Book Nine

Bk. 9 is the book of death and rebirth. Baptism stands at its center, and baptism is both death in Christ (Rom. 6.3) and rebirth. Verecundus, Nebridius, Patricius, Adeodatus, and Monnica are all reported to have been baptized and died--though of those deaths only that of Monnica falls within what might be thought the chronological limits of this book (August 386 - late 387). Augustine, Alypius, and Evodius are baptized and go on to a new life. The parting of the ways between A. and his mother is marked at the end of the book with solemn liturgical language.

This is the only book in conf. in which resurrection is mentioned, thrice, culminating at Ostia: 9.3.5, 9.4.9, 9.10.25; contrast the enthusiasm with which A.'s Easter week sermons proclaim the resurrection an essential and defining doctrine (e.g., s. 234.3, `discernebamus nos a paganis credendo Christum resurrexisse'). At 9.4.10, `iudicium' is the only clear reference in conf. to the Last Judgment; though in Bk. 13 and elsewhere A. anticipates the afterlife,1 the cosmic transition is nowhere mentioned.

The narrative of events that terminates here achieves a straightforward practical purpose. By showing how he did separate himself from Manicheism and came to orthodox Christian baptism, he proves his Christianity legitimate in the face of whatever suspicions were in the air in Africa in the late 390s.

The book falls in halves, each of which is symmetrical within itself and with the other.

9.1.1 - 9.7.16
  • The Death and Rebirth of Augustine.
  • 9.1.1 - 9.2.4
  • Milan before Cassiciacum
  • 9.3.5 - 9.5.13
  • Cassiciacum
  • 9.4.8 - 9.4.11
  • Hearing the Word
  • 9.6.14 - 9.7.16
  • Milan after Cassiciacum
  • 9.6.14
  • Baptism
  • 9.8.17 - 9.13.37
  • The Death and Rebirth of Monnica.
  • 9.8.17 - 9.9.22
  • Monnica's life before Ostia
  • 9.10.23 - 9.10.26
  • Ostia
  • 9.10.25
  • Hearing the Word
  • 9.11.27 - 9.13.37
  • After Ostia
  • 9.11.28
  • Monnica's Death
  • text of 9.1.1


    This paragraph is seeded with biblical citations that occur elsewhere in conf. (see details below): Ps. 115.16 (8.1.1); Ps. 34.10 (5.1.1, 8.1.1, 8.8.19); Ps. 34.3 (1.5.5, 1.11.18, 5.8.14, 6.11.18); Ps. 85.15 (1.18.28); Mt. 11.30 (8.4.9, 10.36.58, 13.15.17); Ps. 18.15 (7.7.11, 8.6.13).

    o domine: Ps. 115.16-17(7-8), `o domine, ego servus tuus, ego servus tuus, filius ancillae tuae. (17) dirupisti vincula mea; tibi sacrificabo sacrificium laudis.' A. invokes the archetypal Christian allegorical reading of scripture, Paul's version of the children of Abraham (Gal. 4.21-31): en. Ps. 115.6, `filius enim est ancillae secundum quod omnis creatura subdita creatori est, et verissimo domino verissimum debet famulatum; quem cum exhibet, libera est, hanc accipiens a domino gratiam, ut ei non necessitate sed voluntate deserviat. ergo iste filius est Hierusalem caelestis, quae sursum est, mater omnium nostrum libera. . . . dicat ergo deo servus iste: multi se martyres dicunt, multi servos tuos, quia nomen tuum habent in variis haeresibus et erroribus; sed quia praeter ecclesiam tuam sunt, non sunt filii ancillae tuae.' This verse and Ps. 34.10 at 8.1.1 bracket the conversion story (Knauer 152-153); here the indicative `sacrificabo' replaces the subjunctive `sacrificem' of 8.1.1. A. is also filius ancillae and/or servus dei at 1.7.12, 2.3.7, 5.10.18, 12.24.33; cf. also 10.34.53, `sacrifico laudem sanctificatori meo.'

    filius ancillae tuae: Cf. the last line of this book: 9.13.37, `meminerint ad altare tuum Monnicae, famulae tuae'; elsewhere in the book, 9.7.15, `mea mater, ancilla tua'; 9.12.33, `ancillam tuam'. Who then is M. here? The scriptural tags impose on the inevitable density of the mother-son relationship the additional powerful signification implied by from en. Ps. 115.6: she is also Sarah.

    vincula: See on 8.6.13. But chains do not always bind for ill, so by the end of this book we get (9.13.36) `vinculo fidei'.

    hostiam: Not sacrificium (as at 8.1.1): see en. Ps. 101. s. 2.3 for similar reading in same text. The idea of sacrifice occurs in the proems to Bks. 4, 5, 8, and 9; hostia at 4.1.1 (`hostiam iubilationis'). en. Ps. 95.9, `confessio hostia est deo' (cf. Ps. 53.8, `voluntarie sacrificabo tibi et confitebor nomini tuo').

    lingua mea: 5.1.1 opens echoing these words, `accipe sacrificium confessionis mearum de manu linguae meae.'

    omnia ossa mea dicant: Ps. 34.10, `omnia ossa mea dicent, domine, quis similis tibi?' en. Ps. 34. s. 1.13, `quis digne de his verbis aliquid dicat? ego puto tantum pronuntianda esse, non exponenda. quid quaeris illud aut illud? quid simile domino tuo? ipsum habes ante te.' See on 5.1.1; see also 8.1.1. For ossa mea endowed with speech, see 8.8.19.

    dicant dicant C D G O Skut. Ver.:   dicent S Knöll

    dic animae meae: Ps. 34.3, `dic animae meae, salus tua ego sum'; see on 1.5.5 (and cf. Knauer 67-68). At 1.5.5, when this quotation occurs in a similarly thematic way, the associated question is not quis ego et qualis ego but quid sis [deus] mihi.

    misericors: Ps. 85.15, `et tu, domine deus, miserator et misericors, longanimis et multum misericors et verax' (echoed more closely at 1.18.28); Exod. 34.6, `domine deus, misericors et clemens, patiens et multae miserationis, ac verax'; Ps. 102.8, `miserator et misericors domine, longanimis et multum misericordiae.'

    profunditatem mortis meae: 2.6.14, `o mortis profunditas!'

    a fundo cordis mei: See on 8.12.28, `a fundo arcano'.

    hoc erat totum: There are several approximate gospel models for this abnegation: e.g., Mt. 26.39, `verumtamen non sicut ego volo sed sicut tu', cf. Mk. 14.36, Jn. 5.30, Jn. 6.38.

    secreto: See `omni secreto interior' here. God dwells in `secret' (1.4.4, `secretissime et praesentissime', 1.18.29, 4.12.19, 5.6.11, 6.3.4, 9.7.16, 10.42.67, 10.43.68, 11.31.41), and people have their `secrets' too, not always for the good (e.g., 3.1.1, `secretiore indigentia'), but often a sign of some goodness (1.20.31, `vestigium secretissimae unitatis ex qua eram', 8.8.19, 10.8.13, `secreti atque ineffabiles sinus [memoriae]').

    evocatum est: See Knauer 35 on the artistry of arrangement.

    liberum arbitrium: See on 7.3.5. spir. et litt. 30.52, `sicut lex non evacuatur sed statuitur per fidem, quia fides impetrat gratiam qua lex impleatur, ita liberum arbitrium non evacuatur per gratiam sed statuitur, quia gratia sanat voluntatem qua iustitia libere diligatur.'

    leni iugo tuo: Mt. 11.30, `iugum enim meum lene est [see on 8.4.9] et sarcina mea levis est' (Milne 36). See also 10.36.58, 13.15.17.

    Christe Iesu: Here one page after `induite dominum Iesum Christum' that the full name recurs in direct address; the name now clearly calls on the incarnate Christ. G-M: `Here only in the Confessions is Christ directly addressed. Three times prayer is addressed to God through Christ' : 11.2.4, 11.22.28; distinguished from the many places where God is addressed with epithets that make clear the appeal to the second person of the trinity (e.g., `qui veritas es' at 1.5.6, 4.5.10, 5.3.5, 10.23.33, and cf. 3.6.10, `o veritas, veritas . . .').

    adiutor meus et redemptor meus: Ps. 18.15, `domine adiutor meus et redemptor meus'; en. Ps. 18. en. 1.15, `domine adiutor meus, tendentis ad te; quoniam redemptor meus est tu, ut tenderem ad te.' Cf. 7.7.11, 7.10.16, and 8.6.13.

    suavitatibus: In similar sense: 1.14.23, `omnes suavitates graecas fabulosarum narrationum', 2.2.3, 3.1.1, 4.4.7, 5.13.23, 6.12.21, `mortifera suavitate', 10.31.43. See below. Various words for `sweetness' pervade Bk. 9: 9.1.1 (4x), 9.3.6, 9.4.7, 9.4.10, 9.6.14 (2x), 9.9.20, 9.10.23, 9.12.30.

    amittere . . . dimittere: The interplay of loss and discard reversed from 4.9.14, `te nemo amittit nisi qui dimittit, et quia dimittit, quo it aut quo fugit . . .?'

    suavitas . . . : Of God, 2.6.13, 4.3.4, 10.17.26; cf. on 1.20.31, `dulcedo mea', 10.17.26, `dulce lumen', 1.15.24, `ut dulcescas mihi'; cf. also mus. 6.16.52, `non enim amor temporalium rerum expugnaretur, nisi aliqua suavitate aeternarum.'

    dulcior [3] . . . clarior [2], . . . sublimior [1]: The qualities predicated of God are sweetness, light, and height; each of those qualities is set against some quality that is not God: [1] the sweetness is not the sweetness that appeals to the flesh; [2] the light is one that is beyond the reach of those who penetrate to secret places; [3] the height of honor is denied to those who claim high places for themselves. The passage matches on all counts the triple structure of the text of 1 Jn. 2.16, concupiscentia carnis, concupiscentia oculorum, ambitio saeculi. It is further one of the two clearest expressions in conf. (the other is 1.20.31) to show that the threefold structure of sin arising from the three temptations is directly correlated to a threefold predication of qualities attributed to God.

    carni et sanguini: See on 4.3.4; also at 5.2.2, 8.8.19, 12.32.43.

    luce clarior: See Otto, Sprichwörter s.v. lux, e.g., Cic. Catil. 1.3.6, `luce sunt clariora nobis tua consilia omnia'; so A., s. 85.1.1, `quid hac luce clarius, “si vis venire ad vitam, serva mandata”?'

    curis mordacibus: 7.5.7, `ingravidato curis mordacissimis'; civ. 22.22, `mordaces curae'; Lucan 2.681, `curis animum mordacibus angit'; Hor. carm. 1.18.4, `mordaces . . . sollicitudines'.

    ambiendi et adquirendi [1] et volutandi atque scalpendi scabiem libidinum [3]: For the link between ambitio saeculi and concupiscentia carnis in A.'s dilemma at Milan, cf. 8.6.13, 8.7.17-18, 8.12.30; the closest parallel here is at 8.1.2, `iam enim me illa [spes honoris et pecuniae] non delectabant prae dulcedine tua et decore domus tuae, quam dilexi, sed adhuc tenaciter alligabar ex femina.' For avaritia as a sign of superbia and typhus, see cat. rud. 27.55.

    scalpendi: ord. 1.8.24, `scabiem voluptatum aerumnosarum scalpunt libentius quam ut . . . valetudini sanorum lucique reddantur.'

    garriebam: Speech now mindless but harmless: perhaps best `spoke unselfconsciously.' Cf. on 7.20.26, `garriebam plane quasi peritus', and on this passage see Hensellek, Anzeiger Akad. Wien 120(1983), 79.

    claritati meae [2] et divitiis meis [1] et saluti meae [3]: The triad is not certainly trinitarian, but is at least suggestive.

    text of 9.2.2


    in conspectu tuo: Ps. 18.15: see on 6.2.2.

    loquacitatis: See on 1.4.4; of his profession at 4.2.2 and 8.5.10. The (degrading) commercial vocabulary matches A.'s characterization of his old profession at 1.13.22, 1.19.30, 4.2.2, 8.6.13, 9.5.13.

    meditantes non legem tuam: Ps. 118.77, `lex tua meditatio mea est'; en. Ps. 118. s. 19.4, `haec meditatio nisi esset in fide quae per dilectionem operatur, numquam propter eam posset ad illam vitam quispiam pervenire. hoc dicendum putavi ne quisquam, cum totam legem memoriae mandaverit, eamque creberrima recordatione cantaverit, non tacens quod praecipit nec tamen vivens ut praecipit, arbitretur se fecisse quod legit, “quia lex tua meditatio mea est”; . . . haec meditatio amantis est cogitatio' ~. Cf. Ps. 118.70, `ego vero legem tuam meditatus sum'; Ps. 118.92, `nisi quod lex tua meditatio mea est, tunc forsitan perissem in humilitate mea'; Ps. 118.97, `quomodo dilexi legem tuam domine! tota die meditatio mea est'; Ps. 118.174, `et lex tua meditatio mea est'; Ps. 1.2, `et in lege eius meditabitur die ac nocte'. Cf. 11.2.2, `et olim inardesco meditari in lege tua'.

    insanias mendaces: Ps. 39.5, `beatus vir cuius est nomen domini spes eius, et non respexit in vanitates et insanias mendaces'; see on 6.11.18 and cf. 8.2.4 (of Victorinus at the parallel moment between decision and baptism).

    arma furori suo: Aen. 1.150, `furor arma ministrat'.

    vindemiales ferias: 23 August to 15 October, `aestivis fervoribus mitigandis et autumnis fetibus discerpendis' (cod. theod. 2.8.19); variously echoed and confirmed at 9.2.3, `feriarum tempus . . . vindemialium', 9.5.13, 9.4.8, 9.4.12. But the season puts this text in a line of African conversion stories (Courcelle, Les Confessions 121-122): Min. Fel.,Octavius 2.3, `sane et ad vindemiam feriae iudiciariam curam relaxaverant. nam id temporis post aestivam diem in temperiem semet autumnitas dirigebat'; Cypr. ad Don. 1, `nam et promisisse me memini et reddendi tempestivum prorsus hoc tempus est, quo indulgente vindemia solutus animus in quietem sollemnes ac statas anni fatigantis inducias sortiatur.' Cf. 9.2.4, `nescio utrum vel viginti dies erant'.

    coram te, coram hominibus: A.'s religion was marked by an undesirable private dimension; cf. `coram te' at 8.2.4 and 10.1.1 for A.'s view that confessio was the instrument by which this privacy was to be dismantled.

    a convalle plorationis: Ps. 83.6-7, `ascensus in corde eius disposuit, (7) in convalle plorationis, in locum quem disposuit.' For A.'s exegesis, see on 4.12.19 and cf. 13.9.10.

    canticum graduum: Psalms 119 through 133 are each marked `canticum graduum'. A.'s extended exegesis shows consistent linking of themes as here, and supplies an incarnational dimension and an eschatological goal (cf. the `ascent' of Ostia [9.10.23-25]): en. Ps. 119.1, `intellegamus ergo tamquam ascensuri; nec ascensiones pedibus corporalibus quaeramus. . . . et iam quo ascendatur, tamquam deficit sermo humanus nec explicari potest, forte nec cogitari. audistis modo, cum apostolus legeretur, “quod oculus non vidit, nec auris audivit, nec in cor hominis ascendit.” . . . quis capiet ubi erimus post hanc vitam, si in corde ascenderimus? . . . convallis humilitatem significat; mons celsitudinem significat. est mons quo ascendamus, spiritalis quaedam celsitudo. et quis est iste mons quo ascendimus, nisi dominus Iesus Christus? ipse tibi fecit patiendo convallem plorationis, qui fecit manendo montem ascensionis. quid est vallis plorationis? verbum caro factum est et habitavit in nobis.'

    sagittas acutas et carbones vastatores: Ps. 119.3-4, `quid dabitur tibi, aut quid apponetur tibi ad linguam dolosam? (4) sagittae potentis acutae, cum carbonibus vastatoribus'; en. Ps. 119.5, `sagittae potentis acutae verba dei sunt. ecce iaciuntur et transfigunt corda; sed cum transfixa fuerint corda sagittis verbi dei, amor excitatur, non interitus comparatur. . . . carbones autem vastatores qui sunt? parum est verbis agere contra linguam subdolam et labia iniqua, parum est verbis agere: et exemplis agendum est. exempla sunt carbones vastatores. . . . erant autem in illo multa quae male fronduerant, multae carnales cogitationes, saeculares multi amores; ipsi uruntur carbonibus desolatoriis, ut fiat purus locus desolatus, in cuius loci puritate faciat deus aedificium suum. . . . audis homines mirari et dicere: ego illum novi, quam ebriosus fuit, quam sceleratus, qualis amator circi aut amphitheatri, qualis fraudator; modo quomodo deo servit, quam innocens factus est! noli mirari, carbo est.' See also on 10.6.8.

    linguam subdolam: en. Ps. 119.4, `quae est lingua dolosa? subdola, habens imaginem consulendi et perniciem nocendi.' TeSelle 37-38 links this interpretation to the `nonnullorum hominum existimatio' of beata v. 1.4, that held him back from full conversion for a time. On that reading, it was the force of those who thought that he was unable to achieve that conversion that discouraged him, and that phrase is to be taken in its more obvious acceptation, as a sign of the worldly `esteem' in the face of which A. was abashed to abandon his career.

    text of 9.2.3


    sagittaveras: See first en. Ps. 119.5, quoted on 9.2.2, `sagittas acutas', and see on 10.6.8, `percussisti cor meum verbo tuo'; cf. also Ps. 10.3, `quoniam ecce peccatores intenderunt arcum, paraverunt sagittas suas in pharetra, ut sagittent in obscura luna rectos corde'; Prov. 7.23, `donec transfigat sagitta iecur eius'; en. Ps. 7.15, `non ergo mirum si iidem apostoli et vasa mortis sunt in eis a quibus persecutionem passi sunt, et igneae sagittae ad inflammanda corda credentium.' (These words and others like them gave rise to the use of the pierced heart as a specially Augustinian icon: see with refs. E. de la Peza, REAug 7[1961], 339.) But there is another history to this expression in secular love literature: cf. e.g. Ov. am. 1.2.7, `haeserunt tenues in corde sagittae.'

    cor . . . gestabamus verba: On the `inner word', see A. Schindler, Wort und Analogie in Augustins Trinitätslehre (Tübingen, 1965), 250-251, esp. citing doctr. chr. 1.13.12, `verbum quod corde gestamus'; the same wording appears at ss. 187.3.3, 288.4, trin. 15.10.19, and many more passages approximating it (usu. of the form `verbum corde conceptum' [s. Den. 2.2] or simply `verbum de deo in corde' [Io. ev. tr. 1.8]), and see ep. 162.5.

    verba . . . exempla: = sagittae . . . carbones (9.2.2); Courcelle, Recherches 203, applies verba to the garden scene and exempla to the story of the courtiers of Trier (to which should be added the other exempla, of Anthony and Victorinus).

    de nigris lucidos . . . feceras: Courcelle, Les Confessions 171n3, cites Greg. Nyss., in Cant. 1.5, tou= qeou= th\n peri\ h(ma=s a)ga/ph, o(/ti a(martwlo\s o)/ntas h(ma\s kai\ me/lanas fwtoeidei=s te kai\ e)rasmi/ous dia\ tou= e)pila/mya th\n xa/rin e)poi/hsen.

    lingua subdola: Ps. 119.2 (see on 9.2.2).

    inflammare . . . non extinguere: Cf. 9.2.2, `carbones' : A. begins to take on the characteristics of those whom he finds exemplary, but then immediately asks whether his behavior at the time was really exemplary.

    quod sanctificasti: Cf. Ezech. 36.23, `et sanctificabo nomen meum magnum, quod pollutum est inter gentes'; Mt. 6.9, `sanctificetur nomen tuum'.

    propositum: 8.6.15, 8.12.30.

    iactantiae: At 10.36.59ff, a yearning for praise lingers as the one vestige of the three temptations to trouble the bishop most, and he returns to the issue throughout Bk. 13. The most pernicious form of the temptation was the desire to avoid seeming to seek praise--a touch of scrupulosity.

    de publica professione: A. does not emulate Victorinus' boldness, for though he takes baptism publicly, here is a notable failure of resemblance between the two conversion stories (cf. 8.2.5, `illum autem maluisse salutem suam in conspectu sanctae multitudinis profiteri'): Victorinus did not shun the gaze of the crowd, but A. wanted to avoid publicity.

    quod . . . videri: G-M: the quod-clause is either in apposition to multa (quod = `that') or explanatory (quod = `because'); either is possible, the former preferable.

    blasphemaretur: Rom. 14.16, `non ergo blasphemetur bonum nostrum!'

    text of 9.2.4


    pulmo meus: The near-contemporary texts all confirm the illness and use it as the pretext for retirement. See also 9.5.13; the fullest narrative is at beata v. 1.4 (quoted in prolegomena); cf. c. acad. 1.1.3, `nisi me pectoris dolor ventosam professionem abicere et in philosophiae gremium confugere coegisset'; ord. 1.2.5, `nam cum stomachi dolor scholam me deserere coegisset qui iam, ut scis, etiam sine ulla tali necessitate in philosophiam confugere moliebar, statim me contuli ad villam familiarissimi nostri Verecundi'; other allusions at c. acad. 3.7.15, ord. 1.8.26 and 1.11.33, sol. 1.1.1, 1.9.16, and 1.14.26; once, he is without pretext: ord. 1.9.27, `schola illa unde me quoquo modo evasisse gaudeo'. B. Legewie, MA 2.19-20, considers tuberculosis and psychosomatic complaints, but settles for diagnosing chronic weakness of voice. BA ad loc. pedantically adds the possibilities of bronchitis/laryngitis/tracheitis. Such scientific scrutiny perhaps misses the point. A. had no advantage of such a diagnosis, and knew merely that he was impaired in a faculty essential to his profession and significant to him personally. The medical advice A. received would have been clear. In the hypochondriasis of late antiquity, declamation was thought to be unusually good exercise, to be indulged in for the sake of health as much as anything else; conversely, there was close observation of symptoms and concern for the general health arising out of the exercise. For a summary based on the fourth-century physician Oribasius, see A. Rousselle, Porneia 11-12.

    A.'s own words at qu. ev. 1.47 suggest that A. would not have been surprised (at least in retrospect) to find illness follow the garden scene: `sicut temptatio cupiditatis trina est, ita et temptatio timoris trina est. cupiditati quae in curiositate est opponitur timor mortis; sicut enim in illa cognoscendarum rerum est aviditas, ita in ista metus amittendae talis notitiae. cupiditati vero honorum vel laudis opponitur timor ignominiae et contumeliarum. cupiditati autem voluptatis opponitur timor doloris.'

    A. was ill again two or three years later with fatigue (ep. 10.1), suffered badly from hemorrhoids in the late 390s (ep. 38.1), and was in the country recuperating from illness in late 410 and missed the chance to meet Pelagius when he passed through Hippo (ep. 109.3; Brown 344). For his tendency to illness in crises (as already 5.9.16, on arrival in Rome after the traumatic parting from Monnica), see Legewie, MA 2.5-21, and more recently R. Brändle and W. Neidhart, Theol. Zschr. 40(1984), 160n14. For all that, A. lived to an active and vigorous 75.

    clariorem productioremve: `loud or long' (i.e., sustained: mus. 2.2.2, `alias syllabas correptiores, alias productiores').

    sarcinam: See on 4.7.12; cf. 8.5.12, `sarcina saeculi'.

    intermittere intermittere O S edd.:   intermitterem C D G

    vacandi et videndi: Ps. 45.11, `vacate et videte, quoniam ego sum dominus'; en. Ps. 45.14, `hoc non videt tumultus contentiosus animi humani; cui tumultui contentioso dicitur, vacate, id est, reprimite animos vestros a contradictionibus. nolite argumentari et tamquam armari contra deum; alioquin vivunt arma nondum illo igne combusta. si autem combusta sunt, vacate, quia non habetis unde pugnetis. si autem vacaveritis in vobis, et a me petieritis omnia, qui primo de vobis praesumebatis. vacate et videbitis quoniam ego sum deus.' Sim. at ss. 103.2.3 (Martha/Mary), 362.30.31, s. Frang. 1.6, s. Guelph. 29.7 (Martha/Mary); civ. 22.30 (last chapter of the work), `vacate et videte, quoniam ego sum deus, quod erit vere maximum sabbatum non habens vesperam. . . . dies enim septimus etiam nos ipsi erimus' (cf. 13.35.50).

    quia recesserat cupiditas: This is the closest he comes to saying that he altered the arrangements of his personal life immediately after the garden scene.

    cathedra mendacii: Ps. 1.1, `in cathedra pestilentiae non sedit'; en. Ps. 1.1, `noluit regnum terrenum cum superbia; quae ideo cathedra pestilentiae recte intellegitur, quia non fere quisquam est qui careat amore dominandi et humanam non appetat gloriam. pestilentia est enim morbus late pervagatus et omnes aut paene omnes involvens. quamquam adcommodatius accipiatur cathedra pestilentiae, perniciosa doctrina, cuius sermo ut cancer serpit.'

    funereis: Thus in a few words, in the book of death and rebirth, we have sin, death, baptismal water, and forgiveness.

    text of 9.3.5


    Verecundus: Already mentioned at 8.6.13; V.'s distress (BA calls him `homme du tout ou rien') is evidence for the intensity of the pro-continence klatsch at Milan, from which V. finds himself barred by his marriage (cf. 9.3.6, `fidem gradus sui, vitae scilicet coniugalis'); for vincula see on 8.6.13. R. A. Kaster, Guardians of Language (Berkeley, 1988), 112, calls attention to V.'s comparatively high social standing, implied by his property ownership, but cannot say whether this is a mark of his success as a grammarian or of his family's prior standing. (There is a tribute with a light touch to V. at beata v. 4.31, where the discussion proclaims its freedom from grammarians' technicalities: `non enim nec hic grammaticorum formidine liberabimur aut metuendum est ne ab eis castigemur, quod incuriose utimur verbis, qui res suas nobis ad utendum dederunt.')

    retribues illi: Lk. 14.14, `beatus eris quia non habent retribuere tibi; retribuetur enim tibi in resurrectione iustorum.'

    resurrectione resurrectione C D G O Maur. Ver.:   retributione S Knöll Skut.
    A.'s text at en. Ps. 103. s. 3.10 has resurrectione; both readings occur in Vg. MSS of Luke.

    sortem: Cf. Ps. 124.3, `quoniam non derelinquet dominus virgam peccatorum super sortem iustorum, ut non extendant iusti ad iniquitatem manus suas.'

    cum Romae iam essemus: during 388.

    fidelis factus: See on 2.3.6; this is the first baptism and death recorded in this book.

    gratias tibi, deus noster: Verheijen's app. script. (here and at 9.7.16, 9.11.28, and 9.13.35) cites Lk. 18.11, `deus, gratias ago tibi', but that is the beginning of the prayer of the Pharisee, hardly a text A. would evoke here, and the phrase is scarcely unparalleled in liturgy or devotion. Cf., e.g., Col. 1.3-4, `gratias agimus deo patri domini nostri Iesu Christi, semper pro vobis orantes, (4) audientes fidem vestram in Christo Iesu et dilectionem quam habetis in sanctos omnes.'

    Cassiciaco: The ordinary vacation would have lasted until 15 October; only then did they leave for Cassiciacum, and the Cassiciacum dialogues we have date from three weeks or more after that. (At c. acad. 1.5.15 [prob. 11 November], they are still working on the first book of Vergil; ten days or so later, at c. acad. 2.4.10, they have done three more books.) Even if A. had firmly decided before leaving for the vindemiales feriae that he would not return, he seems not to have handed in his papers until the end or nearly the end of the vacation (9.5.13, `peractis vindemialibus'). Hence there was an unburnt bridge, and the possibility of going back. (That he marked his retirement from the end, not the beginning, of he vacation, is clear from sol. 1.10.17, where Ratio asks whether he has given up his longing for honores: A. answers, `fateor, eos modo ac paene his diebus cupere destiti.')

    The location is unknown and hotly debated; see F. Meda, MA 2.49-59, and Perler 179-196 (with map at 196). There is only one reference elsewhere in A.: quant. an. 31.62, `cum nuper in agro essemus Liguriae'. Does agro require us to think not of Milan but Cassiciacum (probably: see on 10.35.57, `in agro')? Does that restrict the distance from Milan? Milan was strictly in Aemilia, but administratively it was joined with Liguria (south of the Po): Ambrose was, e.g., consularis Aemiliae et Liguriae. Until 1845, there were no doubts: Cassago di Brianza, 30-40 km NNE of Milan (first identified as such in the Mediolanensis historia of Tristano Calchi, 1490--but he names Cassago in the form `Cassiaco', which is the form of the Latin name in our manuscripts BVZ only). In 1845, Alessandro Manzoni held for Casciago c. 55 km NW from Milan between Varese and Gavirate. Manzoni's argument was primarily phonetic (and a good one once the correct MS reading was identified); Cassiciacum had a stream, which Casciago did but Cassago did not--or so Manzoni argued. L. Biraghi, Sant'Agostino a Cassago in Brianza in ritiro di sette mesi (Milan, 1854), retorted with argument for the MS reading Cassiaco, and found besides a stream at Cassago; he argued that the existence of some ancient remains compatible with rich country houses around Cassago was indirect evidence for the site as well. Manzoni himself seems to have changed his mind after Biraghi; other opinion has inclined variously, perhaps more in favor of Cassago. The assumption of all these studies, that the ancient name must be reflected in some surviving toponym, is perhaps not as secure as it has seemed, particularly in light of what A. sees in the name (see on `monte incaseato' below). Of several ways of naming the locality in which they passed the winter (never named in any of the works written there), he may have chosen the one most convenient for his purposes. The discussion was revived during the recent sexdecemcentenary observances; I have not seen articles by L. Beretta and S. Colombo in Agostino e la conversione cristiana (Palermo, 1987), 67-83 and 85-92.

    A.'s student Licentius wrote nostalgically of the place a few years later (this is the shorter poem quoted in A., ep. 26.4):

    o mihi transactos revocet si pristina soles
    laetificis aurora rotis, quos libera tecum
    otia temptantes et candida iura bonorum
    duximus Italiae medio montesque per altos!
    non me dura gelu prohiberent frigora cano,
    nec fera tempestas Zephyrum, fremitusque Borini,
    quin tua sollicito premerem vestigia passu.

    requievimus: 1.1.1 began with longing for requies and the work ends with anticipation of its full achievement (13.38.53); this passage marks the first unambiguous achievement of requies, however partial and fleeting, in the narrative.

    paradisi tui: Elsewhere `paradise' is an image of the church: c. litt. Pet. 2.13.29, en. Ps. 47.9 (with the cautionary reminder that the delights of paradise do not exclude the serpent), bapt. 4.1.1, Gn. litt. 11.25.32, `paradisus enim dicta est ecclesia, sicut legitur in Cantico canticorum: “hortus conclusus, fons signatus” [Cant. 4.12]'; Gn. litt. 12.34.65, `proprie quidem nemorosus locus, translato autem verbo omnis etiam spiritalis quasi regio, ubi animae bene est, merito paradisus dici potest. . . . unde et ecclesia sanctis temperanter et iuste et pie viventibus paradisus recte dicitur, pollens adfluentia gratiarum castisque deliciis.' Cassiciacum is similarly duplex in significance, with all the outward forms of paradise, and an inner truth to those forms for A. and his friends.

    dimisisti ei peccata: Cf. Mt. 9.6, `ut sciatis autem quoniam filius hominis habet potestatem in terra dimittendi peccata'; Lk. 5.23, `quid est facilius, dicere dimittuntur tibi peccata an dicere surge et ambula?'

    monte incaseato: Ps. 67.16-17, `montem dei, montem uberem, mons incaseatum, mons pinguem; (17) utquid suspicamini montes incaseatos, montem in quo placuit deo habitare in eo?' en. Ps. 67.22, `sed quem montem intellegere debemus “montem dei, montem uberem, montem incaseatum,” nisi eundem dominum Christum, de quo et alius propheta dicit, “erit in novissimis temporibus manifestus mons domini, paratus in cacumine montium”? [Is. 2.2] ipse est mons incaseatus, propter parvulos gratia tamquam lacte nutriendos; mons uber, ad roborandos atque ditandos donorum excellentia; nam et ipsum lac, unde fit caseus, miro modo significat gratiam; manat quippe ex abundantia viscerum maternorum, et misericordia delectabili parvulis gratis infunditur.' For mons = Christus, see on 13.12.13.

    text of 9.3.6


    angebatur: 9.3.5, `macerabatur anxitudine'.

    Nebridius: See on 6.7.11.

    nondum christianus: util. cred. 1.2, `tu nondum christianus' (of Honoratus).

    foveam . . . erroris: The Christological divagations of A. and Alypius were chronicled at 7.19.25; on incidere see on 3.6.10. Cf. Ps. 7.16, `incidet in foveam quam fecit.'

    veritatis filii tui: Jn. 14.6; translate `of the Truth, your son'; the same expression at 9.13.34.

    imbutus . . . sacramentis: See on 8.2.4.

    inquisitor ardentissimus veritatis: See on 6.10.16, `Nebridius . . . inquisitor ardens'; cf. `pro aviditate sua' below.

    fidelem catholicum: See on 2.3.6.

    carne solvisti: 9.11.28, `anima . . . corpore soluta est'. E. Vance, Genre 6(1973), 22, contrasts the death of Nebridius and A.'s mild reaction to the death of his friend in Bk. 4 (but n.b.: Vance oddly thinks that Nebridius died in 386/7 while A. was at Cassiciacum).

    in sinu Abraham: Lk. 16.22, `factum est autem ut moreretur mendicus, et portaretur ab angelis in sinum Abrahae'; at 16.25 the dives addresses Abraham, and Abraham answers in 16.29. nat. et or. an. 4.16.24, `sinum Abrahae intellege remotam sedem quietis atque secretam, ubi est Abraham. et ideo Abrahae dictum, non quod ipsius tantum sit, sed quod ipse pater multarum gentium sit positus, quibus est ad imitandum fidei principatu propositus'. Cf. s. 14.3.4, c. Faust. 33.5. Nebridius' questions probably ran along the lines met by the expositions at ep. 187.2.6 and esp. ep. 164.3.7-8 (in one of a sequence of letters to and from Evodius, reviving questions about the afterlife that date from Milan and immediately after), dealing with how Abraham and the mendicus (to say nothing of other patriarchs and prophets who must have been with them) could have been in a pleasant place, and yet Christ had to descend `ad inferos' to set them free (the descent into hell is first attested in the creed by Rufinus, comm. in symb. apost. [c. 404]). Cf. Gn. litt. 12.34.65, en. Ps. 36. s. 1.10; see BA 14.549-550 for further references and discussion, with an attempt to assimilate A.'s views to later orthodoxy (enjoyment of the beatific vision immediately after death is controversial; it becomes papal dogma in the fourteenth century).

    adoptivus ex liberto filius: Puzzling, as G-M saw. They quote Raumer as taking A. to be the libertus, N. his spiritual son: most unlikely. Or, they suggest alternately, once a freedman (as Christian on earth), he has become an adoptive son (in the bosom of Abraham). BA: `un ancien affranchi devenu fils adoptif'. The only use of libertus in Vg. is 1 Cor. 7.22: `qui enim in domino vocatus est servus, libertus est domini: similiter qui liber vocatus est, servus est Christi' (cited at en. Ps. 99.7); neither adoptivus nor libertus appear elsewhere in A. with theological overtones.

    homuncionem: Otherwise in A. only in the passage from Ter. quoted at 1.16.26 and civ. 2.7.

    iam non ponit . . . fontem tuum: There is no one scriptural antecedent, but a mixture: Sirach 1.5, `fons sapientiae verbum dei in excelsis'; Sirach 26.15, `sicut viator sitiens, ad fontem os aperiet et ab omni aqua proxima bibet'; Prov. 18.4, `aqua profunda verba ex ore viri et torrens redundans fons sapientiae.' ep. 158.11 (Evodius quoting A. in 414), `“et ponere os spiritale ad fontem vitae” prudenter dixisti, ubi est felix et beata [anima] proprietate mentis suae.'

    nostri sis memor: Cf. Ps. 135.23, `quia in humilitate nostra memor fuit nostri et redemit nos ab inimicis nostris.'

    sic . . . eramus: cf. `sic sibi erat' of Nebridius earlier in this paragraph. The received punctuation here has been questioned by A. A. R. Bastiaensen in Homo Spiritalis (Festschrift L. Verheijen: Würzburg, 1987), 433-439, but the amendment here goes beyond his suggestion.

    dies illi: The days between the garden scene and the departure for Cassiciacum.

    tibi dixit cor meum: Ps. 26.8-9, `tibi dixit cor meum, quaesivi vultum tuum; vultum tuum, domine, requiram. (9) non avertas faciem tuam a me.' The same verse quoted at 1.18.28 (see notes there) with the sobering addition, `nam longe a vultu tuo in affectu tenebroso'. That distance has been reduced here. See en. Ps. 26. en. 1.8, en. Ps. 26. en. 2.16, `magnifice, nihil dici divinius potest. sentiunt hoc qui vere amant.'

    text of 9.4.7


    Current work on c. acad., beata v., ord., sol., imm. an., and the correspondence with Nebridius is summarized and advanced in the collective volume by G. Reale, et al., L'opera letteraria di Agostino tra Cassiciacum e Milano (Palermo, 1988).

    eruisti: 1.18.28, `et nunc eruis', in the passage echoed in the last lines of 9.3.6; the verb in the same sense, 1.15.24, 3.11.19, 6.8.13.

    meis omnibus: Attested from the Cassiciacum dialogues: Alypius, Monnica, Navigius, Adeodatus, Licentius, Trygetius, Lartidianus, Rusticus (list at beata v. 1.6); but cf. 9.4.8 for concentration on A., Alypius, and Monnica. (The uneducated cousins disappear after these dialogues. Their only intervention is in an exchange at beata v. 2.12, where they both agree with an unsubtle position advanced by Trygetius.) There were two notable absentees: Nebridius and Romanianus (on the latter, see on 6.14.24). Mandouze 125n6 reports the suggestion from an unpublished thesis by a student of his that Alypius and probably Navigius acted at Cassiciacum in the role of the `consuls' (`chargés d'affaires') that had been foreseen in the earlier plan for retreat at 6.14.24. (Another parallel may be found in `reading parties' where students joined their teacher in the long vacations for sojourns away from the city: see, e.g., Libanius, ep. 1238..)

    ibi quid egerim in litteris: The exact even-handedness of this description seems rarely to be given full valuation by the scholars: on the one hand, already Christian, on the other hand, not entirely satisfactory--still marked by traces of the ambitio saeculi that his `conversion' had more or less demolished. A similar assessment is visible in retr. 1.1-4; cf. retr. pr. 3, `nec illa sane praetereo quae catechumenus iam, licet relicta spe quam terrenam gerebam, sed adhuc saecularium litterarum inflatus consuetudine scripsi'. All three dialogues are dedicated to persons not unambiguously Christian--certainly not churchy men in any way (and there is no dedication to Ambrose or Simplicianus, e.g.). Zenobius was not Christian at all, Romanianus was not then (and never? see on 6.14.24) a baptized catholic Christian, and Mallius Theodorus is certainly reproached in retr., and perhaps also in conf.: see on 7.9.13. The next works (sol., quant. an., mag., lib. arb.) are without dedications.

    adhuc . . . anhelantibus: G-M: `The point of the comparison seems to be that the pride of the schools was still noticeable in his style, as the loud breathing of the combatants in a gymnastic contest continues after the bout is over.' Pusey, Ryan, and BA generally follow this view. One measure of the stylistic difference has been made: at Cassiciacum, A. regularly employs the accusative/infinitive construction in indirect discourse, so regularly that its appearance outnumbers the `analytic construction' (a subordinate clause) 55 to 1; in the mature works of the bishop (the count was made for conf., civ., and epp.), the ratio drops to 11.5 to 1; and in the sermons, drops further to 2 to 1. See C. Mohrmann, RA 1(1958), 44, drawing upon T. Dokkum, De constructionis analyticae vice accusativi cum infinitivo fungentis usu apud Augustinum (Sneek, 1900), and K. Sneyders de Vogel, Quaestiones ad coniunctivi usum in posteriore latinitate pertinentes (Schiedam, 1903).

    There may be a further implication: the end of the pausatio would normally be a return to the contest, and it would surely have surprised few if--having written these books--A. had returned to academic life. Failure to observe this leads astray J. Stiglmayr, Zschr. Ask. u. Myst. 6(1931), 163-164, who tries to make of the pausatio a death-rattle (Todesröcheln) of A.'s old life. (But the Vergilian afternoons were not necessarily only a literary exercise: the theme of c. acad. 1 is eerily apposite to Aeneid 1 [`on the table' at c. acad. 1.5.15]: do you call a person happy while on a journey, or only when after the journey is over?)

    pausatione: The word is first attested in the late fourth century (cf. Hrdlicka, Souter).

    libri disputati: c. acad., beata v., ord.; other refs. in conf. to his own works: 4.13.20, de pulchro et apto; 9.6.14 mag. The three dialogues of Cassiciacum are not without interest when taken as a triad: c. acad. is devoted to the nature of truth [2]; beata v. ends with an extensive and important discussion of modus [1] that links that concept to the first person of the trinity; and the third dialogue is of course about ordo [3]. (Note further that beata v. and ord. each record dialogues that extended over three days, while c. acad. is broken in two sections of three days each, and the second section has its own formal introduction (c. acad. 2.1.1 - 2.3.9). There are twelve days of discussion in all, and seven days elapse between the two halves of c. acad. If we follow the commonest reconstruction of the schedule of the dialogues (which goes back to D. Ohlmann, De Sancti Augustini dialogis in Cassiciaco scriptis [Strasburg, 1897]2 ), moreover, beata v. and c. acad. both end on Sundays, and the concluding dialogue of each work is marked by expressly Christian topics and biblical quotations.

    The place of liturgical Christianity at Cassiciacum deserves attention. Most of those present were not yet baptized, and so not full participants in the church, but the subject of `church' was not absent. The prayer of invocation that opens sol. has a eucharistic phrase (sol. 1.1.3, `deus qui nobis das panem vitae'; cf. Jn. 6.35), while we read at ord. 2.5.16, `quem unum deum omnipotentem, eumque tripotentem patrem et filium et spiritum sanctum, docent veneranda mysteria, quae fide sincera et inconcussa populos liberant, nec confuse, ut quidam, nec contumeliose, ut multi, praedicant.' A. addresses Monnica thus: ord. 2.17.46, `admoneo te, quantum filius audeo quantumque permittis, ut fidem istam tuam, quam venerandis mysteriis percepisti, firme cauteque custodias, deinde ut in hac vita atque moribus constanter vigilanterque permaneas.'

    All was not easy and pleasant. There were moments of depression, as Ratio reminds A.: sol. 1.9.16, `modo ergo quod non omnes tecum sunt amici tui, et quod tua valetudo minus integra est, facit animo nonnullam aegritudinem; nam et id esse consequens video.'

    Whether the historical data to be extracted from these works are consistent with that to be extracted from conf. is a question badly posed. `The historical data to be extracted' from works never meant to serve as such a quarry are pearls of dubious worth at best. Since Courcelle's Recherches there is a general grudging acceptance of consistency, with many footnotes. The traditional position (traditional from Harnack and Boissier through Alfaric) was that it was conf. that we should mistrust; the useful and necessary, but overstated, counterblast was O'Meara, Vig. Chr. 5(1951), 150-178. The arguments O'Meara makes are almost all valid, but the result is less than the sum of the parts, and the concessions in his conclusion give away more than he wishes. He pays too little attention to the likelihood of a conscious modeling that went in on during the days at Cassiciacum themselves. (For that suggestion, see already G. Madec, REAug 32[1986], 207-231 at 211, in an important study of the whole question.) It is not merely that the author of these dialogues looked to certain textual models, but also that the people who lived those events were themselves conscious of the models (to different degrees), and were consciously creating a way of life inspired by those models.

    In the end, what we believe of the dialogues and what position we take on their historicity is a matter of personality rather than details. If we should not swear that such-and-such words were spoken on such-and-such a day at Cassiciacum, the dialogues remain a vital record of one view of what went on there, and there is both plenty of authentic local color contained therein and at the same time plenty of coincidence between the content of the dialogues and the actual concerns of Augustine (and perforce of anyone who came within the range of his voice) during those days. If A. were asked if the dialogues were `historical', he would probably say yes, and he would be telling the literal truth according to the standards of his times; but standards have changed, and the dialogues are rather to be viewed now as an unusually privileged form of historical fiction.

    The Cassiciacum oeuvre (c. 60,000 words in all) bespeaks a concentration of effort even if only on the task of arranging and revising stenographic transcripts for the dialogues. That marks some change in A., who had hitherto written little.

    Do we believe in the notarii attending the conversations? The references are numerous (20 in number, listed at O'Meara 152n7) and can be ignored only if we accept O'Meara's curious two-pronged petitio principii: (1) the dialogues cannot be based on transcripts from notarii, because they are fictional on the model of Ciceronian dialogues; and (2) the allegations of the presence of the notarii show how unusually and ingeniously A. could depart from the Ciceronian models.

    See on 6.14.24 and 6.16.26 for the adumbration of community life earlier at Milan and for the influence of the Ciceronian dialogues; but the echoes do not stop there. Whether we assume the dialogues are history or fiction, do they not amount to an attempt on A.'s part to remake his own life as it would have been without the fall into Manicheism? To make that life possible for the young people around him? They have been reading the Hortensius (c. acad. 1.1.4 and c. acad. 3.4.7) and so stand just where A. both began the right path and abandoned it. They are then led by A. through their own series of `Tusculan disputations' on truth, providence, and happiness. So at beata v. 1.2, A. identifies three classes of people prone to philosophy, and while it is not clear into which of the two problematic classes he saw himself falling,3 the first category is clearly meant for Trygetius and Licentius: `unum est eorum quos, ubi aetas compos rationis adsumpserit, parvo impetu pulsuque remorum de proximo fugiunt seseque condunt in illa tranquillitate unde ceteris civibus quibus possunt, quo admoniti conentur ad se, lucidissimum signum sui alicuius operis erigunt.'

    Parallels between the literary representation of Cassiciacum and the Tusculans of Cicero: C. presents his project as the natural succession to his oratorical career (Tusc. 1.4.7, `ut enim antea declamitabam causas, . . . sic haec mihi nunc senilis est declamatio'). The country house setting among familiares (Tusc. 1.4.7) offers a set number of days of debate, with each day furnishing matter for one book of the finished work (Tusc. 1.4.8, `dierum quinque scholas, ut graeci appellant, in totidem libros contuli'). The first day breaks off with the narrator and master of the dialogue expressing concern for his health (Tusc. 1.49.119, `nunc quidem valetudini tribuamus aliquid' : cf. ord. 1.8.26, `nihilque a me aliud actum est illo die, ut valetudini parcerem'). The occupants of the house divide their time between literary and philosophical subjects (Tusc. 2.3.9, `cum ante meridiem dictioni operam dedissemus, sicut pridie feceramus, post meridiem in academiam descendimus'). The first book of Tusc. deals with death (a subject on A.'s mind in the text here since 6.16.26, where see notes), the second with dolor (a concern here: 9.4.12 on A.'s toothache). Though the ostensible form is dialogue, there are lengthy speeches by the narrator interposed (after a show of polite diffidence: Tusc. 1.8.16-9.17). The topic of the location of the soul in the body is ventilated (Tusc. 1.9.19: cf. quant. an. 31.62). Finally, the last book of Tusc. is devoted to the question whether virtue alone suffices `ad beate vivendum', in other words to the nature of the `beata vita' (cf. Tusc. 5.28.82, `habes quae fortissime de beata vita dici putem et . . . etiam verissime'). (In broad outlines, the resemblance was noted by Alfaric 398, but there has been no detailed comparison.)

    cum ipso me solo coram te: i.e., sol.

    epistulae: epp. 3-14, of which 3-4 date from Cassiciacum; ep. 3. contains another `soliloquium', `Augustinus ipse cum Augustino' (ep. 3.1), and a ref. to the published sol. (ep. 3.4).

    sufficiat: In same sense at 11.2.2.

    ad alia maiora properanti: See on 9.8.17, `quia multum festino' for evidence that mere rhetorical praeteritio is involved. That these two phrases occur in the last book of narrative-based confessio suggests that it is Bks. 10-13 that he is impatient to reach. Sim. in a purely rhetorical vein at mor. 1.21.39, `haec verba omnia si attendantur, si perpendantur, si discutiantur, multa inveniuntur pernecessaria iis qui hunc mundum fugere et refugere in deum desiderant, sed longum est, et alio festinat oratio.'

    revocat enim: Courcelle, Recherches 203: `Il fait seulement une vague allusion à des luttes intérieures que la Grâce divine lui a permis de surmonter à Cassiciacum.'

    complanaveris . . . lenieris: Is. 40.4, `omnis vallis exaltabitur, et omnis mons et collis humilabitur, et erunt prava in directa et aspera in vias planas'; cf. Lk. 3.5 (quoting Is.).

    humilitatis humilitatis D2 G1 O1 S Knöll Skut. Ver.:   humiliatis CD1G2 O2 Maur.
    On the rare verb form humilitare, see De Bruyne MA 2.561 (else in A. most likely only at cons. ev. 4.10.20, quoting Sirach 3.20 [cf. Amm. Marc. 30.4.1, `ad humilitandam celsitudinem potestatis']). All TLL refs. for verb forms from humilis are late antique.

    nomini . . . Christi: 2 Pet. 3.18, `crescite vero in gratia et in cognitione domini nostri et salvatoris Iesu Christi.' The nomen Christi had been important to A., according to his narrative, all his adult life: on reading the Hortensius, he felt the lack (3.4.8).

    quod . . . litteris nostris: The dialogues do contain the nomen Christi, and not only, as Courcelle, Recherches 256n1, said, in ord. (1.8.21, 1.10.29 [3x], 1.11.32), but also an important passage at c. acad. 3.20.43 where A. declares his willingness to rely henceforth on the auctoritas Christi. But that passage seems to have been hesitantly advanced, or at least hesitantly where A.'s philosophical friends were concerned: writing of the c. acad. during that winter to Hermogenianus, A. says (ep. 1.3), `mihique rescribas utrum approbes quod in extremo tertii libri suspiciosius fortasse quam certius, utilius tamen, ut arbitror, quam incredibilius putavi credendum. equidem quoquo modo se habent illae litterae, non tam me delectat, ut scribis, quod academicos vicerim (scribis enim hoc amantius forte quam verius), quam quod mihi abruperim odiosissimum retinaculum, quo a philosophiae ubere desperatione veri, quod est animi pabulum, refrenabar.'

    The Cassiciacum dialogues contain a wide variety of the terms that A. regularly uses later as equivalents for the nomen Christi, and they appear there in ways that invite us to think that they are deliberately posted as substitutes; without explicit statement there or here there will always be objections to reading the dialogues that way, but it is undeniably one way they need to be read (for an example, cf. sol. 1.1.2, deus pater veritatis, pater sapientiae, pater verae summaeque vitae, pater beatitudinis, pater boni et pulchri, pater intellegibilis lucis . . .').

    But what are we to make of Alypius' objection? His role at Cassiciacum repays attention. Alypius was present in a purely neutral role on 10 November, then away in the city on business until 20 November (missing all of beata v., half of c. acad. 1, and half of ord. [covering every occurrence of the nomen Christi in that work]); when he returns, his part in the discussion is distinctly restrained, and he is shown taking the part of the Academics against A.'s criticism (e.g., c. acad. 3.5.11) and praising Pythagoras (ord. 2.20.53). His is the attitude that many attribute to A. at Cassiciacum: he sees in Christianity a useful type of philosophy, but his principal allegiance is to philosophy and so he has a certain disdain (`dedignabatur') for popular forms. Taken in connection with 7.19.25 and the Christ-centered conversion of Bk. 8, this is an arresting suggestion of a limited conversion on Alypius' part as late as Nov. 386. Note also that A. never sets a dialogue in which he and Alypius are the sole participants; Evodius (see on 9.8.17) emerges as the more enthusiastic fellow traveler. (A more moderate view of Alypius's disdain is that of G. Madec, REAug 32[1986], 214, `parce qu'il estimait que les formules spécifiquement chrétiennes rompaient avec l'esthétique classique des Dialogues philosophiques.') For other glimpses of Alypius' state of mind at about this time, see above on 8.12.30 and below on 9.6.14, `nudo pede', where the gesture of extreme asceticism also seems out of place; but 9.6.14, `placuit et Alypio . . .', may record a further decision.

    gymnasiorum: On gymnasia, see Courcelle, Rev. Philol. 53(1979), 215-26, repr. in his Opuscula Selecta (Paris, 1984), 373-384. c. acad. 3.4.9, `quod quaeso, Alypi, ne in villa nobis licere arbitreris, certe vel istae balneolae aliquam decoris gymnasiorum faciant recordationem'; c. acad. 3.16.35, `persuadebis nimirum tamquam in gymnasio Cumano atque adeo Neapolitano nihil eum peccasse, immo etiam nec errasse quidem.' The gymnasia evoke all of A.'s professional past: ep. 118.2.9, `illi autem Carthaginienses rhetores si huic tuo studio defuerunt, non modo a me non reprehenduntur sed etiam approbantur, si forte iam recolunt non Romanorum fororum sed graecorum gymnasiorum ista solere esse certamina. tu vero cum et in gymnasia cogitationem iniecisti et ea quoque ipsa invenisti talibus rebus nuda atque frigida, ubi has curas tuas deponeres, christianorum tibi basilica Hipponensis occurrit, quia in ea nunc sedet episcopus qui aliquando ista pueris vendidit.' Cf. ep. 118.3.21, `loquacissimis graecorum gymnasiis'; civ. 18.41, `pauci in scholis atque gymnasiis litigiosis disputationibus garruli'.

    A more generous interpretation of the level A. had achieved at this time may be inferred from the seven stages of the mind's ascent outlined in quant. an. 33.70-76; the pertinent passage is quant. an. 33.74, `quod cum effectum erit, id est, cum fuerit anima ab omni tabe libera maculisque diluta, tum se denique in seipsa laetissime tenet, nec omnino aliquid metuit sibi aut ulla sua causa quicquam angitur.' This is the fifth stage of the ascent, a time for maintaining the purification already achieved and devoting oneself to contemplation of the divine. A.'s own view of his state of mind at Cassiciacum is circumstantial and interesting as well: c. acad. 3.20.43, `quoquo modo se habeat humana sapientia, eam me video nondum percepisse. sed cum tricensimum et tertium aetatis annum agam, non me arbitror desperare debere eam me quandoque adepturum. contemptis tamen ceteris omnibus quae bona mortales putant, huic investigandae inservire proposui. . . . mihi ergo certum est nusquam prorsus a Christi auctoritate discedere; non enim reperio valentiorem. quod autem subtilissima ratione persequendum est . . . apud platonicos me interim quod sacris nostris non repugnet reperturum esse confido.' Whatever happened in Milan, garden scene or no garden scene, there is an unmistakable sense of relief and release here.

    cedros . . . contrivit: Cf. 8.2.4, `cedris . . . contriverat'; en. Ps. 28.5, `vox domini contritione cordis huMilans superbos. conteret dominus cedros Libani. conteret per paenitentiam dominus elatos nitore terrenae nobilitatis'.

    text of 9.4.

    Excursus on Psalm 4

    Little in ancient literature at all resembles the account of a sustained act of reading in 9.4.8 - 9.4.11. This excursus presents a reconstructed Latin text of the Psalm underlying the conf. passage, with app. crit. to suggest where and how that text, evoked in memory in c. 397, differs from other texts A. knew, and a digested version of A.'s tractatus on this Psalm in 392, about halfway between the events recalled and the writing of this account.

    The contents and structure of Psalm 4, occurring here at almost the exact mid-point of conf. (counting pages, lines, or words), duplicate closely the structure of the work as a whole. invocatio --> ut quid diligitis vanitatem et quaeritis mendacium --> dominus exaudiet me --> compungimini --> sacrificium iustitiae --> in pace in idipsum obdormiam et somnum capiam. The last verse summarizes the whole: singulariter in spe constituisti me. (See on 1.1.1 for the parallels in Tob. 13.)

    1 canticum David
    2 cum invocarem, exaudivit me deus iustitiae meae;
    in tribulatione dilatasti mihi.
    miserere mei, domine,
    et exaudi orationem meam.
    3 filii hominum usquequo graves corde?
    ut quid diligitis vanitatem
    et quaeritis mendacium?
    4 et scitote quoniam magnificavit dominus sanctum suum;
    dominus exaudiet me dum clamavero ad eum.
    5 irascimini et nolite peccare;
    quae dicitis in cordibus vestris,
    et in cubilibus vestris compungimini.
    6 sacrificate sacrificium iustitiae,
    et sperate in domino.
    multi dicunt, quis ostendit nobis bona?
    7 signatum est in nobis lumen vultus tui, domine;
    dedisti laetitiam in corde meo.
    8 a tempore frumenti vini et olei sui multiplicati sunt.
    9 in pace, in idipsum obdormiam et somnum capiam,
    10 quoniam tu, domine, singulariter in spe constituisti me.

    Readings cited from

    C (conf.), E (en. Ps. 9), Rom. (Ps. Rom. ed. Weber), Ver. (Ps. Veron. apud app. crit. Weber)

    :   exaudivit C E:   te exaudisti Rom Ver
    :   mihi C E Ver:   mei Rom
    :   mei C E Ver:   mihi Rom
    :   domine C Ver Rom:    E
    :   diapsalma E Ver:    Rom C
    :   et scitote C E:   scitote Rom Ver
    :   magnificavit C Rom:   admirabilem fecit E:   admirabile fecit Ver
    :   exaudiet C? Ver E:   exaudivit Rom
    :   clamavero Ver E:   clamarem Rom C?
    :   et in cubilibus C? Rom:   et in cubiculis Ver:   in cubilibus E
    :   diapsalma C E Ver:    Rom
    :   in nobis C E:   super nos Rom Ver
    :   corde meo C Rom Ver:   cor meum E
    :   sui E Rom:    C? Ver.
    :   somnum capiam C E:   requiescam Rom Ver
    :   constituisti C Rom:   habitare fecisti E Ver

    enarratio in Psalmum IV

    The points of contact with conf. are so numerous and the illumination provided so considerable that it is impossible to do more than present the texts side by side and enjoin attentive reading of both. This tractatus is one of those on Pss. 1-32 composed in 392. As A. matured, his Psalm sermons grew in subtlety, power, and length, but this one already shows him in command of his method. The section numbers correspond to the verses discussed, except where noted.

    (1) `. . . nunc interim aut verba dominici hominis post resurrectionem exspectare debemus, aut hominis in ecclesia credentis et sperantis in eum. (2) . . . mutatio autem personae, quod a tertia, ubi ait “exaudivit”, statim transiit ad secundam, ubi ait “dilatasti mihi”, si non varietatis ac suavitatis causa facta est, mirum cur primum tamquam indicare voluit hominibus exauditum se esse, et postea compellare exauditorem suum. nisi forte cum indicasset quemadmodum exauditus sit in ipsa dilatatione cordis, maluit cum deo loqui, ut etiam hoc modo ostenderet quid sit corde dilatari, id est, iam cordi habere infusum deum, cum quo intrinsecus conloquatur. quod in persona eius qui credens in Christum inluminatus est, recte accipitur. . . . (3) quid ergo ultra graves corde estis? quando habituri finem fallaciarum, si veritate praesente non habetis? . . . sola veritas facit beatos, ex qua vera sunt omnia. nam vanitas est vanitantium, et omnia vanitas. . . . cupitis enim permanere vobiscum, quae omnia transeunt tamquam umbra. (4) . . . “sanctum suum.” quem, nisi eum quem suscitavit ab inferis et in caelo ad dexteram conlocavit? increpatur ergo genus humanum, ut ad eum se tandem ab huius mundi amore convertat. . . . interpositum diapsalma vetat istam [sententiam] cum superiore coniungi. . . . (5) [still on v. 4] “dum clamavero” . . . hic nos admoneri credo, ut magna intentione cordis, id est, interno et incorporeo clamore auxilium imploremus dei. quoniam sicut gratulandum est de inluminatione in hac vita, ita orandum pro requie post hanc vitam. . . . (6) [v. 5] etiam si irascimini, nolite peccare; id est, etiam si surgit motus animi, qui iam propter poenam peccati non est in potestate, saltem ei non consentiat ratio et mens, quae intus regenerata est secundum deum, ut mente serviamus legi dei, si adhuc carne servimus legi peccati; aut: “agite paenitentiam”, id est, irascimini vobis ipsis de praeteritis peccatis et ulterius peccare desinite. “quae dicitis in cordibus vestris,” subauditur: dicite, ut sit plena sententia: quae dicitis, in cordibus vestris dicite. . . . “in cubilibus vestris compungimini.” hoc est quod iam dictum est, “in cordibus”. haec enim sunt cubilia de quibus et dominus monet, ut intus oremus clausis ostiis. “compungimini” autem, aut ad paenitentiae dolorem refertur, ut se ipsam anima puniens compungat, ne in dei iudicio damnata torqueatur; aut ad excitationem, ut evigilemus ad videndam lucem Christi, tamquam stimulis adhibitis. . . . (7) [v. 6] idem dicit in alio psalmo: “sacrificium deo spiritus contribulatus.” quare non absurde hic accipitur ipsum esse sacrificium iustitiae, quod fit per paenitentiam. . . . nam et interpositum diapsalma non absurde fortassis insinuat etiam transitum de vita veteri ad vitam novam. . . . recte vivite et sperate donum spiritus sancti ut vos veritas, cui credidistis, inlustret. (8) [still on v. 6] . . . “quis ostendit nobis bona?” qui sermo et quae interrogatio cotidiana est omnium stultorum et iniquorum, sive pacem et tranquillitatem vitae saecularis desiderantium, et propter perversitatem generis humani non invenientium, qui etiam caeci accusare audent ordinem rerum, cum involuti meritis suis putant tempora esse peiora quam praeterita fuerunt; sive de ipsa futura vita, quae nobis promittitur, dubitantium vel desperantium, qui saepe dicunt: quis novit si vera sunt, aut quis venit ab inferis ut ista nuntiaret? . . . [v. 7] hoc lumen est totum hominis et verum bonum, quod non oculis sed mente conspicitur. “signatum” autem dixit “in nobis”, tamquam denarius signatur regis imagine. homo enim factus est ad imaginem et similitudinem dei, quam peccando corrupit; bonum ergo eius est verum atque aeternum, si renascendo signetur. . . . non ergo foris quaerenda est laetitia, ab his qui adhuc graves corde diligunt vanitatem et quaerunt mendacium, sed intus ubi signatum est lumen vultus dei. “in interiore enim homine habitat Christus,” ut ait apostolus; ad ipsum enim pertinet videre veritatem, cum ille dixerit: “ego sum veritas.” . . . (9) [v. 8] non enim vacat quod additum est “sui”. 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.” . . . non enim multiplicatio semper ubertatem significat et non plerumque exiguitatem; cum dedita temporalibus voluptatibus anima semper exardescit cupiditate nec satiari potest, et multiplici atque aerumnosa cogitatione distenta simplex bonum videre non sinitur. . . . talis anima temporalium bonorum decessione et successione, id est, a tempore frumenti, vini et olei sui, innumerabilibus completa phantasmatibus sic multiplicata est, ut non possit agere quod praeceptum est: “sentite de domino in bonitate, et in simplicitate cordis quaerite illum.” [Wisd. 1.1] ista enim multiplicitas illi simplicitati vehementer adversa est. et ideo istis relictis qui multi sunt, multiplicati scilicet temporalium cupiditate et dicunt, “quis ostendit nobis bona,” quae non oculis foris, sed intus cordis simplicitate quaerenda sunt, vir fidelis exsultat et dicit: [v. 9] “in pace, in idipsum obdormiam, et somnum capiam.” recte enim speratur a talibus omnimoda mentis abalienatio a mortalibus rebus et miseriarum saeculi huius oblivio, quae nomine obdormitionis et somni decenter et prophetice significatur, ubi summa pax nullo tumultu interpellari potest. sed hoc iam non tenetur in hac vita, sed post hanc vitam sperandum est. hoc etiam ipsa verba ostendunt, quae futuri sunt temporis. . . . (10) [v. 10] in quo ergo iam ista spes est, erit profecto etiam quod speratur. et bene ait, “singulariter”. potest enim referri adversus illos multos qui, multiplicati a tempore frumenti vini et olei sui, dicunt, “quis ostendit nobis bona?” perit enim haec multiplicitas, et singularitas tenetur in sanctis . . . singulares ergo et simplices, id est, secreti a multitudine ac turba nascentium rerum ac morientium, amatores aeternitatis et unitatis esse debemus, si uni deo et domino nostro cupimus inhaerere.'

    text of 9.4.8


    Notes on the following four paragraphs do not quote the cited passages from Ps. 4 or the interpretations of en. Ps.: see above.

    A conventional view of this passage: Courcelle, Recherches 36: `Augustin a-t-il craint que cette partie ne fît double emploi avec ses Dialogues? Mais, précisément, il eût été facile,--et utile à ses desseins, si l'on songe aux griefs que la critique moderne devait lui addresser,--de présenter ici l'envers du décor que font connaître ces dialogues à la manière cicéronienne: non plus les discussions philosophiques pleines d'urbanité, mais les progrès intérieurs proprement religieux de chacun des interlocuteurs. Il se content de quelques pages de commentaire antimanichéen sur le Psaume IV.' But this display of his converted self in the presence of the Word of God, marked at every turn by measure of the distance separating his converted self from his old Manichean self, meets exactly the desideratum Courcelle expresses.

    voces dedi: Not strictly evidence for `reading aloud', but at least a sign that A. imagined and expressed his reading in terms of speech; cf. `quas voces tibi dabam' and `recitare' below, and 9.4.10, `exclamabam legens haec foris'.

    cum legerem psalmos David: The other Psalm known at Cassiciacum is Ps. 79.8, `deus virtutum converte nos, et ostende faciem tuam, et salvi erimus', sung to the lastest tune (see on 9.7.15) by Licentius, even in amusingly inappropriate places (ord. 1.8.22-23).

    cantica: Ps. 4.1, `canticum David'.

    turgidum spiritum: cf. `typhum' here; see on 7.9.13.

    orbi (terrarum) orbi C D S Knöll Skut.:   orbe GO Maur. Ver.
    Just below, `orbe' is not the same construction.

    adversus adversus C D G O Maur. Ver.:   adversum S Knöll Skut.
    The -us ending clearly predominates in A.'s works; how nearly exclusive is its use is unclear in the absence of critical editions of some major works. The indications are that the -us was A.'s regular preference, but that he did not always avoid the -um. In conf., there are two passages where all the MSS offer -um (2.6.14, 4.16.31) and a third where the preponderance of the MSS is supported by a biblical echo (1.5.6, echoing Ps. 31.5). On the other hand, -us is the clear reading in 38 passages. (Similarly in trin., the CCSL edition offers a ratio of -us [12] to -um [2], and in both latter cases -us appears in one or more MSS; in CCSL civ., -um is the reading of the editors 4x to 102x for -us. The -um form may appear almost entirely with monosyllabic prepositional objects, e.g., me, te, se.)

    toto orbe cantantur: Cf. Ps. 18.5, `in omnem terram exiit sonus eorum'; en. Ps. 18. en. 2.5, `ideo et nos hic loquimur. sonus enim ille ad nos usque pervenit, sonus qui in omnem terram exiit, et haereticus ecclesiam non intrat.'

    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 eius'; for interpretation of calor as the Spirit, see on 5.1.1, and cf. 9.7.15.

    miserabar eos: A measure of progress: A. has not pitied anyone in this text since 3.3.5 (of theatrical pathos), though he has been often miser himself since and pitied himself (notably on the death of his friend at 4.4.7ff, but cf. also 8.12.28, where the garden scene begins with A. in the midst of much miseria).

    vellem ut alicubi: Cf. en. Ps. 21. en. 2.2, `audiamus quod plangendo cantatur, et vere digna res planctu quando cantatur surdis. miror, fratres, si hodie psalmus iste legitur et in parte Donati. rogo vos fratres mei, confiteor vobis, novit Christi misericordia, quia sic miror quasi lapidei ibi sint, et non audiant.'

    tunc (et, me) tunc S G Maur. Knöll Skut. Ver.:   ignorante me utrum audirent tunc C D O
    The phrase is copied from below, facilitated by the repetition of `audirent'.

    otio: ord. 1.2.4, `sic enim mihi notum est ingenium tuum et pulchritudinis [3] omnimodae amator animus sine libidinis immoderatione [1] atque sordibus . . . qualemque vitam nos vivamus, carissimi tui, et quem fructum de liberali otio carpamus, hi te libri satis, ut opinor, edocebunt'.

    quid de me fecerit: As generally punctuated (with a comma after the preceding `otio'), this indirect question stands in apposition to `voces meas', but the repetition of `psalmus' in such close quarters is awkward. Better to have said, `audirent ex vocibus meis quid de me fecerit quartus psalmus mihi in illo tunc otio lectus' or `cum eum legissem in illo tunc otio.' G-M read the text as conventionally punctuated: `The clause is in apposition with “faciem”, “voces”: “the effect, in short, which the psalm had upon me.”' The Latin, of course, has nothing to correspond with their `in short'. The punctuation here on the other hand concludes the clauses governed by the first `audirent' with `illo tunc otio'; the `quid de me fecerit ille psalmus' is governed by `audirent' after the parenthesis, with the intervening lines of Psalm text in apposition to `ille psalmus'. What survives this rereading, however, is the equation of `what I said' and `what your words did to me,' implying that A.'s own words arise from hearing the divine word.

    exaudivit exaudivit C D G O Maur. Ver.:   te, exaudisti S Knöll Skut.

    in tribulatione dilatasti mihi: Repeated at 13.26.40.

    quae inter haec verba dixerim: The present text through 9.4.11 will give examples.

    quomodo: Sc. `dicerem' and take closely with `sic acciperent' (so G-M, BA, Ryan, Pusey).

    mecum et mihi coram te: Mandouze 200n2, `la constante confrontation avec soi-même que représentent les Soliloques.' Both sol. 2.1.1, `noverim me, noverim te', and (in our interpretation) Bks. 11-13 show how this egocentricity can be more than egotistical. See on 8.7.16, `retorquebas me ad me ipsum . . . et constituebas me ante faciem meam.'

    text of 9.4.9


    inferbui inferbui C D G O2 Knöll Skut.:   infervui O1 S Ver.

    sperando et exultando: Ps. 30.7-8, `odisti observantes vanitatem supervacue, ego autem in domino speravi. (8) exsultabo et iucundabor in tua misericordia'; cf. Ps. 2.11, `servite domino in timore et exsultate ei cum tremore' (echoed at 7.21.27, 10.30.42).

    pater: Guardini 249 thinks this the first occurrence of vocative pater addressed to God; Knauer 32n4 modifies that observation (`Es trifft aber zu, dass erst vom 8. Buche [8.3.6, tu quoque, misericors pater] an diese Anrede wirkliche Kraft erhält,' with refs. from 10.31.46, 10.43.69, 11.22.28, 13.15.17, 13.24.36, 11.2.4, 11.17.22, 13.5.6), but there is an isolated earlier occurrence: 3.6.10, `mi pater summe bone, pulchritudo pulchrorum omnium.'

    spiritus tuus bonus: Ps. 142.10, `spiritus tuus bonus deducet me in terram rectam' (more fully echoed at 12.32.43; cf. 13.4.5, 13.34.49).

    quousque: The same plaintive question at 8.12.28, `et tu, domine, usquequo?' Insofar as this Psalm resembles conf. generally and A.'s life beyond that, the echo is meaningful.

    ut quid diligitis: For this verse as a reading of A.'s own earlier life, see 4.2.2.

    magnificaveras sanctum tuum: Note the anticipation of Ps. 4.4, quoted below.

    suscitans . . . et conlocans: Eph. 1.20, `suscitans illum a mortuis et constituens ad dexteram suam in caelestibus'; see `resurgens . . . et ascendens' below. For the echo of the Apostle's Creed, see on 9.13.35.

    dexteram tuam, unde . . . ex alto: See on 3.11.19.

    mitteret: Cf. Lk. 24.49, `ego mitto promissa patris mei in vos' (as at agon. 28.30); Jn. 15.26, `quem ego mittam vobis a patre'. So far in the narrative, A. has given little place in his past to the works of the Spirit; here, a few paragraphs after the decisive intervention in his life of Christ (8.12.29-30), we have the role of the Spirit sketched.

    paracletum: Jn. 14.16-17, `et ego rogabo patrem, et alium advocatum dabit vobis ut vobiscum sit in aeternum, (17) spiritum veritatis quem hic mundus accipere non potest' (text from trin. 1.8.18). A. uses paracletus rarely outside his anti-Manichean works (once only in all of trin. [in quotation of Jn. 15.26], never in civ. and en. Ps.; elsewhere in conf. only at 3.6.10, of the Manichean misuse of the term; against the Manichees, e.g., c. ep. fund. 6.7, c. Faust. 32.16, haer. 46.16): first, because it probably did not appear in his NT translations (where `advocatus' is the accepted translation), and second, to avoid a word complicated by Manichean claims and practice (see Decret, L'Afrique 225n139, for the Manichean practice of swearing `per paracletum,' i.e., by Mani himself [c. Fort. 22., c. Faust. 19.22], and cf. on 3.6.10, `paracleti').

    et miserat eum iam: Cf. the Pentecost narrative in Acts 2.

    resurgens . . . caelum: The phraseology is scriptural, made more familiar by the terms of baptismal creeds (see on 8.2.5); cf. also Rom. 6.9, `scientes quod Christus surgens ex mortuis, iam non moritur'; Rom. 7.4, `qui ex mortuis resurrexit', and elsewhere.

    spiritus nondum . . . clarificatus: Jn. 7.39 quoted in trin. 4.20.29, `et quod dicit evangelista, “spiritus nondum erat datus quia Iesus nondum fuerat glorificatus,” quomodo intellegatur nisi quia certa illa spiritus sancti datio vel missio post clarificationem Christi futura erat qualis numquam antea fuerat? neque enim ante nulla erat, sed talis non fuerat.' (For `clarificatus', cf. also Jn. 12.23, 13.31-32, 16.14, 17.1, 17.5, 17.10.) Other citations without comment at div. qu. 64.4, c. ep. fund. 10.11, c. Faust. 32.17-18, en. Ps. 7.6, 90. s. 2.8, 108.26, ss. 265.7.8, 267.1.1, 270.2, 271; trin. 13.10.14. A.'s position varies. The verse was taken literally (those baptized during the ministry of Jesus did not yet receive the Holy Spirit) in the Donatist controversy: c. Cresc. 2.14.17, Io. ep. tr. 6.11; div. qu. 62. says that the Spirit was present in a hidden way earlier (e.g., the dove at Jesus' baptism, the prophecies of Elizabeth, Zacharia, Anna and Simeon); trin. 4.20.29 takes glossolalia as a sign of the special coming of the spirit in Acts. Cf. Io. ev. tr. 52.8.

    quousque: Note that en. Ps. 4.3 responds, `saltem usque in adventum . . . filii dei vester error duraverit.'

    phantasmatis phantasmatis G O S Knöll Skut.:   phantasmatibus CD Maur.:   fallaciis Ver.

    quae quae Z2 Maur. Knöll Skut.:   quas C D G O S Ver.
    Verheijen CCSL 27.xxxvii: the feminine relative arouses suspicion; in en. Ps. 4.3 what A. opposes to veritas is not phantasmata but fallaciae. But at 3.6.10, GOS have phantasmatis (which Ver. and Skut. print), while CD Maur. correct to phantasmatibus; there the relative is correctly quae. The context at 3.6.10 makes it clear that phantasmata (i.e., images of things that never were) are exactly what A. thought Manichean doctrines to be. In en. Ps. 4, the Manichees are not the express targets of the exegesis; here they are, so the description from Bk. 3 is determinative.

    et exaudires eos: Cf. Ps. 30.23, `exaudisti domine vocem orationis meae, exaudisti cum clamarem ad te'; en. Ps. 30. en. 2 s. 3.10, `clamor ad deum non est voce, sed corde. multi silentes labiis, corde clamaverunt; multi ore strepentes corde averso nihil impetrare potuerunt. si ergo clamas, clama intus, ubi audit deus.'

    vera morte carnis: against the Manichees: see 5.9.16 and en. Ps. 37.26, `ergo ne putarent aliqui, sicut putant quidam haeretici, dominum nostrum Iesum Christum falsam carnem habuisse, et non veram mortem in cruce solvisse, intendit hoc propheta'.

    mortuus est . . . interpellat pro nobis: Rom. 5.9, `Christus pro nobis mortuus est'; Rom. 8.34, `qui mortuus est, immo qui resurrexit, qui et est ad dexteram dei, qui etiam interpellat pro nobis.'

    text of 9.4.10


    iam didiceram: 8.12.29-30.

    non alia natura: See on 5.10.20, `nullam aliam malam naturam'.

    thesaurizant: Rom. 2.5-6, `tu autem secundum duritiam cordis tui et cor impaenitens, thesaurizas tibi iram in die irae et revelationis iusti iudicii dei, (6) qui reddet unicuique secundum opera eius' (text partially corrected from en. Ps. 49.28).

    foris: See on 10.27.38.

    vanescunt: Rom. 1.21 (text at 7.9.14).

    effunduntur: Cf. 2.2.2, `iactabar et effundebar'.

    in ea . . . sunt: 2 Cor. 4.18, `non respicientibus quae videntur, sed quae non videntur; quae enim videntur temporalia sunt, quae autem non videntur aeterna' (text from en. Ps. 57.10).

    famelica: G-M, `“hungry”; sc. because it has lost the reality that alone can sustain it (verum = animi pabulum A. ep. 1.).'

    ostendet ostendet O Maur. Knöll Ver.:   ostendit CDG Skut.:   ostendent S

    lumen: = Christ, as the following lines (cf. Jn. 1.9) make clear.

    qui fuimus: Eph. 5.8, `eratis enim aliquando tenebrae, nunc autem lux in domino; ut filii lucis ambulate'; see on 8.10.22 (echoes at 13.2.3, 13.8.9, 13.10.11, 13.12.13, 13.14.15).

    gustaveram: Cf. Ps. 33.9, `gustate et videte quam suavis est dominus'; 1 Pet. 2.3, `si gustastis quoniam dulcis dominus'; en. Ps. 106.2, `vos autem si gustastis quam suavis est dominus, “confitemini domino, quoniam suavis est”: si gustastis aviditate, confessione eructate.' Also at 7.16.22, 7.17.23 (taken by Mandouze 700n1 as confirmation of the mystical quality of the `tentatives'), and 10.27.38.

    ostendet ostendet G O Maur. Knöll Ver.:   ostendit CDS Skut.

    iratus: Cf. Ps. 4.5.

    mactans vetustatem: Eph. 4.22-24, `deponere vos . . . veterem hominem . . .; (23) renovamini autem spiritu mentis vestrae, (24) et induite novum hominem'; Col. 3.9, `expoliantes vos veterem hominem cum actibus eius'. Always in a bad sense: 1.4.4 (`et in vetustatem perducens superbos et nesciunt'), 8.5.10, 9.10.24 (Ostia), 11.10.12.

    renovationis: Cf. Col. 3.10, `et induentes novum, eum qui renovatur in agnitionem secundum imaginem eius qui creavit eum' (cited at 13.22.32, 13.23.33, 13.26.40, 13.34.49); 2 Cor. 4.16, `is qui intus est renovatur de die in diem.' pecc. mer. 2.7.9, `renovatio incipit a remissione omnium peccatorum. . . . cetera vero in spe facta sunt, donec etiam in re fiant, usque ad ipsius corporis renovationem in meliorem statum immortalitatis'. See also 4.11.16, 7.9.14, 11.9.11, 11.10.12.

    dulcescere: See on 1.20.31.

    in aeterna simplicitate: For `simplicity' as a divine attribute, see on 2.6.13.

    text of 9.4.11


    clamabam: Harks back to Ps. 4.4, `exaudiet me dum clamavero'.

    idipsum: For A., a mystical name for God, equated with Exod. 3.14, `ego sum qui sum.' Notably so at Ostia (9.10.24), and cf. 7.17.23 (`id quod est'), and 12.7.7 (`idipsum et idipsum et idipsum, sanctus, sanctus, sanctus, dominus deus omnipotens'). A.'s fullest exposition, with notable employment of the most incarnational proof-texts, deals with Ps. 121.3, `Hierusalem quae aedificatur ut civitas, cuius participatio eius in idipsum'; en. Ps. 121.5, `quid est idipsum? quod semper eodem modo est; quod non modo aliud, et modo aliud est. quid est ergo idipsum, nisi, “quod est”? quid est “quod est”? quod aeternum est. nam quod semper aliter atque aliter est, non est, quia non manet; non omnino non est, sed non summe est. et quid est “quod est,” nisi ille qui quando mittebat Moysen, dixit illi: “ego sum qui sum”? . . . non potes capere; multum est intellegere, multum est apprehendere. retine quod pro te factus est, quem non posses capere. retine carnem Christi, in quam levabaris aegrotus, et a vulneribus latronum semivivus relictus, ut ad stabulum perducereris et ibi sanareris. . . . et ipse Christus recte intellegitur: “ego sum qui sum,” quo modo est “in forma dei, ubi non rapinam arbitratus est esse aequalis deo,” [Phil. 2.6] ibi est idipsum. ut autem efficiaris tu particeps in idipsum, factus est ipse prior particeps tui, et “verbum caro factum est,” [Jn. 1.14] ut caro participet verbum.' (A hint of a reading syncretic with the Platonic tradition may be found at en. Ps. 33. s. 2.7, on Ps. 33.4, `exaltemus nomen eius in idipsum', where A. knows a variant reading `in unum' : `sive “in idipsum” dicatur, sive “in unum”, hoc idem dicitur.')

    The interpretation is consistent throughout A.'s career: mor. 1.14.24, `deum ergo diligere debemus trinam quandam unitatem, patrem et filium et spiritum sanctum, quod nihil aliud dicam esse, nisi idipsum esse'; vera rel. 21.41 (citing this verse; and cf. `qui non mutaris' here), `idipsum, id est naturam incommutabilem et singularem'; en. Ps. 146.11 (with emphasis both on divine immutability and on incarnation as a means of bridging the gap between divine and human); Io. ev. tr. 2.2, `in principium erat verbum. idipsum est, eodem modo est; sicut est, semper sic est; mutari non potest, hoc est: est'; trin. 3.2.8 (with suggestion of all three persons of the trinity), `idipsum quippe hoc loco [Ps. 121.3] illud summum et incommutabile bonum [1] intellegitur quod deus est atque sapientia [2] voluntasque [3] ipsius'; trin. 4.21.30, `tria unum sunt, pater et filius et spiritus sanctus, nullo temporali motu super omnem creaturam idipsum sine ullis intervallis temporum vel locorum'.

    absorpta est mors in victoriam: 1 Cor. 15.54, `tunc fiet sermo qui scriptus est: absorpta est mors in victoriam'; en. Ps. 122.12, `quae est vera sanitas? cum absorpta fuerit mors in victoriam, et cum corruptibile hoc induerit incorruptionem, et mortale hoc induerit immortalitatem; tunc erit vera sanitas, tunc erit vera et perfecta iustitia'; cf. en. Ps. 102.5, 143.9.

    victoriam victoriam C D O Maur. Ver.:   victoria GS Knöll Skut.

    qui non mutaris: See on 7.1.1; cf. Mal. 3.6, `ego enim dominus et non mutor.'

    requies: See on 9.3.5; cf. Gn. 41.51, Joseph naming his first son Manasses: `oblivisci me fecit deus omnium laborum meorum.'

    nullus alius tecum: Deut. 4.35, `ut scires quoniam dominus ipse est deus, et non est alius praeter eum'; Is. 45.5, `ego dominus et non est amplius; extra me non est deus.'

    nec inveniebam: A. could, after all, pray for them.

    de melle caeli: Ps. 118.103, `quam dulcia faucibus meis verba tua super mel et favum ori meo'; en. Ps. 118. s. 22.7, `haec est illa suavitas quam dominus dat, ut terra nostra det fructum suum; ut bonum vere bene, id est, non mali carnalis formidine sed boni spiritalis delectatione, faciamus. . . . melli est autem similis aperta doctrina sapientiae; favo vero, quae de abstrusioribus sacramentis, tamquam de callis cereis, ore disserentis, velut mandentis, exprimitur: verum ori cordis, non carnis est dulcis.'

    de lumine tuo luminosas: Ps. 118.105, `lucerna pedibus meis verbum tuum, et lumen semitis meis'; Jn. 1.9, `lumen verum inluminans omnem hominem'; Jn. 8.12, `ego sum lumen mundi'; Ps. 33.5, `accedite ad eum et inluminamini.'

    et super inimicis: Ps. 138.21, `nonne eos qui oderant te, domine, odio habui? et super inimicis tuis tabescebam?' en. Ps. 138.27, `nonne et taedium detinebat me a peccatoribus derelinquentibus legem tuam? qui enim sunt inimici tui, nisi qui vita sua indicant quam oderint legem tuam?' The emphasis on the hostility of the Manichees to the scriptural text is not merely incidental.

    text of 9.4.12


    dolore dentium: sol. 1.12.21, `quamquam enim acerrimo his diebus dentium dolore torquerer, non quidem sinebar animo volvere nisi ea quae iam forte didiceram; a discendo autem penitus impediebar, ad quod mihi tota intentione animi opus erat. tamen mihi videbatur, si se ille mentibus meis veritatis fulgor aperiret, aut non me sensurum fuisse illum dolorem aut certe pro nihilo toleraturum. sed quia etsi nihil maius aliquando pertuli, tamen saepe cogito, quanto graviores possint accidere, cogor interdum Cornelio Celso adsentiri, qui ait: “summum bonum esse sapientiam, summum autem malum dolorem corporis.”' The difference in spiritual atmosphere between the report in sol. and the present account is unmistakeable, but the difference in substance is much slighter, particularly if we allow `fulgor veritatis' to evoke the Christological possibility that is already demonstrably possible in sol. (1.1.2, `deus pater veritatis', 1.1.3, `deus veritas'). (The topic of dolor occupied the second book of Cicero's Tusc. [see above on 9.4.7], with this conventional juxtaposition [Tusc. 2.22.52]: `Callanus Indus, indoctus et barbarus, in radicibus Caucasi natus, sua voluntate vivus combustus est; nos, si pes condoluit, si dens, ferre non possumus.')

    ascendit in cor: 1 Cor. 2.9, `sed sicut scriptum est, quod oculus non vidit, nec auris audivit, nec in cor hominis ascendit, quae praeparavit deus iis qui diligunt illum' (also at 9.10.23); sim. at Jer. 32.35, 51.50, Lk. 24.38. en. Ps. 119.1 connects to Ps. 83.6-7, `ascensiones in corde eius disposuit, in convalle plorationis' (see on 9.2.2); cf. en. Ps. 85.12, `quid quaeris ut ascendat in linguam, quod in cor non ascendit?'

    deum salutis: Ps. 17.47, `et exaltetur deus salutis meae'; Ps. 37.23, `intende in adiutorium meum, domine salutis meae'; at 10.35.56, `deus salutis meae' connotes salvation rather than health; here `omnimodae' deepens the ambiguity.

    expavi: Cf. the holy fear (same verb with biblical echo) of 7.21.27 and 10.40.65.

    domine meus deus meus: Jn. 20.28, `dominus meus et deus meus' --the response of `doubting Thomas' to Christ's wounds, hence appropriate for a moment of unexpected revelation of God's presence.

    laudavi nomen tuum: Cf. Sirach 51.15, `laudabo nomen tuum adsidue et conlaudabo illud in confessione et exaudita est oratio mea.' This is the first place in the events narrated in which A. presents himself in the act of praising God; confessio became possible now, after the garden scene but before baptism.

    text of 9.5.13


    venditorem: See on 9.2.2.

    servire [sc. deo]: The verb in this sense at 8.5.11, 8.6.15, 9.8.17, 9.10.26; the noun appears in a similar sense, e.g., 1.7.12, `ego, servus tuus', 8.1.1, 9.1.1, 12.24.33, 13.29.44. Of this stage in A.'s life, see civ. 22.8, `venientes enim de transmarinis me et fratrem meum Alypium, nondum quidem clericos, sed iam deo servientes.'

    insinuavi: That is a verb of indirect expression (see on 13.6.7)--did A. not tell him outright? Or does the word merely reflect the indirection of a letter in preference to conversation?

    per litteras: The lost exchange of letters between Ambrose and Augustine would make welcome reading; their loss is more noteworthy in that other letters from this winter survive. Ambrose was at the court of Maximus in Trier in the summer and perhaps fall of 386 (cf. Courcelle, Recherches 207n5, with H. Chadwick, Priscillian of Avila [Oxford, 1976], 136).

    praesens votum meum: These lines anticipate baptism, but do not yet represent a formal application.

    ille iussit Esaiam: We can surmise something of Ambrose's strategy and tactics from another recommendation to a philosophical inquirer: Amb. ep. 34.1-2, `quaerenti a me utrum anima caelestis esse videatur substantiae; non enim aut sanguinem aut ignem aut nervorum harmoniam animam putas, ut vulgus philosophorum interpretatur; aut, ut illa patricia quaedam eorum prosapia Platonis disputat, quod ipsum se movet et non movetur ab alio, ipsa tibi anima videtur, vel certe, ut Aristoteles acri ingenio quintum quoddam elementi genus induxit, probasti, id est e)ntele/xeian, ex quo componeres et velut fingeres animae substantiam. (2) de quo tibi Esdrae4 librum legendum suadeo, qui et illas philosophorum nugas despexerit, et abditiore prudentia, quam conlegerat ex revelatione, perstrinxerit eas substantiae esse superioris.' A further parallel: Hier. ep. 107. gives a cursus studiorum for those approaching scripture for the first time. They are to begin with Psalms, add Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job, then turn to the NT (in the order Gospels, Acts, Epistles), and then return to the OT, beginning now with the Prophets (and ending with the Canticle!). A. is familiar and comfortable with the wisdom literature of the OT from early in his career; at Milan he has certainly read Gospels, and has said and shown that he has read Paul; and so Ambrose's recommendation of the first of the Prophets comes to A. at the same stage in his reading that Jerome would have chosen. Not that there was a standard sequence, or some link between Jerome and Ambrose, but the analogy may reflect the spirit of the age. On the place of Isaiah in Amb.'s view of scripture, see L. F. Pizzolato, La dottrina esegetica di sant'Ambrogio (Milan, 1978), 107-117.

    praenuntiator: Gn. litt. 8.4.8, `illud quippe scripsit narrator rerum praeteritarum, hoc praenuntiator tantummodo futurarum.'

    primam huius lectionem: Does the present reference mean that A. attacked the first chapter and made no headway? On the surface, unlikely: that text presents no special difficulties. But perhaps the difficulty was with the genre as much as the author. How much of the OT had Augustine read by then, and with what sympathy? The Manichees, arguing against the scandalous parts, would not have encouraged him to try the prophets. At Hippo, we see him comfortable with Genesis, the Psalms, Job, and the Wisdom literature; he will write about the Heptateuch later in his career; but he never attempts connected commentary on the prophets, and though respectably represented in his citations, they certainly loom much less large than they would in many other Christian writers.

    This episode resembles 3.5.9, `institui animum intendere in scripturas sanctas.' There he made no headway, and went away completely, falling in with the Manichees. Here we see a changed attitude towards scripture: he has entered its world, heard its word, remains unable to penetrate many of its mysteries, but now reacts by putting aside for another day, blaming his own inexperience (cf. `exercitatior') rather than the text. An implicit explanation from A. himself shows how misreading of the prophets can disappoint: Io. ev. tr. 9.3, `lege libros omnes propheticos, non intellecto Christo, quid tam insipidum et fatuum invenies? intellege ibi Christum, non solum sapit quod legis sed etiam inebriat, mutans mentem a corpore, ut praeterita obliviscens in ea quae ante sunt extendaris.' For A.'s eventual view of Isaiah, see civ. 18.29, `Esaias propheta . . . de Christo et ecclesia, hoc est de rege et ea quam condidit civitate, multo plura quam ceteri prophetavit, ita ut a quibusdam evangelista quam propheta potius diceretur' (the last phrase also appears in Hier. in Is. pr.).

    The only clear echo of the first chapter of Is. in conf. is at 13.19.24, Is. 1.16-18, read as an exhortation to baptism. This may suggest one reason why Ambrose would recommend it to A. in view of A.'s report of his own state of mind to Amb., but it makes more intriguing A.'s inability to make progress, if he was indeed so ready for baptism. Amb.'s exp. Esaiae is not extant, but there are fragments preserved in A.'s anti-Pelagian writings (so he eventually studied the work under Amb.'s vicarious tutelage), collected and edited at CCSL 14.403-408; n.b. c. ep. pel. 4.11.29-31, strong on baptism, purification, and regeneration.

    eloquio: Ps. 118.38, etc.

    text of 9.6.14


    Six narrative months elapse between the last paragraph and this. The long winter at Cassiciacum is a time usually elided in modern treatments of A.'s life as well. If the dialogues we have are the fruit of extensive literary revision, that would be time for them. The torso of imm. an. marks the point where his work broke off.

    tempus advenit: By the beginning of quadrigesima, c. 10 March 387. From Amb. in Luc. 4.76 it would appear that the bishop called for competentes to declare themselves at Epiphany and that they came forward between then and the beginning of the period set aside for their preparation. As Pellegrino, Les Confessions 194n8 remarks, the earlier the date, the more apt the `solum glaciale' mentioned a few words further on. For this period, see retr. 1.6, on the projected disciplinarum libri (see excursus on 4.16.30).

    nomen dare: A technical term: 8.2.4, cura mort. 12.15, s. 132.1.1; Amb. in Luc. 4.76, and cf. his sacr. 3.2.12, quoted below. The atmosphere of these weeks is recalled at f. et op. 6.9, `quod aliud opportunius tempus reperiri potest, quo audiat quemadmodum fidelis fieri ac vivere debeat, quam illud cum attentiore animo atque ipsa religione suspenso saluberrimae fidei sacramentum petit? an usque adeo dissimulamus a sensibus nostris, ut vel nos ipsos non recordemur quam fuerimus attenti atque solliciti quid nobis praeciperent a quibus catechizabamur, cum fontis illius sacramenta peteremus, atque ob hoc competentes etiam vocaremur? vel non intueamur alios, qui per annos singulos ad lavacrum regenerationis adcurrunt, quales sint ipsis diebus quibus catechizantur, exorcizantur, scrutantur, quanta vigilantia conveniant, quo studio ferveant, qua cura pendeant?' (N.B. `scrutantur': a time to see that the candidates measured up to the demands of baptismal life; see on 8.1.2 for the importance of that sense of worthiness to A.'s own conversion; f. et op. 6.8 makes clear that the pre-baptismal period was a time of sexual abstinence particularly.) For a hint of what A. was like as competens, cf. cat. rud. 8.12, imagining the prospective convert who is `liberalibus doctrinis excultus' and who probably knows a lot of scripture already: `tales enim non eadem hora qua christiani fiunt sed ante solent omnia diligenter inquirere, et motus animi sui cum quibus possunt communicare atque discutere. cum his itaque breviter agendum est, et non odiose inculcando quae norunt, sed modeste perstringendo.'

    During this preparatory period the competentes were taught the creed and the Lord's prayer, from which rites several sermons of A.'s survive (on the creed, ss. 212-215; on the Lord's prayer, ss. 56-59); A. himself taught a strict reverence for the creed: symb. cat. 1.1, `et cum acceperitis [symbolum], in corde scribite, et cotidie dicite apud vos: antequam dormiatis, antequam procedatis, vestro symbolo vos munite. symbolum nemo scribit ut legi possit, sed ad recensendum, ne forte deleat oblivio quod tradidit diligentia, sit vobis codex vestra memoria.' (For baptismal preparation in this period, see J. V. Lynch, Godparents and Kinship in Early Medieval Europe [Princeton, 1986], 96-104, usefully comparing the material provided by Egeria.)

    placuit et Alypio: Was Alypius less enthusiastic at first? The first sentence here suggests that it was A.'s decision to take baptism that came first and determined the group's plans. See on 9.4.7, `quod . . . litteris nostris', and cf. `insolito ausu' here.

    induto: Cf. Col. 3.12, `induite vos ergo sicut electi dei, sancti et dilecti, viscera misericordiae, benignitatem, humilitatem, modestiam, patientiam,' but recall 8.12.29, `induite dominum Iesum Christum', together with the repeated emphasis on the humility of the incarnate Christ (1.11.17, 7.18.24).

    solum glaciale: At ep. 26.4 (quoted above on 9.3.5, `Cassiciaco'), Licentius makes light in verse of winter's blasts at Cassiciacum.

    nudo pede: Barefootedness was one of the proscribed ascetical practices of the Priscillianists at exactly this time (Canon 4 of the council of Saragossa of 380: `nudis pedibus incedere'). Chadwick, Priscillian 17-19, suggests two possible (complementary) interpretations: that there were those (rebuked by Philastrius of Brescia, known to A. at haer. 68) who believed that it was commanded by scripture, and that there were those who carried over from other religious cults a sense of the propriety of going unshod for cult activity. But A. at ep. 55.19.35 knows there were some who insisted on going barefoot during the week after baptism, knows as well that church authorities sternly rebuked the practice, and suggests that the matter was not important enough to merit such stringent treatment. The text here is innocent of possible strictures, but perhaps suggests that Alypius was swinging to a new extreme, once decided on baptism. From ep. 166.3.7 to Jerome in 417 (`nam de priscillianistis adhuc nihil audieram, qui non multum ab istis [manichaeis] dissimiles blasphemias fabulantur'), it seems that A. was unaware of the Priscillianist crisis as it occurred. A. was not the sort to go barefoot: ep. 124.1, `cum habitu valetudinis vel natura frigus ferre non possim'.

    Adeodatum: See on 4.2.2; first named here; named elsewhere only at 9.12.29, beata v. 1.6, and the opening of mag. (where he is one of the two interlocutors).

    creator omnium: Cf. Amb. hymn. 1.2.1, quoted at 9.12.32.

    formare nostra deformia: 10.27.38, `et in ista formosa quae fecisti deformis inruebam.'

    nutriebatur a nobis: Does this indicate that Adeodatus was `brought up Catholic'? Courcelle, Les Confessions 67n4, suggests that `inspiraveras' indicates `une date de beaucoup antérieure à leur commun baptême de 387'.

    de magistro: retr. 1.12, `in quo . . . 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 was congenial to A., who had so little to say of his own teachers, who was himself so much an autodidact and an anxious teacher. A.'s regret for his lost son lasted long, perhaps even giving a last faint sign in the last year of A.'s life, forty years after Adeodatus died. In the middle of the quarrel with Julian, he brings to mind a phrase of Cicero (not otherwise extant: Hagendahl 1.167 thinks it from a letter of Cicero to his son, but if so it was probably indirect transmission of the quotation alone [on the misfortunes of the epp. ad Marcum filium see R. M. Ogilvie, The Library of Lactantius (Oxford, 1978), 65-66]): c. Iul. imp. 6.22, `quid? illam vocem nonne de visceribus cunctorum patriam Cicero emisit ad filium, ad quem scribens ait: “solus es omnium, a quo me in omnibus vinci velim”?'

    tu scis: see on 1.5.6 (Knauer 76-77, 19x in conf.).

    sensa: `thoughts': see on 1.6.10; here, as often, where the `thoughts' become part of discourse (trin. 10.1.2, `inter se humana societas sensa communicat', civ. 2.1, `qui recte sentiunt et sensa verbis sufficientibus explicant').

    miraculorum: In this sense, only at 13.21.30, 13.27.42, and 13.34.49.

    et baptizati sumus: These words are buried in mid-paragraph preceded not by a period but by a colon, semicolon, comma, or (in older editions) some other linking punctuation in every available edition of conf. (including Amerbach, Erasmus, Louvain, and Maur.). That is simply an error, and the punctuation here is a conservative reaction. To attach this sentence to the one preceding is to subordinate what was for A. the bishop the most important single event reported in the whole text; and to do so has had the effect of diverting attention from the narrative implications of the next words, describing the neophytes' first week after baptism. (The et beginning the sentence is the emphatic or prophetic et of which A. is surpassing fond in conf.: see on 1.1.1; 55 of the conventionally punctuated 453 paragraphs in conf. begin with `et'.)

    The group was baptized in the night between 24-25 April 387, at the Easter vigil. The site was probably the ample octagonal baptistry excavated under the Piazza del Duomo in Milan in the early 1960s, with a font more than fifteen feet in diameter. 5 The disciplina arcani ordinarily prevents us from seeing the liturgy of the time at close range, and may be responsible for the extreme reticence here (see van der Meer 349; that catechumens, for example, were ignorant of the eucharistic ritual is clear from s. 228.3; sermons indoctrinating them include s. Den. 3 and 6 [the latter more explicit]; see also en. Ps. 103. s. 1.14, quoted in the prolegomena). That Ambrose himself baptized A. is known from other texts (e.g., c. Iul. 1.3.10, c. Iul. imp. 1.59, 6.21 [`meus est praeceptor Ambrosius, cuius non solum libros legi sed verba etiam loquentis audivi, et per eum lavacrum regenerationis accepi'], nupt. et conc. 1.35.40, ep. 147.23.52). By no later than Charlemagne's time, the legend had arisen that the hymn te deum was first sung by A. and Amb., improvised as A. came up from the baptismal font.

    A. himself had probably never witnessed the full eucharistic liturgy before his baptism (Ambrose was strict: Amb. myst. 1.2, `nunc de mysteriis dicere tempus admonet atque ipsam rationem sacramentorum edere, quam ante baptismum si putassemus insinuandam nondum initiatis, prodidisse potius quam edidisse aestimaremur'; cf. myst. 9.55); baptism thus entailed both revelation and initiation. The importance to the participant of full cult participation must not be understated: this was, certainly for the A. of 397 and almost as certainly for the A. of 387, the focus of his years-long movement towards Christianity. Ambrose knew how to play on the neophyte's emotions: sacr. 1.3.10, `ne forte aliquis dixerit, “hoc est totum?” immo hoc est totum, vere totum, ubi tota innocentia, ubi tota pietas, tota gratia, tota sanctificatio. vidisti quae videre potuisti oculis tui corporis et humanis conspectibus, non vidisti illa quae operantur, sed quae videntur.' Cf. O. Perler, `Arkandisziplin', RAC 1.667-76.

    We are fortunate, despite the disciplina arcani, to have have Amb.'s sacr., six sermons from the Easter week for the newly baptized, supplemented by the briefer myst., covering the same ground. (For discussion, see B. Botte in SC 25 for introduction to edition and translation of both works) The vocabulary of death/rebirth is unsurprisingly prominent in Amb.'s treatment (sacr. 2.6.19, `fons quasi sepultura est'; 2.7.23, `cum enim mergis, mortis suscipis et sepulturae similitudinem, crucis illius accipis sacramentum').

    The water was exorcised and blessed, then the candidates descended into it (and were asked to profess and professed faith in the trinity: myst. 5.28), came up and were anointed. Afterwards there was a reading and foot-washing (but that latter custom was not universal: sacr. 3.1.5, `non ignoramus quod ecclesia Romana hanc consuetudinem non habeat, cuius typum in omnibus sequimur et formam. hanc tamen consuetudinem non habet, ut pedes lavet. vide ergo: forte propter multitudinem declinavit.'). Then white garments were donned (myst. 7.34). They approached the altar (sacr. 3.2.11-12), where their eyes were opened (like the blind man in the gospel) to the sacramental reality behind the visible signs. The angels who stood around the altar saw the newly baptized coming and are quoted as saying (sacr. 4.2.5) with Cant. 8.5, `quae est haec, quae ascendit a deserto dealbata?' There is description of the eucharistic rite itself; see sacr. 4.4.14, `panis iste panis est ante verba sacramentorum; ubi accesserit consecratio, de pane fit caro Christi. hoc igitur adstruamus. quomodo potest, qui panis est, corpus esse Christi? consecratione. consecratio igitur quibus verbis est et cuius sermonibus? domini Iesu. nam reliqua omnia, quae dicuntur in superioribus, a sacerdote dicuntur: laus deo, defertur oratio, petitur pro populo, pro regibus, pro ceteris. ubi venitur ut conficiatur venerabile sacramentum, iam non suis sermonibus utitur sacerdos, sed utitur sermonibus Christi. ergo sermo Christi hoc conficit sacramentum.' At sacr. 4.5.21-22, continued at 4.6.26-27, we have Amb.'s text of the canonical words of institution. The Lord's prayer is then expounded for the neophytes at sacr. 5.4.18ff at the point in the sermons corresponding to that prayer's place in the eucharistic liturgy (the daily bread is explained at 5.4.24, in a strained exegesis, as the eucharist).

    It has occasioned remark that A. makes little of Amb.'s role here though he states openly enough in some much later works (see above) that it was indeed Ambrose who baptized him. It is clear from c. litt. Pet. 3.24.28 that Petilian impugned the virtue of A.'s baptizer, saying, `qui fidem sciens a perfido sumpserit non fidem percipit sed reatum'; cf. c. litt. Pet. 3.5.6, `nemo dicat: “illum sequar, quoniam ipse me christianum fecit” aut: “illum sequar, quoniam ipse me baptizavit.” “neque qui plantat est aliquid neque qui rigat, sed qui incrementum dat deus.” [1 Cor. 3.7]' The same is emphasized c. litt. Pet. 3.42.51 and elsewhere; here A. is therefore probably eschewing the `cult of personality' deliberately.

    For A. and baptism, see van der Meer 347-382 and V. Grossi, La liturgia battesimale in s. Agostino (Rome, 1980).

    fugit a nobis: Cf. 8.12.29, `omnes dubitationis tenebrae diffugerunt'.

    illis diebus: Courcelle, Recherches 216, wrongly, thinks these lines embody A.'s reaction to baptismal catechesis (and that is the common modern misreading, to assume that religion was for A., as for moderns, largely a thing of doctrines); for the correct view, see ep. 55.17.32, `octo dies neophytorum', alluding to the week from Easter to the following Sunday, when the newly-baptized remained in a place of honor in the church, wearing their baptismal garments, with daily services and sermons for their benefit (see van der Meer 379-382). The importance of this week may be calculated from the numerous sermons of A. that survive belonging to these days: ss. 229-260, s. Den. 8, ss. Mai 86, 87, 89, 92, 94, s. Guelf. 7-19, ss. Wilmart 8-9, 13, 18, s. Lam. 3; note also the setting of divin. daem. 1.1, `quodam die in diebus sanctis octavarum, cum mane apud me fuissent multi fratres laici christiani et in loco solito consedissemus, ortus est sermo de religione christiana'. Perler 83 rightly argues that the bishop did not ordinarily feel himself free to leave his flock (for the nearly annual trips to Carthage that marked one stage of A.'s career, for example) until the Sunday after Easter had been passed, and he shows that A. is never attested to have been absent before that date.

    dulcedine: See on 9.1.1.

    altitudinem consilii tui: Rom. 11.33, `o altitudo divitiarum sapientiae et scientiae dei.'

    quantum flevi: Eph. 5.18-19, `et nolite inebriari vino in quo est luxuria, sed implemini spiritu sancto, (19) loquentes vosmetipsis in psalmis et hymnis et canticis spiritalibus, cantantes et psallentes in cordibus vestris domino.' These tears are recalled at 9.7.16, 10.33.50, and cf. ord. 1.8.22, `surrexerunt illi et ego inlacrimans multa oravi'; tears are shed at the end of each half of Bk. 9, here and at 9.12.33, `et dimisi lacrimas quas continebam.'

    eliquabatur: Hensellek Anzeiger Akad. Wien 114(1977), 163: `Nicht ganz richtig rubriziert der Thesaurus (5,2,392,48) unser eliquare under “vitiis, sordibus liberare, purgare.” Vielmehr ist das Verb prägnant und sein Objekt als Ergebnisobjekt zu verstehen = “abklärend hervorbringen”' --cf. s. 23.12.11, `eliquata est ista distinctio.' But it should not be necessary to abandon entirely the concrete meaning of the verb, which is clear from s. 19.6, `dominus tamen torcularis per operarios suos, per sanctos angelos suos, non quiescit operari. novit oleum suum, novit quid recipiat, quo pondere pressurae eliquetur' (sim. at s. 81.2); and the sense in TLL that Hensellek objurgates is also clearly found at s. 46.13.30, `hanc vocem eliquatam ab omni schismate, purgatam ab omni haeresi, audiant oves, et sequantur pastorem suum.'

    affectus pietatis: c. Iul. 4.14.66, `movetur certe animus ad pietatis affectum, divino cantico audito: tamen etiam illic si sonum, non sensum libido audiendi desideret, improbatur; quanto magis si cantiunculis inanibus vel etiam turpibus delectetur?' (for the suspicion, cf. 10.33.49); and cf. ep. 55.18.34, `dilectionis affectum' (quoted on 9.7.15 below).

    text of 9.7.15


    For context, M. Meslin, Les Ariens d'Occident 335-430 (Paris, 1967); more recent special studies include L. Cracco Ruggini, Augustinianum 14(1974), 409-49, H. Chadwick, Priscillian 117-18, R. Krautheimer, Three Christian Capitals (Berkeley, 1983), 88-92, A. Lenox-Conyngham, Historia, 31(1982), 353-63, G. Gottlieb, Mus. Helv. 42(1985), 37-55, and esp. G. Nauroy, RA 23(1988), 3-86. The sources are mainly Ambrose's own writings (esp. epp. 20-21), Paulinus' v. Amb., and the church history of Rufinus; in A. only ep. 44.4.7, `commemoravi quantam persecutionem pertulerit [Ambrosius] circumdata etiam militibus armatis ecclesia', and less specific allusions at c. Iul. 1.3.10 and ep. cath. 19.50. See also notes on the next paragraphs on Protasius and Gervasius, particularly for Courcelle's interpretations.

    Why this episode is inserted here is not immediately evident, though A.'s expression of bewilderment at 9.7.16 (`unde et quo duxisti . . .') is slightly disingenous--except for those who take it literally as evidence of a lapsus memoriae: see notes there. Monnica comes dramatically into view, and a theme--the right use of church music--is introduced that is picked up later (10.33.50), but the key is the `invention' story. The book of death and rebirth has here at its mid-point a characteristically late antique story of the power of the blessed dead (9.7.16, `pretiosae in conspectu tuo mortis sanctorum tuorum' [Ps. 115.15(6): the same citation again thirty years later in s. 286.5.4, quoted below on 9.7.16]. The passage displays moreover the harmony and unity of the visible church in which A. has just been (in the narrative sequence) baptized. Finally, the events recounted happened in just the season of baptism (Amb. ep. 20. for the chronology) a year earlier (when A. himself may have been half-thinking of that step himself).

    All that said, it would still be easier to find here a story dating from after A.'s baptism and involving him directly in church affairs. There is little else of A.'s ecclesiastical contacts in Italy in his writings: he once saw Philastrius of Brescia in the company of Ambrose (ep. 222.2), and one of the new letters (ep. 29*) seems to have A. saying that he had read otherwise unattested martyrdom accounts from Ambrose's pen: see BA 46B.573-579.

    On the singing, see Amb. ep. 20.24 and esp. ep. 21.a.34, `hymnorum quoque meorum carminibus deceptum populum ferunt, plane nec hoc abnuo. grande carmen istud est quo nihil potentius; quid enim potentius quam confessio trinitatis, quae cotidie totius populi ore celebratur? certatim omnes student fidem fateri, patrem et filium et spiritum sanctum norunt versibus praedicare. facti sunt igitur omnes magistri, qui vix poterant esse discipuli.' When the (for practical purposes illiterate) crowd learns a psalm or hymn, they become themselves transmitters of the message to others. A., like most Romish clergy since, had reason to complain of the quality of singing among his own congregation and rated them poorly by comparison to the local `Protestants' (i.e., the Donatists), and so may be embroidering the events of 386 in memory for effect at ep. 55.18.34: `de hac re tam utili ad movendum pie animum et accendendum divinae dilectionis affectum varia consuetudo est et pleraque in Africa ecclesiae membra pigriora sunt, ita ut donatistae nos reprehendant, quod sobrie psallimus in ecclesia divina cantica prophetarum, cum ipsi ebrietates suas ad canticum psalmorum humano ingenio compositorum quasi ad tubas exhortationis inflamment.'

    non longe: This puts us back to the Easter season of 386.

    Iustina: This is the sole exception in conf. to the principle discussed on 4.4.7, that individuals are named only when they contribute directly or indirectly to A.'s salvation. Justina (PLRE 1.488-9) was from a good senatorial family and had married in her youth the usurper Magnentius; after his defeat by Constantius, she married Valentinian (both marriages probably arranged to cement a senatorial connection for the husband) and bore him four children, including Valentinian II. Her religious sympathies (it is unclear where she got them) only became known after Valentinian I's death. She died not long after these events, probably in refuge from the war brought by the usurpation of Magnus Maximus.

    arrianis: Though later a focus of polemic (e.g., c. s. arrian., conl. Max., c. Max.), Arianism leaves few traces in A. before this passage, suggesting that he did not encounter it as a religious force in Milan, whatever its political implications. See only vera rel. 5.9 (`ut photiniani et arriani multique praeterea'), agon. 30.32, and ep. 44.3.6 (in the latter two cases, mentioned only because of links with other schismatics).

    ancilla tua: See on 9.1.1.

    a calore spiritus tui: See on 9.4.8, but note the addition here of `spiritus tui'. Courcelle, Les Confessions 66 and elsewhere, takes this line as expressing a definite `iciness' on A.'s part towards the church and all its works and pomps. Is that not an overreading? Need it mean any more than `I had not yet been to the garden in Milan'?

    excitabamur: Any attempt to delineate A.'s view of these events as they took place in early 386 rests on this verb. It plays rhetorically against `frigidi' to be sure, but, more importantly, though A. was not yet of a heart to turn to the church decisively, he was still (`tamen') moved. But Courcelle, Recherches 139n1, thinks that de Labriolle's `je partageais l'émotion' is `excessive pour rendre: excitabamur.' BA: `nous ressentions'; Ryan: `were stirred'; Pusey: `were stirred up'; Mandouze 464 quotes Courcelle's own words, `il ne restait . . . pas insensible à l'émotion générale', as `un équivalent scrupuleux du texte cité' --though there is nothing in the Latin to correspond to the litotes of his French. See on 7.19.25 for indications that A. gave some serious consideration to taking baptism already in 386; and see on 9.7.16 below for the long series of passages from A.'s works recalling the `invention' of Protasius and Gervasius.

    hymni et psalmi: Cf. Col. 3.16, `verbum Christi habitet in vobis abundanter, in omni sapientia, docentes, et commonentes vosmetipsos, psalmis, hymnis, et canticis spiritalibus, in gratia cantantes in cordibus vestris deo.' The authenticity of at least a few Ambrosian hymns (out of 90+ ascribed at various times) is assured (for refs., see Clavis Pat. Lat. # 163, and add J. Fontaine, in G. Lazzati, ed., Ambrosius Episcopus [Milan, 1976], 1.124-170: Fontaine is preparing a new edition). Mandouze 342n1 suggests that A.'s ps. c. Don. was inspired by this memory.

    ex (illo) ex O S Knöll Skut. Ver.:   et ex CDG Maur.

    text of 9.7.16


    On the `invention', see Courcelle, Recherches 139-153, E. Dassmann, JbAC 18(1975), 49-68 esp. 52-57, and particularly on the liturgical implications, Brown, Cult of the Saints, 36-7; on the cultus, see J. Doignon, REAug. 2(1956), 313-334. Ambrose acted in the face of the almost exactly contemporary legal ban on the movement of buried bodies and any form of trade in martyr relics (cod. theod. 9.7.17 [26 February 386], `humatum corpus nemo ad alterum locum transferat; nemo martyrem distrahat, nemo mercetur'): see Courcelle, Recherches 145.

    A. leaps here from the climactic events of the siege of the basilica to later developments (17-19 June 386). He makes no mention of the skepticism the `invention' aroused among Arians, and in other ways makes it likely that he was not himself at the forefront of the crowd of witnesses to these events. But some of the objections Courcelle raises to this narrative fail to take into account the force of convention and cliche in both A. and Amb.: e.g., A. says here that the bodies were incorrupt, but Ambrose emphasizes (epp. 22.2 and 20.12) the presence of blood--both these assertions are conventional proofs, incorruption of sanctity, blood of martyrdom. Courcelle also notes that A. has the blind man touching the feretrum, while others have him touch the shroud: scarcely decisive.

    A.'s view of these events is complicated by the history of his attitude towards miracles generally; an express skepticism (or mere unwillingness to make unacceptable claims a part of his apologetic) is accompanied by frequent reminiscences of this story itself. The relevant texts, in chronological order, with skepticism first, then a juxtaposition of skepticism and belief (around the time of conf.), and finally iterated belief:

    ord. 2.9.27, `animas . . . inanium formidulosas miraculorum' (the only `miracles' at Cassiciacum); there are no more `miracles' until just before ordination, at vera rel. 16.31 (of Christ), `miraculis conciliavit fidem deo qui erat, passione homini quem gerebat,' with the programmatic caution at vera rel. 25.47, `nec miracula illa in nostra tempora durare permissa sunt, ne anima semper visibilia quaereret et eorum consuetudine frigesceret genus humanum' (see retr. 1.13.7 below); similar reserve at util. cred. 16.34 and s. 88.3.3 (c. 400); but after conf., he begins remembering Milan, in greater detail as time passes: un. eccl. 19.50, `per totum orbem in locis sanctis quae frequentat nostra communio tanta mirabilia vel exauditionum vel sanitatum fiunt, ita ut latentia per tot annos corpora martyrum, quod possunt a multis interrogantes audire, Ambrosio fuerint revelata, et ad ipsa corpora caecus multorum annorum civitati Mediolanensi notissimus oculos lumenque receperit, aut quia ille somnium vidit'; ep. 78.3 (401/408), `nam et nos novimus Mediolani apud memoriam sanctorum, ubi mirabiliter et terribiliter daemones confitentur, furem quendam, qui ad eum locum venerat ut falsum iurando deciperet, compulsum fuisse confiteri furtum et quod abstulerat reddere'; sim. at cura mort. 17.21, s. 318.1 (425), but then s. 286.5.4 (c. 425), `ibi eram, Mediolani eram, facta miracula novi, attestante deo pretiosis mortibus sanctorum suorum, ut per miracula iam non solum in conspectu domini, sed etiam in conspectu hominum esset mors illa pretiosa. caecus notissimus universae civitati inluminatus est, cucurrit, adduci se fecit, sine duce reversus est. nondum audivimus quod obierit: forte adhuc vivit. in ipsa eorum basilica, ubi sunt eorum corpora, totam vitam suam serviturum se esse devovit. nos illum gavisi sumus videntem, reliquimus servientem'; sim. at civ. 22.8 (by this time there was a memoria dedicated to P. and G. not far from Hippo); retr. 1.13.7 (discussing the passage of vera rel. 25.47 quoted above), `nam ego ipse, quando istum ipsum scripsi librum, ad Mediolanensium corpora martyrum in eadem civitate caecum inluminatum fuisse iam noveram et alia nonnulla, qualia tam multa etiam istis temporibus fiunt, ut nec omnia cognoscere nec ea quae cognoscimus enumerare possimus.'

    aperuisti: as verb of revelation: see on 8.11.27 and cf. Courcelle, Les Confessions 132n5.

    incorrupta: A. exaggerates: Amb. ep. 22.2 (written c. 20 June 386), `ossa omnia integra, sanguinis plurimum'; 22.12, `sanguine tumulus madet, apparent cruoris triumphalis notae, inviolatae reliquiae loco suo et ordine repertae, avulsum humeris caput.'

    propalata propalata O Maur. Isnenghi Ver.   (with convincing argument):   prolata CDGS Knöll Skut.

    vexabant . . . sanabantur: Lk. 6.18, `et sanarentur a languoribus suis; et qui vexabantur a spiritibus immundis curabantur.' See ep. 78.3 (quoted above) and cura mort. 17.21.

    caecus: See un. eccl. 19.50, s. 286.5.4, retr. 1.13.7 (all quoted above), and civ. 22.8. He was a butcher named Severus.

    tumultuante tumultuante D O S Knöll Skut. Ver.:   tumultuantis CG Maur.

    exilivit exilivit C D G Maur.:   exiluit O S Knöll Skut. Ver.
    See on 6.1.1.

    pretiosae . . . sanctorum tuorum: Ps. 115.15(6), `pretiosa in conspectu domini mors sanctorum eius'; en. Ps. 118. s. 9.2, `ecce martyrium Christi, et apud homines et in hoc mundo, non solum non est opprobrium, sed magnum est ornamentum: ecce non solum in conspectu domini, verum etiam in conspectu hominum iam pretiosa est mors sanctorum eius'; see s. 286.5.4 quoted above; of other martyrs at ss. 276.4.4 (Vincentius), 310.3.3 (Cyprian).

    oblitus praeterieram: Mandouze 460 takes this literally, as if had A. recalled the event in time he would have mentioned it in its proper place in chronological order; see on 9.7.15 for discussion of the placing of this episode.

    fragraret . . . post te: Cant. 1.3, `trahe me, post te curremus in odorem unguentorum tuorum.' s. 273.5.5, `quae sunt ista aromata? . . . cuius odoris memor apostolus Paulus dicit: “Christi bonus odor sumus in omni loco, et in his qui salvi fiunt, et in his qui pereunt.” [2 Cor. 2.15]' At Io. ev. tr. 99.4 the presence of God to the five senses is attested by five thematic quotations (all occur in conf.): `erat lumen verum' (Jn. 1.9)--sight; `in principio erat verbum' (Jn. 1.1)--hearing; `post odorem unguentorum tuorum curremus' (Cant. 1.3)--smell; `apud te est fons vitae' (Ps. 35.10)--taste; `mihi autem adhaerere deo bonum est' (Ps. 72.28)--touch. en. Ps. 90. s. 2.13, `curramus post unguenta eius . . . venit enim et olevit, et odor ipsius implevit mundum. unde odor? de caelo. sequere ergo ad caelum, si non falsum respondes cum dicitur, sursum cor, sursum cogitationem, sursum amorem, sursum spem, ne putrescat in terra.'

    The verse occurs in Amb. myst. 6.29, in the account of baptism just when the candidates ascend from the font and are anointed with oil: `quantae hodie renovatae animae dilexerunt te, domine Iesu, dicentes: “adtrahe nos post te, in odorem vestimentorum tuorum curramus”, ut odorem resurrectionis haurirent!' (Punctuation from CSEL 73: A. would apparently put the comma before `post te'.) Here the verse specifies that at the time of the thrilling events of 386, A. had not yet reached the stage at which that verse was apt.

    fragraret fragraret Maur. Knöll Skut.:   flagraret C D1 O1 S Ver.:   fraglaret D2 G O2
    The context demands the unambiguous verb of smell, as at 10.27.38.

    non currebamus post te: Courcelle, Les Confessions 60, `Lorsque le 19 juin la foule catholique opère en un immense cortège la translation des saints . . . Augustin ne fait pas partie du cortège et reste incrédule au miracle' --citing this line. But A. nowhere suggests that he doubted the miracle--rather all the evidence is that the miracle lodged in his mind and remained a source of perplexity. Courcelle's error arises from neglecting the scriptural overtones of A.'s phrases, and lands him in the position of thinking that A. listened eagerly to Ambrose on the exameron in spring and blithely ignored what Ambrose was about in June, only to convert decisively in August. Indeed `olim' below refers to this moment and indicates that in June 386 A. was already `suspirans' (unsatisfied) and in spring 387 `respirans' (with satisfaction).

    flebam: We are again in April/May 387: 9.6.14.

    olim: answered by `tandem'.

    suspirans: 6.5.8, 6.10.17, 7.10.16.

    domo: = corpore; 2 Cor. 5.1, `scimus enim quoniam si terrestris domus nostra huius habitationis dissolvatur, quod aedificationem ex deo habemus, domum non manufactam, aeternam in caelis.'

    faenea: Is. 40.6, `omnis caro faenum'; en. Ps. 102.23, `omnis caro faenum, et verbum caro est factum. . . . illud quod manet in aeternum, non dedignatum est suscipere faenum, ne de se desperaret faenum.'

    text of 9.8.17


    While in Rome, A. wrote quant. an. and mor., and began lib. arb.

    A brief return to chronological narrative, taking up from baptism (9.6.14). Courcelle, Recherches 36n7, calls the section on Monnica `tout à fait du meme ordre que l'opuscule sur Alypius'; at Recherches 212, he calls this a digression; see on 6.7.11 for reservations affecting so mechanistic a reading. M. must have died between 25 April and 13 November 387 (9.11.28 says he was thirty-two at the time): the usurper Maximus had moved to Milan (and Valentinian II fled) sometime that year (J. F. Matthews Western Aristocracies and Imperial Court [Oxford, 1975], 222, `late summer'). Then c. litt. Pet. 3.25.30 says that it was after the fall of Maximus the next year (28 July [Chadwick, Priscillian 122n3, following Perler] or 28 August [Matthews 225, following Seeck] that A. returned to Africa, late in the sailing season of 388.

    The biographical data for M. are briefly summarized by Mandouze, Pros. chr. s.v., and by M. M. O'Ferrall, RA 10(1975), 23-43 esp. 23-25. W. H. C. Frend, Atti-1986 1.141, thinks M. was literate, but appears to base his view on a mistranslation of ord. 2.1.1; it is unlikely that she was lettered.

    habitare facis: Ps. 67.7, `dominus in loco sancto suo, deus qui inhabitare facit unius modi in domo, qui educit compeditos in fortitudine'; en. Ps. 67.7, `nam de his orphanis et viduis, id est spei saecularis societate destitutis, dominus sibi templum fabricat; de quo consequenter dicit: “dominus in loco sancto suo”. quis enim sit locus eius aperuit, cum ait, “deus qui inhabitare facit unius modi in domo”; unanimes, unum sentientes: iste est locus sanctus domini.' This verse also figures prominently in the monastic documents attributed to A. (praec. 1.2 and obiurg. 2: texts in Lawless, Rule 80 and 104). (CCSL ed. en. Ps. 67.7 prints `unius modi', but the commentary as quoted suggests that A. read there [with Ps. Veronense] `un(i)animes'. `Unius modi' is otherwise unattested but is the kind of letter-by-letter faithful translation of the Greek [monotro/pous] that A. sometimes favors; `unius moris' is attested in the Gallican and Milan Psalters.)

    Evodium: Became bishop of Uzalis between the date of A.'s own consecration and the Council of Hippo Diarrhytus of 13 September 401, which he signed as bishop; died between 422 and 426/7. He is interlocutor in lib. arb. and quant. an. from the Rome stay, and a continuing relationship is evinced at epp. 33.2-3 and 80.1. Full details in Mandouze, Pros. chr. Evodius is carefully kept out of the narrative up to now, though a young Thagastan at court would have been known to A. and Alypius from early in their time at Milan. E. was useful in anti-Donatist and anti-Pelagian diplomacy, but A. came to find his curiositas, that once made him the hero of dialogues, a little trying; cf. epp. 159.1, 162.1 (`multa quaeris ab homine multum occupato'), and 169.4.13, offering responses to other detailed queries. He enshrined relics of St. Stephen at Uzalis (civ. 22.8, ss. 323.2.3, 324) before 425 and left an account of the saint's miracles (de miraculis sancti Stephani protomartyris, PL 41.833-54); he wrote the work de fide contra manichaeos and perhaps the consultationes Zacchaei et Apollonii (see Clavis Pat. Lat.).

    ad te conversus est: Ps. 50.15, `et impii ad te convertentur'.

    Ostia Tiberina: Cf. Aen. 1.13-14, `Italiam contra Tiberinaque longe ostia'; also at 9.10.23. Once only does he mention the city in all his other works (brev. 16.29, arguing against the Donatists that the bishop of Ostia ordains the bishop of Rome).

    multa praetereo: See on 9.4.7, `properanti', and on 3.12.21, `nam et multa praetereo'. The exact parallel is Cic. Phil. 1.1.3, `multa praetereo eaque praeclara; ad singulare enim M. Antoni factum festinat oratio.' Here the text of conf. momentarily opens out to include all that A. leaves unsaid--no text could contain the res innumerabiles that he embraces here in passing. If confessio is licit speech, itself the gift of God, it here applies not only to all that is spoken in this way, but to all that A.'s intention would speak of if he had the time.

    famula tua: Again of M. at 9.13.34 and 9.13.37.

    in timore tuo: Cf. Ps. 5.8, `adorabo ad templum sanctum tuum in timore tuo'; en. Ps. 5.9, `et fortasse ob hoc addidit, “in timore tuo”, quod magnum est praesidium procedentibus ad salutem. cum autem quisque pervenerit, fiet in eo quod dictum est, “consummata dilectio foras mittit timorem”, [1 Jn. 4.18] non enim timent iam amicum, quibus dictum est, “iam non dicam vos servos, sed amicos” [Jn. 15.15], cum ad id quod promissum est perducti fuerint.'

    virga: Cf. Ps. 22.4, `nam et si ambulem in medio umbrae mortis non timebo mala, quoniam tu mecum es; virga tua et baculus tuus, ipsa me consolata sunt'; en. Ps. 22.4, `disciplina tua tamquam virga ad gregem ovium, et tamquam baculus iam ad grandiores filios et ab animali vita ad spiritalem crescentes, ipsa me non afflixerunt, magis consolata sunt; quia memor es mei.'

    unici unici O S Knöll Skut. Ver.:   unici filii C D G Maur.

    in domo fideli: once more, see on 2.3.6--her parents had been baptized.

    grandiuscularum: Not attested before A. (except as a dubious reading at Ter. And. 814: though omitted there by modern editors, its presence in the tradition could explain its frequency of occurrence in A.), frequent in his works, regularly marking a stage just older than that of parvuli (but evidently not yet adulescentes): cat. rud. 10.14, epp. 27.2, 104.2.7, en. Ps. 130.13, Io. ev. tr. 18.1, civ. 19.12, s. 302.1.1 (`quaedam enim plerumque parva et ludicra concedit pater parvulis filiis. . . . benigna et paterna indulgentia haec impertit, haec donat, quae non vult permanere in filiis suis iam grandiusculis, iam proficientibus'), Gn. litt. 10.13.23 (`non enim de pueris grandiusculis agimus, quibus quidem peccatum proprium nolunt adtribuere quidam nisi ab anni quarti decimi articulo, cum pubescere coeperint'), quant. an. 21.35, q. hept. 1.53, and of animals at Io. ep. tr. 9.1. The old slave had not been M.'s father's wet nurse, but was nearer his age, and may have been treated with some of the respect for an honorary sister, and that in turn suggests the authority she could have wielded, even over other servants, in the household of M.'s childhood.

    in domo christiana: See on 2.3.5, on the orthodoxy of M.'s family.

    sancta severitate: 8.11.25, `severa misericordia'; cf. Rom. 11.22, `severitatem dei'.

    exardescerent: `were burning up': an emphatic word (also of thirst at en. Ps. 41.2, but there in a mystical sense).

    verbum sanum: 2 Tim. 1.13, `formam habe sanorum verborum, quae a me audisti in fide, et in dilectione in Christo Iesu'; Tit. 2.8, `verbum sanum, inreprehensibile'.

    nec (liberet) nec C D G O Ver.:   non S Knöll Skut.

    text of 9.8.18


    O'Ferrall, RA 10(1975), 29-30 rightly sees that this episode is meant to stand as M.'s `conversion' from consuetudo mala, and hence to correspond to A.'s own moral renewal in the garden scene. Even the immediate instrument--chance words of another--is similar.

    subrepserat: Cf. 10.31.45, `crapula . . . subrepsit'; of lurking temptation at perf. iust. 8.18, `saepe in usu rerum etiam concessarum atque licitarum exserit [concupiscentia] immoderationem suam. . . . subrepit autem tanto magis, quanto minus quisque, et tanto minus, quanto magis profecerit'; sim. at virg. 50.50.

    vinulentia: Cf. 2.3.6, where wine and drunkenness are metaphors for sexual desire, and 6.2.2, for the assertion that M. was not prey to the vice despite her involvement in religious practices open to suspicion. Many years later, Julian of Eclanum struck a raw nerve with A. in reminding him that he had himself admitted his mother had shown signs of this vice (c. Iul. imp. 1.68, quoted below). A woman who drank was no minor sinner to the Romans, to whom Woman + Wine = Adultery: Val. Max. 6.3.9, `quaecumque femina vini usum immoderate appetit, omnibus et virtutibus ianuam claudit et delictis aperit'; sim. at Cic. rep. 4.6. Thus they greeted male relatives with a kiss, to facilitate olfactory detection (Aul. Gell. 10.23, Plutarch, Rom. quaest. 6). So Tertullian, apol. 6.4-5, `circa feminas quidem etiam illa maiorum instituta ceciderunt quae modestiae, quae sobrietati patrocinabantur, . . . cum mulieres usque adeo vino abstinerentur, ut matronam ob resignatos cellae vinariae loculos sui inedia necarint, sub Romulo vero quae vinum attigerat, impune a Metennio marito trucidata sit. (5) idcirco et oscula propinquis offerre etiam necessitas erat, ut spiritu iudicarentur.' Hence the link here at 9.9.19, `pudice et sobrie'. (There was a medical reason for restraint: A. Rousselle, Porneia 59: `Plethora [of menses] in a virgin who did not take much exercise was thought to cause serious illnesses. So if a young girl was not married, she must at least be made to use up a lot of her energy and she must not drink wine.') Hence the repetition of `subrepserat' and the postponement of `vinulentia' : the story caught the attention with a potentially serious opening, then charmed by its childish outcome. But it was still be a worthy `garden-scene' for M. The same humor is visible in the story of Alypius and his capture for suspected theft (and of course Al. had his own occasion to repent his enthusiasm for the games [see on 6.8.13]).

    quibusdam superfluentibus aetatis excessibus: He makes an excuse (`girls will be girls') that he did not allow for his own adolescent actions. (But perhaps as `puella' and not yet `nubilis', she is not yet fully responsible.)

    animis animis C D G O Skut. Ver.:   annis S Knöll

    quoniam qui modica spernit: Sirach 19.1, `operarius ebriosus non locupletabitur: et qui spernit modica paulatim decidet'; the scriptural tag shows how serious this is, as does `consuetudinem' (see on 8.5.10).

    tua medicina: A Christological sense implicit, as explicit at 9.13.35, `exaudi me per medicinam vulnerum nostrorum, quae pependit in ligno . . .'; see also 7.8.12.

    praepositos: Knöll conjectured reprobos (Serta Harteliana [Vienna, 1896], 139), while Antoine Arnauld of Port Royale had suggested praeposteros; neither would allow A. a hint of sarcasm. The paradosis was defended in a privately published pamphlet: A. Schröder, Zum Text der Augustin. Konfessionen IX 8 (Dillingen a. D., 1929). The phrase `inimici litigantes' below seems to answer to this phrase. A. is, on the one hand, hard on the maid there (`insania' is rather strong), for being angry and looking out for her own neck rather than trying to help M.; on the other hand, the maid is clearly praeposita at this stage in M.'s life.

    meribibulam: c. Iul. imp. 1.68, `[Julian] conscius enim forte esse potes matris tuae morbi alicuius occulti, quam in libris confessionis ut ipso verbo utar meribibulam vocatam esse signasti. . . . [A.] quid mirum est quod te inimicum etiam eius ostendis, cum sis inimicus gratiae dei qua eam dixi ab illo puellari vitio liberatam?' The word is not attested before this passage or elsewhere in A.; cf. `anus . . . merobiba', only at Plaut. curculio 77.

    fluxum: 1.14.23, 2.2.4, 4.11.16, 8.7.18, and cf. 2.10.18, `defluxi', 10.29.40, `defluximus', 12.10.10, `defluxi'.

    ordinate [3] ordinate C D O S Knöll Ver.:   ordinans G2 Maur. Skut.:   ordinans te G1

    text of 9.9.19


    plenis annis nubilis: Aen. 7.53, `iam matura viro, iam plenis nubilis annis'.

    servivit: See on see on 1.11.17 and 13.32.47; cf. Eph. 5.22, `mulieres viris suis subditae sint sicut domino'; cf. 1 Pet. 3.6, `sicut Sarra oboediebat Abrahae, dominum eum vocans'.

    sategit eum lucrari tibi: 1 Pet. 3.1-2 (text from b. coniug. 12.14.), `similiter mulieres obaudientes maritis suis ut et si qui non credunt verbo per mulieris conversationem sine loquela lucrifieri possint, (2) videntes timorem et castam conversationem vestram.' M.'s case may have been in mind years later: pecc. mer. 2.26.42, `non, opinor, quisquam tam infideliter intellegit, quodlibet in his verbis [1 Cor. 7.14, `sanctificatur enim vir infidelis in uxore'] intellegat, ut ob hoc existimet etiam maritum non christianum, quia christiana fuerit uxor eius, neque iam baptizari oportere, et ad peccatorum remissionem iam pervenisse, et in regnum caelorum esse intraturum, quia sanctificatus dictus est in uxore.'

    cubilis iniurias: Vega: `el alcance de sus infidelidades conyugales.' That is hardly the question: BA: `elle supporta des outrages au lit conjugal,' without saying whether the phrase implies normal conjugal sexuality in late antiquity or some specific spousal abuse; the former seems more likely in view of the grammar and of `castificaretur', and see s. 51.13.22 quoted below.

    misericordiam tuam super eum: Ps. 85.13, `quoniam misericordia tua magna est super me'.

    castificaretur: 1 Jn. 3.3 (as in Io. ep. tr. 4.7-9), `omnis qui habet spem hanc in ipso, castificat semet ipsum, sicut et ipse castus est'; 1 Pet. 1.22 (as in spec. ad loc.) `animas uestras castificantes in oboedientia caritatis'. Cf. s. Wilm. 11.3, `amor fabricatoris mundi castificat animam.'

    tabulas quae matrimoniales vocantur: s. 51.13.22, `ceterum qui uxoris carnem amplius appetit quam praescribit limes ille, liberorum procreandorum causa, contra ipsas tabulas facit quibus eam duxit uxorem. recitantur tabulae, et recitantur in conspectu omnium attestantium, et recitatur, “liberorum procreandorum causa,” et vocantur tabulae matrimoniales. nisi ad hoc dentur, ad hoc accipiantur uxores, quis sana fronte dat filiam suam libidini alienae? sed ut non erubescant parentes cum dant, recitantur tabulae, ut sint soceri, non lenones. quid ergo de tabulis recitatur? liberorum procreandorum causa.' Sim. at mor. 2.18.65, ss. 9.11.18, 37.6.7 (quoted below), 278.9.9, en. Ps. 80.21, and civ. 14.18.

    condicionis condicionis C S:   conditionis D G O Knöll Skut. Ver.
    OLD s.v. condicio: `a marriage contract, marriage, match'; cf. TLL 4.129-130.

    dominos: s. 37.6.7, `et unaquaeque coniunx bona maritum suum dominum vocat; prorsus non solum vocat, sed hoc sapit, hoc sonat, hoc gestat corde, hoc profitetur ore, tabulas matrimoniales instrumenta emptionis suae deputat.'

    Patricius: Named only here and at 9.13.37 (where he is named with M., who is named only there).

    text of 9.9.20


    This paragraph has been unanimously ignored in the major secondary studies. Mother-in-law stories are interesting only if unflattering.

    This development answers to the virtuousness of Alypius in giving counsel as assessor (6.10.16), in a situation where you might have expected him to yield to weakness, as a young woman might with her mother-in-law.

    medias linguas: G-M: `meddling tongues.'

    prodentis prodentis C D G edd.:   prudentis O:   prodentibus S

    verberibus: The underlying violent tenor of Roman private life is quietly taken for granted even in these incidental matters.

    text of 9.9.21


    deus meus, misericordia mea: Ps. 58.18, `deus meus, misericordia mea'; Ps. 143.2, `misericordia mea et refugium meum, susceptor meus et erutor meus, protector meus'; 3.1.1, 3.3.5, 12.16.23, 13.1.1.

    eructare eructare C D G O Maur. Ver.:   eructuare S Knöll Skut.

    cruditas cruditas C D S Maur. Knöll Skut. Ver.:   crudelitas G O

    experirer: The bishop's experience as a judge (van der Meer 255-270), also evoked indirectly at 6.3.3, `catervis negotiosorum hominum', and directly at 11.2.2, `servitutis quam debemus hominibus'.

    homini homini O S edd.:   animi G:   animo C D

    qualis illa erat: This sketch of M.'s life helps explain the oddity of her presence at Ostia and her similar role at Cassiciacum in the dialogues. This line foreshadows her authority there: authority is hers, for she has been to a better school, and had a better teacher, than A. himself.

    magistro: Magister often = schoolmaster in Bks. 1-6 (last at 6.7.12) and in those books never = Christ; from then on, it always = Christ: here, 10.31.46, 11.8.10, 12.18.27, 13.19.24, 13.26.41.

    schola pectoris: See on 3.4.7.

    text of 9.9.22


    in extrema vita: P. died c. 370/1 (3.4.7).

    lucrata est tibi: Cf. 1 Pet. 3.1 (see on 9.9.19).

    in eo iam fideli: Mandouze, Pros. chr., takes it is only `doubtless' and `suggested' that P. was baptized; but this word in this context now seems unambiguous (see on 2.3.6).

    serva servorum: Cf. Gn. 9.25, `maledictus Chanaan, servus servorum erit fratribus suis'. H. Leclercq, DACL 15.1360-3, does not register this passage among other anticipations of Gregory the Great's famous servus servorum dei.

    sanctae conversationis: Cf. Tob. 14.17, `omnis autem cognatio eius et omnis generatio eius in bona vita et in sancta conversatione permansit, ita ut accepti essent tam deo quam hominibus et cunctis habitantibus in terra'; 2 Pet. 3.11, `quales oportet vos esse in sanctis conversationibus et pietatibus'; cf. Phil. 3.20, `nostra autem conversatio in caelis est.'

    fuerat enim unius viri uxor: This sketch has few scriptural citations, so this little crown of echoes of Paul's version of the good widow stands out: 1 Tim. 5.4ff, `si qua autem vidua filios aut nepotes habet, discant primum domum suam regere et mutuam vicem reddere parentibus, hoc enim acceptum est coram deo. . . . (9) vidua eligatur non minus sexaginta annorum quae fuerit unius viri uxor, (10) in operis bonis testimonium habens si filios educavit si hospitio recepit.'

    totiens eos parturiens: Gal. 4.19, `filioli mei quos iterum parturio donec formetur Christus in vobis'; en. Ps. 147.14, `audi caritatem parturientem illos: qua praeditus Paulus apostolus, non solum paternum, sed et maternum cor gerens in filios, filii mei, inquit, quos iterum parturio. cum Paulus eos parturiebat, caritas parturiebat; cum caritas eos parturiebat, dei spiritus parturiebat.' Sim. at en. Ps. 126.8.

    ex munere tuo: = ex spiritu sancto; see on 13.38.53; the expression also at 10.31.45.

    loqui, servis: The comma is suggested by G.-D. Warns, ruling out the version of BA (`puisque ta bienveillance nous permet de nous dire tes serviteurs') in favor of that already in Pusey and Ryan (`for all of us, your servants--for out of your gift you permit us to speak--. . . she took care'); the same suggestion independently by B. Löfstedt Symb. Osl. 56(1981), 107.

    dormitionem: en. Ps. 67.20, `ut istam mortem carnis more suo scriptura dormitionem vocaverit,' though in practice, following scriptural precedent (e.g., 1 Thess. 4.12), A. restricts the word (of literal falling asleep only at ep. 3.1) to the `falling asleep' of Christians (civ. 20.20, div. qu. 59.3, ss. 10.8, 264.6, Io. ev. tr. 49.11 and qu. Mt. 11.1), indeed of Christ himself (en. Ps. 3.5 [Ps. 3.6, `ego dormivi et exsurrexi' ], 43.22, 138.2, and 150.3, Gn. c. man. 2.24.37, civ. 16.41, s. Guelf. 4.2, ) in anticipation of the resurrection: it is more then than euphemism.

    quasi ab omnibus genita fuisset: The roles predicated of M. through these last six paragraphs thus include daughter, wife, and mother, and in all she excels.

    text of 9.10.23


    The following three paragraphs are famous, too famous. And privileged: unlike the garden scene, unlike Cassiciacum, this narrative has evoked no skeptical literature debating `the historicity of Ostia'. The standard treatments are Henry, La vision d'Ostie (seeing much Plotinus, esp. 1.6.7), Mandouze 690-701, and esp. Mandouze's line-by-line commentary, in Aug. Mag. 1.67-84. For a survey of scholarship since, see V. Zangara, Riv. stor. e lett. rel. 15(1979), 63-82. The most interesting recent study is that of S. Poque, RA 10(1976), 186-215, suggesting Basil of Caesarea as a Christian intermediary between A. and Plotinus; on the intriguing role of M. at Ostia, see now T. Katô, Atti-1986 2.85-93. See also A. Louth, The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition (Oxford, 1981), 134-141, who captures the flavor of this episode sanely and concisely.

    A priori categories and a history of distinguished scholarship should not cloud our view. The present passage is an apex of conf., but needs to be seen in context. At 4.13.20ff, A. showed us his earliest philosophical exercise (the de pulchro et apto) as a complete failure in the mind's attempt to ascend to God. At 7.10.16 and 7.17.23, his attempts at the ascent of the mind conceived in Plotinian terms were first frustrated, then successful. The text from there to here is no digression or interruption but essential movement: if Plotinian ascent is disappointing, how then is God to be reached? The moral renovation of the individual through direct contact with Christ (in the garden scene at 8.12.29 and in baptism at 9.6.14) prepares the way for a more fully satisfactory ascent--fleeting and frustrating but full of hope of permanence beyond. There emerges a redefinition and reimagination of the goal that A. had been seeking; see preceding comm. on 10.1.1 for the link to later attempts in a similar vein, notably 10.1.1 - 10.27.38 itself.

    The persistent Platonic vocabulary is powerful, but does not define the experience. Even many years later, A. could sound Platonic on these subjects, while carefully marking the line beyond which the Platonists had been too timid to go (civ. 8.3 and 8.6). Of particular interest in this regard is s. 241 (405/10), one of a series (ss. 240-242) of Easter week homilies on the resurrection, directed against the `philosophers' (esp. Pythagoras, Plato, and Porphyry: s. 241.6.6). There is the same appeal to the orderliness and beauty of creation as here at 9.10.25 (s. 241.2.2, `interroga pulchritudinem terrae, interroga pulchritudinem maris, interroga pulchritudinem dilatati et diffusi aeris, . . . ; interroga ista, respondent tibi omnia: ecce vide, pulchra sumus. pulchritudo eorum, confessio eorum.') presented as an example of how the Platonists do indeed see the invisible things of God (Rom. 1.20), but do not worship him appropriately (Rom. 1.21). Instead he attacks (s. 241.7.7) Porphyry's dictum, `corpus est omne fugiendum.' Against that doctrine A. offers the resurrection, exalting the goodness of bodies.

    M.'s place: For a woman to be a guide in philosophic wisdom is out of the ordinary, but this departure from the ordinary has parallels in antiquity, from Plato's Diotima in the symposium to Boethius's Philosophia in the consolatio. The appearance of M. as a mulier sapiens could even have been suggested by Cicero's Hortensius fr. 103M (transmitted in Maximinus c. pagan. [PL 57.783A]: ironically, this work is by an enemy of A.'s old age, an Arian bishop: see A.'s conl. Max. and c. Max. of 427/28): `fato dicis omnia fieri? sed stultus stulta loquitur et cor eius vana intellegit et sicut ille aiebat Tullius in Hortensio dicens, “avia mea dicebat hoc quod Stoici, fato omnia fieri: mater autem, mulier sapiens, <ita> non existimavit.”' This was probably spoken by Hortensius, whose mother Sempronia was daughter of C. Sempronius Tuditanus, cos. 129 BC. A. shows consciousness of this tradition only in general terms: ord.1.11.31, `nam et feminae sunt apud veteres philosophatae et philosophia tua mihi plurimum placet.'

    Just as here M. is the guide to higher wisdom, so at Cassiciacum. In beata v., she appears endowed with almost supernatural wisdom: beata v. 2.10, `cui ego arridens atque gestiens, “ipsam”, inquam, “prorsus, mater, arcem philosophiae tenuisti.”' A. produces a four-sentence quotation from the Hortensius that matches what M. has just said with no such textual authority. At the end of the quotation he adds: `in quibus verbis illa sic exclamabat, ut obliti penitus sexus eius magnum aliquem virum considere nobiscum crederemus, me interim, quantum poteram, intellegente ex quo illa et quam divino fonte manarent.' So at beata v. 2.16, M. asks who the Academics are and what they are about. A. explains briefly, and M. has the last word: `“isti homines”, inquit, “caducarii sunt” (quo nomine vulgo apud nos vocantur quos comitialis morbus subvertit), et simul surrexit ut abiret. atque hic omnes laeti ac ridentes interposito fine discessimus.' So at beata v. 3.19, she offers astute correction to a definition of `having God', and a little later (beata v. 3.21) summarizes that line of discussion. Cf. beata v. 4.35, where she appositely quotes the verse `fove precantes, trinitas' from a hymn of Ambrose. Her performance in that dialogue and in the first part of ord. (esp. 1.11.31, where A. orders that the notarius record her words, over her objection6 ) so charmed her son that at ord. 2.1.1 he deliberately took her along for a session of philosophy under the trees. Finally, at ord. 2.17.45 through 2.20.52, A. addressed M., fundamentally uncercutting everything he has said about the need for the liberales disciplinae: M. represents an alternate path.

    The backgrounds are multiple, and all must somehow be born in mind at once. C. Bennett, REAug 34(1988), 65: `[T]he last meeting between her and her now-converted son, . . . as Augustine describes it, is virtually an allegorized version of the last meeting of Aeneas and his father in Aeneid 6.' Bennett compares 9.10.23, `longi itineris' to Aen. 6.687-688, `venisti tandem . . . vicit iter durum pietas?' The garden prospect parallels the green meadow in Hades (Aen. 6.679, 703) where Anchises meets his son. In both Aen. and conf., the parent already within the pale of death is a guide to the afterlife for the son who is yet in the midst of life. Ostia is not far (seen from A.'s African perspective) from the entrance to Vergil's underworld, and the name of the city itself is suggestive.

    Mandouze 685-699 (with extensive quotation), following Courcelle, Recherches 222-224, and appealing to the dubious `pattern' method of R. J. O'Connell, sets out to show that the `ascents' of Milan and Ostia are structurally similar. His tables and commentary are fascinating to follow, but must be regretfully set aside as hopelessly wrongheaded. To take only one example: he sets in parallel the repeated quotations of Rom. 1.20ff at 7.10.16, 7.17.23, and 7.20.26 on the one hand, and the scriptural verse Sirach 18.1 of 9.10.25 on the other. What he fails to see (typically: for neglect of the part played in A.'s thought and expression by scripture is the greatest single weakness of Mandouze's book) is that in the first instances, the scriptural verse is adduced as commentary ex post facto, and that the particular scriptural verse is one whose flavor in A. is always specifically confined to extra-Christian philosophizing. Sirach 18.1 at 9.10.25, on the other hand, is quoted as an integral part of the experience itself, not part of the retrospective evaluation, and its function is to situate Ostia in an expressly Christian context. The sub-text, wholly invisible to Mandouze and Courcelle, is that for all the structural parallels, the substance of the event was different for its Christianization; indeed, the parallels have the effect of calling attention to the differences. For the rest, Mandouze's tables simply show much less parallel than they purport to: not only are essential elements unparallelled (e.g., `duce te' from 7.10.16), but the wholesale rearrangement of the order of the narratives (about which Mandouze is, to be sure, candid at 684n7) vitiates the apparent visual force of his tables. The underlying error is the assumption that the `experiences' of Milan and Ostia are recoverable and that the text is only a transparent instrument to be used in that exercise. Accordingly, Mandouze's conclusion (697) must be firmly rejected, even as it defines the extremity of opinion that it represents: `c'est qu'il n'y a aucune différence de nature entre les deux expériences.'

    occultis tuis modis: 5.6.10, `me . . . docuerat deus meus miris et occultis modis'.

    fenestram: Windows (cf. 9.11.28) are for A. a source of light, even metaphorical (en. Ps. 41.7, `oculi . . . fenestrae sunt mentis'), and thus of vision. Cf. Ambrose, Isaac 4.32-3: mankind is initially separated from Christ as by a wall (`venit ergo et primo post parietem est'); `deinde prospicit per fenestras. quae sint fenestrae audi dicentem prophetam: “fenestrae apertae sunt de caelo” [Is. 24.18 (VL)]. prophetas itaque significat, per quos dominus genus respexit humanum, priusquam in terras ipse descenderet. . . . (33) deinde prospicientem [Christum] per aenigmata prophetarum legendo eos et tenendo eorum sermones videt eum prospicientem, sed quasi per fenestram, non adhuc quasi praesentem.'

    remoti a turbis . . . conloquebamur: A. and M. have achieved what A. and his friends sought, in a less coherent way: 6.14.24, `multi amici . . . conloquentes . . . paene iam firmaveramus remoti a turbis otiose vivere'.

    praeterita . . . extenti: Phil. 3.13-15, `fratres, ego me non arbitror apprehendisse unum autem: quae retro sunt oblitus in ea quae sunt ante extentus, (14) secundum intentionem sequor ad palmam supernae vocationis dei in Christ Iesu. (15) quotquot ergo perfecti, hoc sapiamus.' (Text follows s. 255.6.6, en. Ps. 38.6, 83.4; there are variations.) Note first that Christ is at the goal of this contemplation.

    The verse is echoed several times later in conf., always in analogous senses: 9.10.25, 11.29.39, 11.30.40, 12.16.23, 13.13.14. On intentio and extensio, see BA 16.589-590: intentio roughly `concentration',7 distentio roughly `distraction', extensio reaching out beyond oneself: s. 255.6.6 (Martha/Mary), `multa distendunt, unum extendit. et quamdiu extendit? quamdiu hic sumus. cum venerimus, conligit, non extendit.' There is, as might be expected, a trinitarian analogy: praeterita [1] (cf. 12.15.18, `memoria'), praesens veritas [2] (12.15.18, `contuitus'), and quae ante sunt [3] (12.15.18, `expectatio'). On the links to A.'s theory of time, see on 11.23.30 and with particular reference to these verses, G. J. P. O'Daly, REAug 23(1977), 265-271. Not unlike Rom. 13.13, this verse plays a small part in the early A.'s writings. Securely dated before conf. there is only doctr. chr. 1.34.38 (quoted below), div. qu. 61.7 (quoted with 2 Cor. 5.5-7 to characterize the interim condition of the church), and en. Ps. 9.4 (a bare allusion). It also appears probably contemporaneous with conf. at s. Den. 18.2 (not after 399) and qu. ev. 2.22 (397/400?). None of these passages has `mystical' overtones.

    But the verse is often cited afterwards, as a framework for contemplation. A Christological reading at doctr. chr. 1.34.38, `apostolus igitur quamvis adhuc ambularet in via, et ad palmam supernae vocationis sequeretur vocantem deum, tamen ea quae retro sunt obliviscens, et in ea quae ante sunt extentus iam, principium viarum transierat, hoc est, eo non indigebat a quo tamen adgrediendum et exordiendum iter est omnibus qui ad veritatem pervenire, et in vita aeterna permanere desiderant. sic enim ait, “ego sum via, et veritas, et vita. . . .”' Cf. Io. ep. tr. 4.6, en. Ps. 39.3 (seeing in `quae retro oblitus' the iniquitates and concupiscentiae carnales of pre-conversion life), s. 105.5.7, en. Ps. 89.5, `et in ea quae ante sunt extenti, quae appetitio est aeternorum,' nat. et or. an. 4.8.12 (explicitly linked to the vision Paul enjoyed in the `tertium caelum'), perf. iust. 15.36, trin. 1.5.8, 9.1.1, `perfectionem in hac vita dicit non aliud quam ea quae retro sunt oblivisci et in ea quae ante sunt extendi secundum intentionem. tutissima est enim quaerentis intentio donec apprehendatur illud quo tendimus et quo extendimur. sed ea recta intentio est quae proficiscitur a fide.' In en. Ps. alone, see also en. Ps. 80.14, 113. s. 1.7, 147.12, 9.4, 38.6, 57.10, 65.22, 66.10, 72.5, 113. s. 1.7, 130.14, 149.8.

    veritatem, quod tu es: Jn. 14.6; 2 Pet. 1.12, `et quidem scientes et confirmatos vos in praesenti veritate'; the other commentators make much of Plotinus, eo\ a)rxe/tupon au)tou= kai\ to\ a)lhqinw/teron, perhaps to the neglect of Plotinus, th\n e)kei= sunousi/an pro\s ou)k a)/galma ou)de\ ei)ko/na, a)lla\ au)to/.

    in cor hominis ascendit: 1 Cor. 2.9-10, `sed sicut scriptum est, quod oculus non vidit nec auris audivit nec in cor hominis ascendit quae praeparavit deus iis qui diligunt illum: (10) nobis autem revelavit deus per spiritum suum' (also at 9.4.12); Is. 64.4, `a saeculo non audierint neque auribus perceperunt; oculus non vidit, deus, absque te, quae praeparasti exspectantibus te.' The latter verse provides the verbal link between the Phil. text and that from 1 Cor. (and cf. 1 Cor. 2.4, `non . . . in persuasibilibus humanae sapientiae verbis, sed in ostensione spiritus'; 1 Cor. 2.7, `loquimur dei sapientiam in mysterio').

    inhiabamus ore cordis: Lucr. 1.36-37 (of Mars and Venus):

    pascit amore avidos inhians in te, dea, visus,
    eque tuo pendet resupini spiritus ore.

    Mandouze, Aug. Mag. 1.69n5, prudently notes that Plotinus avoids phrases such as `ore cordis', `préoccupé qu'il est avant tout d'opposer la perception sensible à la dialectique spirituelle'.

    fontis tui, fontis vitae: Ps. 35.10, `quoniam apud te fons vitae; in lumine tuo videbimus lumen'; en. Ps. 35.15, `quis est fons vitae nisi Christus? venit ad te in carne ut inroraret fauces tuas sitientes, satiabit sperantem qui inroravit sitientem. . . . hic aliud est fons, aliud lumen; ibi non ita. quod enim est fons, hoc est et lumen. . . . fons, quia satiat sitientes, lumen, quia inluminat caecos.' Echoed again at 13.4.5, 13.16.19, 13.21.30, 13.21.31 (2x), and already at 3.8.16. Both in the Ps. and for A., the image of fons undoubtedly evokes the lifegiving spring of a desert or semi-desert oasis, the water that makes life and community possible (L. C. Ferrari, Aug. Stud. 9[1978], 10-11).

    aspersi: Of mystical insight: 7.17.23, `ut inveniret quo lumine aspergeretur . . . et pervenit ad id quod est in ictu trepidantis aspectus.' First at c. acad. 2.2.6 (of reading Paul!), `tunc vero quantulocumque iam lumine asperso tanta se mihi philosophiae facies aperuit, ut [cuicumque] . . . demonstrare potuissem' (`asperso' is dative: Hensellek Anzeiger Akad. Wien 114[177], 147-148); then see div. qu. Simp. 1.2.16, `in ista igitur siccitate vitae condicionisque mortalis, nisi aspergeretur desuper velut tenuissima quaedam aura iustitiae, citius aresceremus quam sitiremus'; div. qu. Simp. 2.1.8, `ex quo intellegitur fieri posse ut quidam etiam indigni vita aeterna regnoque caelorum aspergantur tamen quibusdam spiritus sancti muneribus, non habentes caritatem, sine qua illa munera non nihil sunt, sed nihil eis prosunt'; most important, Gn. litt. 12.26.54 (at the culmination of a long discussion of types of visions), `porro autem, si quemadmodum raptus est a sensibus corporis ut esset in istis similitudinibus corporum quae spiritu videntur, ita et ab ipsis rapiatur ut in illam quasi regionem intellectualium vel intellegibilium subvehatur, ubi sine ulla corporis similitudine perspicua veritas cernitur, nullis opinionum falsarum nebulis offuscatur, ibi virtutes animae non sunt operosae ac laboriosae; neque enim opere temperantiae libido frenatur aut opere fortitudinis tolerantur adversa aut opere iustitiae iniqua puniuntur aut opere prudentiae mala devitantur. una ibi et tota virtus est amare quod videas et summa felicitas habere quod amas. ibi enim beata vita in fonte suo bibitur, unde aspergitur aliquid huic humanae vitae, ut in temptationibus huius saeculi temperanter, fortiter, iuste prudenterque vivatur.' The link between temptation and the mystical antidote is implicit in the structure of Bk. 10; see preceding 10.1.1. Later, cf. trin. 4 pr., `sed hoc oro deum cordis mei, ut nihil ex eis figmentis pro solido vero eructuem in has litteras, sed inde veniat in eas quidquid per me venire potuerit unde mihi, quamvis proiecto “a facie oculorum” [Ps. 30.23] suorum et de longinquo redire conanti [cf. Lk. 15: the prodigal] per viam quam stravit humanitate divinitatis unigeniti sui, aura veritatis eius aspergitur'; the same verb with the same sense at pecc. mer. 1.25.37, en. Ps. 61.21, 62.3 (`aspergit nobis rorem verbi sui . . . aliqua gratia eius aspergimur'), s. 23.9.9-10.10, `deus caritas est. (10) inde habemus aliquid, inde aspersi sumus, inde irrorati. cuius ros talis est, qualis fons? rore isto aspersus, sed flagrans in fontem, dic deo tuo: “quoniam apud te est fons vitae.” in rore isto natum est desiderium, in fonte satiaberis.'

    text of 9.10.24


    What happened at Ostia? We will never know. We must not believe, much less try to demonstrate, that the `experience' was either really neo-Platonic or really Christian. Experience does not come with neatly printed labels. If you believe, as A. of 397 did, that all such experience comes from the Christian God (and increases in quality in proportion to one's nearness to that God), then the question answers itself one way; if you believe, as a modern student of mysticism might, that the same experiences repeat themselves in different cultures and are given different names, then an entirely different answer forces itself upon you--but the experience itself is hardly touched by such scholastic differences. The difficulties of modern scholars with the passage arise from the need to decide what really happened, and the desire to put the correct label upon it. These exercises in fruitless zeal give to much scholarship on this passage an air of special pleading that often obscures both evidence and argument.

    What happened lies well beyond our reach. The experience was shared by one very Christian, half-educated, middle-aged woman, and by one enthusiastically Christian (but well-read in Plotinus), over-educated young man. M. herself would undoubtedly have said that her experience of it was Christian; A. of 397 would say essentially the same thing, making allowances for Platonic insight; A. of 387 did not record his testimony. Much in the narrative is Platonic (with distinct parallels to Bk. 7), but the capstone is Christian and scriptural. The message of A. of 397 is that, in those particular circumstances, himself baptized and accompanied by his mother, an ascent was possible that was better than what he had found through the Platonic books: not different, not uniquely better, not a denial of the excellence of Platonic mysticism, but better. This is high flattery for Platonism, combined with a final regretful suspension of allegiance and transfer of that allegiance to Christianity.

    One scholarly duty has been incompletely performed: to show how A. differentiates between what is described in Bk. 7 and what is described here. It is scarcely credible that after showing how his difficulties in Bk. 7 were the result of an inadequate knowledge of and acceptance of Christ; and after showing in Bk. 8 how he acquired that knowledge and acceptance; and after showing in early Bk. 9 that new life in action--that he would then describe an event like that of Ostia in terms that showed no sign of progress or development over what he described in Bk. 7. Notes below suggest parallels, but there is one vital non-parallel: from 7.10.16 to the end of that Bk., the verb vidi occurs six times; Ostia avoids that verb, and the climactic description at 9.10.25 is of an `audition' rather than a `vision' --see notes there.

    Passages elsewhere in A. that broadly parallel the ascent here at Ostia are too numerous to be quoted in full, or even to be catalogued with any confidence of comprehensiveness. A partial list: cons. ev. 4.10.20, Io. ev. tr. 20.11-13, 22.2, 35.9, 36.1, 48.6; s. 120.1.1, and see s. 241, discussed above on 9.10.23. Of greatest interest, perhaps, is a passage attributing a similar experience to the author of the fourth gospel at the moment of writing the first words of that text: Io. ev. tr. 1.5, `transcenderat omnia cacumina terrarum, transcenderat omnes campos aeris, transcenderat omnes altitudines siderum, transcenderat omnes choros et legiones angelorum. nisi enim transcenderet ista omnia quae creata sunt, non perveniret ad eum per quem facta sunt omnia. non potestis cogitare quid transcenderit, nisi videatis quo pervenerit.'

    If at Cassiciacum, A. had reached the fifth of seven levels of the ascent (see quant. an. 33.74 quoted on 9.4.7 above), he has now gone higher on that scheme: quant. an. 33.75, `sed haec actio, id est appetitio intellegendi ea quae vere summeque sunt, summus aspectus est animae, quo perfectiorem, meliorem rectioremque non habet. sextus ergo erit iste actionis gradus; aliud est enim mundari oculum ipsum animae, ne frustra et temere aspiciat et prave videat, aliud ipsum custodire atque firmare sanitatem, aliud iam serenum atque rectum aspectum in id quod videndum est dirigere. quod qui prius volunt facere quam mundati et sanati fuerint, ita illa luce reverberantur veritatis ut non solum nihil boni, sed etiam mali plurimum in ea putent esse, atque ab ea nomen veritatis abiudicent, et cum quadam libidine et voluptate miserabili in suas tenebras, quas eorum morbus pati potest, medicinae maledicentes refugiant.'

    On another of A.'s schematized theories of vision, Ostia represents intellectual vision, higher than the carnal and spiritual visiosn he knew earlier: see on 7.10.16, `vidi'.

    One suggestive text should not be entirely out of mind: trin. 12.7.10, `quantumcumque se [mens humana] extenderit in id quod aeternum est, tanto magis inde formatur ad imaginem dei.'

    erigentes: Ps. 145.8, `dominus erigit elisos' (see on 1.3.3, `erigis'). The verb also at 7.17.23, 9.10.25; trin. 1.1.1, `est item aliud hominum genus, eorum qui universam quidem creaturam, quae profecto mutabilis est, nituntur transcendere ut ad incommutabilem substantiam quae deus est erigant intentionem.'

    idipsum: Ps. 4.9, `in pace, in idipsum obdormiam et somnum capiam'; see on 9.4.11; cf. 7.17.23, `et pervenit ad id quod est in ictu trepidantis aspectus.' en. Ps. 121.5, `iam ergo, fratres, quisquis erigit aciem mentis, quisquis deponit caliginem carnis, quisquis mundat oculum cordis, elevet, et videat idipsum.'

    perambulavimus: civ. 8.6, `[viderunt] quaecumque corpora in eis sunt, sive omnem vitam, vel quae nutrit et continet, qualis est in arboribus, vel quae et hoc habet et sentit, qualis est in pecoribus, vel quae et haec habet et intellegit, qualis est in hominibus, . . . nisi ab illo esse non posse, qui simpliciter est.'

    gradatim: 7.17.23, `ita gradatim a corporibus ad sentientem per corpus animam atque inde ad eius interiorem vim, . . . atque inde rursus ad ratiocinantem potentiam.' Mandouze, Aug. Mag. 1.71n1: `par l'usage qu'il fait à la fois du verbe concret perambulavimus et de l'adverbe gradatim, Augustin applique ici la notion de degrés à la phase préparatoire de l'ascension mystique, ce qui n'a pas été en général suffisamment souligné.'

    ascendebamus: See on 4.12.19.

    interius: 7.17.23, `interiorem vim'.

    mirando opera tua: Cf. Rom. 1.20 (and contexts at 7.9.14).

    mentes nostras: Courcelle, Recherches 129-130, shows that A. follows Ambrose in departing slightly from Plotinus here: Plotinus would have spoken of Mens, not mentes; J. Pépin, Rev. de l'hist. des rel. 140(1951), 160, attempted without success to tighten the link to Plotinus here.

    regionem: On regiones, see on 1.18.28 and 4.16.30, and for regio dissimilitudinis (implicitly the opposite of what is encountered here), see on 7.10.16.

    ubi pascis Israhel: Cf. Ezech. 34.14, `in pascuis uberrimis pascam eas, et in montibus excelsis Israhel erunt pascua earum; ibi requiescent in herbis virentibus, et in pascuis pinguibus pascentur super montes Israhel'; Ps. 79.2, `qui pascis Israhel, intende.'

    veritate veritate C1 D O1 S Knöll Skut. Ver.:   veritatis C2 G O2 Maur.
    The eucharistic overtone in `veritate pabulo' has no single scriptural foundation, but is nonetheless unmistakeable; an early form of the expression, where truth is already being tentatively equated to Christ, is at ep. 1.3, quoted on 9.4.7, `quod . . . litteris nostris'. (Food here and drink just above in 9.10.23, `fontem'.)

    vita sapientia est: Prov. 8.35, `qui me invenerit inveniet vitam, et hauriet salutem a domino.' J. H. Taylor, AJP 79(1958), 66-70 took `sapientia' as subject and `vita' as attributive, but BA 14.117n rightly thinks that `insoutenable'; cf. 12.15.20, 13.3.4, Gn. litt. 1.5.10, `hoc est ei vivere, quod est sapienter ac beate vivere . . . aversa enim a sapientia incommutabili stulte ac misere vivit, quae informitas est.' Taylor himself adduces trin. 1.6.10, `per hoc filius dei, quia vita aeterna est, cum patre etiam ipse intellegitur ubi dictum est, “qui solus habet immortalitatem”. [1 Tim. 6.16] eius enim vitae aeternae et nos participes facti, pro modulo nostro immortales efficimur. sed aliud est ipsa cuius participes efficimur, vita aeterna; aliud nos qui eius participatione vivemus in aeternum.' There is echo enough of Plotinus here (BA instances Enn., h( de\ zwh\ sofi/a), but in A.'s vocabulary this line marks the explicit introduction of Christ as the focus of the regio ubertatis indeficientis, i.e., just where this ascent begins to differ from those of Bk. 7; numerous markers of the role of Christ persist through this paragraph and the next, notably in the last sentence of this paragraph.

    per quam fiunt omnia ista: Cf. Jn. 1.3.

    attingimus attingimus C D S Knöll Skut. Ver.:   attigimus GO Maur.
    Theiler P.u.A. 66 (at 9.10.25, :   attingimus C D G S Knöll Skut. Ver.:   attigimus O Maur.
    ). The historic present is preferable; cf. `loquimur' and `inhiamus'. The same verb of the achievement of the mind's ascent at lib. arb. 2.15.39, `quod iam non solum indubitatum, quantum arbitror, fide retinemus, sed etiam certa, quamvis adhuc tenuissima forma cognitionis attingimus'; cf. s. 117.3.5, `de deo loquimur, quid mirum si non comprehendis? si enim comprehendis, non est deus. sit pia confessio ignorantiae magis quam temeraria professio scientiae. attingere aliquantum mente deum magna beatitudo est: comprehendere autem, omnino impossibile.'

    toto ictu cordis: 7.17.23, `et pervenit ad id quod est in ictu trepidantis aspectus.' BA: `d'une poussée rapide et totale du coeur'.

    suspiravimus: Repeated at 9.10.25. As Courcelle, Recherches 224-225, shows, suspiro is the verb of an incompletely satisfied desire; cf. 6.5.8, 6.10.17, 7.10.16, 9.7.16. Courcelle, Recherches 224, calls this `une transcription en style biblique de Plotin'; more tendentiously, he adds that this corresponds to that in the Milan descriptions which remained loving and desirous but regretful that full participation was impossible (7.17.23). But Courcelle then asks the question that shows why his own position is untenable: why does Ostia leave him less unhappy than the Milan ascents did? After all, newly baptized, A. can scarcely rely on the excuse of his impurity and unworthiness; rather, in Courcelle's view, A. thinks that such vision in this life is for the few and the saintly; to that end he quotes quant. an. 33.76, `iamvero in ipsa visione atque contemplatione veritatis, qui septimus atque ultimus animae gradus est, neque iam gradus sed quaedam mansio quo illis gradibus pervenitur, quae sint gaudia, quae perfructio summi et veri boni, cuius serenitatis atque aeternitatis adflatus, quid ego dicam? dixerunt haec, quantum dicenda esse iudicaverunt, magnae quaedam et incomparabiles animae, quas etiam vidisse ac videre ista credimus.' Courcelle adds to that text the improbable conclusion, `Il songe très probablement à Plotin et Porphyre, qui parvinrent à cette jouissance, l'un quatre fois, l'autre une seule; il attribue la même aptitude à tels de ses contemporains, un Ambroise [ep. 147.11.26, 147.12.29] ou un Theodorus, par exemple.' The presence of M., however, compels Courcelle to indulge in a convoluted fantasy: Recherches 226: `Ajoutons que l'expérience d'Ostie fut sans doute moins spécifiquement plotinienne dans la réalité que dans le récit des Confessions. . . . Le passage de nous [9.10.25, `dicebamus' ] à je [9.10.26, `dicebam talia' ], montre, si je ne me trompe, que le discours plotinien est du seul Augustin. La restriction: "Quoique ce fut avec un autre tour et d'autres mots", semble préciser que, dans la réalité, ce discours dont le cadre est plotinien fut formulé, à l'usage de Monique, en un langage plus nettement chrétien.' On that reading, A. was having a Plotinian experience, while M. was having a Christian one! A. successfully forges a Christian vocabulary, even while granting Platonists their glimpses of truth; cf. trin. 4.15.20, `hinc enim purgationem sibi isti virtute propria pollicentur, quia nonnulli eorum potuerunt aciem mentis ultra omnem creaturam transmittere et lucem incommutabilis veritatis quantulacumque ex parte contingere; quod christianos multos ex fide interim sola viventes nondum potuisse derident'; cf. s. 241.2.2 and civ. 11.2 (which reads like a re-writing of 9.10.25, and goes on to link such vision to the incarnation), `magnum est et admodum rarum universam creaturam corpoream et incorpoream consideratam compertamque mutabilem intentione mentis excedere atque ad incommutabilem dei substantiam pervenire et illic discere ex ipso, quod cunctam naturam, quae non est quod ipse, non fecit nisi ipse.'

    primitias spiritus: Rom. 8.23, `sed et nos ipsi primitias spiritus habentes, et ipsi intra nos gemimus, adoptionem filiorum expectantes.' Cf. 12.16.23, `in eius pacem matris carissimae, ubi sunt primitiae spiritus mei', 13.13.14, `illi enim suspirat sponsi amicus, iam habens spiritus primitias penes eum', and contrast 13.2.3, `reliquiis obscuritatis nostrae laboramus' (as vera rel. 27.50, `veteris hominis sui reliquias'). Like Phil. 3.13, often quoted with mystical overtones in en. Ps.: en. Ps. 31. en. 2.20, 41.11, 64.4-6, 114.8, 118. s. 12.1 (quoted below), 125.2, 134.18, 137.13 (`apud te enim est fons vitae, et in lumine tuo videbimus lumen. sed ecce dedi primitias spiritus, et credidi in te, et servio mente legi dei [Rom. 7.25: see below]; tamen in nobismetipsis adhuc ingemiscimus, adoptionem exspectantes, redemtionem corporis nostri').

    For primitiae spiritus, see J. Pépin, Rev. de l'hist. de rel. 140 (1951), 155-202 (with quotation of numerous texts beyond those below); A. Mandouze, Aug. Mag. 1.74; BA 14.552-555; M. Alfeche, Augustiana 34(1984), 5-52. The principal texts before conf. are these:

    f. et symb. 10.23 (393), `principale nostrum spiritus est; deinde vita, qua coniungimur corpori, anima dicitur; postremo ipsum corpus, quoniam visibile est, ultimum nostrum est. haec autem omnis creatura ingemescit et parturit usque nunc; dedit tamen primitias spiritus, quia credidit deo et bonae voluntatis est. hic enim spiritus etiam mens vocatur, de quo dicit apostolus: “mente servio legi dei”. [Rom. 7.25]' Add to this div. qu. 67.6, `non solum autem, inquit [apostolus], omnis creatura congemiscit et dolet, sed et nos ipsi, id est non solum in homine corpus et anima et spiritus, sed et nos ipsi, exceptis corporibus, in nobis ipsis congemiscimus, primitias habentes spiritus. et bene dixit primitias habentes spiritus, id est quorum iam spiritus tamquam sacrificium oblati sunt deo, et divino caritatis igne comprehensi sunt. hae sunt primitiae hominis, quia veritas primum spiritum nostrum obtinet, et per hunc cetera comprehendantur. . . . nos ipsi primitias habentes spiritus: id est, nos animae, quae iam primitias mentes nostras obtulimus deo . . ., expectantes . . . ut et ipsum corpus accipiens beneficium adoptionis filiorum, qua vocati sumus, totos nos liberatos, transactis omnibus molestiis, ex omni parte dei filios esse manifestet'; sim. at exp. prop. Rom. 45 (53) and cf. Gal. exp. 28 (Pépin 185-6 dates these texts to 395/6). The primitiae spiritus belong to the life of faith, anticipating but not comprising full vision of God. Much later, they are used to speak of the Christian life after baptism particularly: pecc. mer. 2.7.9.

    Though A.'s contemporary Paul-readers (Ambrose, Ambrosiaster, Pelagius: see Pépin 191-2) take the phrase to mean the first gift of the Spirit (ruled out here by 12.16.23, `primitiae spiritus mei'), and though there are parallels in A.'s usage for applying it to the first products of the human spirit (notably s. 351.3.6, `ex primitiis novi hominis', and s. 375, `magi qui venerunt adorare Christum, et significant primitias gentium'), Pépin showed the better sense is `notre esprit, première offrande', to be followed by the whole person (en. Ps. 118. s. 12.1, `nos ipsi primitias spiritus habentes, id est, qui nondum quidem ex toto quod sumus, sed ex ea parte qua pecoribus meliores sumus, deo, non vanitati subditi sumus, hoc est, per primitias spiritus'): this may be easily Plotinized (Plotinus as the most divine part of the divine soul. But (see BA 14.553-555) it is an important difference that A. takes refers the text to the human soul, not the Spirit or any part of God (see Alfeche cited above on this); spiritus is then the higher part of human nature, more or less identified with mens.

    ad strepitum oris nostri: Cf. 7.17.23, `moxque diripiebar abs te pondere meo et ruebam in ista cum gemitu.'

    ubi verbum et incipitur et finitur: For A.'s recurrence to the idea of the transience of words and syllables, see on 11.26.33.

    in se permanenti: Wisd. 7.27, `in se ipsa manens innovat omnia'; cf. 1.4.4, `innovans omnia, in vetustatem perducens superbos'; 7.9.14, `participatione manentis in se sapientiae renovantur' (and that is a doctrine the Platonists do have); 7.11.17. Quoted as a sign of the imperfection even of redeemed Christian life at s. 12.10.10 (with Ps. 101.28), en. Ps. 109.12, 136.7 (`non enim respiramus iam in auras illius libertatis; non enim fruimur puritate veritatis, et illa sapientia quae in seipsa manens innovat omnia. delectationibus temporalium rerum temptamur, et conluctamur cotidie cum suggestionibus inlicitarum voluptatum; vix respiramus vel in oratione'), 138.8.

    text of 9.10.25


    This paragraph is a single sentence (183 words). Its sum is: If we should ascend to the silence where the Word of God speaks unmediated, and if we stayed there, rather than falling back to these shores--well, that would be heaven.

    What is described should properly be called not the `vision' but the `audition' at Ostia. A. draws on such scriptural texts as Jas. 1.19, `sit autem omnis homo velox ad audiendum, tardus ad loquendum'; Ps. 50.10, `auditui meo dabis exsultationem et laetitiam'; Jn. 3.29, `amicus autem sponsi stat et audit eum et gaudio gaudet propter vocem sponsi.' In A., cf. also en. Ps. 139.15, `quare vis loqui, audire non vis? semper foras exis, intro redire detrectas. qui enim te docet, intus est; quando tu doces, tamquam foras exis ad eos qui foris sunt. ab interiore enim audimus veritatem et ad eos qui foris a nostro corde sunt loquimur. . . . si autem hoc te delectat quod foris agis, vide ne tumescas foris, et non possis redire per angustam, et non possit tibi dicere deus tuus, “intra in gaudium domini tui.”' Cf. also 2 Cor. 12.4, as rendered by A. at doctr. chr. 1 pr. 5 (a passage noticeably cautious about the value of such experience), `et exspectemus rapi usque in tertium caelum, sive in corpore sive extra corpus, sicut dicit apostolus, et ibi audire ineffabilia verba,8 quae non licet homini loqui, aut ibi videre dominum Iesum Christum, et ab illo potius quam ab hominibus audire evangelium.' (That passage of Paul plays a large part in A.'s descriptions of Paul's ecstasy, and his reaction to that may have played a part in turning him from Plotinian to Christian patterns of ascent: see on 7.21.27. See also on 7.10.16, for the contrast between the words heard at Milan and those descried here.) For a union of the ideas, from many years later, trin. 15.10.18, `foris enim cum per corpus haec fiunt, aliud est locutio, aliud visio; intus autem cum cogitamus, utrumque unum est. sicut auditio et visio duo quaedam sunt inter se distantia in sensibus corporis, in animo autem non est aliud atque aliud videre et audire.'

    For an expository view: Gn. litt. 8.25.47, `spiritalis autem creata natura si perfecta atque beata est, sicut angelorum sanctorum, quantum attinet ad se ipsam, quo sit sapiensque sit, nonnisi intrinsecus incorporaliter adiuvatur. intus ei quippe loquitur deus miro et ineffabili modo neque per scripturam corporalibus instrumentis adfixam neque per voces corporalibus auribus insonantes neque per corporum similitudines quales in spiritu imaginaliter fiunt, sicut in somnis vel in aliquo excessu spiritus--quod graece dicitur ecstasis et nos eo verbo iam utimur pro latino--quia et hoc genus visionum, quamvis interius fiat quam sunt ea quae animo per sensus corporis nuntiantur, tamen, quia simile est eis, ita ut, cum fit, discerni ab eis aut omnino non possit aut certe vix et rarissime possit, et quia exterius est quam illud quod in ipsa incommutabili veritate mens rationalis et intellectualis intuetur eaque luce de his omnibus iudicat, inter illa quae extrinsecus fiunt arbitror esse deputandum.' (A. seems never to claim ecstasis for himself [and the word is nowhere in conf.]: he describes what he has seen and heard of in others: cf. Gn. litt. 12.2.4.) See on 7.10.16 for a distinction (attested in c. Adim.and Gn. litt.) of three kinds of visions, of which this is the highest, intellectual kind.

    For the descent from the vision to the audition, cf. Plotinus, polla/kis e)geiro/menos ei)s e)maouto\n e)k tou= sw/matos kai\ gino/menos tw=n me\n a)/llwn e)/cw, e)mautou= de\ ei)/sw, qaumasto\n h(li/kon o(rw=n ka/llos, kai\ th=s krei/ttonos moi/ras pisteu/sas to/te ma/lista ei)=nai, zwh/n te a)ri/sthn e)nergh/sas kai\ tw=| qei/w| ei)s eau)to\n gegenhme/nos kai\ e)n au)tw=| i(druqei\s ei)s e)ne/rgeian e)lqw\n e)kei/nhn u(pe\r pa=n to\ a)/llo nohto\n e)mauto\n i(dru/sas, meta\ tau/thn th\n e)n tw=| qei/w| sta/sin ei)s logismo\n e)k nou= kataba\s a)porw=, pw=s pote kai\ nu=n katabai/nw, kai\ o(/pws pote/ moi e)/ndon h( yuxh\ gege/nhtai tou= sw/matos tou=to ou)=sa, oi(=on e)fa/nh kaq' e(auth/n, kai/per ou)=sa e)n sw/mati.

    sileat: Cf. Proclus plat. theol. (ed. Saffrey-Westerink), 2.11, kai\ pa/ntwn e)n h)remi/a| gigno/menoi tw=| pa/ntwo ai)ti/w| prosi/wmen e)ggu/s. e)/stw de\ h(mi=n mh\ mo/non do/chs mhde\ fantasi/as h)remi/a mhde\ h(suxi/a tw=n paqw=n . . ., a)ll' h(/suxos me\n a)h/r, h(/suxon de\ to\ pa=n tou=to (Theiler, P.u.A. 66f), but see esp. Plotinus, h(/suxon de\ au)th=| e)/stw mh\ mo/non to\ perikei/menon sw=ma kai\ i( tou= sw/matos klu/dwn, a)lla\ kai\ pa=n to\ perie/xon: h(/suxos me\n gh=, h(/suxos de\ qa/lassa kai\ a)h\r kai\ au)to\s ou)rano\s a)mei/nwn, a clear and deliberate echo. The main difference is that Gk. h(suxa/zw is mainly a verb of cessation of motion; `sileat' emphasizes the auditory, and sets the stage for the Verbum. For this whole sequence, cf. 7.13.19, quoting Ps. 148 at length, on the things that show us that God is to be praised. On the silence, see V. Capanaga, Studia Patristica 9(1966), 359-392.

    phantasiae: See on 3.6.10; 7.17.23, `abduxit cogitationem a consuetudine, subtrahens se contradicentibus turbis phantasmatum'. But after Bks. 7 and 8, A. is immune to mere phantasmata.

    transeat: en. Ps. 41.8, `aliquid super animam esse sentio deum meum. . . . si enim in seipsa remaneret, nihil aliud quam se videret.'

    somnia et imaginariae revelationes: i.e., veridical dreams and revelations that come as visions; n.b. revelare always in A. in a figurative sense, and virtually always (in conf.: always) of God's revelations to people (see A. C. de Veer, RA 2[1962], 331-357); specifically of M.'s veridical dreams at 6.13.23 and 8.12.30. Cf. ep. 80.3, `plerumque non voce de caelo, non per prophetam, non per revelationem vel somnii vel excessus mentis quae dicitur ecstasis, sed rebus ipsis accidentibus . . . cogimur agnoscere dei voluntatem'; see de Veer for other illustrative passages and discussion.

    sed fecit nos: Ps. 99.3, `scitote quoniam dominus ipse est deus, ipse fecit nos, et non nos'; en. Ps. 99.15, `omnia per ipsum facta sunt, et sine ipso factum est nihil' (thus linking to Jn. 1). See 7.10.16, the first `ascent', and see on 10.6.8-9, where this phase of the ascent is attempted anew; also echoed at 11.27.34. The biblical echo, hard on the heels of the Plotinian citation, has the effect of capping the philosopher's words and interpreting them in a new context.

    qui manet in aeternum: Sirach 18.1, `qui vivit in aeternum creavit omnia simul'; Ps. 32.11, `consilium vero domini manet in aeternum'; Ps. 116.2, `et veritas domini manet in aeternum'; Is. 40.8, `verbum autem domini nostri manet in aeternum'; Jn. 12.34, `respondit ergo ei turba, “nos audivimus ex lege quia Christus manet in aeternum.”'

    erexerunt: See on 9.10.24.

    verbum eius: Jn. 1.1. The distance between interior and exterior language is clearly and vividly felt by A. in many circumstances; see cat. rud. 2.3, quoted on 10.8.14, `dico apud me'.

    vocem angeli: Cf. Gn. 22.11, `et ecce angelus domini de caelo clamavit.' (The biblical resonance of these `non/neque/nec . . .' phrases should not be overlooked.)

    sonitum nubis: `revelation'? See on 13.15.18, and cf. 2.2.3, `sonitum nubium tuarum'; cf. Ps. 76.18, `vox tonitrui in nube'; Exod. 33.9, `descendebat columna nubis et stabat ad ostium loquebaturque cum Moyse.'

    aenigma similitudinis: Cf. 1 Cor. 13.12, `videmus nunc per speculum in aenigmate'; Num. 12.6-8, `si quis fuerit inter vos propheta domini, in visione apparebo ei vel per somnium loquar ad illum. (7) at non talis servus meus Moyses qui in omni domo mea fidelissimus est, (8) ore enim ad os loquor ei et palam et non per aenigmata et figuras dominum videt.' See C.P. Mayer, Aug.-Lex. 1.140-141; also at 8.1.1, 10.5.7, 12.13.16, 13.15.18.

    sed ipsum: For the manner of hearing the Word in heaven, cf. civ. 11.29, `illi quippe angeli sancti non per verba sonantia deum discunt, sed per ipsam praesentiam immutabilis veritatis, hoc est verbum eius unigenitum.'

    extendimus: Phil. 3.13 (as at 9.10.23).

    attingimus: For MSS readings and tense, see on 9.10.24.

    rapiat: See on 4.12.18.

    intra in gaudium domini tui: Mt. 25.21, `intra in gaudium domini tui.' Cf. 2.10.18, `qui intrat in te intrat in gaudium domini sui.' The verse is associated with the ascent of the mind as early as mus. 6.14.43, `quid ergo restat? an ut, quoniam sicut potuimus inquinationem et aggravationem animae consideravimus, videamus quaenam illi actio divinitus imperetur, qua purgata atque exonerata revolet ad quietem, et intret in gaudium domini sui?' Of particular interest is the collocation at en. Ps. 38.5, `coepit esse inquietum cor meum [1.1.1]. . . . et suspirans in finem quendam, ubi ista non erat passurus, in illum, inquam, finem quo dicturus est bono erogatori dominus, “intra in gaudium domini tui.”' Also at en. Ps. 139.15 (quoted above on the preference for silence over speech); cf. agon. 8.9, ep. 140.23.57. J. Pépin, Rev. de l'hist. de rel. 140(1951), 200: `D'où vient alors la différence de tonalité affective, déception à Milan, joie paisible à Ostie? Certainement de la relation qu'Augustin établit à Ostie entre la contemplation et la vie éternelle.'

    cum omnes resurgimus: 1 Cor. 15.51, `omnes quidem resurgemus, sed non omnes immutabimur.' Cf. 1 Cor. 2.9 quoted at the opening of this scene at 9.10.23. f. et symb. 6.13, `non enim ita dictum est, quasi corpus vertatur in spiritum et spiritus fiat, quia et nunc corpus nostrum quod animale dicitur non in animam versum est et anima factum; sed spiritale corpus intellegitur, quod ita spiritui subditum est ut caelesti habitationi conveniat, omni fragilitate ac labe terrena in caelestem puritatem et stabilitatem mutata atque conversa. haec est immutatio de qua item dicit apostolus, “omnes resurgemus, sed non omnes immutabimur.”' vera rel. 27.50, `post quod iudicium vetere homine exstincto erit illa mutatio quae angelicam vitam pollicetur, “omnes enim resurgemus, sed non omnes immutabimur.” resurget ergo pius populus, ut veteris hominis sui reliquias [cf. 9.10.24, `primitias spiritus'] transformet in novum.' ep. 205.14, `ergo istam commutationem in melius sine dubitatione oportet intellegi, quia omnes et iusti et iniusti resurrecturi sunt sed, sicut dominus in evangelio loquitur, “qui bene fecerunt, in resurrectionem vitae, qui male egerunt, in resurrectionem iudicii,” iudicium appellans poenam sempiternam . . . proinde illi qui ad iudicium resurrecturi sunt non commutabuntur in illam incorruptelam quae nec doloris corruptionem pati potest.' (The next verse of 1 Cor., 15.52, is echoed at 7.17.23, `in ictu trepidantis aspectus'.)

    The passage quoted from vera rel. follows by one paragraph the discussion there of the idealized seven-day scheme for the ages of a man (vera rel. 26.49: see on 1.8.13). The narrative of conf. begins by carefully marking of the stages of the life of the old man up to 7.1.1 (turning from adolescentia into iuventus); from there, the overlap with the pattern of the ages of the new man begins, and eventually the old-man sequence (narrative autobiography) is abandoned in favor of something else. It is not exactly the vera rel. sequence, for as noted on 1.8.13, that was derailed when A. was ordained, but something analogous is in mind: A., no less than M., is no longer subject to the scheme of the six ages of fallen man.

    One of the difficulties into which Platonizing Christians often fall, from Origen on, is that of assimilating Christian eschatology to Platonic restoration: the result is usually some form of apocatastasis. This passage at this central moment protects Augustine from that temptation decisively. Here see Marrou, REAug 12(1966), 111-136, Englished as The Resurrection and St. Augustine's Theology of Human Values (Villanova, 1966).

    resurgimus resurgimus C D O S Knöll Skut. Ver.:   resurgemus G Maur.

    text of 9.10.26


    etsi non isto modo et his verbis: See on 7.9.13 and 8.12.28 for this device of reported speech, incorporating scriptural language. Only here does it become clear that A. presents the words of the last paragraph as his words alone; M.'s words to follow appear as if a transcript of her ipsissima verba, and the difference in tone and reference is considerable--but it should not be concluded that any error in reportage, or exaggeration of his own sentiments from the time, underlies this. A. is rather comparing his own elevated and philosophical sentiments--those of the post-Platonic ascent of the mind to God--to the more pragmatic but no less effective sentiments of M. The same juxtaposition marks her interventions in the Cassiciacum dialogues. We are to look beyond apparent inconcinnity to harmony.

    tu scis: See on 1.5.6.

    et mundus iste nobis inter verba vilesceret: The implication is that the content of speech reached for realities far better, brighter, and more enduring than the world before their eyes; but the expression itself underscores a characteristic Augustinian bias in favor of the world of discourse.

    consumpta spe huius saeculi: Sim. at 6.11.19, 8.7.18, 8.12.30.

    christianum catholicum: The two names for A.'s new allegiance appear infrequently in the first books of conf. (catholicus not until Bk. 5, christianus only 6x before Bk. 7), then both are frequent through Bks. 7-9, and now they disappear: this is the last occurrence of christianus, catholicus again only at 9.13.37. The names are relevant in proportion to A.'s proximity to the border they define: before he approaches it, they describe something he deliberately ignores, and as he passes beyond it, they are taken for granted.

    text of 9.11.27


    The death of M. resembles and disresembles the death of A.'s friend at 4.4.7. His grief in both cases is great: accepting Christianity does not eradicate grief, but perhaps transforms it from hopeless to hopeful. As a young man searching for truth, A. might have regarded so subtle a shift as inadequate: if that were all Christianity offered, he might well reject it. The `disenchantment' of his maturity lets him accept the consolations of Christianity, however much less satisfactory they are than fantasy might have demanded; for the struggle it apparently entailed at the time, see on 9.12.29. Twenty years after conf., the sense of bereavement persisted: cura mort. 13.16, `si rebus viventium interessent animae mortuorum et ipsae nos, quando eas videmus, adloquerentur in somnis, ut de aliis taceam, me ipsum pia mater nulla nocte desereret, quae terra marique secuta est ut mecum viveret. absit enim ut facta sit vita feliciore crudelis usque adeo ut quando aliquid angit cor meum, nec tristem filium consoletur, quem dilexit unice, quem numquam voluit maestum videre. sed profecto quod sacer psalmus personat, verum est: “quoniam pater meus et mater mea dereliquerunt me, dominus autem adsumpsit me.” [Ps. 26.10] si ergo dereliquerunt nos parentes nostri, quomodo nostris curis et rebus intersunt? si autem parentes non intersunt, qui sunt alii mortuorum qui noverint quid agamus, quidve patiamur?'

    cum interea: G-M canvass the possibility that the cum-clause may be meant as causal, for the failure of memory; the conjuncture is probably meant to hurry us along from M.'s words at Ostia to her deathbed, to make them as far as possible part of a single scene.

    febribus: Did she suffer from malaria, Rome's gift to the middle ages? See on 5.9.16.

    fratrem meum: Navigius, A.'s only known brother; whether older or younger is not clear. Not particularly outgoing at Cassiciacum (see beata v. 1.6, 2.7, 2.12, 2.14, 3.19, 3.20, ord. 1.2.5, 1.3.7, c. acad. 1.2.5-6). A. later had one nephew, Patricius, a minor cleric (perhaps lector: Mandouze, Pros. chr. s.v. Patricius 3) at Hippo, and another, subdeacon at Milevis, and some nieces--unclear whether they are N.'s children, or those of a sister (s. 356.3).

    in peregre in peregre C D S Knöll Skut.:   peregre G O Maur. Ver.
    G-M cite `in peregre' by way of Charisius inst. gram. from the lost caecus of Plautus; CIL 13.1897, `dum ego in peregre eram.'

    reverberans: See on 7.10.16, `reverberasti'.

    ponite . . . ubicumque: It was customary for the relatives to tend the grave (and for others to see the grave: 9.11.28, `commemorari ab hominibus'), hence burial in Italy would be lonely. Her response shows a new, characteristically Christian attitude, and suggests some of the consolation ordinary Christians found in their religion. The altar of Christ is burial-shrine enough. For the approved Christian attitude, cf. cura mort. 5.7, `ubicumque enim iaceat vel non iaceat defuncti caro, spiritui requies adquirenda est'.

    ad domini altare memineritis mei: 9.13.37, `ut quotquot haec legerint meminerint ad altare tuum Monnicae'. On Mass for the dead, see ench. 29.110, `cum ergo sacrificia, sive altaris sive quarumcumque eleemosynarum, pro baptizatis defunctis omnibus offeruntur, pro valde bonis gratiarum actiones sunt, pro non valde bonis propitiationes sunt, pro valde malis etiam si nulla sunt adiumenta mortuorum qualescumque vivorum consolationes sunt. quibus autem prosunt, aut ad hoc prosunt ut sit plena remissio, aut certe ut tolerabilior fiat ipsa damnatio.' s. 172.2.2, `proinde pompae funeris, agmina exequiarum, sumptuosa diligentia sepulturae, monumentorum opulenta constructio, vivorum sunt qualiacumque solacia, non adiutoria mortuorum. orationibus vero sanctae ecclesiae et sacrificio salutari et eleemosynis quae pro eorum spiritibus erogantur non est dubitandum mortuos adiuvari, ut cum eis misericordius agatur a domino quam eorum peccata meruerunt. hoc enim a patribus traditum universa observat ecclesia, ut pro eis qui in corporis et sanguinis Christi communione defuncti sunt, cum ad ipsum sacrificium loco suo commemorantur, oretur ac pro illis quoque id offerri commemoretur.' cura mort. 18.22-23 marks such eucharistic prayer as the licit form of `cura pro mortuis'; the topic was of continuing interest and the cura mort. discussion was reprised at Dulc. qu. 2.2-3.

    text of 9.11.28


    dona tua: God as giver of gifts (pre-eminently the Spirit; see on 9.4.9).

    invisibilis: Col. 1.15, `qui est imago dei invisibilis, primogenitus omnis creaturae'; quoted at div. qu. 74. in a subtle discussion of image and likeness.

    gratias tibi agabam: Col. 1.3, `gratias agimus deo patri domini nostri Iesu Christi'; see on 9.4.7.

    valde concorditer vixerant: This unselfconscious assertion is the necessary supplement to the description of their relations in 9.9.19.

    transmarinam: Regular in A. for `overseas', as civ. 22.8, `venientes enim de transmarinis me et fratrem meum Alypium'; metaphorical of the eternal homeland at trin. 4.15.20.

    coniuncta terra: here = earth out of which human bodies created (Gn. 2.7); cf. 1.11.18.

    conloquebatur: 9.10.23, `conloquebamur'.

    de . . . bono mortis: M. as well as Augustine could have heard and learned from Amb.'s sermon bono mort. (Courcelle, Recherches 124).

    nihil . . . longe est deo: Acts. 17.27-28, `quaerere deum . . . quamvis non longe sit ab unoquoque nostrum; (28) in ipso enim vivimus et movemur et sumus'; on `longe', see on 1.18.28, and esp. en. Ps. 84.11, `non enim regionibus longe est quisque a deo, sed affectibus.'

    die nono: Plus five days before the illness (9.11.27) makes two weeks after the conversation by the window.

    tricesimo et tertio aetatis meae: Gives a terminus ante quem of 13 November 387; terminus post quem is 25 April 387 (A.'s baptism: 9.6.14). M. was therefore born 331/2, and was 22/3 when A. was born.

    text of 9.12.29


    oculi mei . . . ad siccitatem: This refusal to weep at first is one attempt to obey the Christian message: to force this death to be different from others he has seen and mourned for before. The child Adeodatus is less artificial. But in the end (9.12.33), A. does weep. Amb. also felt an implicit need to excuse weeping for the dead: Amb. exc. fratr. 1.10, `non gravem lacrimis contraximus culpam, non omnis infidelitatis aut infirmitatis est fletus. . . . lacrime ergo pietatis indices, non inlices sunt doloris. lacrimavi ergo, fateor, etiam ego, sed lacrimavit et dominus.'

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

    planctu planctu O S Knöll Skut. Ver.:   planctum C D G Maur.

    quiddam puerile: On his mother's death, A. represses something `boyish' in himself: the will to accept maturity, a `new life' of a pedestrian kind.

    voce voce C D G O Skut. Ver.:   voce, voce S Knöll Pell.

    neque enim decere arbitrabamur: Cf. 1 Thess. 4.13, `nolumus autem vos ignorare fratres de dormientibus, ut non contristemini sicut et ceteri qui spem non habent.'

    fide non ficta: 1 Tim. 1.5, `finis autem praecepti est caritas de corde puro et conscientia bona et fide non ficta.'

    text of 9.12.30


    simul vivendi: 4.6.11, of Orestes and Pylades, `qui vellent pro invicem simul mori, quia morte peius eis erat non simul vivere.'

    pium: A hint that A. has become at last worthy of the epithet always characteristic of Aeneas.

    iaculatum iaculatum C D G O Maur. Knöll Ver.:   iaculum S Skut.

    qui fecisti nos: Ps. 99.3, `dominus ipse est deus, ipse fecit nos, et non nos'; Baruch 4.7, `exacerbastis enim eum qui fecit vos, deum aeternum' (see on 9.10.25).

    vita, quae una facta erat: See on 4.6.11, `dimidium animae meae'; as often since 2.1.1, amicitia furnishes the model for authentic loving relations.

    text of 9.12.31


    cohibito ergo: This sentence resumes narrative broken by meditation after 9.12.29, `Adeodatus . . . tacuit'.

    psalterium: Here clearly the Psalm-book, not the instrument, a measure of the transformation of the Word of God into a text.

    arripuit: The verb of avid reading, near the end of each of the three central books of conf.: see 7.21.27, `avidissime arripui . . . Paulum'; 8.12.29, `arripui, aperui et legi'.

    Evodius: See on 9.8.17. Evodius' version of a good Christian funeral, addressed to A. himself: ep. 158.2, `exequias praebuimus satis honorabiles, et dignas tantae animae; nam per triduum hymnis dominum conlaudavimus super sepulchrum ipsius, et redemptionis sacramenta tertio die obtulimus.'

    misericordiam . . . domine: Ps. 100.1, `misericordiam et iudicium cantabo tibi, domine.' This psalm is a deliberate choice tailored for M. Those at her death-bed are singing her psalm, and the words of this psalm could well have been `put in the mouth' of M. by her loving family and household. It is appropriate to look to the whole psalm (A.'s text given below); the incipit here is meant not so much as full direct quotation but as adequate reference to what psalm they sang.

    cum eis: Just as in Bk. 4, he is in the company of his friends after a death, seeking consolation (4.8.13, `aliorum amicorum solacia'). The difference is not here, but later, where he weeps--and discovers that Christianity does not make a night/day change, tears to gladness, but gives tears a new meaning and a new hope, and does offer relief somewhere soon. See in a similar vein on 9.13.36, `neque enim respondebit illa'.

    arbitrantibus: Those around him think him devoid of the feeling he might be expected to show; he inwardly reproaches himself for its lack; this is analogous to his fastidiousness in 9.2.4 over his delay in leaving office; see further on 9.12.33.

    dolore dolebam dolorem: 3.1.1, `amare amabam'.

    Psalm 100 (iuxta en. Ps. 100)

    (1) misericordiam et iudicium cantabo tibi, domine. (2) psallam, et intellegam in via immaculata: quando venies ad me? deambulabam in innocentia cordis mei, in medio domus meae. (3) non proponebam ante oculos meos rem malam; facientes praevaricationem odio habui, non adhaesit mihi (4) cor pravum; cum declinaret a me malignus non cognoscebam. (5) detrahentem proximo suo occulte, hunc persequebar, superbo oculo et insatiabili corde, huic non convescebar. (6) oculi mei super fideles terrae ut considerent hi mecum; ambulans in via immaculata hic mihi ministrabat. (7) non habitavit in medio domus meae faciens superbiam; loquens iniqua non direxit in conspectu oculorum meorum. (8) in matutinis interficiebam omnes peccatores terrae, ut disperdam de civitate domini omnes operantes iniquitatem.

    text of 9.12.32


    elatum est, imus: Cf. Ter. Andria 117, `effertur, imus.'

    M.'s remains were removed to the church of S. Agostino in Rome in 1430 by Pope Martin V. Her epitaph was written by Anicius Auchenius Bassus, cos. 431, and was first published from manuscripts in the seventeenth century; part of the inscription itself was discovered in 1945 by teen-agers erecting a basketball net, in three pieces. Text (capitals for parts recovered in 1945; see R. Meiggs, Roman Ostia [Oxford, 1960], 399-400 with references):

    HIC POSVIT CINEres genetrix castissima prolis
    AVGVSTINE TVI altera lux meriti*
    QUI SERVANS PAcis caelestia iura sacerdos
    COMMISSOS POpulos moribus instituis
    GLORIA VOS Maior gestorum laude coronat
    VIRTVTVM Mater felicior suboles.
         * or: AVGVSTINE TVIs altera lux meritis

    fudimus fudimus C2 D2 GO2 S Maur. Knöll Skut. Ver.:   fundimus C1 D1 O1

    sacrificium pretii nostri: ep. 98.9, `nonne semel immolatus est Christus in se ipso, et tamen in sacramento non solum per omnes paschae sollemnitates sed omni die populis immolatur nec utique mentitur qui interrogatus eum responderit immolari?'

    consuetudinis: See on 8.5.10.

    iam non fallaci verbo: Jn. 1.1.

    balanion balanion D2 G O S Ver.:   valanion C D1
    Knöll and Skut. print in Gk. characters. The etymology is not sound. Cf. ord. 1.8.25, `redditisque deo cotidianis votis ire coeperamus in balneas--ille enim locus nobis, cum caelo tristi in agro esse minime poteramus, aptus ad disputandum et familiaris fuit'; beata v. 1.6, `in balneas ad consedendum vocavi; nam is tempori aptus locus secretus occurrerat.'

    pater orphanorum: Ps. 67.5-6, `turbabuntur a facie eius, (6) patris orphanorum et iudicis viduarum'; the last phrase left uncited here where a virtuous vidua is facing her iudex.

    exudavit: The imagery is aptly that of the Roman baths, which cleansed by perspiration.

    evigilavi evigilavi G O Maur. Ver.:   vigilavi C D S Knöll Skut.

    deus, creator omnium: Amb. hymn. 1.2.1-8, for evening. Quoting this hymn has the additional effect (however apt its words to A.'s position, and however true his account of remembering the words at this moment) of bringing Ambrose back to mind one last time, associated with M., completing the sequence of narrative of the books in which his influence, potent but almost invisible (e.g., earlier as the baptizing hand at 9.6.14), has been felt. The incipit is variously echoed elsewhere in conf.: 4.10.15, 10.34.52, 11.27.35 (where see other passages, esp. from mus., in which A. invokes this hymn), cf. 2.6.12, 5.5.9, 6.4.5, 9.6.14; the same hymn contains the line `fove precantes, trinitas' quoted by M. at beata v. 4.35; cf. mus. 6.2.2 , `quamobrem tu cum quo mihi nunc ratio est, familiaris meus, ut a corporeis ad incorporea transeamus, responde si videtur cum istum versum pronuntiamus, “deus creator omnium,” istos quattuor iambos quibus constat et tempora duodecim ubinam esse arbitreris, id est, in sono tantum qui auditur, an etiam in sensu audientis qui ad aures pertinet, an in actu etiam pronuntiantis, an quia notus versus est, in memoria quoque nostra hos numeros esse fatendum est?' On Amb.'s hymns in A., see M. Melchior Beyenka, Amer. Ben. Rev. 8(1957), 121-132.

    sopora sopora O S Knöll Skut. Ver.:   soporis G Amb. (ed. Walpole):   sopore C D

    luctuque luctuque G2 O S Knöll Ver.:   luctusque C D G1 Amb. Maur. Skut.

    text of 9.12.33


    in conspectu tuo: See on 3.11.20.

    dimisi lacrimas: For tears in conf., see on 3.2.4.

    ibi erant aures tuae: See 9.12.31, his first attempt to pray after her death; elsewhere in conf. esp. 10.35.57, `dum ad aures tuas vocem cordis intendimus' (i.e., in prayer), 7.7.11, `et ibi erant aures tuae nesciente me', 11.2.3.

    non inrideat: See on 1.6.7.

    grandi caritate: At 10.3.3, the ideal reader is defined as one bound to A. by caritas.

    Christi tui: Even in address to the Father, A. now (since the garden scene) consistently invokes the Son.

    text of 9.13.34


    in Christo vivificata: 1 Cor. 15.22, `et sicut in Adam omnes moriuntur ita et in Christo omnes vivificabuntur'; Eph. 2.5, `et cum essemus mortui peccatis, convivificavit nos Christo.'

    non tamen audeo dicere: The portrayal of M. in the early books is not without undertones of restrained criticism for the worldliness of her ambitions and her willingness to settle for what she could get from her morally unpromising son.

    regenerasti: Titus 3.5, `per lavacrum regenerationis et renovationis spiritus sancti'.

    nullum verbum: Mt. 12.36-37, `quoniam omne verbum otiosum quod locuti fuerint homines reddent rationem de eo in die iudicii, (37) ex verbis enim tuis iustificaberis et ex verbis tuis condemnaberis.'

    veritate filio tuo: `the truth, your son': see on 9.3.6.

    si quis dixerit: Mt. 5.22, `ego autem dico vobis quia omnis qui irascitur fratri suo reus erit iudicio; qui autem dixerit, “fatue,” reus erit gehennae ignis'; s. dom. m. 1.9.24, `gehenna vero ignis nec damnationem habet dubiam sicut iudicium, . . . in gehenna quippe certa est et damnatio et poena damnati.'

    si remota misericordia: Cf. Ps. 129.3, `si iniquitates observaveris, domine, domine, quis sustinebit?' en. Ps. 129.2, `vidit enim prope totam vitam humanam circumlatrari peccatis suis, accusari omnes conscientias cogitationibus suis, non inveniri cor castum praesumens de sua iustitia.'

    merita . . . munera: Cf. Io. ev. tr. 3.10, `quod ergo praemium immortalitatis postea tribuit, dona sua coronat, non merita tua' (sim. often elsewhere: see BA 71.860-861 for refs.).

    o si cognoscant se homines homines: Cf. Ps. 9.21, `sciant gentes quoniam homines sunt'; en. Ps. 9.19, `ut qui nolunt liberari a filio dei, et pertinere ad filium hominis, et esse filii hominum, id est novi homines, serviant homini, id est veteri homini peccatori, “quoniam homines sunt.”' Cf. 4.7.12, `o dementiam nescientem diligere homines humaniter!'

    et qui gloriatur: 1 Cor. 1.31, `ut quemadmodum scriptum est, “qui gloriatur in domino glorietur”'; Jer. 9.23-24, `haec dicit dominus, “non glorietur sapiens in sapientia sua, et non glorietur fortis in fortitudine sua, et non glorietur dives in divitiis suis, (24) sed in hoc glorietur qui gloriatur, scire et nosse me, quia ego sum dominus, qui facio misericordiam et iudicium et iustitiam in terra”'; 2 Cor. 10.17, `qui autem gloriatur in domino glorietur'; Gal. 6.14, `mihi autem absit gloriari nisi in cruce domini nostri Iesu Christi.' The three Pauline texts occur together at en. Ps. 118. s. 25.6, there emphasizing the cross (cf. here 9.13.35).

    text of 9.13.35


    laus mea: Ps. 117.14, `fortitudo mea et laudatio mea dominus; et factus est mihi in salutem.' A cluster of other texts almost crowd this one from mind (Knauer 42n2): Jer. 17.14, `laus mea tu es', Exod. 15.2, `fortitudo mea et laus mea, dominus, et factus est mihi in salutem', Is. 12.2, `quia fortitudo mea et laus mea dominus deus, et factus est mihi in salutem', Deut. 10.21, `ipse est laus tua, et deus tuus, qui fecit tibi haec magnalia et terribilia', Ps. 21.4, `tu autem in sancto habitas, laus Israhel', Ps. 21.26, `apud te laus mea in ecclesia magna'.

    vita mea: Jn. 14.6 (see on 1.4.4).

    deus cordis mei: Ps. 72.26, `defecit cor meum et caro mea, deus cordis mei'; en. Ps. 72.32, `factum est cor castum; gratis iam amatur deus, non ab illo petitur aliud praemium.' Cf. 4.2.3, 6.1.1; civ. 10.25, `“defecit” inquit “cor meum et caro mea, deus cordis mei,” defectu utique bono ab inferioribus ad superna.'

    sepositis: In part because good works are themselves a gift of God, in part because no precedent merits can earn heaven (cf. on `qui misereberis' below).

    exaudi me: Ps. 142.1, `domine, exaudi orationem meam, percipe auribus precem meam; in veritate tua exaudi me, in tua iustitia'; Ps. 68.14, `exaudi me in veritate salutis tuae'; Jdt. 9.17, `exaudi me miseram deprecantem et de tua misericordia praesumentem exaudi'; in conf., 1.7.11, `exaudi, deus', 1.15.24, 9.4.8, 10.33.50, 11.2.3.

    medicinam: i.e., Christ; not a biblicism, but cf. 5.9.16, 6.9.14, 6.11.20, 7.8.12, 9.8.18, 10.43.69, and see on 10.3.4. Crucifixion as healing act: s. 284.6, `quasi uno summo medico in medio constituto, phrenetici circumquaque saeviebant. pendebat ille et sanabat'; s. 305.3, `ego, inquit [Christus], ego medicus tango venam, de ligno aegrotos inspicio, pendeo et tango.'

    quae pependit in ligno: Gal. 3.13, `quia scriptum est, maledictus omnis qui pendet in ligno', recalling Deut. 21.22-23, `quando peccaverit homo quod morte plectendum est, et adiudicatus morti appensus fuerit in patibulo: (23) non permanebit cadaver eius in ligno, sed in eadem die sepelietur; quia maledictus a deo est qui pendet in ligno.' In the book of the blessed dead, here finally is the redemptive death that gives sense to all the others. The verse was controversial: c. Faust. 14 refutes the attack of Faustus (who took this verse as Moses' implicit condemnation of Christ); cf. c. Adim. 21., `non ergo dominus per linguam Moysi famuli dei, sed mors ipsa meruit maledictum quam dominus noster suscipiendo evacuavit. mors itaque illa pependit in ligno, quae per mulierem ad hominem serpentina persuasione pervenit. unde etiam serpentem ad significationem ipsius mortis Moyses in heremo exaltavit in ligno.'

    sedens ad dexteram tuam: Rom. 8.34, `Christus Iesus qui mortuus est, immo qui resurrexit, qui et est ad dexteram dei, qui etiam interpellat pro nobis'; hence the Apostles' Creed, `sedet ad dexteram patris'; cf. 9.4.9, `conlocans ad dexteram tuam'; fuller echo of Rom. 8.34 at 10.43.69 and 11.2.4; A. understands the relationship in terms familiar to him from public life: s. 58.1.1, `adsessor patris, sicut confessi estis, qui sedet ad dexteram patris: ipse est advocatus noster, qui futurus iudex noster' (sim. at s. 386.1). Cf. also Ps. 109.1, `dixit dominus domino meo sede a dextris meis donec ponam inimicos tuos scabellum pedum tuorum.'

    dimisisse debita debitoribus suis: Cf. Mt. 6.12, `dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris'; Mt. 6.15, `si autem non dimiseritis hominibus, nec pater vester dimittet peccata vestra.' Those verses are abundantly cited (A.-M. La Bonnardière, REAug 13[1967] 49), esp. in the anti-Donatist writings.

    post aquam salutis: Cf. Num. 14.19, `dimitte obsecro peccatum populi huius secundum magnitudinem misericordiae tuae, sicut propitius fuisti egredientibus de Aegypto usque ad locum istum.'

    ne intres: Ps. 142.2, `et ne intres in iudicium cum servo tuo, quoniam non iustificabitiur in conspectu tuo omnis vivens.'

    superexultet misericordia: Jas. 2.13, `superexultat autem misericordia iudicio'; cited with Mt. 6.15 (`dimissa debita' above) at civ. 21.27. Cf. ep. 167.6.19, `non dictum est, vincit misericordia iudicium, non enim est adversa iudicio, sed superexsultat, quia plures per misericordiam conliguntur, sed qui misericordiam praestiterunt. beati enim misericordes, quia ipsorum miserebitur deus.'

    promisisti: Cf. Mt. 5.7, `beati enim misericordes, quia ipsis miserebitur deus.'

    qui misereberis cui misertus eris: Rom. 9.15, `miserebor cuius misereor et misericordiam praestabo cuius miserebor'; Exod. 33.19, `et miserebor cui misertus ero et misericordiam praestabo cui misericordiam praestitero.' (Also echoed at 10.6.8.) Text from qu. hept. 2.154, `quibus verbis prohibuit hominem velut de propriarum virtutum meritis gloriari, ut qui gloriatur in domino glorietur [see 9.13.34]. non enim ait, miserebor talibus vel talibus, sed “cui misericors fuero,” ut neminem praecedentibus bonis operibus suis misericordiam tantae vocationis meruisse demonstret. etenim Christus pro impiis mortuus est.' On the iteration, he goes on to speculate, `fortius ille ipse ibi sensus est, quod aut ipsius miserocordiae suae firmitatem deus ista repetitione monstravit--sicut: amen, amen, sicut: fiat, fiat . . .--aut in utrisque populis, id est gentibus et hebraeis, hoc modo deus praenuntiavit misericordiam se esse facturum.'

    This is the nexus of grace and merit for A.: div. qu. Simp. 1.2.9, `an ideo dictum est, “miserebor cui misertus ero, et misericordiam praestabo cui misericors fuero,” quia cui misertus erit deus ut eum vocet, miserebitur eius ut credat, et cui misericors fuerit ut credat, misericordiam praestabit, hoc est faciet eum misericordem, ut etiam bene operetur? unde admonemur nec ipsis operibus misericordiae quemquam oportere gloriari et extolli, quod eis quasi suis deum promeruerit'. Used against the Pelagians, e.g., pat. 21.18, gr. et pecc. or. 1.46.51.

    text of 9.13.36


    iam feceris quod te rogo: Cf. Mt. 6.8, `scit enim pater vester quibus opus sit vobis antequam petatis eum', a passage that evoked A.'s best text on prayer: s. dom. m. 2.3.14, `sed rursus quaeri potest--sive rebus sive verbis orandum sit --, quid opus sit ista oratione, si deus iam novit quid nobis sit necessarium, nisi quia ipsa orationis intentio cor nostrum serenat et purgat capaciusque efficit ad excipienda divina munera, quae spiritaliter nobis infunduntur. non enim ambitione precum nos exaudit deus, qui semper paratus est dare suam lucem nobis non visibilem, sed intellegibilem et spiritalem; sed nos non semper parati sumus accipere, cum inclinamur in alia, et rerum temporalium cupiditate tenebramur. fit ergo in oratione conversio cordis ad eum qui semper dare paratus est, si nos capiamus quod dederit, et in ipsa conversione purgatio interioris oculi, cum excluduntur ea quae temporaliter cupiebantur, ut acies simplicis cordis ferre possit simplicem lucem divinitus sine ullo occasu aut immutatione fulgentem, nec solum ferre sed etiam manere in illa, non tantum sine molestia sed etiam cum ineffabili gaudio, quo vere ac sinceriter beata vita perficitur.' Sim. more briefly at ep. 130.8.17.

    voluntaria oris mei: Ps. 118.108, `voluntaria oris mei beneplacita fac, domine, et iudicia tua doce me'; en. Ps. 118. s. 23.4, `bene autem intelleguntur oris voluntaria, sacrificia laudis, confessione caritatis, non timore necessitatis oblata, unde dictum est, “voluntarie sacrificabo tibi.”'

    die resolutionis suae: Cf. 2 Tim. 4.6, `ego enim iam immolor et tempus resolutionis meae proximum est.'

    non cogitavit . . . sepulchrum patrium: Cf. 9.11.27.

    aromatis aromatis O S Knöll Skut. Ver.:   aromatibus C D G Maur.

    nullius diei: As noted at 5.9.17.

    victimam sanctam: 9.12.32, `cum offeretur pro ea sacrificium pretii nostri'; c. Faust. 20.18, `unde iam christiani peracti eiusdem sacrificii memoriam celebrant sacrosancta oblatione et participatione corporis et sanguinis Christi.' This passage encapsulates A.'s doctrine of the atonement (on this see TeSelle 165-176) in a liturgical setting.

    chirographum: Col. 2.14-15, `delens quod adversum nos erat chirographum decreti, quod erat contrarium nobis, et ipsum tulit de medio adfigens illud cruci, (15) expolians principatus, et potestates traduxit, palam triumphans illos in semet ipso.' Already echoed at 7.21.27, as one of the doctrines not in the platonicorum libri. en. Ps. 46.10, `chirographum deus ante tempus scripsit nobis, impleto tempore reddidit nobis'; sim. at en. Ps. 61.22, 103. s. 4.8, 138.2. Cf. Amb. de virginitate 19.126, `eramus oppignerati malo creditori peccatis; contraximus chirographum culpae, poenam sanguinis debebamus: venit dominus Iesus, suum pro nobis obtulit.'

    quid (obiciat) quid C D G O Maur. Ver.:   quod S Knöll Skut.

    nihil inveniens in illo: Cf. Jn. 14.30-31, `iam non multa loquar vobiscum, venit enim princeps mundi et in me non habet quidquam, (31) sed, ut cognoscat mundus quia diligo patrem, et sicut mandatum dedit mihi pater, sic facio'; Io. ev. tr. 79.2, `“et in me non habet quidquam”; nullum scilicet omnino peccatum'; for echoes of Pilate's refusal to find guilt in Jesus (Lk. 23.4, Jn. 19.4, etc.), see on 7.21.27.

    innocentem sanguinem: Cf. Mt. 27.4, `dicens [Iudas], “peccavi tradens sanguinem iustum.”'

    pretii nostri: Cf. 1 Cor. 6.20, `empti enim estis pretio magno'; 1 Cor. 7.23, `pretio empti estis.'

    nemo a protectione tua dirumpat eam: Cf. Jn. 10.28-29, `et ego vitam aeternam do eis et non peribunt in aeternum et non rapiet eas quisquam de manu mea. (29) pater meus quod dedit mihi maius omnibus est, et nemo potest rapere de manu patris mei.'

    leo et draco: Cf. Ps. 90.13, `super aspidem et basiliscum ambulabis, et conculcabis leonem et draconem'; en. Ps. 90. s. 2.9, `leo aperte saevit; draco occulte insidiatur: utramque vim et potestatem habet diabolus.' See on 7.21.27, `cum principe suo leone et dracone', and cf. `nec vi nec insidiis' here.

    neque enim respondebit: See on 9.12.31.

    dimissa debita sua: Mt. 6.12 again; see on 9.13.35, `dimisisse debita'

    cui nemo reddet: 1.4.4, `reddens debita nulli debens, donans debita nihil perdens.'

    text of 9.13.37


    pace: Cf. 9.9.20, `pax domestica', 9.9.21, `pacificam'; this first major division of conf. concludes with a prayer for pax, a theme returning on the last page of the work as a whole (13.35.50, `pacem da nobis').

    ante quem . . . nupta est: 1 Tim. 5.9, `quae fuerit unius viri uxor' (cited at 9.9.22).

    cui servivit: Cf. 9.9.19, `tradita viro servivit veluti domino' (see on see on 1.11.17 and 13.32.47); Lk. 8.15, `quod autem in bonam terram, his sunt qui . . . verbum retinent et fructum afferunt in patientia.'

    lucraretur tibi: See on 9.9.19, `sategit eum lucrari tibi'.

    domine meus, deus meus: Jn. 20.28, `respondit Thomas et dixit, “dominus meus et deus meus”' (as at 9.4.12).

    meminerint ad altare tuum: 9.11.27.

    Monnicae: This is the only place in any of A.'s works where we are told her name (Mandouze, Pros. chr. s.v.). The manuscripts are almost unanimous in favor of the spelling; Frend, The Donatist Church (Oxford, 1952), 230 sees a Berber lineage.

    famulae tuae: Recalling the first words of 9.1.1, `o domine, ego servus tuus, ego servus tuus et filius ancillae tuae', to mark M.'s domination of the atmosphere of this book.

    nescio: 1.6.7, `quid enim est quod volo dicere, domine, nisi quia nescio unde venerim huc, in istam dico vitam mortalem an mortem vitalem? nescio.'

    parentum . . . fratrum . . . civium: A potent incantation: It frees Augustine from the parent-child nexus, but it also brings the reader into A.'s relation with his parents by making M. and Patricius the brothers and fellow-citizens of all licit readers of this text (cf. 10.3.3, `caritas omnia credit, inter eos utique quos conexos sibimet unum facit. . . . sed credunt mihi, quorum mihi aures caritas aperit').

    aeterna Hierusalem: Cf. Gal. 4.26, `illa autem quae sursum est Hierusalem libera est'; Apoc. 21.2, `et civitatem sanctam Hierusalem novam vidi descendentem de caelo a deo, paratam sicut sponsam ornatam viro suo.'

    peregrinatio populi tui: Heb. 11.10-14, `expectabat enim fundamenta habentem civitatem . . . (13) et confitentes quia peregrini et hospites sunt supra terram, (14) qui enim haec dicunt, significant se patriam inquirere'; cf. 9.10.24, `et suspiravimus et reliquimus ibi religatas primitias spiritus'.

    exitu . . . reditum: conf. as a whole is set between A.'s personal exitus (Bk. 1) and reditus (Bk. 13: for redire see on 1.18.28).

    uberius: 8.12.30, `et convertisti luctum eius in gaudium multo uberius quam voluerat.'

    meas meas C D S Knöll Skut. Ver.  (supported by the Madrid fragment: see Verheijen, Augustiana 28[1978], 13-17 and see on 10.1.1).:   meas amen G O
    (See on 13.38.53).

    Bk. 9 thus ends with the reader standing with A. at the altar in prayer; Bk. 10 ends with the eucharist proper (see on 10.43.70).


    Vita aeterna in one form or another appears at 1.11.17, 6.1.1, 8.1.1, 9.10.23, 13.19.24, 13.21.31, 13.36.51, and implicitly elsewhere, esp. at the end of 13.


    Perler 189-190 and O'Meara, Vig. Chr. 5(1951), 156n20, modify the schedule (increasing the number of days of interruption and thus losing the symmetry of the seven day lapse and the Sunday closures). An older standard chronology (discussed at Perler 189n9), going back to Le Nain de Tillemont, differed from Ohlmann by intercalating one more day between the first three days of c. acad. and beata v.


    Either those who were lured out to sea are blown further out to sea by every blast of what seems prosperity until the winds of misfortune blow them back to shore--hard to see there what `misfortune' A. could have in mind for himself, unless it were his health problems; or those who `vel in ipso adolescentiae limine, vel iam diu multumque iactati tamen quaedam signa respiciunt et suae dulcissimae patriae, quamvis in ipsis fluctibus, recordantur et aut recto cursu in nullo falsi et nihil morati eam repetunt, aut plerumque vel inter nubila deviantes vel mergentia contuentes sidera vel nonnullis inlecebris capti bonae navigationis tempora differentes, errant diutius, saepe etiam periclitantur.' Often for them too, it is calamity that drives them to shore.


    The deuterocanonical 4 Esdra is apparently meant.


    See D. Kinney, in Milano, una capitale da Ambrogio ai Carolingi, ed. C. Bertelli (Milan, 1987), 52-60, discussing date (probably 330/50), significance of the octagonal form (probably reminiscent of mausoleum architecture, again linking baptism and symbolic death), the verse inscription associated with the font there, the structure's influence on other Milanese church architecture (esp. the slightly later S. Lorenzo), and the tendency of all notable Milanese church building to be attributed to Ambrose if at all possible.


    The form of her objection, to be sure, implies a familiarity with philosophical literature that is hard to credit: `numquidnam in illis quos legitis libris etiam feminas unquam audivi in hoc genus disputationis inductas?'


    Solignac, Lectio X-XIII 16, on 10.6.9 suggests: `Intentio dit plus qu'"attention": il s'agit d'une tension vers Dieu, dans la ligne du Fecisti nos ad te (1.1.1) et qui ne peut trouver son terme qu'en Dieu.'


    Vg. renders a)/rrhta less aptly as arcana.

    back to text and commentary book 8     only commentary on book 8     only text of book 8
    forward to text and commentary for book 10     only commentary on book 10     only text of book 10