ignorantias et infirmitates membrorum suorum habet unde cotidie tota dicat: “dimitte nobis debita nostra.”' bapt. was written 400/1, so his attitude there was probably the same as that in conf.; but n.b. in retr. he fortifies the text against a misreading, but he does not say that he mis-intended. He certainly quotes it (e.g., at bapt. 1.17.26, 4.3.4-4.4.5) in a way that does not exclude the reading he later decries as optimistic.

    haec est mea spes . . . cetera vero vitae huius: Suggests the structure of the Bk., mixing hope (10.1.1-10.27.38) and temptation (10.28.39 - 10.39.64): see above.

    spes: With confirmation at the end of Bk. 10: 10.43.69, `merito mihi spes valida est.' Cf. 11.22.28, `et ego credidi, propter quod et loquor. haec est spes mea.'

    ideo loquor: Faith precedes speech, but faith is accomplished in speech (= confessio): en. Ps. 115.2, `“credidi, propter quod locutus sum”; hoc est, perfecte credidi. non enim perfecte credunt qui quod credunt loqui nolunt; ad ipsam enim fidem pertinet etiam illud credere quod dictum est, “qui me confessus fuerit coram hominibus, confitebor eum coram angelis dei” [Mt. 10.32].' Cf. 1.5.5, `miserere ut loquor.'

    spe gaudeo: The phrase is oxymoron of sorts, with scriptural warrant and for A. a specific pertinence: Rom. 12.10-12, `caritatem fraternitatis invicem diligentes . . . (11) spiritu ferventes, domino servientes, (12) spe gaudentes, tribulatione patientes, orationi instantes.' Cf. en. Ps. 131.16, `accepto pignore spiritus sancti,8 laetentur membra [corporis Christi] spe resurrectionis, quae praecessit in capite. eis enim apostolus dicit, spe gaudentes'; en. Ps. 75.15, `iam enim innovavit nos dominus in baptismo, et facti sumus novi homines, in spe quidem gaudentes, ut in tribulatione simus patientes, tamen non debet de memoria nostra recedere quid nobis praestitum sit.'

    sanum: As adv. not attested before A.; see civ. 18.49, `sola spe gaudens, quando sanum gaudet'; b. vid. 17.21, `sed absit ut hoc sapiat, qui sanum sapit'; civ. 4.26, `quis non videat, qui sanum sapit . . .?'; civ. 18.51, `ut sanum rectumque sapiant.' For a comparable word (also attested at Apul. met. 5.28), cf. s. 179.2.2, `tunc solidum gaudeo, dum audio.'

    cetera . . . fletur in eis: Cf. 10.28.39, `laetitiae meae flendae'. The idea, expressed with deliberate compression, is that in this life we weep for the wrong things and fail to weep when we should. Cf. en. Ps. 38.20, `de quibus gaudeam, de quibus gemam? de transactis gaudeo, pro his quae restant gemo. . . . numquid enim quia tanta transilivi, quia tanta transcendi, iam non fleo? nonne multo magis fleo? . . . nonne quanto magis quod abest desidero, tanto magis donec veniat gemo, tanto magis donec veniat fleo? nonne tanto magis, quanto magis crebrescunt scandala, quanto magis abundat iniquitas, quanto magis refrigescit caritas multorum?'

    in eis: `when among them' (Ryan) perhaps better than `sur eux' (BA).

    ecce enim veritatem dilexisti: Ps. 50.8, `ecce enim veritatem dilexisti; incerta et occulta sapientiae tuae manifestasti mihi'; en. Ps. 50.11, `veritatem dilexisti, id est, impunita peccata etiam eorum quibus ignoscis, non reliquisti. . . . ignoscis confitenti, ignoscis, sed seipsum punienti; ita servatur misericordia et veritas: misericordia, quia homo liberatur; veritas, quia peccatum punitur.'

    qui facit eam: Jn. 3.21, `qui autem facit veritatem venit ad lucem, ut manifestentur opera eius quia in deo sunt facta'; cf. 1 Jn. 1.6, `si dixerimus quoniam societatem habemus cum eo et in tenebris ambulamus, mentimur et non facimus veritatem'; Eph. 4.15, `veritatem autem facientes in caritate augeamur in illo per omnia, qui est caput Christus.' (Contrast 10.37.62, `ut ipse me seducam et verum non faciam coram te in corde et lingua mea'.) Io. ev. tr. 12.13, `ad lucem, id est, ad Christum . . . quia qui confitetur peccata sua et accusat peccata sua, iam cum deo facit. accusat deus peccata tua; si et tu accusas, coniungeris deo. . . . initium operum bonorum, confessio est operum malorum. facis veritatem, et venis ad lucem. quid est, facis veritatem? non te palpas, non tibi blandiris, non te adulas, non dicis, “iustus sum,” cum sis iniquus, et incipis facere veritatem. . . . quia et hoc ipsum quod tibi displicuit peccatum tuum, non tibi displiceret, nisi deus tibi luceret, et eius veritas tibi ostenderet.' Hence the development at 10.30.41-10.39.64 `makes truth' in an important way. See also J. Ratzinger, REAug 3(1957), 385-389; and cf. prolegomena.

    coram te: Cf. `in conspectu tuo' (at 10.2.2 and saep.); both expressions invoke the presence of God, upon whose silence the speech of this text trespasses. The phrase (and minor variants, e.g., `coram oculis tuis') occurs at 2.1.1, 2.9.17, 5.6.11, 8.2.4, 9.2.2, 9.4.7 (`libri disputati . . . cum ipso me coram te'--i.e., sol.), 9.4.8, 10.3.4 (`etiam hominibus coram te confiteor per has litteras'), 10.4.6, 10.37.62, 11.25.32, 12.16.23, 12.25.35, 13.16.19, 13.24.36, 13.27.42. Cf. Mt. 10.32, `qui confessus me fuerit coram hominibus, confitebor illum et ego coram patre meo qui est in caelis.'

    text of 10.2.2


    The opacity of speaker to hearer and the unbridged distance between them often led A. to sober reflection, usually concentrating on the inadequacies of the speaker: cf. f. et symb. 3.4, `inter animum autem nostrum et verba nostra quibus eundem animum ostendere conamur, plurimum distat. . . . quid enim aliud molimur, nisi animum ipsum nostrum, si fieri potest, cognoscendum et perspiciendum animo auditoris inferre? ut in nobis quidem ipsi maneamus, nec recedamus a nobis, et tamen tale indicium quo fiat in altero nostra notitia proferamus'; cf. s. dom. m. 2.25.82, exp. prop. Rom. 71 (79), `nec audeamus de alterius corde, quod non videmus, ferre sententiam.' All three texts from the years 391/5 at Hippo; sim. at en. Ps. 41.13; pastorally at epp. 58.1, 92.2.

    cuius oculis . . . conscientiae: Heb. 4.12-14, `vivus est enim sermo dei et efficax et penetrabilior omni gladio ancipiti et pertingens usque ad divisionem animae ac spiritus, compagum quoque ac medullarum, et discretor cogitationum et intentionum cordis. (13) et non est ulla creatura invisibilis in conspectu eius: omnia autem nuda et aperta sunt oculis eius, ad quem nobis sermo, (14) habentes ergo pontificem magnum qui penetravit caelos, Iesum filium dei, teneamus confessionem'; cf. Sirach 42.17-18, `nonne dominus fecit sanctos enarrare omnia mirabilia sua quae confirmavit dominus omnipotens stabiliri in gloria sua? (18) abyssum et cor hominum investigavit et in astutia eorum excogitavit.' Echoed elsewhere (La Bonnardière, REAug 3[1957], 137-162) only at ep. 144.3, `[homines] deum, cui nuda est humana conscientia, nec testem fallunt nec iudicem fugiunt.'

    conscientiae: See on 1.18.29.

    absconderem: Cf. 1.5.5, `noli abscondere a me faciem tuam.'

    nunc autem . . . displicere me mihi: adn. Iob on 13.18, `quasi ipsa sit hominis iustitia in confessione sibi non parcere.'

    ut erubescam . . . nisi de te: The heart of confessio is in this attempt (or tour-de-force: how far successful, and how far imitable, are other questions) to abdicate self-will and accept the will of another, to find self-knowledge only through knowledge of another, and then to give voice to that novel situation. Cf. the last sentence of this paragraph (true speech arises from God and is given back to God in confessio: true speech person-to-person is a by-product of this grace-driven interchange). The attempt goes against the grain of human language, where the deepest underlying assumption is that one who speaks, speaks with authority; in seeking to cede authority to God and to speak only what divine authority then allows, A. struggles to unite the intellectual discourse of Christianity to the practice of the religion.

    manifestus sum: 2 Cor. 5.11, `deo autem manifesti sumus, sero autem et in conscientiis vestris manifestos nos esse'; cf. 10.1.1.

    dixi: Cf. 10.3.4, `nam illum fructum [sc. confessionum] vidi et commemoravi.' The reference is not clear; G-M say, `sc. in the last sentence but one' --beginning `nunc autem'; Pellegrino ad loc. cites 2.3.5, 2.8.16, 4.1.1, 5.1.1, 9.12.33. The multiple references do not include any single passage in which A. explicitly presents the fructus confessionis. The sense seems to be rather, `I have said (well enough over and over again, more and less explicitly)'.

    cum enim malus sum . . . non tribuere mihi: Embracing the traditional categories, confessio peccati and confessio laudis.

    hoc non tribuere mihi: 2.7.15, `quis est hominum, qui suam cogitans infirmitatem audet viribus suis tribuere castitatem atque innocentiam suam?'

    tu, domine, benedicis iustum: A. here echoes Ps. 5.13, `quoniam tu benedices iustum', but reinterprets it to reverse the meaning, as he does more pedantically at en. Ps. 5.17, `bona enim voluntas dei praecedit bonam voluntatem nostram, ut peccatores vocet in paenitentiam' (there follows a little florilegium of apt quotations from Romans: 3.23, 8.30, 8.33, 8.31, 5.9-10). The phrasing is artful, a sign of the care taken to capture and domesticate this scriptural sentiment (see Knauer 178-179).

    iustificas impium: Rom. 4.5, `ei vero qui non operatur, credenti autem in eum qui iustificat impium, deputatur fides eius ad iustitiam.' By way of explanation years later, spir. et litt. 11.18, `quae ideo iustitia dei dicitur, quod impertiendo eam iustos facit'. en. Ps. 118. s. 3.3, `itaque in viis domini, quas omnes fides una complectitur, qua in eum creditur qui iustificat impium, qui etiam dixit, “ego sum via,” nemo peccatum operatur, sed confitetur. . . . ergo convertantur, et in eum qui iustificat impium pie credant, atque in illo misericordiam peccatis dimissis et veritatem completis promissis, hoc est, universas vias domini inveniant: in quibus ambulantes non operabuntur iniquitatem; quia non tenebunt infidelitatem sed fidem, quae per dilectionem operatur, et cui peccatum non imputatur.' The attempt to pin A. to a rigidly-hypostasized view of `justification' is not likely to succeed. To omit both the multiple roles of Christ (patria, dux, via) and the crucial stage of confessio in A.'s sense produces mere doctrine: e.g., conc. Trident. sess. 6, cap. 7, `iustificatio . . . non est sola peccatorum remissio, sed et sanctificatio et renovatio interioris hominis per voluntariam susceptionem gratiae et donorum: unde homo ex iniusto fit iustus.' A. himself could do what no conciliar doctrine can allow itself to do, hold and cherish two apparently contradictory propositions at once: crudely put, Grace and Free Will. No amount of badgering on his part, or on the part of his most subtle followers, will in itself succeed in enabling any reader to perform the same feat; no amount of badgering on the part of any of his less subtle followers will make either a Predestinarian or a Semipelagian Augustine credible. We are left watching A. perform on the high wire: en. Ps. 31. en. 2.6, `noli ergo praesumere de operibus ante fidem. noveris quia peccatorem te fides invenit, etsi te fides data fecit iustum, impium invenit quem faceret iustum. “credenti” inquit. “in eum qui iustificat impium deputatur fides eius ad iustitiam.” si iustificatur impius ex impio fit iustus.' Such a balancing act works if the actor remains in motion on the wire; compel him to stop where he is, hold the position, and answer detailed interrogatories, and he shortly falls ingloriously to the ground. One of A.'s names for the balancing act is confessio (see next note).

    confessio . . . in conspectu tuo: Ps. 95.6, `confessio et pulchritudo in conspectu eius'; en. Ps. 95.7, `pulchritudinem amas? vis esse pulcher? confitere. non dixit, pulchritudo et confessio, sed “confessio et pulchritudo.” foedus eras, confitere ut sis pulcher; peccator eras, confitere ut sis iustus. . . . confitentur enim peccata sua, vomunt mala quae avide voraverant; non redeunt ad vomitum suum, sicut canis immundus; et erit confessio et pulchritudo. amamus pulchritudinem: prius eligamus confessionem, ut sequatur pulchritudo.'

    text of 10.3.3


    Here A. comes to a question begged throughout the first nine books: what authority does he claim for his narrative? His view is implicit earlier (see esp. 7.6.9, `talis quippe narraverat'), and see on 10.1.1: `truth' is a quality of the speaker, not the text, and it is the authority of the speaker, now guaranteed by God (if at all) that stands behind the text.

    quasi ipsi . . . languores meos: Ps. 102.3-5, `qui propitius fit omnibus iniquitatibus tuis, qui sanat omnes languores tuos, (4) qui redimet de corruptione vitam tuam, qui coronat te in miseratione et misericordia, (5) qui satiat in bonis desiderium tuum, renovabitur sicut aquilae iuventus tua.' The Christological interpretation is guaranteed by an evangelical echo: Mt. 4.23, `et circumibat Iesus totam Galilaeam, docens in synagogis eorum, et praedicans evangelium regni, et sanans omnem languorem et omnem infirmitatem in populo.' For interpretation, see en. Ps. 102.5-8, partly quoted on 10.36.58. This verse remains on the table throughout Bk. 10, here introduced as an unreal possibility; it reappears at 10.30.42, at the beginning of the development on temptation, as a rhetorical question suggesting, but then immediately denying, that God might be less than omnipotent; in 10.36.58, it is the basis of bald assertion of hope and confidence. For details, see text and notes at 10.30.42, 10.33.50, 10.36.58, 10.41.66, 10.43.69, 10.43.70; echoes already at 4.11.16 and 6.11.20, and a further definite assertion at 11.9.11. See Knauer 144-150. For the implicit metaphor of healing, cf. on `medice meus intime' at 10.3.4.

    curiosum: Cf. s. 19.2, `desperati autem homines, quanto minus intenti sunt in peccata sua, tanto curiosiores sunt in aliena.' Cf. also 13.20.28, `genus humanum profunde curiosum [2] et procellose tumidum [1] et instabiliter fluvidum [3]'; on curiositas see the fuller development at 10.35.54-57 (10.35.54, `vana et curiosa cupiditas nomine cognitionis et scientiae palliata'). Courcelle (Recherches 26), Solignac (BA 13.18) and Pincherle (Aug. Stud. 7[1976], 128) find this passage marked by annoyance or bad temper. That emotionalizes the text in a way that is not called for.

    nemo scit hominum: 1 Cor. 2.11, `quis enim hominum scit quae sint hominis, nisi spiritus hominis qui in ipso est?' See on repeated citation at 10.5.7.

    cognoscere se: For the transformations of the familiar `Know thyself', see P. Courcelle, Connais toi toi-même de Socrate à S. Bernard (Paris, 1974-5), esp. volume 1, and see further on 10.8.15 below. Cicero made explicit that the `self' is the mind: Tusc. 1.22.52, `cum igitur “nosce te” dicit [Apollo], hoc dicit: “nosce animum tuum.” . . . hunc igitur nosse nisi divinum esset, non esset hoc acrioris cuiusdam animi praeceptum tributum deo.'

    cognoscit: sc. se.

    caritas omnia credit: 1 Cor. 13.7, `[caritas] omnia suffert, omnia credit, omnia sperat, omnis sustinet.' Caritas making human communication possible at all: doctr. chr. pr. 6, `et poterant utique omnia per angelum fieri, sed abiecta esset humana condicio si per homines hominibus deus verbum suum ministrare nolle videretur. . . . deinde ipsa caritas, quae sibi homines invicem nodo unitatis adstringit, non haberet aditum refundendorum et quasi miscendorum sibimet animorum, si homines per homines nihil discerent.' (Essentially the same argument about reading scripture at, e.g., 11.3.5 and 12.18.27: the value of a reading of scripture is its consonance with the will of God, whatever the author's intention. Again it is God who guarantees the reading.) Not unlike this passage is the confidence placed in his own flock's trust of him, with a similar argument, at c. litt. Pet. 3.10.11.

    unum facit: Cf. Eph. 4.2-4, `supportantes invicem in caritate, (3) solliciti servare unitatem spiritus in vinculo pacis: (4) unum corpus, et unus spiritus'; Col. 3.14, `caritatem habete, quod est vinculum perfectionis'; Rom. 12.5, `ita multi unum corpus sumus in Christus'; 1 Cor. 11.20, `convenientibus ergo vobis in unum'; 1 Cor. 12.12, `cum sint multa, unum tamen corpus sunt'; 1 Cor. 12.13, `etenim in uno spiritu omnes nos in unum corpus baptizati sumus'; Gal. 3.28, `omnes enim vos unum estis in Christo Iesu'; Eph. 2.14, `ipse enim est pax nostra, qui fecit utraque [i.e., Jew and gentile] unum.'

    text of 10.3.4


    medice meus intime [2]: cf. 10.28.39, `medicus es', and cf. 2.7.15; cf. `medicina tua' at 5.9.16, 7.8.12, 9.8.18, 10.43.69, and at 10.3.3 the echo of Ps. 102.3, `qui sanat omnes languores tuos'. For `intime' of God, sim. at 3.6.11, 4.12.18, 9.9.21. The image is pastoral rather than dogmatic, occurring far more often in sermons than in other works; popular in Africa (reflecting the efforts of Christianity to combat the appeal of the cult of Asclepius), it is extremely frequent in A. See R. Arbesmann, Traditio 10(1954), 1-28, and more briefly in Aug. Mag. 2.623-629.

    quae remisisti et texisti: Ps. 31.1, `beati quorum remissae sunt iniquitates et quorum tecta sunt peccata'; en. Ps. 31. en. 1.2, `quorum peccata in oblivionem ducta sunt'; en. Ps. 31. en. 2.9, `si texit peccata deus, noluit advertere; si noluit advertere, noluit animadvertere; si noluit animadvertere, noluit punire; si noluit punire, noluit agnoscere, maluit ignoscere.'

    mutans animam meam fide et sacramento tuo: A. marks the end of the account of his praeterita mala with his baptism in 9.6.14.

    cum leguntur et audiuntur, excitant cor: retr. 2.6.1, `confessionum mearum libri tredecim et de malis et de bonis meis deum laudant iustum et bonum, atque in eum excitant humanum intellectum et affectum. interim quod ad me attinet, hoc in me egerunt cum scriberentur et agunt cum leguntur.' The cum-clause is taken by some to indicate preliminary `publication' of Bks. 1-9 (or, by those who think Bk. 10 was inserted later, of Bks. 1-9 and 11-13). Solignac, Lectio X-XIII 11-12, takes a moderated position, thinking that it may refer to informal readings of parts of 1-9, and surely no more than that need be assumed.

    evigilet in amore: Cf. Cant. 5.2, `ego dormio, et cor meum vigilat; vox fratuelis mei pulsat ad ianuam' (text from Io. ev. tr. 57.2); Mt. 25.1-13 (parable of the virgins), esp. 13, `vigilate itaque, quia nescitis diem neque horam.'

    potens est omnis infirmus: 2 Cor. 12.9-10, `sufficit tibi gratia mea: nam virtus in infirmitate perficitur. libenter igitur gloriabor in infirmitatibus meis, ut inhabitet in me virtus Christi. (10) propter quod placeo mihi in infirmitatibus meis, in contumeliis, in necessitatibus, in persecutionibus, in angustiis pro Christo: quando infirmor, tunc potens sum.' Linked to the incarnation at en. Ps. 58. s. 1.7, `doctor autem humilitatis, particeps nostrae infirmitatis, donans participationem suae divinitatis, ad hoc descendens ut viam doceret et via fieret, maxime suam humilitatem nobis commendare dignatus est; et ideo a servo baptizari non dedignatus est, ut nos doceret confiteri peccata nostra et infirmari ut fortes simus, habere potius apostoli vocem dicentis: “quando infirmor, tunc potens sum.”'

    quo itaque fructu . . . fuerim: confessio takes place outside this text, but this text does not so much represent that activity as continue it in a more public forum. The tension between past and present is resolved in favor of the present (`adhuc quis ego sim, non quis fuerim': cf. the beginning of 10.4.6); even where past is the object of narrative, it is the present self that confesses and so `makes the truth' about itself.

    adhuc: Knöll and Skutella both place a comma after `adhuc'; but Vega and Verheijen rightly delete (cf. `sed quis adhuc sim' below); see Knauer 126n2 on `die grosse Bedeutung des “adhuc” bei Augustin' --the tenth book is the book of adhuc (as 6 was the book of iam). The motif returns notably at 10.30.42.

    multi . . . cupiunt: A. never comes closer than this to corroborating the view that the work arose in response to requests from Paulinus of Nola; but cf. the echo of ep. 24.1 for a further link. Two groups are asyndetically limned in these lines: those who have known A. (and not [really] known him--hence their desire to know more), and those who have heard him or heard about him, but not heard the words of his heart.

    confitente confitente C D S Knöll Skut. Ver.:   confitentem G O Maur.

    dicit enim eis caritas: ep. 24.1 (Paulinus to Alypius), `accepimus . . . litteras . . . ut nobis caritatem tuam non agnoscere sed recognoscere videremur, quia videlicet ex illo qui nos ab origine mundi praedestinavit sibi caritas ista manavit, in quo facti sumus antequam nati, quia “ipse fecit nos, et non ipsi nos,” [Ps. 99.3: see on 10.6.9] qui fecit quae futura sunt. huius igitur praescientia et opere formati in similitudinem voluntatum et unitatem fidei vel unitatis fidem praeveniente notitiam caritate conexi sumus, ut nos invicem ante corporales conspectus revelante spiritu nosceremus.' Even the best readers of this text will end by believing but not knowing what Augustine says of himself to be true. Caritas is the link that makes discourse possible, but even caritas is inadequate for fullness of speech.

    ipsa in eis credit mihi: 1 Cor. 13.7 (see on 10.3.3).

    text of 10.4.5


    munere tuo . . . pondere meo: For munus = spiritus sanctus, see on 13.38.53; cf. vera rel. 55.112, `ecce unum deum colo unum omnium principium [1], et sapientiam [2] qua sapiens est quaecumque anima sapiens est, et ipsum munus [3] quo beata sunt quaecumque beata sunt'; and see on 13.9.10 for the equation pondus = amor.

    a multis . . . a multis: 2 Cor. 1.11, `adiuvantibus et vobis in oratione pro nobis, ut ex multorum personis, eius quae in nobis est donationis, per multos gratiae agantur pro nobis.'

    doces: The verb recurs often in the temptation paragraphs: 10.31.44, 10.31.46, 10.34.52, 10.40.65, 10.43.70.

    dextera eorum dextera iniquitatis: Ps. 143.7-8, `erue me de aquis multis et de manu filiorum alienorum (8) quorum os locutum est vanitatem, et dextera eorum dextera iniquitatis.'

    approbat . . . improbat: The same antithesis at 3.9.17, 4.14.23, 13.23.34; for approbare, see on 10.10.17.

    hymnus . . . turibulis tuis: Cf. Apoc. 8.3-4, `et alius angelus venit et stetit ante altare habens turibulum aureum, et data sunt illi incensa multa ut daret de orationibus sanctorum omnium super altare aureum quod est ante thronum dei. (4) et ascendit fumus incensorum de orationibus sanctorum de manu angeli coram deo.'

    sancti templi: 1 Cor. 3.17, `templum enim dei sanctum est, quod estis vos'; en. Ps. 122.4, `templum enim dei sanctum est, quod estis vos. sed omnes adhuc infirmi et secundum fidem ambulantes, secundum fidem sunt templum dei, erunt aliquando et secundum speciem templum dei.'

    miserere mei: Ps. 50.3, `miserere mei deus secundum magnam misericordiam tuam, et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum dele iniquitatem meam.' Just as at 9.12.31, the whole of Ps. 100 is invoked through quotation of its first line, so here Psalm 50, the penitential Psalm par excellence, is summoned at the outset of A.'s meditations on `who he now is'.

    propter nomen tuum: Mt. 10.22, `et eritis odio omnibus propter nomen' meum (sim. at Mt. 24.9 and Jn. 15.21).

    nequaquam . . . imperfecta mea: Phil. 1.6, `qui coepit in vobis opus bonum, perficiet usque in diem Christi Iesu'; sim. at 10.30.42 (at the beginning of the temptation paragraphs); cf. also 11.2.2, `primordia inluminationis tuae et reliquias tenebrarum mearum'.

    text of 10.4.6


    qualis sim: c. Cresc. 3.81.93, `sed quid ad rem cuius inter nos vertitur quaestio, qualis ipse sim, cum in area dominica sim stipula si malus, granum si bonus?'

    secreta exultatione . . . cum spe: Ps. 2.11, `servite domino in timore et exultate in tremore'; en. Ps. 2.9, `optime subiectum est “exultate”, ne ad miseriam valere videretur quod dictum est, “servite domino in timore.” sed rursus ne idipsum pergeret in effusionem temeritatis, additum est “cum tremore”, ut ad cautionem valeret circumspectamque sanctificationis custodiam.' Cf. Phil. 2.12, `cum tremore et timore vestram ipsorum salutem operamini'; cf. also 10.30.42, `exultans cum tremore in eo'.

    in auribus credentium filiorum hominum: Cf. Ps. 106.8, 15, 21, 31: `confiteantur domino misericordiae eius, et mirabilia eius filiis hominum.'

    mortalitatis meae: 1.1.1, `circumferens mortalitatem suam, circumferens testimonium peccati sui'.

    civium . . . peregrinorum: Cf. 10.5.7, `quamdiu peregrinor abs te, mihi sum praesentior quam tibi.' The idea of `citizenship' is slow to emerge in A. (see A. Lauras and H. Rondet, études Augustiniennes [Paris, 1953], 99-160); for a parallel of roughly the same date as conf., see cat. rud. 19.31.

    vitae vitae O S Skut. Ver.:   viae C D G Knöll Maur. Pell.
    Cf. the same variants at 8.1.1; in both cases, the less authoritative manuscripts transmit the more literal-minded lectio facilior.

    quibus iussisti ut serviam: Allusion to A.'s role as bishop, the present (cf. `qualis sim').

    verbum . . . faciendo praeiret: The lo/gos; another link to the doctrine of the incarnation; Jn. 13.15, `exemplum enim dedi vobis, ut, quemadmodum ego feci vobis, ita et vos faciatis.'

    cum ingenti periculo: The risk is to himself; cf. 10.38.63, `temptationem periculosissimam'.

    sub alis tuis: Cf. Ps. 16.8, `sub umbra alarum tuarum proteges me'; en. Ps. 16.8, `in munimento caritatis et misericordiae tuae protege me'. Cf. Ps. 35.8, `filii autem hominum in tegmine alarum tuarum sperabunt.' For sub alis evoking the outstretched arms of Christ (standing before the cross in glory, the common portrayal in late antique iconography), see Knauer 88n1. The phrase recurs at 12.11.11 and 12.11.13, and cf. 4.16.31 (`in velamento alarum tuarum').

    tibi subdita est anima mea: Cf. Ps. 61.2, `nonne deo subicietur anima mea?' Cf. 7.21.27, `nemo ibi [sc. in platonicorum libris] cantat, nonne deo subdita erit anima mea?'

    idem ipse est: Cf. Ps. 101.28, `tu vero idem ipse es' (quoted at Hebr. 1.12); en. Ps. 101. s. 2.12 connects to Exod. 3.14, `ego sum qui sum'; see on 1.6.10.

    indicabo ergo talibus . . . sic itaque audiar: A verbal echo marks an important difference between Bk. 1 and Bk. 10: at 1.5.5, `dic animae meae, “salus tua ego sum.” sic dic, ut audiam' --that in the paragraph where A. listens in order to find the power to speak, to confess; now he speaks with more confidence. For the mood of `audiar', cf. on 10.1.1, `cognoscam'.

    neque me ipsum diiudico: 1 Cor. 4.3-4, `mihi autem minimum est ut a vobis diiudicer aut ab humano die. sed neque meipsum diiudico, (4) nihil enim mihi conscius sum, sed non in hoc iustificatus sum. qui autem diiudicat me, dominus est.' en. Ps. 147.13, `quando enim potestis diiudicare conscientiam meam? quando examinare quo animo facio, quidquid facio? quantum possunt homines de alio iudicare? plus homo utique ipse de se; sed deus plus de homine, quam homo de se.'

    text of 10.5.7


    nemo scit hominum: 1 Cor. 2.11, `quis enim scit hominum quae sint hominis nisi spiritus hominis qui in ipso est, ita et quae dei sunt nemo cognovit nisi spiritus dei.' The first half of the citation appears here (and already at 10.3.3), while it is only completed at the end of the work (13.31.46). The verse thus brackets the meditative Bks. 10-13 with a scriptural text that declares the unknowability of humanity and divinity.

    tu . . . scis eius omnia: An important variation on the recurrent `tu scis' that runs through conf. as acknowledgement of the confessor's deference to the one to whom he confesses (Knauer 76-77). Note also the similarly thematic phrase, `tu autem domine' (also at 1.6.9, 8.7.16, 10.4.5, 10.42.67, 13.37.52, 13.38.53), another recurrent reminder of that deference.

    despiciam . . . cinerem: Job 42.6 (VL), `auditu quidem auris audiebam te prius, nunc autem oculus meus videt te. ideo despexi memetipsum et distabui et aestimavi me terram et cinerem'; cf. Sirach 10.9, `quid superbit terra et cinis?' and Gn. 18.27, `respondensque Abraham, ait: “quia semel coepi, loquar ad dominum meum, cum sim pulvis et cinis.”' See on 1.6.7, `terram et cinerem', where the sense from Genesis predominates; also at 7.8.12.

    videmus . . . faciem: 1 Cor. 13.12, `videmus nunc per speculum in aenigmate, tunc autem facie ad faciem'; `nondum' shifts the emphasis, but unless we recognize the scriptural origin of the words, they are empty. See on 10.1.1.

    quamdiu peregrinor abs te: 2 Cor. 5.6, `dum sumus in corpore, peregrinamur a domino'; see on 10.4.6.

    nullo modo posse violari: On divine immutability, see on 7.1.1.

    ego vero . . . nescio: See 10.31.44, `his temptationibus cotidie conor resistere'; cf. ep. 130.2.4, `sed quousque talis invenitur, de cuius animo et moribus sit in hac vita certa securitas? nam sicut sibi quisque nemo alter alteri notus est et tamen nec sibi quisque ita notus est, ut sit de sua crastina conversatione securus.' At civ. 11.12 he has in mind the exceptional cases of those who receive divine revelation in scripture: `quis enim hominum se in actione provectuque iustitiae perseveraturum usque in finem sciat, nisi aliqua revelatione ab illo fiat certus qui de hac re iusto latentique iudicio non omnes instruit, sed neminem fallit?'

    quia fidelis es: Both `because you are faithful' and `because scripture tells us that you are faithful' : the first reading is empty optimism without the second: en. Ps. 94.9, `vide utrum ipsae temptationes non prosint. attende apostolum: “fidelis deus, qui non vos sinet temptari supra quam potestis ferre; sed faciet cum temptatione etiam exitum, ut possitis sustinere” [1 Cor. 10.13].'

    confitear . . . in vultu tuo: Is. 58.10-11, `orietur in tenebris lux tua et tenebrae tuae erunt sicut meridies, (11) et requiem tibi dabit dominus semper.' en. Ps. 7.19, `qui ergo deserit eum a quo factus est, et inclinatur in id unde factus est, id est in nihilum, in hoc peccato tenebratur; et tamen non penitus perit, sed in infimis ordinatur.' Cf. 11.2.2, `reliquias tenebrarum mearum.' Ps. 89.8, `in inluminatione vultus tui' (et sim. saep. in OT).

    text of 10.6.8


    percussisti cor meum: en. Ps. 76.20, `verba enim evangelistarum sagittae fuerunt. similitudines enim sunt. nam proprie nec sagitta est pluvia, nec pluvia sagitta; at vero verbum dei et sagitta est, quia percutit, et pluvia, quia rigat. . . . “sagittae tuae pertransierunt.” quid est, “pertransierunt”? non in auribus remanserunt, sed corda transfixerunt.' adn. Iob on 6.4, `“sagittae enim domini in corpore meo sunt”: verba dei, quibus anima transfigitur cum cogitur ad confessionem.' Cf. 9.2.2, `dederas sagittas acutas' (and see en. Ps. 119.5 quoted there), 9.2.3, `sagittaveras tu cor nostrum caritate tua et gestabamus verba tua transfixa visceribus'; 12.1.1, `cor meum . . . pulsatum verbis sanctae scripturae tuae'; cf. also Io. ev. tr. 18.5. The phrase is only half-metaphor in light of mag. 5.12, using the etymology `appellata sunt . . . verba scilicet a verberando'. Cf. c. ep. Parm. 1.1.1, `omnibus sanctarum paginarum vocibus circumtusus', and s. 360, `sic et ego de ecclesia catholica toto orbe diffusa circumtundebar divinarum vocibus litterarum.'

    undique mihi dicunt: 9.10.25, `quoniam si quis audiat, dicunt haec omnia, non ipsa nos fecimus, sed fecit nos qui manet in aeternum.' They speak, but before Ostia, without grace, A. had not been willing to hear them clearly.

    ut sint inexcusabiles: Rom. 1.20; see text on 7.9.14. This half-line of this verse, containing the harshest judgment on `paganism' is echoed only here in all of conf.; here, only this half-line, evocative but unobtrusive. This is apparently the first time A. ever quoted, cited, or alluded to this half-verse; there are only 11 other passages in which he does so, and the other earliest are c. Faust. 20.19 and qu. ev. 2.46.2 (allusion rather than quotation); the next in date then is probably s. 241.1.1 (405/10).

    altius . . . fueris: Rom. 9.14-15, `quid ergo dicemus? numquid iniquitas apud deum? absit. (15) Moysi enim dicit, miserebor cuius misereor, et misericordiam praestabo cuius miserebor' (cf. Exod. 33.19, `et miserebor cui voluero, et clemens ero in quem mihi placuerit'); see on 9.13.35.

    caelum et terra . . . laudes tuas: Ps. 68.35, `laudent illum caeli et terra, mare et omnia repentia in eis'; en. Ps. 68. s. 2.19, `verae divitiae huius pauperis istae sunt, considerare creaturam et laudare creatorem. . . . et creatura sola ista laudat deum, cum considerata ea laudatur deus.'

    speciem corporis . . . amplexibus: These lines show how what began as a rhetorical device to organize A.'s text became a structural element in his thought. For convenience, this device is referred to consistently here as `sequence of the senses', and indeed one sequence is most commonly, but not exclusively, followed (as in the organization of Bk. 10, where the sequence is preserved in reverse order): sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch.9 It is at some level purely rhetorical (and commended as such at rhet. Herr. 2.5.8) to invoke the five senses in turn, to give concrete examples of sense-knowledge by way of example in a philosophical discussion (so Cic., Lucullus 7.21, Cic. div. 2.3.9), and so the earliest texts with the list in A.: mus. 6.5.12, 6.14.44, esp. quant. an. 23.41, `(Ev.) sensus esse quinque audire soleo, videndi, audiendi, olfaciendi, gustandi atque tangendi . . . . (A.) partitio ista vetustissima est, et fere in contionibus celebrata.' The device begins to organize A.'s text more ambitiously in lib. arb. 2.13.35, in an elegant comparison of the pleasures of sense (touch [i.e., as always, sexual pleasure]-taste-smell-sound-sight) with the pleasures of Truth. Elsewhere in lib. arb. the sequence is frequently invoked (1.8.18, 2.3.8, 2.6.14), but note particularly the further development at 2.3.8: `(Ev.) magis arbitror nos ratione comprehendere esse interiorem quendam sensum ad quem ab istis quinque notissimis cuncta referantur. namque aliud est quo videt bestia, et aliud quo ea quae videndo sentit vel vitat vel appetit. ille enim sensus in oculis est, ille autem in ipsa intus anima, . . . hic autem nec visus, nec auditus, nec olfactus, nec gustatus, nec tactus dici potest, sed nescio quid aliud quod omnibus communiter praesidet.' From then on, the rhetorical device becomes commonplace (cf. Gn. c. man. 1.24.42, 2.14.21, duab. an. 2.2, s. dom. m. 1.12.34, div. qu. 59.3 [`videntur itaque mihi quinque virgines significare quinquepartitam continentiam a carnis illecebris. continendus est enim animi appetitus a voluptate oculorum, a voluptate aurium, a voluptate olfaciendi, gustandi, tangendi.'], div. qu. 64.7, epp. 92.5, 147.4, trin. 11.1.1, 12.9.14, 15.3.5, civ. 11.26, 22.29; see also Mayer, Zeichen 1.203. The development here in conf. is the most ambitious: here the sequence of the senses appears at the outset of the positive, ascending section of Bk. 10, it recurs at 10.8.13, 10.9.16, 10.10.17, 10.12.19, and 10.21.30, and it gives order and beauty to 10.27.38, but it recurs as an essential element in the structure of the later, earthbound section as well (see above preceding 10.1.1 for an outline of the structure there), and occurs within that section on a small scale as well (10.35.54, 10.35.55). See also on 1.20.31 and 7.17.23.

    Thus the inner person has a structure that resembles the outer, hence, the outer person is a signum of the res of interiority; similarly, created nature is a signum of the res of divinity. Further, though the attempt to perceive God with the senses of the body is doomed to failure, there is nevertheless a way in which God is commensurate to the senses of the inner person, in which he is not merely high up and far away, but to be found more reliably within. This principle is the basis of the whole development through 10.27.38. See also civ. 11.27, `habemus enim alium interioris hominis sensum isto longe praestantiorem, quo iusta et iniusta sentimus, iusta per intellegibilem speciem, iniusta per eius privationem. ad huius sensus officium non acies pupulae [sight], non foramen auriculae [hearing], non spiramenta narium [smell], non gustus faucium [taste], non ullus corporeus tactus [touch] accedit. ibi me et esse et hoc nosse certus sum, et haec amo atque amare me smiliter certus sum.'

    The question of the image's origins and A.'s contribution to its development has evoked a lively discussion. See K. Rahner, Rev. d'Ascet. et Myst. 13(1932), 113-145; Rev. d'Ascet. et Myst. 14(1933), 263-99; A. Solignac, Nouvelle revue theologique 80(1958), 726-738. P. Hadot, Porphyre et Victorinus (Paris, 1968), 2.292n1 sees an echo of Stoic doctrine transmuted by Porphyry; for discussion see O'Daly 102-105 and BA 6.466-467.

    amplexibus: The range of meanings in conf. includes the sexual (6.11.20, `si feminae privarer amplexibus'), the non-sexually physical (8.8.20, `si consertis digitis amplexatus sum genu'), and the (apparently) completely metaphorical mystical (1.15.24, `et amplexer manum tuam totis praecordiis meis'; 7.18.24, `donec amplecterer mediatorem dei et hominum'). The present passage bridges the sexual to the mystical in linking the inner and outer person. Also: 2.2.3, 3.4.8, 5.12.22, 6.2.2, 6.16.26, 8.5.10, 8.11.27, and 13.8.9. Something analogous appears at Plot.

    text of 10.6.9


    This paragraph exemplifies the practice recommended at Rom. 1.20ff and previously demonstrated at Ostia, that of approaching God through the visible things of creation, whose beauty (species) is an instrument reflecting the greater divine beauty, the sign of divine creation (Rom. 1.20 cited in 10.6.10: cf. vera rel. 24.45, `ergo ipsis carnalibus formis quibus detinemur nitendum est ad eas cognoscendas quas caro non nuntiat'). See also s. Mai 126.6 (c. 417, citing Rom. 1.20), `alius, ut inveniat deum, librum legit. est quidam magnus liber ipsa species creaturae: superiorem et inferiorem contuere, attende, lege. non deus, unde eum cognosceres, de atramento litteras fecit: ante oculos tuos posuit haec ipsa quae fecit. quid quaeris maiorem vocem? clamat ad te caelum et terra: “deus me fecit.” [cf. Ps. 99.3]' The compatibility with neo-Platonic views of the ascent was noted already by G-M, citing Plotinus

    This is the first of nineteen paragraphs from here to 10.21.31 (exceptions: 10.8.15, 10.16.25, 10.17.26, 10.20.29, 10.22.32) without second person singular direct address to God. The mind ascending to God does not address God (cf. notably 9.10.25, also without direct address): that is the function of confessio. (This drought is otherwise unmatched in conf.; on the prevalence of such direct address elsewhere, see on 1.1.1.)

    quid est hoc: See on 7.6.10.

    interrogavi . . .: The four elements are invoked, in the sequence earth, water, air, fire, in order; the rhetorical device is the same as that applied to the senses above (10.6.8). For the interrogatio, cf. s. 241.2.2, (`interroga mundum . . . interroga omnia, et vide si non sensu suo tamquam tibi respondent, deus nos fecit'), quoted on 9.10.23. For the idea, cf. civ. 11.4, `exceptis enim propheticis vocibus mundus ipse ordinatissima sua mutabilitate et visibilium omnium pulcherrima specie quodam modo tacitus et factum se esse et non nisi a deo ineffabiliter atque invisibiliter magno et ineffabiliter atque invisibiliter pulchro fieri se potuisse proclamat.'

    abyssos: Job 28.14 (VL), `abyssus dixit, non est in me, et mare dixit, non est mecum.'

    reptilia: Gn. 1.20, `producant aquae reptilia animarum viventium' (see 13.20.26).

    Anaximenes: To study Anaximenes is for the curious: ep. 118.2.12, `quid nobis est . . . quaerere quid senserit Anaximenes, et olim sopitas lites inani curiositate recoquere . . . ?' The issue is critical, because it harks back to A.'s difficulties in conceiving God without a body; A. describes in detail Cicero's refutation (at nat. deor. 1.10.26) of Anaximenes' view at ep. 118.4.23, `qui enim didicerit deum non distendi aut diffundi per locos neque finitos neque infinitos, quasi in aliqua parte maior sit in aliqua minor, sed totum ubique esse praesentem . . . nequaquam eum movebit quod de infinito aere sensit, quicumque sensit quod ipse esset deus.' (See on 7.1.2 and cf. 1.3.3; he also treats Anaximenes briefly [depending on the same passage of Cic.] at civ. 8.2, 8.5, 18.37 and at c. Iul. 4.15.75.) As one of the ancient wise men of Greece, Anaximenes had a place in other canons of the time, most notably in the `history of philosophy' written (or translated?) by Mallius Theodorus (clearly implied, without the name, by Claudian, M. Theod. 70, leading a catalogue: see Courcelle, LLW 135).

    ipse fecit nos: Ps. 99.3, `scitote quoniam dominus ipse est deus; ipse fecit nos, et non nos'; see on 9.10.25. BA ad loc. thinks this inspired by Plotinus; mirum est, quomodo viri doctiores legant verba scripturae sacrae et dicant ea mutuata a philosopho platonico.

    intentio: See on 9.10.23, `in ea quae ante sunt extenti'.

    responsio eorum species eorum: Cf. 11.4.6, `et vox dicentium est ipsa evidentia'. s. 241.2.2, `pulchritudo eorum, confessio eorum'; en. Ps. 144.13, `ista contextio creaturae, ista ordinatissima pulchritudo ab imis ad summa conscendens, a summis ad ima descendens, nusquam interrupta, sed dissimilibus temperata, tota laudat deum . . . . vox quaedam est mutae terrae, species terrae.' lib. arb. 3.23.70, `et re vera si pie ac diligenter attendas, omnis creaturae species et motus qui in animi humani considerationem cadit eruditionem nostram loquitur, diversis motibus et adfectionibus quasi quadam varietate linguarum undique clamans atque increpans cognoscendum esse creatorem.' Sim. at en. Ps. 26. en. 2.12.

    corpus et anima: beata v. 2.7, `manifestum vobis videtur ex anima et corpore nos esse compositos?'; cf. mor. 1.4.6.

    radios oculorum meorum: Sight is always an active sense for A., where hearing is more passive: s. 277.10.10, `quod enim vidis, oculi tui radio contingis. si velis videre longius et interponatur aliquod corpus, inruit radius in corpus obiectum, et transire non permittitur ad id quod videre desideras,' and see s. 277.11.11, quoted on 7.17.23, and Io. ep. tr. 6.10, quoted on 7.10.16, `radians'; cf. Gn. litt. 1.16.31 and see on 10.34.52. For more details, and the Stoic connection of this idea, see J. Rohmer, Aug. Mag. 1.491-498; BA 48.125n; O'Daly 82. On its importance for A.'s metaphor of intellectual vision, see M. Miles, Jour. Rel. 63(1983), 125-142. With a different view, TeSelle 96-97 strongly doubts that A. believed the ray theory of vision, but without considering s. 277.

    homo interior: Rom. 7.22, `condelector enim legi dei secundum interiorem hominem' (clearly cited at 7.21.27 and 8.5.12); 2 Cor. 4.16, `sed licet is qui foris est noster homo corrumpatur: tamen is qui intus est renovatur de die in diem'; Eph. 3.16, `virtute corroborari per spiritum eius in interiorem hominem'.

    interrogavi . . . ipse me fecit: Verheijen moves these lines to the beginning of the paragraph, immediately following `et quid est hoc'; Herrmann, Aug. Mag. 1.138-139, had moved them to precede `et dixi omnibus his'. By changing the point preceding `interrogavi' from a period to a comma, the incongruity Verheijen sensed is removed. The iteration and summary is clear and intended. To put these lines first would spoil the effect of the original four interrogations of the elements.

    text of 10.6.10


    This paragraph resembles 7.17.23 (as Theiler, P.u.A. 67, observed), the second `ascent' of that book, and so strengthens the parallels suggested in notes at the beginning of this book between the program of Bk. 10 and the earlier lessons in mystical ascent (more often that of Ostia).

    anima pusilla et magna: Ps. 103.25, `repleta est terra creatura tua, hoc mare magnum et spatiosum, ibi repentia quorum non est numerus, anima pusilla et magna.' As G-M remark here, animals do have the interior sensus that correlates sense data--see 10.7.11; for the sequence, see 7.17.23, `interiorem vim . . . ratiocinantem . . . iudicandum'.

    invisibilia dei: Rom. 1.20.

    amore subduntur eis: Plotinus, a(/ma ga\r diw/ketai a)/llo kai\ qauma/zetai, kai\ to\ qauma/zon kai\ diw=kon i(mologei= xei=ron ei)=nai: xei=ron de\ au(to\ tiqe/menon gignome/nwn kai\ a)pollume/nwn a)timo/tato/n te kai\ qnhto/taton pa/ntwn w(=n tima=| u(polamba/non ou)/te qeou= fu/sin ou)/te du/namin a)/n pote e)n qumw=| ba/loito.

    iudicantibus: see `iudex ratio' above.

    vocem . . . speciem: Created nature speaks of God, but only to those who hear; God himself, demonstrably silent, is also the object of the same claim--that he speaks to those who hear. Both claims concentrate attention on the act of interpretation: the quality of communication no longer depends on the speaker, but on the listener; cf. mag. 11.38 quoted in next note.

    intus cum veritate conferunt: i.e., with the incarnate word of God, second person of the trinity, incommutable truth itself, `inside' the soul of the person who has been liberated by faith and baptism. The insight has Platonic resonance: civ. 8.7, `lumen autem mentium esse dixerunt [sc. platonici] ad discenda omnia eundem ipsum deum a quo facta sunt omnia'; cf. Plot. 5.1.10-11, 5.3.3. Cf. mag. 11.38, `intus ipsi menti praesidentem consulimus veritatem . . . . ille autem, qui consulitur, docet, qui in interiore homine habitare dictus est Christus'; sim. at Io. ev. tr. 54.8, `non sic loquitur veritas: intellegentibus mentibus intus loquitur, sine sono instruit, intellegibili luce perfundit.' For a formulation more purely linguistic, cf. trin. 15.11.20, `proinde verbum quod foris sonat signum est verbi quod intus lucet, cui magis verbi competit nomen. nam illud quod profertur carnis ore vox verbi est, verbumque et ipse dicitur propter illud a quo ut foris appareret adsumptum est' (and see on that passage R. A. Markus, Phronesis 2[1957], 81, with discussion in Meijering 20 [both writers observe that the difference between earlier formulations and that of trin. may have escaped A.'s attention].)

    non est deus tuus: Cf. Exod. 21.4, `non facies tibi sculptile, neque omnem similitudinem quae est in caelo desuper et quae in terra deorsum, nec eorum quae sunt in aquis sub terra visitans iniquitatem patrum in filios.'

    viden? viden? Ver.  `scribendum putavi' Ver.:   vident G O S Knöll Skut. Pell.:   videns C D V E M:   videnti A H Maur. Vega  (with the next words down to `in toto' in quotation marks):   vide en B P
    Herrmann Aug. Mag. 1.138 reads as `vide an moles est minor in parte quam in toto' and stigmatizes as a medieval gloss. Verheijen p. xliii explains, `Le scribe de l'archétype n'a pas vu qu'Augustin commence ici à parler à son âme. Il va l'affirmer en toutes lettres: tibi dico anima, "c'est à toi mon âme que je parle."' This is the best cure for a long-troublesome problem. (The form is attested in a suitably lofty context at Aen. 7.779, describing Romulus in the underworld: `viden, ut geminae stant vertice cristae?') Vident has the merit of important manuscript attestation, but requires convoluted interpretation: `They see' is taken to govern not any form of indirect discourse but an independent clause following (in usual punctuation) a colon, and with it a change in verb-number is made from `dicit' (with `natura' as subject) to `vident' (drawing a subject from `eorum')--there is much variation in number of subjects and verbs in this paragraph, but this goes too far. The appeal of videnti, no less great to modern editors than to the medieval scribes who first wrote it, is that it returns to the initial topic of the paragraph, that created nature speaks to the one who . . . `judges' --and there is the problem, for the word videnti would apply to both those who judge and those who do not (`si alius tantum videat'); and if, after videnti, `moles est . . . toto' can be placed in quotation marks, another problem arises, for est should in that case be sum. For vident, cf G-M, and for videnti cf. BA ad loc. and O. Tescari, Riv. filol. istr. class. N. S. 13(1935), 525-529.

    moles est, minor in parte quam in toto: Cf. 1.3.3, `ergo est aliqua pars tua maior, aliqua minor?' If the line is a gloss, the scholiast had a sharp memory for the exactly apposite passage in conf.

    tibi dico, anima: For apostrophes to the soul, see on 3.2.3, 4.11.16, 11.15.19, and cf. the format of sol.'s dialogue between `Augustine' and `Reason.' The conscious alienation from self (or part of self) is much more commonly expressed, e.g., 4.4.9, `interrogabam animam meam'.

    vitae vita: See on 3.6.10, `vita es animarum', and cf. 7.1.2, `vita vitae meae', and 10.20.29, `vivit enim corpus meum de anima mea et vivit anima mea de te.'

    text of 10.7.11


    transibo vim meam: The phrase again at 10.8.12, then not until the long discourse on memory is completed and A. ascends past memory toward God at 10.17.26 (5x); see on 5.1.1 `transiens ad te', and cf. 9.10.24, `mentes nostras . . . transcendimus eas'. vis = `faculty' (see on 10.8.15).

    non ea vi: For the ascent from sense (the province of anima) to interior sense (of animus) to intellect (of spiritus), see on 10.6.10 above, citing 7.17.23.

    equus et mulus: Ps. 31.9, `nolite fieri sicut equus et mulus, quibus non est intellectus'; horse and mule pass for higher animals because of their posture (en. Ps. 31. en. 2.22, `equus et mulus erecta cervice sunt').

    sensifico: A. is credited with this neologism (Hrdlicka 16), but it is scarcely likely that Mart. Cap. 9.908 is consciously following A.

    oculo . . . et auri: Rom. 11.8, `sicut scriptum est [Deut 29.4], dedit illis deus spiritum compunctionis, oculos ut non videant, et aures ut non audiant, usque in hodiernum diem.'

    text of 10.8.12


    A long drought of scriptural citations here sets in while A. discusses memory.

    gradibus ascendens: 4.12.19, 9.10.24, and quant. an. 33.70-76.

    campos et lata praetoria memoriae: Knauer 115 contrasts, both for imagery and tone, 1.5.6, `angusta est domus animae meae . . . ruinosa est'; cf. 10.8.14, `in aula ingenti memoriae meae', 10.40.65, `recessus memoriae meae'. Memory in conf. is an active force (1.8.13, `prensabam memoria'), a repository of images (4.1.1, 6.9.14), and already by implication a place where God is found (7.17.23, `sed mecum erat memoria tui . . . non mecum ferebam nisi amantem memoriam').

    thesauri: See 10.8.13, `thesaurus' and `thesauro'; Io. ev. tr. 23.11, `vides aliquid, et per oculos percipis, et commendas memoriae; ibi est intus quod memoriae commendasti, in abdito reconditum quasi in horreo, quasi in thesauro, quasi in secretario quodam et penetrali interiore.' The image was commonplace (cf. rhet. Herr. 3.16.28, `nunc ad thesaurum inventorum atque ad omnium partium rhetoricae custodem, memoriam, transeamus'); but note that A. contradicts Porphyry flatly: Porph. sent. 15, h( mnh/mh ou)k e)/sti fantasiw=n swthri/a, a)lla\ tw=n melethqe/ntwn e)k ne/as probolh/.

    imaginum: Cf. 7.1.2, `per quales enim formas ire solent oculi mei, per tales imagines ibat cor meum'; forma is the external fact of `shape', imago the internal correlative; mag. 12.39, `imagines in memoriae penetralibus rerum ante sensarum quaedam documenta gestamus, quae animo contemplantes bona conscientia non mentimur cum loquimur.'

    vel augendo vel minuendo: ep. 7.3.6, `unde igitur evenit ut quae non videmus cogitemus? quid putas, nisi esse vim quandam minuendi et augendi animae insitam quam quocumque venerit necesse est adferat secum?' Sim. with the same verbs at ep. 162.5, trin. 11.5.8, and in nearly the same words, c. ep. fund. 17.20.

    catervatim . . . ex abditis: The imagery closely echoes that of Vergil's treatment of the behavior of bees in geo. 4, as W. Hübner, REAug 27(1981), 247-255 showed (see also 10.9.16, `miris tamquam cellis'; Hübner also suggests 10.10.17, `quasi in caveis', but `cavis' is the correct reading). This is a case, however, where the resemblance is more likely unconscious, i.e., a constellation of imagery coming together in A., influenced by his reading of V., but without conscious recollection.

    narro memoriter: As he did, e.g., in Bks. 1-9.

    text of 10.8.

    Excursus: Memory in Augustine

    This is the use of memory:
    For liberation--not less of love but expanding
    Of love beyond desire, and so liberation
    From the future as well as the past.

    Eliot, `Little Gidding'

    A. enters this discussion with a fixed purpose--discovery of the truth about himself and about God--and he continues this discussion at such length because he believes that memory has much to tell him about both himself (cf. 10.17.26, where he is finally ready to ask, `quid ergo sum, deus meus? quae natura sum?' --and in the same paragraph he is ready to transire even memory in the search) and God (only in memory: also at 10.17.26). The intersection of the seemingly static entities `self' and `God' is what A. calls beata vita (10.20.29-10.23.34), and it is there that A.'s meditation comes to its conclusion.

    A. had predecessors in the admiration of memory, but pride of place must go to Cicero, for whom10 memory set humanity apart from the beasts: Tusc. 1.24.57-1.27.66, e.g., 1.25.61, `. . . utrum capacitatem aliquam in animo putamus esse, quo tamquam in aliquod vas ea quae meminimus infundantur? absurdum id quidem. . . . an inprimi quasi ceram animum putamus, et esse memoriam signatarum rerum in mente vestigia?' 11 In his own work, see notably c. ep. fund. 17.20, `quid si eius memoriam cogitemus? . . . quis digne cogitet ubi capiantur istae imagines, ubi gestentur, vel ubi formentur? . . . nunc vero cum perexiguam terrae partem occupet corpus, immensarum regionum et caeli ac terrae imagines animus volvit, quibus catervatim discedentibus et succedentibus non fit angustus, atque hinc se ostendit non diffusum esse per locos, quia maximorum locorum imaginibus non quasi capitur, sed potius eas capit, non sinu aliquo sed vi potentiaque ineffabili, qua licet eis et addere quodlibet et detrahere, et in angustum eas contrahere, et per immensa expandere, et ordinare ut velit, et perturbare, et multiplicare, et ad paucitatem singularitatemve redigere.' That the context there is anti-Manichean suggests that the discussion here in Bk. 10 is at least partly in the same vein.

    Memory for A. is a storehouse of images;12 it is a passive faculty, on which intellect and will exercise their forces. When memory, intellect, and will are hypostasized as an image of the trinity in humanity (esp. in trin. 11: cf. du Roy 439-443), memory corresponds to the first person of the trinity (cf. esp. trin. 11.8.14, `ita fit ut omnis qui corporalia cogitat, sive ipse aliquid confingat, sive audiat aut legat vel praeterita narrantem vel futura praenuntiantem, ad memoriam suam recurrat et ibi reperiat modum atque mensuram omnium formarum quas cogitans intuetur'), and is the locus of the self (10.8.14, `ibi mihi et ipse occurro meque recolo'), the force that links present with past and gives identity.

    Underlying A.'s view of memory and its importance is his belief in the transience of the present. The present moment slips away so rapidly into memory that it may almost be said that we do not know the present, the fleeting instant poised between past and future, for as soon as we can know it, it is our memory of the present that we know: he even spoke (at 4.1.1) with deliberate sense of the paradoxes of praesens memoria. Guitton, Le temps et l'éternite chez Plotin et Saint-Augustin (Paris, 1933), 234-5: `L'instant n'est pas pour lui une limite abstraite déterminée par le mouvement. Il est un acte de l'esprit,--non certes un acte immobile, comme serait celui de la pensée séparée, mais un acte réel, formé par la superposition d'une tension et d'une détente. . . . Quant à l'instant, il est, dans cette histoire, le point critique où sous l'effet de l'espace la tension de l'esprit se brise et s'éparpille. C'est un événement de conscience, puisqu'il ne saurait exister sans une conscience expectante pour le prévoir et une conscience remémorante pour le retenir. De la conscience il est à la fois la condition et l'effet.' Cf. Le Blond Les Conversions de saint Augustin (Paris, 1950), 16, `Aussi ne la [mémoire] définit-il pas premièrement comme la faculté du passé, mais comme la faculté du présent, de ce présent qui nous échapperait si par la mémoire nous ne dominons pas le morcellement indéfini des instants.' See also le Blond, 181-6.13

    The delicate interplay of past, present, and future and the power of memory as de facto the locus of the `present' is important through the last books of conf. (see Landsberg quoted preceding 10.1.1 above), and it is worth lingering on the importance of this `vanishing present' and its place in A.'s texts; cf. 11.26.33, `praesens, quia nullo spatio tenditur'; 11.27.34, `quoniam praesens nullum habet spatium'; 11.28.37, `quis negat praesens tempus carere spatio, quia in puncto praeterit?' A sampling, esp. from before conf.:

    ord. 2.2.6 (on the anima of the wise man), `quibus autem est memoria necessaria nisi praetereuntibus et quasi fugientibus rebus? ille igitur sapiens amplectitur deum eoque perfruitur qui semper manet, nec expectatur ut sit, nec metuitur ne desit, sed eo ipso quo vere est, semper est praesens.' At 2.2.7 Licentius responds, `quid, inquit, memoria opus est, cum omnes suas res praesentes habeat ac teneat [sapiens]? non enim vel in ipso sensu ad id quod ante oculos nostros est, in auxilium vocamus memoriam. sapienti igitur ante illos interiores intellectus oculos habenti omnia, id est deum ipsum fixe immobiliterque intuenti, cum quo sunt omnia quae intellectus videt ac possidet, quid opus est quaeso memoria?'

    ep. 2. (to Zenobius, from Cassiciacum), `bene inter nos convenit, ut opinor, omnia quae corporeus sensus attingit, ne puncto quidem temporis eodem modo manere posse, sed labi, effluere et praesens nihil obtinere, id est, ut latine loquar, non esse.'

    en. Ps. 9.11, `. . . in his rebus quae temporis volubilitate praeterfluunt, nihil habentes nisi “erit” et “fuit”. quoniam quod in illis futurum est, cum venerit, fit statim praeteritum, exspectatur cum cupiditate, amittitur cum dolore.'

    Gn. litt. 12.16.33, `itemque in auditu, nisi auribus perceptae vocis imaginem continuo spiritus in se ipso formaret ac memoria retineret, ignoraretur secunda syllaba utrum secunda esset, cum iam prima utique nulla esset, quae percussa aure transierat. ac sic omnis locutionis usus, omnis cantandi suavitas, omnis postremo in actibus nostris corporalis motus dilapsus occideret neque ullum progressum nancisceretur, si transactos corporis motus memoriter spiritus non teneret, quibus consequentes in agendo conecteret.'

    Of several passages in trin. the most interesting is:

    trin. 11.8.15, `memoriam vero a sensu voluntas avertit, cum in aliud intenta non ei sinit inhaerere praesentia. quod animadvertere facile est cum saepe coram loquentem nobis aliquem aliud cogitando non audisse nobis videmur. falsum est autem; audivimus enim, sed non meminimus, subinde per aurium sensum labentibus vocibus alienato nutu voluntatis per quem solent infigi memoriae. verius itaque dixerimus cum tale aliquid accidit, “non meminimus”, quam, “non audivimus.” nam et legentibus evenit, et mihi saepissime, ut perlecta pagina vel epistula, nesciam quid legerim et repetam. in aliud quippe intento nutu voluntatis, non sic est adhibita memoria sensui corporis quomodo ipse sensus adhibitus est litteris.' See also trin. 14.11.14.

    A. wrote of memory often. To trace its role in his thought is the subject of a monograph not yet written; in the meantime, see best BA 14.557-567; also of interest is W. Schmidt-Dengler, REAug 14(1968), 69-89; Solignac, Lectio X-XIII 18-25 supplements his earlier notes in BA (esp. for discussion of the parallels between A.'s development and that of Cic. Tusc. 1.24.56.-1.25.61 [see above], not previously adduced in comparison). The recent discussion of O'Daly 131-151 is confined to `memory in the empirical sense'. A separate issue is the controversy over the possibility of a memoria dei, discussed by L. Cilleruelo, J. Morán, and G. Madec from 1954 to 1966: the positions are summarized by Madec, REAug 11(1965), 89-92, and Cilleruelo, REAug 12(1966), 65-84.

    Platonic anamnesis gave memory its philosophic importance (and A. gave some early explicit allegiance to that doctrine: ep. 7.1.2 to Nebridius), but Aristotle was in many ways more important (in a lost treatise, and in his own de anima 3.7) and rhetorical training had its own reasons for emphasizing the skill, and A. has his debts there too. In a Platonic vein, A. sees memory as the repository of number (and Wisd. 11.21 enables him to link numerus to the Logos: see on 5.4.7): ord. 2.14.41, `sive in rhythmis, sive in ipsa modulatione intellegebat regnare numeros totumque perficere; inspexit diligentissime cuius modi essent; reperiebat divinos et sempiternos, praesertim quod ipsis auxiliantibus omnia superiora contexuerat. et iam tolerabat aegerrime splendorem illorum atque serenitatem corporea vocum materia decolorari. et quoniam illud quod mens videt semper est praesens et immortale approbatur--cuius generis numeri apparebant--sonus autem quia sensibilis res est praeterfluit in praeteritum tempus imprimiturque memoriae, rationabili mendacio iam poetis favente ratione Iovis et Memoriae filias Musas esse confictum est.' See also mus. 6 passim. A.'s own originality (BA 14.558) is in his insistence that the memory contains not only images, but ideas (both Aristotle and Plotinus [] deny this).

    What of the `Ancient Memory Technique' (on which see Frances Yates, The Art of Memory [Chicago, 1966], and Herwig Blum, Die antike Mnemotechnik [Hildesheim, 1969])? Is A. one of its practitioners, and does his treatment of memory here depend on those doctrines? The answer must be a tentative no (Blum 141). There is no indication that A. ever knew the rhetorica ad Herennium, the crucial text; he knew the de oratore, but never alludes to the section on mnemotechnic. His own practice and his most famous anecdote about a prodigy of memory (Simplicius, reported at nat. et or. an. 4.7.9) give no secure evidence to show that he knew or practiced the technique. The most that may be said is that he drew on a store of imagery congruent with the technique.

    For the history of the ancient memory technique is not the story of superior powers of recollection in those days, but rather of their perceived decay in the face of literacy and of artificial devices to counterfeit their restoration. Plato already foresaw that literacy would destroy memory (Phaedrus 275a) and mnemotechnic is only intelligible as a private writing, a help for what is felt to have grown feeble. Cf. rhet. Herr. 3.30 and Blum 3, `In der römischen Literatur ist der Vergleich mit dem Schreiben bei Erwähnung der Mnemotechnik topisch geworden. Oft wird er nur ganz kurz angedeutet, aber der kundige Leser weiss sofort, worum es geht' (with citations from rhet. Herr., Cic. de or., Cic. acad., Cic. part. or., Sen. contr., Quint., and Mart. Cap.). Blum 136-42 shows that it is likely that the technique was little known in late antiquity. It is more likely that the technique, with its vivid anecdote of Simonides rescued from death by the Dioscori, was never a practical instrument in antiquity: if it became one in the Renaissance, that was perhaps more a tribute to the tenacious fidelity with which the early moderns recreated even some parts of antiquity that never existed.14 For a contrary view and systematic attempts to find the memory technique underlying the composition of conf., see most recently D. Doucet, REAug 33(1987), 49-69, and cf. W. Hübner, REAug 27(1981), 245-263, and W. Hübner, REAug 14(1968), 69-89.

    text of 10.8.13


    Memory has the power to supplant `reality', or at least what mortals know of reality: indeed, the whole argument of this half of Bk. 10 is that it is through memory that, after the fall, we encounter a more authentic reality.

    sicut lux . . .: The sequence of the senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch) as developed here has one feature alien to the ancient memory technique: its insistence on the variety of sensory origins of memory artefacts, relying not merely on the sense of sight, which Simonides of Ceos was reported to have called (Cic., de or. 2.87.357) `acerrimum autem ex omnibus nostris sensibus'.

    cogitationi: For etymology, see 10.11.18; cogitatio is pre-eminently a matter of visualization. For the spatial metaphor earlier, see 9.2.3, `in sinum cogitationis'; cogitatio is a process of manipulating imagines (see on 7.1.1).

    cum (appareat): concessive.

    text of 10.8.14


    in aula ingenti: Renewing (and continuing through the paragraph) the spatial metaphor from 10.8.12, `in campos et lata praetoria'; cf. Amb. Noe 7.17, `in capite . . . quasi in aula imperiali virtutum'.

    ibi enim mihi caelum et terra et mare: It now becomes clear that the beginning of the ascent (at 10.6.8-9), where heaven and earth and all creation are called to witness at the outset of the ascent, itself took place already in memory.

    ibi mihi et ipse occurro: The metaphor is spatial, but should not distract from what A. is trying to say: that memory, which is in some sense the self, is the place in which the self experiences itself. The sense of alienation implicit in `meeting' oneself in memory is not minimized.

    ex eadem copia: From a mixture of phantasiae and phantasmata, new `realities' are created that are at some level interchangeable with the empirical realities outside the memory; n.b. `quasi praesentia'. The distinction A. presses here, between memory and imagination, is perhaps a cultural rather than a natural phenomenon, but it is certainly essential to any western idea of a culture. We need our memories and our fantasies to be ourselves: they are ourselves. And we think them ruled by different laws: do we hold our fantasies to any severe realistic test? But we think we owe a truth-teller's duty to our memories, though when they can be checked they are regularly proved to be wildly wrong in comical--and significant--ways.

    similitudines rerum: R. Godel, Mus. Helv. 19(1962), 190-3, adduces Cic. off. 1.4.11, `homo autem [contrasted to the animal kingdom]--quod rationis est particeps, per quam consequentia cernit, causas rerum videt earumque progressus et quasi antecessiones non ignorat, similitudines comparat rebusque praesentibus adiungit atque annectit futuras,--facile totius vitae cursum videt ad eamque degendam praeparat res necessarias'; the passage is not registered in Testard or Hagendahl.

    dico apud me: The history of talking to oneself remains to be written, starting no later than Plato, Theatetus 189e (Socrates: tou=to ga/r moi i)nda/lletai dianooume/nh ou)k a)//lo ti h)\ diale/gesqai, au)th\ e(auth\n e)rwtw=sa kai\ a)pokrinome/nh); sim. at Sophist 263e (plh\n i( me\n e)nto\s th\s yuxh\s pro\s au(th\n dia/logos a)/neu fwnh=s gigno/menos tou=t' au)to\ h(mi=n e)pwnoma/sqh dia/noia;; cf. the Greek OT, Gn. 17.17, ei)=pen e)n th=| dianoi/a| au)tou= (VL has various representation for dia/noia: `in sensu/animo suo', `intra se', `in corde/mente sua'). In A., cf. cat. rud. 2.3, `nam et mihi prope semper sermo meus displicet. melioris enim avidus sum, quo saepe fruor interius antequam eum explicare verbis sonantibus coepero: quod ubi minus notus15 est evaluero, contristor linguam meam cordi meo non potuisse sufficere.' See also ep. 95.2 (`in quodam intus silentio nescio unde clamatur: “euge, euge!”'), quoted more fully on 10.36.59.

    text of 10.8.15


    Spatial metaphors continue: `penetrale amplum et infinitum', `spatiis tam ingentibus'.

    magna ista vis est memoriae: 10.17.26, where the purely philosophical discourse leads into the properly theological ascent again, also begins, `magna vis est memoriae'; for vis, 10.7.11-10.8.12, `transibo et istam vim meam'. Not, therefore, `Great is the power of memory' (Ryan), but something more like, `This faculty of memory is a great one', and for `vis est haec animi mei', `This is a faculty of my animus.' (This is clear at 10.40.65, `nec ego ipse cum haec agerem, id est vis mea qua id agebam, nec ipsa eras tu.' Cf. Cic., Tusc. 1.25.60, `quae sit illa vis [sc. memoriae] et unde sit, intellegendum puto.')

    fundum: Cf. 8.12.28, `a fundo arcano', 9.1.1, `a fundo cordis mei'.

    nec ego ipse capio totum quod sum: We are not who we think we are: 4.14.22, `grande profundum est ipse homo.' Cf. nat. et or. an. 4.7.9, `quid valeat memoria nostra, vel intellegentia, vel voluntas omnino nescimus'; Nietzsche, Zur Genealogie der Moral, Praef. 1: `Wir bleiben uns eben notwendig fremd.' For A. no less than for Nietzsche, the idea cuts against the received philosophical tradition. The opacity of the self to the self (cf. on 10.2.2, for the opacity of speaker to hearer) runs poignantly through A.'s works, particularly those that lead up to the self-discovery of conf.: ord. 1.1.3, `cuius erroris maxima causa est, quod homo sibi ipse est incognitus.' Immediately after his 391 ordination: ep. 21.2, `dominus autem inrisit me, et rebus ipsis ostendere voluit me ipsum mihi.' The traditional ancient command to `know thyself' (see on 10.3.3) no longer suffices to offer hope.

    animus . . . angustus: Cf. 1.2.2.

    ut ubi sit . . . capit: Allusive and difficult: G-M: `so that the question arises where . . .' Ryan: `Is the mind, therefore, too limited to possess itself? Must we ask, “Where is this power . . .?”'; Pellegrino treats the same way. BA takes `ergo . . . angustus est' as an exclamation (against the received pronunciation, followed here) rather than a question; Vega reads it as a simple statement (`De donde se sigue que es angosta el alma para contenerse a sí misma. Pero Ędónde puede estar lo que de sí misma no cabe en ella?').

    et eunt homines: These lines are famously quoted on Mt. Ventoux by Petrarch, ep. fam.; cf. Courcelle, Les Confessions 339-342. For the idea cf. 10.27.38, `et in ista formosa quae fecisti deformis inruebam'. It is conventional (e.g., G-M, Vega) to adduce Plotinus 5.1.2., but the textual resemblance is slight, and marking it blurs the relation of this text both to 10.27.38 and to 9.10.25 (where there is an echo of the same passage of Plot.). lib. arb. 2.9.27, `de quibus multis eligit quisque pro voluntate quo fruatur per oculorum sensum; et alius altitudinem montis alicuius libenter intuetur, et eo gaudet aspectu, alius campi planitiem, alius convexa vallium, alius nemorum viriditatem, alius mobilem aequalitatem maris, alius haec omnia, vel quaedam horum simul pulchra confert ad laetitiam videndi.' (In that passage, A.'s concern is to show that a multitude of beautiful forms testify to a single beauty-conferring light, and therefore that the many good things in the world, attest a single lux sapientiae. The treatment here, though with a similar goal of encouraging the mind's ascent to higher things, is rhetorically harsher and more disjunctive.) Cf. also Gn. litt. 12.18.39, `sed amant homines inexperta mirari et causas insolitorum requirere, cum cotidiana plerumque talia saepe etiam latentioris originis nosse non curent.'

    gyros siderum: Wisd. 13.2, `siderum gyrum . . . deos putaverunt'; echoed at s. Mai. 126.4 and trin. 15.2.3, `haec de libro sapientiae propterea posui, ne me fidelium quispiam frustra et inaniter existimet in creatura prius per quasdam sui generis trinitates quodam modo gradatim donec ad mentem hominis pervenirem quaesisse indicia summae illius trinitatis quam quaerimus cum deum quaerimus.'

    oceanum quem credidi: E. Dickinson:

    I never saw a moor,
    I never saw the sea;
    Yet I know how the heather looks,
    And what a wave must be.

    I never spoke with God,
    Nor visited in heaven;
    Yet certain am I of the spot
    As if the chart were given.

    text of 10.9.16


    See excursus on memory at 10.8.12 for the importance of A.'s (un-Plotinian) insistence that some res ipsae enter the memory. Spatial imagery: `immensa ista capacitas', `interiore loco non loco', `intromittuntur', `miris tamquam cellis reponuntur', `proferuntur'.

    doctrinis liberalibus: See excursus on 4.16.30.

    exciderunt: as verb of forgetting also at 4.13.20, 10.19.28.

    remota: 10.10.17, `sed tam remota et retrusa quasi in cavis abditioribus'.

    res ipsas: One important implication is made explicit at trin. 9.3.3, `mens ergo ipsa sicut corporearum rerum notitias per sensus corporis conligit, sic incorporearum per semetipsam. ergo et semetipsam per se ipsam novit, quoniam est incorporea.'

    litteratura: grammatica.

    peritia disputandi: dialectica.

    quot genera quaestionum: rhetorica (and cf. 10.10.17, `tria genera quaestionum').

    sicut vox . . . sicut . . . sicut . . . sicut: The sequence of the senses again.

    quasi sonaret cum iam non sonaret: See 11.27.34, for sound as a paradigm of the transiency of time.

    text of 10.10.17


    Spatial imagery: `nam percurro ianuas omnes carnis meae', `sed tam remota et retrusa quasi in cavis abditioribus'.

    tria genera esse quaestionum: A typical school-example (cf. e.g. Cic. orator 14.45, de or. 1.31.139, 2.24.104; Quintilian inst. 3.6.80; Mart. Cap. 5.444), evoked by the mention of the liberal arts at 10.9.16. The same division at div. qu. 18., `ideoque etiam cum veritas quaeritur, plus quam tria genera quaestionum esse non possunt, utrum omnino sit, utrum hoc an aliud sit, utrum approbandum improbandumve sit', and ep. 11.4. The tripartition matches that of A.'s triad modus/species/ordo (see on 1.7.12): du Roy 385-386.

    sonorum: For A., therefore, a `word' abides in memory as an aural, not visual, artefact: evidence of the way in which literacy had not completely displaced orality.

    attigi: See on 9.10.24, `attingimus'.

    ianuas omnes carnis meae: introducing another sequence of the senses passage.

    non credidi alieno cordi: Thus he escaped the dilemmas of knowing another's mind (for which only caritas provided a solution through faith-knowledge: 10.3.3) in order to acquire a greater certainty.

    approbavi: BA ad loc.: `Approbare a un sens très précis dans la noétique augustinienne: c'est l'acte par lequel l'esprit, après avoir confronté les objets concrets ou ses propres opérations avec les "rations éternelles" imprimées en lui, en affirme la valeur ou la vérité de manière certaine.16 Approbare est la forme positive du iudicare. Or le iudicare ne comporte pas, comme le simple cognoscere, la seule constatation; il implique la nécessité rationnelle et la vérité absolue de cette constatation: non seulement cela est ainsi, mais cela doit être ainsi, cela ne peut être autrement.' (Cf. approbare at 7.17.23 and 13.23.34.)

    ibi ergo erant: As G-M comment, here A. is Platonic; but the doctrine could be taken in an un-Platonic way, as at trin. 12.15.24 and esp. at retr. 1.8.2 (of quant. an. 20.34), `non sic accipiendum est, quasi ex hoc approbetur animam vel hic in alio corpore vel alibi sive in corpore, sive extra corpus aliquando vixisse, et ea quae interrogata respondet, cum hic non didicerit, in alia vita ante didicisse.'

    admonente: A hint of the significance; see on 7.10.16.

    text of 10.11.18


    Spatial imagery: `et quasi in remotiora penetralia dilabuntur', `neque enim est alia regio eorum'.

    intentioni intentioni C D G O2 edd.:   intentione O1 S

    indidem indidem S Maur. Knöll Skut. Ver.:   in idem C D G:   id idieim O

    ex quadam dispersione conligenda: A scriptural echo (Is. 11.12, `et congregabit profugos Israhel et dispersos Iudae conliget' [first at 1.3.3: see note there]) makes it likely that A. means to see an analogy between the act of memory giving order to itself and the act of God restoring order among his people.

    cogitare: For the Varronian etymology and the Augustinian meaning, see on 7.1.1.

    cogitur, cogitari cogitur, cogitari D G O2 Maur. Knöll Skut. Ver.:   cogituri cogitari O1 S:   cogitur cogitare C

    text of 10.12.19


    numerorum: Examples from the `trivium' appear at 10.9.16-10.10.17; arithmetic represents the `quadrivium' (the terms are anachronistic here). See on 5.4.7 for the triad mensura/numerus/pondus.

    coloratae . . . contrectatae: sequence of the senses.

    sensi etiam numeros: BA ad loc.: `Augustin fait une distinction entre les nombres sensibles, nombres nombrés appliqués dans le décompte d'objets matériels, et les nombres intelligibles, nombres nombrants, qui sont l'idée même des nombres divers, la loi rationnelle qui permet de les appliquer aux objets sensibles. . . . Cette distinction est probablement d'origine pythagoricienne, . . . mais Plotin la fait également.' (Plot. 5.5.4-5, 6.6.6, 6.6.9, 6.6.15-16). The notion is important from A.'s earliest writings: ord. 2.14.41 (quoted in excursus on 10.8.12). Cf. c. acad. 3.11.25, `intellegibilium numerorum', and lib. arb. 2.8.20. `Number' furnishes a dominant theme of the last, most mystical, book of mus.; see first retr. 1.11.1, `deinde, ut supra commemoravi, sex libros de musica scripsi, quorum ipse sextus maxime innotuit, quoniam res in eo cognitione digna versatur, quomodo a corporalibus et spiritalibus sed mutabilibus numeris perveniatur ad immutabiles numeros, qui iam in ipsa sunt immutabili veritate, et sic “invisibilia dei per ea quae facta sunt intellecta conspiciantur”.' The main discussion pertinent here is mus. 6.6.16-6.9.23 at 6.6.16, `redi ergo mecum ad propositum atque responde de tribus illis generibus numerorum, quorum alterum in memoria est, alterum in sentiendo, alterum in sono, quodnam tibi videatur excellere.' So mus. 6.11.33, `ita certis regressibus ab omni lasciviente motu, in quo defectus essentiae est animae, delectatione in rationis numeros restituta ad deum tota vita nostra convertitur, dans corpori numeros sanitatis, non accipiens inde laetitiam.'

    rideat: Why this intrusion into the meditation on memory? It has the effect, certainly, of anchoring us in the vein of confessio. Those who are not bound to A. through caritas may indeed laugh at him--that is a leit-motif of the whole work (see on 1.6.7). To be sure, A.'s confidence seems to be growing here, and it is the last laughter heard from the audience in the whole work. (Was the fear justified? Of course; cf. Petrarch ep. fam. 10.3, to his brother Gerard: `lege “confessionum” libros de quibus quidam ridiculi homines ridere solent.' There is no work of literature that is not mocked and derided, but that inevitable response has little place in the formal history of hermeneutics, or in commentaries.)

    text of 10.13.20


    Memory absorbs all our experience. All that we know and are and have done exists, if at all, in memory. Even intellection, the highest activity (see on 10.7.11), and memory itself are among its objects.

    teneo: as verb of memorizing; see on 1.13.20.

    text of 10.14.21


    laetatum . . . memor: Here A. anticipates the listing of the four perturbationes animi formally introduced at the beginning of 10.14.22.

    cum animus sit etiam ipsa memoria: G-M: `The whole difficulty arises from this loose identification of mind and memory under a kind of spatial conception. Memory is no doubt a function of mind, but it is characterised by the reference of its content to the past. The emotional colouring of past experience is naturally modified by the fact that in the act of recall it is recognised as not present.' But the spatial connection, as we have seen, is essential for A.'s conception of both mind and memory. Mind, conscious of itself in the present moment, does not quite exist--because to be conscious is to be conscious in memory, and not really in the present. 17

    Cf. O'Daly 136, `It would be easy to read into these words [10.17.26, `et hoc animus est, et hoc ego ipse sum'] an assertion of the identity of the memory with the mind and even the self. But that is hardly what A. means. . . . Memory is indeed the mind, but engaged in certain pursuits, directed in a certain way and in relation to certain objects.' What O'Daly shows is that `memory' and `mind' are not indeed identical for A. O'Daly footnotes, `the modern reader influenced by the work of Proust and Joyce is particularly prone to make the equation meory = self here.' Perhaps fairest to say that memory is for A. the focus of conscious identity: if memory fails, though intellect and will survive, the individual loses something essential of the `self'.

    quid est hoc: cf. 10.6.9, and see on 1.6.10.

    animus habet laetitiam: G-M: `The paradox is produced by dropping the determination `praeteritam' . . . and using `habet' ambiguously--with `animus' = experiences, with `memoria' = holds'.18 Surely A. is looking at memory without reference to temporal considerations through here (Bk. 11 add the factor of time), and in doing so comes to a fuller appreciation of its powers and importance than is possible when we automatically rule it out of the present (which we believe has independent existence) and make it the mere storehouse of the past.

    text of 10.14.22


    quattuor esse perturbationes animi: Cic., fin. 3.10.35, `omnesque eae [perturbationes] sunt genere quattuor . . . aegritudo, formido, libido, quamque stoici communi nomine corporis et animi hedonen appellant, ego malo laetitiam appellare'; Tusc. 4.6.11, `est igitur Zenonis haec definitio, ut perturbatio sit . . . aversa a recta ratione contra naturam animi commotio.' Cf. Tusc. 3.11.24, `perturbatio . . . animi motus vel rationis expers vel rationem aspernans vel rationi non oboediens', with civ. 8.17, `motus animi contra rationem'. Behind Cicero on this subject stand the Stoics. The topic recurs often (Io. ev. tr. 46.8, civ. 8.16-17, 9.4-8, and 14.5-9). Of greatest interest is the debate with the Platonists over the question whether the wise man should, or even can, be unmoved. A. holds that the important question is not whether the individual is moved by these passiones (for in a fallen world, we have no alternative), but how the voluntas reacts to them; on this, see civ. 14.6-9; Io. ev. tr. 60.3, `habeant eas [sc. perturbationes] iustis de causis animi christiani, nec philosophorum stoicorum vel quorumcumque similium consentiatur errori; qui profecto quemadmodum vanitatem existimant veritatem, sic stuporem deputant sanitatem.' His Christian is therefore notably `emotional' (9.4.8, `in te inflammabar ex eis', 11.1.1, `affectum meum excito in te'), and it is the Christian God who, in his immutability, most resembles the Stoic sage. See G. J. P. O'Daly and A. Zumkeller, Aug.-Lex. 1.166-180 (with discussion of departures from Cicero's terminology and of Christian parallels [notably Lactantius and Ambrose] for the cautious approval of the emotions).

    quidquid . . . definiendo: Reflects the slightly ironic treatment of Stoic quibbling at Cic. Tusc. 4.5.9., `stoici cum de animi perturbationibus disputant magnam partem in his partiendis et definiendis occupati sunt.'

    ianua carnis: One of the senses, as at 10.10.17.

    text of 10.15.23


    mihi quidem mihi quidem C D G O Maur. Ver.:   mihi S Knöll Skut.

    nullo modo recordarer: Even when something is present to us, hearing its name does not direct us to the thing itself, but to memory, where we connect things with signs. Hence language is in memory: the Word is present only in the past tense.

    numeros quibus numeramus: See on 10.12.19.

    nomino memoriam: G-M reprove A. here (`It is true that there is an actual exercise of memory in recalling what is meant by “memory,” but it is not this present act that is “remembered,” but a generalised concept drawn from the numerous cases in which we have gone through the experience of remembering.'), at the risk of missing his strategem, which is to delineate the boundary between images and things-in-themselves that reside in memory.

    text of 10.16.24


    G-M: `There is a certain looseness in his use of “oblivio,” but it does not here vitiate the argument as it does in the next paragraph.' The word parallels memoria, with the limitations noted by G-M earlier.

    privatio memoriae: BA 14.563-564 criticizes A. here for failing to treat oblivio, once it is defined as privatio memoriae, in the same way that he treats silence or darkness (they speak of his `solutions excellentes'). A. seems to hypostasize forgetfulness as a thing itself with real existence. That much said (and correctly said), it remains that the analogy in definition must betray some intent to see a parallel, even if inadequately carried through.

    et hoc quis tandem indagabit? quis comprehendet quomodo sit?: another deliberately `confessional' touch (cf. 1.6.10, `quid ad me, si quis non intellegat?'), the unknowability of many things the investigation of which is nevertheless of value.

    text of 10.16.25


    terra difficultatis: See on 2.10.18, `factus sum mihi regio egestatis', and cf. 4.4.9, `factus eram ipse mihi magna quaestio', and 10.33.50, `mihi quaestio factus sum'. Cf. Gn. 3.17ff, `maledicta terra in opere tuo: in laboribus comedes ex ea cunctis diebus vitae tuae . . . (19) in sudore vultus tui vesceris pane, donec revertaris in terram de qua sumptus es: quia pulvis es et in pulverem reverteris.'

    difficultatis: en. Ps. 106.5, `invenit ergo se ligatum difficultatibus cupiditatum, et non posse viam propter compedes ambulare; inclusum se sentit difficultate vitiorum. . . . liberat dominus de necessitatibus, rumpit vincula difficultatis . . . . facta est facultas quae fuerat antea difficultas.' Hensellek Sitzungsber. Akad. Wien 376(1981), 11, `Dass difficultas ein technischer Terminus aus Augustins Anthropologie ist, hat der Thesaurus . . . nicht vermerkt. Es bedeutet das Missverhältnis von Wollen und Handeln im Zustande der Gefallenheit, wie es in der Schwierigkeit, das als sittlich gut und geboten Erkannte in die Tat umzusetzen, am augenfälligsten und störendsten sich äussert.'

    caeli . . . siderum . . . terrae: Cf. 10.6.8-9. There is an echo here of a line of Ennius that A. would have found sympathetic (cf., e.g., 10.8.15, `eunt homines . . .'): Ennius, Iphigenia frg. 95 (ed. Jocelyn line 187, pp. 107-9), `quod est ante pedes nemo spectat, caeli scrutantur plagas' (known from Cic. rep. 1.18.30; cf. also Cic. div. 2.13.30, Sen., apocol. 8.2 and Donatus on Ter., adelphi 386; other echoes via Cicero at Minucius Felix 12.7, Amb. Noe 7.17, and Paulinus Nol. ep. 12.5--Testard 2.27 and Hagendahl § 377 are incomplete on this). See Otto, Sprichwörter s.v. pes 1: behind this lurks the story of Thales (later generalized of absent-minded philosophers) who fell into a well, wrapped in thought.

    terrae libramenta: Job 28.25 (VL), `ipse enim omne quod est sub caelo perspicit, ventorum libramenta atque mensuras; quando fecit, sicut vidit enumeravit'; adn. Iob on 28.25, `tota creatura per partem significatur. et bene pondere, mensura, et numero omnia dixit facta, in quibus intellegitur creator.' (See on 5.4.7 and 13.9.10.)

    ego sum qui memini, ego animus: For the `self' and memory, see on 10.14.21.

    quandoquidem . . . imprimi: Macrob., sat. 7.16 (following in the footsteps of Plutarch's quaest. conviv. 2.3) knows the argument that the chicken came before the egg, because the egg contains an imago of a chicken, and the res ipsa must exist first in order for the imago to come to be (cf. my Cassiodorus [Berkeley, 1979], 122).

    Carthaginis: A.'s regular example of a place seen and remembered: e.g., ep. 7.2.4, dividing `phantasias . . . in tria genera . . . . primi generis exempla sunt, cum mihi tuam faciem, vel Carthaginem, vel familiarem quondam nostrum Verecundum, et si quid aliud manentium vel mortuarum rerum, quas tamen vidi atque sensi, in se animus format'. See also (refs. from BA 72.387n89) epp. 7.1.1, 120.2.10; c. ep. fund. 18.20, Gn. litt. 12.6.15, c. Faust. 20.7, en. Ps. 37.2; trin. 8.6.9, 9.6.10, Io. ev. tr. 23.11; O'Daly 109, 113-114.

    si ergo . . .: This discourse on oblivio is not pressed here to a conclusion that A. would expect to stand the tests of coherence and consistency that modern philosophers try to impose upon it. It is rather the fruit of a familiar Augustinian thought-experiment, where paradox is deliberately welcomed as evidence that things are not always as they seem, as an intermediate step urging us on to a more exalted theoretical ascent. Taking the terms of argument as they commonly stand, we are reduced to this: memory embraces everything, even oblivion, so what marvel then if it leads us on to something greater? Such an argument is neither forced nor insincere.

    The noun oblivio is used with a variety of vividly metaphorical verbs in A.'s works; used more than once (in most cases much more frequently) are decipere, subrepere, demergere, delere, absorbere, inrepere, sepelire, fallere, abolere, obruere.

    text of 10.17.26


    magna vis est memoriae: Echoing the beginning of 10.8.15, thus summarizing the discussion to here.

    multiplicitas: A word rarely used of God by A., one that verges away from the `oneness' of neo-Platonic divinity; there is only perhaps the more ambiguous trin. 6.4.6, `deo autem hoc est esse quod est potentem esse aut iustum esse aut sapientem esse et si quid de illa simplici multiplicitate vel multiplici simplicitate dixeris quo substantia eius significetur.' By contrast and more typically, at en. Ps. 4.9-10, the simplicitas of God is set against the temporal multiplicitas of creature.

    quid ergo sum, deus meus: Cf. 10.3.3 (`quid est enim a te audire de se nisi cognoscere se?') with the program of sol. 2.1.1 (`noverim me, noverim te'). We are forced to conclude that he has arrived here at self-knowledge, and hence that even what he has said in these chapters so markedly bereft of scriptural testimonia must be taken as things that he has heard from God concerning himself (authority implicit in the phrase at 10.6.10, `intus cum veritate conferunt').

    vita: Repeated below, `tanta vitae vis', and cf. `tu vera mea vita'.

    innumerabilibus . . . generibus: 10.8.12, `thesauri innumerabilium imaginum'.

    sive per imagines . . .: Recapitulation of the discussion of memory:

    sive per imagines, sicut omnium corporum: 10.8.12ff

    sive per praesentiam, sicut artium: 10.9.16ff

    sive per nescio quas notiones vel notationes

    sicut affectionum animi: 10.14.21ff

    animus non patitur: i.e., does not experience in the present.

    tu vera mea vita, deus meus: Jn. 14.6. Knauer 55n1 with notes, n.b. 3.6.10, `vita animae meae'.

    transibo et hanc vim meam: Resuming the ascent after the meditation on memoria/animus begun at 10.8.12, `transibo ergo et istam [vim] naturae meae, gradibus ascendens ad eum qui fecit me, et venio in campos et lata praetoria memoriae.'

    dulce lumen: Ecclesiastes 11.7, `dulce lumen, et delectabile est oculis videre solem' (also at 11.19.25), evoked through the medium of Jn. 1.9, `lumen verum'.

    ascendens: See 10.8.12 quoted above; for ascendere, see on 4.12.19.

    attingere: See on 9.10.24, `attingimus'.

    inhaerere tibi: Ps. 72.38, `mihi autem inhaerere deo bonum est'; see on 7.11.17.

    enim: Explaining why he would like to transcend memory (transire memoriam). The last animal comparison was at 10.7.11, saying that he would not find God through the senses of the body, which is shared with the animals. Animal memory: c. ep. fund. 17.20, `memoriam . . . harum corporearum quam et bestiae habere sentiuntur (nam et per loca nota sine errore iumenta pergunt, et cubilia sua bestiae repetunt, et canes dominorum suorum corpora recognoscunt . . .)'; mus. 1.4.8, `puto te negare non posse bestias habere memoriam. nam et nidos post annum revisunt hirundines, et de capellis verissime dictum est: “atque ipsae memores redeunt in tecta capellae” [Verg., geo. 3.316]. et canis heroem dominum, iam suis hominibus oblitum recognovisse praedicatur [Hom., Od. 17.291].'

    qui separavit me: Job 35.11 (VL), `qui separat me a quadrupedibus terrae et a volatilibus caeli sapientiorem me fecit' (see on 6.1.1).

    a volatilibus a volatilibus O Ver.:   volatilibus C D G S Maur. Knöll Skut.
    (See on 6.1.1.)

    ut ubi . . . ut ubi ut ubi . . . ut ubi O Knöll Skut. Ver.:   ut ibi . . . ut ibi G S:   et ubi . . . et ubi C D Maur.
    The reading that makes the most pointed question is best, for the next two lines, `si praeter . . . tui sum', obviously answer (by way of rhetorical question) this question.

    bone: Vocative to God, 2.6.12, 3.6.10, 3.11.19, 8.3.6, 10.31.46, 10.43.69, 11.22.28, 13.15.17, 13.38.53.

    secura suavitas: 2.1.1, `dulcedo felix et secura'.

    si praeter memoriam meam: G-M: `This is the problem of the Meno.' It is the problem of 1.1.1 (knowledge first, or invocation? there, the answer was knowledge, given from outside through preaching) and the problem of knowing God. For if A. seeks to reach God, but finds him only already present in the memory, then the God who is found is not present to A., but already past (see excursus on memory at 10.8.12 for the vanishing present). Similarly (as Warns observes), the mystical ascents of Bks. 7, 9, and even 10, must be constantly re-enacted, for what remains afterwards is not the vision itself, but only the `amantem memoriam' (7.17.23).

    immemor tui sum: Cf. Ps. 136.5, `si oblitus tui fuero, Hierusalem, obliviscatur me dextera me'; en. Ps. 136.15, `dextera nostra est vita aeterna'.

    text of 10.18.27


    mulier: Lk. 15.8, `aut quae mulier habens drachmas decem, si perdiderit drachmam unam nonne accendit lucernam et everrit domum et quaerit diligenter donec inveniat'; immediately precedes the prodigal in Luke; echoed already at 8.3.6.

    si forte . . .: When we lose something from sight, we recognize it again when we compare it with its imago within. So too, there is an imago of God already there in the self: when, and only when, it is found (authentic self-knowledge), God can also be found.

    sed hoc perierat quidem oculis, memoria tenebatur: G. Wijdeveld, REAug 6(1960), 316, suggests taking these words not as the conclusion of this paragraph but as the separate beginning of the next; he may be right.

    text of 10.19.28


    aliud pro alio: 1.1.1, `aliud enim pro alio potest invocare nesciens'.

    detruncata: nom.; for discussion, see W. Schmidt-Dengler, Stilistische Studien zum Aufbau der Augustins Konfessionen (diss., Vienna, 1965), 178.

    approbamus: See on 10.10.17.

    text of 10.20.29


    quomodo ergo te quaero, domine?: We are back to the subject of 1.1.1 again: what goes on here in Bk. 10 is on a smaller scale what goes on in the work as a whole.

    cum enim te . . . quaero, vitam beatam quaero: Cf. 10.22.32: the identification of source with relationship is facile and may lead to difficulties, which A. seems to have been more careful to avoid in trin. (O. O'Donovan The Problem of Self-Love in St. Augustine [New Haven, 1980], 170).

    te . . . quaero: Cf. 1.1.1, `quaeram te, domine, invocans te'; elsewhere quaerere + te thematically at 5.2.2, 6.1.1, 7.4.6, then here and at 10.24.35 and 10.27.38; afterwards only at 11.2.4.

    vitam beatam: The phrase is anticipated at 4.12.18 (the address to his soul) and 6.10.17 - 6.11.20 (in doubt in Milan). Beatus appears 57x in conf., of which 38x in 10.20.29 - 10.23.34. The dialogue that began on A.'s birthday at Cassiciacum was devoted to the topic; A.'s final statement there: beata v. 4.35, `hoc est beata vita, pie perfecteque cognoscere a quo inducaris in veritatem [2], qua veritate perfruaris [3], per quid conectaris summo modo [1]. quae tria unum deum intellegentibus unamque substantiam exclusis vanitatibus variae superstitionis ostendunt'; more concisely, he accepts in beata v. (e.g., 4.34) the summary `deum habet igitur quisquis beatus est,' which should be kept in mind through the discussion following here: happiness is not a static quality of a person, but a measure of his continuing relationship with God. The phrase itself has Ciceronian (acad. 1.5.21-6.22, Lucull. 43.134, nat. deor. 1.20.53, and see below on `beata vita quam omnes volunt') and Senecan (cf. his dialogue de vita beata, addressed to his brother: probably not known to A. [see on 5.6.11]) authority and is not biblical, but the frequency of beatus in scripture, esp. the Psalms (e.g., 1.1) and the `beatitudes' (Mt. 5.3-11), provided a foundation for the importation to Christian Latin. See Holte, Béatitude et Sagesse (Paris, 1962), 13-15 and passim.

    quaeram te ut vivat anima mea: Ps. 68.33, `quaerite dominum et vivet anima vestra'; en. Ps. 68. s. 2.17, `“quaerite dominum”, inopes; esurite et sitite: ipse est enim panis vivus qui de caelo descendit [Jn. 6.51]. “quaerite dominum, et vivet anima vestra.” quaeritis panem, ut vivat caro vestra; dominum quaerite, ut vivat anima vestra.' This is the first Psalm-citation since 10.7.11, just before the introduction of memoria. Cf. also Is. 55.3, `inclinate aurem vestram et venite ad me, audite et vivet anima vestra.' P. Frassinetti, Gior. ital. filol. 2(1949), 50-59, compares a line of Marius Victorinus' hymn in praise of the trinity, `in aeternum vivat et anima mea'; the resemblance scarcely compels us to acknowledge dependence (see P. Hadot, ed., Marius Victorinus, Traités sur la Trinité, SC 69.1071). See on 3.6.10, `vita es animarum'.

    `sat, est illic.' ubi `sat, est illic.' ubi Knöll Skut. Ver.:   `sat est,' illic ubi Maur.

    appetitum discendi: i.e., curiositas: 10.35.54, `vana et curiosa cupiditas nomine cognitionis et scientiae palliata. quae quoniam in appetitu noscendi est.'

    incognitam: sc. vitam.

    beata vita quam omnes volunt: . . . and seek in the wrong way, hence the echo of the curious vocabulary of the secular schools. The Hortensius began with the claim, `omnes beati esse volunt' (cf. Cic. Tusc. 5.10.28.), and its echoes run through all of A.'s works (Hagendahl 182 lists 16x, only a selection).

    et est alius quidam modus: Three categories are established: `spe beati', `re beati', `nec re nec spe beati'. The third element represents a maturation from A.'s outlook before Milan, when he would have believed in two categories. His Christianity entails learning to settle for second best, for now.

    iam beati fuimus aliquando: On A.'s view on the possibility of pre-existence, see on 1.6.7. Here it is deliberately set aside.

    in quo et omnes mortui: 1 Cor. 15.22, `et sicut in Adam omnes moriuntur, ita et in Christo omnes vivificabuntur'; see on 5.9.16, and cf. 9.13.34, `illa [Monica] in Christo vivificata'.

    audimus audimus C D O Maur. Ver.:   audivimus G S Knöll Skut.

    omnes rem ipsam omnes rem ipsam C D G O Skut. Ver.:   omnes rem omnes S Knöll:   ipsam rem omnes Maur.

    sono sono C D G O Maur. Skut. Ver.:   solo S:   solo sono Knöll

    inhiant: Usually in a negative sense (1.7.11, `an quia uberibus inhiabam plorans?', 4.16.28, 6.6.9, `inhiabam honoribus, lucris, coniugio', 9.8.18), but positive of Marius Victorinus at 8.2.4, and dramatically so, twice, at Ostia 9.10.23, `sed inhiabamus ore cordis in superna fluenta fontis tui', 9.10.24, `et dum loquimur et inhiamus illi, attingimus eam modice toto ictu cordis'.

    fieret fieret C D G Maur. Knöll Skut. Ver.:   fierent O S

    text of 10.21.30


    By way of resuming the new topic (oblivio), some repetitions, e.g., Carthage, sequence of the senses, the four perturbations. (There is a rhetorical strategy familiar in A. here: after developing one idea at length, using another analogous one in shorter compass to summarize and focus the discussion; cf. civ. 4.34, where at the end of a long discussion of the place of divine providence in Roman history, the history of Judaism is introduced as counterexample and summary.)

    numquid ita: Four numquid questions, each evoking one of the kinds of memory discussed earlier: `numquid . . . vidit' : 10.8.13; `numquid . . . numeros' : 10.12.19; `numquid . . . eloquentiam' : 10.9.16; `numquid . . . gaudium' : 10.14.21.

    Carthaginem: See 10.16.25.

    notitia notitia O Maur. Knöll Skut. Ver.:   notitiam C D G S

    notitia notitia G O Maur. Knöll Skut. Ver.:   notitiam C D S

    nam gaudium meum . . .: In considering the possibility that the beata vita may be like one of the perturbationes animi, he finds himself considering that the perturbationes are variable, even when the source is the same (sadness at remembering the things that used to make him glad). The more closely the beata vita is associated with his immutable God, the less such a resemblance to the gaudium is possible.

    vel vidi: Introduces another sequence of the senses passage: sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch.

    text of 10.21.31


    recorder . . . amem . . . desiderem: Actions upon the past, present, and future, all in the present tense.

    sed beati prorsus omnes esse volumus: From the Hortensius: see on 10.20.29; cf. BA 14.568 on the theme.

    quid est hoc? See on 7.6.10.

    text of 10.22.32


    quocumque gaudio: Cf. 10.1.1, `quando sanum gaudeo'.

    non datur impiis: Is. 48.22, `non est gaudere impiis, dicit dominus' (text from en. Ps. 86.9 and 96.19 and 137.3; Vg. has pax for gaudere; A. depends ultimately on LXX xai/rein). en. Ps. 96.19, `gaudere quod vocant impii, non est gaudere. . . . si hoc non est gaudere, quale gaudium videbat in cuius comparatione non erat hoc gaudium? tamquam si tu nosses solem, et alicui laudanti lucernam diceres, non est ista lux. quare lux non est? ille pro magno habet, gaudet, exsultat; et tu dicis, non est ista lux.'

    et ipsa est beata vita, gaudere ad te, de te, propter te: BA ad loc. suggests the sequence goal (`ad te'), source (`de te') [2] (see next paragraph), and means (`propter te').

    text of 10.23.33


    beatam vitam beatam vitam C D O Ver.:   vitam beatam G S Maur. Knöll Skut.

    an omnes hoc volunt: Cf. lib. arb. 1.14.30, `nihil mirum est quod miseri homines non adipiscuntur quod volunt, id est, beatam vitam. illud enim cui comes est, et sine qua ea nemo dignus est, nemoque adsequitur, recte scilicet vivere, non itidem volunt. . . . itaque cum dicimus voluntate homines miseros esse, non ideo dicimus quod esse miseri velint, sed quod in ea voluntate sunt quam etiam his invitis miseria sequatur necesse est.'

    caro concupiscit adversus spiritum: Gal. 5.17, `caro enim concupiscit adversus spiritum: spiritus autem adversus carnem: haec enim sibi invicem adversantur, ut non quaecumque vultis, illa faciatis.' A. regularly (e.g., here and at en. Ps. 134.12 and 143.5) omits `haec enim . . . adversantur' in citing this passage. This is the first appearance of concupiscentia since 8.12.30, hinting at the direction of the last half of this book.

    utrum malint: Cf. 1 Cor. 13.6, `non gaudet super iniquitate, congaudet autem veritati.'

    de veritate: The word veritas occurs 17x in this paragraph and the next. This is the place in this presentation of the ascent at which A. introduces the person of Christ, in his guise as Truth. That equation has been implicit throughout conf. (from Jn. 14.6; see on 1.5.6), but here becomes the substantive center of attention. (Cf. Simone Weil, Waiting on God [New York, 1951], 69, `Christ likes us to prefer truth to him because, before being Christ, he is truth. If one turns aside from him to go towards the truth, one will not go far before falling into his arms.') Note that this paragraph alone provides the express equivalences:

    beata vita = gaudere de te = gaudium de veritate,


    veritas = inluminatio.

    qui veritas es: Exactly the same words at 1.5.6, 4.5.10, 5.3.5.

    deus, inluminatio mea: Ps. 26.1, `dominus, inluminatio mea et salus [v. l. salutaris] mea, quem timebo?'; en. Ps. 26. en. 1.1, `tiro Christi loquitur, cum accedit ad fidem, “dominus, inluminatio mea et salutaris meus, quem timebo?” dominus mihi et notitiam sui et salutem dabit, quis me auferet ei?'

    salus faciei meae: Ps. 41.7, `salutare [v. l. salus] vultus mei, deus meus'; Ps. 41.12, `salutare vultus mei et deus meus'; Ps. 42.5, `salutare vultus mei, deus meus'. Knauer 42n2 doubts that Pss. 41-42 are in mind here, and indicates only Ps. 26.1 (above).

    multos expertus sum: Cf. 1.5.6, 1.20.31, `falli nolebam'.

    adhuc enim modicum lumen est in hominibus: Jn. 12.35-36, `adhuc modicum lumen in vobis est. ergo ambulate dum lucem habetis, ut non tenebrae vos comprehendant. et qui ambulat in tenebris nescit quo vadat; (36) dum lucem habetis, credite in lucem. ut filii lucis sitis.' Cf. Jn. 1.5, `et lux in tenebris lucet, et tenebrae eam non comprehenderunt'. Io. ev. tr. 52.13, `“adhuc modicum lumen in vobis est.” hinc est quod intellegitis quia Christus manet in aeternum. “ergo ambulate dum lucem habetis, ut non tenebrae vos comprehendant.” ambulate, accedite, totum intellegite, et moriturum Christum et victurum in aeternum, et sanguinem fusurum quo redimat et ascensurum in sublimia quo perducat. tenebrae autem vos comprehendent, si eo modo credideritis Christi aeternitatem, ut negetis in eo mortis humilitatem.'

    text of 10.23.34


    veritas parit odium: Ter., Andria 68, `obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit'; the same line stood on its ear at 12.30.41, `concordiam pariat ipsa veritas.' Proverbial (Otto, Sprichwörter s.v. veritas 3, with refs. to Lactant., Auson., Sulp. Sev., Rufin., Priscian, Isidore), and early adapted to philosophical discussion (Cic. amic. 24.89, `sed nescio quo modo verum est, quod in Andria familiaris meus dicit: “obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit.” molesta veritas, siquidem ex ea nascitur odium, quod est venenum amicitiae, sed obsequium multo molestius, quod peccatis indulgens praecipitem amicum ferri sinit; maxima autem culpa in eo qui et veritatem aspernatur et in fraudem obsequio impellitur'). In Christian writers, easily associated with Gal. 4.16 (see next note), e.g., Hier. in Gal. 2.4.16 (see Skut. ed. 1969, 393f). Also in A. at ep. 82.31 (to Jerome), `nescio enim utrum christianae amicitiae putandae sint in quibus magis valet vulgare proverbium, “obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit,” quam ecclesiasticum, “fideliora sunt vulnera amici quam voluntaria oscula inimici.” [Prov. 27.6]' The proverbial quality of which A. was clearly conscious makes it appear here in virtual quotation marks, meant not merely to say something but to say it in the words of the secular world outside, to judge what truth it may contain. This is similar to the earlier use of the ipsissima verba of the Aeneid (see on 1.13.21) not merely to describe Dido but to express `the Dido of whom Vergil wrote'. The juxtaposition with a scriptural tag is another favorite device; cf. civ. 1. pr., where Aen. 6.853, `parcere subiectis et debellare superbos,' stands side by side with Prov. 3.34, `deus superbis resistit, humilibus autem dat gratiam.'

    inimicus eis factus est: Gal. 4.16, `ergo inimicus vobis factus sum verum dicens vobis?' Cf. Jn. 8.40, `nunc autem quaeritis me interficere hominem qui veritatem vobis locutus sum quam audivi a deo.' So the `homo tuus' is Paul; cf. on 1.1.1, `praedicatoris tui'.

    oderunt veritatem: Cf. Jn. 3.20, `omnis enim qui mala agit odit lucem, et non venit ad lucem ut non arguantur opera eius.'

    de ipsa . . . veritate gaudebit: 10.23.33.

    text of 10.24.35


    For finding God in memory, cf. 13.12.13, `commemorati sumus tui, domine'. For philosophical analysis and reflection, see generally the last chapter of O'Daly, esp. 211-116.

    ecce quantum spatiatus sum: To what is he referring? 10.6.8-10.23.34? Bks. 1-9? More likely the former, but not to the exclusion of the latter.

    non te inveni extra eam: 2.6.14, `ita fornicatur anima, cum avertitur abs te et quaerit extra te ea quae pura et liquida non invenit, nisi cum redit ad te.'

    ex quo didici te: In one sense, harking back to his infancy (1.11.17), and in another, to the more decisive discovery at Milan (8.12.29)--or Ostia (9.10.24-25)?

    et delector in te: Ps. 36.3-4, `pasceris in divitiis eius; (4) delectare in domino, et dabit tibi petitiones cordis tui.' lib. arb. 2.13.35, `ecce tibi est ipsa veritas: amplectere illam si potes et fruere illa et “delectare in domino et dabit tibi petitiones cordis tui.” quid enim petis amplius quam ut beatus sis? et quid beatius eo qui fruitur inconcussa et incommutabili et excellentissima veritate?' en. Ps. 71.7, `humilat autem illum dominus Iesus, gratia sua suos adiuvans, ut gratis deum colant, id est, delectentur in domino.' See R. Lorenz, Zschr. für Kirchengesch., 63(1950), 114.

    deliciae: i.e., gaudium de veritate.

    misericordia: In Bk. 10 (esp. in second half, but linked, as this passage suggests): see Knauer 82n2 (cf. 10.3.4, 10.28.39, 10.29.40, 10.32.48, 10.33.50, 10.34.53, 10.35.57, 10.36.58).

    respiciens paupertatem meam: Ps. 10.5, `dominus in templo sancto suo, dominus in caelo sedes eius, oculi eius in pauperem respiciunt'; en. Ps. 10.8, `quippe cui derelictus est pauper, et qui factus est refugium pauperi. . . . numquid metuendum est ne in turba divitum paucos pauperes videre non possit, quos in ecclesiae catholicae gremio custoditos enutriat?'

    respiciens: Lk. 1.48, `magnificat anima mea dominum . . . quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae.'

    paupertatem: Link perhaps suggested by divitiis (Ps. 36.3; see on `et delector in te' above).

    text of 10.25.36


    ubi manes: Cf. 1.2.2ff.

    sanctuarium: Rare in non-Christian Latin (once in Pliny the elder, otherwise never in classical texts; attested in inscriptions); available to Christians from the OT, where it is frequent translating various substantitves from a(/gios in LXX. Closest to the collocation here is 2 Chron. 35.3, `ponite arcam in sanctuario templi, quod aedificavit Salomon.'

    dignationem: Here in the conventional sense; see on 6.2.2, `dignationem'.

    transcendi: See vera rel. 39.72, quoted preceding 10.1.1 above.

    habent et bestiae: Cf. 10.17.26 on animal memory.

    imagines: 10.8.12ff.

    affectiones: 10.14.21ff.

    nec ibi tu eras: 10.17.26ff.

    laetamur, contristamur, cupimus, metuimus: The four perturbationes animi (10.14.22).

    obliviscimur: 10.16.24.

    nec ipse animus es: Cf. 10.16.25, `ego sum qui memini, ego animus.' For anima (the difference on this is probably neglibible), cf. c. Fort. 1.11, `illud de anima respondeo non esse deum; aliud esse deum, aliud animam. deum esse inviolabilem, incorruptibilem, et impenetrabilem, et incoinquinabilem, et qui nulla ex parte corrumpi potest, et cui nulla ex parte noceri possit. animam vero videmus et peccatricem esse, et in aerumna versari, et veritatem quaerere, et liberatore indigere. haec mutatio animae ostendit mihi quod anima non sit deus.'

    text of 10.26.37


    ubi ergo te inveni: Here is the reversal, the complete baldfaced flipflop, that rescues him from the solipsism to which his reasoning has led him. All his argument from 10.6.8 has shown that God is only found in the self. Now he brusquely asserts the reverse as the only tenable position: by implication, all his argument is put in a new perspective. Cf. vera rel. 31.57, `nec iam illud ambigendum est incommutabilem naturam, quae supra rationalem animam sit, deum esse'.

    nusquam locus: Cf. 6.3.4, `sed ubique totus es et nusquam locorum es', 8.3.8, `et nusquam recedis et vix redimus in te', and see on 1.18.28, on the metaphor of `going to God'.

    veritas . . . praesides: Sim. at 10.41.66, 11.5.7, and cf. 10.6.10, `intus cum veritate conferunt'. mus. 6.1.1, of God, `qui humanis mentibus nulla natura interposita praesidet'; Gn. litt. 5.19.39, `praesidens mentibus nostris ipsa veritas clamat'; sim. at ep. 147.2.

    non liquide omnes audiunt: On not hearing, see on 10.6.8.

    omnes unde . . . audiunt: Hearing the Word is antecedent to right willing; for that hearing, cf. 9.10.25.

    a te audire: Cf. 10.3.3, `quid est enim a te audire de se nisi cognoscere se?' and 10.6.10. See also mag. 11.38, quoted on 10.6.10.

    text of 10.27.38


    No passage of conf. has been quoted so often in the notes to earlier passages--approx. four dozen times. See Boissou's note at BA 14.569-572: note esp. that half the paragraph (`et ecce . . .') particularizes `sero', the second half (`vocasti . . .') expands `amavi'. (Some interesting cognate texts in C. R. C. Allberry, A Manichaean Psalm-Book [Stuttgart, 1938], 155.34-39 and [for images of taste] 158.20-27.)

    sero: Cf. 2.2.2, `tardum gaudium meum', 8.7.17, `multi mei anni mecum effluxerant'. BA, `Ces mots sero te amavi se rapportent assurément à la rencontre de Dieu au jardin de Milan' (but see below); cf. Courcelle, Recherches ed. 2, 441-478, for `le regret du retard'. Cf. c. acad. 2.2.6, `erumpere in veram pulchritudinem nitens tortuose ac deformiter inter scabra vitiorum'.

    amavi: The imagery here is erotic, but much less explicitly so than, e.g., sol. 1.13.22, `nunc illud quaerimus, qualis sis amator sapientiae, quam castissimo conspectu atque complexu nullo interposito velamento quasi nudam videre ac tenere desideras, qualem se illa non sinit, nisi paucissimis et electissimis amatoribus suis.'

    pulchritudo: Ps. 95.6, `confessio et pulchritudo in conspectu eius'; en. Ps. 95.7, `pulchritudinem amas? vis esse pulcher? confitere. . . . foedus eras, confitere ut sis pulcher; peccator eras, confitere ut sis iustus. foedare te potuisti, formosum te facere non potes. . . . amamus pulchritudinem: prius eligamus confessionem, ut sequatur pulchritudo.' Cf. 10.34.53, on pulchritudo as the origin of created things and the goal of A.'s sighs.

    On this beauty, see esp. on 1.7.12, on the triad modus/species/ordo; elsewhere at 2.6.12, 3.6.10, 6.16.26, 11.4.6, 13.20.28, 7.17.23, and esp. see on 4.13.20f, on the de pulchro et apto (esp. 4.15.27, `dulcis veritas . . .'). The long detour from the de pulchro et apto has now been completed, and A. finally hears what he needs to hear in order to see beauty as he should.

    The notion is neither supported nor restricted in notable ways by scripture: pulcher never occurs in the Pss. (it is rare in OT except 13x in Cant.), pulchritudo occurs twice (Ps. 95.6 as above, and linked with species at Ps. 44.5); neither word ever occurs in NT. The de pulchro et apto is evidence that the concern antecedes his (undoubtedly influential) reading of Plot. 1.6 and other texts. Cf. ord. 1.2.3, `idcircoque illam [pulchritudinem universitatis] videre non licet animae quae in multa procedit sectaturque aviditate pauperiem, quam nescit sola segregatione multitudinis posse vitari.' Cf. Courcelle, Recherches ed. 2, 458-460.

    There are two early (fifth-century) echoes of this text: First, Paulinus of Pella, eucharisticos 438-443:

    quae peritura cito illo me in tempore amasse
    nunc piget et tandem sensu meliore senescens
    utiliter subtracta mihi cognosco fuisse,
    amissis opibus terrenis atque caducis,
    perpetuo potius mansura ut quaerere nossem,
    sero quidem, sed nil umquam, deus, est tibi serum.

    Also Patrick, confessio 2 (ed. Bieler p. 57.14), `et ibi dominus aperuit sensum incredulitatis meae, ut vel sero rememorarem delicta mea et ut converterem toto corde ad dominum deum meum.'

    antiqua: Plotinus, pa/lin ou)=n a)nalabo/ntes le/gwmen ti/ dh=ta/ e)sti to\ e)n toi=s sw/masi kalo\n prw=ton. e)/sti me\n ga/r ti kai\ bolh=| th=| prw/th| ai)sqhto\n gibo/menon kai\ h( yuxh\ w(/sper sunei=sa le/gei kai\ e)pognou=sa a)pode/xetai kai\ i(/on sunarmo/ttetai.

    intus: Cf. 7.7.11, `intus enim erat, ego autem foris', and many other passages (1.6.7--see notes there, 1.6.8, 1.18.28, 9.4.10, 10.6.10, 10.8.14, 10.8.15, 10.34.52, 11.5.7, 11.8.10, 13.38.53). trin. 8.7.11, `exterius enim conantur ire et interiora sua deserunt quibus interior est deus.'

    deformis: = non pulcher (13.2.3).

    non essent: Cf. 1.2.2, `an potius non essem, nisi essem in te'; Gn. litt. 4.12.22, `creatoris namque potentia et omnipotentis atque omnitenentis virtus causa subsistendi est omni creaturae: quae virtus ab eis quae creata sunt regendis si aliquando cessaret, simul et illorum cessaret species omnisque natura concideret.'

    vocasti . . .: The sequence of the senses (see on 10.6.8) departs from the usual order for the first time in Bk. 10: hearing comes first--the Word speaking (cf. Ostia, 9.10.25). It is not only the garden scene that A. has in mind, for God reaches A. repeatedly through scripture, and will continue to do so. Hearing was a more passive and receptive sense for the ancients than vision (see on 10.6.9), and it is concupiscentia oculorum that keeps many from listening carefully to hear the Word of God. God's appeal to each of the senses in turn confirmed by specific scriptural citations (e.g., for touch, Ps. 72.28, `mihi autem inhaerere deo bonum est') at Io. ev. tr. 99.3-4 (quoted on 9.7.16, `fragraret . . . post te').

    rupisti surditatem meam: Cf. 13.29.44, `perrumpens meam surditatem et clamans'.

    coruscasti: c. acad. 2.1.2, `quis . . . tam subito umquam tantum intonuit tantumque lumine mentis emicuit, ut sub uno fremitu rationis et quodam coruscamine temperantiae uno die illa pridie saevissima penitus libido moreretur?' cons. ev. 4.10.20, `et si quando adiuta [anima] excedit hanc nebulam qua tegitur omnis terra, id est hanc carnalem caliginem qua tegitur omnis vita terrena, tamquam rapida coruscatione perstringitur, et in suam infirmitatem redit vivente desiderio quo rursus erigatur, nec sufficiente munditia qua figatur.' Io. ev. tr. 26.7, `intus coruscat'.

    fragrasti fragrasti Maur. Knöll Skut.:   fraglasti D S:   flagrasti C G O Ver.

    gustavi et esurio et sitio: Ps. 33.9, `gustate et videte quam suavis est dominus' (en. Ps. 33. s. 2.12 takes in a eucharistic sense); 1 Petr. 2.3, `si tamen gustastis quam dulcis est dominus'. Evocative as well of `hunger and thirst' in NT, Mt. 5.6, 1 Cor. 4.11. Food imagery also at Io. ep. tr. pr.., `praesertim quia in ipsa epistula satis dulci omnibus quibus sanum est palatum cordis, ubi sapiat panis dei, et satis memorabili in sancta ecclesia dei, maxime caritas commendatur. locutus est multa, et prope omnia de caritate. . . . item quibusdam sic esse debet, tamquam flamma ad fomitem; ut si non ardebat, accedente sermone accendatur.'

    in pacem tuam: Ps. 4.9, `o in pace, o in idipsum!' (commented upon at 9.4.11); the trajectory of conf., from 1.1.1, `et inquietum est cor nostrum', to 13.38.53, `tua quies tu ipse es'. See esp. 12.16.23, for the peace of the heavenly Jerusalem, and 13.9.10, for repose, peace, and the weight and fire of love.

    text of 10.28.39


    That life after baptism was a struggle with concupiscence was obvious to A., and became over time an increasingly important part of his teaching:19 cf. trin. 14.17.23, `sane ista renovatio non momento uno fit ipsius conversionis, sicut momento uno fit illa in baptismo renovatio remissione omnium peccatorum,' and see pecc. mer. 2.4.4. He knew Amb. fuga saec. 1.1, quoting it thus at persev. 8.20, `non enim in potestate nostra cor nostrum et cogitationes nostrae, quae improviso offussae mentem animumque confundunt, atque alio trahunt quam tu proposueris; ad saecularia revocant, mundana inserunt, voluptuaria ingerunt, illecebrosa intexunt, ipsoque in tempore quo elevare mentem paramus, inserti inanibus cogitationibus ad terrena plerumque deiicimur.'

    For perspective on failings similar to those catalogued here, cf. nat. et gr. 38.45, `ita nec commemorandum fuit si Abel, quamvis merito iustus appellatus est, paulo immoderatius aliquando risit, vel animi remissione iocatus est, vel vidit aliquid ad concupiscendum, vel aliquanto immoderatius poma decerpsit, vel plusculo cibo crudior fuit, vel cum oraret cogitavit aliquid unde eius in aliud avocaretur intentio. et quotiens illi ista ac similia multa subrepserint!'

    inhaesero tibi: Cf. Ps. 62.9, `adglutinata est anima mea post te' (text from en. Ps. 62.17; Rom. and Vg., `adhaesit'); en. Ps. 62.17, `videte desiderantem, videte sitientem, videte quomodo haeret deo. nascatur in vobis iste affectus. . . . ubi est ipsum gluten? ipsum gluten caritas est.' See on 7.11.17, `mihi autem inhaerere deo bonum est.' The future perfect `inhaesero' and the future `erit' make it clear that the future life is imagined, the culmination to which both Ostia and 10.1.1 - 10.27.38 look forward. But now (`nunc autem'), he considers the `reliquias tenebrarum suarum' (11.2.2) that keep him from full participation in the divine light.

    dolor et labor: Ps. 89.10 (`vielleicht' relevant: Knauer 75n2), `dies annorum nostrorum in ipsis septuaginta anni, si autem in potentatibus octoginta anni, et amplius eorum labor et dolor'; en. Ps. 89.10, `licet in novo testamento constituti simus, quod octogenarius significat numerus, amplius habet haec vita nostra laborem et dolorem, dum in nobismetipsis ingemiscimus, adoptionem exspectantes redemptionem corporis nostri: spe enim salvi facti sumus; et quod nondum videmus, per patientiam exspectamus. et hoc ad misericordiam dei pertinet.' Cf. Ps. 9.28, `sub lingua eius labor et dolor'.

    imples: Cf. 1.2.2 -1.3.3.

    sublevas eum: A verb of divine assistance at 7.3.5, 8.9.21, 13.7.8.

    laetitiae meae flendae cum laetandis maeroribus: Cf. 10.1.1, `cetera . . . flenda'.

    ei mihi! A. must be allowed his full measure of anguish: he is still not where he hoped to be. The remainder of Bk. 10 considers this lingering alienation, and its hope (`misericordia' below, and see Knauer 52). For the same exclamation, in similar circumstances, see 1.5.5; elsewhere in moments of heightened stress at 2.3.7, 8.3.8, 11.25.32.

    miserere mei: The prayer (< Ps. 30.10, `miserere mei domine quoniam tribulor conturbatus est in ira oculus meus') also at 1.5.5, 4.3.4, 9.4.8, 10.4.5, 10.33.50, 11.2.3-4, 12.27.37.

    medicus: See on 10.3.4, `medice meus intime'.

    numquid non temptatio est vita humana super terram? Job 7.1 (VL), `numquid non temptatio est vita humana super terram?' adn. Iob on 7.1, `temptationem vero dicit tamquam stadium certaminis, ubi vincit homo vel vincitur.' The scripural tag, exactly quoted, comes at the turning to the new subject, both requiring and justifying it; echoed twice more below, it leads to the tripartite analysis of temptation (Knauer 145n4). The verse is often cited by A. (sometimes with the addition of an unscriptural tota, probably from slip of memory: Courcelle, Les Confessions 579n5): civ. 21.14, `quamquam vita ipsa mortalium tota poena sit, quia tota temptatio est, sicut sacrae litterae personant, ubi scriptum est: “numquid non temptatio est vita humana super terram”?' Sim. at trin. 4.3.5, en. Ps. 74.1, c. Faust. 22.78, c. Gaud. 1.21.24, civ. 19.8, s. 210.4.5, s. Wilmart 5.1, s. Frang. 5.4, en. Ps. 122.7. Courcelle, Les Confessions 579-580, quoting epp. 94-5 from and to Paulinus, thinks that the development here is a response to that sequence of the correspondence; but Knauer 145n4, following Kusch 163n2, argues that Paulinus's letter answers A.'s and hence has no connection to the present passage. ep. 94.4 (Paulinus Augustino), `at te ego de praesenti vitae meae statu ut magistrum et medicum spiritalem consulo, ut doceas me facere voluntates dei, tuis vestigiis ambulare post Christum, et mortem istam evangelicam prius emori qua carnalem resolutionem voluntario praevenimus excessu non obitu, sed sententia recedentes ab huius saeculi vita, quae tota temptationum, vel, ut tu aliquando ad me locutus es, tota temptatio est.' ep. 95.2-3 (Augustinus Paulino), `ecce unde vita humana super terram tota temptatio est, quando et ibi homo temptatur, ubi quantum potest vitae caelestis similitudini coaptatur. (3) . . . nempe ergo temptatio est vita humana super terram.'

    text of 10.29.40


    Everything about conf. as literary artefact conspires to emphasize the place of continentia in A.'s view of his life and conversion.

    spes mea: 4.6.11, 5.8.14, 11.18.23.

    da quod iubes et iube quod vis: Here 2x, again at 10.31.45 and 10.37.60, and cf. other imperatives from do in conf.: 1.1.1, 4.1.1, 8.7.17, 11.2.3, 11.2.3, 13.8.9. The anguish of the last paragraph achieves here resignation and hence release. The idea was anticipated at sol. 1.1.5, `iube, quaeso, atque impera quidquid vis, sed sana et aperi aures meas, quibus voces tuas audiam. sana et aperi oculos meos, quibus nutus tuos videam.' sol. 1.14.24, `duc, age qua vis, per quae vis, quomodo vis. impera quaevis dura, quaelibet ardua, quae tamen in mea potestate sint, per quae me quo desidero perventurum esse non dubitem.' The expression here has a lapidary quality that attracted early and unfavorable attention, which in turn evoked A.'s most extensive interpretive remarks on conf. and its program: persev. 20.53, `quid autem meorum opusculorum frequentius et delectabilius innotescere potuit, quam libri confessionum mearum? cum et ipsos ediderim antequam pelagiana haeresis extitisset. in eis certe dixi deo nostro et saepe dixi, “da quod iubes et iube quod vis.” quae mea verba Pelagius Romae, cum a quodam fratre et coepiscopo meo fuissent eo praesente commemorata, ferre non potuit, et contradicens aliquanto commotius, paene cum eo qui illa commemoraverat litigavit. quid vero primitus et maxime deus iubet, nisi ut credamus in eum? et hoc ergo ipse dat, si bene illi dictum est “da quod iubes.” et in eisdem etiam libris quod de mea conversione narravi, deo me convertente ad eam fidem quam miserrima et furiosissima loquacitate vastabam, nonne ita narratum esse meministis ut ostenderem me fidelibus et cotidianis matris meae lacrimis ne perirem fuisse concessum? ubi utique praedicavi, non solum aversas a recta fide sed adversas etiam rectae fidei, deum sua gratia ad eam convertere hominum voluntates.'

    How did A. know of that episode? Who was the `brother and fellow-bishop'? The likeliest candidates are Evodius, who was in Italy in 404/5, and Possidius of Calama, who took ep. 95. to Paulinus in 408 (see Mandouze Pros. chr. s.v. Evodius 1 and Possidius 1). Though persev. is late (428/9), A. had used his knowledge of this line's nettling effect on P. in his earliest anti-Pelagian works of 411/12, pecc. mer. 2.5.5 (a lengthy development, juxtaposing `da quod iubes' to eight expressly scriptural phrases, concluding each pairing the same way: `cum iubet dicendo . . . [quoting scripture, e.g., Zach. 1.3, `convertimini ad me et convertar ad vos'] nosque illi dicimus . . . [quoting scripture again, e.g., Ps. 84.5, `converte nos, deus sanitatum nostrarum'], quid aliud dicimus quam, "da quod iubes"?') and spir. et litt. 13.22, `lege fidei dicitur deo, “da quod iubes.”' See also b. vid. 17.21 (414), `proinde petamus ut det, quod ut habeamus iubet.' Other echoes of the phrase at ep. 177.5, s. fragm. 4 (PL 39.1722: preserved by Eugippius). Brown 343, `Such a phrase seemed [to Pelagius] to blur, by personal acts of favouritism, the incorruptible majesty of God the Lawgiver. A feeling that the tide of opinion was fast turning against him towards a tolerance of sin as “only too human”, drew from him an angry and outspoken pamphlet, On Nature' (reconstructed at PL 48.599-606 from A.'s nat. et gr.).

    quidam: Cf. particularly 12.15.20, `quidam servus tuus' (= Paul, quoting 2 Cor. 5.21); but here `quidam' may be prudent in the face of doubts about the authorship of the book of Wisdom (doctr. chr. 2.8.13, civ. 17.20: cf. La Bonnardière, Biblia Augustiniana: Sagesse 45-57). The verse here quoted came into its own as an anti-Pelagian proof text (as often, A.'s own life as mediated in conf. anticipates ideas not seen again until drawn out more impersonally in the Pelagian quarrel, where his tenacity in their defense reflects the intimacy of his experience): s. 20.2 (undated), cont. 1.1, 13.28 (394/5), virg. 41.42-43 (401); then from 411 on: pecc. mer. 2.5.5, spir. et litt. 13.22, 32.56, epp. 140.37.84, 144.2, 157.2.9, 177.5, 188.2.8, 188.3.12, 218.2, ss. 160.7 (412/16? or: 397? see Verbraken), 283.2.2, 283.4.3, b. vid. 17.21, perf. iust. 5.11, s. fragm. 4 [PL 39.1722], c. Iul. 4.3.18, gr. et lib. arb. 4.8, persev. 17.43, `et de continentia legitur in libro sapientiae, cuius auctoritate usi sunt magni et docti viri, qui longe ante nos eloquia divina tractarunt; ibi ergo legitur, “cum scirem . . .”'

    nemo potest esse continens: Wisd. 8.21, `cum scirem quia nemo esse potest continens nisi deus det, et hoc ipsum erat sapientiae scire cuius esset hoc donum: adii dominum et deprecatus sum.' Cf. pecc. mer. 2.5.5 and spir. et litt. 13.22 (both quoted above on `da quod iubes'), both quoting and emphasizing this verse. Already cited, with regret that he did not know this doctrine at the time, of his moral position in Milan, at 6.11.20; and again at 10.31.45.

    conligimur: Is. 11.12, `et congregabit profugos Israhel et dispersos Iuda conliget a quattuor plagis terrae'; see on 1.3.3. Thus he connects continentia with Platonic conlectio a dispersione.

    defluximus: 2.10.18, `defluxi abs te ego et erravi, . . . et factus sum mihi regio egestatis'; cf. 12.10.10, 12.15.19, 13.7.8. On fluxus, see on 2.2.2.

    minus enim te amat . . . propter te amat: doctr. chr. 3.10.16, `caritatem voco motum animi ad fruendum deo propter ipsum et se atque proximo propter deum; cupiditatem autem motum animi ad fruendum se et proximo et quolibet corpore non propter deum'; trin. 9.8.13, `non quo non sit amanda creatura, sed si ad creatorem refertur ille amor, non iam cupiditas sed caritas erit. tunc enim est cupiditas cum propter se amatur creatura.'

    o amor: It is a reasonable inference that this is meant as an apostrophe to the third person of the trinity; cf. 4.12.19, `ardens igne caritatis', and 13.9.10, quoted in next note.

    accende: 8.4.9, `age, domine, fac, excita et revoca nos, accende et rape, flagra, dulcesce: amemus, curramus'; 13.9.10, `dono tuo [3] accendimur et sursum ferimur; inardescimus et imus'; and cf. 10.27.38, `exarsi in pacem tuam'.

    text of 10.30.41


    To say that A.'s doctrine of concupiscence is Pauline in origin is not a complete explanation, for there were many people avidly reading Paul in A.'s time, coming to different conclusions. Conclusions not so different from A.'s were possible for a Manichean writer, the author of the pseudepigraphical `epistula ad Menoch' thrown in A.'s face by Julian of Eclanum (c. Iul. imp. 3.166 and 3.172).20 But coincidence of opinion does not demonstrate influence or allegiance, and not every proposition to which a Manichee could subscribe must be therefore forever declared anathema, even by ourselves.

    On the organization of the temptations of the flesh according to the five senses, see above on 10.6.8 (`sequence of the senses'); for the same arrangement of the pleasures of the flesh sense by sense, see Epicurus, quoted at Cic. Tusc. 3.18.41., `detrahens eas voluptates quae sapore percipiuntur, detrahens eas quae rebus percipiuntur veneriis, detrahens eas quae auditu e cantibus, detrahens eas etiam quae ex formis percipiuntur oculis suavis motiones.' A helpful contrast is given by Amb. exam. 6.9.62, enumerating the five senses in the traditional order and praising them. Not for Amb. was the threat that A. feels, that the senses will be pathways for the invasion of temptation.

    a concupiscentia carnis . . . saeculi: 1 Jn. 2.16, `quoniam omne quod in mundo est, sicut divinitus dictum est, concupiscentia carnis est, et concupiscentia oculorum, et ambitio saeculi.' We have argued throughout this commentary (following Kusch, with modifications; see particularly on 1.6.10 and 2.6.13) that this passage gives structure to the first eight books as well as to this second half of Bk. 10 (for outline, see preceding 10.1.1). Briefly, each vice stigmatized is the antithesis of a virtue that in turn characterizes the excellence of a part of the human soul seen triadically (i.e., as image of the trinity--the idea is documented amply with reference to vera rel. 39.72 [quoted preceding 10.1.1] by du Roy 352ff). Ambitio saeculi (which embraces avaritia as well: cat. rud. 27.55) defeats humility, the virtue of the self as created being, counterpart of God as creator; concupiscentia oculorum seeks illicit knowledge to the detriment of sapientia, the authentic knowledge that marks in us the illumination of the divine Word; and concupiscentia carnis runs amok in love of created things without reference to God and thus destroys the caritas that comes of the Spirit. Thus even in sin, we reflect the image and likeness of God.

    A. himself was aware of what is truer for moderns, that to many each of these vices seemed a virtue: pat. 4.3, `namque avaritia, ambitio [1], luxuria [3], et variorum oblectamenta ludorum [2], nisi propter illa facinus aliquod admittatur sive flagitium quod legibus prohibetur humanis, putantur ad innocentiam pertinere.' That shows him sensitive, as he does not always show himself, to the way his view of temptation excludes as illicit rich and fruitful--yet perilous--areas of human conduct. His own past, as displayed in Bks. 1-9, shows little that would trouble an enlightened modern for even a moment; and on the other hand everything to which A. converted is in some way or other alien to modern sensibilities. A. cannot be tamed and domesticated to our purposes; in fundamental ways, he is alien--to put it more gently, he is a challenge--to all of us.

    What A. does with 1 Jn. 2.16 is analogous to what Cicero does in the de officiis, and though there is no direct dependence, there are enough analogies in content to establish a correspondence. Note particularly Cic. off. 1.4.11-13, identifying as essential desires the `coniunctionis appetitus procreandi causa', the `veri inquisitio atque investigatio', and `appetitio quaedam principatus' --the triad here, without the negative judgment. (The same passage offers tantalizing adumbrations of Augustinian notions of ordo, modus, and pulchritudo as well: see on 1.7.12).

    1 Jn. 2.16 emerges gradually to significance in A.'s work, and fades not long after conf. See Theiler P.u.A. 37ff, esp. 41-42 (with parallel texts trying to show resemblances to Porphyry's de abstinentia: see on 1.10.16, `amore ludendi'), O'Connell, Traditio 19(1963), 24-32, du Roy 343-363, and TeSelle 109-111, for hypothetical reconstructions of sources and shifts in approach. Much is made of possible Platonic influences for the reason that the triad appears before the express biblical citation does (but cf. du Roy 344 for a rectification of overstatements by others); at worst the demonstrable time lag is slight, the prima facie likelihood of scriptural influence at least great as that of any hypothetical Platonic text, and there is no strong case to be made in favor of any surviving Porphyrian or other neo-Platonic text as source or even close analogue. It is further argued (see du Roy 350n1) that the order in which the three temptations are listed is significant: in the order concupiscentia carnis, curiositas, ambitio, the triad reflects 1 Jn. 2.16 directly and is more `Christianized'; while in the order curiositas, superbia, concupiscentia carnis, it allegedly reflects the three functions of the soul in the Platonic tradition.21 Du Roy tries to show that the Platonic order is earlier in A. and tenacious, but that the Johannine version prevails eventually. This argument would be more important if there were any Platonic text to support the whole idea of the triad. (One non-source: Ambrose hardly ever cites the scripture verse.)

    Less controversial is the study of D. Dideberg, Saint Augustin et la première épître de saint Jean (Paris, 1975), 181-189, good on the continuity of A.'s treatment of this verse (but with little on conf.), and with reflections on the wide variety of ancient moralizing traditions that shared elements with this scheme (to that end A. Labhardt, Mus. Helv. 17[1960], 222 adduced Sen. ep. 59.15, `omnes, inquam, illo tendunt ad gaudium . . . : ille ex conviviis et luxuria [3], ille ex ambitione [1] et circumfusa clientum turba, ille ex amica, alius ex studiorum liberalium vana ostentatione [2] et nihil sanantibus litteris'). In the absence of clear parallels and in the absence of a formed Christian tradition (Dideberg 184n52 summarizes the evidence from the VL [Beuron]) , we must leave room for A.'s own powers of imaginative response to an evocative text. The reading is venturesome (particularly the leap from concupiscentia oculorum to curiositas), but not without numerous parallels in A.'s exegetical practice.

    First, at sol. 1.10.17, a comparable examination of conscience is conducted without benefit of reference to this passage. At c. acad. 1.1.2, a portrait of the life of the rich man at Rome includes elements that later merge into this triad: `edentem te munera ursorum et numquam ibi antea visa spectacula civibus nostris . . . conlocarentur statuae, influerent honores, adderentur etiam potestates . . . conviviis cotidianis mensae opimae struerentur'; and an adumbration of the triad may be detected at ord. 2.8.25, `adulescentibus ergo studiosis eius ita vivendum est ut a veneriis rebus, [3] . . . ab inanibus negotiis ludorum, [2] . . . ab honorum potestatumque ambitionibus, ab ipsius etiam laudis immodica cupiditate [1] se abstineant'.22 Also very early (and apparently unnoticed) is quant. an. 14.24, `magna quaedam, mihi crede, magna, sed sine ulla mole de animo cogitanda sunt. quod facilius contingit his, qui aut bene eruditi ad haec accedunt non studio inanis gloriae, [1] sed divino amore veritatis accensi, aut qui iam in his quaerendis versantur, quamvis minus eruditi ad investiganda ea venerint, si patienter bonis se dociles praebent, [2] atque ab omni corporum consuetudine, quantum in hac vita permittitur, semet avertunt. [3]' Sim. at mor. 1.20.37-1.21.38, `illecebrae autem corporis . . . (38) gloria vero popularis . . . curiosi.' The first appearance of all three in a single sentence and in the order in which they appear in 1 Jn. 2.16 is Gn. c. man. 1.23.40, `homines vel carnali concupiscentiae dediti sicut pecora, vel tenebrosa curiositate obscurati quasi serpentes, vel elati superbia quasi aves' (the allegorical reading of the animals recurs at en. Ps. 8.13, quoted below); sim. at Gn. c. man. 2.17.26-2.18.27 and 2.26.40-2.27.41. The first explicit citation of the scriptural warrant is mus. 6.14.44, `sicut itaque praeceptum est animis a domino quid diligant, ita per Iohannem apostolum quid non diligant. nolite, inquit, diligere mundum: quia omnia quae in mundo sunt concupiscentia carnis est, et concupiscentia oculorum, et ambitio saeculi'; and cf. mus. 6.14.48. The triad is unmistakeably behind lib. arb. 2.19.53, a passage in which the triad mensura, numerus, ordo is equally vividly present; cf. also lib. arb. 1.11.22.

    It is in vera rel. of 391, the culmination of A.'s thought before ordination to the priesthood, that the text emerges to dramatic structural importance: it is quoted a number of times (vera rel. 3.4, 55.107), but dominates the discussion twice:

    vera rel. 38.70, `verumtamen quamquam in hac rerum extremitate miseri iaceant, ut vitia sua sibi dominari patiantur, vel libidine vel superbia vel curiositate damnati, vel duobus horum vel omnibus, quamdiu sunt in hoc stadio vitae humanae, licet eis congredi et vincere, si prius credant quod intellegere nondum valent, et non diligant mundum, “quoniam omne quod in mundo . . . et ambitio saeculi.” hoc modo tria illa notata sunt, nam concupiscentia carnis voluptatis infimae amatores significat, concupiscentia oculorum curiosos, ambitio saeculi superbos.' At vera rel. 38.71, he then reads the same pattern into the three temptations of Christ of Mt. 4 (as at en. Ps. 8.13 and s. 284.5).

    vera rel. 52.101, `haec est a temporalibus ad aeterna regressio, et ex vita veteris hominis in novum hominem reformatio. quid est autem unde homo commemorari non possit ad virtutes capessendas, quando de ipsis vitiis potest? quid enim appetit curiositas nisi cognitionem, quae certa esse non potest, nisi rerum aeternarum et eodem modo se semper habentium? quid appetit superbia nisi potentiam, quae refertur ad agendi facilitatem, quam non invenit anima perfecta nisi deo subdita, et ad eius regnum summa caritate conversa? quid appetit voluptas corporis nisi quietem, quae non est nisi ubi nulla est indigentia et nulla corruptio?'

    The interpretation is solidly in place and repeatedly used in the years immediately after; see from 392, e.g., en. Ps. 7.9 and 8.13 (with the allegory of the beasts, birds, and fish [for serpents] in the Psalm), `pecora enim campi congruentissime accipiuntur homines in carnis voluptate gaudentes, ubi nihil arduum, nihil laboriosum ascendunt. . . . vide nunc etiam volucres caeli, superbos . . . . qui dicunt “linguam nostram magnificabimus, labia nostra apud nos sunt, quis noster dominus est?” [Ps. 11.5] intuere etiam pisces maris, hoc est curiosos qui perambulant semitas maris, id est, inquirunt in profundo huius saeculi temporalia, quae tamquam semitae in mari tam cito evanescunt et intereunt, quam rursus aqua confunditur. . . . haec autem tria genera vitiorum, id est voluptas carnis, et superbia, et curiositas, omnia peccata concludunt.' (This passage goes on with the exegesis of the three temptations of Christ.)

    The passage is less visible for a number of years in the mid-390s, notably missing from cont. (394/5):23 see qu. ev. 1.47 (397/400), `sicut temptatio cupiditatis trina est, ita et temptatio timoris trina est. cupiditati quae in curiositate est opponitur timor mortis [see on 6.16.26]; sicut enim in illa cognoscendarum rerum est aviditas, ita in ista metus amittendae talis notitiae. cupiditati vero honorum vel laudis opponitur timor ignominiae et contumeliarum. cupiditati autem voluptatis opponitur timor doloris [see on 1.20.31]. non absurde ergo intellegitur propter trinam temptationem passionis ter dominum orasse ut transiret calix, sed ita ut potius impleretur voluntas patris.' It appears implicitly in humble circumstances in cat. rud. 26.52 (399/400; beginning of the shorter model homily), and in b. coniug. 12.14 (400/1), `nimium detestanda est quae continens a nuptiis, id est a re concessa, non continet a delictis, vel luxuriae vel superbiae vel curiositatis et verbositatis'. Cf. also agon. 1.1 (1 Jn. 2.16 is not quoted or directly echoed, but perhaps implicit), agon. 6.6, c. Sec. 10 (implicit, but with clear trinitarian linkage), gr. et pecc. or. 1.20.21, ss. 96.7.7, 112.6.6, 162.4, 219, 311.6.6, s. Den. 14.2-4, s. Guelf. 31.4, s. Mor. 15.6, ep. 220.6 (427), and see also en. Ps. 106.4-8 (a fourfold scheme: see Solignac, Lectio X-XIII 13, for suggestions how en. Ps. 106 is structured in ways that make it resemble conf.).

    Full, formal exposition, waits for Io. ep. tr. 2.12-14 (406/7?); his text there reads desiderium carnis, desiderium oculorum, et ambitio saeculi: `desiderium carnis est, id est, desiderium earum rerum quae pertinent ad carnem, sicut cibus et concubitus, et cetera huiusmodi. (13) et desiderium oculorum: desiderium oculorum dicit omnem curiositatem. iam quam late patet curiositas? ipsa in spectaculis, in theatris, in sacramentis diaboli, in magicis artibus, in maleficiis ipsa est curiositas. . . . ambitio saeculi superbia est. iactare se vult in honoribus; magnus sibi videtur homo, sive de divitiis sive de aliqua potentia. (14) tria sunt ista, et nihil invenis unde temptetur cupiditas humana, nisi aut desiderio carnis, aut desiderio oculorum, aut ambitione saeculi. per ista tria temptatus est dominus a diabolo.' At Io. ep. tr. 2.11, the love of `the world' is linked to Rom. 1.25 and hence to what A. views as `paganism' : `et inebriantur, et pereunt, et obliviscuntur creatorem suum: dum non temperanter sed cupide utuntur creatis, creator contemnitur. de talibus dicit apostolus, “coluerunt et servierunt creaturae potius quam creatori.”'

    In later years, the three temptations play a less dramatic and structural role (never cited in trin. save for a fading echo at 12.9.14-12.10.15 or civ. [passages cited by du Roy 349n3, 350n2 and 352n1 are not apposite: they show other triads of vices, perverse imitations of the trinity, analogous in structure to the three temptations, but not identical with them]), but cf. ep. 145.2 (413), which strongly corroborates the view that the three temptations have positive, trinitarian analogues: `mundus quippe iste periculosior est blandus quam molestus, et magis cavendus cum se inlicit diligi quam cum admonet cogitque contemni. nam cum omnia quae in illo sunt, concupiscentia sint carnis, et concupiscentia oculorum, et ambitio saeculi, saepe etiam his qui talibus spiritalia, invisibilia, aeterna praeponunt, inserit se terrenae suavitatis affectus, et delectationibus suis nostra comitatur officia. quanto enim sunt caritati futura meliora, tanto sunt infirmitati violentiora praesentia' --spiritalia therefore opposed to concupiscentia carnis; invisibilia opposed to concupiscentia oculorum; and aeterna opposed to ambitio saeculi; and cf. epp. 147.22.51 and 220.6 (427?). Echoed 4x, faintly, in nupt. et conc. (1.18.20, 2.5.14, 2.6.16, 2.7.17); and conventionally but briefly at c. s. arrian. 25.21, pat. 17.14. In the last years of polemic against Julian, of course, concupiscentia carnis is often the subject of debate (for refs., Dideberg 188n68), and there takes on a life of its own apart from this verse (cf. c. Iul. 4.13.64, 6.2.3; c. Iul. imp. 3.170, 4.18, 4.20, 4.22. Much later, the verse does implicitly underlie his analysis of Amos 6.1-6 at doctr. chr. 4.7.16: he reads that text as if it were organized as an attack on the vices of those who are `impios [2], superbos [1], luxuriosos et fraternae ideo neglegentissimos caritatis [3]'.

    The discussion of temptation here is completely without mention of the devil as temptation's agent (the closest we come in this book is the allusion to demonic influence on theurgic practices at 10.42.67, `diabolus enim erat transfigurans se in angelum lucis'). Contrast the frequency with which the devil appears in the near-contemporary agon. 1.1 - 3.3.

    melius aliquid: 1 Cor. 7 generally (cf. 2.2.3 and 8.1.2); for melius here, closest is 1 Cor. 7.38, `qui matrimonio iungit virginem suam, bene facit, et qui non iungit, melius faciet.'

    dedisti: in the Milan garden.

    et (antequam) = etiam. It was common (or at least commonly recommended) for Christian clerics to abstain from sexual relations once they were ordained; his own abstinence was remarkable because it had begun long before his ordination.

    dispensator: 1 Cor. 4.1, `sic nos existimet homo ut ministros Christi et dispensatores mysteriorum dei'. The words dispensare/dispensator are used indiscriminately in conf. of both the priestly (here and at 9.13.36, 11.2.2) and the preaching (6.9.15) functions (or both: 13.20.28) of the bishop, and is even applied to the authors of scripture (13.15.16 and cf. 12.26.36; of Moses at 12.23.32, 12.27.37, 12.30.41, Paul at 13.22.32).

    Though there is no direct reference to the Donatist quarrel in conf., A.'s concern here with his own integrity and worthiness certainly reflects that period. 1 Cor. 4.1-3 is quoted at c. litt. Pet. 3.2.3 (the first proof text in that defense against the ad hominem attacks) and occur also at en. Ps. 36. s. 3.19, also self-exculpatory. Cf. 10.36.59f for the relevance to A.'s position at the time of writing conf.

    consuetudo: See on 8.5.10.

    et occursantur mihi: See Brown, Body and Society 230-231, 406, Dulaey 135-139, A. Rousselle, Porneia 66 (medical views: the idea that these dreams were a sign of waking sexual desire itself was entertained, but they were also seen to be a natural result of abstinence from sexual activity) and 156-157 (monastic views); A.'s near-contemporary Cassian devoted the whole of his conlatio 22 to the subject, and discusses it often elsewhere (Rousselle 157n122, Brown, Body and Society 422-423). For A.'s view, cf. b. coniug. 20.23, civ. 1.25, s. 151.8.8 (c. 418), nupt. et conc. 2.26.42, c. Iul. 4.2.10; his fullest treatment also emphasizes imagines: Gn. litt. 12.15.31, `unde aliquando fit quaestio de consensionibus somniantium, cum etiam concumbere sibi videntur vel contra propositum suum vel contra etiam licitos mores. quod non contingit nisi cum ea quae vigilantes etiam cogitamus, non cum placito consensionis sed, sicut etiam talia propter aliquid loquimur, sic admonentur in somnis et exprimuntur, ut eis caro naturaliter moveatur et quod naturaliter conligit per genitales vias emittat; sicut hoc ipsum dicere utique non possem nisi etiam cogitarem. porro imagines rerum corporalium, quas necessario cogitavi ut haec dicerem, si tanta expressione praesentarentur in somnis, quanta praesentantur corpora vigilantibus, fieret illud quod sine peccato fieri a vigilante non posset.'

    delectationem . . . consensionem: Cf. `suggestionibus' below with s. dom. m. 1.12.34, `nam tria sunt quibus impletur peccatum: suggestione, delectatione, consensione. suggestio, sive per memoriam fit sive per corporis sensus, cum aliquid videmus vel audimus vel olfacimus vel gustamus vel tangimus. . . . tria ergo haec, ut dicere coeperam, similia sunt illi gestae rei quae in Genesi scripta est, ut quasi a serpente fiat suggestio et quaedam suasio, in appetitu autem carnali tamquam in Eva delectatio, in ratione vero tamquam in viro consensio. quibus peractis tamquam de paradiso, hoc est de beatissima luce iustitiae, in mortem homo expellitur. iustissime omnino.' Sim. at Gal. exp. 46 (on Gal. 5.17).

    in anima mea in carne mea: CDG Maur. insert et between the two phrases, missing the point; the first phrase goes with `inlusio', the second with `valet'.

    qua (talibus) qua G S Knöll Skut. Ver.:   quae C D O Maur.

    conscientiae requiem: en. Ps. 35.5, `cubile nostrum est cor nostrum; ibi tumultum patimur malae conscientiae, et ibi requiescimus quando bona conscientia est.'

    text of 10.30.42


    Concupiscence of the flesh is always with us: civ. 1.9, `unusquisque quamlibet laudabiliter vivens cedit in quibusdam carnali concupiscentiae, etsi non ad facinorum immanitatem et gurgitem flagitiorum atque impietatis abominationem, ad aliqua tamen peccata vel rara vel tanto crebriora, quanto minora.'

    manus tua: Num. 11.23, `cui respondit dominus, numquid manus domini non sufficiet? iam nunc videbis utrum meus sermo opere compleatur.' The formulation `numquid non' here echoes A.'s text of Job 7.1 (above on 10.28.39); cf. qu. hept. 4.19 on Num. 11.23, `arbitror intellegi dominum ita respondisse, tamquam modum futuri facti, quem ille requirebat, dicere noluerit, sed potius opere ipso suam potentiam demonstrare.'

    sanare omnes languores: Ps. 102.3, `qui propitius fit omnibus iniquitatibus tuis qui sanat omnes languores tuos'; see on 10.3.3.

    abundantiore gratia tua: Cf. 1 Tim. 1.14, `superabundavit autem gratia domini nostri cum fide et dilectione quae sunt in Christo Iesu.'

    anima mea: not identical with the self here; cf. `rebellis sibi'; see on 4.11.16.

    visco: See on 6.6.9, `anima mea, quam de visco tam tenaci mortis exuisti'; cf. 6.12.22, `visco illius voluptatis'.

    ut non sit rebellis sibi: en. Ps. 75.4, `quare autem permittit ut diu contra te litiges, donec absorbeantur omnes cupiditates malae? ut intellegas in te poenam tuam; in te ex teipso est flagellum tuum; sit rixa tua tecum. sic vindicatur in rebellem adversus deum, ut ipse sibi sit bellum, qui pacem noluit habere cum deo.'

    qui vales facere: Eph. 3.20-21, `ei autem qui potens est supra omnia facere superabundanter quam petimus aut intellegimus, secundum virtutem quae operatur in nobis, (21) ipsi gloria in ecclesia et in Christo Iesu in omnes generationes saeculi saeculorum. amen.'

    quid adhuc sim: Cf. 10.3.4 and 10.4.6.

    exultans cum tremore: Ps. 2.11, `servite domino in tremore, reges qui iudicatis terram, et exsultate ei cum tremore'; cf. 7.21.27.

    lugens: Elsewhere in conf. only at 11.1.1, echoing the beatitudes. Probably apposite, therefore, is s. 347.3.3, `ab ista quippe pietate merebuntur scientiae gradum, ut noverint non solum mala praeteritorum peccatorum suorum, de quibus in primo gradu paenitentiae dolore fleverunt, sed etiam in quo malo sint huius mortalitatis et peregrinationis a domino, etiam cum felicitas saecularis arridet. nam ideo scriptum est, “qui apponit scientiam, apponit et dolorem.” [Eccl. 1.18] “beati enim lugentes, quoniam ipsi consolabuntur.” [Mt. 5.5]' As U. Duchrow, Zschr. für Theol. u. Kirche 62(1965), 356, suggests, that passage offers a distinction between repentance for past sin and awareness of present vulnerability that matches the structure of conf. 10, and is particularly apt here as A. begins the catalogue of his temptations.

    inconsummatus . . . perfecturum: See 10.4.5, `consumma imperfecta mea', and for `perfection' cf. 1.4.4, 1.20.31, 5.5.9, 10.38.63, 11.2.3, 12.17.26, 12.24.33, 13.4.5.

    cum absorpta fuerit mors in victoriam: 1 Cor. 15.54, `cum autem mortale hoc induerit immortalitatem, tunc fiet sermo qui scriptus est, absorpta est mors in victoria.' Echoed already at 9.4.11 in eschatological context; 1 Cor. 15.51-55 already echoed and cited elsewhere at 7.1.1, 7.17.23 (the successful Plotinian ascent), 9.10.25 (Ostia), and immediately below at 10.31.43. en. Ps. 143.9, `multum laborat proeliator hic, tenens concupiscentem adversus spiritum carnem. tene quod tenes. tunc erit plene quod vis, cum absorpta fuerit mors in victoriam; quando resuscitatum mortale hoc corpus transfertur in habitudinem angelicam, et in caelestem subvolat qualitatem'; cf. en. Ps. 102.5.

    text of 10.31.43


    The examination of conscience now continues a sense-by-sense exploration of the temptations of the flesh. Of the five senses canvassed, the first (touch) offers enticement and is rejected; the second (taste: here) offers ambiguity; the third (smell) offers no visible danger; the fourth (hearing) offers ambiguity; the fifth (sight) a lingering danger.

    L. C. Ferrari, Augustiana 29(1979), 304-315, emphasizes A.'s interest in controlling diet: right and wrong eating, using the giving or suspending of food (giving: 1.19.30, pilfering from the family table to give to friends for favors; suspending: Possidius v. Aug. 22.6, banning from the table those who carp at others), and dietary restrictions (the biblical citations here); also 3.11.19, Monnica refusing to share table with A., 2.4.9-2.10.18, the pear-theft, and 1.11.17, the greed of suckling infants. On fasting, see ep. 36. of 396, util. ieiun. (408?), s. 210.

    malitia diei: Mt. 6.34, `sufficit enim diei malitia sua'; s. dom. m. 2.17.56-7, `“crastinus enim dies”, inquit, “sollicitus erit sibi ipsi”; id est ut cum oportuerit sumas cibum vel potum vel indumentum, cum ipsa scilicet necessitas urgere coeperit. aderunt enim haec, quia novit pater noster quod horum omnium indigeamus. “sufficit enim”, inquit, “diei malitia sua”; id est, sufficit quod ista sumere urgebit ipsa necessitas, quam propterea malitiam nominatam arbitror, quia poenalis est nobis; pertinet enim ad hanc fragilitatem et mortalitatem, quam peccando meruimus.24 huic ergo poenae temporalis necessitatis noli addere aliquid gravius, ut non solum patiaris harum rerum indigentiam, sed etiam propter hanc explendam milites deo. (57) hoc autem loco vehementer cavendum est, ne forte cum viderimus aliquem servum dei providere ne ista necessaria desint, vel sibi vel eis quorum sibi cura commissa est, iudicemus eum contra praeceptum domini facere, et de crastino esse sollicitum.'

    escas et ventrem: 1 Cor. 6.13, `esca ventri et venter escis; deus autem et hunc et has destruet, corpus autem non fornicationi sed domino et dominus corpori.' en. Ps. 50.19, `haec tunc non erunt; quia esca ventri et venter escis. deus autem et hunc et has evacuabit. erit forma corporis perfecta ex deo, absorpta morte in victoriam, nulla remanente corruptione, nulla subrepente defectione, nullis mutata aetatibus, nullo labore lassata ut cibo fulciatur, et aliqua esca reficiatur. sed non erimus sine esca et potu; ipse erit cibus noster deus et potus noster. solus ille cibus reficit nec deficit.'

    corruptibile hoc . . . sempiterna: 1 Cor. 15.53, `oportet enim corruptibile hoc induere incorruptionem et mortale hoc induere immortalitatem.'

    suavis . . . necessitas: That `sweetness' already seen in a negative sense at 2.2.3, 3.1.1, 4.7.12, 5.13.23, 6.12.21, 9.1.1. The same idea, with a difference, is in Porphyry, de abstinentia 1.38, w(/ste to\ a)nagkai=on mo/non didou\s dh=| fu/sei kai\ tou=to kou=fon kai\ dia\ koufote/rwn trofw=n, pa=n to\ pe/ra dou/tou w(s ei)s h(donh\n suntei=non paraith/setai.

    pugno: 1 Cor. 9.26-27, `ego igitur sic curro, non quasi in incertum, sic pugno, non quasi aerem caedens, (27) sed castigo corpus meum et in servitutem redigo ne forte aliis praedicans ipse reprobus inveniar' (text follows en. Ps. 140.16). The part of this text not cited here (`ne forte . . .') speaks directly to Augustine's own position c. 397 as he confesses.

    in ieiuniis: 2 Cor. 6.5-6, `in plagis, in carceribus, in seditionibus, in laboribus, in vigiliis, in ieiuniis, (6) in castitate, in scientia, in longanimitate'; 2 Cor. 11.27, `in labore et aerumna, in vigiliis multis, in fame et siti, ieiuniis multis, in frigore et nuditate.' (The punctuation follows Maur., Knöll, and Skut.; G-M place commas around `in ieiuniis saepius' --`I wage daily war, often by fasting'; Verheijen places a a comma after `gero' and has none after `ieiuniis'.)

    dolores mei voluptate pelluntur: See on 1.20.31, `voluptates . . . dolores'.

    fames et sitis . . . febris necant: The comparison between hunger and fever as aegritudines in need of medicamenta also occurs at s. 77.9.13.

    calamitas deliciae vocantur: G-M: `“our disability is called delight” (i.e. our being subject to appetite, which is really an incipient pain, becomes the occasion of pleasure and is thought of in that light).' `Disability' is putting it mildly.

    text of 10.31.44


    hoc me docuisti: Ps. 70.17, `deus, docuisti me ex iuventute mea'; en. Ps. 70. s. 2.2, `quid me docuisti? quia tuae solius iustitiae memorari debeo. considerans enim vitam praeteritam meam, video quid mihi debebatur, et quid acceperim pro eo quod mihi debebatur.' The same verb form with God as subject elsewhere in conf.: 6.8.13, 10.4.5, 10.31.46, 10.40.65 (`veritas docens'), 12.3.3 (2x), 12.6.6.

    laqueus concupiscentiae: See on 3.1.1, `viam sine muscipulis'.

    vel dico vel volo: In that order! A programmatic refusal to trust his own genuineness of interest.

    his temptationibus cotidie conor resistere: Cf. 10.5.7, `quibus temptationibus resistere valeam quibusve non valeam, nescio'.

    dexteram tuam = Christus; see Knauer 121n4 and see on 11.29.39; cf. 6.16.26, 8.1.2, 10.41.66.

    text of 10.31.45


    audio vocem: Hearing the Word (to be taken closely with the last sentence of the preceding paragraph). In the face of uncertainty, scripture is invoked, abundantly, through 10.31.46. At 4.3.4, `sed meminisse dominicae vocis' introduces a quotation of Jn. 5.14; as here, the citation is from the gospel and contains quoted direct discourse of Jesus from that place; the other texts cited here under the same rubric (`audivi' 4x in this paragraph) are all from non-gospel sources and do not so directly reflect the vox dei.

    non graventur: Lk. 21.32-34, `amen dico vobis, quia non praeteribit generatio haec donec omnia fiant; (33) caelum et terra transibunt, verba autem mea non transibunt. (34) attendite autem vobis, ne forte graventur corda vestra in crapula et ebrietate et curis huius vitae et superveniat in vos repentina dies illa.' The passage joins the authority of divine speech to eschatological anxiety.

    crapula: c. Iul. 4.14.73, `et aliquid nobis dicere videmur quia dicimus, “nec vinum ebrietas, nec cibum condemnet crapula, nec concupiscentiam infamet obscenitas,” quando nec ebrietas nec crapula nec obscenitas ulla committitur, si carnis concupiscentia spiritu adversus eam concupiscente vincatur? “excessus”, inquis [Iuliane], “eius in culpa est.” nec perspicis . . . ut non fiat malum excedendi, resistendum esse malo concupiscendi. duo ergo mala sunt, quorum unum habemus, alterum facimus, si ei non resistimus quod habemus.' It is the Luke passage that gives rise to the equation of crapula with overindulgence in food is Late Latin (TLL: occurs first in Tert., earliest elsewhere in A. at s. Den. 13.8, `cum non manducat, adsumit ieiunium, ut mortem, quam factura erat crapula, repellat a se'); at A. s. 24.12.12, on the other hand, the two are equated.

    nemo enim potest esse continens: Wisd. 8.21, quoted on 10.29.40.

    post concupiscentias tuas: Sirach 18.30, `post concupiscentias tuas non eas et a voluntate tua avertere.' Text Vg.; Weber app. reports no variant on voluntate, where LXX reads o)re/cewn (which is translated concupiscentia when it appears at Sirach 23.6--see below). The verse is never cited otherwise by A. until the anti-Pelagian period; the first half (through `non eas') is then cited 17x (e.g., pecc. mer. 2.5.5, spir. et litt. 36.65, nat. et gr. 61.72, nupt. et conc. 1.23.25, 1.28.32), but the second half is nowhere cited. Voluntas and voluptas are famously easy to mistranscribe for one another; voluntas would seem on the merit of the Vg. to be the unambiguously correct reading, hence the error here is easy to explain. But the LXX reading is, if correctly, nevertheless unusually rendered here by voluntas; voluptas is just credible as a hyper-correction. In view of that, the MSS of conf. present the evidence that must be regarded as decisive: voluptate G O S Knöll Skut. Ver.:   voluntate C D Maur.
    Of minor MSS, only VZF, isolated witnesses, have voluntate.

    ex munere tuo: `from the Spirit'; see on 13.38.53.

    neque si manducaverimus: 1 Cor. 8.8, `esca autem nos non commendat deo, neque si non manducaverimus deficiemus, neque si manducaverimus abundabimus.' (A. reverses the order of clauses; the first clause occurs at 10.31.46.)

    ego enim didici: (n.b. partial repetition below) Phil. 4.11-13, `non quasi propter penuriam dico, ego enim didici in quibus sum sufficiens esse;25 (12) scio et humilari, scio et abundare, ubique et in omnibus institutus sum et satiari et esurire et abundare et penuriam pati: (13) omnia possum in eo qui me confortat.' The verse reappears importantly at 13.26.39.

    pulvis: Ps. 102.14, `quoniam ipse cognovit figmentum nostrum, memento quia pulvis sumus'; for the idea, with different words, cf. also Gn. 2.7, and see on 1.6.7, `me terram et cinerem' (< Gn. 18.27, which reads pulvis in Vg., but always terra in VL and A.; also 7.8.12 and 10.5.7). Gn. 3.19 (Vg.) reads `quia pulvis es et in pulverem reverteris,' but VL has terra and VL (Beuron) offers over three dozen citations from A. of this verse, without a single pulvis. Note that `adflatu tuae inspirationis' refers not to creation of Adam but to the inspiration of the scriptural writer. For pulvis in this sense, see also 12.16.23; cf. `limus' at 7.18.24. Cf. c. prisc. et orig. 3.3, `certe enim, sicut scriptura testatur, eum de limo vel de pulvere terrae deus fecit'.

    quia (pulvis) quia C D G O Maur. Knöll Ver.:   quoniam S Skut.

    perierat et inventus est: Lk. 15.24, 32 (of the prodigal), `perierat et inventus est'. Cf. 8.3.8.

    da quod iubes: See on 10.29.40.

    et quod gloriatur: 1 Cor. 1.31, `ut quemadmodum scriptum est qui gloriatur in domino glorietur'; 2 Cor. 10.17, `qui autem gloriatur in domino glorietur'; Jer. 9.23, `haec dicit dominus, “non glorietur sapiens in sapientia sua . . .”' See on 9.13.34.

    rogantem: G-M rightly suggest that we should understand ita before `rogantem' --asking `in such a way that he deserves to receive.'

    aufer a me: Sirach 23.6, `aufer a me ventris concupiscentias [see on `post concupiscentias tuas' above] et concubitus concupiscentiae ne apprehendant me.'

    text of 10.31.46


    docuisti: See on 10.31.44; introduces a variety of sententiae from scripture (n.b. `didici' closing the series).

    pater bone: See on 9.4.9.

    omnia munda mundis: A natural conflation of Titus 1.15, `omnia munda mundis, immundis autem et infidelibus nihil est mundum', with Rom. 14.20-21, `noli propter escam destruere opus dei! omnia quidem munda sunt, sed malum est homini qui per offendiculum manducat. (21) bonum est non manducare carnem et non bibere vinum neque id in quo frater tuus offendit.' The idea is elsewhere linked to the goodness of creation in general: en. Ps. 141.1, `creavit enim omnia bona valde [Gn. 1.31], et omnis creatura dei bona est, dicit apostolus [1 Tim. 4.4], et omnia munda mundis' (also quoted with 1 Tim. 4.4 at en. Ps. 125.6--see next note).

    et omnem creaturam tuam bonam: 1 Tim. 4.4-5, `quia omnis creatura dei bona et nihil reiciendum quod cum gratiarum actione percipitur; (5) sanctificatur enim per verbum dei et orationem.' The whole of 1 Tim. 4.1-4 is cited by A. at c. Sec. 2 as a passage that moved him against the Manichees: `quibus verbis etsi alios quoque fortasse haereticos, tamen maxime manichaeos breviter aperteque descripsit.'

    esca nos non commendat: 1 Cor. 8.8, `esca autem nos non commendat deo neque si non manducaverimus deficiemus neque si manducaverimus abundabimus'; see on 10.31.45.

    nemo nos iudicet: Col. 2.16, `nemo vos iudicet in cibo aut in potu aut in parte diei festi aut neomeniae aut sabbatorum (quod est umbra futurorum).'

    qui manducat: Rom. 14.3, `is qui manducat non manducantem non spernat, et qui non manducat manducantem non iudicet.'

    pulsatori aurium mearum: Cf. Apoc. 3.20, `ecce sto ad ostium et pulso. si quis audierit vocem meam et aperuerit ianuam introibo ad illum et cenabo cum illo et ipse mecum' (with a eucharistic sense).

    inlustratori cordis mei: Cf. Ps. 30.17, `inlustra faciem tuam super servum tuum'; cf. 12.11.12, 12.16.23, 13.4.5.

    eripe ab omni temptatione: Cf. Ps. 17.30, `quoniam a te eruar a temptatione'; Mt. 6.13 (Lord's prayer), `et ne nos inducas in temptationem, sed libera nos a malo.'

    eripe eripe O1 S Skut. Ver.:   eripe me C D O2 G Maur. Knöll

    Noe . . . Heliam . . . Iohannem . . . Esau . . . David . . . regem nostrum . . . populus in heremo: The exempla that follow evoke scripture without the ipsissima verba, but specific passages are clearly in mind. OT figures also prevalent at 10.34.52, where the sense of sight is the source of temptation.

    omne carnis genus: Gn. 9.3-4, `et omne quod movetur et vivit erit vobis in cibum . . . (4) excepto quod carnem cum sanguine non comedetis.'

    cibo carnis refectum: 1 Kgs. 17.6, `corvi quoque deferebant ei panem et carnes, mane similiter panem et carnes vesperi, et bibeat de torrente.'

    locustis in escam cedentibus: Mt. 3.4, `esca autem erat eius erat locustae et mel silvestre.'

    lenticulae concupiscentia conceptum: Gn. 25.34, `et sic accepto pane et lentis edulio comedit et bibit.' Cf. s. 207.2, `non humanorum alimentorum genera detestanda, sed carnalis est delectatio refrenanda. Esau non pingui vitulo vel volatilibus saginatis, sed immoderate concupita lenticula reprobatus est. sanctum David aquam plus iusto desiderasse paenituit.'

    David . . . reprehensum: 2 Kgs. 23.15-17, `desideravit igitur David et ait, “si quis mihi daret potum aquae de cisterna quae est in Bethleem iuxta portam!” (16) inruperunt ergo tres fortes castra Philisthinorum et hauserunt aquam de cisterna Bethleem, quae erat iuxta portam, et attulerunt ad David, at ille noluit bibere, sed libavit eam domino, (17) dicens, “propitius sit mihi dominus, ne faciam hoc: num sanguinem hominum istorum qui profecti sunt et animarum periculum bibam?” noluit ergo bibere.'

    regem . . . temptatum: Mt. 4.3, `et accedens temptator dixit ei, “si filius dei es, dic ut lapides isti panes fiant.”' For this temptation read as generic for `concupiscentia carnis', see en. Ps. 8.13, quoted on 10.30.41.

    ideoque et populus: Num. 11.1-20, e.g. 11.4, `vulgus quippe promiscuum quod ascenderat cum eis flagravit desiderio, sedens et flens, iunctis sibi pariter filiis Israhel, et ait, “quis dabit nobis ad vescendum carnes?”' What A. says here is a legitimate inference from the text of Numbers, but is not explicitly stated there. This passage of conf. is quoted by Possidius v. Aug. 22.3 to corroborate what he says there about A.'s habits at table.

    text of 10.31.47


    cotidie: of daily temptation at 10.31.47, 10.35.57, 10.37.60 (of daily `confession': 10.3.4).

    magnificet nomen tuum: Ps. 68.31, `laudabo nomen dei cum cantico, magnificabo eum in laude'; Apoc. 15.4, `quis non timebit te, domine, et magnificabit nomen tuum?'

    quia peccator homo sum: Lk. 5.8, `quod cum videret Simon Petrus, procidit ad genua Iesu dicens, “exi a me, quia homo peccator sum, domine”' --on the brink of following Jesus.

    et interpellat te: Rom. 8.34, `Christus Iesus, qui mortuus est, immo qui et resurrexit, qui est ad dexteram dei, qui etiam interpellat pro nobis.' See on 10.43.69.

    qui vicit saeculum: Jn. 16.33 (text from en. Ps. 92.8), `ut in me pacem habeatis, in mundo autem pressuram; sed gaudete, quia ego vici saeculum.'

    inter infirma membra corporis sui: Cf. 1 Cor. 12.22, `sed multo magis quae videntur membra corporis infirmiora esse, necessariora sunt'; Rom. 12.5, `ita multi unum corpus sumus in Christo, singuli autem alter alterius membra'; 1 Cor. 12.12, `sicut enim corpus unum est et membra habet multa. omnia autem membra corporis cum sint multa, unum tamen corpus sunt, ita et Christus.'

    imperfectum eius: Ps. 138.16, `imperfectum meum viderunt oculi tui et in libro tuo omnes scribentur'; en. Ps. 138.21, `“imperfectum meum,” Petrum meum pollicentem et negantem, praesumentem et deficientem: viderunt tamen eum oculi tui. nam quod eum et ipse dominus respexit, sicut scriptum est in evangelio, iam post tertiam negationem commonitus . . .; fletus ille de respectione dei fuit, quia “imperfectum meum”, inquit, “viderunt oculi tui.” nam ille imperfectus titubans in domini passione, procul dubio periret, sed viderunt eum oculi tui, non solum ipsum, sed et omnes qui imperfecti fuerunt, donec Christi resurrectione firmarentur.' Sim. at en. Ps. 43.26, 103. s. 3.11, s. 135.5.6. As Knauer 85 noted, the treatment of three of the temptations ends with a phrase or Psalm verse containing oculi--the all-seeing presence of God: see 10.33.50 (on voluptas aurium) and 10.34.53 (on concupiscentia carnis according to the eyes). On the present passage, see also Knauer 94-95.

    text of 10.32.48


    By the time A. turns here to the sense of smell, this systematic exploration of the temptations of the senses has become decidedly alien to our taste. A. seems to be going through the motions, checking mechanically through a list to which he is bound only by his own overly mechanical methods of work. But A. would probably expect no such fastidium. He varies his treatment, sense by sense, to lighten the burden of repetition; here, where there is little substance, he takes advantage of the opportunity to deliver, at the mid-point of the five-sense analysis, a direct statement of what is most profound about this whole approach to temptation: the attempt to give substance to his own unwillingness to trust himself (`ita mihi videor; forsitan fallar'), his insistence that the only certainty is anti-solipsistic, reliant on divine misericordia. We are back to the problem (or perhaps have never left it) of invocation broached in the first paragraphs of Bk. 1, but it is now clear that the resultant speech (confessio) is no mere incident of entertainment or even edification, but is the means by which the `self' of the speaker is constituted. In and of himself, A. does not exist: he derives existence not from his own words, which are powerless, but from the creative Word of God, dispensed out of mercy (not justice). We are not who we think we are.

    ipse se interrogans: `Interrogating' the self also at 4.4.9, 10.37.60, and 10.37.62.

    quod inest plerumque occultum est: A. explores this opacity of the self to the self at nat. et or. an. 4.7.9, in the anecdote of the man who did not know until tested that he could recite Vergil not only forwards but backwards.

    quae tota temptatio nominatur: Job 7.1 (VL): see on 10.28.39, esp. for `tota'.

    una spes [2], una fiducia [1], una firma promissio [3]: Knauer 146n1 suggests 1 Cor. 13.13, `nunc autem manet fides, spes, caritas.' The triad spes/fides/promissio is not discussed in the standard works (e.g., du Roy), but consider 9.4.9, `conlocans ad dexteram tuam, unde mitteret ex alto promissionem suam, paracletum, spiritum veritatis' (therefore, promissio = spiritus), and 4.6.11, `spes mea, qui me mundas a talium affectionum immunditia, dirigens oculos meos ad te et evellens de laqueo pedes meos' (functions of the second person of the trinity). For spes of God generally, see 5.8.14, 6.1.1, 11.18.23.

    misericordia: Misericordia again central to Bk. 10; see on 10.23.34. The next temptation ends (10.33.50) with an appeal to misericordia as well.

    text of 10.33.49


    The caution with which A. approaches his own reactions to church music is partly conditioned by Christian suspicion of music in liturgy generally (hence the caution of an Ambrose introducing one kind of music: see 9.7.15, and the restraint of the Athanasian mode [10.33.50, n.b. `tutius' ]), suspicion rising out of the abundance of music in `pagan' ritual: see R. MacMullen, Christianizing the Roman Empire (New Haven, 1984), 74-75. A. was particularly wary (s. 311.5.5 [401/5]) of music turning to dance, as had happened at Cyprian's shrine in Carthage on his feast not many years before. All the movement here (`moveri') is of the soul, not the body. But A. was also concerned to compete with the Donatists, as another text makes clear: ep. 55.18.34, quoted on 9.7.15. For other approvals of church music, cf. en. Ps. 18. en. 2.1, `nos autem qui in ecclesia divina eloquia cantare didicimus, simul etiam instare debemus esse quod scriptum est, “beatus populus qui intellegit iubilationem” [Ps. 88.16]'; and en. Ps. 26. en. 2.1. The suspicion lingered long: c. Iul. 4.14.66.

    voluptates aurium: See J. Tscholl, Augustiana 14(1964), 102-104.

    liberasti: 1.10.16, 6.16.26, 7.21.27 (clearly designating `liberation' a function of the second person of the trinity), 11.1.1.

    in sonis quos animant eloquia tua: The implication is that the divine words pre-exist sound, take shape in sound, and then eventually are written down; so far, a reflection of scriptural concepts (esp. Jn. 1.1). But it is uncertain whether it would be possible to imagine such a sequence without literacy, which originally makes possible the identification of words with things other than the sounds `to which they give life' (cf. here, `vivunt'). The phrase `eloquia tua' is particularly frequent in Ps. 118.

    ut surgam cum volo: Anticipates 10.35.57, `aliud est cito surgere, aliud est non cadere.'

    decet: en. Ps. 32. en. 2 s. 1.8, `hoc est enim bene canere deo, in iubilatione cantare. quid est in iubilatione canere? intellegere, verbis explicare non posse quod canitur corde. etenim illi qui cantant, sive in messe sive in vinea sive in aliquo opere ferventi, cum coeperint in verbis canticorum exsultare laetitia, veluti impleti tanta laetitia ut eam verbis explicare non possint, avertunt se a syllabis verborum, et eunt in sonum iubilationis. iubilum sonus quidam est significans cor parturire quod dicere non potest. et quem decet ista iubilatio, nisi ineffabilem deum?'

    ardentius sentio . . . flammam pietatis: 10.27.38, `exarsi in pacem tuam.'

    text of 10.33.50


    melos omne melos omne C D O Maur. Ver.:   melos omnes G S Knöll Skut.

    daviticum daviticum C D G O S Knöll Skut.:   davidicum Maur. Ver.

    ecclesiae ecclesiae O S Knöll Skut. Ver.:   ecclesiae tuae C D G Maur.

    in primordiis . . . fidei mei: Specifically of the week after baptism (see on 9.6.14, `quantum flevi').

    recuperatae: An extraordinary and spontaneous indication that A. thought of his accession to the catholic cult in 387 as a return to the faith of his childhood (1.11.17 on his registration as catechumen).

    ipsum: seems not to have revealed its force uniformly to all translators. To be taken with `nunc' ? Is the clause with `moveor' to be taken as causal (`because'--emphasizing that it is not the tune but the substance that moves him--this is on balance the more likely reading) or circumstantial (`whenever')? BA translates cum as `lorsque' and seems to take `nunc ipsum' as `aujourd'hui encore'; Vega takes `nunc ipsum quod moveor' as `y lo que ahora me conmuevo'; Ryan, `how even now I am not moved by the singing but by the things sung'; Carena paraphrases unhelpfully.

    cum moveor cum moveor O Maur. Skut. Ver.:   quod moveor S Knöll Vega:   commoveor C D:   cum movear G

    tu autem, domine: Once again the analytical tone of the treatment of temptation is replaced at the end of the section by authoritative biblical language.

    exaudi: The colon is an attempt to improve the punctuation. Sessorianus has an et after the word (retained by Knöll and even by Vega), which created the illusion of an unbroken sequence of imperatives. Skutella and Verheijen omit the et and allow the asyndeton; BA and Pellegrino silently insert a comma. But surely the sense here is that `exaudi' is the initial prayer: `God hear me! (What I say is,) “respice . . .”' On this construction the two verbs of seeing are paired, and the two verbs of pity and healing likewise.

    respice et vide . . . languor meus: These lines analyzed in detail at Knauer 85-86. The relevant scriptural texts are Ps. 79.15, `deus virtutum . . . respice de caelo et vide et visita . . . et perfice'; Ps. 9.14, `miserere mei domine, vide humilitatem meam de inimicis meis'; Ps. 6.3, `miserere mei, domine . . . sana me'; Ps. 12.4, `respice et exaudi me, domine deus meus, inlumina oculos meos'; Ps. 24.16-17, `respice in me et miserere mei . . . (17) libera me'; Ps. 40.5, `ego dixi: domine miserere mei sana animam meam'; Ps. 102.3, `qui sanat omnes languores tuos' (see on 10.3.3); Mt. 4.23, `sanans omnem languorem'.

    miserere: For misericordia at the end of a temptation, see on 10.32.48.

    quaestio: Cf. 4.4.9, `factus eram ipse mihi magna quaestio.' Knauer 150n1 (slightly contradicting Knauer 86), citing 4.11.16, `sanabuntur omnes languores tui' : `Vielleicht ergibt sich aus diesen Zitat doch noch ein Hinweis für die Entsprechung “facta eram ipse mihi magna questio” (4.4.9) und “in cuius oculis mihi quaestio factus sum et ipse est languor meus” (10.33.50).' In common sense, the speaking self is the questioner, not the object of inquiry. The transformation of the self into object of inquiry both reflects the maxim `know thyself', and also reveals a reversal of ordinary expectations, where now for A. the answers to questions come not from the cleverness of the questioner (who is now the object of the question), but from divine grace.

    text of 10.34.51


    Once again, analysis first, then scripture. The scripture texts in this paragraph speak to the broader concerns of the first sentence, not to the temptations of sight/light as such.

    loquar loquar C D O Maur. Ver.:   loquor G S Knöll Skut.

    templi tui: 1 Cor. 3.16, `nescitis quia templum dei estis et spiritus dei habitat in vobis'; cf. 1 Cor. 6.19, 2 Cor. 6.16; echoes at 2.3.6, 10.4.5. The phrase suggests concisely that these ears will hear and believe, joined in caritas: see on 10.3.3.

    concludamus: Begun at 10.30.41; 1 Jn. 2.16.

    habitaculum meum: 2 Cor. 5.1-2, `scimus enim quoniam si terrestris domus nostra huius habitationis dissolvatur, quod aedificationem ex deo habeamus, domum non manufactam aeternam in caelis. (2) etenim in hoc ingemiscimus, habitaculum nostrum quod de caelo est superindui cupientes' (text modified by comparison with en. Ps. 30. en. 2 s. 1.13); cf. 13.13.14. en. Ps. 110.1, `haec autem vita de nobis exigit continentiam, ut etiam cum labore atque luctamine ingemiscentes gravati, et habitaculum nostrum quod de caelo est superindui cupientes, a saecularibus delectationibus temperemus.' The temptations are the obstacles separating A. from the fullness of the vision grasped briefly at Ostia. (`Habitaculum' is accusative of respect, as in the scriptural text.)

    qui fecit haec bona quidem valde: Gn. 1.31, `et vidit deus omnia quae fecit et ecce bona valde'; see 13.28.43.

    regina colorum: On similar light imagery, see J. Tscholl, Augustiana 14(1964), 97-101.

    text of 10.34.52


    The noncorporeal light demonstrated corporeally from the OT patriarchs who were blind; see on 10.30.42.

    lux quam videbat Tobis: Cf. Tob. 4.2ff, esp. 4.6, `omnibus autem diebus vitae tuae in mente habeto deum'; 4.20, `omni tempore benedic deum et pete ab eo ut vias tuas dirigat' (cf. Tob. 13, the canticum Tobiae, quoted at the beginning of Bk. 1). This reading of T.'s counsel is common in A.: Io. ev. tr. 13.3, `non enim nullos oculos habebat et Tobias, quando caecus oculis corporeis filio dabat praecepta vitae. ille patri manum tenebat, ut pedibus ambularet; ille filio consilium dabat ut viam iustitiae teneret.' Cf. Io. ev. tr. 35.3, en. Ps. 57.21, 96.18, s. 88.16.16, s. Mai 128.5.

    vitae viam: Jn. 14.6.

    quam videbat Isaac: Gn. 27.1-40, the deception of Isaac by Jacob, to the detriment of Esau (the same situation used as exemplum of another temptation at 10.31.46); Gn. 27.1, `senuit autem Isaac et caligaverunt oculi eius et videre non poterat.' qu. hept. 1.79, `quoniam tantus patriarcha Isaac, antequam moriatur, quaerit a filio suo venationem et escam qualem amat, pro magno beneficio, et promittit benedictionem, nullo modo vacare arbitramur a significatione prophetica: maxime quoniam festinat uxor eius ut illam benedictionem minor accipiat, quem ipsa diligebat, et cetera in eadem narratione multum movent ad maiora intellegenda vel requirenda.'

    benedicere benedicere O Maur. Knöll Skut. Ver.:   benediceret C D G S

    quam videbat Iacob: Gn. 48 records the adoption by Jacob of Joseph's sons, Gn. 49 reports Jacob's farewell blessing.

    corde radiavit: G-M: `to see with the heart.' See on 10.6.9.

    unum omnes: Jn. 17.22, `ut omnes unum sint' (text at Io. ev. tr. 110.1).

    cum (autem) cum O S Knöll Skut. Ver.:   qui C D G Maur.

    deus creator omnium: Amb. hymn. 1.2.1-3, formally quoted at 9.12.32; n.b., Amb.'s text goes on, `deus creator omnium polique rector, vestiens diem decoro lumine'; Amb. thus exemplified what A. recommends in the next line.

    hymno tuo: en. Ps. 148.17, `hymnus scitis quid est? cantus est cum laude dei. si laudas deum et non cantas, non dicis hymnum; si cantas et non laudas deum, non dicis hymnum; si laudas aliud quod non pertinet ad laudem dei, etsi cantando laudes, non dicis hymnum. hymnus ergo tria ista habet, et cantum, et laudem, et dei.'

    absumuntur absumuntur G O Maur. Skut. Ver.:   adsumuntur C D S Knöll

    ut tu evellas de laqueo: See on 3.1.1, `viam sine muscipulis'. Ps. 24.15, `oculi mei semper ad dominum, quia ipse evellet de laqueo pedes meos'; cf. Tob. 3.14, and see on 4.6.11. en. Ps. 31. en. 2.21, `tu ergo oculos tuos in illum erige, et non timebis, ut dixi, ne in laqueum incurras'; sim. at en. Ps. 141.6, 145.19.

    evelles evelles O S Knöll Ver.:   evellis C D G Maur. Skut.

    haereo: Cf. 10.34.53, `inhaeseram'.

    sparsis insidiis: 10.34.53, `spargant in . . . lassitudines'.

    non dormies neque dormitabis: Ps. 120.3-4, `ne des ad movendum pedem tuum neque dormitet qui custodit te, (4) ecce non dormitabit neque obdormiet qui custodit israhel.' (Knauer 93 thinks v. 3 provides the associative connection to Ps. 24.15 just echoed.) en. Ps. 120.6, `vis habere ergo custodem non dormientem neque dormitantem? . . . Christus enim custodit Israhel. esto ergo Israhel. quid est Israhel? Israhel interpretatur “videns deum”. . . . factus autem Israhel cum fueris, non dormitabit, neque dormiet, qui custodit te.' As often in Bk. 10, the implicit focus is on Christus mediator (10.42.67).

    text of 10.34.53


    foras . . . intus: 10.27.38.

    exterminantes: In the sense `banish from mind', Cic., Lucullus 41.127, `nec tamen istas quaestiones physicorum exterminandas puto'.

    decus: Cf. Amb. hymn. 2.3 above, `decoro lumine'; 7.17.23, `rapiebar ad te decore tuo moxque diripiebar abs te pondere meo.'

    sacrifico laudem: Ps. 115.17(8), `disrupisti vincula mea tibi sacrificabo sacrificium laudis'; cf. 5.1.1, 8.1.1, 9.1.1.

    sacrificatori sacrificatori G S Maur. Knöll Skut.:   sanctificatori C D O Ver.
    G-M thought sanctificatori a scribal correction and adduce 10.43.69, `sacerdos et sacrificium'; and cf. Io. ep. tr. 7.9, "et misit filium suum litatorem pro peccatis nostris" [1 Jn. 4.10]: litatorem, sacrificatorem. sacrificavit pro peccatis nostris.'

    illa pulchritudine: See on 10.27.38, `pulchritudo'.

    cui suspirat . . . die ac nocte: See on 7.10.16, `tibi suspiro die ac nocte'.

    approbandi modum: See on 10.10.17, and cf. also 10.6.10, `intus cum veritate conferunt'. vera rel. 39.73, `approbo cum pulchrius sit illud unde improbo et approbo. quare hoc ipsum magis approbo et . . . antepono.'

    inde: i.e., `ex pulchritudine super animas'.

    et ibi est et non vident eum: lib. arb. 2.16.43, `tamquam enim dorsum ad te ponentes, in carnali opera velut in umbra sua defiguntur, et tamen etiam ibi quod eos delectat adhuc habent de circumfulgentia lucis tuae.'

    fortitudinem suam ad te custodiant: Ps. 58.10, `fortitudinem meam ad te custodiam'; en. Ps. 58. s. 1.18, `quia si recedo, cado; si accedo, fortior fio. videte enim quid est, fratres, in anima humana. non habet ex se lumen, non habet ex se vires: totum autem quod pulchrum est in anima, virtus et sapientia [2] est; sed nec sapit sibi, nec valet sibi, nec ipsa sibi lux est, nec ipsa sibi virtus est.'

    spargant: See on 1.3.3 for conligere/dissipare.

    sed tu evellis: Ps. 24.15, `oculi mei semper ad dominum, quia ipse evellet de laqueo pedes meos'; see on 10.34.52.

    evellis . . . evellis . . . evellis: In each case Salone reads evelles (followed by one other minor manuscript in the first case, and by some manuscripts of Eugippius in the first two cases). Isnenghi 26-28 (appealing to 10.34.52, `evelles') wanted to follow Sin all three cases. His argument that evellis is the facilior lectio, however, is unconvincing, and the weakness of manuscript support decisive.

    misericorditer: Ps. 25.3, `quoniam misericordia tua ante oculos meos est et complacui in veritate tua'; en. Ps. 25. en. 2.8, `hoc est, non in homine complacui, sed intus complacui tibi, ubi tu vides; et non timeo si displiceam ubi homines vident' (another temptation's treatment thus concluded with misericordia: see on 10.32.48).

    text of 10.35.54


    Curiositas (for the concept in A. before conf., see on 3.2.2): the noun (see TLL 4.1489-92; cf. Labhardt, Mus. Helv. 17[1960], 209) occurs only once in Cicero (Att. 2.12.2) and becomes common with Apuleius and Tertullian; the adj. is in Cicero and Varro in senses congruent to its use here several times but then does not occur regularly for another century. (The adj. has a less flattering, earlier sense that appears in Terence, e.g.: `inquisitive, curious, meddlesome, interfering' [OLD]; and at util. cred. 9.22, A. implies that the word is ordinarily unflattering: `sed scis etiam curiosum non nos solere appellare sine convicio, studiosum vero etiam cum laude'.) curiosus/curiositas in conf.: 1.10.16, 1.14.23, 2.6.13, 3.3.5, 5.3.3, 5.3.4 (see on 5.3.4 for Ps. 8.8-9 and en. Ps.), 6.8.13, 6.12.22, 7.6.8, 7.6.9, 10.3.3, 10.35.55 (2x), 10.35.57, 10.37.60, 10.42.67; only twice in later books are the three temptations are evoked: 13.20.28, `genus humanum profunde curiosum', 13.21.30, `venenum curiositatis' (in both cases in 1 Jn. 2.16 triads).

    For an archaic, evasive view: G-M: `In ages of decadence, such as that in which A. lived, morbid curiosity takes the place of honest, healthy curiosity: jaded nerves and blasé characters crave for unwholesome stimulants.' 26 The dissonance between A.'s mistrust and modern reverence and the difficulty in specifying sources for his attitude have helped give rise to a substantial bibliography. Special note should be taken of the work of H. Blumenberg, whose articles on A. (REAug 7[1961], 35-70 and Studia Patristica 6[1962], 294-302), contribute to his ambitious Die Legitimität der Neuzeit (first ed., Frankfurt, 1966; Eng. trans. from revised edition, The Legitimacy of the Modern Age [Cambridge, Mass., 1983], where see 309-23 on A.). See also H. J. Mette, in Fetschrift Snell (München, 1956), 227-235, on Hermetic connections and the ps.-Apuleian Asclepius, a work A. knew later in his career at least; A. Labhardt, Mus. Helv. 17(1960), 206-24 (from Cicero to Augustine: excellent); R. Joly, Ant. Class. 30(1961), 5-32; and S. Lancel, RHR 160(1961), 25-45 (Apuleius).

    Texts from the mature A.: qu. ev. 1.47, `cupiditati quae in curiositate est, opponitur timor mortis: . . . in illa cognoscendarum est aviditas'; agon. 4.4, 6.6, 12.13; b. coniug. 12.14; Gn. litt. 11.31.41 (on Gn. 3.7, `aperti sunt oculi eorum' : `audax curiositas mota est, avida experiri latentia'); trin. 10.5.7, 12.11.16 (`cum enim neglecta caritate sapientiae, quae semper eodem modo manet, concupiscitur scientia ex mutabilium temporaliumque experimento, inflat, non aedificat: ita praegravatus animus quasi pondere suo a beatitudine expellitur'); civ. 3.9, 4.34, 5.21, 5.26, 7.34, 9.16, 10.27, 16.8 (`historici de sua curiositate gloriantes'); en. Ps. 80.19, 101. s. 2.10; c. Iul. 6.7.17 (`contra curiositatem quae minus solet mirari quod potuerit comprehendere, incomprehensibilia esse opera dei').

    The strength of A.'s distaste for this element of his own character may be measured by his reaction when, around 410, he encounters a correspondent not unlike his own younger self (Dioscorus: almost certainly not the brother of Zenobius, the dedicatee of ord., though PLRE II [s.v. Dioscorus 2] and some others would identify them). A. rebukes him roundly for his curiositas: ep. 118.1.1, `ego te autem vellem abripere de medio deliciosarum inquisitionum tuarum et constipare inter curas meas, ut vel disceres non esse inaniter curiosus, vel curiositatem tuam cibandam atque nutriendam imponere non auderes eis quorum inter curas vel maxima cura est reprimere ac refrenare curiosos. . . . vanae atque fallaces cupiditates tuae . . . nescio qua umbra honestatis et liberalium studiorum nomine velatae atque palliatae . . . .'

    A.'s own intrinsic `curiosity' (the sort that leaves him agape at the sight of hound and hare: 10.35.57) is on display at civ. 21.4, `magnetem lapidem novimus mirabilem ferri esse raptorem; quod cum primum vidi, vehementer inhorrui,' followed by a circumstantial description. The `miracula' described there and in the following chapters do give a hint of the grounds of A.'s aversion to `curiositas' : attending to the wonders of nature led, more often than not, to ascribing those wonders to divine powers of various sorts. A.'s own notorious early aversion to miracle-stories in general (see on 9.7.16) probably arises from the same desire to avoid competing, to avoid crediting non-Christian deities with special powers. By the time of civ. 22, he had obviously chosen to compete with the non-Christian gods on their own ground; this decision may be variously judged, but it is at least a sign of increasing confidence in his own position.

    qui longe se faciunt a te: Ps. 72.27-28, `ecce qui longe se faciunt a te peribunt, perdidisti omnem qui fornicatur abs te; (28) mihi autem adhaerere deo bonum est.' See on 2.6.14, and cf. 5.2.2. On `longe', see on 1.18.28.

    palliata: The participle is first used in this sense (putting a false front on something) by A., and the verb form apparently constructed by him (see TLL s.v. palliatus); cf. s. 9.12.20, `mala est avaritia: palliare se volunt nomine pietatis et dealbare', and ep. 118.1.1, quoted above.

    oculi autem . . .: The sequence of the senses is maintained through two cycles.

    luceat luceat G Maur. Skut. Ver.:   lucet C D O S Knöll

    vide quid sonet: ep. 147.2.7 (`de videndo deo'), `nam cum sint quinque corporis sensus, cernendi, audiendi, olfaciendi, gustandi, tangendi, visus quidem in eis praecipue oculis attributus est, verum tamen hoc verbo utimur et in ceteris. neque enim tantum dicimus, vide quid luceat, sed etiam: vide quid sonet; vide quid oleat; vide quid sapiat; vide quid caleat.' Sim. at Io. ev. tr. 121.5.

    text of 10.35.55


    quid voluptatis . . . per sensus: The pursuit of the same object in the name of different temptations was exemplified by the description of Alypius' interest in marriage at 6.12.22, `nequaquam victus libidine talis voluptatis sed curiositatis. . . . stupendo ibat in experiendi cupidinem' (cf. here `experiendi noscendique libidine').

    pulchra . . . lenia: sequence of the senses (of which he finally wearies below: `quae persequi longum est' !).

    aut pulchritudinis . . . persuaserit: Proof that it is not the desire of the flesh that acts: for then the eyes would seek out what is beautiful and therefore pleasurable.

    in spectaculis: See on 3.2.2, `spectacula'.

    operta operta C D O Maur. Ver.:   operata G S Knöll Skut.

    quae scire . . . cupiunt: BA ad loc.: `Il semble qu'il ne soit pas ici question de science proprement dite, mais plutôt de divination. Augustin admet la possibilité et la valeur de la science profane [civ. 19.18] . . ., mais toujours à condition qu'elle soit accompagnée d'humilité et de charité.' The most useful general statement of A.'s position is ep. 55.8.15, `sed quantum intersit inter observationes siderum ad aerias qualitates adcommodatas, sicut agricolae vel nautae observant, aut ad notandas partes mundi cursumque aliquo et alicunde dirigendum, quod gubernatores navium faciunt, et hi qui per solitudines arenosas in interiora austri nulla certa semita gradiuntur, aut ad aliquid in doctrina utili figurate significandum si fit nonnullorum siderum aliqua commemoratio --, quantum ergo intersit inter has utilitates, et vanitates hominum ob hoc observantium sidera, ut nec aeris qualitates, nec regionum vias, nec solos temporum numeros, nec spiritalium similitudines, sed quasi fatalia rerum eventa perquirant, quis non intellegat?' Elsewhere in his works, many texts are marked strongly by suspicion, yielding at best a grudging toleration to scientia as a subordinate activity (cf. A.'s purely utilitarian reliance on the discoveries of the astronomers and his reservations about them at 5.3.3); cf. ep. 55.21.39 (quoting 1 Cor. 8.1, `caritas vero aedificat'), `sic itaque adhibeatur scientia tamquam machina quaedam, per quam structura caritatis adsurgat quae manet in aeternum, etiam cum scientia destruetur'; cf. Io. ev. tr. 27.5, similarly quoting 1 Cor. 8.1; elsewhere, exp. prop. Rom. 50 (58), doctr. chr. 2.29.46, Gn. litt. 2.16.34, epp. 11.2, 118.1.1 (to Dioscorus: quoted above).

    Against the many suspicious texts, only one proof-text uses any of the vocabulary of curiositas in an unambiguously positive way, and there, the subordination to a higher law is obvious: en. Ps. 142.10, `creatura tua spectaculum mihi facta est; quaesivi in opere artificem, et in conditis omnibus conditorem.'

    signa . . . flagitantur: Lk. 11.16, `alii temptantes signum de caelo quaerebant ab eo'; Mt. 4.1, `tunc Iesus ductus est in desertum a spiritu, ut temptaretur a diabolo' (citing at 4.7 Deut. 6.16, `non temptabis dominum deum tuum'); cf. Jn. 4.48, `nisi signa et prodigia videritis, non creditis,' and 1 Cor. 1.22.

    text of 10.35.56


    silva: Cf. 2.1.1, `silvescere', 7.21.27, `silvestri cacumine', and 13.19.24, `silvosa dumeta avaritiae'.

    ecce . . . praeciderim: The subjunctive can be explained as marking an implied indirect question after `ecce' treated as an imperative verb (= vide; translators regularly take it this way), but there are clear cases elsewhere in conf. where the indicative occurs in questions much more clearly marked: cf. 2.3.8, `ecce cum quibus comitibus iter agebam platearum Babyloniae,' 10.24.35, `ecce quantum spatiatus sum in memoria mea.'

    deus salutis meae: Ps. 17.47, `et exaltatur deus salutis meae'; Ps. 37.23, `intende in adiutorium meum, domine deus salutis meae'; Ps. 50.16, `libera me de sanguinibus, deus, deus salutis meae'; and cf. Ps. 88.27, `pater meus es tu, deus meus, et susceptor salutis meae'; Ps. 139.8, `domine, domine, virtus salutis meae'. See 9.4.12, `deum salutis omnimodae'.

    audeo dicere: The phrase is always contra-factual, marking places where A.'s boldness fails (2.3.7, 9.13.34) or the hypothetical speech of others are in mind (11.16.21, 12.22.31).

    circumstrepant: 3.1.1, `veni Carthaginem, et circumstrepebat me undique sartago flagitiosorum amorum'; cf. en. Ps. 139.11 (on Ps. 139.8, quoted just above), `quid sibi vult, virtus salutis meae? conquerebatur de scandalis et insidiis peccatorum, de circumlatrantibus et circuminsidiantibus malignis hominibus vasis diaboli . . . inter quales necesse est vitam ducere'.

    sane me iam theatra non rapiunt: cf. 3.2.2, `spectacula theatrica'.

    nec curo nosse transitus siderum: cf. 4.3.4, `mathematicos', and 7.6.8.

    nec anima mea umquam . . . detestor: cf. 4.2.3, `foeda illa sacramenta'. G-M rightly remark that the `tolle lege' experience was a signum of a sort: the key seems to be that it came unsought (see on 8.12.29 on A.'s view of sortes). The thought that he should ask for a sign is thus still with him c. 397; cf. 1 Cor. 1.22.

    sacrilega: First at 3.3.5, `sacrilegam curiositatem', then 4.16.31, `sacrilega turpitudine' (of his Manichean period), 5.5.8, 5.9.16, 5.10.20, 7.2.3, 8.2.3, 8.2.4; last at 8.7.17, `et ieram per vias pravas superstitione sacrilega'; it does not appear again.

    regem nostrum [2]: See on 1.15.24. In the gospels, not only does Jesus never claim the title, but the evangelists themselves are careful only to imply (often by quoting with approval persons speaking of and to Jesus), but not to state flatly, that Jesus was in some sense `king'. In all of Paul, only 1 Tim. 6.15, `rex regum', can be read as a similar suggestion. Apoc. is only slightly more generous (perhaps of Christ at 15.3, 19.16, `rex regum'). The title depends therefore on a reading of scripture (and the interpretation of such phrases as `regnum caelorum') rather than on scripture itself; for that reading mainly in the Greek writers, see P. Beskow, Rex gloriae: The kingship of Christ in the early Church (Uppsala, 1962).

    patriam Hierusalem: in conf. only at 9.13.37, here, 12.16.23 and 13.9.10. Jerusalem is often mentioned in the NT, but only rarely with the longing suggested here, which is more a function of OT (and particularly exilic) texts; patria is never associated with Jerusalem in scripture. In NT in a congruent sense, cf. only Gal. 4.25-26 (the allegory of Hagar and Sarah), Heb. 12.22, `Hierusalem caelestem', and Apoc. 3.12, 21.2 (`civitatem Hierusalem novam descendentem de caelo'), and 21.10.

    te facientem . . . sequi: 10.29.40, etc., `da quod iubes et iube quod vis.'

    facientem facientem C D O Maur. Ver.:   faciente G S Knöll Skut.

    text of 10.35.57


    narrantes inania: Possidius, v. Aug. 22.6, `et in ipsa mensa magis lectionem vel disputationem quam epulationem potationemque diligebat, et contra pestilentiam humanae consuetudinis in ea scriptum ita habebat:

    "quisquis amat dictis absentum rodere vitam,
        hac mensa indignam noverit esse suam."'

    specto: Cf. 3.2.2, `spectacula'.

    circo: As a place of curiositas at 6.7.12, 8.10.24.

    in agro: not `crossing some field', but `in the country': Hensellek Anzeiger Akad. Wien 114(1977), 147. c. acad. 1.1.4, `posteaquam in agro vivere coepimus'; cf. cons. ev. 3.25.71, `agri autem nomine non castella tantum, verum etiam municipia et coloniae solent vocari extra civitatem'.

    cordis inclinatione: Cf. 2.3.6, `inclinatae in ima voluntatis'.

    infirmitate: See on 10.3.4 `potens est omnis infirmus'; elsewhere in Bk. 10 at 10.4.6, 10.31.43, 10.43.70 (and cf. 11.2.2, `quousque devoretur a fortitudine infirmitas').

    admoneas: See on 7.10.16.

    stelio: A type of lizard (said by Vega to be prevalent in Africa). G-M instance other cases of A.'s scientific curiosity: trin. 12.11.16 (`coluber . . . squamarum minutissimis nisibus repit'), quant. an. 31.62 (a worm cut in half), ord. 1.8.26, (of cocks at a cockfight, asking `cur . . . nos ipsa pugnae facies aliquantum et praeter altiorem istam considerationem duceret in voluptatem spectaculi . . . ?'), vera rel. 42.79 (song of the nightingale), and Gn. litt. 3.8.12 (the memory of fishes and the artifice of nest-building birds). All these cases appear not for their own sake, but for demonstration of a higher principle; but it is undoubted that A. was here reproaching something for which he had a genuine inclination (of the sort that marked him out as a learned man of his time: Marrou 149-150).

    creatorem [1] . . . ordinatorem [3]: Not an accident that when he sins against the second person of the trinity, he calls to mind for adoration epithets of only the first and third persons.

    aliud est cito surgere, aliud est non cadere: ep. 157.2.10, `expedit ab imo surgere quam ex alto cadere; deus enim, scriptum est, superbis resistit, humilibus autem dat gratiam' (Jas. 4.6, etc.: see on 1.1.1). sol. 1.11.19, `aliud est enim exhausta pestis, aliud consopita.'

    spes mea: Also at 4.6.11, 5.8.14, 11.18.23.

    magna valde misericordia tua: Ps. 85.12-13, `confitebor tibi, domine deus meus, in toto corde meo et glorificabo nomen tuum in aeternum, (13) quoniam misericordia tua magna est super me et eruisti animam meam ex inferno inferiore.' Note the `confessional' context of the echo.

    aures tuas: See on 9.12.33.

    vocem cordis: Cf. 9.12.29, `iuvenali voce cordis'.

    text of 10.36.58


    coepisti mutare nos: 10.3.4, `mutans animam meam fide et sacramento tuo'.

    tu scis: Knauer 76-77.

    libidine vindicandi me: Allusion to the way ambitio saeculi was the first of the temptations (partly) vanquished in Bk. 6?

    ut propitius fias: Ps. 102.3-5, `qui propitius fit omnibus iniquitatibus tuis, qui sanat omnes languores tuos, (4) qui redimet de corruptione vitam tuam, qui coronat te in miseratione et misericordia, (5) qui satiat in bonis desiderium tuum, renovabitur sicut aquilae iuventus tua.' As rendered here, note especially the pathos of `ceteris', to be taken with `coepisti' and `quanta ex parte mutaveris'. For pattern of citation in Bk. 10, see on 10.3.3; citations elsewhere: 3.8.16, 11.9.11 (full). Themes of Bk. 10 in en. Ps. 102 include the sighing after the summum bonum in `satiat . . . bonis' and the general eschatological atmosphere: en. Ps. 102.5, `post remissionem peccatorum corpus infirmum geris; necesse est sint quaedam desideria carnalia quae te titillent et quae tibi suggerant delectationes illicitas; de languore tuo veniunt. adhuc enim infirmam carnem geris, nondum est absorpta mors in victoriam [1 Cor. 15.54, quoted at 10.30.42 also in connection with Ps. 102.3], nondum corruptibile hoc induit incorruptionem; adhuc quibusdam perturbationibus etiam ipsa anima quatitur post remissionem peccatorum; adhuc in periculis temptationum versatur, quibusdam suggestionibus delectatur, quibusdam non delectatur, et in eis quibus delectatur, aliquando quibusdam consentit, capitur. languor est.'

    qui compressisti a timore tuo superbiam meam: Cf. Ps. 110.10, `initium sapientiae timor domini.'

    iugo tuo: Mt. 11.30, `iugum enim meum suave est, et sarcina mea levis'; of another's conversion at 8.4.9, of his own at 9.1.1, and cf. 13.15.17, `tam casta eloquia, quae sic mihi persuaderent confessionem et lenirent cervicem meam iugo tuo.'

    text of 10.36.59


    Here we reach central issues behind the writing of conf. c. 397: A.'s perplexity and fear (s. 23 [413] at length on this: s. 23.1.1, `periculosum ergo magisterium') at the role he must now play as bishop. He loves praise, loves to be the center of attention: now he has a captive audience much larger, and much more likely to heed his words, then ever he had when he was in the business of merchandising his words. How is he to respond?

    We move from the temptations specific to A.'s position as bishop to a broader discussion at 10.42.67 of the mediatorship of Christ. The implication, made explicit at c. ep. Parm. 2.8.16, is that the bishop is not the mediator between God and humankind; and that has, of course, been implicit ever since A. encountered Ambrose in Milan and found that the bishop was always a little out of reach while his message of God was always in the foreground (see on 6.3.3). Both here and in Bk. 13 (see on 13.26.39), the dangers of the bishop's eminence are much on A.'s mind. For a concise sketch of A.'s reflections on his office (always seen as a burden--sarcina [see on 9.2.4] - never as an opportunity), see Mandouze 155-164. (A complex development in en. Ps. 106 on a fourfold scheme of temptations that does not dovetail with the more familiar threefold pattern from 1 Jn. 2.16 culminates with a fourth temptation specific to those who govern the church: en. Ps. 106.7, `quanto enim plus honoramur, tanto plus periclitamur.')

    The caution was there very early: At beata v. 1.3, one risk awaits all who approach the portus philosophiae, the `superbum studium inanissimae gloriae' (and this of course reflects the tradition of the `last infirmity of noble minds' mediated to Milton from Tacitus and Boethius). See also div. qu. 36.3, `at ubi fuerint carnalium voluptatum illecebrae superatae, cavendum est ne subrepat atque succedat cupiditas placendi hominibus aut per aliqua facta mirabilia aut per difficilem continentiam sive patientiam aut per aliquam largitionem aut nomine scientiae vel eloquentiae: in eo genere est et cupiditas honoris.'

    The high opinion A. had of church leaders in his early days as a Christian doubtless contributed to his own sense of unworthiness as he drew closer to the dignity himself. Cf. mor. 1.32.69, `quam enim multos episcopos optimos viros sanctissimosque cognovi, quam multos presbyteros, quam multos diaconos et cuiuscemodi ministros divinorum sacramentorum, quorum virtus eo mihi mirabilior et maiore praedicatione dignior videtur quo difficilius est eam in multiplici hominum genere et in ista vita turbulentiore servare!'; ep. 10.2 (to Nebridius), `dedit quidem deus paucis quibusdam quos ecclesiarum gubernatores esse voluit ut . . . harum obeundarum labores sine ullo angore susciperent.'

    Ordination gave him a different perspective: ep. 21.1 (to Valerius, requesting time to prepare for his duties as presbyter), `nihil esse in hac vita et maxime hoc tempore difficilius, laboriosius, periculosius episcopi aut presbyteri aut diaconi officio, sed apud deum nihil beatius si eo modo militetur quo noster imperator iubet.' He later saw the temptation at work in the earliest days of the church: s. Guelf. 32.1, `ex faece quippe carnali subrepserat discipulis domini Iesu Christi apostolis nostris quaedam appetitio sublimitatis, et fumus elationis ire coeperat in oculis eorum. nam sicut scriptum in evangelio legimus, “nata est inter eos contentio, quisnam eorum esset maior” [Lk. 22.24].') (The same concern is generalized for the religious life at virg. 34.34.)

    The fullest statement of the dilemma outside conf.: ep. 95.2 (to Paulinus and Therasia: 408/9), `verum omnis quaestio, quae agentes quaerentesque conturbat homines, qualis ego sum, illa est, quonam modo vivendum sit, vel inter eos vel propter eos qui nondum vivere moriendo noverunt non resolutione corporis sed quodam se a corporalibus inlecebris avertentis mentis affectu. plerumque enim videtur nobis quod nisi eis aliquantulum congruamus ad ea ipsa unde illos extrahi cupimus, nihil cum eis salubriter agere poterimus. quod cum facimus, talium delectatio subrepit et nobis, ut saepe etiam loqui vana delectet auremque praebere loquentibus, nec adridere tantum sed etiam risu vinci ac solvi. ita pulvereis quibusdam vel etiam luteis affectibus nostras animas praegravantes laboriosius et pigrius levamus ad deum ut vivamus evangelicam vitam moriendo evangelicam mortem. quod si aliquando successerit, statim subicietur, “euge, euge!” non ab hominibus, neque enim quisquam hominum sentit in alio talem mentis agnitionem, sed in quodam intus silentio nescio unde clamatur: “euge, euge!” propter hoc genus temptationis ab angelo colaphizatum se tantus apostolus confitetur. ecce unde “vita humana super terram tota temptatio est,” quando et ibi homo temptatur, ubi quantum potest vitae caelestis similitudini coaptatur.' s. dom. m. 2.1.1, `non ergo habet simplex cor, id est mundum cor, nisi qui transcendit humanas laudes, et illum solum intuetur, cum recte vivit, et ei placere nititur qui conscientiae solus inspector est.' Sim. at Gal. exp. 59. Later texts at ep. 110.4, 261.2.

    The solace a bishop was expected to provide is exemplified by Paulinus, addressing A. (A.'s ep. 25.3), `fove igitur et corrobora me in sacris litteris, et spiritalibus studiis tempore, ut dixi, recentem, et ob hoc post longa discrimina, post multa naufragia usu rudem, vixdum a fluctibus saeculi emergentem tu qui iam solido litore constitisti, toto excipe sinu, ut in portu salutis, si dignum putas, pariter navigemus. interea me de periculis vitae istius et profundo peccatorum evadere nitentem orationibus tuis tamquam tabula sustine, ut de hoc mundo quasi de naufragio nudus evadam.'

    We are likely to have a sense of A.'s weaknesses different from his own, and to find this proclamation of his awareness of his own faults and of the temptations specific to his office off-putting. The most helpful discussion is Brown 203-11, an interesting and mainly convincing chapter, `Saluberrima Consilia', on the way A. did not see his own (undeniable) aggressiveness as incompatible with his episcopal office, indeed subsumed and used it consciously, howbeit in a way we find disturbing. The same idea had already occurred to Paul J. Pruyser, Jour. Sci. Stud. Rel. 4(1965/6), 286: `While he makes abundant statements about sexual needs, there is a conspicuous absence of recognizing his aggressive impulses, possibly because his speech and writing provide ample intellectualized outlets for hatred.'

    Of general studies of `pride', most important are W. M. Green, Univ. of Cal. Pub. in Class. Phil. 13(1949), 407-31; and D. J. MacQueen, RA 9(1973), 227-293. Confined to conf.: M. Testard, Homo Spiritalis (Festschrift Verheijen: Würzburg, 1987), 136-70.

    typho: See on 7.9.13; typhus is the hallmark of ambitio saeculi wherever it appears in conf.

    solus verus dominus es: Cf. Is. 37.20, `et cognoscant omnia regna terrae quia tu es dominus solus'; Jn. 17.3, `haec est autem vita aeterna ut cognoscant te solum deum verum et quem misisti Iesum Christum.'

    tertium temptationis genus: 1 Jn. 2.16.

    caste timere: Ps. 18.10, `timor domini castus permanens in saeculum saeculi'; en. Ps. 18. en. 1.10, `timor domini . . . castus, quo ecclesia sponsum suum quanto ardentius diligit, tanto diligentius cavet offendere.'

    tu superbis . . . gratiam: Jas 4.6, `deus superbis resistit humilibus autem dat gratiam'; see on 1.1.1).

    et intonas: Ps. 17.14, `et intonuit de caelo dominus'; en. Ps. 17.14, `et evangelica fiducia de corde iusti sonuit dominus.' Ps. 28.3, `deus maiestatis intonuit'; en. Ps. 28.3, `deus maiestatis de nube carnis terribiliter paenitentiam praedicavit.' Ps. 17.8, `fundamenta montium conturbata sunt et commota sunt, quoniam iratus est eis deus'; en. Ps. 17.8, `et spes superborum quae in hoc saeculo fuerunt conturbatae sunt. . . . ut scilicet iam firmamentum non haberet in cordibus hominum spes temporalium bonorum.' (For this meaning of `montes', cf. on 8.2.4.)

    propter . . . officia: The allusion to his episcopal position is unmistakeable, but so is the reticence with which he handles it; see `libeat nos amari . . .' and `propter te amemur . . .' below for the way he wants love and fear to work through him. What A. says is in substance not so different from what other Christians of his time and later have said, but the tone is certainly unusual, almost touched by self-pity. For a contrast, cf. the pedestrian common sense of Ambrose at off. 2.24.119, `ergo bonis artibus et sincero proposito nitendum ad honorem arbitror et maxime ecclesiasticum, ut neque resupina arrogantia vel remissa neglegentia sit neque turpis adfectatio neque indecora ambitio. ad omnia abundat animi directa simplicitas satisque se ipsa commendat.' Contrast also the tone of A.'s own praise of simplicitas just above at 10.35.56, `domine deus meus, cui humilem famulatum ac simplicem debeo.'

    spargens: 6.12.21, `serpens . . . spargebat per linguam meam dulces laqueos in via eius [Alypii]'; 10.34.52, `ego autem crebro haereo in ubique sparsis insidiis'; for `laqueus diaboli', see on 3.6.10.

    euge, euge: See ep. 95.2, quoted just above, and see on 1.13.21.

    concordiam caritatis: 10.3.3, `caritas omnia credit, inter eos utique quos conexos sibimet unum facit'; 12.30.41, `concordiam pariat ipsa veritas'.

    sedem suam ponere in aquilone: Is. 14.13-15, `in caelum conscendam super astra dei, exaltabo solium meum, sedebo in monte testamenti in lateribus aquilonis [v. l., ponam sedem meam ad aquilonem: see below], (14) ascendam super altitudinem nubium, ero similis altissimo, (15) verumtamen ad infernum detraheris.' adn. Iob on 38.24, `austrum, quamvis mortalibus carnibus gravis sentiatur, non tamen uspiam memini in sanctis libris mali aliquid significare, sicut aquilonem numquam in bono: . . . istum [aquilonem] quia ex ea unde lux est remotior'; cf. en. Ps. 88. s. 1.12, `est quidem in aquilone diabolus, qui dixit, ponam sedem meam in aquilonem, et ero similis altissimo'; cf. Gn. litt. 11.24.31, ep. 140.22.55, `diabolus igitur et angeli eius a luce atque fervore caritatis aversi, et nimis in superbiam invidiamque progressi velut glaciali duritia [cf. `frigidi' here] torpuerunt. et ideo per figuram tamquam in aquilone ponuntur.' The chill and the dark of the north are signs of the devil through the middle ages, and it is icy darkness that Dante finds at the root of hell.

    perversa et distorta via: The antithesis to the via (= Christ) of Jn. 14.6. At s. Caill. 1.57.2, Is. 14.13 is taken as comparable to Phil. 2.6, `qui cum in forma dei esset, non rapinam arbitratus est esse se aequalem deo' : the devil rivals God in a way that perversely imitates the relationship of Christ to God. By extension, then, the self-exaltation that A. is tempted to is similarly and perversely mimetic; cf. 2.6.13.

    pusillus grex: Lk. 12.32, `nolite timere pusillus grex, quia complacuit patri vestro dare vobis regnum'.

    tu nos posside: Is. 26.13 (VL), `domine deus noster, posside nos.' en. Ps. 32. en. 2 s. 2.18, `ergo inde beati erimus, deum possidendo. quid ergo? nos possidebimus eum, et ille non nos possidebit? unde ergo Esaias, “domine, posside nos”? possidet ergo, et possidetur, et totum propter nos. non enim quomodo ut nos ex illo beati simus, possidetur a nobis, ita et ille, ut beatus sit, possidet nos. et possidet, et possidetur, non ob aliud nisi ut nos beati simus. possidemus eum, et possidet nos; quia colimus eum et colit nos. colimus eum tamquam dominum deum, colit nos tamquam terram suam'; other citations at en. Ps. 78.3, 131.3.

    praetende: Ps. 35.11, `praetende misericordiam tuam scientibus te.'

    alas: See on 10.4.6.

    fugiamus: Where `flight' had been escape from God in Bks. 1-8 (see 2.6.14, 3.3.5, 4.4.7, 4.7.12, 4.9.14, 5.2.2, 6.11.20, 8.7.16), now it is flight towards God, or the places where God might be found; cf. 10.43.70, `fugam in solitudinem'.

    gloria: en. Ps. 140.13 (quoted further on 10.37.62), `sed bona debet esse gloria, et vera gloria, ut ibi sit intus in vasis suis.'

    non peccator laudatur: Ps. 9.24, `quoniam laudatur peccator in desideriis animae suae et qui iniqua gerit benedicitur.'

    benedicetur benedicetur O S Ver.:   benedicitur C D G Maur. Knöll Skut.
    en. Ps. 9.21 reads benedicitur: `adulantium linguae alligant animas in peccatis. delectat enim ea facere, in quibus non solum non metuitur reprehensor, sed etiam laudator auditur. “et qui iniqua gerit, benedicitur.” hinc comprehenduntur in cogitationibus suis, quibus cogitant.' On the other hand, c. ep. Parm. 2.1.3, offers `benedicetur'; other citations with benedicitur at ep. 55.5.9, civ. 3.14 (with benedicetur in app. crit.), en. Ps. 49.25, s. 153.5.6, s. Frang. 5.5 (see Knauer 157).

    laudatur homo propter aliquod donum: en. Ps. 10.5, `itaque isti [donatistae] cogunt eos qui accipiunt sacramenta spem suam in homine ponere, cuius cor videre non possunt.' The argument is important, for if you make the purity of the minister essential, you put your hope in a man rather than God.

    text of 10.37.60


    sine cessatione temptamur: Job 7.1 (VL); see on 10.28.39.

    fornax nostra: Cf. Prov. 27.21, `quomodo probatur in conflatorio argentum et in fornace aurum, sic probatur homo ore laudantis'; Wisd. 3.6, `tamquam aurum in fornace probavit illos.' en. Ps. 69.5, `avertantur statim erubescentes qui dicunt mihi, “euge, euge.” [10.36.59] duo sunt genera persecutorum, vituperantium et adulantium. plus persequitur lingua adulatoris quam manus interfectoris; nam et ipsa caminum dixit scriptura. certe cum de persecutione loqueretur scriptura, dixit, “tamquam aurum in fornace probavit illos,” de martyribus interfectis. . . . fregit te reprehensor, fractus es in fornace tamquam vas fictile. formavit te verbum, et venit temptatio tribulationis; illud quod formatum est, oportet ut coquatur; si bene formatum est, accedit ignis ut firmet.'

    da quod iubes et iube quod vis: See on 10.29.40.

    gemitum cordis mei: Ps. 37.9, `infirmatus sum et humilatus sum usque nimis, rugiebam a gemitu cordis mei'; en. Ps. 37.13, `est enim gemitus occultus qui ab homine non auditur; tamen si tanta occupaverit cor cogitatio desiderii cuiusdam, ut voce clariore exprimatur vulnus interioris hominis, quaeritur causa; et dicit homo apud semet ipsum: forte illud est unde gemit, et forte illud illi factum est.'

    occulta mea: Ps. 18.13-14, `delicta quis intellegit? [see on 2.9.17] ab occultis meis munda me, domine, (14) et ab alienis parce servo tuo; si mei non fuerint dominata, tunc immaculatus ero et mundabor a delicto magno.' (18.14 is discussed at en. Ps. 18. en. 2.15, with reflections on the prodigal son: see on 1.5.6 and 2.9.17.)

    oculi tui: Sirach 15.20, `oculi domini ad timentes eum, et ipse agnoscit omnem operam hominis.'

    est enim . . .: Again he tests the limits of self-knowledge, and finds that only in God's knowledge of him (10.1.1, `cognoscam te sicut et cognitus sum') is self-knowledge found in fullness.

    laude vero . . .: G-M: `A. loved praise, as all generous natures do. But he knew its dangers and feared them. Yet his self-respect revolted against the conduct adopted by some later ascetics who purposely made themselves disgusting in appearance and manner in order to have contempt and reproaches heaped upon them. His biographer Possidius (v. Aug. 22.1) says that A. was always neat and cleanly in his attire and habits.' Note that A. is utterly heedless of the implicit questions of social status: he regards his praiseworthiness as a result of his ethical excellence, a virtue he is loth to sacrifice; he does not consider that the dignity of his position as bishop is in any way inappropriate or unnecessary.

    text of 10.37.61


    tu scis: ut saepissime (Knauer 76-77).

    continentiam . . . iustitiam: G-M: `Continentia and iustitia here seem to divide between them the whole sphere of ethics, continentia covering the negative and iustitia the positive side.' The schematization is consistent with A.'s teaching, but does not appear so clearly elsewhere--but n.b., continentia does not loom large in A.'s other writings, except the moral treatises on the religious life, e.g. cont. and virg. As pastor of a mixed congregation his own state of life was not one he could recommend broadly. Crude counts give a sense of proportion: the word continentia appears 21x in conf., but only 15x in all of en. Ps. (approx. 9x as long as conf.), 50x in all the sermones (approx. 11x as long: with some concentration in three sermons expressly devoted to the topic), 11x in civ. (approx. 4x as long), and 2x in trin. (half again as long).

    te tantum . . . verum etiam proximum: Mt. 22.37-39, `diliges dominum deum tuum in toto corde tuo et in tota anima tua et in tota mente tua. . . . (39) diliges proximum tuum sicut teipsum'; cf. Mk. 12.30-31; Lk. 10.27; Deut. 6.5; Levit. 19.8.

    mihi ipse displiceo: Cf. 10.2.2, `gemitus meus testis est displicere me mihi', 10.38.63, and 10.39.64.

    unde scio . . .: We are not who we think we are.

    text of 10.37.62


    te, veritas: Jn. 14.6.

    minus mihi in hac re notus sum: We are not who we think we are.

    oraturis pro me fratribus: See on 10.3.3.

    si utilitate: Knauer 181 offers an extensive analysis of the rhythmic structure from here to the end of the paragraph. N.B. rhyme and homoeoptoton (`moveor'-`moveor'-`mordeor') emphasizing rhyme. Personal pronouns and adjectives appear seven times at clause-ends, esp. last lines (`me', `meum', `meum').

    ut ipse me seducam: Gal. 6.3, `qui enim putat se esse aliquid cum nihil sit seipsum seducit' (text from en. Ps. 106.14).

    verum non faciam: Jn. 3.21, `qui autem facit veritatem venit ad lucem' (see on 10.1.1); cf. 1 Jn. 1.6, `si dixerimus quoniam communionem habemus cum eo et in tenebris ambulamus, mentimur et non facimus veritatem'; Eph. 4.15-16, `veritatem autem facientes in caritate crescamus in illum per omnia, qui est caput Christus, (16) ex quo totum corpus compactum et conexum per omnem iuncturam . . . facit in aedificationem sui in caritate.'

    in corde et lingua mea: 6.7.12, 9.1.1, 12.26.36.

    longe fac a me: Prov. 30.8, `vanitatem et verba mendacia longe fac a me'; the application to the present situation is precise, for the insania here does indeed consist of `vanitas et verba mendacia'.

    oleum peccatoris . . . caput meum: Ps. 140.5, `emendavit me iustus in misericordia et arguet me, oleum autem peccatoris non impinguet caput meum'; cf. Knauer 167-171. The theme and the citation recur through these years and after in A.'s other writings: ep. 27.6 (to Paulinus: fall 394? Courcelle, Les Confessions 601, dates to spring 396), `sane quia multa scripta nostra lecturus es, multo mihi erit gratior dilectio tua si ex his quae tibi displicuerint emendaveris me iustus in misericordia et argueris me. non enim talis es, cuius oleo timeam impinguari caput meum'; ep. 28.4.6 (to Jerome, 394/5), `quibus legendis si dignationem adhibueris, etiam sinceram fraternamque severitatem adhibeas quaeso. non enim aliter intellego, quod scriptum est, “emendabit . . . caput meum”'; sim. at epp. 33.3 (to Proculeianus, 396), 108.2.6 (410), trin. 2 pr. 1. Knauer 170: `Diese Stelle macht sehr deutlich, wie konstant mit der Interpretation--denn die Grundauffassung “adulatio” ist ja erhalten geblieben--auch der Wortschatz in solchem Fallen bleibt, selbst wenn die einzelnen Zitate jahrelang auseinanderliegen. Wenn auch für das Zitieren von Ps. 140.5 in den Konfessionen dieser donatistische Streit nicht von unmittelbarer Bedeutung ist, so kann man doch annehmen, dass der Psalmvers durch seine theologisch-politische Bedeutung in aller Munde war und deswegen um so leichter an diesem Platze verstanden wurde.'

    Knauer lists the numerous texts (mainly anti-Donatist) in which A. cites this verse (c. ep. Parm. 2.10.20, 3.2.4, c. litt. Pet. 2.67.150, 2.103.236, 2.103.237, c. Cresc. 2.23.28, 2.24.29, 2.27.33, 4.16.18, s. 266.1, ep. 140.31.74, spec. 6) and quotes Optatus of Milevis on the Donatist practice of quoting this verse themselves--but only the second half. A.'s willingness to cite their verse against himself is potentially a daring gesture. But here we return to the curious incident of the Donatists in the night-time in conf. There is little or no direct reference to them, or the issues they raise. Yet there is the underlying concern, never closer to the surface than here, for the worthiness of A. himself as bishop. In years after conf. he would defend his worthiness against specifically Donatist attacks (c. litt. Pet. [400/3], en. Ps. 36 [403]): is such a defense, perhaps in anticipation of direct attack, perhaps in refutation of whispering campaigns already afoot, a subtext of conf. as a whole?27 If so, such a Donatist-context proof text just here would be no surprise, even if used in a slightly different manner and context. It cannot be said that conf. was specially successful in this regard, for Petilian and Julian would both quote from it against A., both apparently unmoved by it.

    With that in mind, the formal interpretation of the verse bears careful scrutiny: en. Ps. 140.13 (414/15), `“emendabit me iustus in misericordia, et arguet me.” videte peccatorem confessorem: emendari se vult misericorditer, potius quam laudari fallaciter. . . . “oleum peccatoris non impinguabit caput meum.” non crescet caput meum de adulatione. falsa laus adulatio est; falsa laus adulatoris, hoc est oleum peccatoris. propterea et homines cum falsa laude aliquem inriserint, hoc etiam de illo dicunt: unxi illi caput. amate ergo argui a iusto in misericordia; nolite ergo amare laudari a peccatore cum inrisione. habetote oleum vobiscum, et non quaeretis oleum peccatoris.' Further at en. Ps. 140.17 with clear relevance to A.'s case: `sed quid facio, dicis mihi? patior adulatores, non cessant perstrepere; laudant in me quae nolo, quae ego parvipendo laudant in me, quod ego carum habeo reprehendunt in me, adulatores, fallaces, deceptores. magnus vir ille, verbi gratia, Gaiuseius; magnus, doctus, sapiens; sed quare christianus? nam magna doctrina, et magnae litterae, et magna sapientia. si magna sapientia, approba quod christianus est; si magna doctrina, docte elegit. postremo quod tu vituperas, hoc ei placet quem laudas. sed quid? laudatio illa non indulcat: oleum peccatoris est.' See also s. 93.9.12, on the wise and foolish virgins (the connection is oleum), quoting all of the verse.

    text of 10.38.63


    Even humility is a source of pride--the trap is revealed to be without escape. A. takes a grim satisfaction in this, for it proves what Job 7.1 had taught him (10.28.39), that temptation is coterminous with life.

    egenus et pauper ego sum: Ps. 108.22, `erue me quoniam egenus et pauper ego sum et cor meum conturbatum est intra me'; en. Ps. 108.24, `egestas et paupertas, infirmitas est ex qua crucifixus est.' Ps. 39.18, `ego autem egenus et pauper sum'; en. Ps. 39.27, `“ego autem,” cui dicebant euge, euge [Ps. 39.16: see 10.36.59], “egenus et pauper sum.” non est quod in me meum laudetur. discindat ille saccum meum, cooperiat me stola sua. vivo enim iam non ego, vivit autem in me Christus [Gal. 2.20]. si vivit in te Christus, et totum quod boni habes Christi est, totum quod habebis Christi est; tu per teipsum quid es? “ego egenus et pauper.” ego autem non dives, quia non sum superbus.' In scripture also at cf. Ps. 34.10, `eruens inopem de manu fortiorum eius, et egenum et pauperem a diripientibus eum', and Ps. 71.12-13, `quia liberavit egenum a potente et pauperem cui non erat adiutor, (13) parcet inopi et pauperi et animas pauperum salvas faciet'; and cf. Ps. 36.14, 73.21. Cf. 10.43.70, `pauper', 11.2.3, `inops enim et pauper sum, tu dives.'

    displicens mihi: Cf. 10.2.2, 10.37.61, 10.39.64.

    donec reficiatur defectus meus: The same word play at en. Ps. 89.15, `illi autem anni et dies non deficiunt [cf. Ps. 101.28], in quibus nec nos deficiemus, sed sine defectu reficiemur.'

    usque in pacem: Cf. 13.38.53.

    excellentiam: See on 6.3.3, `adversus ipsius excellentiae temptamenta quid luctaminis haberet [Ambrosius]'.

    emendicata: The verb is rare, but the participle joined with suffragium occurs in three laws of the Theodosian Code from the eastern empire, two of them promulgated during A.'s stay at Milan: cod. theod. 6.27.19 of 417 (`ut nullus ex his [agentibus in rebus] emendicato suffragio ad honorem principatus audeat adspirare'), 6.30.7 of 384 (`ambiendi sibi aditum interclusum esse cognoscant, etiamsi speciale beneficium emendicato suffragio quisquam valuerit impetrare'), and 9.1.15 of 385. In all three cases, the denotation is clearly patronage of the kind that is acquired through shameless importunity--if not beggary, then bribery. The ironic twist here is that these suffragia (cf. 10.37.61, `suffragatio oris alieni') are amassed to gain a privata excellentia, not a publica dignitas. Elsewhere in conf. already at 6.6.9, `emendicatis nummulis', where the worldly career of A. is implicitly criticized by the happiness of the beggar, whose emendicatio has gotten him a few coins. (The only other occurrence in A. has an anti-worldly tone as well, but the parallel is less compelling: ep. 118.2.11 [to Dioscorus], `si . . . christianam doctrinam esse respondes . . . quam te omnibus praeponere novimus . . . non opus est ei cognitione dialogorum Ciceronis, et conlectione emendicatarum discordantium sententiarum alienarum procurari auditores.') On suffragia (a word which comes to a bad end in the late sixth century: beginning as the word for the unbought support of a free Roman citizen, it ends as a virtual synonym for bribery), see G. E. M. de Sainte Croix, British Journal of Sociology 5(1954), 33-48.

    saepe saepe O S Knöll Skut. Ver.:   saepe homo C D G Maur.

    text of 10.39.64


    sibi placentes multum tibi displicent: See on 10.2.2 and cf. 2 Pet. 2.10, `sibi placentes'; cf. also virg. 34.34.

    ex meritis ex meritis C D G O Maur. Skut. Ver.:   de meritis S Knöll

    in huiuscemodi in huiuscemodi C D S Skut. Ver.:   huiuscemodi G O:   huiusmodi Maur. Knöll

    sanari: Ps. 102.3 (see on 10.35.57).

    text of 10.40.65


    The fruits of Bk. 10's ascent and investigation are now reached. In doing what he learned to do at Ostia, he comes sometimes (`aliquando') to a similar fleeting contact with God. This paragraph thus stands in close relation to 10.27.38, in which that fleeting vision was palpable to the reader. The implicit message is that his is a religion that not only offers such mystic delights, but helps the believer cope with all the times of reabsorption in consuetudo. The function of the second person of the trinity has been clear throughout the book to those with eyes to see; it will now in the succeeding chapters be made explicit: if we were not burdened by sin, we would ascend uninterruptedly and unaidedly towards God. With sin, we need the mediator.

    For a serious attempt to assimilate this paragraph to modern interpretations of mysticism, see BA 13.198-200.

    veritas: Jn. 14.6. Veritas in Bk. 10: 10.1.1, 10.6.10 (2x),10.23.33 (8x), 10.23.34 (9x), 10.24.35 (2x), 10.26.37, 10.36.59, 10.37.61 (2x), 10.37.62, 10.40.65, 10.41.66. Passages in conf. where veritas is used in a way that demonstrates, or clearly corroborates, the thesis that the word `means' Christ, that is, that in using the word `veritas' A. thinks, and expects his readers to think, of a denotation identical with the second person of the trinity:28

    1.5.6 (`qui veritas es': same at 4.5.10, 5.3.5, 10.23.33), 1.13.22 (`et veritas tua dicat mihi'), 2.5.10, 3.6.10, 4.9.14, 4.11.16, 4.14.23, 4.15.25, 4.15.26, 4.15.27, 4.16.31 (`tu, domine deus veritas'; sim. at 5.4.7, 5.12.22, 12.25.35), 5.3.5 (`veritatem, creaturae artificem'), 6.3.4, 6.4.6, 6.10.16, 7.10.16, 7.15.21, 7.17.23, 7.18.24 (quoting Jn. 14.6), 7.19.25, 8.1.2 (`audieram ex ore veritatis'; veritas with verbs of speaking also at 9.13.34, 11.1.1, 12.15.18), 9.3.6, 9.4.9, 9.10.23 (`quaerebamus inter nos apud praesentem veritatem, quod tu es'), 9.10.24, 10.24.35, 10.26.37, 10.37.62, 10.41.66, 11.3.5, 11.5.7, 11.8.10, 11.23.30, 12.1.1, 12.10.10, 12.16.23, 12.22.31 (`docente veritate'), 12.23.32, 12.30.41, 13.18.23, 13.24.36, 13.25.38 (`cum tu sis veritas'), 13.26.39, 13.29.44.

    docens: With second person subject in Bk. 10: 10.4.5, 10.31.44, 10.31.46, 10.40.65 (here and again below), 10.43.70.

    ad te: Cf. 10.6.10 (`intus cum veritate conferunt'), 10.26.37 (`veritas [!], ubique praesides omnibus consulentibus te'), and cf. 11.5.7 (`ut ille intus consulat praesidentem sibi veritatem, an bene factum sit').

    consulerem: Expressly at 10.26.37, generally at 10.6.8-10.7.11.

    lustravi . . . : Repeats in summary form the ascents of Ostia (9.10.24-25) and 10.6.8 - 10.27.38.

    sensusque: See on 10.6.8, on the sequence of the senses.

    inde ingressus sum in recessus memoriae meae: 10.8.12.

    consideravi et expavi: Hab. 3.2, `consideravi opera tua et expavi' (on text see Knauer 147n1). Cf. on 7.21.27 (last words of 7), `et consideraveram opera tua et expaveram', and add civ. 18.32, `in oratione autem sua cum cantico cui nisi domino Christo dicit: “domine, audivi auditionem tuam, et timui; domine, consideravi opera tua, et expavi”? quid enim hoc est nisi praecognitae novae ac repentinae salutis hominum ineffabilis admiratio.'

    et nihil eorum esse te inveni: 10.26.37-10.27.38.

    memoriae latis memoriae latis S Maur. Knöll Skut. Ver.:   memoriae laetis C D:   memoria elatis G O
    Cf. 10.8.12, `lata praetoria memoriae'.

    recondens: Of memory expressly at 10.8.13, 10.10.17, 10.13.20, 10.14.21.

    nec ego ipse: G-M, `sc. eram tu.' The distinction between A. and God remains absolute, even at the threshold of union.

    vis: `faculty' (i.e., memory: see on 10.8.15).

    lux es tu permanens: Jn. 1.9, `erat lumen verum quod inluminat omnem hominem venientem in hunc mundum'; cf. Jn. 8.12, `ego sum lux mundi'; Jn. 9.5, `quamdiu sum in mundo, lux sum mundi'; Jn. 12.46, `ego lux in mundum veni'; 1 Jn. 1.5, `deus lux est'. (At various dates and in various circumstances, lumen and lux appear interchangeably in A.'s echoes of Jn.)

    et saepe istuc facio: Note that these lines report A.'s regular practice of these spiritual exercises.

    actionibus necessitatis: 11.2.2, `et nolo in aliud horae diffluant quaes invenio liberas a necessitatibus reficiendi corporis et intentionis animi et servitutis quam debemus hominibus'; cf. 6.3.3, 13.25.38 (in those texts the alternative to actiones necessitatis is meditatio sacrae scripturae, suggesting that the ascent to God occurs through the medium of scriptural contemplation), and a more burdensome necessity at 8.5.10.

    conligantur sparsa mea: Is. 11.12, `et congregabit profugos Israhel et dispersos Israhel conliget'; see on 1.3.3. Cf. also Ps. 146.2, `aedificans Hierusalem dominus, et dispersiones Israhel conligens'; en. Ps. 146.4, `“dispersiones Israhel conligens”: cecidit enim pars quaedam, et facta est peregrina: hanc peregrinam misericorditer vidit deus, et quaesivit non quaerentes se. unde quaesivit? quem misit ad captivitatem nostram? misit redemptorem. . . . misit ergo ad captivitatem nostram redemptorem filium suum. porta, inquit, tecum saccum, ferto ibi pretium captivorum. induit enim se ille mortalitatem carnis, et ibi erat sanguis quo fuso redimeremur. illo sanguine conlegit dispersiones Israhel.'

    et aliquando . . .: Another attempt to put `mystical experience' into words.

    si perficiatur: 9.10.25, `si continuetur hoc . . . et haec una [visio] rapiat.'

    recido: Cf. the other ways the ascent has broken off, esp. 4.15.26, `sed ego conabar ad te et repellebar abs te . . . itaque repellebar', 7.10.16, `et reverberasti infirmitatem aspectus mei', 7.17.23, `sed aciem figere non evalui et repercussa infirmitate redditus solitis', 9.10.24, `et suspiravimus et reliquimus ibi religatas primitias spiritus et remeavimus ad strepitum oris nostri'; also at 10.41.66, `vidi enim splendorem tuum corde saucio et repercussus.'

    ponderibus: Cf. 13.9.10, `pondus meum amor meus'.

    consuetudinis: Cf. on 8.5.10, `et dum servitur libidini, facta est consuetudo'; cf. 8.9.21, `non totus assurgit veritate consuetudine praegravatus'.

    text of 10.41.66


    Here is the explicit link between the two halves of Bk. 10: `I saw the light (`vidi splendorem'), i.e., I achieved the ascent, but temptation dragged me down.'

    consideravi: 10.40.65, `consideravi et expavi' (cf. Hab. 3.2).

    in cupiditate triplici: 1 Jn. 2.16.

    dexteram tuam: = Christ (Knauer 121n4; see on 11.29.39).

    splendorem: 10.27.38, `coruscasti, splenduisti et fugasti caecitatem meam'; 11.11.13, `quis tenebit illud [tempus] et figet illud, ut paululum stet et paululum rapiat splendorem semper stantis aeternitatis et comparet cum temporibus numquam stantibus.'

    corde saucio: 10.6.8, `percussisti cor meum verbo tuo et amavi te'; cf. 10.37.62, `quod in me saucium comperero'. See also en. Ps. 30. en. 2 s. 3.10, quoted below.

    repercussus: See on 10.40.65, `recido', and 7.17.23, `repercussa infirmitate'.

    proiectus . . . tuorum: Ps. 30.23, `ego dixi in ecstasi mea: proiectus sum a facie oculorum tuorum'; en. Ps. 30. en. 2 s. 3.10, `attendit cor suum pavidum et trepidum [10.39.64, `tremorem cordis'] et ait, "proiectus sum a facie oculorum tuorum." si in facie tua essem, non sic timerem; si me attenderes, non sic trepidarem. . . . quia non superbus exstiti, sed cor meum accusavi, et in tribulatione mea titubans ad te exclamavi, exaudisti orationem meam.' Cf. 1.19.30, `voraginem turpitudinis, in quam proiectus eram ab oculis tuis'.

    veritas: Jn. 14.6 (see on 10.40.65).

    praesidens: See on 10.26.37, `veritas, ubique praesides omnibus consulentibus te'.

    mendacium: 12.25.34, `qui enim loquitur mendacium, de suo loquitur' (cf. Jn. 8.44).

    sicut nemo vult: Cf. 10.23.33, `multos expertus sum qui vellent fallere, qui autem falli, neminem.'

    text of 10.42.67


    Structural parallels: The historical, deconstructive section of civ. ends in Bks. 9-10 (see esp. civ. 9.9-15 --with the most explicit references in Plotinus) with a revelation of the mediator (and a discussion of false mediators). Bk. 11 there also begins an exposition of the Genesis hexameron. civ. 10.20, `unde verus ille mediator, in quantum formam servi accipiens mediator effectus est dei et hominum, homo Christus Iesus, cum in forma dei sacrificium cum patre sumat, cum quo et unus deus est, tamen in forma servi sacrificium maluit esse quam sumere, ne vel hac occasione quisquam existimaret cuilibet sacrificandum esse creaturae. per hoc et sacerdos est, ipse offerens, ipse et oblatio. cuius rei sacramentum cotidianum esse voluit ecclesiae sacrificium, quae cum ipsius capitis corpus sit, se ipsam per ipsum discit offerre.' (On mediatorship and links to Platonic ideas, see on 7.18.24.)

    ad angelos: On the fruitlessness of seeking mediatorship from angels, see civ. 9.9-23, esp. 9.19-23.

    multi conantes: neo-Platonic theurgy is meant (`purgatio' is A.'s regular word for their rites [cf. `elati enim te quaerebant . . .' here]; for this discussion, see generally civ. 10.23-32, and see next note). J. O'Meara, Porphyry's Philosophy from Oracles (Paris, 1959), 156, sees here the influence of the de regressu animae of Porphyry; it is not certain, however, that every reference to theurgy must be fruit of a textual encounter with Porphyry.

    redire: See on 1.18.28.

    sicut audio: A.'s early knowledge of the practice: ord. 2.9.27, `metuenda est aeriorum animalium mira fallacia, quae per rerum ad istos sensus corporis pertinentium quasdam divinationes nonnullasque potentias decipere animas facillime consuerunt, aut periturarum fortunarum curiosas aut fragilium cupidas potestatum aut inanium formidulosas miraculorum.' Much fuller description at trin. 4.10.13, `per sacra sacrilega inretiens, in quibus etiam magicae fallaciae curiosiores superbioresque animas deceptas illusasque praecipitans, . . . pollicens etiam purgationem animae, per eas quas teletas appellant, transfigurando se in angelum lucis per multiformem machinationem in signis et prodigiis mendacii'; n.b. at trin. 4.12.15, `nequaquam igitur per sacrilegas similitudines et impias curiositates et magicas consecrationes animae purgantur et reconciliantur deo, quia falsus mediator non traicit ad superiora'; specifically attrib. to students of Plotinus at ep. 118.5.33.

    desiderium curiosarum visionum: Explicit connection of neo-Platonists to the vice of curiositas; Bk. 7, where A. encounters and transcends them, is the book where his own curiositas is vanquished. For curiositas and theurgy, see civ. 10.9 (`ut videas eum inter vitium sacrilegae curiositatis et philosophiae professionem sententiis alternantibus fluctuare'), 10.26, 10.32, and texts adduced in previous note.

    elati . . . doctrinae fastu: 13.21.30, `sed fastus elationis [1] et delectatio libidinis [3] et venenum curiositatis [2] motus sunt animae mortuae.'

    tundentes pectora: A Christian gesture: see preceding comm. on 1.1.1, e.g., s. 67.1.1, `in hoc ipso quod sonuit, “confiteor” [Mt. 11.25], pectora tutudistis. tundere autem pectus quid est, nisi arguere quod latet in pectore, et evidenti pulsu occultum castigare peccatum?'

    potestates aeris huius: Eph. 2.2, `secundum principem potestatis aeris huius qui nunc operatur in filiis diffidentiae.'

    diabolus . . . lucis: 2 Cor. 11.14, `ipse enim Satanas transfigurat se in angelum lucis.' See trin. 4.10.13; the same verse of theurgy also at civ. 10.10.

    carneo corpore ipse non esset: Gn. litt. 11.13.17, `corpus . . . aerium sicut ipsius diaboli vel daemonum spiritus'.

    mediator autem: 1 Tim. 2.5, `unus enim deus, unus et mediator dei et hominum, homo Christus Iesus, qui dedit semet ipsum redemptionem pro omnibus.' The common citation links this passage to 7.18.24, where the need for a clear and correct doctrine about Christ the mediator was first shown.

    fallax itaque ille mediator: Anticipates 10.43.68, `verax mediator'.

    meretur inludi meretur inludi C D O Skut. Ver.:   mereretur inludi G Maur.:   meretur indui S Knöll Isnenghi  (who saw here a play on Rom. 13.14, `sed induite dominum Iesum Christum'; cf. 8.12.29).

    pro immortali se ostentet: trin. 1.1.2, `quod ait apostolus, “qui solus habet immortalitatem” [1 Tim. 6.16]. cum et anima modo quodam immortalis esse dicatur et sit, non diceret, “solus habet”, nisi quis vera immortalitas incommutabilitas est, quam nulla potest habere creatura'; s. 65.3.4, `quoniam est quaedam immortalitas vera, immortalitas quae est omnimoda incommutabilitas, de qua dicit apostolus loquens de deo, “qui solus habet immortalitatem, et lucem habitat inaccessibilem.”'

    stipendium peccati mors est: Rom. 6.23, `stipendium enim peccati mors, donum autem dei vita aeterna in Christo Iesu domino nostro'; see on 1.1.1, `testimonium mortalitatis suae'. (Vg. reads `stipendia', but en. Ps. 31. en. 2.7 corroborates the singular.)

    text of 10.43.68


    verax . . . mediator: 10.42.67, `fallax . . . mediator'; 1 Tim. 2.5 (see on 10.42.67). For `verax', see on 6.5.7.

    demonstrasti . . . misisti: In OT and NT respectively (cf. `demonstratus est antiquis sanctis' here). demonstrare: at 6.5.7 and 10.3.3, the denotation is `prove conclusively from evidence.' Cf. 7.9.13, `volens ostendere mihi . . . quanta misericordia tua demonstrata sit hominibus via humilitatis, quod verbum tuum caro factum est et habitavit inter homines.' The need for demonstratio passes away: 13.22.32, `mente quippe renovatus et conspiciens intellectam veritatem tuam homine demonstratore non indiget ut suum genus imitetur, sed te demonstrante probat ipse quae sit voluntas tua . . . et doces eum iam capacem videre trinitatem unitatis vel unitatem trinitatis.'

    hominibus hominibus G S Knöll Skut.:   humilibus C D O Maur. Ver.
    Cf. 7.9.13 quoted just above; they were not humiles until after they had known, prophetically, of Christ; the same may be said of A. in Bk. 8.

    eius exemplo . . . humilitatem: 7.20.26, `a fundamento humilitatis, quod est Christus Iesus,' showing that the Platonists were lacking this humility, which is just what A. learned in Bk. 8. Cf. Phil. 2.8 (as at 7.9.14), `humilavit se factus oboediens usque ad mortem.'

    stipendium . . . pax est: Rom. 8.6, `nam sapientia carnis mors, sapientia autem spiritus vita et pax'; cf. Rom. 6.23, `stipendium peccati mors' (10.42.67).

    evacuaret mortem: 2 Tim. 1.10, `manifestata autem nunc per inlustrationem salvatoris nostri Iesu Christi, qui destruxit quidem mortem, inluminavit autem vitam et incorruptionem per evangelium'; cf. 1 Cor. 15.55, `ubi est, mors, victoria tua? ubi est, mors, stimulus tuus?'; cf. Gal. 5.4, `evacuati estis a Christo, qui in lege iustificamini, a gratia excidistis.'

    evacuaret: 7.21.27, `et evacuatum est chirographum'; 8.4.9, `ignobilia huius mundi elegisti et contemptibilia et ea quae non sunt tamquam sint, ut ea quae sunt evacuares.'

    iustificatorum impiorum: See on 10.2.2, `prius . . . iustificas impium'.

    antiquis sanctis: c. ep. pel. 3.4.11, `huius generis [i.e., `filii promissionis'] fuerunt antiqui omnes iusti . . . quia ex fide qua nos vivimus una eademque vixerunt incarnationem, passionem, resurrectionemque Christi credentes futuram, quam nos credimus factam'.

    salvi fierent: 1 Tim. 2.4-5, `qui omnes homines vult salvos fieri, et ad agnitionem veritatis venire. (5) unus enim deus, unus et mediator . . .' (see above).

    in quantum enim homo: civ. 9.15, `nec enim ob hoc mediator est, quia verbum; maxime quippe immortale et maxime beatum verbum longe est a mortalibus miseris; sed mediator per quod homo'; s. 293.7, `si diceret unus deus, unus et mediator dei et hominum Christus Iesus, tamquam minor deus intellegeretur . . . unitatem teneat divinitas, medietatem suscipiat humanitas.'

    aequalis deo: Phil. 2.6, quoted below (and see on 7.9.14).

    deus apud deum: Jn. 1.1, `in principio erat verbum et verbum erat apud deum et deus erat verbum.' With these last two scriptural echoes, we have returned to the nest of citations that marked the intellectual center of the work, the scriptural texts that were thrown into relief by his reading of the platonicorum libri at 7.9.13; see also on next paragraph.

    text of 10.43.69


    pater bone: See on 10.31.46, and cf. 11.22.28, 13.15.17.

    qui . . . non pepercisti: Rom. 8.32, `qui filio suo non pepercit sed pro nobis omnibus tradidit illum, quomodo non etiam cum illo omnia nobis donabit?'

    pro nobis impiis: Rom. 5.6, `pro impiis mortuus est'.

    non rapinam arbitratus: Phil. 2.6-8, `qui cum in forma dei esset non rapinam arbitratus est esse se aequalem deo (7) sed semet ipsum exinanivit formam servi accipiens, in similitudinem hominum factus et habitu inventus ut homo. (8) humilavit semet ipsum factus oboediens usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis.'

    unus ille in mortuis liber: Ps. 87.5-6, `factus sum sicut homo sine adiutorio, (6) in mortuis liber'; en. Ps. 87.5, `in his verbis maxime persona domini apparet. quis enim alius inter mortuos liber, nisi in similitudine carnis peccati inter peccatores solus sine peccato? . . . hic ergo inter mortuos liber, qui in potestate habebant ponere animam suam et iterum sumere eam. . . . “alios salvos fecit, seipsum non potest. si filius dei est, descendat nunc de cruce, et credimus ei. salvum faciat eum, si vult eum,” [Mt. 27.42] factus est, id est existimatus est, ”tamquam homo sine adiutorio”.'

    potestatem habens ponendi: Jn. 10.17-18, `propterea me pater diligit, qui ego pono animam meam, ut iterum sumam eam. (18) nemo tollit eam a me, sed ego pono eam a meipso. potestatem habeo ponendi animam meam et potestatem habeo iterum sumendi eam.' At Io. ev. tr. 47.13, he concludes a labored discussion of this text by quoting Phil. 2.6-8.

    victor et victima: Io. ev. tr. 24.5, `venit ipse unus utramque personam in se portans sacerdotis et regis, sacerdotis per victimam quam seipsum obtulit pro nobis deo' (cf. en. Ps. 2.7, 64.6; Io. ev. tr. 41.5; en. Ps. 129.7, 130.4, 132.7, 149.6; div. qu. 61.2; trin. 4.14.19; civ. 10.6, 10.20; adv. Iud. 6.8, and see next note). Cf. Heb. 9.28, `sic et Christus semel oblatus est ad multorum exhaurienda peccata; secundo sine peccato apparebit exspectantibus se in salutem.'

    sacerdos et sacrificium: Cf. Heb. 7.27, `qui non habet necessitatem cotidie quemadmodum pontifices prius pro suis delictis hostias offerre, deinde pro populi. hoc enim fecit semel semet ipsum offerendo.' en. Ps. 26. en. 2.2, `sacrificium obtulit deo non aliud quam seipsum. non enim inveniret praeter se mundissimam rationalem victimam, tamquam agnus immaculatus fuso sanguine suo redimens nos, concorporans nos sibi, faciens nos membra sua, ut in illo et nos Christus essemus.'

    faciens . . . filios: Gal. 4.7, `itaque iam non es servus sed filius quod si filius, et heres per deum.'

    sanabis omnes languores meos: Ps. 102.3, `sanans omnes languores' (see on 10.3.3).

    qui sedet . . . pro nobis: Ps. 109.5, `dominus a dextris tuis'; Rom. 8.34, `Christus Iesus, qui mortuus est, immo qui suscitatus est, qui et est ad dexteram dei, qui etiam interpellat pro nobis.' The phrase is also part of the Apostles' Creed. en. Ps. 109.18, `ipse utique Christus dominus a dextris tuis, cui iurasti et non paenitebit te; quid agit sacerdos in aeternum? quid agit, qui est ad dexteram dei, et interpellat pro nobis, tamquam sacerdos intrans in interiora vel in sancta sanctorum, in secreta caelorum, ille solus non habens peccatum, et ideo facile mundans a peccatis?' See on 11.2.4, `virum dexterae tuae', where the same texts are echoed.

    medicina tua: See on 10.3.4, `medice meus intime'.

    caro fieret et habitaret in nobis: Jn. 1.14, `et verbum caro factum est et habitavit in nobis'; this was the crucial doctrine lacking to the Platonists at 7.9.13, and the heart of the final conversion in Bk. 8.

    text of 10.43.70


    The eucharistic language with which Bk. 10 closes, together with the liturgical setting of the conclusion of Bk. 9 and the insistence at 10.3.3 that his true readership consists of those who are joined with him in the caritas of his church, compels the hypothesis that A. has presented us here with discourse that does not represent liturgical prayer, but rather accompanies or, more venturesomely, embodies it. He will not tell us what it is like to participate in the eucharist; he appears before us as he appears at the altar. In many respects, indeed, we have returned in time to where we began, in 1.1.1. The praise of `magnus es, domine' there can be taken as the praise that arises in the liturgy itself; Bks. 1-10 are a fleeting meditation on past and present, and we thus here return to the original scene, and pick up again the original confessio at 11.1.1, `ut dicamus omnes'. The future, beyond the eucharist, lies in Bks. 11-13.

    For the link between textual and sacramental signification, cf. trin. 3.4.10, `si . . . Paulus . . . potuit tamen significando praedicare dominum Iesum Christum, aliter per linguam suam, aliter per epistulam, aliter per sacramentum corporis et sanguinis eius; nec linguam quippe eius nec membranas nec atramentum nec significantes sonos lingua editos nec signa litterarum conscripta pelliculis corpus Christi et sanguinem dicimus, sed illud tantum quod ex fructibus terrae acceptum et prece mystica consecratum rite sumimus ad salutem spiritalem in memoriam pro nobis dominicae passionis, quod cum per manus hominum ad illam visibilem speciem perducatur, non sanctificatur ut sit tam magnum sacramentum, nisi operante invisibiliter spiritu dei, cum haec omnia quae per corporales motus in illo opere fiunt deus operetur, movens primitus invisibilia ministrorum, sive animas hominum sive occultorum spirituum sibi subditas servitutes; quid mirum si etiam in creatura caeli et terrae, maris et aeris, facit deus quae vult sensibilia atque visibilia ad se ipsum in eis sicut oportere ipse novit significandum et demonstrandum, non ipsa sua qua est apparente substantia quae omnino incommutabilis est omnibusque spiritibus quos creavit interius secretiusque sublimior?' A hint that A. could use the language of doctrine to carry liturgical intimations may be found at mus. 6.4.7, `et quidquid secretius atque purgatius in tali sacramento a sanctis et melioribus intellegi potest.' (See Van Bavel 9n12.)

    conterritus: Bks. 6 and 7 both ended with fear (6.16.26 and 7.21.27); there is a progression in the three stages, but no complete release (no `perfect love casting out fear' [1 Jn. 4.18] yet).

    mole miseriae meae: A.'s conversion left him with so much miseria: the word is abundant in the first eight books, culminating with 8.12.28, `totam miseriam meam in conspectu cordis mei . . . voces miserabiles'. From there through Bk. 9, A. is never miser; but here in Bk. 10, esp. since 10.28.39, miseria is with him in his temptations (cf. 10.28.39, 10.34.53, 10.36.59, 10.37.61, 10.40.65).

    meditatusque fueram fugam in solitudinem: BA ad loc. summarizes the debate whether this temptation is to be dated to the `morning after' conversion or to some time after priestly or episcopal ordination, and see Pellegrino, Les Confessions 218n25 (citing ep. 95.3). It is not unlikely (and surely consistent with the tone and tenor of conf. as a whole) that this reflects some quaver of unworthiness at the thought of ordination. At the same time, there is never going to be compelling evidence to decide the issue, nor did A. mean there to be. The story of how God talked A. out of the monastic life is not for this book. One might surmise that another Pauline text (2 Cor. 5.15, as quoted below) supplemented Rom. 13.13 in sorting out A.'s vocation for him.

    fugam: A reversal, but in another way a continuation, of the frequency with which `flight' (see, e.g., on 4.7.12 and 5.2.2) is a constant temptation in the early books.

    solitudinem: It is generally, and probably rightly, assumed that this word refers to a monastic `desert' (whether literal or figurative), but the word is scarcely a technical term in that sense. Cf. suggestively en. Ps. 54.15, `ideo ergo tu quaerebas solitudinem et pennas, ideo murmuras, haec ferre non potes, contradictionem et iniquitatem civitatis huius. requiesce in his qui tecum intus sunt, et noli quaerere solitudinem. . . . ab illo qui foris est, ubi te absconderes? inter illos qui intus sunt. nunc autem vide si non nihil aliud restat, nisi ut solitudinem quaeras.' Cf. also en. Ps. 99.9, and Io. ev. tr. 17.11, `difficile est in turba videre Christum. solitudo quaedam necessaria est menti nostrae; quadam solitudine intentionis videtur deus. turba strepitum habet, visio ista secretum desiderat.' (But there the closest analogue is ord. 1.1.3 [quoted in excursus on the liberales disciplinae on 4.16.30], where the setting is philosophical and solitudo is one way--the liberales disciplinae the other--to achieve true self-knowledge) Where it appears as `desert', the reference is historical (en. Ps. 72.3, of the Exodus); where it is metaphorical, no monastic life is implied (en. Ps. 72.5, `in hac solitudine huius vitae'; en. Ps. 101. s. 1.8, where `pelicanus in solitudine' is understood as `Christum natum de virgine'; s. 47.14.23, `quid est “in solitudine”? intus in conscientia'). The most explicitly monastic uses of the term: introducing discussion of Christian monasticism at mor. 1.30.64, `multi usque adeo sunt dei amore flagrantes, ut eos in summa continentia atque mundi huius incredibili contemptu etiam solitudo delectet'; vera rel. 3.5, `ut desertis divitiis et honoribus huius mundi ex omni hominum genere uni deo summo totam vitam dicare volentium desertae quondam insulae ac multarum terrarum solitudo compleatur'; gest. Pel., `in solitudine monachorum'; ep. 111.1, reporting news of monasteries `in illis solitudinibus Aegypti' that have been sacked by `barbari').

    confirmasti confirmasti C D G O Maur. Ver.:   confortasti S Knöll Skut.

    dicens: God speaking in direct address, but not using the ipsissima verba scripturae: see on 6.16.26 (also the last paragraph of a book).

    pro omnibus mortuus est: 2 Cor. 5.15, `ideo Christus mortuus est et resurrexit, ut qui vivit iam non sibi vivat, sed ei qui pro omnibus mortuus est.' en. Ps. 55.14, `si ergo vivis, et non a te vivis, quia ut viveres ille praestitit, enuntia vitam tuam, non tibi, sed illi.' en. Ps. 60.9 (of church ministry), `ut prosit membris ipsius, id est fidelibus eius, cum veritate ministrando quod novit; ut qui vivit non iam sibi vivat, sed ei qui pro omnibus mortuus est.' Cf. 10.4.6, `quibus iussisti ut serviam, si volo tecum de te vivere' : the thought of his episcopal mission thus embraces the whole of this book, that might otherwise seem self-centered.

    ut ut C2 D G O Maur. Ver.:   et C1:   ut et S Knöll Skut.

    iacto in te curam meam: Ps. 54.23, `iacta in dominum curam tuam et ipse te enutriet'; cf. 1 Pet. 5.7, `omnem sollicitudinem vestram proicientes in eum, quoniam ipsi cura est de vobis.'

    considerabo mirabilia de lege tua: Ps. 118.18, `revela oculos meos, et considerabo mirabilia de lege tua.' Meditation on scripture remains (see on 10.40.65) A.'s method of spiritual discipline and hope of spiritual progress; cf. 11.2.3.

    tu scis: Ps. 68.6, `deus tu scisti imprudentiam meam et delicta mea a te non sunt abscondita'. Knauer 76-77; this is the sixteenth occurrence of the phrase; the remaining three are all in Bk. 13 (13.15.16, 13.16.19, 13.23.33).

    imperitiam: His imperitia again at 11.2.2 and 11.22.28.

    doce: Ps. 142.10, `doce me ut faciam voluntatem tuam, quoniam tu es deus meus'; en. Ps. 142.17, `o confessio, o praescriptio! . . . si non me docueris, faciam voluntatem meam, et deseret me deus meus.' See on 10.40.65.

    sana: Ps. 102.3, `sanas omnes languores' (see on 10.3.3); 10.33.50, `sana me'; 11.31.41, `sana oculos meos'. Ps. 6.3, `miserere mei, domine, quoniam infirmus sum, sana me, domine, quoniam conturbata sunt ossa mea.'

    ille tuus unicus: 10.43.69, `filio tuo unico'.

    omnes thesauri . . . absconditi: Col. 2.2-3, `ut consolentur corda ipsorum instructi in caritate et in omnes divitias plenitudinis intellectus, in agnitionem mysterii dei, Christi, (3) in quo sunt omnes thesauri sapientiae et scientiae absconditi.' Also at 11.2.4.

    redemit me sanguine suo: Cf. Apoc. 5.9, `quoniam occisus es [agnus] et redemisti deo in sanguine tuo.'

    manduco et bibo: Jn. 6.54, `nisi manducaveritis carnem meam, et sanguinem meum biberitis, non habebitis vitam in vobis'; Jn. 6.55, `caro enim mea verus est cibus et sanguis meus verus est potus'; Jn. 6.57, `et qui manducat me et ipse vivet propter me'. 1 Cor. 10.31, `sive ergo manducatis sive bibitis sive aliud quid facitis omnia in gloriam dei facite'; 1 Cor. 11.29, `qui enim manducat et bibit, iudicium sibi manducat et bibit non diiudicans corpus.'

    erogo: For the significance of almsgiving to A., see on 6.6.9.

    cupio saturari: Lk. 16.21, `et cupiens saturari de his quae cadebant de mensa divitis.'

    qui edunt et saturantur: Ps. 21.27, `edent pauperes et saturabuntur et laudabunt dominum qui requirunt eum'; en. Ps. 21. en. 2.27, `cenam suam dedit, passionem suam dedit; ille saturatur, qui imitatur. imitati sunt pauperes; ipsi enim sic passi sunt, ut Christi vestigia sequerentur.' For a strongly eucharistic reading of this verse: ep. 140.24.61, `vota vero sua sacrificium vult intellegi corporis sui, quod est fidelium sacramentum. ideo cum dixisset, “vota mea reddam coram timentibus eum,” continuo subiunxit, “edent pauperes, et saturabuntur.” ipsi enim saturabuntur pane qui de caelo descendit, qui ei cohaerentes, et eius pacem dilectionemque servantes imitantur eius humilitatem; ideo “pauperes”. in hac paupertate et saturitate praecipue apostoli claruerunt. “et laudabunt,” inquit, “dominum qui requirunt eum” intellegentes non meritorum suorum, sed illius esse gratiae quod saturati sunt. requirunt enim eum, quia non sunt ex eis qui sua quaerunt, non quae Iesu Christi' (see also ep. 140.26.65). ep. 145.7, `cum ergo nos huius caritatis qua lex verissime impletur, pauperes egentesque sentimus, non de inopia nostra divitias eius exigere, sed orando petere, quaerere, pulsare debemus, ut ille, apud quem est fons vitae, det nobis inebriari ab ubertate domus suae, et voluptatis suae potare torrentem. . . . spes vero non confundit, non quia per nos ipsos hoc possumus, sed quoniam caritas dei diffusa est in cordibus nostris per spiritum sanctum qui datus est nobis.' For A.'s views of the eucharist, in the few surviving sermons (six or seven at most, depending on how we resolve questions of authenticity) in which A. expounds the Eucharist to neophytes, see best s. 227 (after 410), s. Guelf. 7.2 (410/12), s. Denis 3.3 (very doubtful authenticity).

    et laudant dominum qui requirunt eum: The change in tense from 1.1.1 (which has `et laudabunt dominum qui requirunt eum') is apt, and easy to emend to the more familiar form in MSS. Now, at the real present moment of confession, on the cusp between Bks. 10 and 11, the praise is real and present and continuing; see on 11.1.1 for the links between that paragraph and 1.1.1. See Knauer 154 for the argument that this is evidence against Williger et al. on the insertion of Bk. 10 after the others were completed. There are other similar transitions between the end of one book and the beginning of the next at 4 --> 5, 8 --> 9, and 11 --> 12

    laudant laudant C D G O Maur. Ver.:   laudabunt S Knöll Skut.

    eum eum C D G S Knöll Skut. Ver.:   eum. amen. O Maur.
    See on 13.38.53.


    Such a reading is implicitly imposed by G. Misch, A History of Autobiography in Antiquity (London, 1950), 2.667, who concludes his thoroughly conventional treatment of conf. as autobiography by presenting a translation of 10.27.38, set out per cola et commata for rhetorical effect.


    Similar link of mystical ascent with the dangers of temptation at c. mend. 18.36.


    The principal predecessor in A.'s own work for the first half of Bk. 10 is mag., which was written at about the time that the scriptural text 1 Jn. 2.16 (which dominates the second half of Bk. 10) began to appear in A.'s other writings (e.g., Gn. c. man.). Mag. represents a distinct Christianization of A.'s ideas: Platonic anamnesis is dispensed with once for all, to be replaced by the admonishing inner presence of Christ/veritas. To confirm that Bk. 10 does display the patterns of the mind's ascent to God, cf. vera rel. 39.72, `noli foras ire, in te ipsum redi. in interiore homine habitat veritas. et si tuam naturam mutabilem inveneris, transcende et te ipsum. sed memento cum te transcendis, ratiocinantem animam te transcendere. illuc ergo tende, unde ipsum lumen rationis accenditur.'


    The patterns described here are sure and certain, but they remain only patterns in texts: what relation they had to real events in his past life, in his life apart from conf. at the time of writing, and in his life in after years -- those are entirely separate questions, capable of being answered, if at all, only with a much lower degree of certainty.


    A parallel for that transformation occurs years later at trin. 15.6.10, `si enim recolamus ubi nostro intellectui coeperit in his libris trinitas apparere, octavus occurrit. ibi quippe, ut potuimus, disputando erigere temptavimus mentis intentionem ad intellegendam illam praestantissimam immutabilemque naturam, quod nostra mens non est. . . . sed quia lux illa ineffabilis nostrum reverberabat obtutum, et ei nondum posse obtemperari nostrae mentis quodam modo convincebatur infirmitas, ad ipsius nostrae mentis, secundum quam factus est homo ad imaginem dei, velut familiariorem considerationem, reficiendae laborantis intentionis causa, inter coeptum dispositumque refleximus: et inde in creatura quod nos sumus, ut invisibilia dei per ea quae facta sunt conspicere intellecta possemus, immorati sumus a nono usque ad quartum decimum librum.' O. O'Donovan, The Problem of Self-Love in St. Augustine (New Haven, 1980), 76-77 links this `failed ascent' to conf. 7-9, and says (77) that `the speculation of Bk. VIII in the De Trinitate stands to the following laborious intellectual ascent rather as those ecstasies stand to the careful dialectical ascent of Confessions X.' The drawback to such a view is that A. seems always to be missing the point, trying and failing with ecstatic means, then laboring up a pedantic ladder. Better to accept that the imperfection of ascents is a given, and offers itself an incentive for further attempts -- to accept the failures as a sign of human-ness (ascent and temptation: see above), and no more (but no less) discouraging than that.


    Some points were anticipated by Theiler, P.u.A. 67; M. Berrouard, in a note on Io. ev. tr. at BA 72.753, also gives the barest hint of the broader correspondence, and see also Pizzolato, Le `Confessioni' di Sant'Agostino (Milan, 1968), 114n9. On the mysticism of this book, see J. Oroz Reta, Aug. Stud. 7(1976), 99-118; he presents a schema that makes it easier to compare A.'s text to other accounts of mysticism, but does so with respect for the text and without forcing A. to participate in a discussion of the nature of mysticism that had not yet begun. The development here is described on a trajectory from Ostia to trin. by A. Louth, The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition (Oxford, 1981), 132-58. The passage exemplifies `Aufstieg' in C.P. Mayer's `Signifikationshermeneutik' article cited below, but with only fleeting reference at p. 45 to Ostia.


    W. Hübner, REAug 27(1981), 262, notes a curious structural resemblance between the Aeneid and conf. Both works consist of an Odyssey half and an Iliad half: anxious journey followed by the struggle of a new life; Hübner: `Beide [iliadische] Teile haben jeweils weniger Wirkung auf ihre Leser ausgeübt als dis odysseischen.' But he takes Bk. 10 to parallel Vergil's underworld scene; see on 9.10.23 for the way Ostia performs that role.


    See on 9.4.9 for the entry of the Spirit into conf. and 9.6.14 for A.'s own baptism.


    A vivid example of the device appears in Coptic in C. R. C. Allberry, A Manichaean Psalm-Book (Stuttgart, 1938), 150.22-26.


    But not for A.: see on 10.17.26, `habent enim memoriam et pecora et aves', in a tradition from Aristotle, e.g., met. A 1 [980a]; but the opinion A. does not share explains to some extent the prestige of memory itself.


    Cicero goes on immediately (Tusc. 1.25.62ff) to consider the powers of the human faculty of thought (excogitatio) and its accomplishments: all the fine and practical arts of civilization. Admiration for that active, creative faculty of the mind plays no part in conf., and little part in A. generally.


    For a congruent image, cf. c. Faust. 6.7, `velut ab intestino memoriae'.


    Cf. R.M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (New York, 1974), 247, `The past exists only in our memories, the future only in our plans. The present is our only reality. The tree that you are aware of intellectually, because of that small time lag, is always in the past and therefore is always unreal.'


    Vividly demonstrated by J. Spence, The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci (New York, 1984).


    CCSL ed. reads `motus'.


    Cf. 10.6.10, `intus cum veritate conferunt'.


    Eliot, `Burnt Norton':

    Time past and time future
    Allow but a little consciousness.
    To be conscious is not to be in time
    But only in time can the moment in the rose-garden
    The moment in the arbour where the rain beat,
    The moment in the draughty church at smokefall
    Be remembered; involved with past and future,
    Only through time time is conquered.


    Cf. the discussion at beata v. 2.11ff, where `having/holding God' (`habet deum') is identified with the blessed/happy life.


    In part because of his long dialogue with Paul, esp. Rom. 7: see M.-F. Berrouard, RA 16(1981), 101-196.


    This may even be a product of Latin Manicheism in A.'s own time: see cf. G.J.D. Aalders, Vig. Chr. 14(1960), 245-9.


    For the `Porphyrian' order voluptas, superbia, curiositas invoked by Theiler, see A. Labhardt, Mus. Helv. 17(1960), 223.


    See Lawless, Rule 7, and for parallel development cat. rud. 16.25, 26.52, 27.55; omitted in lists by Theiler P.u.A. 39 and du Roy 344n1; du Roy 346n1 has a less compelling passage (with really only two of the three elements) from ord. 2.9.27.


    That work has been dated much later, to the period when 1 Jn. 2.16 fades from view, by A. M. La Bonnardière, REAug 5(1959), 121-127, and there has been suggestion that it be pushed even later: see Lawless, Rule 151n96.


    At retr. 1.19.9 he allows he should have remembered that Adam and Eve took nourishment in the garden, `antequam istam mortis poenam peccando meruissent'.


    The sense of the phrase is well-taken by the Authorized Version: `for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.'


    G-M's first ed. pub. 1908.


    Or was A. too candid in conf. and did he thus inadvertently encourage that attacks that followed? Pellegrino, Les Confessions 37-39, marshals concisely the evidence to show that the developed form of Donatist attack on A.'s past life post-dates conf.: e.g., if Donatists were already claiming A. had fled Africa to avoid prosecution, the narrative of Bk. 5 would reasonably be expected to include, however indirectly, his defense on this charge: it does not (see on 5.3.3).


    This does not include many other passages where the thesis that the word `means' Christ offers a much improved interpretation of the passage in question.

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