Book 3 is tripartite:
- 3.1.1 - 3.3.6
- Student life at Carthage: from flagitiosi amores to the spectacula
- 3.4.7 - 3.10.18
- Quest for `Wisdom'
- 3.4.7 - 3.5.9
- In Cicero's Hortensius
- 3.6.10 - 3.10.18
- Among the Manichees
- 3.11.19 - 3.12.21
- Monnica's attitude.
Curiositas predominates, but all three temptations are present; note concupiscentia carnis here in 3.1.1 and superbia in 3.3.6.
text of 3.1.1
This dense and vivid passage reprises the opening of Bk. 2. (The beginnings of books of conf. are more often closely related to the conclusions of the books just finished, as at the junctures of 3/4, 5/6, 7/8, 8/9, 10/11; cf. civ. 2.2, recapitulating the first book.). Here the opening paragraph recapitulates to facilitate forward motion, and so only seems retrospective rather than prospective.
BA 13.665-667 gives a detailed note on this passage, from which extracts are given under the lemmata below; they react against G. Wijdeveld, Vig. Chr. 10(1956), 231-235. BA 665: `Augustin en effet ne décrit pas l'expérience telle qu'il la vécut en son temps, mais bien telle qu'il la réfléchit et la juge en évêque et en philosophe.' This paragraph is so vivid and memorable that it is often treated as if it were narrative in content, when it is in reality a tissue of meditative abstractions.
Carthaginem: Carthage, not Rome, remained for him the familiar epitome of urban life: ep. 43.3.7, `erat Carthago civitas ampla et inlustris, unde se per totum Africae corpus malum quod ibi esset exortum tamquam a vertice effunderet. erat etiam transmarinis vicina regionibus et fama celeberrima nobilis.' ep. 118.2.9, `cum duae tantae urbes latinarum litterarum artifices, Roma atque Carthago, nec taedio tibi sint . . . nec taedia tua curent'. The reputation of the city changed with time and with the outlook of the observer. Apul., flor. 20, had the old veneration for the place: `Carthago provinciae nostrae magistra venerabilis, Carthago Africae Musa caelestis, Carthago Camena togatorum'; but Salvian, two generations younger than A., was notoriously critical of the mores of the city (though it is far from clear how reliable his information was): gub. 7.16-17, `scaturrientem vitiis civitatem . . . quae enim fuit pars civitatis non plena sordibus, quae intra urbem platea aut semita non lupanar?'
sartago: Probably still `frying pan' (Lev. 6.21 [quoted at qu. hept. 3.15], `in sartagine, in oleo fiet, consparsam offeret eam'), but perhaps of the contents rather than the instrument at s. 273.8.8, `oderunt martyres lagenas vestras, oderunt martyres sartagines vestras, oderunt martyres ebrietates vestras.' Souter s.v. takes it as `a heated instrument of torture,' citing Cyprian Fort. 11, but that is clearly not what it is in A.'s sermon.
amare: amare G O1 Knöll S Skut. Ver.: amari C D1 O2
See on 2.1.1; for the paradoxes, cf. div. qu. 35.1, `amandum est sine metu vivere. . . . an amor quoque ipse amandus est? ita vero, quando sine hoc illa non amantur. sed si propter alia quae amanda sunt amor amatur, non recte amari dicitur. nihil enim aliud est amare quam propter se ipsam rem aliquam appetere. . . . est enim et turpis amor, quo animus se ipso inferiora sectatur, quae magis proprie cupiditas dicitur, omnium scilicet malorum radix.'
secretiore indigentia (= `fames . . . ab interiore cibo'): BA: `c'est l'indigence de l'homme qui, faute de se connaître soi-même et de discerner la dignité de sa véritable essence, se disperse dans le sensible au lieu de se concentrer en soi pour y découvrir Dieu'; cf. 2.10.18, `regio egestatis', and texts cited there.
oderam me: As often in Latin (as with English `hated'), oderam is not much stronger than `disliked' (E. Fraenkel, Horace [Oxford, 1957], 263). For the implications here (when is self-love `really' a form of self-hatred?), see O. O'Donovan, The Problem of Self-Love in Augustine (New Haven, 1980), esp. 37-59; but he does not discuss the present passage.
minus indigentem: Take the clause thus: `In the midst of the regio egestatis I suffered an indigentia that affected me deep within (thus secretiore), and so I hated the very thought of what I might be like if I did not suffer that indigentia (`me minus indigentem'), hence I was entirely averse to anything that might have had a good effect on me. I "hated" the one thing that was good, "in love" with "Love", foolishly.' Hence the desperate need to love wrongly below. en. Ps. 118. s. 1.1, `nam quisquis libidinibus deditus luxuria stuprisque corrumpitur, in hoc malo beatitudinem quaerit et se miserum putat, cum ad suae concupiscentiae voluptatem laetitiamque non pervenit, beatum vero non dubitat iactare cum pervenit.'
securitatem et viam sine muscipulis: BA: `la securitas serait la consistance, la certitude, la sérénité de la vie chrétienne, ou du moins celle qui résulterait d'une légitime conception de l'amour humain; ce serait la vena et le candor d'une amicitia qu'aucun sentiment trouble ne viendrait ternir. La via sine muscipulis est celle où l'âme est à l'abri des corruptions (ou mieux des corrupteurs) de l'amour.' Wijdeveld, Vig. Chr. 10(1956), 233, cites en. Ps. 36. s. 3.13 (`ergo est securitas, sed si intus sit deus') and s. 40.5.7 (`quae est autem securitas, fratres, vel mea vel vestra, nisi ut domini iussa intente et diligenter audiamus et promissa fideliter expectemus?').
viam sine muscipulis: The editors adduce Wisd. 14.11, `propter hoc et idolis nationum non erit respectus, quoniam creaturae dei in odium factae sunt et in temptationem animis hominum et in muscipulum pedibus insipientium.' But the `path without pitfalls' is Christ (Ps. 141.4, `in via hac qua ingrediebar absconderunt mihi muscipulam'; en. Ps. 141.9, `via haec qua ingrediebatur, Christus est; ibi illi absconderunt muscipulam, qui persequuntur in Christo, propter nomen Christi'), who either did or did not encounter muscipulae himself. One consistent line of interpretation says he did: s. 130.2 (`ad pretium nostrum tetendit muscipulam crucem suam'), s. Guelf. 21.2 (= s. 263.1: `muscipula diaboli, crux domini'), s. Mor. 17.5 (`crux Christi muscipula fuit'). On the other hand there is en. Ps. 90. s. 1.4: `et longe ab ipsis muscipulis ambulant homines qui in Christo ambulant; non audet enim in Christo tendere muscipulam; circa viam ponit, in via non ponit. via autem tua Christus sit, et tu non cades in muscipulam diaboli. aberranti a via, iam ibi est muscipula.' Sim. at ss. 134.5.6 and 216.6.6.
Muscipula is common in A.'s Psalter, though rare in the Roman and Gallican versions. The flavor is important to catch: Ps. 90.3, `sperabo in eum, ipse eruet me de muscipula venantium et a verbo aspero' (cf. en. Ps. 90. s. 1.4 just quoted); Ps. 9.16, `in muscipula ista quam occultaverunt comprehensus est pes eorum' (en. Ps. 9.15, `muscipula occulta est dolosa cogitatio. pes animae recte intellegitur amor; qui cum pravus est, vocatur cupiditas aut libido; cum autem rectus, dilectio vel caritas.'); Ps. 30.5, `educes me de muscipula ista, quam occultaverunt'; Ps. 123.7, `anima nostra sicut passer eruta est de muscipula venantium; muscipula contrita est, et nos eruti sumus' (en. Ps. 123.12, `muscipula erat dulcedo vita huius'). Cf. also Ps. 9.31, 34.7-8, 63.6, 139.6, 140.9; and 1 Tim. 6.9 (VL). For treatments of the image without direct discussion of the present passage, see S. Poque, Le langage symbolique dans le prédication d'Augustin (Paris, 1984), 1.22-28, and J. Rivière, RTAM 1(1929), 484-496; the latter is an excellent survey, but makes no reference to conf. or this passage.
Other snares: 4.6.11 (`evellens de laqueo pedes meos'), 6.12.21 (`dulces laqueos in via eius'), 10.34.52 (`ut tu evellas de laqueo pedes meos').
ab (interiore cibo): `for want of.' BA: `ce n'est pas une faim de la nourriture intérieure, mais une faim par privation de cette nourriture.' He hungers for God, but does not know his hunger (`ea fame non esuriebam') and hence has no longing for incorruptible things (`sed eram sine desiderio alimentorum incorruptibilium'), not out of satiety (`non quia plenus eram'), but vacuity (`inanior').
fastidiosior: fastidiosior C1 D O1 S Knöll Skut. Ver. Pell.: eo fastidiosior C2 O2 Maur.
ulcerosa: Cf. Job 2.7-8 (VL), `egressus diabolus a facie domini percussit Iob vulnere pessimo, a pedibus usque ad caput. (8) et tulit sibi testam, ut raderet saniem. et ipse sedebat in stercore.' The scene immediately precedes the temptation Job hears in the words of his wife: en. Ps. 133.2, `tunc Eva [!] ausa est eum temptare, dic aliquid in deum tuum, et morere.' But ulcerosus for A. regularly refers to the story of Dives and Lazarus (Lk. 16.20ff: en. Ps. 145.7, `duo erant: pauper ulcerosus ad ianuam iacens divitis, et dives indutus purpura et bysso, in epulis quotidie splendidis'); cf. `elegans et urbanus' below.
foras: See on 1.18.28, `ibam foras'; cf. also 4.15.27 and 7.16.22.
contactu: Touch is the sense to which sexual temptation appeals: see on 2.5.10.
si non haberent animam: G-M: `we do not speak of loving inanimate objects. A's meaning is that, even in this association, stained as it was with lust, he was seeking, however mistakenly, the satisfaction of a real soul hunger.' With the sentence that follows, it seems clear that he means that at this time, avid for contact with the sensible, he wanted to Love, and could not love what was without anima; hence, lust as the particular focus of his evil, the perverse parody of a central virtue. He could not stop loving, but he could only love in an evil way.
amare et amari: See on 2.2.2.
magis: The comma preceding introduced by Vega; magis occurs elsewhere at the beginning of a clause or extended phrase (1.6.8, et me talem fuisse magis mihi ipsi indicaverunt nescientes quam scientes nutritores mei; other examples at 1.9.15, 1.18.29, 3.1.1, 3.10.18, 4.15.26, 5.12.22, 5.14.25, 6.10.16, 9.4.7). Other editors (Knöll, Skut., Pell., Ver.) have put the comma after magis, (1) making `dulce . . . magis' a quasi-comparative (not impossible in later Latin, but not attested in conf.; for A.'s variations on traditional comparative forms, see Arts 43-45) and (2) reducing the affirmation to a single statement (`Love was sweeter if . . .'), breaking up the sequence (`Love was sweet, indeed even sweeter if . . .').
venam igitur amicitiae . . . obnubilabam: The wording brings us back to the opening of Bk. 2, reinforcing the prevalence of concupiscence in what has gone between. Cf. 2.2.2, `luminosus limes amicitiae' and `obnubilabant atque obfuscabant cor meum,' and 3.2.3, `vena amicitiae' (with context that makes clear that a channel for liquid is envisioned by the metaphor). The vena amicitiae is close in sense to the vena caritatis in similar context at b. coniug. 16.18 and Io. ep. tr. 6.2.
de tartaro libidinis: 8.4.9, `de tartaro caecitatis'.
foedus atque inhonestus: imm. an. 8.13, `quod si non id quod est in mole corporis, sed id quod in specie facit corpus esse, quae sententia invictiore ratione approbatur--tanto enim magis est corpus, quanto speciosius est atque pulchrius, tantoque minus est, quanto foedius ac deformius, quae defectio non praecisione molis . . . sed speciei privatione contingit.'
elegans et urbanus: J. V. Fleming, Reason and the Lover (Princeton, 1984), 95-96, renders `fine and courtly', with comments. At c. acad. 2.2.6, the true beauty of philosophy, hidden from one who is mired down in worldly delights (`baias et amoena pomeria et delicata nitidaque convivia et domesticos histriones'), though he struggles towards true beauty: `inde est illa hospitalitas, inde in conviviis multa humanitatis condimenta, inde ipsa elegantia, nitor, mundissima facies rerum omnium, et undique cuncta perfundens adumbratae venustatis urbanitas.' See the rest of that passage quoted on 2.1.1. On deformiter, cf. 10.27.38, `et in ista formosa quae fecisti deformis inruebam.'
misericordia mea: Mea corresponds to an objective genitive. Ps. 58.18, `adiutor meus, tibi psallam, quia deus susceptor meus es, deus meus misercordia mea'; en. Ps. 58. s. 2.11, `totum quidquid sum, de misericordia tua est.' Cf. Ps. 143.1-2; cf. also 3.3.5, bracketing this section: `et circumvolabat super me fidelis a longe misericordia tua.' Knauer 37, `Beide Stellen sagen das gleiche aus und sind wohlverständlich--Gott als refugium oder auxilium. Es kommt aber noch hinzu, dass sie den Abschnitt einrahmen, in dem Augustin die Theaterleidenschaft und ihre Motive . . . behandelt (3.2.2-4). Im Theater, wo seine eigenen miseriae dargestellt werden, wird doch nur eine mirabilis insania erregt (3.2.2). Je stärker man selber von dem vorgestellten Affekten betroffen ist, um so mehr verfällt man dieser Leidenschaft, die, erleidet man sie selber, miseria, leidet man aber für andere mit, misericordia genannt zu werden pflegt.'
felle . . . aspersisti: (see on 9.10.23, `aspersi') 1.14.23, `difficultas . . . quasi felle aspergebat omnes suavitates graecas fabulosarum narrationum.'
occulte: Vega: `Distinguíanse entre los romanos dos clases de concubinato: uno legal, público, en el que la mujer no tenía derechos jurídicos de esposa, y otro privado, o simple concubinato. San Agustín quiere dar a entender--más adelante lo dice claramente--que su unión fue de este segundo modo.' Per contra, Peter Brown, `Augustine and Sexuality', Colloquies of the Center for Hermeneutical Study, Protocol 46 (Berkeley, 1983), 2: `it was a relationship beyond moral reproach, even among the Catholic clergy' (which leaves occulte unexplained).
vinculum . . . nexibus: The attachment to sexual desire is often expressed as a bondage; see on 8.11.25. For `conligabar', cf. 8.1.2, `conligabar ex femina'; 8.8.20, `conligata vinculis' (again of sexual attachment, but more metaphorical).
ut caederer: To what is A. referring? He is at least deliberately taking upon himself the conventional ideas of the quarrels and the troubles of obsessed young lovers. That he uses hints of biblical language tacitly passes judgment on the relationship.
virgis ferreis: Ps. 2.9, `reges eos in virga ferrea'; en. Ps. 2.8, `in inflexibili iustitia'.
suspicionum . . . rixarum: Gal. 5.20, `manifesta autem sunt opera carnis quae sunt . . . contentiones, aemulationes, irae, rixae, dissensiones, sectae.'
text of 3.2.2
Curiositas is always a vice for A. For a definition using the word itself, vera rel. 52.101, `quid enim appetit curiositas nisi cognitionem quae certa esse non potest nisi rerum aeternarum et eodem modo se semper habentium?'; though the word is absent, more revealing perhaps is vera rel. 33.62, `ille [animus] autem vult mentem convertere ad corpora, oculos ad deum. quaerit enim intellegere carnalia et videre spiritalia, quod fieri non potest.'
For bibliography, see on 10.35.54. There is much originality to A.'s development, but the possible influence of Ambrose has not been sufficiently considered. Not that Ambrose has a concept of curiositas, but some of his suspicions of the excesses of the philosophers are at least apposite to A.'s own thoughts, though A. develops them further. See Amb. off. 1.26.122 (written 386), `itaque tractant in veri investigatione tenendum illud decorum, ut summo studio requiramus quid verum sit, non falsa pro veris ducere, non obscuris vera involvere, non superfluis vel inplexis atque ambiguis occupare animum. quid tam indecorum quam venerari ligna, quod ipsi faciunt? quid tam obscurum quam de astronomia et geometria tractare, quod probant, et profunda aeris spatia metiri, caelum quoque et mare numeris includere; relinquere causam salutis, erroris quaerere?' Such ill-guided search for knowledge Amb. then contrasts to Moses' superior wisdom.
The subject emerges early and pervades the years before conf.; at ord. 1.8.26 he recalls watching a cock-fight: `cur . . . nos ipsa pugnae facies aliquantum et praeter altiorem istam considerationem duceret in voluptatem spectaculi?' Later in the same work, he cautions measure in inquiry: ord. 2.5.17, `si quis temere ac sine ordine disciplinarum in harum rerum cognitionem audet inruere, pro studioso illum curiosum, pro docto credulum, pro cauto incredulum fieri' (cf. ord. 1.11.31, `curiosi vel nimium studiosi'); specific examples are offered: ord. 2.12.37 (the trivial pursuits of grammarians), 2.15.42 (on astronomy: `astrologiam genuit, magnum religiosis argumentum tormentumque curiosis'); cf. quant. an. 19.33. The noun curiositas itself is introduced at mus. 6.13.39, `avertit [a contemplatione aeternorum] denique amor vanissimae cognitionis talium rerum. . . . curiositas nascitur ipso curae nomine inimica securitati, et vanitate impos veritatis'. Connection with 1 Jn. 2.16 (see on 1.10.16 and on 10.30.41) is slower coming, though it may underlie mor. 1.21.38: `quamobrem recte etiam curiosi esse prohibemur, quod magnum temperantiae munus est. . . . reprimat igitur se anima ab huiusmodi vanae cognitionis cupiditate, si se castam deo servare disposuit.' Similar discussions occur later: cf., e.g., trin. 10.1.3, `aut si tam curiosus est ut non propter aliquam notam causam sed solo amore rapiatur incognita sciendi, discernendus quidem est ab studiosi nomine iste curiosus; sed nec ipse amat incognita, immo congruentius dicitur, odit incognita, quae nulla esse vult dum vult omnia cognita.'
A clear echo of 1 Jn. 2.16 occurs at lib. arb. 2.19.53 (nothing in the work can be surely dated before it was put in final form, which may have been as late as 395), `ad proprium convertitur , cum suae potestatis vult esse; ad exterius , cum aliorum propria vel quaecumque ad se non pertinent cognoscere studet, ad inferius  cum voluptatem corporis diligit. atque ita homo superbus  et curiosus  et lascivus  effectus excipitur ab alia vita quae in comparatione superioris vitae mors est.' But comparable echoes may be found at Gn. c. man. 1.23.40 (quoted on 10.30.41) and 2.18.27 (`genus tertium temptationis his verbis figurare, quod est curiositas').
The last thing A. wrote before his ordination in 391 was vera rel., whose structure and contents are heavily influenced by 1 Jn. 2.16; there are clear attacks on curiositas at vera rel. 3.4, 4.7 (`nam tertio vitio curiositatis in percontandis daemonibus'), 29.52 (`in quorum consideratione non vana et peritura curiositas exercenda est, sed gradus ad immortalia et semper manentia faciendus'), 38.70, 38.71 (quoted on 10.30.41 for the link between the temptations of 1 Jn. and the three temptations of Christ in the desert), 49.94 (`iam vero cuncta spectacula et omnis illa quae appellatur curiositas, quid aliud quaerit quam de rerum cognitione laetitiam?'), and cf. also vera rel. 52.101-54.105, and see div. qu. 68.1, quoted on 5.3.5 below.
When we bring our modern incomprehension to A.'s disdain for what is now an unquestioned virtue, we forget that for him curiositas led directly to demons: cat. rud. 25.48, `qui christianum nomen oderunt . . . et adhuc simulacris et daemoniorum curiositatibus servire desiderant,' and Io. ep. tr. 2.13 (on 1 Jn. 2.16), `iam quam late patet curiositas? ipsa in spectaculis, in theatris, in sacramentis diaboli, in magicis artibus, in maleficiis ipsa est curiositas.' See also trin. 4.11.14-4.12.15, civ. 10.26, 10.28 (where he presents Porphyry playing to an audience of the curious: `ut talium quoque rerum quasi peritus appareas et placeas inlicitarum artium curiosis, vel ad eas facias ipse curiosos'), and 10.29. (A familiar villain for fourth-century Christians was similarly led astray by curiositas, acting in concert this time with ambitio saeculi: civ. 5.21, `apostatae Iuliano, cuius egregiam indolem decepit amore dominandi sacrilega et detestanda curiositas'.) For the word and the thing, see further on 10.35.54.
Curiositas emerges here in narrative as A. comes to the great city and finds himself surrounded by all manner of marvels. One innocent recollection may date to this awed time: civ. 16.8, `quosdam [homines] sine cervice oculos habentes in umeris, et cetera hominum vel quasi hominum genera, quae in maritima platea Carthaginis musivo picta sunt, ex libris deprompta velut curiosioris historiae.'
spectacula . . . imaginibus: Students were discouraged by the local authorities from too much spectacle-going: cod. theod. 14.9.1 (12 March 370), `neve spectacula frequentius adeant'. The same law declared that indiscipline could be punished (at least at Rome and Constantinople) by whippings and forced rustication. A similar moralizing restriction was enjoined upon the young Julian by his tutor Mardonius (Julian, misopogon 351c-d), and Libanius (ep. 976.) thought the theater a distraction for students. A.'s remarks here make it clear that it was the enacted stories that appealed to him most, as later the circus (6.7.11-12) and the gladiatorial combats (6.8.13) would appeal to Alypius; these seem to have been the three main classes of entertainment available to A. (and classed by him as spectacula): s. 198.3, `delectantur nugatorio spectaculo et turpitudinibus variis theatrorum, insania circi, crudelitate amphitheatri, certaminibus animosis eorum qui pro pestilentibus hominibus lites et contentiones usque ad inimicitias suscipiunt, pro mimo, pro histrione, pro pantomimo [these three are from the theatra], pro auriga [from the circus], pro venatore [from the gladiatorial amphitheater].' 1
Spectaculum in A. is almost always accompanied by verbs of seeing, frequently with word-play on spectare; in this paragraph note `spectacula', `spectat', `spectator', `spectat', and add 3.2.3, `spectaculi', 3.2.4, `spectare', 3.8.16, `spectatores', 3.8.16, `principandi  et spectandi  et sentiendi  libidine'; the recapitulation at 4.1.1 (parallelling the recapitulation of Bk. 2 at 3.1.1) speaks of `spectaculorum nugas'.
The appeal is to the concupiscentia oculorum (s. Den. 14.3, `quae mala facit turpis curiositas, concupiscentia vana oculorum, aviditas nugacium spectaculorum, insania stadiorum, nullo praemio conflictus certaminum!'; cf. Io. ep. tr. 2.13, quoted above). Compare Alypius covering his eyes at the gladiatorial spectaculum, but yielding, `curiositate victus' (6.8.13); cf. 1.10.16 (`eadem curiositate magis magisque per oculos emicante in spectacula'), 1.13.22, 10.35.54 (`ex hoc morbo [curiositatis] in spectaculis exhibentur quaeque miracula'); theatra also appeal to curiositas (10.35.56). Cf. vera rel. 22.43, `nec ob aliud a talibus prohibemur spectaculis, nisi ne umbris rerum decepti ab ipsis rebus quarum illae umbrae sunt aberremus'; sim. at vera rel. 49.94, 54.105; and again at trin. 4.11.14. civ. 2.4, `veniebamus etiam nos aliquando adulescentes ad spectacula ludibriaque sacrilegiorum, spectabamus arrepticios, audiebamus symphoniacos, ludis turbissimis qui diis deabusque exhibebantur oblectabamur, Caelesti virgini et Berecynthiae matri omnium, ante cuius lecticam die sollemni lavationis eius talia per publicum cantitabantur a nequissimis scaenicis qualia non . . . matrem ipsorum scaenicorum deceret audire. . . . quae si inlecta curiositate adesse potuit circumfusa, saltem offensa castitate debuit abire confusa.' civ. 2.26, `ante ipsum tamen delubrum, ubi simulacrum illud [Caelestis] locatum conspicebamus . . . intentissime spectabamus, intuentes alternante conspectu hinc meretriciam pompam, illinc virginem deam.' See also civ. 1.32-3, 1.35, 2.8, 7.26.
G-M, Theiler P.u.A. 60, and BA all attempt to situate this text in the tradition of ancient discussions of the emotional impact of the theater. There is nothing here in conf. to connect A.'s views with any of the surviving discussions, but he is surely their heir at some distance (at civ. 8.13 he even invokes Plato's suspicion of poets in support of his views). Dominant is surely his own notion of the connection to curiositas. His works nevertheless (including the passages just cited from civ.) offer some glimpses of what the life of the spectacula entailed in the Carthage of his day. See also en. Ps. 103. s. 1.13 (`videtis quid faciat civitas ubi abundant spectacula: in agro securius loquerer'), 146.4, 147.8, s. 241.5 (quoted on 1.13.20, `Aeneae nescio cuius'). Alfaric 32-33 offers additional texts.
imaginibus: Cf. `imaginum' below, and `imaginarie' at 3.2.3 immediately following. The counterfoils of reality, imagines loom in conf. in two ways. (1) Not used until the present passage, the word and its corresponding verb imaginare are common from here on (but especially here in Bk. 3--the book of the temptations to vision, and in Bk. 10 [41x from 10.8.12-10.25.36] in the discussion of memory, which is the faculty of the soul replete with imagines [10.8.12, `campos et lata praetoria memoriae, ubi sunt thesauri innumerabilium imaginum']), as the appearances that both suggest a reality beyond appearance and at the same time veil it from direct sight. (See further on 4.10.15.) (2) In a few contexts, the word marks the special relationship with God that is authorized by the text of Gn. 1.26, `faciamus hominem ad imaginem et similitudinem nostram.' This topic is first introduced briefly at 3.7.12, recurs strongly at 6.3.4-6.4.5, appears at 7.7.11, and then returns for full development from 13.22.32 to the end of the work. In the present context, note that imagines recur as powerful incitements to concupiscentia carnis when that temptation is reviewed in Bk. 10: 10.30.41f. In that light, `fomitibus' here is probably further explanation of `imaginibus': `images that called to mind my misery and further kindled the fire of my libido'.
et dolor ipse est voluptas eius: A. was not always so insightful and usually settled for a facile opposition of voluptas and dolor; cf. div. qu. 36.1, `nemo est qui non magis dolorem fugiat quam appetat voluptatem'; qu. ev. 1.47, `cupiditati voluptatis opponitur timor doloris.' Even at 1.20.31, the two are opposites: `voluptates . . . quaerebam, atque ita inruebam in dolores' (see notes there). A variation on the synergy of pleasure and pain is proposed at 10.31.43, `nunc autem suavis est mihi necessitas . . .'
mirabilis: mirabilis C D O S Skut. Ver.: miserabilis G Maur. Knöll Pel.
Miserabilis is thinly attested and the facilior lectio besides. Elsewhere in conf. madness itself can be marvelous (4.15.26, `mira dementia'), and a variety of other abstract substantives (notably both continentia at 6.10.16 and abstinentia at 10.31.46) are mirabilis: see also 4.4.8, 4.14.21, 9.4.12, 9.6.14.
miseria . . . misericordia: Wordplay concentrates the effects of one form of curiositas, extended through 3.2.4. The real fall through curiositas of this book will be the lure of Manicheism, but here at the outset we get a self-contained display of another dimension of that same fault, not unlike--with different rhetorical proportions--the pear-theft from Bk. 2. He interpreted misericordia etymologically: c. Adim. 11., `ex eo appellatam misericordiam dicunt, quod miserum cor faciat dolentis aliena miseria'; sim. at mor. 1.27.53, civ. 9.5.
actori: actori O Maur. Isnenghi Pell. Ver.: auctori CDGS Knöll Skut.
But auctor here would have to apply to the author of a text being enacted (civ. 2.14, `qua ratione rectum est, ut poeticorum figmentorum et ignominiosorum deorum infamentur actores, honorentur auctores?'; cf. `agantur' here, 3.2.4, `actio histrionis'); actor with appropriate genitives is common in A.'s discussion of theatrical representations in civ. (civ. 2.11, `scaenicos actores earundem fabularum'; 2.13, `actores talium fabularum'; 2.14, `actores poeticarum fabularum'). In conf., auctor appears 3x of God (3.8.15, 5.5.9, 11.13.15), once hypothetically of the devil (7.3.5), and once of the writers of the books of scripture (13.24.37).
imaginum: At civ. 6.9, imago is the word for the relation between the theatrical portrayal of the gods and the purportedly serious civil theology on which it is based: `illam theatricam et fabulosam theologian ab ista civili pendere noverunt et ei de carminibus poetarum tamquam de speculo resultare, et ideo ista exposita, quam damnare non audent, illam eius imaginem liberius arguunt et reprehendunt.'
gaudens lacrimat. ergo: gaudens lacrimat. ergo CDEFGV Ver.: gaudens lacrimat * ergo O1 (Ver. xlii: `Avant la correction O a peut-être donné lacrimatur. Mais lacrimat, appuyé malgré tout par la le[ccedil]on de O, a l'avantage de mieux correspondre au doleat de la même phrase.'): gaudens lacrimat. lacrimae ergo A H Pell.: gaudens. lacrimae ergo O2 S B P Z Knöll Skut. Vega Löfstedt B. Löfstedt, Symb. Osl. 56(1981), 106 (with a question mark after the following dolores.): gaudens lacrimatur. ergo Maur.: gaudens lacrimator. ergo M
The context offers `ergo amentur dolores aliquando' a few lines below in 3.2.3, bracketing (with `ergo amantur et dolores' beginning that paragraph) the demonstration (with no mention of lacrimae). On palaeographical probability, the reading could be that of AH: gaudens lacrimat lacrimae, but the want of a subject for amantur could inspire haplography, and the presence of lacrimae robs the `et' before `dolores' of its emphatic force (see en. Ps. 4 cited in notes on 1.1.1). On weight of MSS, one would incline to the reading of O2SBPZ: gaudens. lacrimae. (Ergo in first position in its clause is less frequent in conf. [26x against 167x post-positioned], but well attested [as esp. here with iteration later].) But on content, the authentic reading was that of CDEFGVO1, gaudens lacrimat ergo; a simple error, repeated later and encouraged by the context (the oxymoron of `gaudens lacrimat' would discourage reading the two words together, taken with the availability of `amantur et' to attract a subject), created `lacrimae'. lacrimat lacrimae is haplography reinventing the same error. (On tears in conf., see on 3.2.4.)
text of 3.2.3
The derangement of misericordia by concupiscentia carnis and curiositas is the pretext for another measurement of the distance between present and past (presented as identical with the tension between right and wrong). The paragraph is circular in composition: First, `ergo amantur dolores . . . ergo amentur dolores'; then, `cave immunditiam . . . cave immunditiam'; then, `neque enim nunc non misereor . . . nunc vero magis misereor', leading to the conclusion, `haec certe verior misericordia, sed non in ea delectat dolor.'
ergo amantur: On text and punctuation, see on 3.2.2.
quod quia . . . hac una causa: some redundancy; `is it for this reason, that misericordia is not without dolor, for this reason alone that dolores are loved?' Translators generally dispense with one of the conjunctions (e.g., BA, `. . . puisqu'on prend plaisir pourtant à être miséricordieux et que cela ne va pas sans souffrance, ne serait-ce pas pour cette unique raison que l'on aime les souffrances?').
et hoc: emphatic, `and this too.'
vena amicitiae: Cf. 3.1.1, `venam igitur amicitiae coinquinabam'. What follows (`ut quid decurrit . . .') makes it clear that `vena' is taken as a channel for liquid.
torrentem picis: Isaiah 34.9 (of the dies ultionis), `et convertentur torrentes eius in picem, et humus eius in sulphur, et erit terra eius in picem ardentem.'
taetrarum libidinum: For other epithets with libido, see on 2.2.2.
ergo amentur dolores aliquando: Wijdeveld, Vig. Chr. 10(1956), 235 punctuates (paralleling the immediately previous question and answer): `ergo amentur dolores? aliquando.'
immunditiam: First occurrences in conf. here; strongest contrast at 13.7.8, `affectus sunt, amores sunt, immunditia spiritus nostri defluens inferius amore curarum et sanctitas tui attollens nos superius amore securitatis'; cf. also 10.31.46, `immunditiam cupiditatis'; elsewhere, 4.6.11 of his grief for the death of his friend (`talium affectionum immunditia'); 7.1.1 of his Manichean-influenced ideas of God (`circumvolantem turbam immunditiae'), and cf. 8.11.27 where Continentia advises, `obsurdesce adversus immunda illa membra tua super terram, ut mortificentur.'
anima mea: This brief apostrophe to his own soul is repeated in a much longer and more complex passage: 4.11.16 - 4.12.19 (see on 4.11.16), and see also 10.6.10.
tutore: God as tutor also at 10.4.6, 12.16.23. Taken with `deo patrum nostrorum' here, the appeal is to the first person of the trinity. The word is otherwise rare in both A. and scripture, and there are no useful parallels. Note, however, that the word occurs a number of times in civ. (1.3, 3.9, 3.13, 3.20, 18.41) applied to the `pagan' divinities to whom Rome look in vain for protection (infrequent but classical: CIL 14.25, `Iovi tutori').
superexaltato in omnia saecula: Cf. Dan. 3.52, `benedictus es domine, deus patrum nostrorum, et laudabile et superexaltatum in omnibus saeculis' --the first words of the Song of the Three Children, i.e., the first words spoken by young men of virtue trapped in a pit of fire from which, through divine assistance, they will escape; cf. the `torrentem picis' above.
congaudebam amantibus: G-M: `The plays to which A. refers were evidently not of a quality to suggest the Aristotelian point of view.' (!)
imaginarie . . . ludo spectaculi: 3.2.2, `spectacula theatrica plena imaginibus'. A. is the first writer attested for imaginarie: c. ep. fund. 43.49, `phantasmata, quae de carnali sensu tracta imaginarie cogitatio nostra versat et continet'.
gererent: gererent O Maur. Skut. Ver. Pell.: gererentur C D G: gerent S: agerent coni. Vega adducing 3.2.2, `si calamitates illae hominum vel antiquae vel falsae sic agantur' (and cf. also 3.2.2, `actori'); civ. 2.26, `ludos qui agebantur intentissime spectabamus' (both refs. given inaccurately by Vega).
sese amittebant: not reflexive elsewhere in conf.; cf. here, `amissione verae felicitatis'.
misereor: misereor C D G O Maur. Ver. Pell.: miseror S Knöll Skut. Vega
The question here is morphology rather than semantics. On available evidence, the following may be said of A.'s practice. In conf. passages where the reading is not in dispute, misereor or its derivatives appear 22x, miseror et al. 8x; but of those miseror appears 6x in perfect and imperative forms, where it has euphony on its side. In imperative, imperfect, and present forms (both ind. and sub.), the prevalence of misereor stands at 19x to 2x.
caritatis: Second occurrence in conf. here, first where caritas is a quality of human actions (earlier: 2.6.13, `neque blandius est aliquid tua caritate'); first with scriptural echo not until 4.4.7, `caritate diffusa in cordibus nostris'. 34x in all.
germanitus: ep. 140.34.79, `neque enim germanitus dixerunt: apud te laus mea . . . cum ignorantes dei iustitiam iustitiam suam constituerent'; nat. et or. an. 3.14.20, `intus et germanitus in corde sensisti'. Rare and archaic, a grammarian's keepsake.
(misericors) est: where esset would be normal in view of the next line; but A. wishes to grant the preposterous hypothesis, to emphasize the distastefulness of the conclusion to which it leads. Vega puts a question mark at the end of the next sentence (after `misereatur'), unnecessarily.
hoc: i.e., `quod nullo dolore sauciaris.'
et ad haec quis idoneus: 2 Cor. 2.16-17, `et ad haec quis tam idoneus? (17) non enim sumus sicut plurimi adulterantes verbum dei, sed sicut ex sinceritate, sed sicut ex deo coram deo in Christo loquimur.' At en. Ps. 77.30, A. uses the same exclamation to hint at the ineffability of divine ways; if we would follow his thoughts through the next verse of Paul, we would hear him claiming authority for what he says, despite its inadequacies. Paul's text, of course, compares awkwardly with Lk. 18.11, "pharisaeus stans haec apud se orabat, "deus, gratias ago tibi quia non sum sicut ceteri hominum."'
text of 3.2.4
miser . . . amabam: Cf. 3.1.1, `amare amabam . . . quaerebam quid amarem'. The intervening exposition of his reaction to the spectacula makes it clear that the quest for love leads to dolor. Cf. 1.20.31, where the quest for voluptates ends in dolores.
lacrimae: A.'s tears over the spectacula are his first adult tears (as infans and puer, he wept regularly: 1.6.7, `flere autem offensiones carnis meae'; 1.13.21, `et flebam Didonem extinctam'), but they are not his last. Episodes of weeping in conf.: Monnica's tears for A., 3.11.19-3.12.21 (see on 3.11.19, `fleret'); the death of A.'s friend, 4.4.9-4.7.12; Monnica abandoned at Carthage, 5.8.15; the garden scene at Milan, 8.12.28-8.12.30; A.'s emotional reaction to the hymns and psalms of the church not long thereafter, 9.6.14, (cf. the tears shed in the Cassiciacum dialogues: ord. 1.8.22 and 1.10.30, c. acad. 2.7.18, sol. 1.14.26 and 2.1.1); the death of Monnica, 9.11.27-9.12.33. The `confessional' parts of Bk. 10 speak of tears and weeping (10.1.1, 10.28.39 [`laetitiae meae flendae'], 10.40.65 [`et resorbeor solitis et teneor et multum fleo']), but Bks. 11 through 13 are free of tears except for two mentions of ways in which tears will pass away (12.11.13, `si iam factae sunt ei lacrimae suae panis'; 13.13.14, `transierint lacrimae'). The most important tears that he had not yet shed were the `lacrimas confessionis' of 7.21.27. Weeping and prayer explicitly connected: 5.8.15 (of Monnica), 8.12.28-29 (the garden scene), 9.6.14, 9.7.16, 10.4.5. On tears in Christian prayer in antiquity, see J. Balogh, Didaskaleion n. s. 4 (1926), 10-21, on the way licit tears for A. draw us nearer to God, not to earthly things, and with numerous good texts from Christian antiquity.
infelix pecus: Verg. ecl. 3.3, `infelix o semper, oves, pecus!' The Vergilian echo both evokes the lost sheep and includes the most powerful Dido epithet, infelix (see C. Bennett, REAug 34, 59-60). Here again the secular and Christian motifs intertwine inextricably. The lost sheep parable occurs in the same chapter of Luke as the prodigal son: Lk. 15.4, `quis ex vobis homo qui habet centum oves, et si perdiderit unam ex illis, nonne dimittit nonaginta novem in deserto et vadit ad illam quae perierat donec inveniat illam?' The parallel synoptic version is at Mt. 18.12; cf. also Ps. 118.176, `erravi sicut ovis quae periit; quaere servum tuum, quia mandata tua non sum oblitus'; 1 Pet. 2.25, `eratis enim sicut oves errantes, sed conversi estis nunc ad pastorem.'
turpi scabie . . . sanies horrida: The deliberately graphic imagery of a festering wound, the foothold that death can take in a sound body. Was this life?
foedarer: 2.1.1, `transactas foeditates meae'; 3.1.1, `foedus atque inhonestus'.
spectare: the detachment of curiositas enables the soul, already fallen through concupiscentia carnis, to participate vicariously in deformities yet more perverse than those in which it really participates.
text of 3.3.5
et circumvolabat . . . misericordia tua: The summary here turns from the encapsulated exemplum of curiositas in the theater to the wider issues of his life at this time, and so underlining the persistence of concupiscentia carnis ( cf. `concupiscere'). The judgmental present intrudes only in the apostrophe `o tu praegrandis . . .'
longe: Cf. `ad longe' below, with reversal of point of view; on longe elsewhere, see on 1.18.28.
sacrilega curiositate: sacrilega curiositate C D G O2 S Knöll Skut. Vega: sacrilegam curiositatem O1 Maur. Ver. Pell.
Ablative of manner; cf. 4.16.31, `cum deformiter et sacrilega turpitudine in doctrina pietatis errarem'. Cf. c. Cresc. 4.10.12, `sacrilegium vero tanto est gravius peccatum, quantum committi non potest nisi in deum.' The epithet elsewhere in conf.: 5.9.16, `corde sacrilego', 8.2.4, `non erubescendo de sacris sacrilegis', 8.7.17, `superstitione sacrilega', 10.35.56, `omnia sacrilega sacramenta detestor'. c. Faust. 13.15, `philosophi gentium de filio dei aut de patre deo vera praedixisse seu dixisse perhibentur. . . . quamobrem quantum distat de Christi adventu inter praedicationem angelorum et confessionem daemoniorum, tantum inter auctoritatem prophetarum et curiositatem sacrilegorum.'
The word sacrilegus (rare in scripture, only 2x in NT [Act. 19.37, Rom. 2.22], in both cases deriving from Gk. e(erosule/w, `to rob a temple'; already in Tertullian) is another example of the surprisingly large vocabulary of `pagan' religion taken over with little modification by Christianity.
ima: See on 2.5.10.
circumventoria: First (only?) here in Latin (TLL).
daemoniorum: Cf. 1.17.27, `non enim uno modo sacrificatur transgressoribus angelis'; c. Faust. 20.22, `illi quippe superbi et impii spiritus non nidore ac fumo, sicut nonnulli vani opinantur, sed hominum pascuntur erroribus.' For the `demonic' in his own conduct at the time, see on 3.3.6. Deut. 32.17, `immolaverunt daemonibus et non deo', echoed at 1 Cor. 10.20.
The Gk. original of the word came over to Latin by two different paths at about the same time: as a technical term of Platonic philosophy with Apuleius, and as a pejorative in Latin translations of scripture (and in Christian writers from Tertullian on). It is difficult to see any distinction for A. between daemon (in conf. only at 4.2.3, 9.7.16, in the form daemonibus) and daemonium (in conf. here and at 3.3.6 and 8.2.4), not least because the two words share a nom./acc. plural (daemonia, as at 4.2.3).
We will never know what A. really thought of demons, even as we catalogue his pronouncements. One document takes us a little closer to actuality, his divin. daem. (406/11?). This pamphlet begins as transcript of a discussion that took place in A.'s episcopal secretarium before divine service during the octave of Easter. The laici with whom he was speaking (divin. daem. 1.1) probably included some newly baptized at the Easter vigil. The discussion (and the more connected exposition that follows it) assumes in explicit material terms that demons exist, that they perform actions in the material world, and that they have various advantages (including a light, ethereal body that has keener senses and swifter motion than anything human or animal, and a wealth of ancient experience besides that enables them to predict future events more accurately than we [divin. daem. 3.7-4.7]) over mortals in the attempt to know the future. They can also foretell events that they will themselves cause. The least that must be admitted is that the bishop catered to a belief that he had no particular polemical or apologetical reason for accepting. His limit is reached only by the naive suggestion from one of his interlocutors that the ancient religious rites dictated by the libri pontificales were in some way licit and approved of God (divin. daem. 2.5), and that it is only secret and illicit sacrifice by night to demons that merits censure. A.'s theoretical discussion of demons is more familiar (esp. civ. 8.14f) but brings us perhaps less close to the actuality.
flagellabas: Rare in script. in any positive sense, but cf. Ps. 72.14, `et fui flagellatus tota die' (Knauer 76n1), Tob. 13.2 (from the canticum Tobiae: see preceding comm. on 1.1.1), `quoniam tu flagellas et salvas'.
in celebritate sollemnitatum tuarum: Becoming a specific term for `the celebration of Mass'; celebrare is usual for important services, and sollemnitas for `feast, holyday, service'. un. eccl. 25.74, `quid si ergo fictus accedit atque adversus veritatem et ecclesiam cor inimicissimum gerit; quamvis peragatur in eo solemnitas, numquid reconciliatur, numquid inseritur? absit'; en. Ps. 54.19, `festa martyrum celebrabamus, erant tibi mecum; paschae sollemnitatem frequentabamus, erant ibi mecum'; sollemnitas often elsewhere, e.g., en. Ps. 61.10, 69.2, 73.7, s. 267.1.1 (`ideo enim sollemnitas celebratur, ne quod semel factum est, de memoria deleatur'). See also on 8.3.6.
This incident is regularly extracted by biographers and commentators to capture the flavor of A.'s disorderly life. In context, two features become noteworthy: (1) He was a churchgoer in these pre-Manichean days at Carthage. (2) The lines before and after make it an example of the way in which God's punishing flail was never far away; the specifics of the incident and the concrete form that punishment took is left to our imagination.
intra parietes: The parietes ecclesiae recur emphatically at 8.2.4.
agere negotium procurandi fructus mortis: A. shies away from this act with recourse not merely to euphemism, but to the construction of this elaborately ambiguous but unambiguously judgmental phrase, which has the ring of scriptural authority. But no plausible parallel can be found other than Rom. 7.5, `cum essemus in carne, passiones peccatorum quae per legem erant operabantur in membris nostris ut fructificarent morti.'
misericordia mea, deus meus: Ps. 58.18, `deus meus misericordia mea'; Ps. 143.2, `misericordia mea'. Knauer 118: `3.1.1 und 3.3.5--sie rahmte die Verurteilung der falschen misericordia ein.' Virtually the same phrase (`deus meus, misericordia mea') occurred at 3.1.1 as a guide to the passions of his early days at Carthage; now that they have been recounted and understood, the citation is repeated with this asseveration and the emphatic `praegrandis'.
refugium: See on 1.9.14, `puer coepi rogare te, auxilium et refugium meum'.
longe: See on 1.18.28.
amans vias meas: i.e., not the `viam sine muscipulis' of 3.1.1?
fugitivam libertatem: The flight of the prodigal. For libertas, see on 2.6.14.
text of 3.3.6
For the first time, the third temptation of 1 Jn. 2.16, ambitio saeculi, exercises an influence directly on A. (in Bk. 1, it was his parents whose ambition directed his education). These opening paragraphs set a stage for the intellectual drama presented in the rest of the book. Their central focus is A.'s reaction to the spectacula, and hence his curiositas, but both of the other two Johannine temptations have been given cameo roles. A. paints himself both grasping and detached, and not a little vulnerable to outside influence.
honesta: 1.13.21, `honestiores et uberiores litterae', 5.3.3 (of Faustus' reputation), `honestarum omnium doctrinarum peritissimus', 7.6.9, `honestam educationem liberalesque doctrinas'.
fora litigiosa: Ovid, fasti 4.187-188:
spectate, Quirites -- from Ovid's description, s.d. 4 April, of the ludi Matris Magnae; though A. never mentions Ovid and barely cites him (see Hagendahl 213-214: he may know the story of Pyramus from O.'s metamorphoses, and there is one probable echo of met. 1 in civ. 22.24), it was at about this time in A.'s life that he attended the rites of the Magna Mater at Carthage. The phrase here may hint that he looked into Ovid to learn more of those rites. The context reveals that the memory was associated for A. with his adolescent passion for the spectacula, and suggests again the connection between the stage and non-Christian religion that explains some of A.'s own hostility to these memories: see civ. 2.4, quoted above on 3.2.2, `spectacula . . . imaginibus'.
et fora Marte suo litigiosa vacent.
caecitas: Cf. 2.3.7, where caecitas is also the metaphor for a heedlessness inspired by camaraderie.
typho: A leit-motif for ambitious pride; see on 7.9.13 (`typho turgidum'); often associated with `swollenness'; with tumidus or tumesco at civ. 11.33, c. Iul. 4.3.28, en. Ps. 149.10, s. 4.30.33.
remotus omnino ab eversionibus: In ep. 93., addressed to his old school-friend Vincentius, now (408) a bishop of the small Rogatist sect of Donatists, the young A. appears similarly restrained (see on 2.1.1).
eversionibus: At 5.12.22, the eversiones of the next generation of students (perhaps 10 years later) so disturb A. the teacher that he explains his departure for Rome in part as an attempt to escape to a more peaceful academic atmosphere. Cf. vera rel. 40.75, `his [angelis iracundiae] similes sunt homines qui gaudent miseriis alienis et risus sibi ac ludicra spectacula exhibent vel exhiberi volunt eversionibus et erroribus aliorum.' The theme of Bk. 3 is curiositas, which feeds on the spectacula and leads to error: there is thus an odd appropriateness to the ways of the eversores. The words eversio/eversor have a legal use of squandering paternal property (Tac. ann. 6.17, `eversio rei familiaris', cod. theod. 12.6.1), the sort of thing that a prodigal son might do, or that one who saw himself nervously as a possible prodigal might frown upon; in one case, the devil is `fidei eversor' (s. Guelf. 31.1) and in another perhaps inadvertently revealing case, Christ is seen by the Jews as an `eversor legis' (Io. ev. tr. 20.2), though more common is a use A. follows elsewhere, of famous generals who sacked ancient cities (e.g., civ. 1.6, `Fabius, Tarentinae urbis eversor'; cf. civ. 1.34, 3.15); evidently a vivid expression, whether it is merely A.'s term of abuse or an authentic piece of local slang. On student life in this period generally (mixing evidence from east and west), see A. Müller, Philologus 69(1910), 292-317.
urbanitatis: See c. acad. 2.2.6, quoted on 3.1.1.
pudore impudenti: Oxymoron heightens the perversity of his values, as before. But here the love of comradeship that led him into sin in the pear-theft seems to have faded a little. He still enjoys the comrades, but does not share their wrong-doing (which has taken on a specific malice directed against other people). The passage is almost exculpatory, but now his sinfulness separates him from his fellows.
ignotorum: `Here might almost be rendered freshmen.' (G-M) Ryan settles for `new students', BA for `nouveaux'.
daemoniorum: See above on 3.3.5. To go by this account, A. was cautious about invoking these powers. He resists a suggestion at 4.2.3 and sees them defeated by the power of the relics of Gervasius and Protasius at 9.7.16. Here they offer a threatening simile for the deeds of his boisterous friends. Cf. `diabolicum'.
text of 3.4.7
A. reads philosophy, and turns (3.5.9) to scripture, ending in frustration. The same sequence of readings occurs at 7.9.13, in changed circumstances, with a different result.
A.'s dialogue with Cicero is a subtext of the next books of conf. In 46/5 BC, Cicero wrote the main body of his philosophical uvre, in the order clearly recorded at his div. 2.1.1, a text A. knew (civ. 3.17): Hortensius, academica, de finibus bonorum et malorum, Tusculanae disputationes, de natura deorum. Here in Bk. 3, A. reports his encounter with the Hortensius; in 5.10.19, he turns his attention to the Academics; at 6.16.26, he and Alypius discuss between themselves the issues `de finibus bonorum et malorum', where A. says he would have sided with the Epicureans (cf. Cic. fin., Bks. 1-2) except that he was oppressed by `metus mortis' --the first subject of the Tusculans. Till then there seems a clear pattern, a hint that A.'s philosophical investigations parallel those of Cicero. It is in Bk. 7 that new masters, the Platonists and Paul, are found, but even beyond that traces of the Ciceronian sequence may be descried: the Tusculans match in spirit and to some extent in substance (n.b. particularly Tusc. 2, `de tolerando dolore', and cf. 9.2.4 and 9.3.5 on A.'s ailments--the pain in his chest and a bad toothache) the discussions at Cassiciacum, especially as both lead to a doctrine concerning the beata vita, which is also a central concern of conf. 10 (see on 9.4.7 for more parallels). To urge a parallel between the last three books of conf. and Cicero's three books de natura deorum is obviously to go beyond the bounds of evidence: but to consider the possibility is to measure not only the similarities, but also the divergences, between Cicero and his most imaginative disciple. (For a similar coordination between the progress of the text of conf. and a different authoritative text, see the remarks in notes on 8.1.1 concerning the Pauline echoes in Bk. 8.)
Modern readers are generally willing to infer from A.'s enthusiasm--we have not much else to go on--that the Hortensius was a powerful and important book. A salutary minority view comes from O'Meara 57-58, who belittles the Hortensius and thinks that the effect here is all that of A.'s personality, not the book itself: `If it was a great book, how explain its comparative obscurity until Augustine read it, and its eventual disappearance? . . . Or was it after all just an ordinary book that happened to set off a flame in Augustine's mind when that mind was prepared to be inflamed?' Even A. was willing to remember that Cicero was an orator who praised philosophy, not a philosopher per se: trin. 14.9.12, `ita ille tantus orator cum philosophiam praedicaret recolens ea quae a philosophis acceperat et praeclare ac suaviter explicans . . .'; cf. civ. 2.27, `philosophaster Tullius'; on the other hand, his contemporaries certainly knew the text (ep. Sec. 3 shows that A.'s Manichee critics had it).
Since the reading of texts is so important for A. and others in conf., it is worth sketching a short catalogue of readings explicitly reported: the Aeneid (1.13.20), Hortensius and scripture here, 5.3.3, `multa philosophorum', 7.9.13, `platonicorum libros', 7.21.27ff, Paul (esp. 8.12.29-30, garden scene), 9.4.8, Psalms esp. Ps. 4, and Gn. 1 in Bks. 11-13 (with most of Bk. 12 [12.14.17-12.32.43] discussing proper methods of reading). Reading as solution to his problems: 3.12.21, `ipse legendo reperiet quis ille sit error et quanta impietas.' The courtiers at Trier read the life of Antony (8.6.15); Ambrose is a model of reading at 6.3.3 (silent) and 6.3.4 (public exegesis: and already at 5.14.24); and the role of the reader in relation to conf. is frequently evoked and discussed: e.g., 10.3.3f, 12.26.36. See R. Flores, Aug. Stud. 6(1975), 1-13.
Bks. 2 and 3 have depicted the adolescent A. as a particular prey to sexual temptation and transgression. It is important to the structure of conf. that he not encounter--to our eyes--decisive advice to elect continentia until Bk. 8, where continentia is the focus of the garden scene in Milan. Signs there (see on 8.7.17) hint that the issue, and the possibility of continentia, were not new to him. But he makes no mention here that one of the things we know he would have found in the Hortensius was just this advice: frg. 81M (c. Iul. 4.14.72 and 5.10.42, partly corroborated by Nonius 412.8 Lindsay--given here in form conflated from the two passages in c. Iul.): `an vero voluptates corporis expetendae, quae vere et graviter a Platone dictae sunt inlecebrae esse atque escae malorum? quae enim confectio est valetudinis, quae deformatio coloris et corporis, quod turpe damnum, quod dedecus quod non evocetur atque eliciatur voluptate? cuius motus, ut quisque est maximus, ita est inimicissimus philosophiae. congruere enim cum cogitatione magna voluptas corporis non potest.' Sim. at frg. 74M (Nonius 33.7 Lindsay) and frg. 80M (Nonius 503.15 Lindsay).
This paragraph and the next are the focus of an unpublished study by E. Feldmann, Der Einfluß des Hortensius und des Manichäismus auf das Denken des jungen Augustinus von 373 (Diss., Münster, 1975), with detailed commentary on these paragraphs at 1.381-513. The work merits publication, perhaps in briefer compass. In the meantime, Feldmann's note at Atti-1986, 316-330, usefully presses the question, earlier raised by Theiler (P.u.A. 5n1), of how far A. read the Hortensius `mit den Augen des Neuplatonikers'. Better to say that A. read all of Cicero with late antique eyes.2
eminere cupiebam . . . per gaudia vanitatis: i.e., per ambitionem saeculi; see `omnis vana spes' below.
usitato iam discendi ordine: Cf. c. acad. 3.4.7, quoted below.
cuiusdam Ciceronis: The phrase has evoked abundant discussion; concise survey at Pellegrino, Les Confessions 84n12; more briefly BA 13.667; more extensively, Testard 1.11-19 (who sees nothing pejorative). Mohrmann, Vig. Chr. 13(1959), 235-240 (reviewing Testard) invokes a Christian habit of citing as quidam a `pagan' author cited anonymously--but as Pellegrino, Les Confessions 84n12 (on 86) noted, here it is anonymity that is ruled out. According to Hagendahl 579, the word `clashes with the rest of the account'. Vega ad loc. sees in it a `manera algún tanto despectiva--no ignorativa--de citar a un escritor tan conocido y estimado de el; pero no es extrano al estilo del Santo.' Quidam alone need imply no derogation: 11.23.30, `et cuiusdam [= Joshua, otherwise unnamed] voto cum sol stetisset, ut victoriosum proelium perageret, sol stabat, sed tempus ibat.'
But though his usage is diverse, it is hard to charge inconsistency; at c. acad. 1.3.7 A. could speak of Cicero noster and at c. acad. 3.18.41 of `Tullius noster', while at conf. 1.16.25 he introduces a direct quotation from Tusc. with the expression `ex eodem pulvere hominem clamantem et dicentem'; in 413, `philosophaster Tullius' (civ. 2.27); from about the same time, Io. ev. tr. 58.3, `cuiusdam saecularis auctoris verba laudantur . . . ille homo eloquentissimus'; in the fourth book of doctr. chr. (not written in this form until many years after conf.), Cicero becomes quidam again: doctr. chr. 4.10.24, `unde ait quidam'; 4.12.27, `dixit enim quidam'; but 4.17.34, `ipse Romani auctor eloquii'. At civ. 14.18, a quotation from Tusc. is introduced by a quidam juxtaposed with high praise from a Roman source: `sicut ait etiam quidam Romani maximus auctor eloquii' (Lucan 7.62-63). See also on 1.13.20, `Aeneae nescio cuius'. Of the commentators, BA comes closest; there is something slightly arch about the expression, but the derogatory tone is no more than is, surely, Cicero's due; in an address to God, the expression signifies the vanity of a fame like that of Cicero in the presence of God.
pectus: s. 108.7.7, `quod est intus in corde tuo, hoc dicatur foris. non aliud pectus tegat, et aliud lingua proferat.' Cf. Testard 1.18, on the Ciceronian opposition of lingua and pectus (not as abundantly attested in C. as Testard seems to think, however). Pectus is the organ whence arise the thoughts and sentiments that take shape as words on the lingua: Aul. Gell. 1.10.4, quoting his teacher Favorinus: `vive ergo moribus praeteritis, loquere verbis praesentibus atque id, quod a C. Caesare, excellentis ingenii ac prudentiae viro, in primo de analogia libro scriptum est, habe semper in memoria atque in pectore, ut tamquam scopulum, sic fugias inauditum atque insolens verbum.' The pectus was in a direct physical sense a deeper source of speech than the lingua, so in a metaphorical application it would play a similar, superior, role. Cf. 4.14.23 (`aurae linguarum flaverint a pectoribus opinantium') and 6.3.4 (`de tam sancto oraculo tuo, pectore illius' [sc. Ambrosii; cf. ep. 31.8, `pectus tuum tale domini oraculum est']). Secundinus in ep. Sec. 5, after much praise of A.'s eloquence at ep. Sec. 3, praises A. for his `aureum pectus'. Also to be read in that context are the reports of his illness in the summer of 386 at 9.2.4 and 9.5.13 (`dolore pectoris').
To admire someone's pectus is then to praise him for sincerity and disingenuousness--for an ability to match words to thoughts truthfully and truly. In this light, other passages of conf. take the eye (7.5.7, `talia volvebam pectore misero,' 8.8.19, `illuc me abstulerat tumultus pectoris,' 9.9.21, `docente te magistro intimo in schola pectoris'), as does the frequency with which pectus is used in a less explicit metaphorical sense for the seat of feelings close to speech (2.3.6, 5.9.17, 6.1.1, 6.2.2, 6.16.26, 7.2.3, 8.2.4, 8.4.9, 10.42.67).
One moralizing interpretation is congruent and should be kept in mind: Gn. c. man. 2.17.26, `nomine enim pectoris significatur superbia, quia ibi dominatur impetus animi: nomine autem ventris significatur carnale desiderium, quia haec pars mollior sentitur in corpore.' If that passage is taken as determinative, then to criticize Cicero's pectus is to accuse him of excessive ambitio saeculi: not an unverisimilar charge in Cicero's case.
philosophiam: Though the early A. did not scruple to use the word of Christian doctrine (e.g., beata v. 1.1), he uses it in conf. only here and in the next paragraph, and only in a sense that is at least ambivalent. There are philosophi further on in conf. (but only as far as 8.2.3), but again only figures ambivalent at best and not identifiably Christian. In Ambrose, the word never applies to Christian doctrine or life, though that sense is not uncommon in earlier Christian writers (see Madec, Saint Ambroise 41, noting the one possible exception).
Hortensius: The majority of references and allusions to the Hortensius in A. occur at Cassiciacum; from 387-413, there are only repetitions of previously quoted passages; new and important fragments occur in late books of trin. (416ff) and in c. Jul. (421). His reading of the Hortensius lingered in his mind for half a century, ever vivid where he gives a long quotation on the mind's ascent to God in the conclusion to the fourteenth book of trin. (14.19.26). That fragment clearly shows that the philosphia with which the Hortensius inspired A. was a philosophy of the mind's ascent, shaping his taste when he came to the Platonists years later: note here `surgere coeperam ut ad te redirem' and at 3.4.8, `quomodo ardebam, deus meus, quomodo ardebam revolare a terrenis ad te!'
Might A. have modelled the first book of c. acad. on Hortensius? At c. acad. 1.1.4, he calls that work inductorium, and it was certainly a dialogue (trin. 14.9.12, etc.). See beata v. 1.4, quoted in prolegomena, and cf. sol. 1.10.17 (`prorsus unus mihi Ciceronis liber facillime persuasit nullo modo appetendas esse divitias'), c. acad. 1.1.4 (of Cassiciacum and the young men: `praesertim cum Hortensius liber Ciceronis iam eos ex magna parte conciliasse philosophiae videretur'), c. acad. 3.4.7 (to Licentius he says, `et ad scholam redeas nostram, si tamen aliquid iam de te Hortensius et philosophia meretur, cui dulcissimas primitias iam vestro illo sermone libasti, qui te vehementius quam ista poetica incenderat ad magnarum et vere fructuosarum rerum scientiam'); an allusion is obvious at util. cred. 1.1, `de invenienda ac retinenda veritate . . . cuius, ut scis, ab ineunte adulescentia magno amore flagravimus.'
There is considerable literature; see first Testard 1.19-39, then Hagendahl 79-94 (fragments/testimonia) and 486-497 (discussion). Of specialist studies on A.'s use of the Hortensius, the most recent is R. Russell in Aug. Stud. 7(1976), 59-68, and cf. Feldmann's dissertation cited above. The Hortensius is quoted by the fragment numbers of Müller's Teubner edition, but of interest is also the work of M. Ruch, L'Hortensius de Ciceron: Histoire et reconstitution (Paris, 1958), with texts (but non-standard numbers of fragments).
mutavit affectum meum: Cf. 10.3.4, `mutans animam meam fide et sacramento tuo'. Brown 169: `An intellectual event, such as the reading of a new book, is registered only, as it were, from the inside, in terms of the sheer excitement of the experience, of its impact on Augustine's feelings: of the Hortensius of Cicero, for instance, he would never say "it changed my views" but, so characteristically, "it changed my way of feeling" --mutavit affectum meum.'
mutavit preces meas: Ryan: `it turned my prayers to you, Lord'; BA: `m'orientant vers toi, Seigneur, il changea mes prières'; but mutavit does not take ad + obj. in the sense `changed x [by turning] towards y'; G-M rightly take `ad te ipsum' closely with `preces meas': `changed the character of the prayers that I offered to thee.'
concupiscebam: This word hints that something was not right with his attitude towards philosophy.
surgere coeperam: Luke 15:18-20 (the prodigal again), `surgam, et ibo ad patrem meum, et dicam ei: pater, peccavi in caelum, et coram te . . . (20) et surgens venit ad patrem suum.'
redirem: See on 1.18.28.
maternis: The word strikes sharply and unexpectedly: the last we heard, it was Patricius who was struggling to provide the funds (2.3.5, `animositate magis quam opibus patris'). Now we hear of his death only in an ablative absolute. The natural interpretation of the present passage is that M. succeeded to control of the property.
Readers of c. acad. here expect mention of the long and generous support of Romanianus for A.'s ambitions, something congruent to the praise at c. acad. 2.2.3: `tu me adulescentulum pauperem ad studia pergentem et domo et sumptu, et quod plus est, animo excepisti. [This is generally and rightly taken as indicating where A.'s father made up the deficiency of his own funds.] tu patre orbatum amicitia consolatus es, hortatione animasti, ope adiuvisti. tu in nostro ipso municipio, favore, familiaritate, communicatione domus tuae paene tecum clarum primatemque fecisti'. See on 6.14.24 for possible reasons for this silence.
annum aetatis undevicensimum: A.'s nineteenth year ran from Nov. 372 to Nov. 373; his father thus died as early as late 370, as late as 371; the episode of Bk. 2 (in his sixteenth year) fell 369/70 (2.3.6). Incautious narrators often postdate these events by assigning them to the year following A.'s nineteenth birthday, i.e., his annum aetatis vicensimum.
locutio: locutio Löfstedt B. Löfstedt, Symb. Osl. 56(1981), 106: locutionem MSS edd.
locutio . . . quod loquebatur: See above on lingua/pectus; distrust of showy outward form in default of significant content is a leit-motif in the upward progress of A.'s conversion; he puts his disappointment with Faustus in those terms at 5.6.10, and finds himself vulnerable to Ambrose when the bishop's eloquence turns out to harbor a more valuable truth (5.14.24).
text of 3.4.8
This paragraph must be allowed to have its surprises for us. Did A. at age 18 consciously hanker after the flight from earthly things to God--and did he do so in those words (not so different from those of the Platonists that would, he alleges, come as a surprising revelation more than a decade later)?
A.'s preference for the nomen Christi is not completely surprising, but must have been a mildly unusual reaction to this particular Ciceronian text. It was not entirely obvious (in spite of his `itaque' opening 3.5.9) that the reader of the Hortensius would turn first to scripture to pursue the quest encouraged there.
The spirit of religious enthusiasm is clearly meant to portray the event (how faithfully, we cannot tell) as the forerunner of all the attempts A. will recount at an intellectual ascent to God (first concerted effort: 4.13.20ff). See du Roy 25-29.
revolare: The metaphor of flight, common among non-Christian speculations of this period for the salvific journey occurs only once otherwise in conf., and then to emphasize its metaphorical quality: 1.18.28, `non . . . filius ille tuus . . . avolavit pinna visibili'.
apud te est enim sapientia: Job 12.13 (VL), `apud eum est sapientia et virtus.' The topic of philosophy evokes from A. a scriptural tag, to which is appended, by an autem, the first element in a brief synopsis of the contents of the Hortensius.
amor autem sapientiae: Cic. Hortensius (at Boethius diff. top. 2: PL 64.1187-1188), `philosophia amor sapientiae est; huic studendum nemo dubitat; studendum igitur est philosophiae. hic enim non definitio rei, sed nominis interpretatio argumentum dedit, quo Tullius enim in Hortensio in eiusdem philosophiae usus est defensione.' The etymology evidently played a fairly large part in the argument of the Hortensius; here it introduces A.'s summary of the contents of the lost dialogue. (The fragment is not accepted by Müller and Ruch, but recognized and promoted by H. Diels and H. Hagendahl [see Hagendahl § 196].)
sunt qui seducant per philosophiam: The caution was a constant of protreptic, e.g., Boethius, cons. 1. P3.7, on the `epicureum vulgus et stoicum.'
manifestatur: A favored word for A. (counting verb, adj., and related forms, 28x in conf., comparably frequent in other works), as in scripture (e.g., vb. manifesto 52x in Vg.)
A. `reads' a pre-Christian philosophical text and claims to find therein a message he thinks he can present fairly using the ipsissima verba of scripture. This device will recur with notable effect at 7.9.13ff (see notes there); the difference here is that at age 18 he did not know the scriptural text to juxtapose with the philosophical one (see `et ego illo tempore' below).
videte . . .: Col. 2.8-9, `videte ne quis vos decipiat per philosophiam et inanem seductionem, secundum traditionem hominum, secundum elementa mundi, et non secundum Christum, (9) quia in ipso inhabitat omnis plenitudo divinitatis corporaliter.' The citation is picked up at 3.6.10 (`de istis elementis mundi, creatura tua') and recurs in Simplicianus' praise of the Platonists at 8.2.3. The verse in A. always speaks to those who fail in the achievement of philosophy, and specifically of those who depend on sensus and imaginatio rather than intellegentia (TeSelle 74). c. acad. 3.19.42 is unmistakeable: `non enim est [sc. una verissimae philosophiae disciplina] ista huius mundi philosophia quam sacra nostra meritissime detestantur, sed alterius intellegibilis cui animas multiformibus erroris tenebris caecatas et altissimis a corpore sordibus oblitas numquam ista ratio subtilissima revocaret'; sim. at ord. 1.11.32, coordinating the Platonic realm of the intelligible with Jn. 18.36, `regnum meum non est de hoc mundo' (underlining the hoc). The passage from c. acad. goes on to invoke the incarnation as the divinely provided means for the soul to return to the patria `etiam sine disputationum concertatione'. The Pauline corporaliter strengthens the argument: ep. 149.2.25, `ideo corporaliter dixit quia illi umbraliter seducebant'; cf. en. Ps. 67.23. Cf. Madec Saint Ambroise 200-207, `l'inspiration Paulinienne': This is the only occurrence of the word philosophia in scripture; for Ambrose the passage is a caution against excessive reliance on secular wisdom (e.g., exam. 2.1.2-3, Abr. 2.8.54). In dealing with the prodigal son, Amb. proposes an interpretation invoking this verse that is congruent with A.'s own exposition of his past, whether A. knew the Ambrosian text or not: Amb. in Luc. 7.218, quoted below on 3.6.11.
At mor. 1.21.38, the Pauline text is a warning against the pre-eminent sin here in Bk. 3, curiositas, and contains a warning that parallels the course A. describes for his own career from here on: `recte etiam curiosi esse prohibemur, quod magnum temperantiae munus est. hinc illud est, cavete ne quis vos seducat per philosophiam. et quia ipsum nomen philosophiae si consideretur rem magnam totoque animo appetendam significat, siquidem philosophia est amor studiumque sapientiae, cautissime apostolus ne ab amore sapientiae deterrere videretur, subiecit et elementa huius mundi. . . . tali enim amore plerumque decipitur, ut aut nihil putet esse nisi corpus; aut etiamsi auctoritate commota, fateatur aliquid esse incorporeum, de illo tamen nisi per imagines corporeas cogitare non possit, et tale aliquid esse credere, quale fallax corporis sensus infligit.' (As Manichee, A. had just the difficulty with imagining incorporeal reality that he warns against here: see particularly on 3.7.12 and 7.1.1.)
lumen cordis mei: cf. Jn. 1.9 (VL), `lumen verum' (see on 1.13.21, `lumen cordis mei').
delectabar: See on 1.1.1 for delectatio; here, as commonly in conf., its presence is the sign that a moral suasion from outside has struck sparks and will have effect--here, mainly for the good.
quaererem: The word is a reminder to compare this attempted ascent to `Wisdom' with the pattern prescribed at 1.1.1; the obvious defect here is that there has been no antedecent praedicatio, hence no accurate knowledge of what A. was seeking. Thus A. falls into the trap foretold at 1.1.1: `aliud enim pro alio potest invocare nesciens'.
amplexarer: amplexarer G O2 S Maur. Knöll Skut.: amplexarem C D O1 Ver.
quod nomen Christi non erat ibi: At age 18, not yet a Manichee, encountering philosophy in the attenuated and mostly notional form of the Ciceronian protreptic (which he read without context or philosophical guidance and instruction), A. had the Christian expectations of his environment in a pronounced form. What the Manichees had that Cicero did not was just that for which he now pined: the nomen Christi. The phrase is common in the first books of civ., and cf. cons. ev. 1.14.22, where A. thinks of heretics and `pagans' who are so impressed with the figure of Christ that they use his name on their pseudonymous works: `ita sentiunt etiam inimici Christi ad suadendum quod proferunt contra doctrinam Christi nullum sibi esse pondus auctoritatis, si non habeat nomen Christi.') For the structure of conf. it is important that it is the second person of the trinity whose absence he feels and seeks to remedy (see on 7.18.24 and 8.12.29). (See also c. Faust. 13.17, quoted below in notes on 3.6.10, `viscum'.)
The depth of A.'s Christian attachments at the time he encountered the Manichees is hard to measure, but there is one revealing text: at c. ep. fund. 8.9, he tells how the Manichees played down the Pascha, because it was only seeming passion, and played up their own feast of the Bema, because it was real: `hoc enim nobis erat in illa bematis celebritate gratissimum, quod pro pascha frequentabatur, quoniam vehementius desiderabamus illum diem festum subtracto alio qui solebat esse dulcissimus.' 3
secundum misericordiam tuam: Cf. Ps. 24.7, `delicta iuventutis et ignorantiae meae ne memineris, secundum misericordiam tuam . . . domine'.
in ipso adhuc lacte matris: 1.11.17, `audieram enim ego adhuc puer (n.b., not infans) de vita aeterna promissa nobis per humilitatem domini dei nostri descendentis ad superbiam nostram.'
text of 3.5.9
The encounter with Cicero leads to A.'s first reported direct encounter with scripture, which disappoints. He could not accept in an appropriate sense what he approached in an inappropriate way. He recounts his pride, and his disdain for the literary quality of the text, and no more (what he read he leaves unstated); at least one of his problems with the substance of scripture may be surmised (cf. on `inclinare cervicem' below), but that is not his concern here. His approach to Manicheism came from a bad reading of scripture, tainted by curiosity and underlying pride. We do not see him approach scripture again until 5.11.21, when he begins to get an inkling from Elpidius that things might be other than they seemed. (Bear in mind that access to copies of the scriptural texts was not easy and universal. The reading recounted here may have been his first opportunity to approach the texts seriously.) Another report on his disappointment: util. cred. 6.13, `nihil me existimare prudentius, castius, religiosius, quam sunt illae scripturae omnes quas testamenti veteris nomine catholica ecclesia retinet. miraris, novi. non enim dissimulare possum longe aliter nobis fuisse persuasum. sed nihil est profecto temeritatis plenius, quae nobis tunc pueris [see duab. an. 15.24 quoted below] inerat, quam quorumque librorum expositores deserere, qui eos se tenere ac discipulis tradere posse profitentur, et eorum sententiam requirere ab his qui conditoribus illorum atque auctoribus acerbissimum nescio qua cogente causa bellum indixerunt.'
The pride here is not ambitio saeculi/superbia vitae but the underlying Pride that begets all sin. The range of expressions is remarkable: `superbis', `non eram ego talis . . . gressus', `tumor . . . meus', `dedignabar esse parvulus', and `turgidus fastu'.
itaque: See on 3.4.8; he turns to scripture to combine his new zeal for philosophy with his need for the nomen Christi.
videre . . . video: [cf. `visa est', `acies mea'] the approach to scripture is made out of curiositas, i.e., concupiscentia oculorum.
ecce video: Courcelle, Recherches 38n6, takes `non enim sicut modo loquor . . .' here as proof that in this line `ecce video' is only a manner of speech; hence he wants to take the `ecce audio' of the garden scene (8.12.29) likewise. Here `ecce video' is true present (cf. the next sentence), whereas in 8.12.29 `ecce audio' is historic present.
compertam: compertam C D O Maur. Knöll Skut. Ver. Pell.: confectam GS Vega (Vega incorrectly reads this in O)
velatam mysteriis: s. 51.4.5, `honora in eo quod nondum intellegis; et tanto magis honora, quanto plura vela cernis. quanto enim quisque honoratior est, tanto plura vela pendent in domo eius. vela faciunt honorem secreti, sed honorantibus levantur vela. inridentes autem vela, et a velorum vicinitate pelluntur. quia ergo transimus ad Christum, aufertur velamen.'
The description of scripture, in terms reminiscent of the theophany of a goddess, is curious and forceful. One must bow the head to enter, but then the space revealed opens out in height and mystery. `Tumor' below answers `humilem' here, and `interiora' to `velatam'.
non eram ego talis: s. 51.5.6, `loquor vobis, aliquando deceptus, cum primo puer ad divinas scripturas ante vellem affere acumen discutiendi quam pietatem quaerendi: ego ipse contra me perversis moribus claudebam ianuam domini mei: cum pulsare deberem, ut aperiretur [cf. Mt. 7.7, and see on 1.1.1], audebam [so Pellegrino, Les Confessions 93n26, against Maur. addebam], ut clauderetur. superbus enim audebam quaerere quod nisi humilis non potest invenire. quanto vos beatiores estis modo! quam securi discitis, quam tuti, quicumque adhuc parvuli estis in nido fidei [cf. 4.16.31, `parvulis tuis'], et spiritalem escam accipitis! ego autem miser, cum me ad volandum idoneum putarem, reliqui nidum, et prius cecidi quam volarem. sed dominus misericors me, a transeuntibus ne conculcarer et morerer, levavit et in nido reposuit. haec enim me perturbaverunt, quae modo vobis securus in nomine domini et propono et expono.'
On s. 51 cf. Cour. Recherches 61-62 (with 62n2 on the use here of puer to describe A. at age 18). He goes further (63) to say that the `principale difficulté sur laquelle ait achoppé le jeune Augustin' was the discordance of the nativity stories and the genealogies. The Manichees made much of this (cf. Alfaric 199-203), for if they could impugn the nativity, they could dispense with the virgin birth and the physical incarnation of God. (Such criticism was regarded later by A. as an attempt to play upon curiositas to lead the naive astray: cons. ev. 2.1 promises to discuss the relations of the gospel narratives `ne quid ex hoc in fide christiana offendiculi patiantur qui curiosiores quam capaciores sunt, quod non utcumque perlectis sed quasi diligentius perscrutatis evangelicis libris inconvenientia quaedam et repugnantia se deprehendisse existimantes magis ea contentiose obiectanda quam prudenter consideranda esse arbitrantur.' Manichean tactics are more explicitly but more briefly described at agon. 4.4.)
But it goes too far to call this the principal difficulty--there were others, and to judge by the analysis he gives in a few paragraphs of the threads that bound him to Manicheism, others were equally pressing. The retrospective selection of questions undermining the historical incarnation is consistent, on the other hand, with a central feature of conf.: from 7.9.14 through Bk. 8, the central issue is A.'s attempt to find a place--and the right place--for the incarnate Christ in his theology. If we are justified in reading anything of s. 51 into the narrative here, it is that the mature A. thought that it was lack of faith in the incarnate Christ that sent him astray in youth. (At 1.11.17, his childhood religion did contain the incarnation [`per humilitatem domini dei nostri descendentis'], but was not taken to its logical conclusion in baptism.)
At doctr. chr. 2.8.12ff, A. outlines the proper way to approach scripture, which has the effect of offering indirect negative commentary on his approach here. He emphasizes reading all of canonical scripture, avoiding non-canonical books, emphasizing first `praecepta vivendi vel regulae credendi' (2.9.14), and putting off more obscure passages for later consideration.
inclinare cervicem: en. Ps. 8.8, `inclinavit ergo scripturas deus usque ad infantium et lactentium capacitatem, sicut in alio psalmo canitur, et inclinavit caelum et descendit. et hoc fecit propter inimicos, qui per superbiam loquacitatis inimici crucis Christi, etiam cum aliqua vera dicunt, parvulis tamen et lactentibus prodesse non possunt.'
indigna: cf. Hier. ep. 22.30, to whom it was the language that offended: `sermo horrebat incultus'. doctr. chr. 2.14.21, `tanta est vis consuetudinis etiam ad discendum ut, qui in scripturis sanctis quodammodo nutriti educatique sunt, magis alias locutiones mirentur easque minus latinas putent quam illas quas in scripturis didicerunt, neque in latinae linguae auctoribus reperiuntur.' At cat. rud. 8.12-9.13, he envisions two types of catechumen, the most learned and the somewhat learned: he himself matches the first category, but it is from the second category that he expects fastidiousness: (9.13), `maxime autem isti docendi sunt scripturas audire divinas, ne sordeat eis solidum eloquium, quia non est inflatum, neque arbitrentur carnalibus integumentis involuta atque operta dicta vel facta hominum, quae in illis libris leguntur, non evolvenda atque aperienda ut intellegantur, sed sic accipienda ut litterae sonant; deque ipsa utilitate secreti, unde etiam mysteria vocantur, quid valeant aenigmatum latebrae ad amorem veritatis acuendum discutiendumque fastidii torporem, ipsa experientia probandum est talibus, cum aliquid eis quod in promptu positum non ita movebat, enodatione allegoriae alicuius eruitur. . . . ita enim non inridebunt, si aliquos antistites et ministros ecclesiae forte animadverterint vel cum barbarismis et soloecismis deum invocare, vel eadem verba quae pronuntiant non intellegere perturbateque distinguere.'
autem: autem C D G O Ver.: tamen S Knöll Skut. Vega Pell.
parvulis: Cf. en. Ps. 8.8, quoted above.
turgidus fastu: See on 7.9.13, `typho turgidum', of the unnamed individual who procured for him the platonicorum libri (that individual, at a time when A. is reading philosophy and turning to scripture, has the qualities that made A. a bad reader here); cf. 3.3.6, `tumebam typho' (--> here, `tumor meus').
text of 3.6.10
An early reader: Secundinus in ep. Sec. 3, `legit enim aliquanta exile meum et qualecumque Romani hominis ingenium reverendae tuae dignationis scripta, in quibus sic irasceris veritati [cf. `veritas et veritas' here] ut philosophiae Hortensius. . . . in medium solis ac lunae inventus es accusator [cf. `sol et luna' here].'
The extensive food metaphor reflects the practice of the Manichean elect, who consumed particles of the divine in their banquets. At 3.1.1, a parallel use of metaphor (`famis mihi erat') marked A.'s isolation from authentic nourishment; here now he ingests all manner of false victuals. The emphasis on phantasmata is likewise apt: curiositas has led him into a world of images--eye-food, images of things that never existed. The paragraph thus moves from imagery drawn from concupiscentia carnis (wolfish feeding on food that does not satisfy) to imagery drawn from concupiscentia oculorum (greedy gazing at phantasmata that are hollow and empty): all against a backdrop of empty words.
In this commentary no attempt will be made to provide systematic exposition of Manichean doctrines or assessment of the accuracy of A.'s reports--others have done that; it will be enough to provide parallels from A.'s writings that illustrate how he understood the particular doctrines that he mentions or to which he alludes here. A brief summary4 from A.'s hand: ep. 236.2, `auditores autem qui appellantur apud eos et carnibus vescuntur et agros colunt et, si voluerint, uxores habent, quorum nihil faciunt qui electi vocantur. sed ipsi auditores ante electos genua figunt, ut eis manus supplicibus imponatur non a solis presbyteris vel episcopis aut diaconis eorum sed a quibuslibet electis. solem etiam et lunam cum eis adorant et orant. die quoque dominico cum illis ieiunant et omnes blasphemias cum illis credunt, quibus manichaeorum haeresis detestanda est, negantes scilicet Christum natum esse de virgine nec eius carnem veram confitentes fuisse sed falsam ac per hoc et falsam eius passionem et nullam resurrectionem fuisse contendunt. patriarchas prophetasque blasphemant. legem per famulum dei Moysen datam non a vero deo dicunt sed a principe tenebrarum. animas non solum hominum sed etiam pecorum de dei esse substantia et omnino partes dei esse arbitrantur. deum denique bonum et verum dicunt cum tenebrarum gente pugnasse et partem suam tenebrarum principibus miscuisse eamque toto mundo inquinatam et ligatam per cibos electorum suorum et per solem ac lunam purgari adseverant et, quod purgari de ipsa dei parte non potuerit, in fine saeculi aeterno ac poenali vinculo conligari, ut non solum violabilis et corruptibilis et contaminabilis credatur deus, cuius pars potuit ad mala tanta perduci, sed non possit saltem totus a tanta coinquinatione et immunditia et miseria vel in saeculi fine purgari.' We may surmise the appeal the Manichees had for a candidate like A. from some of his later writings, e.g., mor. 1.10.16, `longe prorsus aliter quam putatis lex et prophetae intelleguntur a nobis. desinite errare, non colimus paenitentem deum, non invidum, non indigum, non crudelem, non quaerentem de hominum vel pecorum sanguine voluptatem, non cui flagitia et scelera placeant, non possessionem suam terrae quadam particula terminantem. in has enim atque huiusmodi nugas graviter copioseque invehi soletis.' Most importantly, Manicheism presented itself to A. as a form of Christianity; recent work (see Koenen's article cited below, esp. p. 163) makes it easier to understand how that could be.
How far A. penetrated into the cult is far from clear; only in Italy does he suggest that he had to do with the elect (5.10.18), and even there he never became one. Near the end of his life, he will put together a sketch of Manicheism (at haer. 46) that includes the charge that the elect took the eucharist sprinkled with semen (interjecting the intriguing note that the Manichees deny the practice but claim that it is done by other people who claim to be Manichees), this on the evidence of an eleven year old girl from Carthage (hence, though most of haer. is derivative, the charge probably comes from within A.'s own ken, whether before or after his separation from the sect). Similarly at c. Fort. 3., A. says that he has heard that the Manichees celebrate eucharist, but as an auditor he never saw it himself. For the possibility that he thought of becoming one of the elect, see on 5.7.13, `ceterum conatus omnis meus'. N.B.: The Manichees A. knew denied the efficacy of baptism by water (cf. A. haer. 46.17). If there had been any inclination on A.'s part to take that sacrament then (aged 18) or not long after, this Manichee rejection undoubtedly helped postpone it. This had the unexpected effect of avoiding theological scruples later as to the validity of an earlier baptism, and made the sacrament itself the issue of A.'s crisis recounted in Bk. 8.
For fuller treatments, recent works complement each other in various ways. Most accessible in English, with narrative ranging far beyond A.'s period, is S. N. C. Lieu, Manichaeism (Manchester, 1985). The most exciting work on the origins and early history of Manicheism has been the rediscovery and edition of the Cologne Mani-Codex (A. Henrichs, L. Koenen, and C. Römer, Der Kölner Mani-Kodex [Opladen, 1988], critical edition of the complete text with references to numerous earlier publications since the codex was discovered). See generally A. Henrichs, HSCP 83(1979), 339-367, and for the import for Augustinian studies, L. Koenen, Illinois Class. Stud. 3(1978), 154-195. More directly applicable are the works of F. Decret: Aspects du Manichéisme dans l'Afrique Romaine (Paris 1970), dealing mainly with c. Fort., c. Faust., and c. Fel., and his L'Afrique Manichéene (IVe - Ve siècles) (Paris, 1978), founded on a study of the other anti-Manichean works of A. See also P. Brown, JRS 59(1969), 92-103 (= Brown, Religion and Society in the Age of Saint Augustine [London, 1972], 94-118). A.'s attacks on Manicheism are placed in a wider late Roman (both Christian and non-Christian context) by the articles of S. N. C. Lieu, Bull. Rylands 68 (1986), 434-472; 69(1986), 235-275. Manicheism in Africa is a fourth-century phenomenon, but its extent is hard to grasp; see Decret, L'Afrique; note especially his observation that there is no mention of the Manichees in Africa owning church buildings or slaves (though [Decret L'Afrique 203] in Turkestan they had veritable monasteries). It is possible (as Decret L'Afrique 182 suggests) that the scandal of the Donatist/catholic schism turned some, abandoning the literal-minded gospel that appealed to their countrymen, aside to Manicheism. Finally, Alfaric's L'évolution intellectuelle, for all that its central thesis has been exploded, is rich in its integration of materials drawn from the whole range of A.'s works, and especially from his anti-Manichean writings of all periods, into the biographical enterprise, and on those counts it has not yet been surpassed.
incidi: His other reports of this fall5 offer perspective; see esp. beata v. 1.4 (quoted in prolegomena: n.b., `superstitio quaedam puerilis me ab ipsa inquisitione terrebat' and `incidi in homines'). Also in prolegomena are util. cred. 1.2 (n.b. `in tales homines incidisse' and `superstitione terreri') and util. cred. 8.20 (`in illa secta, in quam me incidisse paenitebat'). See also duab. an. 1.1, `multa enim erant quae facere debui, ne tam facile ac diebus paucis [!] religionis verissimae semina mihi a pueritia salubriter insita errore vel fraude falsorum fallaciumve hominum effossa ex animo pellerentur'; duab. an. 15.24 speaks of the Manichees as `homines cum quibus mihi a pueritia in omni convictu fuit summa consensio', adjusting the facts slightly to make himself look a little less responsible for his fall. He suspects the Manichees, as he would later suspect the Academics, of concealing a secret doctrine; he would go to Ambrose privately (see on 6.3.3), expecting a secret doctrine, only to be disabused.
The superstitio in the passages quoted has given scandal to those who cannot accept that A. would ever apply the term--as Alfaric 70n7 seems to have been the first to insist he did--to the Christianity of his childhood. Courcelle, Recherches 64-65, even assumes that util. cred. represents his later attitude (dislocating the awkward word into represented discourse), but that beata v. shows him sharing the attitude of the Manichees in the face of those orthodox Christians who found intellectual inquiry into the truths of faith disquieting. Cf. also BA 13.126-127n; SLA s.v. takes beata v. as innocuous and particular, without reference to any sect. But at all periods, A. saw that the boundary between superstitio and vera religio was not exactly the same as the boundary between Christianity and all that lay beyond. His fastidiousness was, to be sure, greater at Cassiciacum and he became more tolerant (perhaps he would have suggested `more discriminating') when he was bishop of a socially diverse church. For our immediate purposes, it seems clear that a Manichean charge of superstition (see also on 5.6.11) levelled against the religion of A.'s boyhood could have found in the 18 year-old student a sympathetic ear.
1. At ord. 1.8.23, Licentius uses the same word to describe one aspect of Monnica's religion, her distaste at his singing a Psalm-verse in the outhouse.
2. A more conventional attitude is attested at c. acad. 2.3.8 (`si quid superstitionis in animum revolutum est, eicietur profecto'), but it shows the hostility that could have fastened on aspects of traditional Christianity.
3. In ep. 10.2, addressed to Nebridius and famous otherwise for its Platonic vocabulary (`deificari in otio': cf. Folliet, RA 2, 225-236), the same fastidiousness is present: `magna secessione a tumultu rerum labentium, mihi crede, opus est, ut non duritia, non audacia, non cupiditate inanis gloriae, non superstitiosa credulitate fiat in homine nihil timere.'
4. By way of paying back old debts, in the mor., the Manichees were branded as superstitious (1.29.59, 1.34.74, 2.15.36, 2.16.52, 2.19.68), but even there the possibility of superstition as one of the defects to be found among the orthodox is admitted: 1.32.75, `nolite consectari turbas imperitorum, qui vel in ipsa vera religione superstitiosi sunt, . . . . novi multos esse sepulcrorum et picturarum adoratores.' Cf. Gn. litt. 1.21.41, `ut neque falsae philosophiae loquacitate [see on 1.4.4] seducamur neque falsae religionis superstitione terreamur.' (See ep. 54.2.3 cited below. For further application of the term to the Manichees, see 4.1.1.)
5. By 391, his definition is ruled by Christian interpretations (esp. of Rom. 1.25): vera rel. 20.39, `superstitio malum est qua creaturae potius quam creatori servitur.'
6. But shortly before conf., it shows more nuance and room for ambiguity: doctr. chr. 3.12.18, `quisquis autem rebus praetereuntibus restrictius utitur quam sese habent mores eorum cum quibus vivit, aut temperans aut superstitiosus est.'
7. At ep. 54.2.3 (400), A. recounts to Januarius the story of Monnica's difficulties adjusting to Milanese church customs (see on 6.2.2) and attributes some of the scruples that arise in such cases to superstitiosa timiditas.
8. At various times, gentiles (6.2.2, `superstitioni gentilium essent simillima'), idol-worshippers, Donatists (brev. 3.2.2), and Jews are also classed as `superstitious.' A.'s program as bishop is to leave superstitio with the old ways: s. Frang. 8.5, `ut vetus superstitio consummetur et nova religio perficietur'. In after years, we also find echoes of Seneca's de superstitione at civ. 6.10-11, the only significant appearance of Seneca in all A.'s work--likely a specific work sought out because of the subject (see on 5.6.11).
superbe delirantes , carnales nimis  et loquaces : That trinitarian counter-pattern anticipates the rejection of the Manichean trinity that follows. A. means to couple concupiscentia carnis and curiositas here, as the vices of the Manichees to which A. was drawn; they were not without their ambitio saeculi, either--they were after all the ones to get A. his interview with Symmachus (5.13.23). civ. 1.20, `num igitur ob hoc, cum audimus non occides, virgultum vellere nefas ducimus et manichaeorum errori insanissime adquiescimus? his igitur deliramentis remotis cum legimus, non occides, . . . restat ut de homine intellegamus.'
loquaces: The use of loquax to depreciate both his own rhetorical achievements and the babblings of the sectarians he now loathed is a sign of how closely those two phases of his life were linked in memory and obloquy: of his own skills, 4.2.2, 8.5.10 (`loquacem scholam'), 9.2.2; of the Manichees, 1.4.4 (see on `quoniam loquaces muti sunt'), 5.7.12, 5.9.17, 7.2.3.
viscum: util. cred. 1.2, `itaque nobis faciebant, quod insidiosi aucupes solent, qui viscatos surculos propter aquam defigunt, ut sitientes aves decipiant.' Sim. at c. Faust. 13.17 (`hoc melle scilicet venenati sui poculi').
laquei diaboli: 1 Tim. 3.7, `ut non incidat in opprobrium et laquem diaboli'; 1 Tim. 6.9, `nam qui volunt divites fieri, incidunt in temptationem et laqueum et desideria multa et nociva'; sim. at 2 Tim. 2.26. These laquei are reminiscent of the muscipulae that litter false paths at 3.1.1 (see on `viam sine muscipulis', esp. for en. Ps. 90. s. 1.4). Other laquei at 4.6.11, 5.7.13, 6.12.21, 10.31.44, 10.34.52, 10.36.59.
nominis tui et domini Iesu Christi et paracleti consolatoris nostri spiritus sancti: The Manichean trinity: c. Faust. 20.2 (quoting Faustus), `igitur nos patris quidem dei omnipotentis et Christi filii eius et spiritus sancti unum idemque sub triplici appellatione colimus numen. sed patrem quidem ipsum lucem incolere credimus summam ac principalem, quam Paulus alias inaccessibilem vocat [1 Tim. 6.16], filium vero in hac secunda ac visibili luce consistere. qui quoniam sit et ipse geminus, ut eum apostolus novit Christum dicens esse dei virtutem et dei sapientiam [1 Cor. 1.24], virtutem quidem eius in sole habitare credimus, sapientiam vero in luna. necnon et spiritus sancti, qui est maiestas tertia, aeris hunc omnem ambitum sedem fatemur ac diversorium; cuius ex viribus ac spiritali profusione terram quoque concipientem gignere patibilem Iesum, qui est vita ac salus hominum, omni suspensus ex ligno. quapropter et nobis circa universa et vobis similiter erga panem et calicem par religio est.'
paracleti: Cf. Jn. 14.26, `paracletus autem spiritus sanctus, quem mittet pater in nomine meo'. Decret, Aspects 294: `Mais rien n'autorise à conclure que Felix confonde ce Mani-Paraclet avec le Spiritus sanctus qui, selon la déclaration de Faustus, siège dans l'"Air ambiant", et moins encore avec le Saint-Esprit qui, dans la doctrine catholique, constitue la troisième personne de la Trinité divine. . . . Il semble que Felix considère Mani comme le dernier apôtre promis et envoyé par le Christ et en cet Apôtre parle l'"Esprit-Saint."' Cf. c. Faust. 13.17, `cum enim Christus promiserit suis missurum se paracletum, id est consolatorem vel advocatum, spiritum veritatis, per hanc promissionis occasionem hunc paracletum dicentes esse Manichaeum vel in Manichaeo' (n.b. here `in se'). So also Lieu, Bull. Rylands 68 (1986), 444: `Augustine does not seem to have fully perceived Mani's identification with the Paraclete through his syzygos. Instead he saw Mani's claim purely in terms of the Catholic understanding of the Trinity and the Incarnation. In the same way as in Catholic doctrine the Eternal Son of God had taken on humanity in Jesus Christ, who was therefore called the Son of God, so in Augustine's eyes Mani claimed the title of Paraclete because in his person the Holy Ghost had taken on humanity. . . . On the other hand, Augustine's understanding of Mani's identification with the Paraclete might not have been too distant from the contemporary Manichaean view. In the Manichaean Psalmbook, the Father of Light, Jesus the Splendour and Mani the Paraclete were seen as a form of Trinity.' (The only documented surviving Manichean place of worship, near the coast of the China Sea, presents a Mani who has been transfigured into the `Buddha of Light'; Lieu Manichaeism 212-213 reports that shrine, but further publication of that [and possibly other surviving sites] should be eagerly awaited; unpublished photographs taken by travelers are of great interest.)
non recedebant de ore eorum: Cf. Jos. 1.8, `non recedat volumen legis huius ab ore tuo. sed meditaberis in eo diebus ac noctibus, ut custodias et facias omnia quae scripta sunt in eo.' Empty words (cf. `commixtione syllabarum nominis' and `voce sola'), letter without spirit; the remedy to come in Bk. 7, where curiositas is cured. Where the Joshua text speaks of the volumen legis, the Manis only manage the nomina. J. Ries, Lectio I-II 9, has numerous quotations from the Kephalaion of the Manichees for the role of Wisdom in their thought. In following pages of that article, he provides similar nests of citations for other names/phrases (God the Father, Jesus) instanced in conf. from Manichean sources. Those citations offer confirmation that A. speaks correctly, but show that Manicheism left little permanent trace on the imagination of A.
cor inane veri: Cf. 4.14.23, `cor vanum et inane soliditatis tuae'.
veritas et veritas: Jn. 14.6, `ego sum via et veritas et vita.' On Truth among the Manichees, Ries, Lectio I-II, 14-16: `La fête annuelle de Bêma est un jugement où le pardon est accordé à chaque élu en conformité avec ses relations avec la vérité.'
huius mundi: huius mundi C D G O Maur. Ver. Pell.: mundi S Knöll Skut.
Cf. Col. 2.8, quoted at 3.5.9, esp. `secundum elementa mundi'; but cf. also 8.2.3, where Simplicianus praises the Platonists in the same terms as the philosophers A. means to indicate here.
prae amore tuo , mi pater summe bone  (10.31.46, 10.43.69, 11.22.28, 13.15.17), pulchritudo pulchrorum omnium : Invocation of trinity (countering the Manichean trinity above) precedes extended address to the second person of the trinity.
veritas . . . tibi: The address to the second person of the trinity continues to `et non pascebar', marked by such expressions as `sicut nunc mihi locuta es'.
suspirabant tibi: with dative in Latin, suspiro gives `soupirer après' (Mohrmann, Vig. Chr. 5, 252).
sol et luna: c. Faust. 20.2 quoted above; at c. Fort. 1.3 A. reports that the Manichees pray `contra solem'. util. cred. 6.13 reports an anecdote from Manichean days of a woman who was irked by Manichean praise of the sun and so crossed to where the sun shone through a window and stomped on the ground, crying `ecce solem deumque tuum calco'.
nec ipsa prima: not themselves the first creatures (Gn. 1.14-18: the fourth day of creation; cf. 13.19.24); cf. lines following here.
te veritas: te veritas C D G O Maur. Ver.: veritas S Knöll Skut. Pell.
in qua . . . obumbratio: Jas. 1.17, `descendens a patre luminum, apud quem non est commutatio nec moment obumbratio' (see on 4.15.25). Sensitivity to the context from which a scriptural echo comes is often essential. It is hard to believe that A. does not fasten on this passage at least in part because of the `father of lights' it invokes, taken in an anti-Manichean sense.
esuriebam et sitiebam: The combination `hunger and thirst' is so conventional that biblical parallels are at best dimly illustrative, e.g., Mt. 5.6, `beati qui esuriunt et sitiunt iustitiam', or 1 Cor. 4.11, `usque in hanc horam et esurimus et sitimus'.
phantasmata splendida: nat. b. 42 quotes the authoritative Manichean text A. knew as epistula quam vocant `fundamenti': `ita autem fundata sunt eiusdem splendidissima regna supra lucidam et beatam terram, ut a nullo unquam aut moveri aut concuti possint. . . . lucis vero beatissimae pater . . .' Ries, Lectio I-II, 17, specifies further links to the Manichean `théologie solaire'; cf. `inferebatur pro te sol et luna' above.
animo decepto per oculos: by curiositas/concupiscentia oculorum.
terrestria . . . volatilibus: Punctuation follows Vega; others punctuate strongly after terrestria, then not at all after volatilibus.
imaginamur: See on 3.2.2, `imaginibus'.
suspicamur: The verb implies preliminary and incomplete vision, inchoate knowledge (12.6.6, `sed nosse cupiebam, non suspicar'). ep. 7.3.6 (to Nebridius), `licet igitur animae imaginanti ex his quae illi sensus invexit demendo, ut dictum est, et addendo ea gignere quae nullo sensu attingit tota.'
amor meus: This vocative, coming after an extended address to the second person of the trinity, personified as Truth, strongly suggests that A. now turns to address the third person, personified as Love.
in quem deficio: Cf. Ps. 118.81, `defecit in salutare tuum anima mea, et in verbum tuum speravi.' en. Ps. 70. s. 1.14, `hoc illis expedit ut peccata sua cognoscant, unde confundantur et deficiant, male enim de viribus suis praesumebant; et ipsi defecti dicant, quando infirmor, tunc potens sum [2 Cor. 12.10].'
nec ea quae non videmus ibi: G-M: `corpora is not to be understood. The reference is to the caelum caeli, the abode of the angels.' We need scarcely insist upon that equation here; the phrase `spiritalia opera tua' above is sufficient reference; cf. Rom. 1.20, `invisibilia dei' (see on 7.9.14).
phantasmatis (1): phantasmatis G O S Knöll Skut. Ver. Pell.: phantasmatibus C D
phantasmatis (2): phantasmatis O S Knöll Skut. Ver. Pell.: a phantasmatis G V: phantasmatibus C D
(Skutella's apparatus is incomplete here)
Phantasma and phantasia in A.: sol. 2.20.34 does not yet distinguish (cf. ep. 7.2.4 [quoted below on 3.6.11] and lib. arb. 2.8.23): `quid intersit inter veram figuram, quae intellegentia continetur, et eam quam sibi fingit cogitatio, quae graece sive phantasia sive phantasma dicitur'. mus. 6.11.32 introduces the distinction that is afterwards authoritative, `aliter enim cogito patrem meum quem saepe vidi, aliter avum quem numquam vidi. horum primum phantasia est, alterum phantasma'; sim. at trin. 8.6.9, 9.6.10
See du Roy 180n7 for the debate whether the distinction is Porphyrian or Plotinian in its influence on A., confuting J. Pépin on the significance of `Alexandria' in the example A. regularly provides (of a place he has not seen, hence a phantasma): Pépin, REA 86(1954), 102-103, takes the name of the city as a sign of Porphyrian origin, but du Roy counters that the city is mentioned elsewhere (and early: c. acad. 1.4.11-12) under mediated Stoic influence; du Roy also offers a long list of Augustinian texts in which it recurs. du Roy is followed by O'Daly 106-130, esp. on the origins of the terms at 106-107. He well remarks that the history of phantasia is ambiguous, inasmuch as it (O'Daly 107) `can refer to mental faculties or processes as well as to their products': Nebridius at ep. 6.2 uses it in the sense of mental power or faculty--`perhaps the less surprising if we recall the technicality of N.'s philosophical interest in such problems as the possible demonic cause of dreams [ep. 8.] and the question of the soul's vehicle [ep. 13.2]. . . . We can only conclude that A. either adopted a scholastic or doxographical distinction unknown to us, or that he himself adapted the Stoic distinction, referred to above, between phantasia and phantasma to his own technical purposes.' Note that Cicero treated phantasia as an un-naturalized Grecism, regarding visum as the appropriate translation (acad. post. 1.11.40, `phantasian, nos visum appellemus licet' --see on 6.1.1).
Phantasmata are of importance in two ways to A.'s discussion of his Manichean past: (1) the Manichees themselves believed that the crucified Jesus was a docetic illusion, not the real death of the God-man (9.3.6, `ut veritatis filii tui carnem phantasma crederet'; at Io. ev. tr. 50.5, A. interprets the hesitations of the disciples in the presence of the risen Christ as arising from a suspicion that they see only a phantasma, and at s. 75.1.1-8.9, he discusses and dismisses the possibility that Christ seen walking on the water in Mt. 14.24-33 was only a phantasma). (2) A. himself in retrospect believed that the God he worshipped among the Manichees was a wraith of imagination and no substance (4.7.12, `sed vanum phantasma et error meus erat deus meus'). (3) Particularly in c. ep. fund., he applied the term broadly to Manichean doctrines: c. ep. fund. 18.20, 19.21, 32.35, 36.41, 43.49 (`detestemur istam haeresim, quae suorum phantasmatum fidem secuta'). Cf. vera rel. 55.108 (retr. 1.13.1, `maxime tamen contra duas naturas manichaeorum liber hic loquitur'): `non sit nobis religio in phantasmatibus nostris. melius est enim qualecumque verum quam omne quidquid pro arbitrio fingi potest'.
vita es animarum: Sim. at 7.1.2, 10.6.10, 10.20.29; and at en. Ps. 70. s. 2.3, Io. ev. tr. 19.12, ss. 62.1.2, 65.4.5, 156.6.6, 161.6.6, 180.7.8 (most of the passages collected by Madec BA 6.352n). G-M and Vega suggest Plotinus 220.127.116.11-15, o) e)/ndon nou=s, o( dou\s ou)si/an kai\ ta\ a)/lla
vita vitarum: For this apostrophe, see on 1.4.4. Read with `veritas, veritas' (< Jn. 14.6, `vita, veritas et via'), earlier in this paragraph; and cf. 1.4.4, `immutabilis'.
et non mutaris: See on 1.6.10, `et non mutaris'.
text of 3.6.11
Rather than provide a bald summary of Manichean doctrine, A. sets in motion an impressionistic sketch, juxtaposing representatives of the Manichee, the classical, and the orthodox Christian textual traditions.
longe: See on 1.18.28.
peregrinabar: 2 Cor. 5.6, `dum sumus in corpore, peregrinamur a domino.' Peregrinus/peregrinor in this characteristically Augustinian sense occurs only here in the first nine books of conf., except that the last lines of 9.13.37 (`peregrinatio populi tui') anticipate its more frequent use in 10-13: cf. 10.4.6, 10.5.7, 11.2.4, 12.11.13, 12.15.21, 12.16.23, 13.14.15.
a siliquis porcorum: Lk. 15.16, `et cupiebat implere ventrem suum de siliquis quas porci manducabant.' Deliberate reinvocation of the prodigal just here gives shape to the narrative. The siliquae are interpreted with remarkable consistency among the Latin fathers (a reading Origenian in origin? cf. B. Blumenkranz, Mélanges . . . Louis Halphen [Paris, 1951], 11-17): Amb. in Luc. 7.218, `sunt qui porcos accipiant pro gregibus daemonum, siliquas pro exili virtute inanium hominum sermonumque iactantia qui nihil prodesse possunt, inani quadam philosophiae seductione et quodam sonorum facundiae plausu pompam magis quam utilitatem aliquam demonstrantes'; v. sim. at Hier. ep. 21.13 (21.4-38 expounds the prodigal to Damasus), and Caes. Arel. s. 163 (closely modelled on A.? cf. B. Blumenkranz, Vig. Chr. 2, 102-105). In A.'s works, qu. ev. 2.33, `siliquae quibus porcos pascebat, saeculares doctrinae, sterili vanitate resonantes'; sim. at s. Caill. 2.11.3, en. Ps. 16.13, 18. en. 2.3 (`daemonum cultor, tamquam porcorum pastor'), 95.5 (`pascebat porcos, id est, colebat daemonia'), 138.7.
Medea volans: Typical example of the pernicious falsehood of fiction: sol. 2.15.29, `[A.] non enim, cum dicitur iunctis alitibus anguibus Medeam volasse, ulla ex parte res ista verum imitatur, quippe quae nulla sit nec imitari aliquid possit ea res quae omnino non sit. . . . itane tandem cum audio, angues ingentes alites iuncti iugo, non dico falsum? . . . [Ratio] similiter enuntiaretur, etiamsi vere illud Medea fecisset. imitatur ergo ipsa enuntiatione veras sententias falsa sententia.' The link to the present passage is ep. 7.2.4 (of 389, to Nebridius), `ego enim mihi, ut libet atque ut occurrit animo, Aeneae faciem fingo, ego Medeae cum suis anguibus alitibus iunctis iugo, ego Chremetis et alicuius Parmenonis. in hoc genere sunt etiam illa quae sive sapientes aliquid veri talibus involventes figuris sive stulti, variarum superstitionum conditores, pro vero attulerunt, ut est tartareus Phlegethon et quinque antra gentis tenebrarum et stilus septentrionalis continens caelum et alia poetarum atque haereticorum mille portenta.' A. gets the quotation (a line of Pacuvius) and the treatment from Cic. inv. 1.27. Medea represents particularly heinous evil: c. Sec. 26, `in ipsis nocentibus pauciores sunt homicidae quam fures, pauciores sunt incestatores quam adulteri; denique etiam ipsae antiquorum vel fabulae vel historiae pauciores habent Medeas et Phaedras quam facinorum aliorum flagitiorumque mulieres.'
quinque elementa: haer. 46.7, `quinque enim elementa quae genuerunt principes proprios genti tribuunt tenebrarum, eaque elementa his nominibus nuncupant: fumum, tenebras, ignem, aquam, ventum. in fumo nata animalia bipedia, unde homines ducere originem censent; in tenebris, serpentia, in igne, quadrupedia, in aquis, natatilia, in vento, volatilia. his quinque elementis malis debellandis alia quinque elementa de regno et substantia dei missa esse, et in illa pugna fuisse permixta fumo aerem, tenebris lucem, igni malo ignem bonum, aquae malae aquam bonam, vento malo ventum bonum.' For the same doctrine, cf. c. ep. fund. 28.31, with excoriation by A. at c. Faust. 2.3-4.
quinque antra tenebrarum: c. ep. fund. 18.20, `quid iam de illa loquar potentia qua intellegitur veritas, qua istis ipsis quae de corporis sensu haustae figurantur imaginibus sese pro veritate opponentibus magna vivacitate resistitur? . . . ex eadem venire facilitate istam terram lucis per spatia infinita diffusam et quinque antra gentis tenebrarum cum habitatoribus suis, in quibus manichaei phantasmata veritatis sibi nomen ausa sunt usurpare.'
omnino: omnino C D S Knöll Skut. Ver. Pell.: omnia G O
versum et carmen: G-M: `According to the Benedictine editors it was upon this passage that Petilianus . . . founded his charge against A. of administering love charms (amatoria maleficia data mulieri). c. litt. Pet. 3.16.19. The identification does not appear certain. A.'s meaning seems to be that he could gain his bread by literary pursuits.' (1) The Maurists were certainly wrong on this. (2) The meaning here may be metaphorical: he could get some real nutrition from the siliquae, but none at all from the Manichee lore.
cantabam: Stories that are told for the sake of the telling, and whose untruth is therefore not penal, and those that are told to be believed, in which untruth therefore is disastrous: at the time of writing conf., neither sort appeals to him, but the former--just then losing its appeal for him--seemed less pernicious.
gradibus: The gradus are ordinarily (since at least quant. an. 33.70ff) the benchmarks of the ascent towards God (as later in conf.: 7.17.23, 9.2.2, 9.10.24, 10.8.12 [`transibo ergo et istam [vim] naturae meae, gradibus ascendens ad eum, qui fecit me'], 13.9.10). The phraseology here suggests parodic inversion in his descent to Manicheism.
in profunda inferi: Prov. 9.18, `et ignoravit quod gigantes ibi sint et in profundis inferni convivae eius.' Cf. on 1.2.2, `inferi'; what was hypothetical there is here represented as in some sense true, for he was in hell, but God was there, `interior . . . et superior'.
intellectum . . . quaererem: The dissociation of quaerere from intellegere (see on 1.1.1; this is the only significant occurrence of these terms in Bk. 3) is another mark of the disorder A. sees in this particular quest for wisdom.
interior intimo meo et superior summo meo: Esp. of second person of trinity (the antidote to curiositas): vera rel. 20.38, `summa et intima veritas'; ep. 101.3, `superna intima veritatis'; trin. 12.3.3, `supernam et internam . . . veritatem'; cf. conf. 9.1.1, `omni secreto interior'; en. Ps. 118. s. 22.6, `tu interior intimis meis'; Gn. litt. 8.26.48, `ipse . . . et interior omni re'.
illam mulierem audacem: Prov. 9.13-17 (VL), `mulier insipiens et audax, inops panis effecta, . . . (14) sedit in foribus domus suae super sellam in excelso urbis loco . . . . (16) qui stultus est divertat ad me . . . (17) panes occultos libenter edite, et aquam furtivam dulcem bibite.' On this passage, see E. Peters, Augustiana 36(1986), 48-64, and La Bonnardière, Biblia Augustiniana: Proverbes 51-54 (text reconstructed from A.'s citations).
A.'s interpretation is already in place for Gn. c. man. 2.27.41, `haereticorum quippe superba et curiosa cupiditas in libro proverbiorum clamat sub mulieris imagine, et dicit, qui stultus est divertat ad me'; sim. at exp. prop. Rom. 32(39), doctr. chr. 3.25.36. Most fully developed at Io. ev. tr. 97.2-3, `cavete timendo et orando, ne inruatis in illud aenigma Salomonis, ubi mulier insipiens et audax, inops panis effecta, convocat praetereuntes dicens: panes occultos libenter attingite et aquae furtivae dulcedinem. haec enim mulier vanitas est impiorum, cum sint insipientissimi, aliquid se scire opinantium. . . . cum sit inops panis, promittit panes; id est, cum sit ignara veritatis, promittit scientiam veritatis. occultos tamen panes promittit, quos dicit libenter attingi, et aquae furtivae dulcedinem, ut ea scilicet libentius et dulcius audiantur et agantur quae palam in ecclesia dici credique prohibentur. ipsa quippe occultatione condiunt quodammodo nefarii doctores sua venena curiosis. . . . (3) hinc et nefario ritus suos hominibus sacrilega curiositate deceptis vel decipiendis magicarum artium doctrina commendat.'
On aenigma generally, A.'s most detailed and programmatic explanation is at trin. 15.9.15, concluding: `aenigma est autem ut breviter explicem obscura allegoria sicuti est, sanguisugae tres erant filiae [Prov. 30.15], et quaecumque similia.' Also helpful is div. qu. Simp. 2. pr., `velamen quippe omnimodo intercludit aspectum, aenigma vero tamquam per speculum, sicut idem apostolus ait, videmus nunc per speculum in aenigmate, [1 Cor. 13.12] nec evidentissimam detegit speciem, nec prorsus obtegit veritatem.' The word is used 10x in conf.; closest parallel to the sense here is 5.14.24, in a description of Ambrose's way of preaching: `et saepius aenigmate soluto de scriptis veteribus'. See with references C. Mayer, Aug.-Lex. 1.140-141.
inopem prudentiae: also at 4.2.2.
habitantem in oculo carnis meae: i.e., wallowing in curiositas. D. Sohlberg, Mus. Helv. 28(1971), 176-179 emends `in oculo carnis meae' to in excelso Carthaginis meae; H. Fuchs responded at Mus. Helv. 29(1972), 62, with the the slightly more plausible suggestion in habitaculo carnis meae (but he admitted that this change required the further change below to per illam [sc. per carnem] vorassem). LaBonnardière, Biblia Augustiniana: Proverbes 53, rightly approves the paradosis: `Augustin a dévoré par l'oeil qu'il a fixé sur la femme effrontée--la Folie--une nourriture qu'il a ensuite ruminée en lui-meme.' Sim. by G. Luongo, Parola del Passato 27(1972), 414-415.
text of 3.7.12
It was curiositas, the libido sciendi, that led A. to Manicheism; accordingly, he now (3.7.12-3.10.18) presents a sustained analysis of the attraction that the cult had for him measured by his ignorances of that time. Had he known certain things, the phantasmata of the Manichees would not have held an attraction to his vagrant and concupiscent eyes. The three topics under which he arranges his discussion all recur thematically later in conf. as he shows himself finding alternate solutions to those the Manichees proposed.
A. does not say that the three problems outlined here were the ones for which he found the most attractive solutions in Manicheism, but rather that they were three questions for which he could not provide satisfactory answers based on anything else he knew. (When in after years A. would be accused of retaining a Manichean outlook, the justice of the charge would lie in the way he remained in the power, not of the answers the Manichees offered, but of the questions [e.g., unde malum] on which they insisted with such effect.) The presentation is thus deliberately partial and schematic. The Manichees also attacked orthodox Christianity for deliberate falsification of scriptures, but A. claims that this argument never made any headway with him (util. cred. 3.7).
One important way in which the limitations of this report interfere with our understanding: it was violently contrary to A.'s intentions at the time of writing conf. to do full justice to the appeal the Manichees had for him. He did not concede them the possession even of whatever virtues and strengths had held appeal for him. Hence, although Brown 50, and G. R. Evans, Augustine on Evil (Cambridge, 1982), 13, are quick to emphasize the benefits of the Manichean balm for an aching conscience, in this formal description of his encounter with the Manichees no such ethical question arises: unde malum appears only as an intellectual question to which he cannot provide a better answer. Only later (5.10.18) will he hint at the ethical side of his Manicheism.
In the narrative of his conversions, the solutions to the three problems are uncovered in reverse order to that posed here.
unde malum: 7.12.18;
utrum forma corporea deus finiretur: 7.1.1-7.2.3--but see notes there;
utrum iusti existimandi essent: 5.14.24 and 6.4.6.
The three `non noveram . . . et non noveram . . . et non noveram' statements of this paragraph and the beginning of the next outline the solutions in nuce, by way of clarifying the problems.
acutule: Quite rare; as adj. at Cic. nat. deor. 3.7.18; 3x else where in A. (ep. 205.1.4, `infirmitas . . . humana . . . acutule se garrire arbitratur', and nat. et gr. 28.32, `ne videantur ei nimis acuta, quae acutule sonant et discussa inveniuntur obtunsa', and c. Iul. 6.9.26). Also used by Julian at c. Iul. imp. 1.71 and 3.188, in unflattering characterizations of A.'s style of argument.
unde malum: lib. arb. 1.2.4, `eam quaestionem moves quae me admodum adulescentem vehementer exercuit et fatigatum in haereticos impulit atque deiecit. quo casu ita sum afflictus et tantis obrutus acervis inanium fabularum [see 5.3.3, `fabulis'] ut nisi mihi amor inveniendi veri opem divinam impetravisset, emergere inde atque in ipsam primam quaerendi libertatem respirare non possem'; duab. an. 8.10, `hic fortasse quis dicat: unde ipsa peccata et omnino unde malum? si ab homine, unde homo? si ab angelo, unde angelus? . . . hac in quaestione illi regnare se putant, quasi vero interrogare sit scire. utinam id esset; nemo me scientior reperiretur'; c. Iul. imp. 6.9, `si enim quaerente illo a nobis unde sit malum, qua quaestione consueverunt [manichaei] corda inerudita turbare'.
The question itself, pressed in this way, was less obvious to ancients than to moderns and bespeaks the concerns of late antique philosophy (e.g., Plotinus 1.8) rather than those of earlier times. It is insistence on the goodness of God that makes the question a pressing one--indeed, makes a hypostasized `Evil' emerge from the multitude of `evils' that beleaguer mortal life (viz. Plat. rep. 2.379b-c, polit. 273b-e, Tim. 41d-42e). If the question did not originate in gnosticism, it was certainly most at home there.
et utrum forma corporea deus finiretur: Gn. c. man. 1.17.27, `istam maxime quaestionem solent manichaei loquaciter agitare et insultare nobis, quod hominem credamus factum ad imaginem et similitudinem dei. attendunt enim figuram corporis nostri, et infeliciter quaerunt utrum habeat deus nares et dentes et barbam, et membra etiam interiora, et cetera quae in nobis sunt necessaria.' It was as a Christian of sorts that A. had thought of God in anthropomorphic terms; his `conversion' to orthodoxy was helped when he realized that Catholics did not believe this: see on 7.1.1ff.
et utrum iusti existimandi essent: c. Faust. begins with the genealogies and contradictions of the Gospels (and returns to the subject: c. Faust. 2-3, 7.1, 23, and 27-8); the two longest books of c. Faust. (12 and 22) both deal with the vices of the OT patriarchs. See also c. Faust. 6.2, quoted on 3.9.17, `ad futura praenuntianda', below. That the Manichees rubbed a raw nerve is best seen in qu. hept., written when A. was 65 and long secure in his grasp of the Christian approach to the OT. That work bespeaks the intensity with which the literalist approach made the OT a wearying thing for many late antique readers. How was it possible for angels come to lie with the daughters of men and beget giants? Could the ark have been that big? Could four men have built it? How could Lot have treated his daughters that way? (qu. hept. 1.3-5, 1.42) The disparity between the genealogies of Matthew and Luke (see on s. 51 at 3.5.9) rises again, a wound healed but showing scar-tissue, at qu. ev. 2.5, qu. hept. 1.121, and s. 83.4.5 (c. 409). For early treatments, cf. div. qu. 49., s. 1.4.4.
de animalibus: For this characteristically Late Latin use of de with ablative in place of partitive genitive (see Arts 17), cf. 9.5.13, `quid mihi potissimum de libris tuis legendum esset'.
recedens: Another expression for the way we are separated from God in conf., e.g., 3.3.5, `ad longe recedendum a te'; cf. also 1.2.2, 2.6.14, 4.16.31, 5.3.4, 10.26.37.
non noveram: The anaphora of `non noveram' connects the three clarificatory expositions: `non noveram malum non esse nisi privationem boni . . . et non noveram deum esse spiritum . . . (3.7.13) et non noveram iustitiam veram interiorem.' There are three later passages where `non noveram' is a reminder of this discussion: in all three cases, it is the second ignorance, of the spiritual nature of God, that is recalled: 4.2.3, 5.10.19, 5.10.20.
privationem boni: The doctrine is Platonic in origin (but A. takes the idea further than P.: see on 7.12.18), and offers the possibility of an aesthetic theory of evil (e.g., nat. b. 16, `quae tamen etiam privationes rerum sic in universitate naturae ordinantur, ut sapienter considerantibus non indecenter vices suas habeant') which escapes the hard antitheses of dualism at the cost of incurring new difficulties.
viderem . . . videre . . . oculis . . . phantasma: N.B. the emphasis again on the sense of sight and its errors.
et non (noveram): et non C D G O Maur. Ver.: non S Knöll Skut. Pell.
et non noveram deum esse spiritum: Jn. 4.24, `spiritus est deus.' The word spiritus is avoided when this topic is raised again at its proper place in the narrative at 7.1.1-7.2.3: spiritus is by preference the word that designates the third person of the trinity, and is otherwise used in phrases like spiritus hominis, without again occurring in this predicative sense of God. A notion of a corporeal God is blamed on curiositas at Io. ep. tr. 7.10.
et si infinita sit . . .: See on 1.3.3.
secundum quod essemus: Cf. 1.2.2, `me qui non essem nisi esses in me'.
essemus: essemus O S Knöll Skut. Ver.: essemus similes deo C D G Maur.
imaginem: See on 3.2.2.
prorsus ignorabam: Much commoner verb for defects of knowledge in conf. than `non noveram': See particularly on 1.20.31, `fugiebam dolorem, abiectionem, ignorantiam', where ignorantia  is what the child flees from in search of veritas, only to find error.
text of 3.7.13
At times, A. could claim that the OT patres did no wrong: b. coniug. 25.33, `quae cum ita sint, haeretici quidem sive manichaei sive quicumque alii patribus veteris testamenti de pluribus calumniantur uxoribus, hoc esse argumentum deputantes quo eorum convincant incontinentiam, satis superque responsum est: si tamen capiunt non esse peccatum, quod neque contra naturam committitur, quia non lasciviendi sed gignendi causa illis feminis utebantur; neque contra morem, quia illis temporibus ea factitabantur; neque contra praeceptum, quia nulla lege prohibebantur. illos vero qui inlicite feminis usi sunt vel arguit in scripturis illis divina sententia vel nobis lectio iudicandos atque vitandos, non approbandos imitandosve proponit.' At other times, he insisted only on correct interpretation: doctr. chr. 3.12.18, `quae autem quasi flagitiosa imperitis videntur, sive tantum dicta sive etiam facta sunt vel ex dei persona vel ex hominum quorum nobis sanctitas commendatur, tota figurata sunt, quorum ad caritatis pastum enucleanda secreta sunt'; he reinforces that at doctr. chr. 3.18.26-3.22.32. The same argument occurs at s. 51.15.25 and 51.18.28 (see above on 3.5.9).
et non noveram: See on 3.7.12.
rectissima: rectissima O Maur. Ver. Pell.: iustissima G: lectissima C D S Knöll Skut. Vega
Pellegrino rightly takes G's reading in support of rectissima.
eos . . . iudicari iniquos: `noveram' still governs the indirect discourse.
iudicantibus ex humano die: 1 Cor. 4.3, `mihi autem minimum est ut a vobis diiudicer aut ab humano die: sed neque meipsum iudico.'
tamquam si quis . . .: The conventional rhetorical employment of the three similes from everyday life--which embrace the whole of social life seen in conventional Roman terms, from the camp to the forum to a private household--has a surprising comic turn to it.
sic sunt: answering the similes that began with `tamquam'.
homine . . . die . . . aedibus: Reminders of the three similes above; see `corpore . . . die . . . domo' below.
numquid iustitia . . . mutabilis?: Aen. 4.569-570 (Mercury instructing Aeneas to end his affair with Dido), `varium et mutabile semper femina.' Women in conf. are: pregnant (1.6.9), patronized as sources of women's lore about infants (1.6.10), a figure of heresy (the aenigma Salomonis: 3.6.11), piously joyful (Monnica: 3.11.20), sex objects (6.11.20, 8.1.2), tiresome wives (6.14.24), spurned and freshly resolved on continence (his concubine: 6.15.25), giving birth (7.6.8), worried about household finances (from a gospel parable: 8.3.6, 10.18.27), maddened (rabies, of Justina: 9.7.16), staunch in the face of death (Monnica: 9.11.28), and subjected to Adam by God in Eden (13.32.47, 13.34.49). The present passage presents itself before that backdrop: the line from the Aeneid, profoundly unjust to Dido, has here its own comic effect--surely justice shares none of the defects that are, the phrasing inevitably reminds us, characteristic of women?
vita . . . brevis est: Cf. Wisd. 15.9, `brevis illis vita est'.
corpore . . . die . . . domo: picks up once again the similes of `tamquam si quis . . . .'
illis: sc. temporibus.
hic: hic C D G O1 S Knöll Skut. Ver.: his O2 Maur.
text of 3.7.14
G-M find the latter reading plausible, but if there is a broken antithesis here, the remedy would surely be illic. What strikes the eye is `serviunt' (usually translated weakly: BA, `ils acceptent'; Ryan, `give approval to the latter'): the use is difficult to parallel, but the overtone of moral judgment attracts attention. We are slaves to custom, and sniff at the customs of other times and places.
The Manichean challenge to the OT is treated here so as to suggest that the solution lies in a correct reading of scripture (as at 3.7.12, dealing with their critique of an anthropomorphic God). One interim answer is given, but what is hinted at is a comprehension of the allegorical meaning of OT scripture. This prepares us to see that when A. discovers the distinction between literal and allegorical senses in scripture (at Milan: 5.14.24 and 6.4.6), then he can escape the dilemma the Manichees set for him.
haec: The contents only of 3.7.13 are meant.
oculos meos . . . non videbam: Cf. `caecus' below. The paradox of the three temptations is that those who yield to them achieve the opposite of what they seek; see 1.20.31.
cantabam: This example, designed to confute the Manichees' criticism, comes directly from A.'s personal experience, not from the conventionalisms that were incorporated in the similes--employed to the same purpose--at 3.7.13.
praecipit: praecipit O S Knöll Skut. Ver.: praecepit C D G Maur.
utentes: doctr. chr. 1.4.4, `uti autem [est], quod in usum venerit ad id quod amas obtinendum referre, si tamen amandum est'.
futura praenuntiantes: cf. Col. 2.17, `umbra futurorum' (cited in c. Faust. 6.2 [quoted in notes on 3.9.17, `ad futura praenuntianda']).
text of 3.8.15
Cf. the discussion of the temptations/vices in 2.6.13, holding a comparable place in the structure of that book, as meditation on his own lapse situates itself in meditation on the nature of sin. Here too sin is divided in three possibilities (`contra naturam', `contra mores', and `contra morem aut pactum quorumlibet'); it would be fanciful, but possible, to see in sins against natura the concupiscence of the flesh; in sins against the mores hominum, ambitio saeculi; and in sins against the commandment of God, concupiscentia oculorum. To descry such patterns is not to impose them on the author's will, but to see the consistency of his vision.
diligere deum . . . te ipsum: Mt. 22.37-40, `diliges dominum deum tuum ex toto corde et ex tota anima et ex tota mente. . . . (39) diliges proximum tamquam te ipsum. (40) in his duobus praeceptis tota lex pendet et prophetae.' (Parallel NT versions at Mk. 12.33, Lk. 10.27, all conflations by Jesus of Deut. 6.5 [love of God] and Lev. 19.18 [love of neighbor].) The two great commandments occur here by way of example, reminding the reader of other issues, as he passes on quickly. That Jesus presents them as a summary of OT doctrine sharpens their usefulness against the Manichees (cf. mor. 1.28.57, `atque in his duobus convenit mihi cum manicheis, id est ut deum et proximum diligamus: sed hoc veteri testamento negant contineri'). Elsewhere in conf. they are instanced only in the post-narrative Bks. 10-13: 10.37.61, 12.25.35, 13.17.21, 13.24.36; at 13.19.24, dilectio proximi stands in sequence in place of the ninth and tenth commandments of the decalogue--against coveting the neighbor's wife and property, but cf. also en. Ps. 32. en. 2 s. 1.6 quoted below on 3.8.16.
On the force of the prepositional phrases, see mor. 1.8.13, `diliges, inquit, dominum deum tuum. dic mihi etiam quaeso te, qui sit diligendi modus: vereor enim ne plus minusve quam oportet inflammer desiderio et amore domini mei. ex toto, inquit corde tuo. non est satis. ex tota anima tua. ne id quidem satis est. ex tota mente tua. quid vis amplius? vellem fortasse, si viderem quid posset esse amplius.'
(corde) et corde et CDS Knöll Skut.: corde G O Ver.
(anima) et anima et C D G S Knöll Ver.: anima O Skut.
A.'s citations elsewhere omit the et in both cases slightly more often than not, but no conclusion may be drawn from that (Milne 60).
flagitia: See on 3.8.16.
contra naturam: Rom. 1.26, `nam et feminae eorum immutaverunt naturalem usum in eum qui est contra naturam'; cf. `eodem reatu'. For the sin of the Sodomites: b. coniug. 11.12, `cum ille naturalis usus, quando prolabitur ultra pacta nuptialia, id est ultra propagandi necessitatem, venialis sit in uxore, in meretrice damnabilis; iste qui est contra naturam, execrabiliter fit in meretrice, sed execrabilius in uxore. tantum valet ordinatio creatoris et ordo creaturae ut in rebus ad utendum concessis, etiam cum modus exceditur, longe sit tolerabilius quam in ea quae concessa non sunt vel unus vel rarus excessus. . . . cum vero vir membro mulieris non ad hoc concesso uti voluerit, turpior est uxor si in se, quam si in alia permiserit.' This argument would repudiate a fortiori sexual contact between members of the same sex, but only later did A. specify that this is the sin of the Sodomites: civ. 16.30, `tota illa regio impiae civitatis [Sodomae] in cinerem versa est, ubi stupra in masculos in tantam consuetudinem convaluerant, quantam leges solent aliorum factorum praebere licentiam'; cf. civ. 6.8. See also qu. vet. t. cited in following note. (Julian seems to agree with the specification: as quoted at c. Iul. imp. 6.23.)
contra naturam . . . contra mores hominum . . . aliquid contra morem aut pactum quorumlibet iubet: c. Faust. 22.47, `alia enim sunt peccata contra naturam, alia contra mores, alia contra praecepta.' qu. vet. t. pr., `generalem iustitiam non violat quis, nisi libidine transgressus fuerit aut placitum societatis humanae, sicut est furtum, rapina, adulterium, incestum et huiusmodi; aut naturam, sicut est contumelia, caedes, homicidium, concubitus masculorum vel pecorum; aut modum in concessis, sicut est servum amplius verberare quam oportet vel filium, edere vel bibere amplius quam oportet, cum ipsa coniuge concumbere amplius quam oportet, et similia.'
libidinis perversitate: approximately = voluntate per libidinem perversa.
deo regnatori: deo regnatori C D G O1 Skut. Ver. Pell.: deus regnator S O2 Knöll
suae (ad ea): suae C D G O Skut. Ver.: sive S: cui coni. Knöll in order to retain `deus regnator'.
The construction seemed to demand a subject for `iusserit', and to deprecate a double dative with `serviendum est', hence the correction in the MSS. With Skut., take the double dative with `serviendum est'; to follow Knöll requires, as G-M remark, reading an anacoluthon that assumes that the first clause began, `si rex potest', and supplying a potest and a comma after `creaturae suae' in this line.
maior potestas minori ad oboediendum praeponitur: Rom. 13.1, `omnis anima potestatibus sublimioribus subdita sit. non est enim potestas nisi a deo; quae autem sunt, a deo ordinatae sunt.'
text of 3.8.16
facinoribus: Originating in ira, while flagitia arise from libido (4.15.24). The scheme is expanded to include errores at 4.15.25 (see notes there). doctr. chr. 3.10.16, `quod autem agit indomita cupiditas ad corrumpendum animum et corpus suum, flagitium vocatur; quod autem agit ut alteri noceat, facinus dicitur.' Facinora are worse than flagitia: exp. prop. Rom. 6(6) (on Rom. 1.28-9), `quisque perniciosam dulcedinem flagitiorum sequens, dum impedientes personas removere conatur, pergit in facinus.' See also c. acad. 3.16.36, `flagitiis ac facinoribus', and s. 9.10.15, quoted below.
The two terms are consciously linked often in CL (see TLL 6.82): Cic. Catil. 1.7.18, `quae tecum, Catilina, sic agit et quodam modo tacita loquitur: nullum iam aliquot annis facinus exstitit nisi per te, nullum flagitium sine te'; Cic. Scaur. 13, `omni facinore et flagitio deformatos'; cf. Cic. Sull. 5.16; Sall. Catil.14.1.2, Tac. ann. 3.50.
Both facinus and flagitium are limited in their appearances in conf.; flagitium only in Bks. 1, 2, 3, and 4; facinus only in Bks. 2, 3, and 4. They are thus confined to the books devoted to A.'s moral downfall. Peccatum is far more common, occurring in every book. Elsewhere in conf. the most important application of facinus is to the pear-theft (2.6.12); of flagitium, to his moral lapses (e.g., 3.1.1, `sartago flagitiosorum amorum'). Elsewhere in A., the pair is frequent.
spectatores: See on 3.2.2.
inrisores: See on 1.6.7.
principandi  et spectandi  et sentiendi  libidine: Cf. 1. Jn. 2.16 (see on 1.10.16). For the senses as the domain of concupiscentia carnis, see 10.30.41ff.
aut una aut duabus earum aut simul omnibus: N.B. that A. does not treat the three temptations as a set of watertight compartments, but acknowledges that they interact in particular situations in different combinations. In the sequence of his own fall through these books, there is a broad pattern of succession from concupiscentia carnis (esp. in Bk. 2) to concupiscentia oculorum (esp. in Bk. 3) to ambitio saeculi (esp. in Bk. 4), but Bk. 2 is the only one of the three in which the predominant temptation reigns virtually alone. Here in Bk. 3 we have already seen how curiositas and libido both had a role in A.'s reaction to the spectacula.
tria et septem: This phrase confirms that he thinks of the earlier phrase (`principandi et spectandi et sentiendi libidine') as a group of three elements: `the three against the three + seven.' 7 + 3 = 10 is rock-bottom certainty even in his Academic days: 6.4.6.
psalterium decem chordarum: Ps. 32.2, `confitemini domino in cithara, in psalterio decem chordarum psallite ei'; en. Ps. 32. en. 2 s. 1.6, `praecepta enim legis decem sunt; in decem praeceptis legis habes psalterium. perfecta res est. habes ibi dilectionem dei in tribus, et dilectionem proximi in septem. . . . haec tria [mandata] pertinent ad dilectionem dei, cuius cogita unitatem , veritatem  et voluptatem .' Cf. Ps. 143.9, `in psalterio decem chordarum psallam tibi' (en. Ps. 143.16, `in lege decem praeceptorum'). A more elaborate trinitarian exposition occurs at s. 9.5.6 `de decem chordis', `decalogus enim legis decem praecepta habet: quae decem praecepta sic sunt distributa, ut tria pertineant ad deum, septem pertineant ad homines. tria ad deum, quae iam dixi:  unus est deus noster, ei nullam similitudinem debemus facere, et non fornicari post deum, qui unus est.  quia deus et Christus filius dei unum est cum patre, et ideo non debet a nobis accipi in vanum, ut putemus eum factum, id est, creaturam aliquam, per quem facta sunt omnia.  quia ipse unus deus, pater est et filius et spiritus sanctus, in spiritu sancto, hoc est, in dono dei, requies nobis sempiterna promittitur.'
altissime et dulcissime: Take the echoes closely with preceding line: cf. Ps. 91.2, `bonum est confiteri domino et psallere nomini tuo, altissime . . . (4) in decachordo psalterio, cum cantico in cithara'.
quod in se homines perpetrant: s. 9.10.15, `cum vero imaginem dei, quod es tu, corrumpis in te per fornicationes et per diffluentias libidinis . . . non attendis per libidines et inlicitas fornicationes cuius imaginem violasti? . . . omnia enim peccata hominum aut ad corruptelam pertinent flagitiorum, aut ad facinora nocendi. quia deo nocere non potes in facinoribus, in flagitiis eum offendis, in corruptelis eum offendis, in te illi facis iniuriam.'
mentitur iniquitas sibi: Ps. 26.12, `et mentita est iniquitas sibi'; cf. 1.5.6.
sive corrumpendo ac pervertendo naturam suam , . . . vel immoderate utendo concessis rebus , vel in non concessa flagrando in eum usum qui est contra naturam : The trinitarian pattern reappears; that the first clause marks sin against the first person of the trinity is made explicit by `quam tu fecisti et ordinasti'; `immoderate use of licit things' is a generic description of curiositas; while `in eum usum qui est contra naturam' is a particular form of concupiscentia carnis (see on 3.8.15, esp. for echo of Rom. 1.26).
aut . . . aut: Identifying sins against the two great commandments, i.e., against God or against neighbor.
adversus stimulum calcitrantes: Cf. Act. 26.14, `Saul, Saul, quid me persequeris? durum est tibi contra stimulum calcitrare.' The second line is also interpolated by some MSS at Act. 9.5. en. Ps. 85.9, `aedificetur in hoc cor vestrum, fratres, cor christianum, cor fidele; ne incipiatis tristes facti, veluti fraudati desideriis vestris, ire in indignationem contra deum; etenim non expedit adversus stimulum calcitrare. recurrite ad scripturas.'
But the expression is proverbial: Diomedes (Keil 1.462.27), `parhoemia est vulgaris proverbii usurpatio rebus temporibusque adcommodata, cum aliud significatur quam dicitur, ut: adversum stimulum calces, quo significatur contra pessimos vel potentiores audere stultum esse.' So Ter. Phorm. 77 and Amm. Marcell. 18.5.1.
fons vitae: Ps. 35.10, `quoniam apud te fons vitae'; en. Ps. 35.15, quis est fons vitae, nisi Christus? venit ad te in carne, ut inroraret fauces tuas sitientes; satiabit sperantem, qui inroravit sitientem.' Cf. Jer. 2.13, `duo enim mala fecit populus meus: me dereliquerunt fontem aquae vivae ut foderent sibi cisternas, cisternas dissipatas quae continere non valent aquas.'
The metaphorical use of fons in good senses is abundant in conf.: 4.4.7, 6.1.1, and 6.16.26 have `fons misericordiarum'; `fons tuus' at 9.3.6, 9.10.23, 12.10.10; `fons vitae' at 9.10.23, 13.4.5, 13.16.19, 13.21.30, 13.21.31; also 12.30.41, `fontem veritatis', 13.13.14, `quemadmodum cervi ad fontes aquarum' (Ps. 41.1), 13.17.20, `animas sitientes tibi . . . occulto et dulci fonte inrigas'.
unus . . . unum falsum: G-M: `The phraseology is coloured by the neo-Platonic doctrine according to which to\ e(\n (the One [unum]) is man's true life-centre and sin is essentially a turning away from that true centre to become absorbed in the things of sense, which then constitute a false life centre or substitute for "the One."'
privata superbia: G-M: `from self-regarding pride'; BA: `par orgueil particulariste.' Cf. here `privatis conciliationibus'; the adjective has been dissociated by A.'s time from the verb privare, and is not to be taken as the participle of that verb. Cf. en. Ps. 114.3, `dies meos dico, quos ipse mihi feci privata audacia, qua deserui eum.'
diligitur in parte unum falsum: `There is loved, in one of the parts of the universe, a false One.'
reditur in te: See on 1.18.28.
purgas: The word has a variety of literal uses in A.'s writings (purifying gold, threshing grain, etc.), and is common among both Christians and Platonic philosophers for renewal of various kinds. esp. sacramental/theurgic. Cf. en. Ps. 113. s. 1.5 (`interrogate ergo corda vestra: si ea circumcidit fides, si purgavit confessio') with Mart. Cap. 5.458, `nam purgatio est, cum confesso facinore animum voluntatemque purgamus'. en. Ps. 136.9, `a sordibus malarum cupiditatum purgantur,' could have been written by many writers of this period, Christian or not. In conf. note 4.1.1, `purgari nos ab istis sordibus', 6.2.2, `plenum purgatioribus votis pectus', 6.4.6, `purgatior acies mentis meae', 11.29.39, `purgatus et liquidus igne amoris tui'.
propitius es peccatis: Cf. Ps. 77.39, `et propitius erit peccatis eorum, et non perdet eos'; Ps. 78.9, `et propitius esto peccatis nostris propter nomen tuum'; Lk. 18.13, `et publicanus a longe stans . . . dicens, deus propitius esto mihi peccatori.'
gemitus compeditorum: Ps. 101.21, `dominus de caelo in terram prospexit ut audiret gemitum compeditorum, ut solvat filios mortificatorum'; en. Ps. 101. s. 2.3, `solvitur enim unusquisque a vinculis cupiditatum malarum, vel a nodis peccatorum suorum.'
adversus (te): adversus G S Knöll Skut. Pell.: adversum CDO Ver.
cornua falsae libertatis: Ps. 74.5, `nolite exaltare cornu vestrum'; en. Ps. 74.7, `si fecistis iniquitatem per cupiditatem, nolite eam defendere per elationem; confitemini, si fecistis. qui enim non confitetur, et iniquus est, exaltat cornu. . . . exaltabitur in vobis cornu Christi, si non exaltetur cornu vestrum.' For libertas, see on 2.6.14. (Knauer 162n2 and 182n1 comments on the artistry of the sentence: climax through seven-fold et [on et see on 1.1.1], careful antitheses, employment of Psalm-citations.)
amplius amando proprium nostrum: lib. arb. 2.19.53, `voluntas autem aversa ab incommutabili et communi bono et conversa ad proprium bonum . . . peccat.'
text of 3.9.17
The digression on flagitia and facinora (3.8.15-16) now reaches its goal: application to the case of the conduct of the OT patriarchs.
peccata proficientium: s. 302.1.1, `quaedam enim plerumque parva et ludicra concedit pater parvulis filiis. . . . benigna et paterna indulgentia haec impertit, haec donat, quae non vult permanere in filiis suis iam grandiusculis, iam proficientibus.' The verb is common in A. for the `progress' of the moral life, e.g., Io. ev. tr. 41.12.
et sunt quaedam: Things that are apparently peccata but do not offend against either of the two great commands (`nec te . . . nec sociale consortium').
conciliantur: `are procured'.
aliqua in usum vitae, congrua et tempori: G-M: `. . . congrua goes both with in usum and with the dative tempori'; Pellegrino agrees, wrongly, for `in usum vitae' is governed by `conciliantur', and `congrua' goes with `tempori' alone.
congrua et: congrua et S Knöll Skut. Vega: congrua G Pell.: congruae C D: congruentem O1 (-nt- in ras. O2): congrue coni. Ver.
For once, S is right. The hyperbaton of the et was unusual enough and the meaning easy enough to confuse, and so it fell out, leaving the E in CD and driving O to conjecture.
libidine habendi: This would be a flagitium. For an OT example (though both cases are meant to be generic), cf. c. Faust. 22.71, `de expoliatis Aegyptiis . . .: carnalis itaque adhuc ille populus erat et rerum terrenarum cupiditate occupatus . . .: et forte secundum suas voluntates et cogitationes hebraei magis permissi sunt facere ista quam iussi; sed eis deus permissionem suam per famulum suum Moysen innotescere voluit'.
libidine nocendi: A case of facinus; c. Faust. 22.79, `quid ergo crudele Moyses aut mandavit aut fecit . . . ? nam eum nulla crudelitate sed magna dilectione fecisse quod fecit, quis non in verbis eius agnoscat?'
viderentur: viderentur C D O1 S Knöll Skut. Ver.: videntur G O2
articulus: cat. rud. 3.6, `et per quinque temporum articulos praenuntiari venturus prophetarique non destitit', of the five ages of history before the coming of Christ. G-M unsure of applicability here; but note `occulti' and `occultes' below. Cf. also civ. 10.14, `sicut autem unius hominis, ita humani generis . . . recta eruditio per quosdam articulos temporum, tamquam aetatum profecit accessibus, ut a temporalibus ad aeterna capienda et a visibilibus ad invisibilia surgeretur.'
imperas: civ. 1.26, `cum autem deus iubet seque iubere sine ullis ambagibus intimat, quis oboedientiam in crimen vocet? quis obsequium pietatis accuset? sed non ideo sine scelere facit, quisquis deo filium immolare decreverit, quia hoc Abraham etiam laudabiliter fecit.' Vega thinks here of the marriage of Hosea (Os. 3.1ff), but A. seems not to have discussed that passage.
ad futura praenuntianda: Cf. last words of 3.7.14, `futura praenuntiantes'. c. Faust. 6.2, `respondeo istos [manichaeos] omnino nescire quid intersit inter praecepta vitae agendae et praecepta vitae significandae. exempli gratia, non concupisces praeceptum est agendae vitae; circumcides omnem masculum octavo die praeceptum est significandae vitae. ex hac quippe imperitia manichaei et omnes quibus displicent litterae veteris testamenti, quidquid deus mandavit priori populo ad celebrandam umbram futurorum non intellegentes et ea modo non observari animadvertentes ex more praesentis temporis illa reprehendunt, quae utique illi tempori congruebant, quo ista quae nunc manifestata sunt, ventura significarentur.'
text of 3.10.18
At 3.7.12, A. sketched how the Manichees extorted his assent; now he concludes his treatment of his conversion by sketching some of the doctrines and practices to which his association with the Manichees led him.
inriderer: See on 1.6.7.
nugas: A belittling word in the main, associated with childhood (6.4.5, `infantiles nugas') but virtually always used to criticize some form of adult behavior (1.9.15, `maiorum nugae negotia vocantur', 4.1.1, `spectaculorum nugas', 8.11.26, `nugae nugarum et vanitates vanitantium')--but see on 4.8.13 for a rare exception. For the doctrine, cf. en. Ps. 140.12, on the crux luminis: `qui autem, inquiunt [manichaei], agricola est, multum laedit crucem luminis. quaeris quam crucem luminis? membra, inquiunt, illa dei quae capta sunt in illo proelio mixta sunt universo mundo, et sunt in arboribus, in herbis, in pomis, in fructibus. dei membra vexat, qui terram sulco discindit; dei membra vexat, qui herbam de terra vellit; dei membra vexat, qui pomum carpit de arbore. haec ne faciat in agro falsa homicidia, facit in faenore vera homicidia. panem mendicanti non porrigit. . . . quare? ne vitam quae est in pane, quam dicunt membrum dei, substantiam divinam, mendicus ille accipiat, et liget eam in carne. . . . sed nos, inquiunt, quia fide Manichaei inluminati sumus, orationibus et psalmis nostris, qui electi sumus, purgamus inde vitam quae est in illo pane, et mittimus illam ad thesauros caelorum. tales sunt electi, ut non sint salvandi a deo, sed salvatores dei. et ipse est Christus, dicunt, crucifixus in toto mundo. . . . ergo buccella ne detur mendico, et ploret in buccella membrum dei, mendicus fame moriturus est! falsa misericordia in buccellam, facit verum homicidium in hominem.' Cf. see also c. Faust. 20.2 on `Iesus patibilis', quoted in notes on 3.6.10, `nominis tui'; and see L. Koenen, Illinois Classical Studies 3(1978), 176-187.
misericordiam praestandam: Cf. Rom. 9.15, `quid ergo dicemus? numquid iniquitas apud deum? absit: Moysi enim dicit, miserebor cuius misereor et misericordiam praestabo cuius miserebor. [Exod. 33.19]'
si quis enim esuriens peteret: mor. 2.15.36, `hinc est quod mendicanti homini, qui manichaeus non sit, panem vel aliquid frugum, vel aquam ipsam quae omnibus vilis est, dari prohibetis; ne membrum dei, quod his rebus admixtum est, suis peccatis sordidatum a reditu impediat'; sim. at mor. 2.16.53, en. Ps. 140.12 (quoted above), etc.
manichaeus: Only here does he identify the sect for the first time expressis verbis; it could be inferred by the well-informed reader from the doctrines described as early as 3.6.10, but there must have been early readers for whom it was not obvious.
text of 3.11.19
The first substantive appearance of Monnica in the text; the first hopeful event; the only segment of Bk. 3 introduced with the characteristically confessional mixture of Psalm-ciations (Knauer 133); a calculated conclusion to Bk. 3, expressing in a few sketchy lines both the depths to which he had fallen and a first hint of the medium by which he would ascend.
Monnica: Patricius was baptized and died while A. was in Carthage. The earlier references to M. are mainly indirect, offering a conventional picture of a mother frightened by her son's illness, eager to advance his career, and made anxious by his sexual maturity. There is in this some veiled criticism of his parents' treatment of him (see on 2.2.4, 2.3.6, 2.3.8). Her first appearance here after her husband's death casts her irreversibly in the role that will be hers from now on. Are we to assume a flowering of religiosity in her after P.'s death? Or a new relationship between son and mother (he now an adult of 21, with a profession and a shocking new religion)? A. does not say: he simply presents, then highlights this episode by setting it in a structurally prominent position. As some of the beginnings of books of conf. look back and recapitulate, so some of the endings look forward hopefully (5.14.25, remaining a catechumen and looking for something to turn up; 7.21.27, taking up Paul; 8.12.30, opening a new life).
Courcelle, Les Confessions 129, on visions in the African church: `Quel que soit le personnage en question, dont l'identité n'est pas toujours précisée, il se présente d'ordinaire sous des traits souriants, enjoués, hilares, signe d'une félicité spirituelle qu'il communique au visionnaire; il a le maintien d'un jeune homme, désigné le plus souvent comme iuvenis.' Courcelle shows parallels for hilares (passio Perp. et Fel. 12.7, pass. Montani 13, Hermae pastor, sim. 9.11.4-5), iuvenis (pass. Montani 8, pass. Mariani 7, vita Cypriani 12, pass. Isacis et Maximiani), and arrisit (pass. Mariani 6).
The best study is Dulaey 158-165, especially on the style (at p. 160: n.b. the Ciceronian combinations, where the second element is the more specific: `hilarem atque arridentem', `maerens et maerore confecta', `maestitiae cotidianarumque lacrimarum', `iussisse atque admonuisse', `attenderet et videret'). See also O'Daly 114-127.
misisti manum tuum: Ps. 143.7, `emitte manum tuam ex alto et exime me, et erue me de aquis multis'; en. Ps. 143.14, `ipse salvator corporis, manus dei'; en. Ps. 108.29, `intellegamus itaque manum dei esse Christum; unde alibi dicitur, et brachium domini cui revelatum est?' Cf. 4.12.19, 9.4.9. Knauer 53n3 suggests the relevance of passages where God dwells `in excelsis' et sim.: 1.18.29, 8.2.4, 13.13.14.
caligine: See on 2.3.8.
eruisti animam meam: Ps. 85.13, `confitebor tibi, domine deus meus, in toto corde meo, et glorificabo nomen tuum in aeternum; quoniam misericordia tua magna est super me, et eruisti animam meam ex inferno inferiore.' The second half of Ps. 143.7 (just cited) provides the verbal echo that suggests the present line. en. Ps. 85.17-18 finds inferno inferiore problematical, implying two layers of hell; hence that expression fails to find a place here.
fleret: The verb is common in Bks. 1-10, does not occur in 11-13. See on 3.2.4, `lacrimae'.
fidelis tua: See on 2.3.6.
ex fide et spiritu: Cf. Gal. 5.5, `nos enim spiritu ex fide spem iustitiae expectamus.'
lacrimas: persev. 20.53, `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?'
rigarent: The verb is commonly used of tears in CL: Aen. 9.251, `vultum lacrimis atque ora rigabat'; not biblical.
somnium: 9.10.25 (Ostia), `sileant somnia et imaginariae revelationes'. Cf. div. qu. Simp. 2.3.2, `item quisquis videt somnium, non dicit, vidi imaginem Augustini aut Simpliciani, sed, vidi Augustinum aut Simplicianum, cum eo tempore quo tale aliquid vidit nos ignoraremus, usque adeo manifestum est non ipsos homines sed imagines eorum videri.' See on 6.13.23 for Courcelle's argument that A. took particular interest in dreams and their meaning at Milan. A. accepts that ordinary dreams are not visions of reality but products of the imagination (cura mort. 11.13).
(vivere) mecum: mecum G O S Knöll Skut. Ver.: me secum C D: me Maur.
cederet: cederet G O1 S Knöll Skut. Ver.: crederet C D O2: concederet Maur.
habere habere O S edd.: haberet C D: haber[emacr ] G
(habere) mecum: mecum C D G O S Knöll Skut. Ver.: secum Maur.
The text is clear enough: Monnica, now widowed, would normally live in the home of her eldest son (as she did in Italy: cura mort. 13.16, `pia mater . . . quae terra marique secuta est [see on 6.1.1] ut mecum viveret'). When it came to that in Carthage (see below), she at first resisted the idea of living under the same roof and/or of sharing the same table; but she quickly enough gave up that idea, under the influence of her vision and her conversation with the bishop. This is not the customary interpretation here, and the reason is textual: The Maurists here read, with little manuscript support, ut vivere me concederet et habere secum eandem mensam in domo. That reading implied that A. was banished from M.'s house, and most scholars have held this view (Brown 53: `She shut him out of her house'; Mandouze 87, `refusant un temps de recevoir son fils sous son toit'); the correct reading of the MSS, however, makes it clear that it was the other way around--if any such thing happened at all, which `nolle coeperat' makes unlikely.
A contributing difficulty is that of plotting A.'s movements through these pages. 3.1.1 takes him to Carthage to study; at 4.2.2, he is teaching; at 4.4.7, he reports that he began his teaching `in municipio quo natus sum,' i.e., Thagaste; and at 4.7.12, grief-stricken by his friend's death, he flees. The common assumption seems to have been that A. returned to Thagaste and found his mother at first unwilling to take him in. This view is taken as reinforced by c. acad. 2.2.3, thanking Romanianus for sharing his home with A.: `in nostro ipso municipio . . . communicatione domus' (but the same passage shows that A. had been received into Romanianus' house before as well as after the death of Patricius, and in neither case does the language require us to assume A. actually resided with R.); and see on 4.4.9, `paterna domus', for a sign that A. did live at home when in Thagaste in 375/6.
But nothing in Bk. 3 suggests any return to Thagaste or any teaching. It is the book of his wastrel student years; hence this passage suggests a time when M. came to Carthage after Patricius' death. The evidence on M.'s role is ambiguous; from 3.4.7, `maternis mercedibus', it would appear that she `paid the bills' after Patricius' death, but there is no evidence that she ever acted as head of a household (the picture of domestic life at Cassiciacum suggests the opposite). A.'s entourage seems to have depended on the kindness of friends for domicile in Rome, Milan, Cassiciacum, and Ostia. The present passage describes, then, a time when M. thought of insisting on living apart from A., and may even have done so for a brief time, but where and how she might have lived then--on whose kindness she would have depended--we know not.
blasphemias: A Grecism retained in Latin versions of scripture. Elsewhere in conf. only of his Manichean doctrines: 4.16.31 contrasts blasphemias to confessio and invocatio; elsewhere, A. uses the verbal form as the opposite of laudare (en. Ps. 149.2, `caritas laudat dominum, discordia blasphemat dominum'). He implies a definition thus: c. mend. 19.39, `ideo autem peius est blasphemare quam peierare, quoniam peierando falsae rei adhibetur testis deus, blasphemando autem de ipso falsa dicuntur deo.'
regula: The wooden rule is problematic, for we are too familiar with wooden rulers to see instinctively the potential strangeness of the object. For interpretation, see S. Poque, Riv. stor. e lett. rel. 30(1984), 480-488: on the basis of Vitruvius 8.5.3 (`chorobates autem est regula longa circiter pedem viginti'), she believes that the instrument was a leveling device used in building aqueducts. The image would then place A. and M. a few feet off the ground, on the `straight and narrow'. The vision is recalled at the end of the garden scene in 8.12.30, where the phrase is `regula fidei', a much commoner phrase in A. and one roughly equivalent to `baptismal creed': see Poque 488n36, quoting symb. cat. 1.1, `accipite regulam fidei, quod symbolum dicitur.' On that reading, the slight elevation is reminiscent of 8.2.5, `de loco eminentiore', whence Victorinus declaimed the baptismal creed (the builders' instrument seems to have had a channel of water running along its length to assist in leveling). Further texts on the regula fidei in A. in the otherwise superseded article of L. C. Ferrari, Aug. Stud. 6(1975), 193-205; see also Ferrari, Aug. Stud. 7(1976), 47-58, and Ferrari, Aug. Stud. 10(1979), 3-17 (where he offers the useful reminder that we never hear of any of Augustine's own dreams).
arridentem: The only place in conf. where laughter has an unmistakably positive character; see note on the beginning of this paragraph.
maerore confecta: Lam. 1.13, `de excelso misit ignem in ossibus meis et erudivit me, expandit rete pedibus meis, convertit me retrorsum, posuit me desolatam tota die maerore confectam.' See on `attenderet et videret' below.
docendi . . . non discendi gratia: mag. 1.1, `loquendo nos docere velle manifestum est; discere autem quomodo? . . . etiam tunc nihil aliud quam docere nos velle intellego.' There, the quibble is that all speech is of one kind; here, a more delicate observation is made; but the phraseology remains suggestively parallel.
ut adsolet: G-M: `Cf. e.g. Jn. 21.3, Act. 1.11', by which they imply that the figure is Christ. The phrase certainly seems to demand some such explanation.
quo secura esset: Referring not to a gesture of the youth, but to A.'s own interpretation afterwards (Dulaey 161).
attenderet et videret: Lam. 1.12, `attendite et videte si est dolor sicut dolor meus'; Is. 63.15, `attende de caelo et vide.'
aures tuae: Cf. Ps. 9.38, `praeparationem cordis eorum exaudivit auris tua'; en. Ps. 9.33, `haec est cordis praeparatio . . . de qua dicit apostolus, si autem quod non videmus speramus, per patientiam exspectamus.'
text of 3.11.20
visum: Regular for dream-vision: see on 6.1.1.
inquit: This is the first verbatim quotation of another person's specific spoken words in conf. (there are numerous earlier `generic quotations' --the sort of thing someone might say, or the sort of thing everyone at the time was saying).
confiteor: The first `confessional' meditation in Bk. 3, which has been otherwise devoted entirely to the description of A.'s fallen ways.
responso tuo: The dream begets two responsa: here and in 3.12.21 (the bishop).
tam vicina interpretationis falsitate: Bad reading is always close to good, a danger for all commentators.
novem ferme anni: i.e., 373-82; see on 5.6.10 for passages in other works citing the same number (cf. 4.1.1, `per idem tempus annorum novem') and for discussion of the chronological implications.
in illo limo profundi: See on 2.2.2, `de limosa concupiscentia', and cf. 7.18.24, `de limo nostro', of the earth from which Adam was created. In the last line here, it is again caligo in which A. is caught. Ps. 68.3, `infixus sum in limo profundi'; en. Ps. 68. s. 1.4, `de limo enim factus est homo. sed isti, cadendo a iustitia, limus profundi facti sunt; quibus persequentibus et ad iniquitatem trahere cupientibus quisquis non consenserit, de limo suo aurum facit. merebitur enim limus ipsius converti in habitudinem caelestem'.
quales amas: 1 Tim. 5.3-16 catalogues the virtues of Christian widows; see on 5.9.17, `viduae castae ac sobriae'.
intrabant in conspectum tuum: Ps. 87.3, `intret in conspectu tuo oratio mea; inclina aurem tuam ad precem meam'; en. Ps. 87.2, `ingressus orationis in conspectu dei, acceptatio eius est.' The prepositional phrase recurs constantly, evoking the silent presence of God in which this work unfolds: 5.3.3, 6.2.2, 7.8.12, 9.2.2, 9.7.16, 9.12.33, 10.2.2, 10.4.5, 10.5.7, 10.35.57, 11.2.4, 12.11.11 (2x), 12.11.13.
text of 3.12.21
This first bishop in the text is an African ex-Manichee who had probably been brought up a Christian (`nutritum in ecclesia': he had a Christian mother, but it was the mother who was `seducta' by the Manichees and gave up the son to them) and who had written Manichean books (something A. never did: de pulchro et apto was philosophy, not theology, like the dialogues of Cassiciacum; A.'s strengths were in disputation, which he practiced when and how he could [cf. `nonnullis quaestiunculis . . . exagitassem']). He is also the first of A.'s Doppelgänger as well; like that of Victorinus, his story inserted in conf. mirrors and implicitly comments upon that of A.
G. Papini, S. Agostino (Florence, 1930), 73 and 388, thinks this was Antigonus, bp. of Madauros at the Council of Carthage of 349; Vega quotes Papini but is agnostic; Decret seems nowhere to have broached the question of his identity. Mandouze, Pros. chr. s.v. Antigonus, does not discuss this possibility, and is even hesitant about identifying Antigonus' see with Madauros. Frend, Donatist Church 236: `Apart from Augustine himself and Alypius, successive bishops of Constantine, Profuturus and Fortunatus, were ex-Manichees. This fact did not escape the notice of the Donatists.'
propero: This haste is a purely literary affectation; cf. on 9.4.7, `quando mihi sufficiat tempus commemorandi . . . praesertim ad alia maiora properanti?'; and on 9.8.17, `multa praetereo quia multum festino' (where a Ciceronian parallel is telling). Not to be taken, as Courcelle does (Recherches 23-24), as a sign of rushed or thoughtless composition, or of defects of structure in the existing work. (Cf. civ. 3.21, `multa enim praetereo suscepti operis modum cogitans.')
errores: See on 1.20.31 for the appropriateness of this word to the faults of curiositas.
faciebat: The BA translation makes Monnica the subject of this verb; Ryan and Pusey clearly and rightly apply the practice to the unnamed bishop.
exagitassem: Alfaric 48 sees this memory as the forerunner of A.'s many later public debates and disputations: `Son existence entière n'est qu'une longue discussion, où ses partenaires se renouvellent constamment sans parfenir à l'épuiser, et où lui-même modifie bien parvois ses convictions mais sans rien perdre jamais de son ardeur première. Il ne se contente pas d'avoir à moitié raison. Il prétend détenir la vérité intégrale.' In Bk. 8 it is a controversia within himself that leads to his conversion (8.11.27, `ista controversia in corde meo'). For one example of his pro-Manichee debating, see 4.15.26, `et dicebam parvulis fidelibus tuis . . .'
tantum: tantum C D G S Knöll Skut. Ver.: et tantum O Maur.
ipse legendo reperiet: A prophecy fulfilled in Bk. 7 (7.9.13, neo-Platonic texts leading to scripture), Bk. 8 (8.12.29-30, the garden scene), Bk. 9 (9.4.8ff, reading Psalm 4).
scriptitasse: Brown 53 interprets merely as `had religiously copied out the authoritative books of Mani'.
substomachans taedio: A. still portrays Monnica in a less than completely flattering light. (The verb is another apparent Augustinian neologism [Hrdlicka 16], but if so its next appearance in the literature is in a surprising place: Julian, quoted at c. Iul. imp. 6.16, `et substomacharis, si senis Manis soboles nuncupere?' Julian was capable of turning A.'s own words back at him [see on 9.8.18, `meribibula'], but this is more likely a case of a recent word in circulation attested by chance in A. [see on 10.5.7 for another example].)
ita vivas: Knöll (followed by Skut.and Ver.) weakens the punctuation after this phrase to a comma.
filius istarum lacrimarum: Mandouze 86n5 notes the strength of `istarum', and recommends stronger translation than is customary--than, e.g., Ryan's `son of such tears': the sense is something like `son of tears like these of yours'.
ac si de caelo sonuisset: The oracular quality of this moment ending the book parallels the garden scene at the end of Bk. 8; cf. ep. 54.2.3, `hoc cum matri renuntiassem, libenter amplexa est. ego vero de hac sententia [on Saturday fasting] etiam atque etiam cogitans ita semper habui, tamquam eam caelesti oraculo acceperim.'
The same classification at en. Ps. 39.9. See H.A. Kelly, Traditio 35(1979), 21-44, and (broader in scope) H. Jürgens, Pompa diaboli (Stuttgart, 1972); see also W. Weismann, Kirche und Schauspiele (Würzburg, 1972), esp. 33-68 and 134-148.
There seems no satisfactory study of the readership of Cicero's philosophical works in antiquity and late antiquity, not even T. Zielinski, Cicero im Wandel der Jahrhunderte (4th ed., Leipzig, 1929). A.'s intensity of attention may have been more idiosyncratic than we have assumed. Note, e.g., ep. 118., where Dioscorus takes his questions to A. after finding the masters at Carthage ill-equipped to handle them; and esp. ep. 118.2.9, where A. claims not to be able to lay hand on the relevant texts in Hippo.
On the Bema, see C. R. C. Allberry, Zschr. für die neutest. Wiss. 37(1938), 2-10, and J. Ries, REAug 22(1976), 218-233. Mani died in prison on 26 February 277; the feast celebrated his suffering and death, and therewith the forgiveness of sins (and as such reflected an annual institution from Mani's own lifetime), and finally offered a renewal of the great revelation of the Manichean gnosis.
A.'s own preference among his anti-Manichean works fell upon the c. Sec. (retr. 2.10), which is among the least well-known to moderns.
It might be fruitful to compare A.'s use of the imagery of `weight' (see on 13.9.10) with his repeated use of this verb for leaving one's appropriate `place' in the world in favor of a less suitable one.
back to text and commentary book 2 only commentary on book 2 only text of book 2
forward to text and commentary for book 4 only commentary on book 4 only text of book 4