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Saint Augustine (354–430)

Author of Confessions

1,785+ Works 49,498 Members 329 Reviews 86 Favorited

About the Author

Saint Augustine was born to a Catholic mother and a pagan father on November 13, 354, at Thagaste, near Algiers. He studied Latin literature and later taught rhetoric in Rome and Milan. He originally joined the Manicheans, a religious sect, but grew unhappy with some of their philosophies. After show more his conversion to Christianity and his baptism in 387, Augustine developed his own approach to philosophy and theology, accommodating a variety of methods and different perspectives. He believed that the grace of Christ was indispensable to human freedom, and he framed the concepts of original sin and just war. His thoughts greatly influenced the medieval worldview. One of Augustine's major goals was a single, unified church. He was ordained a priest in 391 and appointed Bishop of Hippo, in Roman Africa, in 396. Augustine was one of the most prolific Latin authors in terms of surviving works, and the list of his works consists of more than one hundred separate titles. His writings and arguments with other sects include the Donatists and the Pelagians. On the Trinity, The City of God, and On Nature and Grace are some of his important writings. Confessions, which is considered his masterpiece, is an autobiographical work that recounts his restless youth and details the spiritual experiences that led him to Christianity. Many of Augustine's ideas, such as those concerning sin and predestination, became integral to the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. In the Catholic Church he is a saint and pre-eminent Doctor of the Church, and the patron of the Augustinians. He is the patron saint of brewers, printers, and theologians. Augustine died on August 28, 430. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

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Image credit: Wikimedia


Works by Saint Augustine

Confessions (0397) — Author — 22,150 copies
City of God (0426) — Author — 6,119 copies
On Christian Teaching (0397) 1,860 copies
On Free Choice of the Will (0387) 945 copies
The Trinity (0417) 791 copies
The Enchiridion on Faith, Hope and Love (1792) — Author — 739 copies
The Essential Augustine (1964) 385 copies
Confessions of a Sinner (1996) 384 copies
Augustine of Hippo: Selected Writings (1984) — Author — 287 copies
Augustine: Earlier Writings (1953) 263 copies
Augustine: Later Works (1955) 242 copies
The Rule of Saint Augustine (1984) 182 copies
Political Writings (1994) 171 copies
The Confessions of St. Augustine (Extracts) (2001) — Author — 135 copies
Saint Augustine's Childhood (2001) — Author — 130 copies
The Confessions. Books 1-10 (1886) 127 copies
The City of God. Books 1-10 (0426) 117 copies
On Grace and Free Will (2010) 108 copies
The City of God. Books 1-3 (1729) 104 copies
Against the Academicians (1943) 100 copies
Saint Augustine's Memory (2002) — Author — 100 copies
The City of God. Books 4-7 (1958) 89 copies
Of True Religion (1953) — Author — 81 copies
On Christian Belief (2005) 78 copies
The City of God. Books 8-11 (1968) 72 copies
The Problem of Free Choice (1955) 70 copies
Retractationes (0427) 70 copies
On the Trinity. Books 8-15 (1997) 61 copies
The City of God. Books 1-7 (1950) 61 copies
On Faith and Works (1988) 53 copies
Letters of Saint Augustine (1992) 47 copies
Saint Augustine's Sin (2003) — Author — 47 copies
The City of God. Books 8-16 (1952) 47 copies
The Confessions. Books 1-4 (1995) 45 copies
Saint Augustine's Conversion (2004) — Author — 41 copies
Against Julian (1957) 40 copies
The Happy Life (1962) 39 copies
The Teacher (1974) 38 copies
Sermons 51-94 (1991) 34 copies
Letters, 131-164 (1953) 31 copies
Letters, 165-203 (1832) 30 copies
Letters, 83-130 (1953) 27 copies
Letters, 156 -210 (2004) 26 copies
Letters, 204-270 (1956) 26 copies
Letters, 1-99 (1997) 25 copies
Letters, 100-155 (2002) 25 copies
On Order (2000) 23 copies
Letters, 211-270; 1*-29* (2005) 23 copies
Letters, 1-82 (1951) 23 copies
On the Psalms (1988) 22 copies
Letters, 1-29 (1989) 16 copies
The City of God. Books 1-8 (1991) 15 copies
Lying (1994) 15 copies
Newly Discovered Sermons (2000) 14 copies
The Confessions. Books 4-6 (1992) 11 copies
St. Augustine's City of God (1963) 11 copies
Solilóquios E Vida Feliz (1998) 11 copies
De cura pro mortuis gerenda (2004) 10 copies
Sermons 51-116 (1983) 10 copies
Sobre a Mentira (2016) 10 copies
The City of God. Books 9-15 (1996) 10 copies
Sermons 9 copies
My mother (1987) 9 copies
Soliloquis (1982) 8 copies
Tre ungdomsdialoger (2009) 8 copies
The Christian Combat (2006) 8 copies
Comentário ao Gênesis (2005) 8 copies
The Confessions. Book 10 (2008) 8 copies
The Magnitude of the Soul (1997) 8 copies
Carthaagse preken (1988) 8 copies
Natura del bene (1995) 7 copies
Vyznání (1990) 7 copies
A Graça I (1999) 7 copies
On Music (1997) 7 copies
Sermons sur l'Écriture (2014) 6 copies
La Vergine Maria (1993) 6 copies
De Geest en de letter (2002) 6 copies
Ideario 6 copies
Seventeen Short Treatises (1847) 6 copies
Confessionum libri XIII (1996) 5 copies
L'amicizia (2000) 5 copies
Sermons pour la Pâque (1966) 5 copies
De dialectica (1991) 5 copies
Maria : "dignitas terrae" (1988) 5 copies
Regel voor de gemeenschap (1982) 4 copies
Saarnoja (2005) 4 copies
Ketters en scheurmakers (2009) 4 copies
O Livre Arbítrio (2019) 4 copies
On the Beatitudes (1962) 4 copies
Gods zorg voor de wereld (0405) 4 copies
On The Lord's Prayer (1962) 4 copies
Escritos apologéticos (1976) 4 copies
Faith, Hope and Charity; Volume I — Author — 4 copies
Confissões 4 copies
Dialoghi 4 copies
Opera omnia: 24/2 (1985) 4 copies
The Christian Life (1962) 4 copies
La speranza (2002) 4 copies
Il maestro e la parola (2004) 4 copies
ENCICLOPEDIA XXXVI (2005) 3 copies
Commento ai salmi di lode (1986) 3 copies
Il maestro (1990) 3 copies
Le bonheur conjugal (2001) 3 copies
Le confessioni vol. 4 (1995) 3 copies
Discorsi sulla Quaresima (2010) 3 copies
Trivium Augustinianum (1900) 3 copies
Contra Academicos (2017) 3 copies
Det hvilende hjerte (1991) 3 copies
Sermons 3 copies
LA PREGHIERA (1981) 3 copies
The Confessions. Book 11 (1998) 3 copies
Admonition and Grace (1962) 3 copies
St. Augustine 3 copies
Essential Letters (2021) 3 copies
Kirjeit채 sisarille (2009) 3 copies
De Musica (2017) 3 copies
Confissões - Vol. 10 (1997) 3 copies
Diálogo Sobre a Ordem (2000) 2 copies
Vallomok (1974) 2 copies
On Predestination (2014) 2 copies
Agostinho de Hipona (2012) 2 copies
Confissões 2 copies
3.2.: Dialoghi. 2. (1982) 2 copies
A virgindade consagrada (1991) 2 copies
Liegen en leugens (2010) 2 copies
Die Ordnung (1966) 2 copies
SOBRE A MÚSICA (2019) 2 copies
On Nature and Grace (2014) 2 copies
Soliloqui (2016) 2 copies
Pääsiäispuheita (1985) 2 copies
Tratados 2 copies
La Lumière Intérieure (1965) 2 copies
Confessions 2 copies
On the Good of Marriage (2015) 2 copies
Augustine Essentials (2009) 2 copies
The Work of Religious (1952) 2 copies
The quotable Augustine (2016) 2 copies
Opervm 2 copies
OPERE ANTIARIANE (2000) 2 copies
Soliloqui 2 copies
Contra los Académicos (2009) 2 copies
Polemica con Giuliano (1985) 2 copies
Agostino 2 copies
O Trójcy Świętej (1996) 2 copies
O velikosti duše (2019) 2 copies
On the Trinity. Books 1-7 (1991) 2 copies
Dels acadèmics (1991) 2 copies
O učiteľovi (1995) 2 copies
The Confessions 2 copies
Sobre la memoria (2020) 2 copies
Escritos antipelagianos (1984) 2 copies
Przeciw akademikom (2007) 2 copies
De Fide et Symbolo, hb (1926) 2 copies
Tutti i dialoghi (2006) 2 copies
Opera omnia: 25 (1967) 2 copies
Il giansenismo (1954) 2 copies
Del vero amore (2008) 2 copies
Lettres 1-30 (2011) 1 copy
Predici la Înviere (2010) 1 copy
Protiv laži (2013) 1 copy
˜La œvision de Dieu (2010) 1 copy
Solilocvii 1 copy
Epistolae 1 copy
Les livres de la Foi (2016) 1 copy
Izpovedi 1 copy
Las veladas 1 copy
Prolegomena 1 copy
Tretton brev (2007) 1 copy
Soliloqui (1998) 1 copy
Faith, Hope and Charity - II — Author — 1 copy
Las confesiones (2022) 1 copy
The Good of Marriage (1962) 1 copy
Patience (1962) 1 copy
On Almsgiving (1962) 1 copy
Opere esegetiche (1997) 1 copy
Opera omnia: 132 (2000) 1 copy
On Faith and the Creed (2015) 1 copy
Soliloquies (2005) 1 copy
DELS ACADÈMICS II (1991) 1 copy
DELS ACADÈMICS (1991) 1 copy
Soliloqui 1 copy
La vie heureuse (2000) 1 copy
La Pasqua (2013) 1 copy
Henki ja kirjain (1982) 1 copy
La felicità (2011) 1 copy
Confessions 1 copy
Soliloquios (1993) 1 copy
La Genesi (1988) 1 copy
De Trinitate 1 copy
Sermones selecti (2015) 1 copy
Sermons 1 copy
Zaman Kavrami (2015) 1 copy
Augustinus 1 copy
La bellezza (1998) 1 copy
Confesiones (2003) 1 copy
Homilias 1 copy
Le eresie (2010) 1 copy
I soliloqui 1 copy
(Libri X-XI) 1 copy
Meine Mutter Monika (1989) 1 copy
La felicità (2003) 1 copy
Tanri Sehri (2021) 1 copy
Bekenntnisse 1 copy
Om kristen opplng (1998) 1 copy
I monaci e il lavoro / (1984) 1 copy
Om Ånden og Bogstaven (2008) 1 copy
De maagdelijkheid (1988) 1 copy
On Lying (2017) 1 copy
Onde está o meu Deus? (1905) 1 copy
Articles 1 copy
Cyffesion Awstin Sant (1973) 1 copy
Revisions 1 copy
Continence 1 copy
La ciudad de Dios, 1 (1988) 1 copy
El maestro (2013) 1 copy
Continence 1 copy
Antologia 1 copy
Meditations 1 copy
Mia Madre 1 copy
Il maestro interiore. (1987) 1 copy
Le confessioni. (1951) 1 copy
Confessioni 1 copy
Pensieri (2005) 1 copy
Opere antieretiche (2003) 1 copy
Letters, 185-270 (2005) 1 copy
Sul tempo (2013) 1 copy
Holy Wisdon 1 copy
Ascoltami 1 copy
La risposta 1 copy
Confessions portatives (2009) 1 copy
Oeuvres II 1 copy

Associated Works

The Canterbury Tales [Norton Critical Edition, 2nd ed.] (2005) — Contributor — 624 copies
Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus: Experiencing the Peace and Promise of Christmas (2008) — Contributor, some editions; Contributor, some editions — 432 copies
The Age of Belief: The Medieval Philosophers (1957) — Contributor — 395 copies
Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross: Experiencing the Passion and Power of Easter (2009) — Contributor, some editions; Contributor, some editions — 326 copies
Faith of the Early Fathers, Volume 3 (1979) — Contributor — 302 copies
Western Philosophy: An Anthology (1996) — Author, some editions — 183 copies
Man and Spirit: The Speculative Philosophers (1947) — Contributor — 172 copies
Belief: Readings on the Reason for Faith (2010) — Contributor — 143 copies
Faith of the Early Fathers [3-volume set] (1970) — Contributor — 117 copies
Roman Readings (1958) — Author — 67 copies
God (Hackett Readings in Philosophy) (1996) — Contributor, some editions — 57 copies
The Consolation of Philosophy [Norton Critical Edition] (2009) — Contributor — 50 copies
The Sheed and Ward Anthology of Catholic Philosophy (2005) — Contributor — 28 copies


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Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Saint Augustine
Legal name
Hipponensis, Aurelius Augustinus
Other names
Augustinus, Aurelius
Augustine of Hippo
Szent Ágoston
Date of death
Burial location
San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro, Pavia, Italy
Roman Empire
Country (for map)
Thagaste, Numidia, Roman Empire [now Souk Ahras, Algeria]
Place of death
Hippo Regius, Numidia, Roman Empire
Places of residence
Hippo Regius, Numidia, Roman Empire
rhetoric professor
Roman Catholic Church (ordained 391)
Awards and honors
Doctor of the Church (1298)
Short biography
Augustine of Hippo (Latin: Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis; 13 November 354 – 28 August 430), also known as Saint Augustine or Saint Austin, was an early Christian theologian whose writings were very influential in the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy. He was bishop of Hippo Regius (present-day Annaba, Algeria) located in the Roman province of Africa. Writing during the Patristic Era, he is viewed as one of the most important Church Fathers in the West. Among his most important works are City of God and Confessions, which continue to be read widely today.



What's the role of reason in Faith? in Faith and Reason (April 2017)


Simultaneously read a contemporary academic translation by Peter Constantine (University of Connecticut) and a contemporary translation by a non-academic, Benignus O'Rourke of the Order of St. Augustine, that seeks to make the text more easily accessible by simplifying the sentence structure and, uniquely, breaking the lines into short poetic-like units of text. Augustine likely would have approved such an effort as he wrote in a simpler Latin than that of the famous orators and intellectuals of his own day that he taught to students for many years, and in the work bemoans that he was initially put off by the simplicity of language of the Christian scriptures: "It struck me as unworthy of comparison to the distinction of a Cicero. My strutting pride shunned the simplicity of the Scripture, my eye not keen enough to penetrate its interior." (trans. Constantine).

Could my own strutting pride enjoy a translation inspired by a desire to provide today's youth with a text that is easy to follow, non-poetry formatted to impersonate poetry? Happily yes! Clarity is no fault, and the poetic-like structure works I think. Here's an example where I think it heightens the emotion that Augustine wants to communicate, concerning his state of mind following the death of a close friend when he was a young man. First, Constantine:
Not in shady groves, not in amusements, nor in song could my soul find repose, nor in fragrant gardens or sumptuous feasts, not in the pleasures of bed and couch, not in books or poetry. Everything repelled me, even light itself. Everything was irksome and vile that was not what he was, everything except for laments and tears, since it was in those alone that I found a little solace.

Now O'Rourke:
Not in sheltered groves,
not in music or play,
not in gardens scented with flowers,
nor in feasting and company;
not in the pleasures of love,
not even in books, nor in poetry,
could my soul find rest.

All these I hated.
I hated the daylight.
Everything that was not him was painful and hurtful to me.
Only in my tears and sighs
did I taste some little peace.

Here's an instance where O'Rourke adds clarity to the passage that in its reference to the Roman god Jupiter would surely have been clearly understood two thousand years ago, but using a strict translation today it isn't quite so clear. Constantine:

Did I not read in you of Jupiter the thunderer and adulterer - he surely could not have been both, but was presented as such so that a fictitious thunder might mimic and pander to real adultery.

Have to admit I didn't quite follow Augustine's point there. What's all that about thunder and why can't you thunder and adultery both? Then I read the O'Rourke:

It was an accepted belief in the studies I followed
that Jupiter was both the one
who sends his thunderbolts on the wicked
and the one who was also an adulterer.
How could he possibly be both?
But so the story goes.

The result is that those who follow him in adultery
can put a bold face on it
by making false pretence of thunder.

Aha, Augustine is highlighting the hypocrisy of the gods in classical texts and how this is also present in humans, blustering one way yet behaving in quite another. This regrettable aspect of human nature was copy/pasted onto Roman gods, leaving Augustine unconvinced that what he was reading and teaching to Rome's youth bore witness to actual truth. And one thing the Confessions makes clear, that I didn't really appreciate earlier, is that Augustine was embarked on a long journey in search of Truth from a young age, from reading Cicero to the community of the Manicheans to the philosophy of the Neoplatonists and finally to baptism in the Christian faith after becoming convinced by it after years of first intellectual resistance and then years of a resistance of his will (the famous "make me chaste, but please, not yet" years).

O'Rourke's unique translation is one I would highly recommend then, although he only translated the first 9 of the 13 books of the Confession, those in which Augustine composes the world's first written autobiography in the modern sense. Books 10 through 13 are a philosophy of time and memory, and an exegesis of Genesis. These more academic topics must be read in an academic translation. But O'Rourke gives us Augustine's personal journey of the intellect, of the heart, of the seeker, in a highly relatable reading that can seem quite contemporary.

I was delighted to hear Ambrose
often saying in his sermons to the people,
and saying it with emphasis,
The letter kills,
but the Spirit gives life.

When he lifted the veil of mystery from the Scriptures
and opened to the people the spiritual meaning of texts,
which taken literally would seem to be absurd,
he said nothing that would offend.
Even so, I did not know whether what he said was true.


What you were I did not know.
But that you did exist,
and that the care of human affairs was in your hands,
I did believe.

This conviction was at times strong, at times fickle.
But at all times I believed that you existed and that you cared for us,
even though I did not know how I ought to think about you,
or work out what way would lead us to you,
or lead us back to you.


These books bade me
to return to myself.
So with you as guide
I entered into my deepest self.
But only because you helped me
was I able to do this.
I entered, then,
and with the eye of my soul
I saw the light within,
the light which never changes.

Or, one might say, there is a light and it never goes out (Morrissey. Not translated.).
… (more)
lelandleslie | 153 other reviews | Feb 24, 2024 |
I don't care what you think you "believe": if your method of self-analysis isn't at least as rigorous as Augustine's, go back to the drawing board.

(Garry Wills translation.)
Ibn_Cereno | 153 other reviews | Jan 17, 2024 |
RBCNC | 1 other review | Jan 16, 2024 |
artiefly | 1 other review | Jan 16, 2024 |


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Maria Boulding Translator
Thomas S. Hibbs Contributor
Peter King Editor
Alfred King Translator
John Bunyan Contributor
a Kempis Thomas Contributor
John Donne Author
James J. O'Donnell Translator, Commentary, Introduction
Gerard Wijdeveld Translator
Jan den Boeft Translator
Vernon J. Bourke Introduction, Editor
Garry Wills Translator
Dino Bigongiari Contributor
Roy J. Deferrari Translator, Editor
John J. Gavigan Translator
Denis J Kavanagh Translator
Hans van Reisen Translator
T.J. van Bavel Translator
Hugh Pope O.P. Translator
Joop Smit Preface
F. A. Wright Translator
Vincent Hunink Translator
P. J. J. van Geest Introduction
Laurens Baas Translator
Pedro Rodríguez de Santidrián Translator, Foreword
Carlo Carena Translator, Editor
William Watts Translator
Bernard Mayes Narrator
R S Pine-Coffin Translator
F. J. Sheed Translator
Albert Cook Outler Translator, Contributor
Gerard Wijdeveld Translator, Introduction
Marcus Dods Translator
Tobie Matthew Translator
Leo Dillon Cover artist
Laura Hansone Translator
Arnis Rītups Afterword
Ilmārs Blumbergs Illustrator
Henry Chadwick Translator
Miquel Dolç Translator
Rex Warner Translator
Edward B. Pusey Translator
Hal M. Helms Translator
Charpentier Foreword
Diane Dillon Cover artist
Mario Dal Pra Afterword
Harold C. Gardiner Introduction
Francis R Gemme Introduction
Georges A. Barrois Introduction
John Gibb Editor
Th.P. van Baaren Translator
J G Pilkington Translator
Ernest Barker Introduction
Grace Monahan Translator
Demetrius B Zema Translator
Daniel J. Honan Translator
Henry Bettenson Translator
Germano Facetti Cover designer
Louis Giry Translator
Étienne Gilson Introduction
Thomas Merton Introduction
Daryn Slider Narrator
John Healey Translator
Mark Meadows Narrator
J.F. Shaw Translator
D. W. Robertson Translator
Ernest Evans Translator
Kevin F. Novack Cover artist
Kees Fens Introduction
Raymond Canning Translator
Michael W. Tkacz Translator
Kurt Flasch Afterword
John J. O'Meara Translator
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Michael Fiedrowicz Introduction
Mary Inez Bogan Translator
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