Confessions, Vol. 1: Introduction and Text by Saint Augustine;James J. O’Donnell (ann.)

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By Saint Augustine;James J. O’Donnell (ann.)

The Confessions of Augustine have lengthy either demanded and eluded the sustained and critical cognizance to aspect scholarly statement supplies. This new paintings in 3 volumes is a massive new reference in Augustine scholarship. A revised Latin textual content of the Confessions in quantity I types the root for an in depth line-by-line observation (Volumes II and III) designed to explain the various layers of which means within the paintings. wide citation and considerable quotation of Augustine's personal writings, of the scriptural texts that have been by no means faraway from his brain, and of the works of his highbrow forebears (chief between them Cicero, Plotinus, and Ambrose) are supposed to supply one crucial context for studying the Confessions. putting the emphasis totally on exegesis, O'Donnell opens up new strains of interpretation, and offers a wealth of unpolluted element to a few extra primary issues. where of the Confessions in Augustine's personal existence and within the background of Christian literature can also be mentioned and illuminated.

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59 ff. 65 i. Frang. 2 (— s. 339 + j. 40). 64 For further details, see below, ii, 3-5. 67 The line of criticism most likely to find Augustine vulnerable would argue that the solution presented in the Confessions is too neat and well-crafted to be entirely satisfactory. A reading of Augustine's later life and works starting from there would differ on some, but not all, points from that sketched in the next lines of my own argument here. 68 In 391 A. still felt the deaths of Nebridius and Adeodatus, who may both have died in 390.

1. 2); and neo-Platonism offered its own twist, presenting as its undoubted master one who 'seemed ashamed of being in a body' (Porphyry, v. Plot. 6' ytyovws tX6aoos iwKCi piv aia-xyvofxivut on iv uojfiari €117). If it is surprising that the issue arises when and where it does in the Confessions, it is also surprising that it did not arise much earlier. e. how far A. really did ignore such exhortations before Milan and 386), and how far it is a strategy of the autobiographer to enhance his dramatic presentation, we cannot tell.

Ut oretis pro nobis, ne diebus intemperante utamur, ut noctes aequo animo toleremus . ' It is sobering to think that the Confes sions may have been dictated by a man lying prone and enduring undignified and only marginally effective medical treatment. 63 The best discussion of the evidence is Solignac in BA 13. 45-54, who takes the position in favour of extended composition characterized here. , p. vi, that the c. Fel. must be dated to 398 and thus provides a xlii INTRODUCTION is not possible to press the matter to any firm resolution of these remaining disagreements.

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