Bk. 5 is tripartite after a retrospective and prospective prologue; each section corresponds to one of the three great cities in which A. lived. The period covered is from c. 382 to late 384. It begins with A. at a nadir, and ends with his outward situation if anything worse; but the first glimpse of Ambrose is a hint that better things lie ahead.
- 5.1.1 - 5.2.2
- 5.3.3 - 5.7.13
- Faustus (at Carthage)
- 5.3.3 - 5.5.9
- 5.6.10 - 5.7.13
- 5.8.14 - 5.11.21
- 5.8.14 - 5.10.18
- Leaving Carthage, illness at Rome
- 5.10.19 - 5.11.21
- Appeal of the Academics
- 5.12.22 - 5.14.25
The renewed emphasis on confessio is one sign among several that a hinge in the work's structure has been reached. Where the first four books have carried us through some twenty-eight years, the next five will cover the five years 383-7; the narrative passages become correspondingly more detailed and circumstantial (so G. Misch, followed by Pellegrino, Les Confessions 127).
text of 5.1.1
This paragraph renews the prayer for the gift of licit speech (1.5.5, `miserere ut loquar'), the gift of confession.
accipe . . . similis tibi: Knauer 153, `Die fünf Bücher 5-9 sind also durch Psalmzitate in ihren Prooemien innig miteinander verbunden und sie werden dadurch deutlich gegen den ersten Teil der Konfessionen (1.- 4. Buch) und die vier folgenden Bücher (10-13) abgegrenzt.' This is the most formal preface since Bk. 1; note especially the imperatives (Knauer 73 finds no further imperatives in Bks. 5-7) and the first appearance in the text of confessiones referring to the present work. (Elsewhere only at 5.10.20 before the conversion events at Milan; after that: 9.8.17, 9.13.37, 10.3.3, 10.4.6, 10.34.51, and 3x in Bk. 12.)
accipe sacrificium: Malach. 1.10, `non est voluntas mea in vobis, dicit dominus omnipotens, nec accipiam sacrificium de manibus vestris'; v. sim. at 8.1.1 and 9.1.1, both picking up the quotation of Ps. 34.10. See J. Ratzinger, REAug 3(1957), 389-391, esp. 391: `dieser Opferbegriff . . . die ganze Rückkehrbewegung der Menschheit zu Gott in sich begreift und keine Trennung von Kult und Leben zulässt.'
sacrificium: civ. 10.5-6, `sacrificium ergo visibile invisibilis sacrificii sacramentum, id est sacrum signum est. . . . (6) proinde verum sacrificium est omne opus quo agitur ut sancta societate inhaereamus deo, relatum scilicet ad illum finem boni quo veraciter beati esse possimus. . . . anima ipsa, cum se refert ad deum, ut igne amoris eius accensa formam concupiscentiae saecularis amittat eique tamquam incommutabili formae subdita reformetur, hinc ei placens, quod ex eius pulchritudine acceperit, fit sacrificium.'
de manu linguae meae: Cf. perhaps Prov. 18.21, `mors et vita in manibus linguae' (Knauer 151 says without evidence that manu is VL, but the half-dozen citations at La Bonnardière Biblia Augustiniana: Proverbes 218-219 all show the plural). Cf. 11.2.2 (`lingua calami'), 11.11.13 (`manus oris mei'). en. Ps. 72.30, `numquid lingua habet manus? sed quid est: in manibus linguae? in potestate linguae. quid est: in potestate linguae? ex ore tuo iustificaberis, et ex ore tuo condemnaberis [Mt. 12.37]'; sim. at en. Ps. 120.11.
excitasti: 1.1.1, `tu excitas ut laudare te delectat'; here `confiteatur' parallels the `laudare' of 1.1.1; see also 8.4.9, 12.12.15. confessio has the power to excite in turn those who read this text: 10.3.4, `confessiones praeteritorum malorum meorum . . . cum leguntur et audiuntur, excitant cor', as at 11.1.1 (and echoed at retr. 2.6.1).
confiteatur nomini tuo: Ps. 53.8, `voluntarie sacrificabo tibi et confitebor nomini tuo, domine, quoniam bonum est.'
sana omnia ossa mea: Ps. 6.3, `miserere mei, domine, . . . sana me, domine, quoniam turbata sunt ossa mea'; en. Ps. 6.4, `id est firmamentum animae meae, vel fortitudo; hoc enim ossa significant.'
et dicant: Better as ut dicant, suggests Löfstedt, Symb. Osl. 56(1981), 106: `natürlich nicht notwendig, sie empfiehlt sich aber wegen der Konzinnität.' But for A.'s preference for et in conf., see on 1.1.1.
domine, quis similis tibi?: Ps. 34.10, `omnia ossa mea dicent: domine, quis similis tibi?' en. Ps. 34. s. 1.13-14, `quis digne de his verbis aliquid dicat? ego puto tantum pronuntianda esse, non exponenda. quid quaeris illud aut illud? . . . (14) o corpus Christi sancta ecclesia, omnia ossa tua dicant: domine, quis similis tibi?'
duritia hominum: Rom. 2.5, `secundum autem duritiam tuam et impaenitens cor, thesaurizas tibi iram in die irae.'
et non est qui . . . a calore tuo: Ps. 18.7, `a summo caelo egressio eius, et occursus eius usque ad summum eius, et non est qui se abscondat a calore suo.' Cf. 9.4.8 and 9.7.15, `nos adhuc frigidi a calore spiritus tui'. en. Ps. 18. en. 2.7, `postea vero quam excurrit inde et recurrendo remeavit, misit spiritum suum. visae sunt illis super quos venit linguae divisae velut ignis. sicut ignis venit spiritus sanctus, faenum carnis consumpturus, aurum cocturus et purgaturus; sicut ignis venit, et ideo sequitur, et non est qui se abscondat a calore eius.' Sim. at c. litt. Pet. 2.32.74.
te laudet anima mea: Ps. 145.2, `lauda, anima mea, dominum'; cf. 4.10.15 (`laudet te ex illis anima mea, deus, creator omnium').
confiteatur tibi miserationes tuas: Ps. 106.8, `confiteantur domino misericordiae eius, et mirabilia eius filiis hominum.' (For God's mercy as the subject, cf. 4.16.30 and 5.10.20.)
spiritus omnis per os conversum ad te: Ps. 150.7 (last verse of last psalm), `omnis spiritus laudet dominum'; Tob. 3.14, `ad te domine faciem meam converto.' (Cf. just above, 4.16.30, `dorsum enim habebam ad lumen', etc.)
exsurgat: 3.4.7 (reading the Hortensius and echoing the prodigal), `et surgere coeperam ut ad te redirem'.
innitens . . . mirabiliter: Introducing an idea (that God can be known through the senses and the faculty of reason) definitively expressed at Rom. 1.20, itself of great importance in Bk. 7 (see on 7.9.14) and to be cited soon (5.3.5). The avoidance of scriptural language here is striking. vera rel. 24.45, `nam in quem locum quisque ceciderit, ibi debet incumbere ut surgat. ergo ipsis carnalibus formis quibus detinemur nitendum est ad eas cognoscendas quas caro non nuntiat.'
transiens ad te: See on 1.16.25; the verb recurs dealing with the mystic ascent: 9.10.25 (Ostia), 10.7.11, 10.17.26.
qui fecisti haec mirabiliter: Cf. Ps. 71.18, `qui facit mirabilia solus'; Ps. 135.4, `qui facit mirabilia magna solus'; v. sim. at 4.15.24.
refectio: Cf. Ps. 22.2, `super aquam refectionis educavit me'; en. Ps. 22.2, `super aquam baptismi, quo reficiuntur qui integritatem viresque amiserant, educavit me.' Verbs of re-fashioning begin to occur in Bk. 5, a sign that A.'s condition, outward appearances notwithstanding, is improving: 5.1.1 (and notes), `refectio', 5.7.13, `reficientem', 5.3.4, `recreans', 5.10.18, `recreasti'.
vera fortitudo: Cf. `lassitudine', but also `ossa mea' above and en. Ps. quoted there.
text of 5.2.2
inquieti iniqui inquieti iniqui O S Knöll Skut. Ver.: inquieti et iniqui CDG Maur.
This is the closest A. comes to identifying `inquietude' with wickedness; at 1.1.1 (`inquietum est cor nostrum'), restlessness is an ill whose cause is only implicit (`testimonium peccati sui').
et ecce pulchra sunt: civ. 11.23, `sicut pictura cum colore nigro loco suo posito, ita universitas rerum, si quis possit intueri, etiam cum peccatoribus pulchra est, quamvis per se ipsos consideratos sua deformitas turpet.'
quid nocuerunt tibi: civ. 12.3, `idcirco vitium, quo resistunt deo qui eius appellantur inimici, non est deo sed ipsis malum. . . . nulla quippe mala deo noxia, sed mutabilibus corruptibilibusque naturis.'
quo enim fugerent: Ps. 138.7-8, `quo ibo a spiritu tuo? et quo a facie tua fugiam? (8) si ascendero in caelum, tu ibi es; si descendero in infernum, ades.' See on 2.6.14, `servus fugiens dominum suum'; other close echoes at 4.7.12, 4.9.14. en. Ps. 138.10, `ecce invenis in longinquo fugitivum [cf. Lk. 15 on the prodigal] non latere oculos eius a quo fugit. . . . quo ergo ibit fugitivus iste a facie dei? vertit se hac atque illac, quasi quaerens locum fugae suae.' Cf. Ps. 67.2, `exsurgat deus et dispergantur inimici eius, et fugiant qui oderunt eum a facie eius'; en. Ps. 67.2, `fuga quippe animi, est timor. . . . facies quippe eius appellata est praesentia eius per ecclesiam eius.'
excaecati: Rom. 11.7-11, `ceteri vero excaecati sunt, (8) sicut scriptum est; dedit illis deus spiritum compunctionis, oculos ut non videant, aures ut non audiant, usque in hodiernum diem. . . . (11) dico ergo, numquid sic offenderunt ut caderent? absit, sed illorum delicto salus gentibus ut illos aemulentur.'
quia non deseris aliquid: Cf. Wisd. 11.25, `diligis enim omnia quae sunt, et nihil odisti horum quae fecisti, nec enim odium habens aliquid constituisses.' Taken in support of the esthetic argument at c. Adim. 17.3, div. qu. Simp. 1.2.8, 1.2.18, Io. ev. tr. 110.6. See on 1.10.16, `ordinator et creator rerum omnium naturalium, peccatorum autem tantum ordinator'.
ubique: See on 1.3.3, `ubique totus'.
longe: See on 1.18.28. Ps. 72.27, `ecce qui longe se faciunt a te, peribunt. perdidisti omnem qui fornicatur [see on 1.13.21] abs te'; en. Ps. 72.33, `illi vero longe recesserunt, quia non solum terrena desideraverunt, sed ea a daemonibus et a diabolo petierunt. . . . et quid est, longe a deo fieri? perdidisti omnem qui fornicatur abs te.'
proicientium se in te: Cf. 8.11.27 (`continentia' speaks), `proice te in eum, . . . proice te securus, excipiet te et sanabit te.'
vias suas difficiles: Cf. Wisd. 5.7, `lassati sumus in via iniquitatis et perditionis et ambulavimus vias difficiles, viam autem domini ignoravimus.' Cf. 4.12.18, `adhuc ambulare vias difficiles'; see on 3.1.1, `viam sine muscipulis'.
terges lacrimas eorum: Is. 25.8, `et auferet dominus deus lacrimam ab omni facie'; cf. Apoc. 7.17, `et absterget deus omnem lacrimam ex oculis eorum'; Apoc. 21.4, `et absterget deus omnem lacrimam ab oculis eorum'. en. Ps. 127.10, `sed veniet deus tuus, de quo dicitur: ubi est? et absterget lacrimas, et ipse pro pane lacrimarum succedet, et te in aeternum saginabit; quia erit nobiscum verbum dei, quo pascuntur angeli.' On tears in conf., see on 3.2.4.
caro et sanguis: See on 4.3.4.
reficis: See on 5.1.1, `refectio et vera fortitudo'.
ubi ergo eram: Cf. 2.2.4, `ubi eram? et quam longe exulabam a deliciis domus tuae anno illo sexto decimo anno aetatis carnis meae'; there, desolation; here, with an answer that offers reassurance.
ego . . . inveniebam: Self-knowledge only in knowledge of God; sol. 2.1.1, `noverim me, noverim te'; 10.27.38, `et ecce intus eras et ego foris et ibi te quaerebam et in ista formosa quae fecisti deformis inruebam.'
text of 5.3.3
proloquar: literally (and perhaps here mainly) `reveal, expound, expose'; but there are numerous passages in A. that use the verb with an overtone of accusation or denunciation, and that sense cannot be ruled out here; see on 1.5.6. Mandouze, Lectio III-V 43, offers the improbable translation `Je vais commencer par parler de cette vingt-neuvième année de mon âge.' (Emphasis his: he aims to defend A. against charge of confusion, because Bk. 5 goes beyond the chronological terminus of 13 Nov. 383, A.'s twenty-ninth birthday).
in conspectu dei mei: The phrase is `confessional' in its evocation of the silent presence of God before which A. speaks; see on 1.16.26.
annum illum undetricensimum: 13 Nov. 382 - 13 Nov. 383. The dating by his age connects this passage to those before and below that mark his progress through the Manichees: at 3.4.7, his age was given as eighteen at the time he fell in with them; at 4.1.1, his nine years with them ran from age eighteen to age twenty-seven; and at 5.6.10, the nine years will be recalled as he reaches the end of his rope on account of Faustus: see there for a fuller treatment of the chronological difficulties.
episcopus: haer. 46.16, `nam ex electis suis habent duodecim quos appellant magistros, et tertium decimum principem ipsorum; episcopos autem septuaginta duos, qui ordinantur a magistris, et presbyteros, qui ordinantur ab episcopis indefiniti. habent etiam episcopi diaconos.' Though A. had been among the Manichees for nine years, he had apparently not met any of the highest ranking members of the sect, neither the magistri nor the episcopi; that may reflect the concentration of the sect's leaders in Italy (see below on Faustus' career), and may further reflect their discretion in not showing themselves indiscriminately even to their own followers at a time of potential persecution.
Faustus nomine: the form of introduction calls attention to the name itself, `Lucky', again marked below (`nominatus'); and repeated at 5.7.13, `ita ille nominatus apparuit'. A. uses the word only once in its ordinary acceptation (and that in a `pagan' sense: ench. 21.79, `secundum vanas doctrinas hominum fausta vel infausta . . . tempora'), and it is rare among Christian writers, apparently out of distaste for its religious overtones, though it does survive in other later Latin (e.g., Amm. 15.8.21, `imperatorem clementem appellam et faustum'). See on 4.4.7 for the way A. chooses which of the names of his past to include in conf. Though presented as `laqueus diaboli', F. marked the beginning of the end of bad times for A.: 5.7.13, `meum [laqueum] quo captus eram relaxare iam coeperat'.
A.'s thumbnail description of his old associate: c. Faust. 1.1, `Faustus quidam fuit gente Afer, civitate Milevitanus, eloquio suavis, ingenio callidus, secta manichaeus ac per hoc nefando errore perversus.' See Mandouze, Pros. chr. s.v. Faustus 2; Faustus on Faustus, quoted at c. Faust. 5.1: `ego patrem dimisi et matrem, uxorem, filios, et cetera quae evangelium iubet; . . . ego aurum argentumque reieci et aes in zonis habere destiti, cotidiano contentus cibo nec de crastino curans nec unde venter impleatur aut corpus operiatur sollicitudinem gerens'. A. rejects this self-description at c. Faust. 5.5, making him sound positively dissolute compared to schismatic ascetic Manichees (the Mattarii) and even in comparison to his own father, whom A. reproaches F. for having abandoned. F. came from Milev,1 of family origins probably more humble than A.'s. He was older than A., though perhaps only by a few years. He was married and had children when he renounced all to convert to Manicheism. There is no sign that he had been Christian or raised among Christians, but we have no reliable information about his pre-Manichean career (and especially none about his education). That he had become one of their bishops by this date (382) is a sign of his success in the sect; he had spent at least part of his time with the sect at Rome (A. would use Manichean connections there too: 5.10.18). Around 385/6, he was denounced as a Manichee and relegated to exile on a desolate Mediterranean island (A. suggests that the mildness of the punishment was due to intervention by the orthodox: c. Faust. 5.8). He was amnestied not long after, spending perhaps only a year on the island, but while there found time to write the work that A. would refute in detail c. 400 in his own c. Faust., by which time F. was dead.
laqueus diaboli: Cf. 1 Tim. 3.7, `ut non in opprobrium incidat et laqueum diaboli'; 2 Tim. 2.26, `et resipiscant a diaboli laqueis.' See on 3.6.10, and cf. 5.7.13. Knauer 139: `gliedernd heben diese Zitate Anfang und Ende des Abschnittes hervor.'
vasculo sermonis: Words are vasa at 1.16.26 and 5.6.10.
praelocuta: `said beforehand'; cf., e.g., Gn. litt. 4.14.25, `dicam sane quod sentio, haec duo indubitata praeloquens, . . .'
disciplinis liberalibus eruditus: See excursus on 4.16.30 for the high esteem that A. would have accorded such a reputation.
et quoniam: Though A. has suggested that Faustus is about to be introduced, he does not properly appear until 5.6.10, where there are numerous verbal echoes with the introduction to the fifth book to here; instead we now have a detailed discussion of A.'s mental state in the period immediately leading up to the appearance of F. There is a change of atmosphere from the last episode narrated in chronological order in Bk. 4, that of writing the de pulchro et apto: enthusiasm and loquacity have given way to doubts. A year or two have elapsed (at 4.15.27, he says he was 26 or 27 then, now he is 28).
multa philosophorum legeram: See Solignac at BA 13.92-93, resuming his landmark article on A.'s use of the doxographic tradition (RA 1, 113-148): `il est permis de croire que c'est à de telles lectures qu'il est fait allusion dans les deux textes des Confessions,'--i.e., the present text and 5.14.25, `plerosque sensisse philosophos magis magisque considerans atque comparans iudicabam.' The value of Solignac's study is not that it demonstrates a source, but that it reminds us of the penumbra of lost sources and influences, many of them humble, that shaped A.'s mind. Marius Victorinus is assigned a similar background: 8.2.3, `omnium liberalium doctrinarum peritissimus quique philosophorum tam multa legerat'. The multiplicity of philosophical doctrine often underscored (cf. 6.5.7, `pugnacitas calumniosarum quaestionum per tam multa quae legeram inter se confligentium philosophorum') is in willed contrast to the unity and clarity of ecclesiastical doctrine; in a welter of answers, whose abundance confuses, Christianity (as received and as constructed by A.) provides an embracing, and thus explaining, and thus reassuring, unity.
ut possent aestimare saeculum: Wisd. 13.8-9, `iterum autem nec his debet ignosci: (9) si enim tantum potuerunt valere ut possent aestimare saeculum, quomodo eius dominum non facilius invenerunt?' At exp. prop. Rom. 3, this text appears embedded in a discussion of Rom. 1.18-23, which it resembles: for the later text, cf. here 5.3.5. At doctr. chr. 2.21.32-2.22.33, the Wisd. text is quoted against curiositas and astrology; cf. also doctr. chr. 2.29.46 and Gn. litt. 5.16.34 (after quoting Wisd., he adds `qui fundavit terram propinquat mentibus nostris'). See ep. 55.4.6, quoted at length for its report on Manichean astronomical fantasies at 5.3.6 below.
magnus es, domine: Ps. 144.3., 95.4, etc.; see on 1.1.1. Cf. Ps. 137.6, `quoniam magna est gloria domini, quoniam excelsus dominus, et humilia respicit et excelsa a longe cognoscit'; Lk. 18.14, `quoniam qui se exaltat, humilabitur, et qui se humilat, exaltabitur'. s. 351.1, `non ergo mirum si publicanus magis curatus abscessit, quem non puduit ostendere quod dolebat. in rebus quippe visibilibus, ut excelsa quisque contingat, in excelsum erigitur: deus autem cum sit omnium excellentissimus, non elatione, sed humilitate contingitur. unde propheta dicit: prope est dominus his qui obtriverunt cor [Ps. 33.19: see on `obtritis corde' below]. et iterum: "excelsus dominus, et humilia respicit, et excelsa a longe cognoscit." excelsa ipsa posuit pro superbis. . . . quisquis itaque paenitentiae recusat humilitatem, deo propinquare non cogitat.' Sim. at en. Ps. 39.20, 137.11, etc.; see Knauer 52-53, and see further passages cited immediately below on Ps. 33.19; and on longe, see on 1.18.28; 9.11.28 (Monnica speaks), `nihil longe est a deo.'
obtritis corde: Ps. 33.19, `iuxta est dominus his qui obtriverunt cor, et humiles spiritu salvos faciet'; en. Ps. 33. s. 2.23, `magna mysteria, fratres. deus super omnia est; erigis te, et non illum tangis; humilas te, et ipse ad te descendit.' Sim. at en. Ps. 31. en. 2.11, 31. en. 2.18, 74.2 (quoting Ps. 137.6), s. 21.2; cf. s. Caill. 2.11.5 (on the return of the prodigal): `ideo dicitur in alio psalmo, dixi, proloquar adversus me delictum meum domino. [Ps. 31.5: see above] . . . quam proxima est dei misericordia confitenti! non enim longe est deus a contritis corde; sic enim habes scriptum, prope est dominus eis qui obtriverunt cor. iam ergo iste obtriverat cor in regione egestatis [2.10.18]; redierat enim ad cor [4.12.18], ut obtereret cor.'
sidereas plagas: trin. 4 pr. 1, `laudabiliorque est animus cui nota est vel infirmitas sua quam qui, ea non respecta, vias siderum scrutatur . . .' (adduced by M. Jackson, Atti-1986 1.417).
text of 5.3.4
The return to astronomy here recalls the bout with astrology recounted at 4.3.4-5, and anticipates the final return of the subject at 7.6.8-10. A.'s belief that the truth about the stars is intimately tied to the truth about higher and deeper things is, among many other things, a reflection of his long-standing fascination with Cicero. Cic.'s nat. deor., for example, is impregnated with astronomical speculation and lore.
The word et occurs 24 times in this paragraph (though at `et quales se ipsi fecerant' and `et trucidant exaltationes suas' the sense would be improved if we read nec in place of et); see on 1.1.1.
defectus luminarium: Cf. c. Fel. 1.10, `non legitur in evangelio dominum dixisse, mitto vobis paracletum qui vos doceat de cursu solis et lunae. christianos enim facere volebat, non mathematicos.' There were three solar eclipses visible in Africa in A.'s early life (359 [probably fairly pronounced in effect], 378, and 381 [the latter two partial eclipses]) that could have been subject for debate (381 is chronologically convenient): L. C. Ferrari, REAug 19(1973), 263-276. The influence eclipses could hold on the popular mind is seen in A.'s contemporary Maximus of Turin, whose Christian flock deprecated a lunar eclipse with clamorous prayer, seeking to defend the moon against the hostile influences of unspecified mag. (Max. Taur. ss. 30-31 [Mutzenbecher]). Ferrari is less convincing, at Augustiana 27(1977), 139-150, reprised in his The Conversions of Saint Augustine (Villanova, 1984), 40, when he suggests that Halley's comet's appearance in March-April 374 might have influenced A.'s conversion to Manicheism; inter alia, we have learned since Ferrari wrote that not every appearance of Halley's comet is memorably vivid. A. noticed that the Hortensius spoke of eclipses as well (civ. 3.15), and believed that eclipse-prediction had begun with Thales of Miletus (civ. 8.2; as far as Greece goes, this is more or less true: see the successful prediction by Thales in 585 BC reported at Herod. 1.74, a feat that some [see B. Frischer, The Sculpted Word (Berkeley, 1981), 17n26] think sealed T.'s reputation as sofo/s). The Manichean explanation and the achievements of the astronomers received fuller comment at ep. 55.4.6-7, `et qui subtilius ista scrutati sunt, incrementa et decrementa lunaria ex conversione globi eius coniecerunt, non quod aliquid substantiae vel recedat ei cum augetur, vel decedat cum minuitur, quod delira [cf. 5.3.6, `delirans'] imperitia Manichaei opinantes repleri eam dixerunt, sicut repletur navis, ex fugitiva dei parte, quam commixtam principibus tenebrarum et eorum sordibus inquinatam corde atque ore sacrilego . . . loqui non dubitant. hinc ergo impleri lunam dicunt, cum eadem pars dei magnis laboribus ab inquinamento purgata de toto mundo atque ab omnibus cloacis fugiens redditur deo lugenti dum redeat; repleri vero per mensem dimidium et alio dimidio in solem refundi velut in aliam navem. . . . (7) illi autem qui haec certis numeris indagarunt, ita ut defectus solis et lunae non solum cur fierent, sed etiam quando futuri essent, longe ante praedicerent et eos determinatis intervallis temporum canonica supputatione praefigerent litterisque mandarent, quas modo qui legunt atque intellegunt, nihilo minus eos praedicunt'. See also Gn. litt. 1.19.39, trin. 3.2.7, 3.9.19, s. 68.1.2, s. Mai 126.4-5 (using Rom. 1.18-20 to specify the failure of the scientists to see beyond creation to the creator: see below on 5.3.5), ep. 199.10.34, and gr. et pecc. or. 2.23.27.
mirantur haec homines: Cf. 10.8.15 (`et eunt homines mirari alta montium'); the implicit reproach is clear in both cases.
non . . . religiose quaerunt: See on 5.3.5, `non pie quaerunt'.
tu fecisti eos: Cf. Ps. 99.3, `scitote quoniam dominus ipse est deus; ipse fecit nos, et non nos'; see on 9.10.25.
volatilia . . . pisces maris . . . pecora campi: Ps. 8.8-9, `omnia subiecisti sub pedibus eius, oves et boves universas, insuper et pecora campi, (9) volucres caeli, et pisces maris, qui perambulant semitas maris.' The Psalm text evokes from A. one of his fullest expositions of the three temptations of 1 Jn. 2.16 (quoted on 10.30.41): volucres , pisces , pecora . A similar reading, without the allusion to 1 Jn. 2.16, at Gn. c. man. 1.20.31: `cum enim non reguntur isti motus, erumpunt et pergunt in foedissimas consuetudines, et per diversas perniciosasque delectationes nos rapiunt, et faciunt similes omni generi bestiarum.'
ignis edax consumas: cf. Deut. 4.24, `quia dominus deus tuus ignis consumens est, deus aemulator'; Deut. 9.3, `ignis devorans atque consumens, qui conterat eos et deleat atque disperdat ante faciem tuam velociter'; Heb. 12.29, `etenim deus noster ignis consumens est'; and cf. Aen. 2.758 (of Troy as Aeneas returns to the battle): `ilicet ignis edax summa ad fastigia vento volvitur; exsuperant flammae.'
recreans: Cf. 5.1.1, `refectio'.
text of 5.3.5
non noverunt: Repeated twice below; see on 3.7.12, `non noveram' --the phrase a sign of unknown high doctrine, and at the same time of later `confessional' interpretation.
viam: n.b. `hanc viam' twice below; see on 3.1.1 and 7.7.11: Jn. 14.6, `ego sum via et veritas et vita.'
per quod fecisti ea: Jn. 1.1-3, `in principio erat verbum. . . . (3) omnia per ipsum facta sunt, et sine ipso factum est nihil.'
numerant (4x) . . . numerus . . . numeratus: For `number' as the correlate to the second person of the trinity in the triad mensura/numerus/pondus, see on 5.4.7; recall here 5.3.3, `curiosa peritia numerent'.
et sapientiae tuae non est numerus: Ps. 146.5, `magnus dominus noster [echoed at 5.3.3] et magna virtus eius et sapientiae eius non est numerus'; see on 1.1.1. The echoes through the first paragraphs of Bk. 5 back to the opening of Bk. 1 suggest that there is a new beginning here; cf. also the imperatives in 5.1.1, the naming of Faustus, and the echo of Mt. 7.7 in `non pie quaerunt' below.
factus est nobis sapientia: 1 Cor. 1.30, `in Christo Iesu, qui factus est sapientia nobis a deo, et iustitia et sanctificatio et redemptio'; 1 Cor. 1.24, `Christum dei virtutem et dei sapientiam'.
et solvit tributum Caesari: Mt. 17.24-27 (Vg. modified against en. Ps. 137.16, where the episode is retold), `et cum venissent Capharnaum, accesserunt qui tributum accipiebant ad Petrum et dixerunt, magister vester non solvit tributum? (25) ait, etiam. et cum intrasset domum, praevenit eum Iesus dicens, quid tibi videtur, Simon? reges terrae a quibus exigunt tributum? a filiis suis an ab alienis? (26) cum autem ille dixisset, ab alienis, dixit illi Iesus, ergo liberi sunt filii. (27) sed tamen ne scandalizemus eos, vade, mitte hamum in mare, et qui primus piscis ascenderit, aperi os eius invenies staterem. illum sumens, da illis pro me et te.' Cf. en. Ps. 118. s. 31.1, `numquid eorum rex milites suos prohibuit impendere et exhibere quae debentur regibus terrae? nonne de hoc sibi calumniam molientibus Iudaeis ait: reddite Caesari quae Caesaris sunt, et deo quae dei sunt? nonne tributum de ore piscis etiam ipse persolvit?' The editors (Knöll, Skut., Ver., Pell.) cite instead Mk. 12.17 and/or Mt. 22.21 (`Render unto Caesar') wrongly.
hanc viam: Cf. doctr. chr. 1.11.11, `cum ergo ipsa [sapientia] sit patria, viam se quoque nobis fecit ad patriam.'
excelsos: 5.3.3, `magnus es, domine, et humilia respicis, excelsa autem a longe congnoscis' (cf. Ps. 137.6, `quoniam excelsus dominus, et humilia respicit').
et ecce ruerunt in terram: Is. 14.12-13, `quomodo cecidisti de caelo, Lucifer, qui mane oriebaris? corruisti in terram . . . (13) qui dicebas in corde tuo: in caelum conscendam, super astra dei exaltabo solium meum.'
et obscuratum est insipiens cor eorum: Rom. 1.21, `et obscuratum est insipiens cor eorum'; already echoing Is. 44.20, `insipiens cor'; Prov. 12.23, `et cor insipientium provocat stultitiam'; Ps. 13.1 (= Ps. 52.1), `dixit insipiens in corde suo, non est deus.' The rest of this paragraph quotes and supplements the text of Rom. 1.21-25, the classic Pauline text on the failings of secular wisdom in the domain of theology. For A.'s text and the passage's role in conf., see on 7.9.14.
veritatem: Jn. 14.6, `ego sum via et veritas et vita' (and cf. just below, `qui veritas es').
non pie quaerunt: Mt. 7.7, `quaerite et invenietis' (see on 1.1.1). At 1.1.1, the implication was that credere must precede quaerere; here that assumption is given an ethical twist by the adverb. The phrase here (with slight variants) is common in A.: explicitly related to curiositas (in a way that illumines A.'s way of thinking of the Manichees as `curious') at div. qu. 68.1, `cum videatur apostolus corripuisse curiosos, dicendo o homo, tu quis es, qui respondeas deo? [Rom. 9.20] de hoc ipso illi quaestionem movent, et in ea sententia non desinunt esse curiosi, qua obiurgata est ipsa curiositas: et impii quidem cum contumelia . . . et obiurgasse quaerentes, quia non poterat quod quaerebatur exponere. . . . quidam autem bona et pia mente scripturas legentes quaerunt quid hic possit vel malidicentibus vel calumniantibus responderi' (hence the contrast between curiositas and pietas at s. 265.3.4, `curiositas abscedat, pietas succedat'). `Impious search' is contrasted to `confessio' at lib. arb. 3.2.5, `quia non pie quaerunt velocioresque sunt ad excusationem quam ad confessionem peccatorum suorum.' A heuristic list of other passages (note how many are early and anti-Manichean): quant. an. 14.24, mor. 1.10.17, util. cred. 3.9, Gn. c. man. 1.5.9, 2.2.3 (with Mt. 7.7), c. ep. fund. 23.25 (quoting Mt. 7.7), s. dom. m. 1.4.11, cat. rud. 4.8, c. Faust. 3.2 (with Mt. 7.7 emphasized), 3.5, 3.4, 11.6, 12.25, 12.30, 16.22, ep. 44.5.12, trin. 1.3.5 (`quaerite faciem eius semper: et hoc placitum pium atque tutum coram domino deo nostro cum omnibus inierim'), trin. 3 pr. 1, c. adv. leg. 1.13.17 (from a late work, but one with many affinities to A.'s anti-Manichean polemics), s. 261.2.2; cf. c. Adim. 3.4, `sed sanctae scripturae non temerarios et superbos accusatores, sed diligentes et pios lectores desiderant' (implying non pius = superbus). See finally s. 51.5.6, important for its reflections on the scriptural difficulties the Manichees posed for the young Augustine: `loquor vobis, aliquando deceptus, cum primo puer ad divinas scripturas ante vellem afferre acumen discutiendi, quam pietatem quaerendi' (and the next clauses echo Mt. 7.7. closely). See R. D. DiLorenzo, Aug. Stud. 14(1983), 117-128.
perversissima caecitate: 5.2.2, `excaecati'.
text of 5.3.6
ex ipsa creatura: 5.3.5, `multa vera de creatura dicunt'.
occurrebat mihi ratio: sc. in philosophis legendis; the first mention of ratio in this sense in conf. Manicheism had commended itself to him by asking tough questions of a doctrine otherwise given to him by faith: Courcelle, Recherches 65: `Ainsi, le motif fondamental pour lequel Augustin a embrassé le manichéisme, est son appétit rationaliste' --an observation both true and important, not least because it explains how it was to the challenge of rational argument that Manicheism was vulnerable for A. For A. as bishop, what the Manichees had offered was false ratio: he only uses the word here when to record that ratio led him to truth--vera dicta.
Manichaei: Manichaeus is capitalized in this text where it stands for the founder of the sect, but not where it is adjective or substantive for his followers.
delirans: notably elsewhere in conf. of `curious' behavior: 3.6.10 (Manichees), 7.6.8 and 7.6.10 (mathematici); at 1.17.27, `in quibus . . . deliramentis' evokes the frivolities on which A. wasted his talents in his schooldays.
solistitiorum solistitiorum C1 D1 O S Knöll Skut. Ver.: solstitiorum C2 D2 G Maur.
defectuum defectuum C2 G O S Knöll Skut. Ver.: defectum C1 D
See on 5.3.4.
in libris saecularis sapientiae: Evidently books he had encountered in pursuing the disciplinae liberales.
non occurrebat . . . erat: Sc. quod credere iuberer as subject of both verbs.
text of 5.4.7
deus veritatis: Ps. 30.6, `redemisti me, domine, deus veritatis'; en. Ps. 30. en. 2 s. 1.11, `faciens quod promisisti, non fallens in pollicitatione tua, deus veritatis.'
beatus autem: See on 1.6.10, `quid ad me'; ench. 5.16, `quando nobis Maronis ille versus placet: felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas [geo. 2.490], non nobis videatur ad felicitatem consequendam pertinere si sciamus causas magnarum in mundo corporalium motionum quae abditissimis naturae sinibus occuluntur: unde tremor terris, qua vi maria alta tumescant obicibus ruptis, rursusque in se ipsa residant (geo. 2.479-480), et cetera huiusmodi. sed bonarum et malarum rerum causas nosse debemus. . . . nam si causae corporalium motionum noscendae nobis essent, nullas magis nosse quam nostrae valetudinis deberemus. cum vero eis ignoratis medicos quaerimus, quis non videat quod de secretis caeli et terrae nos latet quanta sit patientia nesciendum?' Cf. geo. 2.493, `fortunatus et ille deos qui novit agrestis.' On this echo, see M. Jackson, Atti-1986 1.413-417.
cognoscens te: Rom. 1.21, `cognoscentes deum non sicut deum glorificaverunt aut gratias egerunt sed evanuerunt in cogitationibus suis.' The echo links back to 5.3.5, forward to 7.9.14, and outward to scripture; `sicut te' for sicut deum (which appear in a few minor MSS and Maur.) makes the words both scriptural and A.'s own.
sicut enim: Answered by `sic fidelis homo' below.
arborem: The example seems random and arbitrary, but Ferrari (REAug 16, 235) sets this in the context of A.'s frequent references to trees in conf.
metitur . . . numerat . . . diligit: The verbs anticipate the trinitarian pattern of mensura, numerus, and pondus below.
fidelis homo: Prov. 17.6 (VL), `fidelis hominis totus mundus divitiarum est' (not in Hebrew or Vg.). Cited and followed (as here) by 2 Cor. 6.10 at c. Adim. 18.1, epp. 153.6.26, 157.32, civ. 20.7, and en. Ps. 143.18 and 48. s. 1.3, `numquid ipse Paulus non habebat divitias? habebat plane. quas divitias? de quibus dicit alio loco scriptura: fideli homini mundus totus divitiarum est. audi et ipsum confitentem, quasi nihil habentes et omnia possidentes. qui vult ergo esse dives, non haereat parti, et totum possidebit: illi inhaereat qui totum creavit.' (Verse identified by A. Vaccari, Scritti di erudizione e di filologia 2[Roma, 1958], 13.) On fidelis, see on 2.3.6.
quasi nihil habens omnia possidet: 2 Cor. 6.10, `quasi nihil habentes et omnia possidentes'. Not an excuse for wealth, but an exposition of true wealth: en. Ps. 103. s. 3.16, `prorsus totum mundum dimisit Petrus, et totum mundum Petrus accepit. quasi nihil habentes, et omnia possidentes.'
cui serviunt omnia: Ps. 118.91, `omnia serviunt tibi'.
septentrionum gyros: 10.8.15, `gyros siderum'; cf. en. Ps. 139.13, `in gyrum eant erroris, ubi iter est sine fine. . . . qui in gyrum it, nusquam finit.'
qui omnia in mensura et numero et pondere disposuisti: Wisd. 11.21, `omnia in mensura et numero et pondere disposuisti.' The principal conf. text to be set beside this one is 13.9.10, `pondus meum amor meus', where see further notes. The trinitarian implications of this passage, and the indirect implications for conf. as a whole, are considerable. See La Bonnardière, Biblia Augustiniana: Sagesse 90-98, and W. Beierwaltes, REAug 15(1969), 51-61; earlier, See also W. J. Roche, New Scholasticism 15(1941), 350-376; du Roy, 279-280, 421-424 offers sustained discussion of these passages in a trinitarian context (421: `C'est avant tout le texte scripturaire de Sap. XI,21 qui lui donne occasion d'exposer la structure trinitaire du créé'), noting especially the treatment of modus/species/ordo in nat. b. (quoted on 1.7.12); cf. also BA 49.636: `Mesure, nombre et poids, mode d'être, forme et ordre, définissent ainsi la structure métaphysique de l'ètre créé; ce n'est pas une structure statique, mais bien relationnelle.' The Platonic antecedents are worth tracing (e.g., God as me/trion of all things at Laws 716c), but do not seem determinative. Here the traceable influences are scriptural, whatever preconditioning influences of a purely secular, scientific variety (Solignac, RA 1, 137, suggests Nicomachus of Gerasa; cf. also on the monad/dyad at 4.15.24). La Bonnardière Biblia Augustiniana: Sagesse 295-296, lists the verse 31x in A.; only the most notable and instructive are cited here:
1. Adumbration of this triad occurs in A.'s earliest work from Cassiciacum: ord. 2.15.42, `etiam ibi per constantissimas temporum vices, per astrorum ratos definitosque cursus, per intervallorum spatia moderata intellexit nihil aliud quam illam dimensionem  numerosque  dominari, quae similiter definiendo ac secernendo in ordinem  nectens astrologiam genuit, magnum religiosis argumentum tormentumque curiosis.' (du Roy and LaBonnardière omit this passage and begin with Gn. c. man. 1.16.26, quoted below). For the substitution of ordo for pondus, see mus. 6.11.29: `delectatio quippe quasi pondus est animae. delectatio ergo ordinat animam'; from much later, civ. 5.11 equates the two triads explicitly. The same conflation with the other triad at lib. arb. 2.20.54, `omnem quippe rem, ubi mensuram et numerum et ordinem videris, deo artifici tribuere ne cuncteris.' (Perhaps, as du Roy 326-328 argues, this comes from the second phase of composition of lib. arb., hence is later in date than the next quotation.)
2. The pertinence of the conflation is demonstrated by the first clear citation of the verse: Gn. c. man. 1.16.26, `in omnibus tamen cum mensuras et numeros et ordinem vides, artificem quaere. nec alium invenies, nisi ubi summa mensura, summus numerus et summus ordo est, id est deum de quo verissime dictum est, quod omnia in mensura et numero et pondere disposuisti.' A further echo at Gn. c. man. 1.21.32, and the two triads dance together at c. Faust. 21.6, where he traces the vestiges of this triad at all levels, from God to human beings to irrational animals, to all corpora; du Roy 422-423 shows how it is at this period (close to that of of conf.) that A. begins strongly to find the qualities of measure, number, and weight by analogy in God himself.
3. A passage in Gn. litt. further links the two triads to the motif of the mind's ascent to God. Gn. litt. 4.3.7-4.4.9, esp. 4.3.8, `magnum est paucisque concessum, excedere omnia quae metiri possunt, ut videatur mensura sine mensura, excedere omnia quae numerari possunt, ut videatur numerus sine numero, excedere omnia quae pendi possunt, ut videatur pondus sine pondere.' Cf. also Gn. litt. 3.16.25, `habent enim omnia, quamdiu sunt, mensuras, numeros, ordines suos; quae cuncta merito considerata laudantur nec sine occulta pro suo genere moderatione pulchritudinis temporalis etiam ex alio in aliud transeundo mutantur. quod si stultos latet, sublucet proficientibus clarumque perfectis est.'
4. In trin., a more abstract paragraph suggests some of the mechanism behind the link to mystical vision in the passage just cited: these triads are invoked to explain the mechanics of vision itself. trin. 11.11.18, `sed quia numerose cogitari possunt quae singillatim sunt impressa memoriae, videtur ad memoriam mensura, ad visionem vero numerus pertinere quia licet innumerabilis sit multiplicitas talium visionum, singulis tamen in memoria praescriptus est intransgressibilis modus. mensura igitur in memoria, in visionibus numerus apparet, sicut in ipsis corporibus visibilibus mensura quaedam est cui numerosissime coaptatur sensus videndi, et ex uno visibili multorum cernentium formatur aspectus, ita ut etiam unus propter duorum oculorum numerum plerumque unam rem geminata specie videat, sicut supra docuimus. . . . voluntas vero quae ista coniungit et ordinat et quadam unitate copulat, nec sentiendi aut cogitandi appetitum nisi in his rebus unde visiones formantur acquiescens conlocat, ponderi similis est.' (This passage closes trin. 11; so measure/number/weight is the pivotal triad to connect the exterior person to the inner. Cf. also trin. 3.9.16, 6.10.12; trin. 11.8.14 equates mensura with modus.)
5. Other texts from later years: Io. ev. tr. 1.13; en. Ps. 146.11 (412). By this time, the application of the text, however, seems nearly restricted to the second person of the trinity (du Roy 424), and the text and the theme gradually lapse, having done their work for A.
text of 5.5.8
The matters in which Mani was contradicted by the scientists were not of the doctrine of faith. But Mani had stuck his neck out; his failure here made it possible to see the error of his whole undertaking. This is an argument perfectly intelligible in a nineteenth-century rationalist on his way out of church forever because the palaeontology he heard there was out of date. To be sure, A. writes as one who has chosen pietas (5.3.5, `non pie quaerunt') over scientia, but that was not the direction in which he was moving at the moment represented here. Academic skepticism lay ahead. The pervading irony of Bk. 5 is that motion in a wrong direction was the beginning of motion in the right direction.
quaerebat: G-M: `used in the sense of request with accusative of person and prolative infinitive, is unusual.'
Manichaeum nescio quem: on the patronizing `nescio quis' see on 1.13.20; for Mani, see 5.3.6, `cum dictis Manichaei'.
dixisti: replacing dixit in the original Job (see next note): at trin. 14.1.1, he introduces this quotation by saying, `ubi legitur dei sapientiam dixisse homini'.
ecce pietas est sapientia: Job 28.28 (VL), `dixit autem homini, ecce pietas est sapientia.' trin. 12.14.22, `ecce pietas est sapientia; abstinere autem a malis scientia est. in hac differentia intellegendum est ad contemplationem sapientiam, ad actionem scientiam pertinere. pietatem quippe hoc loco posuit dei cultum, quae graece dicitur theosebeia' (the same Gk. equivalent and lengthy discussion at ench. 1.2 and spir. et litt. 11.18 [with explicit link to Eucharistic liturgy]). The discussion draws together the `wisdom' that A. had pursued since adolescence with formal religious cult; see excursus on 4.16.30 for suggestions how this link was made outside Christianity at this time. Cf. 8.1.2, where the same verse occurs in a context where A. has transcended the vanitas of the Manichees but is still liable to the reproach of Rom. 1.21.
vanitas: As a characteristic of Manichean ideas at 4.2.2 (see notes there) and 4.7.12.
devius: 2.10.18, `erravi, deus meus, nimis devius ab stabilitate tua'; devius at least hints at the thoroughgoing notion of Christ as via: see on 7.7.11.
multum locutus: Cf. Prov. 10.19, `ex multiloquio non effugies peccatum'; c. Cresc. 1.1.2, `multiloquium autem est superflua locutio, vitium scilicet loquendi amore contractum. plerumque autem loqui amant, etiam qui nesciunt quid loquantur vel quomodo loquantur'. The Proverbs text recurs in self-reproach in the last paragraph of trin. (15.28.51) and at retr. pr. 2.
spiritum sanctum, consolatorem et ditatorem fidelium tuorum: See on 3.6.10, `paracleti'.
personaliter: Cf. `divinae personae' below.
doctrinam religionis: 4.16.31, `doctrina pietatis'; 5.5.9, `doctrinae pietatis formam'.
tribuere sibi: Cf. 5.3.5, `sibi tribuendo quae tua sunt'.
text of 5.5.9
illum aut illum: = English `so-and-so', as an indefinite expression replacing a proper name; cf. `aliud pro alio'.
domine creator omnium: Cf. Amb. hymn. 1.2.1, often echoed--see on 9.12.32; if the echo is heard here, perhaps it is partly linked by the astronomical context.
situs et habitus: Two of the Aristotelian categories (4.16.28, `aut ubi sit constitutus . . . aut calciatus vel armatus sit'), suggesting knowledge according to the worldly philosophers' way of knowing.
doctrinae pietatis formam: See on 5.5.8.
etiam talis infirmitas: i.e., even pertinacious affirmation of error is bearable where faith and caritas prevail. Mani's real fault is not in his errors of fact, but in the claims he made for himself as purveyor of error.
a caritate matre: caritas is aptly mentioned here, for caritas is the theological virtue most characteristic of the true Holy Spirit whom Mani emulates; see on 13.6.7, where the same phrase, `mater caritas', appears again Spirit-linked.
adsurgat: of `growing up': cf. ord. 1.6.16, `videbam adulescentem . . . in amicum quoque iam mihi surgere atque grandescere'.
novus homo: Eph. 4.24, `et induite novum hominem qui secundum deum creatus est'; en. Ps. 8.10, `sed novus ex vetere nascitur, quoniam spiritalis regeneratio mutatione vitae terrenae atque saecularis inchoatur'.
virum perfectum: The scriptural echo allows a glimpse of eschatological repose: Eph. 4.13-14, `donec occurramus omnes in unitatem fidei, in agnitionem filii dei, in virum perfectum, in mensuram aetatis plenitudinis Christi, (14) ut iam non simus parvuli fluctuantes, et circumferamur omni vento doctrinae in nequitia hominum.' en. Ps. 101. s. 1.2, `Christus et ecclesia utrumque unus, unus quidam vir perfectus in forma plenitudinis suae'; en. Ps. 64.7, `qui autem manent in compage Christi et membra eius sunt, faciunt quodammodo unum virum, de quo dicit apostolus, donec . . .'
nondum liquido compereram: These lines lead to the arrival of Faustus, expressing the exact form of the doubts that A. was saving to present to the visiting teacher--resuming the argument about astronomical phenomena from 5.3.4.
text of 5.6.10
Since 4.1.1 A. has portrayed his life as awkwardly divided between his public profession and his private cult. Here the two halves come together. Faustus arrives, and differs from the other Manichees merely by being a little better than others in the skills A. earned his living by selling. For most, this would be enough, but not for A. He was too good at his craft, and at the same time thought little enough of it; it was his disdain for the craft at which he excelled that made him a seeker of sapientia.
per annos ferme ipsos novem: A. says repeatedly that he stayed with the Manichees nine years; there are contradictions in his record, and doubts have been raised whether the break was as sharp at the time of his meeting with Faustus as he would have us believe. `Nine years' explicitly also at 3.11.20, 4.1.1 (`ab undevicensimo anno [372/3] aetatis meae usque ad duodetricensimum [381/2]'; cf. 5.3.3, `proloquar . . . annum illum undetricensimum aetatis' [382/3]), mor. 1.18.34 (`nihil opus erit novem annis quibus me ludificastis'), mor. 2.19.68 (`novem annos totos magna cura et diligentia vos audivi'), and util. cred. 1.2. The interpretation that fits all the evidence is that A.'s association with the Manichees began during 373 at Carthage, and that Faustus came sometime early in the year 383; nine full years he spent as a wholehearted enthusiast before his doubts took command at the time of Faustus's visit. Mandouze, Lectio III-V, 53: `La raison majeure qui a poussé Augustin á la décision de rupture avec le manichéisme n'est point d'ordre religieux. Elle est d'order rationnel, voire scientifique.' To cling to that argument is to ask for trouble here. For all his cerebration, Manicheism was to A. a religious allegiance: even when his head got in trouble over the tenets of the sect, his allegiance was of another sort and there was then no competing religious cause to which to attach himself. When he finally detached himself, it was by accepting the proposition that in default of an adequate religious experience, a philosophical position (extremely unsatisfactory on many counts) must be temporarily elected (he says [5.14.25] that he never planned to remain an Academic), while waiting for another religious certitude to arise. That decision was, however, accompanied by a specific shift of religious position, back to the catholic catechumenate (see on 5.14.25). His religious separation from the Manichees thus dates to his departure from Rome, with growing intellectual alienation going back several years earlier (Pellegrino, Les Confessions 129, implicitly reads this passage as confirming that `les doutes surgi bien tôt' : that goes too far) and coming to a head with the Faustus episode. Hence the truth to Courcelle's surmise (Les Confessions 17-19: but see on 6.11.18 for strong reservations about his handling of the evidence he quotes in support of that surmise) that Manichean `reflexes' continued to jerk his knees in Milan--they are of no account because he never regressed to that cult, but of course when he arrived in Milan, in the middle of his Academic period, they probably loomed larger in his mind. If he had chosen to go back that way, they would appear now as the first steps back: to us they are only stumbles in a dark passage.
audivi: The correct verb for his status as an auditor in the sect.
extento: The verb occurs conf. mainly from Phil. 3.13, `in ea quae sunt ante extentus', of a mystic longing connected to the third person of the trinity through the triad memoria/contuitus/expectatio (n.b. here `expectabam' : see on 12.15.18). See on 9.10.23, `in ea quae ante sunt extenti', and cf. 12.16.23, `extento in eam sursum corde', and 13.13.14. Here the participle modifies desiderium, a lesser form of the love whose supreme form is caritas. Translators vary: Ryan, `intense longing'; BA, `un desir toujours plus tendu'; Pusey, `I had longed but too intensely'; Pine-Coffin, `with the keenest expectation.' Vega takes `extento' closely with `per annos ferme novem ipsos', to suggest that A.'s doubts started early; this is unlikely. The lexica insist on a pedestrian meaning: OLD s.v. 6: `to extend the duration of, prolong, continue'; cf. TLL 5.2.1980: `in longum tempus continuando productus': rare but attested. Hence, `a desire too long prolonged' creating an expectation probably impossible to fill; the same expression of a desire that could be filled because the object was divine at Io. ep. tr. 4.6, `sic deus differendo extendit desiderium, desiderando extendit animum, extendendo facit capacem' (going on to quote Phil. 3.13-14).
hominem gratum et iucundum verbis: The accusation that an opponent is merely facile is a familiar one (from the world of classical rhetoric itself, of course). Cf. nat. et or. an. 2.1.1, describing the work of Vincentius Victor on the origin of the soul: `quibus lectis vidi hominem in sermone quidem non solum usque ad sufficientiam, verum etiam usque ad redundantiam profluentem, sed in rebus de quibus loqui voluit nondum sicut oportet instructum.'
From 391, we have two passages reflecting this encounter with F.: util. cred. 1.2, `diu multumque de imperitorum erroribus latissime ac vehementissime disputabant--quod cuivis mediocriter erudito esse facillimum sero didici'; util. cred. 8.20, `ut enim a vobis trans mare abscessi, iam cunctabundus atque haesitans, quid mihi tenendum, quid dimittendum esset--quae mihi cunctatio in dies maior oboriebatur, ex quo illum hominem, cuius nobis adventus, ut nosti, ad explicanda omnia quae nos movebant quasi de caelo promittebatur, audivi eumque excepta quadam eloquentia talem quales ceteros esse cognovi'.
garrientem: Of fluent but inauthentic speech: see on 7.20.26, and cf. 6.4.5; see also on 1.4.4, `loquaces', and 5.5.8, `multum locutus', for that fault attached specifically to the Manichees.
pretiosorum pretiosorum G S Knöll Skut. Vega Pell.: pretiosiorum CDO Maur. Ver.
The determining factor is the echo of 1.16.26, `non accuso verba, quasi vasa electa atque pretiosa'. See also here the last line of this paragraph, `verbis sicut vasis urbanis et rusticanis'.
nec ideo vera quia diserta: nat. et or. an. 1.3.3, `habet [Vincentius Victor] enim eloquium, quo possit explicare quae sentit. unde cum illo agendum est eique optandum ut recta sentiat, ne faciat esse delectabilia quae sunt inutilia et quae diserta dixerit vera dixisse videatur.'
boni rerum existimatores: doctr. chr. 1.27.28, `ille autem iuste et sancte vivit, qui rerum integer aestimator est; ipse est autem qui ordinatam [see on 1.7.12] habet dilectionem, ne aut diligat quod non est diligendum, aut non diligat quod diligendum est.'
aliud genus hominum: The description given here fits the Academic skeptics well enough, but they are not introduced as a serious alternative until 5.10.19, after A.'s move to Rome. The present passage may hint that he was already aware of their position before he left Carthage; but describing them without a name leaves them here only a shadowy schematic antithesis to Manichean credulity, setting up two poles between which A.'s own attitude at the time is portrayed as more moderate and sensible--not to say conventional.
docueras docueras C D G Knöll: docuerat OS Skut. Ver.
That A. had by now been taught this message marks for him real progress over 3.5.9 (see there on `indigna'), where on looking into the truth of scripture he was put off by the absence of comptus atque uber sermo.
et propterea credo: The parentheses were suggested by G-M, who remark that `docueras' requires an object of the thing taught if the sentence is to be punctuated with other editors by a full stop after `claruerit' : `quod tu me docueris' on that reading lacks a reference. With the parentheses, `quod tu me docueris' can anticipate what comes below, `nec eo debere . . .', and `abs te didiceram' marks a new beginning for the thought after the parenthesis.
nec quisquam praeter alius doctor est veri: This is the thesis of mag., as summarized at retr. 1.12, `in quo disputatur et quaeritur et invenitur, magistrum non esse qui docet hominem scientiam nisi deum, secundum illud etiam quod in evangelio scriptum est: unus est magister vester Christus [Mt. 23.10].' The idea is congenial for an inveterate autodidact, but there is more to it than that.
iam ergo: Cf. 5.3.3, `[suaviloquentiam] ego iam tametsi laudabam, discernebam tamen a veritate rerum'.
nec eo . . . nec eo . . . rursus nec ideo . . . nec ideo: Cf. 1.18.29, on barbarisms and solecisms.
text of 5.6.11
expectaveram: Cf. 5.6.10, `extento desiderio', and the connections perhaps implied there to the triad memoria/contuitus/expectatio.
vel etiam prae multis: This is how people in Africa would have remembered A.'s relations with Faustus: F. arrives with A. in the lead among those praising him, later in friendly literary relations with him (5.7.13, `coepi cum eo . . . agere vitam'). There was no visible break with Manicheism before A. left Africa, rather the opposite. It was not accidental that A. chose, about the time of writing conf., F.'s own treatise for his largest systematic refutation of Manichean doctrines--his own past contained not only Manicheism, but Manicheism as Faustus presented it, and there were suspicions that A. was not entirely cleansed of the poison. Long years later, Julian of Eclanum threw the association up to A.: c. Iul. imp. 1.25, `Faustus, quem in in libris confessionis tuae praeceptorem tuum loqueris'; also at c. Iul. imp. 1.69.
ferebam: G-M think this = either `ferebam laudibus', or else (quoting Tac. ann. 16.2, `nec aliud per illos dies populus credulitate, prudentes diversa fama tulere') `talked about.' BA: `je le louais et l'exaltais.'
sed moleste habebam: Cf. 6.3.3 (Ambrose reading silently), where A. makes allowances for the preoccupation of the prospective teacher. That contrast assumes a connection between the two events and emphasizes that in this case, though with difficulty, A. does win the ear of Faustus (not entirely privately, but in the company of a few intimates), only to find that F. has no answers for his questions. Though in 5.6.10 the emphasis seemed to be on rhetoric (`decorum eloquium'), what A. says below (`et quia aderat . . .') corrects that impression: F. had no formal rhetorical training, but only a certain amount of native skill and practice (n.b. `inde') beyond the elementary grammatical training. See further on 6.3.3, esp. `coniectabamus'.
(expertus sum) prius: G-M: `The force of the comparative seems to be before coming to the more difficult questions.'
expertem liberalium disciplinarum: See excursus on 4.16.30: for A. at the time, this unsophistication on F.'s part would have been itself the explanation for his failure to answer A.'s questions--it may even have prevented A. from giving him a full and fair hearing, as suggested at the beginning of 5.7.12 below.
aliquas tullianas orationes . . . volumina: The list of auctores need not be taken as literally accurate, but gives an impressionistic recollection of the bits of cultural baggage that F. managed to produce.
Senecae: The only prose text of Seneca that A. ever cites or echoes (Hagendahl 245-249) is the de superstitione, which comes to us only in fragments;2 it is quoted several times in civ. 6.10-11. `Superstition' was a charge the Manicheans levelled against mainstream Christianity, a charge that apparently had some effect on the young A., and superstitio is a word that came often to A.'s pen (see on 3.6.10). It is at least likely that this would have been one of the few books of Seneca that F. knew, and not unlikely that it was through F. that A. came to know this one isolated Senecan text. (I. Hadot, Aug.-Lex. 1.288 asserts that A. must have known Seneca well, arguing in this curious way: `Das in conf. 5,11 angeführte Beispiel des Faustus zeigt zweierlei: erstens, dass selbst ein nur wenig gebildeter Mann zur Zeit des A. gewöhnlich einige philosophische Abhandlungen Senecas gelesen hatte, und zweitens, dass A. selbst eine gute Kenntnis der Werke Senecas gehabt haben muss. Wie hätte er sonst feststellen können, dass Faustus nur eine sehr geringe Anzahl [paucissimos . . . libros] annäischer Schriften gelesen hatte?') Paucissimi for A. corresponds to English `few': at one extreme, cf. en. Ps. 47.9, `unus uel duo uel paucissimi'; at s. 203.1.1, the 12 days from Christmas to Epiphany are paucissimi; at Io. ev. tr. 122.9, `paucissimis verbis interpositis' denotes the omission in quotation of one verse of Matthew, containing 21 words.
recolo: Wijdeveld, REAug 6(1960), 315-316, would put the question mark here, and a comma after `meae'; the BA translation follows him. But to end the question with `recolo' leaves us lacking a second person of address. Courcelle, Recherches 45, takes the passage, as is his custom, literally: `il est vrai qu'il ne paraissait pas fort sûr de l'exactitude de son souvenir.'
arbiter conscientiae meae: ep. 23.3, `conscientiarum arbiter iudicare [coeperit]'.
coram te: Num. 10.9, `et erit recordatio vestra coram domino deo vestro'; cf. Act. 8.21, quoted below on 5.7.12, `etsi non rectum ad te'.
abdito secreto providentiae tuae: 5.7.13, `in abdito providentiae tuae'.
errores: The results of curiositas: see on 4.15.25, `errores et falsae opiniones'.
ante faciem meam: Cf. Ps. 49.21, `arguam te et statuam contra faciem tuam'; en. Ps. 49.28, `quid enim vis latere teipsum? in dorso tuo tibi es, non te vides; facio ut te videas; quod post dorsum posuisti, ante faciem ponam'; s. 142.3.3, `quod nolebat anima videre, ponitur ei ante oculos; et quod post dorsum habere cupiebat, ad faciem illi admovetur.' Cf. 4.16.30, `dorsum enim habebam ad lumen', and 2.3.6, `qui ponunt ad te tergum et non faciem', both interpreted in light of Jer. 2.27, `verterunt ad me tergum et non faciem'; and see 8.7.16, `et constituebas me ante faciem meam, ut viderem quam turpis essem.' en. Ps. 113. s. 1.7, `increpat enim dominus quosdam qui dorsum ad eum posuerunt et non faciem. . . . et sic obliviscatur ea quae retro sunt, ut in ea quae ante sunt extendatur' (Phil. 3.13: see above on 5.6.10, `extento').
text of 5.7.12
earum artium: sc. liberalium: see on 5.6.11; cf. 7.6.9, `falsa, non artis imperitia sed sortis mendacio'.
aperire: The verb of opening books, doors, and mysteries; of books, most notably at 8.12.29, `arripui, aperui et legi in silentio capitulum'; of doors metaphorically at 13.38.53, where the work ends, `a te petatur, in te quaeratur, ad te pulsetur: sic, sic accipietur, sic invenietur, sic aperietur'; of mysteries, 2.10.18, 6.4.6, 6.11.18, 9.7.16.
quorum quidem ignarus: A.'s judgment at the time was that F. wasn't clever enough to answer his questions. A. now sees this was the wrong grounds on which to judge, for lack of cleverness is no sin; it was F.'s Manichean error that put him wrong. His justice to F. here lies in seeing this.
libri . . . eorum: See S. N. C. Lieu, Manichaeism, generally, and for detailed examination of A.'s handling of their doctrines, Decret, Aspects and L'Afrique; P. Alfaric, Les écritures manichéennes (Paris, 1919), is excellent but dated; for the pertinence here, see above on 5.3.4. What works of Mani himself A. knew is a delicate question; the most circumspect survey of A.'s knowledge of Mani scripture is that of Alfaric, L'évolution intellectuelle 217. A. certainly knew the two most celebrated and authoritative texts, the `Fundamental Epistle' (c. ep. fund. 5.6, 25.28; cf. c. Faust. 13.6, 13.18) and the `Treasure' (nat. b. 44, quoting at length from the seventh book). We do not know whether, when A. implies in c. ep. fund. 6.7 that he has read aliae epistulae, that he knows the other texts of the Manichean `Torah'. At the same time A. often spoke with a confidence that implied an extensive knowledge (at least extensive by comparison to that of his one-time coreligionists): mor. 2.12.25, where `non hoc sonant libri manichaei' implies that A. has a broad knowledge of Manichean texts; at c. Sec. 3 he threatens to overwhelm his opponent with footnotes: `innumerabilibus locis de libris Manichaei recitabo . . .'; and at c. Faust. 20.21, he catches Faustus speaking of the umbrae defunctorum: `sunt ergo umbrae defunctorum? numquam hoc in vestris sermonibus audivimus, numquam in litteris legimus; immo contradicere soletis talibus opinionibus'.
mihi eum: indirect object and accusative subject for indirect discourse not resumed until `an certe vel par etiam'.
etiam inde: i.e., from the side of the Manichees.
sarcinam: See on 4.7.12.
loquaces: See on 1.4.4, `quoniam loquaces muti sunt' (and cf. here `et dicentes nihil') and cf. 3.6.10, 7.2.3.
etsi non rectum ad te: Ps. 77.37, `cor autem ipsorum non erat rectum cum eo' (Act. 8.21, `cor enim tuum non est rectum coram deo'); en. Ps. 77.21, `talis ergo erat generatio prava et amaricans, etiam cum deum quaerere videretur, diligens in ore et in lingua mentiens; in corde autem non recta cum deo, ubi ea potius diligebat propter quae dei adiutorium requirebat.' The biblical echo in a concessive clause has the effect of emphasizing the concession.
A. goes as far as he can to praise F., but does not undermine, and indeed strengthens, his judgment that F. was fundamentally in the wrong. This pattern recurs with A.'s judgments on the Platonists; his ability to praise the virtues of his opponents without losing grip on his adverse judgment of them has disconcerted many.
non usquequaque . . . placuit: So here a specific memory: it was the modesty with which F. failed to live up to his advance reputation that endeared him the more to A., even as A. was disappointed with what F. had to say. Here again, evidence that there would have been those in Africa who remembered A.'s growing friendship with the Manichean bishop.
pulchrior est enim . . . cupiebam: A variation on 1.6.10, `gaudeat etiam sic . . .'; and cf. 10.8.15, `et eunt homines mirari alta montium. . ..' The connection here is evidently that it was still the pulchriora of created nature to which A.'s curiosity lead him (see on de pulchro et apto at 4.13.20).
text of 5.7.13
de ceteris eorum doctoribus: i.e., other Manichean teachers besides Faustus; A. might have chosen to go on looking for a guru, but he deemed F. the best chance.
ita: as described in 5.6.10 - 5.7.12.
nominatus: See on 5.3.3, `Faustus nomine'.
agere vitam: Not necessarily `live with' but certainly of a convivial friendship; see on 5.6.11.
legere cum eo: Another Manichean leader (a presbyter, therefore clearly not F., who was a bishop; date unknown) clung to association with A. out of mutual interest in studia liberalia (mor. 2.19.71).
conatus omnis meus: This Micawberish decisive indecision encompasses the last half of Bk. 5, restated at 5.10.18 and at 5.14.25, and evoked in retrospect at 6.10.17 and 6.11.18, then one last time at 8.7.18, where he has notably not achieved his goal, just when Ponticianus leaves and he and Alypius are about to go into the garden. At this time, A. had a clear idea of the sort of thing he expected to turn up; it turned up in the period narrated in Bks. 6 and 7, but what also turned up was the inadequacy of that expectation, and the need to look further, to find what Bk. 8 held for him: the recurrence at 8.7.18 emphasizes that.
The present passage may suggest that A. hoped to become one of the Manichean elect himself; util. cred. 1.2 says that he remained an auditor to preserve his prospects for a worldly career; that is surely a sign that he at least considered, and perhaps even was recruited for, elect status. Did he think that his incontinence prevented him? Is that part of the reason for his resentment of the imperfections of the elect he met in Rome (see on 5.10.18)? Was his break with the Manichees partly caused by growing pressure to present himself for `election'? Was the Milan conversion to continence a renunciation that he had been meditating, but had been unable to make, for years? It is not to be expected that A. would be entirely forthcoming, or even entirely conscious of his own motives, on that score. That the Manichean and Christian alternatives posed themselves in some way equally to A. is implicit at s. 132.1.1, where he speaks of Christian `catechumeni vel audientes'. In both sects through these years he stood as one who heard (a significant passivity for one otherwise so loquacious) but did not participate.
laqueus mortis: Ps. 17.6, `praevenerunt me laquei mortis'; en. Ps. 17.6, `tales autem homines capiunt in perditionem quibus male persuaserunt iactatione iustitiae; cuius non re, sed nomine, adversus gentes gloriantur.' Cf. Prov. 21.6, `qui congregat thesauros lingua mendacii; vanus est et impingetur ad laqueos mortis'; see on 5.3.3, `laqueus diaboli'.
meum: sc. laqueum.
nec volens nec sciens: On the trinitarian pattern, a human being consists of three faculties: esse/nosse/velle (see on 13.11.12); accordingly this passage shows A. out of control, not yet an integrated self, to whom good things happen at the level of esse, undetected at the level of nosse or velle.
manus . . . tuae: in plural of God, only here and 13.17.20, `aridam terram manus tuae formaverunt', where the allegorical interpretation of Gn. reads `arida terra' appositely as (13.17.21) `animas sitientes tibi'. Here `praeter manum tuam reficientem quae fecisti' evokes the context of creation (and redemption).
matris meae: Not mentioned since 4.4.7, upon the death of his friend.
a domino . . . diriguntur: Ps. 36.23, `a domino gressus hominis dirigentur, et viam eius volet'; en. Ps. 36. s. 2.15-16, `ipse homo ut velit viam domini, ab ipso domino diriguntur gressus eius. nam si dominus non dirigeret gressus hominis, tam pravi erant ut semper per prava irent, et semitas curvas sequendo redire non possent. . . . (16) iam cum sequeris viam Christi, non tibi saeculi prosperitates promittas.' At c. Faust. 1.1, A. writes `ut omnes qui haec legent intellegant quam nihil sit acutum ingenium et lingua expolita, nisi a domino gressus hominis dirigantur.' (Cf. Ps. 39.3, quoted on 5.8.14, `gressus', below.)
reficientem: 5.1.1, `quia fecisti haec mirabiliter [cf. `miris modis' here]: et ibi refectio et vera fortitudo'; cf. 5.3.4, `recreans'.
text of 5.8.14
The departure from Carthage and the arrival at Rome are really one episode, linked by the constant reference to Monnica's hopes and prayers, even when A. is at Rome and she in Africa. The time at Rome was important: Mandouze 107n6, `Tout compte fait--et contrairement à ce que donnent à penser la plupart des biographes d'Augustin--l'année romaine fut, bien plus que ne devait l'être le séjour Milanais, le moment des contradictions et des incertitudes les plus grandes: c'est cependant à Rome que tous les éléments de la décision ultérieure devaient être rassemblés.'
egisti: 5.7.13, `egisti mecum miris modis . . . tu illud egisti, deus meus, nam a domino gressus hominis diriguntur.' We move accordingly in a circle from Ps. 36.23 echoed at the end of 5.7.13, back to the same echo (plus Ps. 39.3) at the end of this paragraph, showing God's merciful direction of A.'s `steps' towards, at one and the same time, the falsa felicitas (see the end of this paragraph) he thought he was finding and the terra viventium (see also below) that he did find.
Romam pergere: Probably in 383, within a few months of the meeting with Faustus (see on 5.6.10); to date the journey to 384 would leave a narrow window of time in which A. would make the trip in the spring (after the sailing season began), languished and recovered from his illness at Rome, made his impression on Symmachus, and journeyed again to Milan--all while leaving at least some time to acquire his impressions of teaching conditions at Rome.
altissimi . . . praesentissima: 6.3.4, `altissime et proxime, secretissime et praesentissime' (cf. 1.4.4, `secretissime et praesentissime'); also vocative at 1.7.12, 3.8.16, and 6.12.22.
recessus: nominative; on substance more likely plural (so Ryan, BA, e.g.), on grammar more likely singular (used of memory in singular at 10.8.13, in plural at 10.40.65); A. is indifferent.
misericordia: This section of Bk. 5 is marked by hints of divine mercy taking--at last--a hand: cf. 5.8.15, `misericorditer', 5.9.16, `miserebaris', 5.9.17, `deus misericordiarum, . . . quoniam in saeculum misericordia tua'.
non ideo: See on 4.7.12 for the evidence that as late as 386 he recalled and admitted that the departure from Thagaste to Carthage in 376 (thus seven years earlier than the move to Rome) was motivated by ambitio saeculi; the present passage provides an argument from silence to confirm that reading--only here does he feel he can deny the obvious imputation. Here he is beyond the reach of the three temptations; apathy has set in. He is not redeemed, but no longer driven to sin; he suffers the punishment for his sins by going on sinning; and he waits for something to turn up. In the midst of what he now sees as foul sinfulness, it was a moral fastidiousness that made him move: a vestigium of divine order, surely, but surely a faint one. The lingering force of the third of the great temptations is left to a concessive clause: `quamquam et ista ducebant animum tunc meum'. The unnamed `friends' are akin to those mentioned in 4.1.1, 4.8.13, 4.13.20; `friends' recur in another vein in Bk. 6, where from 6.7.11 they are a sign of common progress towards the light.3
quietius . . . ordinatiore: see on 13.9.10, `minus ordinata inquieta sunt; ordinantur et quiescunt'.
apud Carthaginem: See on 3.3.6, `eversionibus', where he confirms what he says here (`meos esse nolui'), that he had not been among their number.
verum autem tu: So far in this paragraph, Augustine's will in this matter; from here on, God's will.
spes mea et portio mea in terra viventium: Ps. 141.6, `tu es spes mea, portio mea in terra viventium'. Knauer 38 reports that the verse occurs 19 times in A. (based on the Beuron files), though infrequent before conf. (6x), and comparatively rare in writings of other patres. This `terra' is not that of those who die, but indicates (s. dom. m. 1.2.4) `quandam soliditatem et stabilitatem hereditatis perpetuae'. `Denn [Knauer, 39] dort ist das künftige Leben, hier nur die Hoffnung.' Most often the verse is adduced to illustrate terra in some other biblical passage, so the weight is on terra not spes. Here it is invoked as A. pursues his hopes from one land to another. en. Ps. 5.1, `titulus . . . est: pro ea quae hereditatem accipit. . . . beati mites, quia ipsi hereditate possidebunt terram. [Mt. 5.4] quam terram, nisi de qua dicitur, spes mea es tu, portio mea in terra viventium.' See Knauer 38 on the artistry and balance of these lines.
pro salute animae meae: Ps. 34.3, `dic animae meae, salus tua ego sum'; see on 1.5.5.
vitam mortuam: Courcelle, Les Confessions 485n1, suggests two Augustinian passages and a Hermetic source, none of which seem exactly apt: 10.17.26 `in homine vivente mortaliter' (not exactly the same), civ. 20.8, `succedunt nascendo morientibus', and the Hermetica, tract 7.2 (ed. Nock-Festugière 1.81), to\n zw/nta qa/naton. More pertinent is the contrast with `terra viventium', and see on `terram sapiebant' below. Petilian uses the phrase in an intriguingly apt way (c. litt. Pet. 2.7.14, `qui sic vivit ut reus sit, vita mortua cruciatur'); cf. s. Lambot 6, `quo ipsa vita mortua est', but there vita = Christ and the context is different.
hinc insana facientes, inde vana pollicentes: Cf. 5.10.18, `falsis illis atque fallentibus sanctis [manichaeorum]'; the `homines' just above are thus his Manichean friends.
gressus: See on 5.7.13. Ps. 39.3, `et statuit supra petram pedes meos et direxit gressus meos'; en. Ps. 39.3, `opus est tamen adhuc ut ambulemus, ut ad aliquid perveniamus.' (There he goes on to quote Phil. 3.13-14 --see on 5.6.10, `extento').
terram sapiebant: Phil. 3.18-19, `inimicos crucis Christi, (19) quorum finis interitus, quorum deus venter, et gloria in confusione eorum qui terrena sapiunt.' Most apt of Manichees, for whom the crucifixion was a phantasm (5.9.16, `in cruce phantasmatis'), and for whom the bellies of the elect were the manufactory of God; cf. above, `terra', and the Ps.-text.
falsam felicitatem: For A.'s suspicion of all `felicitas', see above on 5.4.7.
text of 5.8.15
A. came to Carthage in 3.1.1, there to find concupiscent love; here he leaves, not with a purpose of abandoning concupiscent love, but with that unintended effect. Monnica, like Dido, becomes herself the derelict lover, victim of her own inordinate attachment, but the physical circumstances reveal a decisive change--Aeneas leaves Dido to die on her own pyre, A. leaves Monnica to pray at a tomb where the power of redemption is specially present. A.'s departure, like that of Aeneas, is guided by divine authority, but here the guidance is unheard and invisible. C. Bennett, REAug 34(1988), 61: `Any reflections on this scene should be tempered by recognizing how deliberate a literary reference this is--and how deliberate a literary reenactment it was at the time. . . . Augustine's allusions to the Aeneid, here as elsewhere, reflect not just literary modelling, but also a life shaped by imitation of the epic.'
For the Dido parallel, see J. J. O'Meara, Mélanges . . . Christine Mohrmann (Utrecht-Antwerp, 1963), 252-261, following C. Kligerman, Jour. Amer. Psychoan. Assoc. 5(1957), 469-484; but M. here also resembles the mother of Euryalus (whose own words are echoed in characterizing M. at 6.1.1) at Aen. 9.287-289:
hanc [sc. matrem] ego nunc ignaram huius quodcumque pericli
inque salutatam linquo (nox et tua testis
dextera), quod nequeam lacrimas perferre parentis.
A.'s treatment of M. here is harsh. He does not stint the pathos in depicting her anguish at seeing her son abandon her (note esp. the two terse and evocative phrases bracketing the narrative: `et illi matri' and `et ego Romam'), but his sympathy stops there--her anguish arose from an excess of affection. For corroborating contrast, cf. the reaction of Romanianus to the same flight: c. acad. 2.2.3, `tu etiam, cum te absente atque ignorante navigassem, nihil suscensens quod non tecum communicassem ut solerem atque aliud quidvis quam contumaciam suspicans, mansisti inconcussus in amicitia. . . .'
In one other text, A. is hard on a mother whose natural affection impedes the religious progress of her son. In the strenuousness of his attack on worldly ties, it is impossible to avoid seeing a hostility to some of what M. stood for. He wrote to Laetus, who had written for advice and encouragement on setting out on the religious life. A.'s principal scriptural support is Lk. 14.26-33, `si quis venit ad me, et non odit patrem suum, et matrem, et uxorem, et filios, . . . non potest meus esse discipulus.' ep. 243.3-10,4 `quo enim tibi nunc quaedam mulier mater est, hoc ipso utique non est et mihi. quapropter hoc temporale ac transitorium est, sicut transisse iam vides quod te concepit, quod gestavit utero, quod peperit, quod lacte nutrivit. quod autem soror in Christo est, et tibi est et mihi . . . (4) potes hoc facillime in ipsa tua matre cognoscere. nam unde te nunc inretitum involvit et ab instituto cursu retardatum reflectit et curvat, nisi ex quo tua propria mater est? . . . (7) sed quid dicit aut quid allegat? forte decem illos menses quibus viscera eius onerasti, et dolores parturitionis ac labores educationis? hoc, hoc interfice verbo salutari; hoc perde matris, ut in vitam aeternam invenias eam . . . carnalis enim affectus est iste et adhuc veterem hominem sonat. . . . (10) quid interest utrum in uxore an in matre, dum tamen Eva in qualibet muliere caveatur? nam ista umbra pietatis de foliis illius arboris venit, quibus se primum parentes nostri in illa damnabili nuditate texerunt.' (See on 2.6.14 for the connection between the tree of paradise and the concupiscence of the flesh.)
tu sciebas: See on 1.5.6.
finxi me amicum nolle deserere: A. is never alone. If there really was a friend who went with him to Italy, we do not know who it was (Alypius, Nebridius, and Romanianus only joined him later); given that A. found shelter with the Manichees in Rome, his traveling companion was probably of that sect.
et evasi: Duplex in sense. The first meaning is mundane--`I escaped from her'; but the clause that follows gives it weight--`I survived the lie and its consequences.' A. was always a reluctant traveler, only twice on ship in his life (this journey and the return five years later): Perler 57-81 catalogues A.'s often conventional but often repeated descriptions of the perils and fears of the sea; and see on 5.9.16 below.
et (hoc): et hoc G O2 S Knöll Skut.: hoc C D O1 Ver.
aquis maris: cf. 13.7.8, `aquas . . . affectus sunt, amores sunt'.
sordibus: Also of the stain to be removed by baptism at 1.11.17.
aquam gratiae tuae: cf. 9.2.4, `aqua sancta', 9.13.35, `aquam salutis'.
abluto: Also of baptism at 1.11.17; cf. 6.16.26, `ablutura'.
cotidie: First here in conf.; `day by day' is a mark of the separation of God and humankind, even in the midst of confession and redemption: it marks challenge, struggle, and longing: 6.1.1, 6.11.20, 6.13.23, 8.6.13 (`et cotidie suspirabam tibi'), 10.3.4, 10.31.44 (`his temptationibus cotidie conor resistere'), 10.31.47, 10.35.57, 10.37.60, 13.13.14.
memoria beati Cypriani: There were two memoriae at Carthage in honor of Cyprian, one at the site of his death (the mensa Cypriani), one where he was buried (the Mappalia); A. preached at both at one time or another. Because both were outside the city walls (on the evidence of Vict. Vit. hist. pers. 1.5.16), the present passage may refer to a third shrine, within the city itself. There is no other evidence, and no other obvious pretext, for such a place to have existed. See Perler, 420-421, with references; cf. also van der Meer 477 and G. Charles-Picard, La Carthage de saint Augustin (Paris, 1965), 190-195.
memoria: cura mort. 4.6, `sed non ob aliud vel memoriae vel monumenta dicuntur ea quae insignite fiunt sepulchra mortuorum, nisi quia eos qui viventium oculis morte subtracti sunt, ne oblivione etiam cordibus subtrahantur, in memoriam revocant'.
cardinem: Cf. 4.15.24, `tantae rei cardinem'.
non curasti: Prayer, even Monnica's prayer, can fall short of God and remain unanswered. This incontrovertible fact is perhaps the source of the confidence with which A. rebukes his mother's carnal affection here; he thinks he sees the good reason God had to ignore her prayer at this moment.
cupiditatibus meis: A. is still the man of his concupiscences (this the most explicit statement of this theme in Bk. 5), but one whose concupiscences were (memory clearly sees) in the service of a higher purpose.
raperes: See on 4.12.18.
more matrum: See on 6.10.17 (of Nebridius), `relicta domo et non secutura matre . . . Mediolanum venerat'.
reliquiarium Evae: Cf. Gn. 3.16, `et mulieri dixit, multiplicans multiplicabo tristitias tuas et gemitum tuum et in tristitiis paries filios.' reliquiarium: Gn. 45.7, quoted by A. qu. hept. 1.148, `misit enim me deus ante vos remanere vestrum reliquias super terram et enutrire vestrum reliquiarium magnum.'
text of 5.9.16
The illness follows hard on the danger of loss on the ocean-crossing (cf. `evasi' in 5.8.15): the parting with M. is fraught with danger, for it could easily have brought all her prayers to nought.
The Eternal City made little impression that we can see. Though civ. is a meditation on the fate of the city of Rome filled with descriptions of Roman civil religion, there are few, if any, traces of his time at Rome to be found there. His reports of observed `paganism' go back to Carthage, not Rome.5 One recollection surfaces at c. Adim. 24.1 (on Mt. 6.34, `nolite cogitare de crastino'), `nam si hoc ideo dictum est ut non servetur panis in crastinum, magis hoc implent vagi Romanorum quos passivos appellant, qui annona cotidiana satiato ventre aut donant statim quod restat aut proiciunt, quam vel domini discipuli, qui etiam cum ipso domino caeli et terrae in terra ambulantes loculos habebant'. (Always a nervous eye for the underclass, arising from his Manichean experience: see on 6.6.9.)
flagello: Both A. and M. were punished for their part in the parting: cf. 5.8.15, `iusto dolorum flagello vapularet [mater]'; elsewhere in conf., flagella only of lashes in the name of divine justice and mercy: 2.2.4, 3.3.5, 8.7.18, 8.11.25, 9.4.12--much more consistently than in scriptural texts, where only vague parallels appear, e.g., Ps. 31.10, `multa flagella peccatoris', and the most explicit text is hardly well-known: Iud. 8.27, `sed reputantes peccatis nostris haec ipsa minora esse supplicia, flagella domini quasi servi qui corripimur ad emendationem non ad perditionem nostram evenisse credamus.'
ibam iam ad inferos: Job 7.9 (VL), `si enim homo descenderit ad inferos, ultra non ascendet'; Ps. 138.8, `si descendero in infernum, ades' (see on 1.2.2).
et in te et in me et in alios: Parallels the two great commandments: Love God, Love thy neighbor as thyself (see on 3.8.15).
originalis peccati: See on 1.7.11, `nemo mundus'.
quo omnes in Adam morimur: 1 Cor. 15.22, `sicut in Adam omnes moriuntur, sic et in Christo omnes vivificabuntur'; cf. Rom. 5.12-14, `sicut per unum hominem peccatum in hunc mundum intravit, et per peccatum mors, et ita in omnes homines mors pertransiit, in quo omnes peccaverunt. . . . (14) sed regnavit mors ab Adam.' On the interpretation of Rom. 5.12 and the influence of Ambrosiaster on the reading `in quo omnes peccaverunt' in A., see TeSelle 158; cf. 9.13.34, `quae in Adam moritur'.
donaveras: G-M: `pardoned', cf. s. 216.5.5, `simul et culpae esse voluit donator et poenae'.
solverat . . . inimicitias: Eph. 2.14-16, `ipse enim est pax nostra . . . medium parietem maceriae solvens, inimicitias in carne sua; . . . (16) et reconciliet ambos in uno corpore deo per crucem interficiens inimicitias in semetipso'; cf. Col. 2.13 quoted on 5.9.17.
cruce phantasmatis: s. 116.4.4, `qui nec crucifixum credis quia nec natum credis'; in c. Faust. 14 A. addresses Manichean criticism based on the verse, `maledictus omnis qui pendet in ligno' (Deut. 21.23, quoted at Gal. 3.13).
febribus: Vega suggests this was malaria; note that M.'s final illness was also marked by fever (9.11.27, `decubuit febribus') and was also contracted on taking up residence in the vicinity of Rome (as noted by D. Burt at the 1987 Oxford Congress). On A.'s health, see B. Legewie, MA 2.5-21.
irem . . . abirem: Cf. 5.8.15, `sed quare hinc abirem et illuc irem' (of the move to Rome).
nisi in ignem atque tormenta digna factis meis: Mt. 25.41-41, `discedite a me maledicti in ignem aeternum qui paratus est diabolo et angelis. (42) esurivi enim, et non dedistis mihi manducare, sitivi, et non dedistis mihi potum.' The Manichees refused to feed hungry beggars (see on 6.6.9), hence fire is apt punishment in store for A., almost dying as a Manichee.
in veritate  ordinis tui .
ubique praesens: See on 1.3.3. R. J. O'Connell, REAug 9(1963), 2n13 stresses the way the phrase here and ubique totus at 6.3.4 bracket the aporia that surrounded A. on his way to Milan.
sacrilego: See on 3.3.5.
sicut iam . . . confessus: See 1.11.17.
sed in dedecus meum creveram: Contrast Lk. 2.40ff, `puer autem crescebat . . . (52) et Iesus autem proficiebat sapientia, et aetate, et gratia apud deum et homines.'
consilia medicinae tuae demens inridebam: At 4.4.8 (n.b. there `inridere' and `dementiae meae'), when the unnamed friend was baptized.
bis mori: Apoc. 2.11, `non laedetur a morte secunda' (cf. Apoc. 20.6, 20.14, 21.8); civ. 13.2, `mors igitur animae fit, cum eam deserit deus, sicut corporis, cum id deserit anima. . . . huius modi autem totius hominis mortem . . . quam secundam mortem divinorum eloquiorum appellat auctoritas.'
parturiebat spiritu: Cf. Gal. 4.19, `filioli mei, quos iterum parturio donec formetur Christus in vobis.'
text of 5.9.17
viscera: Col. 3.12, `induite vos ergo . . . viscera misericordiae'; cf. Lk. 1.78, Phil. 2.1.
preces . . . sine intermissione: 1 Thess. 5.17, `sine intermissione orantes'; en. Ps. 37.14, `ipsum enim desiderium tuum, oratio tua est; et si continuum desiderium, continua oratio. . . . est alia interior sine intermissione oratio, quae est desiderium.' At 1 Tim. 5.5, the pious widow `sperat in deum et instat obsecrationibus et orationibus nocte ac die'; cf. 3.11.20 for M.'s constant prayer.
deus misericordiarum: 2 Cor. 1.3, `pater misericordiarum et deus totius consolationis'.
cor contritum et humilatum: Ps. 50.19, `sacrificium deo spiritus contribulatus, cor contritum et humilatum deus non spernit'; cf. Ps. 146.3, `qui sanat contritos corde', and Ps. 33.19, `prope est dominus his qui obtriverunt cor' (echoed at 5.3.3).
viduae . . . elemosynas: Lk. 21.2 (cf. Mk. 12.41), `vidit autem et quandam viduam pauperculam mittentem aera minuta duo et dixit, vere dico vobis quia vidua haec pauper plus quam omnes misit.'
oblationem ad altare tuum: eucharist: ep. 111.8, `nec istae possunt vel ferre oblationem ad altare dei vel invenire ibi sacerdotem per quem offerant deo'.
bis die, mane et vespere: In A.'s own experience, daily eucharist was the rule (ep. 29.11, `acta sunt vespertina quae cotidie solent'; at ep. 54.3.4 A. defends at length the practice of daily communion; cf. civ. 10.20), but the practice was not universal (Io. ev. tr. 26.15; the eastern church specified for noncompliance: s. dom. m. 2.7.26), though A. himself takes the `daily bread' of the Lord's prayer (at s. dom. m. 2.7.27) to be spiritual.
ut te audiret . . . et tu illam: Divine speech preceeds human speech: hearing God, returning what is heard in prayer.
lacrimas: 3.12.21, `filius istarum lacrimarum'.
immo vero aderas  et exaudiebas  et faciebas ordine .
praedestinaveras: The term elsewhere in conf. only twice in two lines at 13.34.49. Here, predestination appears not as a doctrine but a fact of experience, comparable to `originale peccatum' in 5.9.16, and the word is comparably rare in works before the Pelagian controversy.
visionibus: Dulaey 113, `Quand Augustin emploie visio, ce qui est rare, c'est toujours pour des rêves inspires [as here and nat. et or. an. 4.18.26 (visions of Perpetua)], ou du moins sortant de l'ordinaire [cura mort. 12.15, 17.21, Gn. litt. 12.17.37-12.18.39].' At 6.13.23, Monnica claims to be able to distinguish between divine revelations seen in dreams and the fantasies of her own spirit; see also 3.11.19 - 3.12.21. Courcelle, who thinks the biographical sketches of Alypius and Monnica in Bks. 6 and 9 were originally separate essays, says at Recherches 40n1: `Il paraît probable que, dans un opuscule biographique spécial, Augustin s'était étendu plus longuement sur les visions de Monique.'
chirographa tua: Col. 2.13, `donans vobis omnia delicta [cf. 5.9.16], delens quod adversum nos erat chirografum decretis'; always taken as reference to the cross.
quoniam in saecula misericordia tua: Ps. 117.1, `quoniam in saeculum misericordia eius'; Ps. 137.8, `domine, misericordia tua in aeternum'; also echoed at 11.1.1.
omnia debita dimittis: Mt. 18.32, `tunc vocavit illum dominus suus et ait illi, serve nequam omne debitum dimisi tibi quoniam rogasti me'; cf. Mt. 6.12, `dimitte nobis debita nostra'. The echo suggests that M.'s prayers conform to the model provided by Christ.
text of 5.10.18
salvum fecisti filium ancillae tuae: Ps. 85.16, `et salvum fac filium ancillae tuae'; cf. Ps. 115.16(7), `ego servus tuus, et filius ancillae tuae' (echoes at 2.3.7 and 9.1.1).
falsis illis atque fallentibus sanctis: See on 4.1.1, `falsi atque fallentes', 7.2.3, `deceptos deceptores'.
auditoribus: A.'s regular term for the Manichean `hearers', but in the Coptic texts in C. R. C. Allberry, A Manichaean Psalm-Book (Stuttgart, 1938), the regular word is the Gk. kathxou/menos, which auditor more or less tries to translate; A. only uses the Gk. word for the orthodox Christian initiatory status in which he was brought up.
is in cuius domo: H. Chirat, in a note at Pellegrino Les Confessions 133n5, thinks this must mean the same Constantius who gave shelter to numerous Manichees and later himself became catholic (c. Faust. 5.5, `Constantius, modo iam frater noster catholicus christianus, qui multos vestrum Romae in domum suam congregaverat propter implenda praecepta Manichaei'), and the possibility cannot be ruled out.
quos electos vocant: Only here does he claim to have associated directly with the Manichean elect (at 4.1.1 he implies that he cooperated in feeding them, but that need not imply social intercourse); if only in Rome did he first associate with them, it is a sign of how involved in the movement he still was, whatever his doubts. At c. litt. Pet. 3.17.20 he denies having been a `presbyterum . . . manichaeorum' (see on 5.7.13 for whether he ever had such aspirations); cf. c. Fort. 3., `nostis autem me non electum vestrum sed auditorem fuisse.' On the distinction, 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.'
adhuc enim mihi videbatur: See on 7.3.5, `audiebam'.
aliam . . . naturam: The attitude A. here characterizes is one he may not have espoused in so many words during his time with the Manichees; Courcelle, Recherches 100-101, quotes Amb. exam. 1.8.31, `quid alienam naturam accersis ad excusationem tuorum lapsuum? . . . quid naturam accusas, o homo?' The characterization assimilates this attitude to that which he later attributes to devotees of astrology (see on 4.3.4), and in at least one passage the two come together (en. Ps. 140.9); the link between the astrologers and the Manichees for A. included their common concupiscentia oculorum.
ut sanares animam meam: Ps. 40.5, `ego dixi, domine, miserere mei; sana animam meam, quia peccavi tibi.'
adversus me . . . diviserat: Mt. 12.26, `et si satanas satanam eicit, adversus se divisus est.'
omnipotens: Biblical, frequent, from Gn. to Apoc.
te . . . superari: i.e., the fragment of the divine imprisoned in A.
nondum ergo . . . electis eorum: Ps. 140.3-4, `pone, domine, custodiam ori meo, et ostium continentiae circa labia mea, (4) ut non declines cor meum in verba maligna ad excusandas excusationes in peccatis cum hominibus operantibus iniquitatem et non combinabis cum electis eorum'; en. Ps. 140.6, `ostium et aperitur et clauditur; ergo si ostium est, et aperiatur, et claudatur; aperiatur ad confessionem peccati, claudatur ad excusationem peccati. ita enim erit ostium continentiae, non ruinae.' It seems certain that the verses are apt in part for the occurrence of `electis', but Mandouze 105n2 disagrees.
sed tamen iam desperans: A foreshadowing, invisible to him at the time of the events described, of the course of conf. On matters of doctrine, he was making progress, if only by going in reverse; but it was the moral bind that kept him tied to Manicheism. Similarly, in Bk. 7 he would solve almost all his doctrinal problems (except the Christological ones), but it would remain for Bk. 8 and the moral renovation that came with the last doctrinal correction for him to be freed.
proficere: 5.7.13, `proficere in illa secta'.
decreveram: See on 5.7.13, cf. 5.14.25, ending the book. Courcelle, Recherches 77: `Mais ses doutes, croit-il, ne sont que provisoires.'
text of 5.10.19
academicos: A. does not say that he gave his head to the Academics, only that he began to think they might be right. For their position, see chiefly c. acad. 3.17.37 - 19.42: at 3.17.38, `quare cum in falsas opiniones ruere turba sit pronior et consuetudine corporum omnia esse corporea facillime sed noxie credatur, instituit vir acutissimus atque humanissimus dedocere potius quos patiebatur male doctos quam docere quos dociles non arbitrabatur. inde illa omnia nata sunt quae novae academiae tribuuntur'. Another version of the doubts that brought him to the Academics is given at util. cred. 8.20 (quoted in prolegomena); see also his self-justification at c. litt. Pet. 3.21.24-3.22.26 and the charaterization of the Academics at ench. 7.20. A less reverent view was that of Monnica, at Cassiciacum: when she asked who the Academics were and what they were about, A. explained briefly and she responded (beata v. 2.16): `isti homines, inquit, caducarii sunt--quo nomine vulgo apud nos vocantur quos comitialis morbus subvertit~--et simul surrexit ut abiret.'
A suggestive text that would have spoken loudly to A. in 384: Cic. Lucullus 3.8, `nam ceteri primum ante tenentur adstricti quam quid esset optimum iudicare potuerunt; deinde infirmissimo tempore aetatis aut obsecuti amico cuidam aut una alicuius quem primum audierunt oratione capti de rebus incognitis iudicant et ad quamcumque sunt disciplinam quasi tempestate delati ad eam tamquam ad saxum adhaerescunt.'
See Holte, Beatitude et Sagesse 42-44; J. J. O'Meara, in the introduction to his translation of c. acad. (Ancient Christian Writers, volume 12 [Westminster, Md., 1950]); J. Mourant, RA 4(1966), 67-96; and M. Baltes, Aug.-Lex. 1.40-45. The notion that the Academics had a secret inner doctrine for adepts obviously appealed to A. at the time, and he had (unreliable) testimony to trust: Cic. Lucullus frg. 21M (< c. acad. 3.20.43): `quisquis autem putat hoc sensisse academicos, ipsum Ciceronem audiat. ait enim illis morem fuisse occultandi sententiam suam nec eam cuiquam nisi qui secum ad senectutem usque vixisset aperire consuesse.' If we accept that the Manichees had won A.'s allegiance by promising rational argument, it is easy to see how Cicero could trump that card: Lucullus 18.60, `non solemus, inquit [Arcesilas], ostendere. quae sunt tandem ista mysteria? aut cur celatis quasi turpe aliquid sententiam vestram? ut qui audient, inquit, ratione potius quam auctoritate ducantur.'
comprehendi: The use of katala/mbanein = comprehendere as a technical term was a topic of Cicero's academica: Lucullus 6.18, `ex quo efficitur nihil posse comprehendi'.
dissimulavi: `neglect' with infinitive, cf. 1 Reg. 23.13, `dissimulavit exire', and other passages adduced by G-M ad loc. Here A. tries to hold on to the sect while distancing himself from the doctrine; by the end of Bk. 7, he will himself be attempting to stay aloof from the catholic community while acquiring its doctrine--a tendency against which Simplicianus is shown reacting at 8.2.4.
familiaritas: duab. an. 9.11, `sed me duo quaedam maxime, quae incautam illam aetatem facile capiunt, per admirabiles attrivere circuitus: quorum est unum familiaritas nescio quomodo repens quadam imagine bonitatis tamquam sinuosum aliquod vinculum multipliciter collo involutum'.
occultat: 4.1.1, `occulte'; hence the barb in ep. Sec. 2, `recessionem tuam . . . quae per timorem facta est' --implying that at Rome A., in search of a great career, found the Manichees persecuted and removed himself from them out of self-interest; A.'s protest is at c. Sec. 1.
domine caeli et terrae: Mt. 11.25, `confiteor tibi, pater, domine caeli et terrae, quia abscondisti haec a sapientibus et revelasti ea parvulis.'
creator omnium visibilium et invisibilium: Nicene Creed (apud Denzinger Enchiridion Symbolorum [ed. 36, Freiburg, 1976] 125, in the version of Hil. Pict. de synodis 84 [PL 10.536A]): `patrem omnipotentem, omnium visibilium et invisibilium factorem'.
mihi turpe videbatur: A doubt also at 3.7.12, `utrum forma corporea deus finiretur', and raised again with a view to a solution at 7.1.1, `figura corporis humani'.
maxima et prope sola causa: If we take this assertion seriously, then it is the reading of the libri platonicorum at 7.9.13 that seems to solve the problem; cf. the list of `causes' that made A. a Manichee at 3.7.12 (and see notes there). R. J. O'Connell, REAug 9(1963), 1-39, plausibly suggests the influence of Plot. 6.4-5 in shaping A.'s solution (but du Roy 70n1 unsure whether A. had read them before Cassiciacum). The nature of evil is A.'s next concern (5.10.20) and at 5.11.21 the reliability of scripture is adduced again as well. In introducing the appeal of the Academics, he thus makes clear that none of the specific doubts and ignorances that led him to the Manichees had yet found a lasting solution.
text of 5.10.20
substantiam: The word is not properly predicated either of God (trin. 7.4.9-5.10) or of evil (see on 3.7.12), but at this stage A. applies it to both.
crassam . . . subtilem: The adjectives are regularly opposed (SLA s.v. subtilis).
pietas: a non-Manichean quality (5.3.5, `non pie quaerunt').
angustius: c. ep. fund. 21.23, `quaero utrum et ipsa terra tenebrarum unum latus habuerit et cetera infinita, sicut terra lucis. non ita credunt; timent enim ne deo videatur aequalis. dicunt ergo illam per profundum immensam et per longum: sursum versus autem supra illam spatia infinitae inanitatis affirmant. et ne ipsa vel simplum, terra autem luminis duplum tenere videatur, angustant eam a duobus etiam lateribus. tamquam si unus panis . . . in quadras quatuor decussatim formetur, in quibus tres sint candidae, una nigra: modo de tribus candidis tolle distinctionem, et fac illas et sursum versus et deorsum versus, et undique retro infinitas: sic ab eis esse creditur terra lucis. illam vero nigram quadram fac deorsum versus et retro infinitam, supra se autem immensam inanitatem habere: si opinantur terram tenebrarum. sed haec nimis attentis et studiose inquirentibus quasi secreta demonstrant.' (Just the sort of doctrine, in other words, for one like A., pressing for answers.)
conaretur . . . repercutiebar: Echoes again (cf. 4.15.26, `conabar ad te et repellebar abs te') the vocabulary of the mystic ascent; here again a failure, here again in a context that emphasizes the persistence of the dilemmas first sketched at 3.7.12.
catholicam: First here in conf., often after.
miserationes: the subject of the verb: God gives the act of confessing; for the significance of the inversion (see on 7.6.8, and cf. 4.16.31 and 5.1.1). Ps. 106.8, `confiteantur domino miserationes eius', Ps. 118.77, `veniant mihi miserationes tuae, et vivam'.
quod mihi nescienti: The parenthesis states just the position demolished in 7.1.1 - 7.3.4.
nisi eam . . . diffunderetur: M. Colish, The Stoic Tradition (Leiden, 1985), 2.147, `This concept of mind and of the divine nature . . . does indeed have a strongly Stoic filiation, reflecting the Stoic notion that everything which acts is a body. Earlier this Stoic principle had been absorbed and professed positively by Tertullian against Praxeas.'
ipsumque salvatorem: The problem of the nature of evil is closely tied to that of Christology. Unraveling the first in early Bk. 7 will lead to the second in the end of Bk. 7 and in Bk. 8. On Manichean christology see BA 13.674-676. Their Christ is a being of the spirit, not the flesh: he calls souls back to their divine nature and awakens them to repentance. The historic Jesus is the Iesus patibilis, conceived and begotten by earth fertilised by the Holy Spirit in the ambient air. At c. Faust. 20.11 A. accused the Manichees of having three Christs: `aliusne est quem de spiritu sancto concipiens terra patibilem gignit, omni non solum suspensus ex ligno, sed etiam iacens in herba, et alius ille quem Iudaei crucifixerunt sub Pontio Pilato, et tertius ille per solem lunamque distentus?'
imaginari: i.e., create a phantasma--A. relishes the irony that the Christ of the Manichees really was a phantasma.
talem itaque naturam: For Manichean denial of the Virgin birth, see c. ep. pel. 2.2.3 and Evodius de fide c. man. 22 (PL 42.1145).
carni concerneretur: `without becoming intermingled with the flesh' : The verb is rare but attested elsewhere (TLL 4.24: from Silius, Ambrose and Maximus of Turin); A. will have liked the alliteration: could he have imagined he saw an etymology? c. Faust. 22.31, `ut cum in ceteris actibus ad humanam pacem pertinentibus mulier viro debeat servitutem, huius unius rei, qua sexus utriusque carnali sorte discernitur et carnali commixtione concernitur, similem in se habeant potestatem vir in uxorem ut uxor in virum.' (Also contrasted to discernere at en. Ps. 49.11). Equally intriguing is the link through Gk. sugki/rnhmi (a rare and late equivalent of sunkera/nnumi: see J. le Clercq at PL 47.207) to what may be at the back of A.'s mind here: Porph. sent. 4,ta\ kaq' au(ta\ a)sw/mata . . . ou) . . . sugki/rnatai toi=s sw/masin
in carne natum in carne natum C D G O Maur. Skut. Ver.: incarnatum S Knöll
ridebunt: On mockers, see on 1.6.7, `inrisor'.
confessiones meas: See on 5.1.1.
text of 5.11.21
defendi posse: The same words at 5.14.24, at Milan, when scripture does begin to seem defensible.
cum aliquo . . . doctissimo: He wants a catholic Faustus (5.6.10, `conlatoque conloquio'); see on 5.13.23, `studiose'.
Elpidii: Another named figure (see on 4.4.7), from before the time under review (383/4 at Rome), but as with all named figures, one who contributed to A.'s betterment. Courcelle, Recherches 65n5, adduces mor. 2.8.11, `nam etiam de quodam dicente nullam substantiam malum esse, unus de primatibus huius haeresis, quem familiarius crebriusque audiebamus, dicebat: vellem scorpionem in manu hominis ponere ac videre utrum non subtraheret manum; quod si faceret, non verbis sed re ipsa convinceretur aliquam substantiam malum esse, quandoquidem illud animal substantiam non negaret. et dicebat hoc non coram illo, sed cum ad eum nos commoti referremus quod ille dixisset: respondebat ergo, ut dixi, pueriliter pueris.' Courcelle thinks the quidam may be Elpidius, but doubts Alfaric's identification (Alfaric 254n3) of doctor of the Manichees with Faustus: Courcelle puts the episode back to an earlier period. That text demonstrates that on two of the three main questions that made A. a Manichee (see 3.7.12), he had access while in Africa to catholic arguments essentially identical to those that would eventually convince him--and they did not. What is to be observed in Milan is not what he heard, but why it moved him.
scripturas . . . falsatas: Cf., e.g., c. Faust. 18.7, 10.3.
nulla proferrent: mor. 1.29.61, `proferendus est namque tibi alius codex eadem continens . . . ubi sola desint quae hic immissa esse criminaris'.
moles illae: The `masses' envisioned at 5.10.20.
text of 5.12.22
ergo: For ambitio saeculi as relief from other troubles, see on 4.7.12.
eversiones: See on 3.3.6, cf. 5.8.14.
ne mercedem magistro reddant: The witness on whom A. depends here might not be entirely reliable. Elsewhere, A. implicitly accepts the idea that students who had not yet paid their fees might well abandon a teacher if they found him less than satisfactorily competent: util. cred. 6.13, `itaque in quaestiuncula magistro deficienti et quid respondeat non habenti suscensemus potius quam illum mutum vitio Maronis putamus. iam si ad defensionem suam peccatum tanti auctoris adserere voluerit, vix apud eum discipuli vel datis mercedibus remanebunt.' For comparison with conditions known to Libanius, see A. Müller, Philologus 69(1910), 314.
non perfecto odio: Ps. 138.22, `perfecto odio oderam illos, inimici facti sunt mihi'; en. Ps. 138.28, `oderam in eis iniquitates eorum, diligebam conditionem tuam. hoc est perfecto odio odisse, ut nec propter vitia homines oderis, nec vitia propter homines diligas. . . . ut hoc in eis oderit quod iniqui sunt, hoc diligat quod homines sunt.' A. does not say that he actually suffered this fraud, but he was warned of it. The pertinence is that his best motive for the move to Rome (5.8.14) was that he wanted more peaceable students. Mandouze 108n5 reproaches A.'s self-reproach: `Le reproche qu'Augustin se fait à lui-même est ici exactement opposé à celui qu'il formulait contre soi au sujet du vol des poires. En effet, tandis qu'il regrettait la "gratuité" de l'acte de maraudage, il s'accuse ici d'avoir été "intéressé." Nouvelle preuve que l'évêque d'Hippone ne manque jamais dans les Confessions de présenter l'interprétation la plus défavorable pour tous ses actes de la période "païenne."' That reading is tendentious, but the parallel with the pear-tree is apt. A. has moved to the other side, and adolescentes and their pranks seem to him as victim insufferable, for reasons equally concupiscent and inadequate. Both sinner and victim can be a long way from God.
fornicantur abs te: Ps. 72.27, `perdidisti omnem qui fornicatur abs te'; see on 1.13.21 and cf. 4.2.3. en. Ps. 140.18, `profecisti, iam unum deum colis: optime; non fornicaris ab eo ad idola, ad mathematicos, ad sortilegos, ad aruspices, ad augures, ad maleficos; ista enim fornicatio est a domino deo.'
volatica: 7.6.8, `arborum volatica folia'.
lucrum luteum: Tit. 1.7, `turpis lucri cupidum'; 1 Pet. 5.2, `neque turpis lucri gratia'.
redeunti . . . humanae: Another echo of the prodigal son: see on 1.18.28.
ei (vero): sc. doctrinae ipsae.
veritatem  et ubertatem certi boni  et pacem castissimam .
text of 5.13.23
The present paragraph is echoed and conflated with other passages in Possidius v. Aug. 1.3-6, `huius interea verbi dei praedicatoris frequentissimis in ecclesia disputationibus adstans in populo intendebat suspensus atque adfixus. (4) verum aliquando manichaeorum apud Carthaginem adulescens fuerat errore seductus, et ideo ceteris suspensior aderat, ne quid vel pro ipsa vel contra ipsam haeresim diceretur. (5) et provenit dei liberatoris clementia sui sacerdotis cor pertractantis, ut contra illum errorem incidentes legis solverentur quaestiones, atque ita edoctus sensim atque paulatim haeresis illa miseratione divina eius ex animo pulsa est: protinusque in fide catholica confirmatus, proficiendi in religione eidem amoris ardor innatus est, quo propinquantibus diebus sanctis paschae salutis aquam perciperet. (6) et factum est divina praestante opitulatione, ut per illum tantum ac talem antistitem Ambrosium et doctrinam salutarem ecclesiae catholicae et divina perciperet sacramenta.' For an earlier version of this period from A.'s hand, see util. cred. 8.20, quoted in the prolegomena.
We can surmise what A. was looking for at this stage from quant. an. 33.70 (post-baptism, but marked by the atmosphere of the earlier search), `o utinam doctissimum aliquem neque id tantum, sed etiam eloquentissimum et omnino sapientissimum perfectumque hominem de hoc ambo interrogare possemus!' The conjunction of learning, wisdom, and eloquence is noteworthy and characteristic; as here, Ambrose's greater learning marks him off from Faustus, with whom he is otherwise implicitly compared throughout, e.g., `et delectabar suavitate sermonis, quamquam eruditioris'.
itaque: This speaks of a time when he understood how things stood for teachers at Rome, but before he had any particular success or personal experience of the problems.
Mediolanio: Ausonius, ordo urbium nobilium 7, `Mediolanum' (Aus. was in retirement in Gaul by the time A. reached Milan):
et Mediolani mira omnia, copia rerum See R. Krautheimer, Three Christian Capitals (Berkeley, 1983).
innumerae cultaeque domus, facunda virorum
ingenia et mores laeti; tum duplice muro
amplificata loci species populique voluptas
circus et inclusi moles cuneata theatri,
templa Palatinaeque arces opulensque moneta
et regio Herculei celebris sub honore lavacri,
cunctaque marmoreis ornata peristyla signis
moeniaque in valli formam circumdata limbo:
omnia quae magnis operum velut aemula formis
excellunt, nec iuncta premit vicinia Romae.
praefectum urbis: Symmachus was in office summer 384 - Jan./Feb. 385 (PLRE 1, Symmachus 4); Courcelle, Recherches 78-79, dates this encounter to autumn 384. That S. owned substantial property in Africa and had served there as proconsul briefly in 373 (during A.'s student days in Carthage) increased the opportunities for acquaintance between him and A.'s Manichean friends.
A.'s appointment is notoriously contemporaneous with S.'s famous relatio on the restoration of the Altar of Victory. For a view of that speech and its context stripped of romantic melodrama, see my comments in Traditio 35(1979), 73-76; a more traditional view at length in J. Wyztes, Der letzte Kampf des Heidentums in Rom (Leiden, 1977). We are inclined to underline the disjunction between `pagan' prefect and Christian bishop, but if we recall that Amb. and S. were probably related, however formally and distantly,6 S. may perfectly well have recommended A. to Amb. with a letter not unlike those that survive (S. epp. 3.30-37, all to Amb., even including one [3.33] apparently asking Amb.'s help in gaining financial relief for a supporter of the supposedly pro-`pagan' usurper Eugenius), and see on a late example from that group (dating to 396/7?) P. Bruggisser, Hermes 115(1987), 106-115. (Was it as prefect or merely as distinguished connoisseur that S. was consulted in this appointment? Seeck, in his ed. of S., p. 57 suggests the latter, though the text here is against that view; Jones, LRE 999-1000, thinks the formal appointment would have been made by the city council of Milan.) The hypothesis advanced by J. Rougé, REA 63(1963), 61, and tentatively endorsed by Brown 70, that Trygetius (from the Cassiciacum dialogues) was the son of a boyhood friend of S.'s founders on chronology: that Trygetius (or at least Trygeti filius) was already a candidate for the praetorship in 376 (see PLRE 1.923), while A.'s pupil is young in 386/7; and the express description (beata v. 1.6, `Trygetius et Licentius cives et discipuli mei') puts his origins back to Africa and Thagaste.
There are curious echoes of S.'s relatio in A. The one at sol. 1.13.23, `sed non ad eam [sapientiam] una via pervenitur', was retracted at retr. 1.4.3, but cf. also vera rel. 28.51, `quales patriarchae ac prophetae inveniuntur ab eis qui non pueriliter insiliunt, sed pie diligenterque pertractant divinarum et humanarum rerum tam bonum et tam grande secretum.' For both phrases, cf. S. rel. 3.10, `uno itinere non potest perveniri ad tam grande secretum.'
evectione publica: Jones, LRE 402, 830-831, on the rules (and exceptions) governing issuance of these passes; abuse was deplored when the abuser was disliked (e.g., Amm. 21.16.18 on Christian bishops), but was a notable sign of high favor.
ambivi: The verb of ambitio saeculi; cf. 6.6.9, `ambiebam'.
ebrios: drunks elsewhere (some metaphorical) in conf.: 1.16.26, 6.2.2, 6.6.10 (the drunken beggar), 6.8.13, 8.3.7, 8.12.29 (in Rom. 13.13), 9.3.6, 10.31.45 (A. immune to the temptation).
utrique nesciebamus: This is the clearest sign that there was some lingering attachment to Manicheism up to the time of leaving Rome for Milan (Mandouze 107n8: see on 5.6.10). If he were already detached in all but outward show, he would have known perfectly well that going to Milan was a way of getting away from the Manichees (inter alia, he seems not to have associated with any--except Romanianus--when he arrived there). See below on 5.14.25 on the way A. always had a church to go to.
dictione proposita: A. had the handicap of a provincial accent: ord. 2.17.45, `me enim ipsum . . . adhuc in multis verborum sonis Itali exagitant'.
et veni Mediolanium ad Ambrosium episcopum: Ambrose, now in his mid- to late forties, had been bishop of Milan since 374; for sketch with special ref. to A., see E. Dassmann, Aug.-Lex. 1.270-285. The part Amb. played in A.'s life is difficult to characterize, and has raised controversy; see esp. on 6.3.3. Beyond the pages of conf., most noticeable is the revived interest in Amb.'s works that characterized A.'s anti-Pelagian period, when quoting Amb. for his side was a guarantee of A.'s own orthodoxy (it was then that A. elicited the biography we have of Amb. from Paulinus of Milan--see on 6.3.3). In those days A. quotes many of Amb.'s works repeatedly (e.g., c. ep. pel. 4.11.29-31 quotes the exp. Esaiae, c. Nov., apol. proph. David, arca Noe, fuga saec., in Luc., and the bono mort.; Amb. is abundantly present in c. Iul.and c. Iul. imp.: c. Iul. 1.3.10, `sed adhuc audi alium excellentem dei dispensatorem, quem veneror ut patrem: in Christo enim Iesu per evangelium ipse me genuit, et eo Christi ministro lavacrum regenerationis accepi. beatum loquor Ambrosium'; in c. Iul.there are citations from at least apol. proph. David, exp. Ps. 48, in Tob., Isaac, arca Noe, c. Nov., parad., and the de philosophia sive de sacramento regenerationis. Counting occurrences of just the name (not periphrases like episcopus Mediolanensis) clarifies the picture: 335x in all the works, of which 58 in c. Iul., 181 in c. Iul. imp.alone; on the other hand, only 23x in all works before 410, of which 11x in conf.--but Amb. was already a touchstone of orthodoxy for A. in controversy at epp. 44.4.7 (397) and 93.6.20 (407/8). Possidius also recalled A.'s way of recounting sayings of Amb. to his disciples: Possid. v. Aug. 24.17, `Ambrosium se praesente in ecclesia tractavisse nobis aliquando rettulerat'; v. Aug. 27.4, `servandum . . . quod instituto sanctae memoriae Ambrosii compererat, ut . . .' (introducing several related sayings). P. Rousseau, Augustiana 27(1977), 153, compares these passages to `the apophthegmata of a master preserved by his disciple'. For a sketch of Amb.'s influence, see J. Patout Burns in Collectanea Augustiniana (New York, 1990), 371-384.
cuius tunc eloquia: The `tunc' here (taken with 8.2.3, `tunc episcopi' : cf. Courcelle, Les Confessions 580n1) gives a possible terminus post quem for composition of conf. of 4 April 397, the death of Amb.; see prolegomena.
adipem frumenti: eucharist: cf. Ps. 147.14, `qui posuit fines tuos pacem et adipe frumenti satians te'; en. Ps. 147.21, `qui ibi erit adeps frumenti, nisi panis ille qui descendit de caelo ad nos? in patria ipsa quomodo saturabit, qui in peregrinatione sic pavit?'; cf. also Ps. 80.17 with en. Ps. 80.22.
laetitiam: Ps. 4.7-8 (see at 9.4.10), `dedisti laetitiam in corde meo (8) a tempore frumenti, vini et olei sui multiplicati sunt'; en. Ps. 4.9, `est enim et frumentum dei, siquidem est panis vivus qui de caelo descendit. est et vinum dei, nam inebriabuntur inquit ab ubertate domus tuae. est et oleum dei, de quo dictum est: impinguasti in oleo caput meum.' Sim. interp. of Ps. 103.13, `et vinum laetificat cor hominis ut exhilaret faciem eius in oleo', at en. Ps. 103. s. 3.13; see also en. Ps. 22.5, en. Ps. 44.19.
sobriam vini ebrietatem: Amb. hymn. 1.7.23-26 (Walpole):
Christusque nobis sit cibus
potusque nobis sit fides,
laeti bibamus sobriam
Behind this and similar expressions in Amb. lies the Philonic nhfa/lia me/qh: see Hans Lewy, Sobria ebrietas (Giessen, 1929), esp. 146-157 for Amb. and 157-164 for A. The vocabulary (bread, oil, wine) offers, as just noted, allusion to the sacraments that Amb. also ministered to his people (for clearer allusions with the same vocabulary in Amb., see Lewy 152-154; n.b. esp. sacr. 5.3.17, `et ideo praeclara ebrietas quae sobrietatem mentis operatur. haec sunt quae de sacramentis breviter percucurrimus'; sim. at exp. Ps. 1.33.). Already in Amb. the phrase was beginning to shift from its original Platonic meaning (what Lewy 149 calls `seine spezifische Bedeutung als Terminus für einen ekstatischen Vorgang') to a Christianized adaptation (Lewy, `Bezeichnung der Grundstimmung des in Gott ruhenden Frommen'). For similar evocations of divine and sober drunkenness in A., cf. ss. 23.12.12 (wrong ref. at Lewy 163), 34.1.2 (`humilitas excelsa, et ebrietas sobria'), 143.3.3 (not in Lewy; `a carnalibus cupiditatibus mente sobria et spiritalibus desideriis ebria'), 225.4.4, en. Ps. 33. s. 2.12 (not in Lewy: `sanam insaniam et sobriam ebrietatem illius David'), 35.14 (on Ps. 35.9, `inebriabuntur ab ubertate domus tuae'), and agon. 9.10 (`et desideremus ipsum vitae fontem, ubi sobria ebrietate inundemur et inrigemur').7 Lewy later (H. Lewy, Chaldæan Oracles and Theurgy [Cairo, 1955], 198-199) found divine drunkenness in a fragment of the Chaldean oracles preserved by Psellus, but there are grave difficulties of priority there, and the distinctive sobria ebrietas is missing.
The echo of Amb.'s hymn (and note `laetitiam' just preceding) is, as several writers observe, high praise, but perhaps the highest is that it comes in the midst of a sentence whose other compliments all come from scripture. The phrase affected Paulinus of Nola with similar force, leading to the echoes at carm. 24.685-686 and 27.104-105.
nesciens: Answered by `nesciens' at the end of the paragraph.
ille homo dei: Deut. 33.1 (Moses), 1 Kgs. 9.7 (Samuel), 1 Kgs. 13.4 (anon.), 2 Kgs. 1.9 (Elias, ut saep. in 2 Kgs.), 2 Par. 8.14 (David). Knauer 183n1, `Die Demonstrativa quidam und ille werden ohne wesentlichen Unterschied gebraucht': but here it almost has the effect of insisting on a scripture quotation.
peregrinationem: Knauer, Hermes 85(1957), 226, `nicht nur den äusseren Weg bis nach Mailand, sondern auch den innern seiner bisherigen geistigen Entwicklung'.
satis episcopaliter: 1 Tim. 3.2, `oportet ergo episcopum inreprehensibilem esse, unius uxoris virum . . . hospitalem, doctorem.' Amb. Abr. 1.5.32, `apostolus principaliter eam [sc. hospitalitatem] in episcopo esse oportere . . .: ut praesto sit advenientibus et occurrat obviam et itinera exploret.' A.'s view of the bishop's responsibility: s. 355.1.2, `vidi necesse habere episcopum exhibere humanitatem assiduam quibusque venientibus sive transeuntibus: quod si non fecisset episcopus, inhumanus diceretur.' The adverb is only here in A.; the adjective from which it derives is far and away most commonly applied to episcopal authority to bind, loose, and judge, hence those expressions that do occur of `episcopal' magnanimity are in a judicial context.
dilexit . . . amare: Courcelle, Recherches 86n3: `On notera l'opposition entre dilexit (sentiments chrétiens d'Ambroise) et amare (sentiments purement humains d'Augustin)'; at 6.1.1, `[Monnica] diligebat [Ambrosium]'.
desperabam: These are the most desperate straits of conf.; the verb despero (or its present participle) is used with A. as its subject 6x in Bk. 5 of conf., and elsewhere only at 6.1.1 (where a different note is sounded by the first words of the book: `spes mea a iuventute mea'), at 6.11.18 (in the retrospective representation of the development of his views), and in a contrafactual case much later (10.43.70, `alioquin desperarem').
studiose: C. Mohrmann Vig. Chr. 5(1951), 252: not as de Labriolle's translation (`assidû') nor Courcelle's (`en amateur'); but that A. is motivated `par une intérêt tout à fait technique'. Alfaric 370 puts well A.'s response at this time: `Augustin trouvait la doctrine d'Ambroise très admissible, mais sans se sentir obligé de l'admettre.'
disputantem: The verb itself indicates what A. was looking for: not a preacher, but a disputator; 5.6.11, `aviditas mea . . . delectabatur quidem motu affectuque disputantis'; cf. util. cred. 8.20, `nonnullae disputationes Mediolanensis episcopi'. Hensellek, Anzeiger Akad. Wien 115(1978), 20, finds the noun uncommon in the sense of `preaching.'
suspendebar: Of intense attention at 4.16.28 (of his enthusiasm for Arist. categ.), 6.1.1 (of Monnica in the presence of Amb.), and 6.3.3.
intentus . . . incuriosus: (1) A. has these two attitudes in the wrong order: just where curiosity would stand him in good stead, it fails him, and his intentio is thus misdirected; (2) but there is a connection between intentio (see on 11.18.23) and curiositas: both functions of that part of the soul that corresponds to the second person of the trinity.
suavitate sermonis: Suavitas is the instrument of delectatio, a necessity in for even the humble style of oratory: doctr. chr. 4.26.56, `quid etiam quaerit nisi credi, qui aliquid, licet submisso eloquio, discentibus narrat? et quis eum velit audire nisi auditorem nonnulla etiam suavitate detineat?' Cf. Cic. or. 21.69, `docere necessitatis est, delectare suavitatis, flectere victoriae', as misquoted at doctr. chr. 4.12.27 (for `docere' Cic. has `probare'). The difference between form and content in speech runs through Bk. 5: 5.3.3 (on suaviloquentia), 5.6.10, 5.14.24.
quamquam . . . quam Fausti erat: These words encourage us to look more closely at the verbal and substantive echoes that link the introduction of F. in Bk. 5 with the appearance and actions of Ambrose in Bk. 6; see on 6.3.3.
ceterum . . . comparatio: This judgment is not that of the A. of 384, but the A. of 397; in 384 A. had not yet begun to compare F. and A. on substantive grounds.
ille (autem) ille C D O1 S Knöll Skut. Ver.: iste GO2 Maur.
sed longe . . . salus: Ps. 118.155, `longe a peccatoribus salus, quoniam iustificationes tuas non exquisierunt'; en. Ps. 118. s. 30.3, `quis te discernit a peccatoribus, ut non a te longe sed tecum sit salus? hoc te nempe discernit, quia id quod isti non egerunt ipse fecisti, hoc est, dei iustificationes exquisisti. quid autem habes quod non accepisti?' The sub-text is that proper search (not the `non pie quaerunt' of the Manichees [5.3.5] but the `quaerentes enim invenientes eum' of 1.1.1) is the hope for drawing nearer to God; on `longe', see on 1.18.28.
text of 5.14.24
See util. cred. 8.20, quoted in prolegomena. doctr. chr. 3.5.9, `littera occidit, spiritus autem vivificat. . . . ea demum est miserabilis animi servitus, signa pro rebus accipere; et supra creaturam corpoream, oculum mentis ad hauriendum aeternum lumen levare non posse.' (Note the association of the vocabulary of the mystical ascent with correct scriptural interpretation.)
It is the great achievement of Courcelle's Recherches (98-132) to have traced the surviving sermons of Ambrose that can reasonably be dated to the time of A.'s sojourn in Milan, and their echoes in A. For 2 Cor. 3.6, not always ad verbum (with C.'s dates): Iacob 1.4.13 (early 386), interpell. Iob et David 1.5.12 (June 387: `inveteravit littera, evertit enim [Christus] et subruit intellectum secundum litteram et statuit intelligentiam spiritalem. intellectus ergo legis ille carnalis evanuit: facta est spiritalis.'), in Luc. 3.28, 6.29, 9.1 and 9.37 (387). Earlier: fide 3.5.37 (380), spir. sanct. 2.4.30 (381). Later: in ps. at least 6x (389 and later). See L. F. Pizzolato, La dottrina esegetica di sant'Ambrogio (Milan, 1978), 194-201.
The other most important works that A. was exposed to were the de Isaac vel anima (386) and the de bono mortis (386), but their relevance is Platonico-philosophical rather than exegetico-theological. In some cases, the most we can do is note a congruence to A.'s situation at the time or to his later thought; e.g., the bono mort. spoke to the fear of death of which he speaks at 6.16.26, the Isaac spoke to the nature of spiritual existence (cf. 7.1.1ff), and the apol. proph. David (387?) spoke to the sinfulness of all. Even where, as in the last case, we cannot be sure that A. heard the surviving sermon(s), the presence of the doctrines in Amb.'s work is at least suggestive of what A. could have heard in sermons that were not transmitted to us.
See on 5.13.23, studiose, for A.'s attitude at first.
inanis cura: He knew it an `inanis cura' at the time: see on 5.13.23.
diserte . . . vere: Of Faustus at 5.6.10, `vera . . . diserta'.
gradatim: cf. 5.13.23, `sensim'.
defendi: See on 5.13.23; cf. 5.11.21, `quae . . . defendi posse non existimabam'.
uno atque altero et saepius: G-M: `one and another and in fact a considerable number [saepius]. The older editions put a comma at altero, making the clause parenthetic -- and oftenest by way of allegory --. . . . Pusey renders, I had heard one or two places of the OT resolved, and oftentimes in a figure.' G-M clearly right: it was allegoresis that made the OT intelligible to A.
aenigmate: C. P. Mayer, Aug.-Lex. 1.140-141: `Allegoria und ae.[nigma] verhalten sich zueinander wie Genus und Species: omne aenigma allegoria est, non omnis allegoria aenigma est (trin. 15.9.15).' For A.'s view of the problem, and its solution, five years later, when he was still cautious and skeptical about the ability of the church to make these things clear, with verbal echoes that link to the situation here, see util. cred. 2.4, `et quia sunt ibi quaedam quae suboffendant animos ignaros et neglegentes sui--quae maxima turba est--populariter accusari possunt; defendi autem populariter, propter mysteria quae his continentur, non a multis admodum possunt. qui vero pauci hoc facere noverunt non amant propatula et famigerula quaedam in disputatione certamina'.
aenigmate soluto: doctr. chr. 2.16.23, `ad solvenda aenigmata scripturarum', 2.29.45, `ad aenigmata scripturarum solvenda'; cf. Gn. c. man. 2.2.3.
cum ad litteram acciperem: 2 Cor. 3.5-6, `sed sufficientia nostra ex deo est; (6) qui et idoneos nos fecit ministros novi testamenti, non littera, sed spiritu: littera enim occidit, spiritus autem vivificat.' (Quoted ad verbum in representing Amb.'s views at 6.4.6, where see notes on the place of the verse in A.'s oeuvre.)
desperationem: For despair, see on 5.13.23; note that the effect here is only to deepen his depression by persisting in a despair that he now finds unworthy.
credideram: 3.7.12, `et utrum iusti existimandi essent'.
legem et prophetas: The OT, as at Mt. 5.17, 7.12, Lk. 16.16; and cf. A.'s later work, contra adversarium legis et prophetarum--a defense of the OT.
catholicam viam: For catholica, see on 5.10.20; for via = Christus, see on 7.7.11.
illud: i.e., Manicheism.
catholica: Perhaps sc. via from above, but cf. 6.4.5, `catholicam tuam', and often elsewhere in A., where catholica simply = catholica ecclesia.
non mihi victa . . . nondum etiam victrix: Epigram is his best measure of the progress that despair brought him. The battle is once again open, and in doubt. At the moment represented by the end of Bk. 4, he was a confident and loquacious defender of Manicheism. He may owe something here to Lucan's famous line (b. c. 1.128), `victrix causa deis placuit sed victa Catoni'.
text of 5.14.25
intendi animum: Nothing more is said of this vain attempt to confound the Manichees by main force of argument; the resolutions for his problems will come to him from others, not from his own learned researches.
spiritalem substantiam: The anthropomorphic question (3.7.12); still in the dark on this at 6.3.4, and emerging at 7.1.1.
omnique natura quam sensus carnis attingeret: A hint of the limitations of philosophy; cf. 9.10.24 (Ostia), `carnalium sensuum', where the senses of the flesh are finally transcended.
philosophos: See 5.3.3-5.5.9.
sicut existimantur: Cf. 5.10.19, `academicos . . . ut vulgo habentur'.
fluctuans: 6.1.1, `illam ancipitem fluctuationem', 6.5.8, `fluctuabam'.
decrevi: G-M give a sober and straightforward list of his reasons: They offered no spiritual sustenance, only fables about sun and moon (3.10.18, util. cred. 1.3); the morality of the elect was hypocritical (mor. 2.19.68-72); they were better at refutation than in proof (7.2.3, util. cred. 1.2); their claims about the falsification of scripture were unfounded (5.11.21, util. cred. 3.7); their astronomy was bogus (5.3.6 - 5.5.9); Faustus was a failure (5.7.13). Such a list is no more than a report about the state of his conscious mind at the time of his separation from the Manichees. Other factors to be kept in mind are his removal from the original circle of Manichean friends and associates he knew in Africa, followed by his apparent removal from any close contact with Manichean cultists on his removal from Rome to Milan, and the possibility, hinted at by his suggestion that the emotional satisfaction he sought in Manicheism was the relief it offered from a sense of sin and guilt, that in some visceral way beyond the reach of his conscious arguments or our analysis he simply felt unsatisfied.
sine salutari nomine Christi: Philosophy was already rejected for lacking the nomen Christi at 3.4.8, on reading the Hortensius. He has now abdicated the doctrines that curiositas inspired in him, but not the curiositas itself: he has instead returned to where the Hortensius left him, now seeking a new satiety for his curiositas.
curationem languoris: Mt. 9.35, `et curans omnem languorem et omnem infirmitatem'; languores most recently at 4.11.16 (the address to his soul, promising a healing that comes `a veritate') and thematically through Bk. 10 (see on 10.3.3).
catechumenus: He had been a catechumen since boyhood (1.11.17); cf. again util. cred. 8.20 (in prolegomena: `decreveramque tamdiu esse catechumenus in ecclesia cui traditus a parentibus eram, donec aut invenirem . . .'), and for the turn of phrase and mind, Gn. litt. 10.3.6, `ut . . . acceptabilem de hac re sententiam nanciscamur, ut eam tenere, donec certum aliquid elucescat'; see on 5.7.13, with discussion of the repetition of this theme at 5.10.18, here, 6.10.17, 6.11.18, and 8.7.18; and cf. again Ps. 36.23 (also see on 5.7.13).
The catholic church had some appeals to A. that he does not mention here: c. ep. fund. 4.5-5.6, `in catholica enim ecclesia, ut omittam sincerissimam sapientiam, ad cuius cognitionem pauci spiritales in hac vita perveniunt, ut eam ex minima quidem parte, quia homines sunt, sed tamen sine dubitatione cognoscant--ceteram quippe turbam non intellegendi vivacitas, sed credendi simplicitas tutissimam facit--ut ergo hanc omittam sapientiam, quam in ecclesia esse catholica non creditis, multa sunt alia quae in eius gremio me iustissime teneant. tenet consensio populorum atque gentium; tenet auctoritas miraculis inchoata, spe nutrita, caritate aucta, vetustate firmata; tenet ab ipsa sede Petri apostoli, cui pascendas oves suas post resurrectionem dominus commendavit, usque ad praesentem episcopatum successio sacerdotum; tenet postremo ipsum catholicae nomen, quod non sine causa inter tam multas haereses sic ista ecclesia sola obtinuit. . . . (6) ego vero evangelio non crederem, nisi me catholicae ecclesiae commoveret auctoritas.' The last sentence is famous, but, like the former paragraph, seems empirical and factual rather than prescriptive; how else any Christian might believe in `The Gospel' (i.e., the Gospel as transmitted in the four canonical texts, as distinct from variant apocryphal versions) is not clear.8
So A. began to go to the catholic church again. A. probably never `missed church' a week in his life. He was a catholic catechumen until 18, followed the Manichees enthusiastically for years after, and still probably participated, at least outwardly, in their cult while living with them at Rome. On going to Milan that he takes up orthodox Christianity again. It is typical of late antique men that they are rarely (if ever) cultless.
In Numidia, a hundred miles or so west of Thagaste, not far from Constantine (mod. Cirta); Decret, Aspects 197-198 thinks it plausible, but impossible to prove, that F. was introduced to Manicheism in his native city.
Otherwise from Seneca, A. shows two and a half lines of tragedies, the five lines of Cleanthes translated at Sen. ep. 107.11, ending in the famous `ducunt volentem fata, nolentem trahunt', and (at ep. 153.5.14) the quasi-proverbial `omnes odit, qui malos odit' --that phrase occurs several times in Sen. de ira and de benef., but A. cites neither, rather introducing Seneca there as coeval with the apostles and `cuius etiam quaedam ad Paulum apostolum leguntur epistulae' --not even claiming to have read those letters himself. I. Opelt, Atti-1986 1.364-365, tries to make much of S.'s name in gramm. (Keil 5.496) and a phrase in ep. 3*.2 that appears in S.'s de ira, but as Divjak notes ad loc., that phrase is proverbial and proves nothing.
At c. litt. Pet. 3.25.30, A. deals with P.'s claim that A. left Africa only in 386 when Manichees were being persecuted.
Date uncertain: Goldbacher leaves this with the whole group of undated laters at post-395; Mandouze Pros. chr. s.v. Laetus 1 inclines to pre-395 for this letter but cannot rule out a later date.
ep. 29.4 reports ecclesiastical customs at St. Peter's basilica, but does not demonstrably come from A.'s own experience.
exc. fratr. 1.32 (Amb. addressing his dead brother), `qui, cum a viro nobili revocareris, Symmacho, tuo parente, quod ardere bello Italia diceretur, . . . respondisti hanc ipsam tibi causam esse veniendi, ne nostro deesses periculo, ut consortem te fraterni discriminis exhiberes'; perhaps corroborated by Symm. ep. 1.63, `Saturus communis frater'.
There are similar expressions as well, e.g., s. Lambot 6, `sancta ebrietas'.
On that text, see G. Bonner, St. Augustine of Hippo (London, 1963), 231-232.
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