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Augustine of Hippo, Saint

life christianity history treatises

One of the four Latin *Doctors of the Church, Saint Augustine’s life (354-430), deeds, and writings have had a profound impact on the history of Christianity. Details of his life are contained in his autobiographical work, the Confessions (c.400). He was born at Tagaste (North Africa) and although brought up as a Christian by his mother, Saint Monica, abandoned Christianity and spent much of his youth exploring classical philosophy and the teachings of the Manichaeans (a popular heretical sect). He studied and later taught in Carthage before moving to Rome in 383 and to Milan in 384 where he reconverted to Christianity under the influence of Saint *Ambrose. He was baptized in 387. He returned to Africa determined to lead a semimonastic lifestyle with a few companions, which he did until 391, when he visited the town of Hippo Regius, and his reputation inspired the citizens to insist on his ordination as a priest. He became the bishop’s assistant in 395 and was appointed bishop of Hippo in 396, which position he held until his *death. Augustine was the author of numerous sermons, letters, treatises, devotional works, and commentaries; he is also credited with composing or inspiring an important monastic rule which was adapted for use by several orders especially from the eleventh century following, in the west. His writings refuting several popular heresies (Manichaeism and the Donatist and Pelagian controversies) were instrumental in the formation of church doctrine. Among his many important works, City of God is notable for presenting a theory of history from the Christian point of view. The works of Augustine, especially the Confessions, City of God , and his treatises on the Psalms and the *Trinity, were widely copied and studied during the Middle Ages and some appear in illustrated versions. Augustine may be represented in frontispiece il- Page 28  lustrations to these works, as an *author, teacher, or engaging in dispute with heretics. He is normally shown in bishop’s robes although he may also appear as a monk. Detailed narrative scenes from his life are more common in Renaissance than in medieval art.
Augustus, Janice G. [next] [back] Augusta, Alexander T.(1825–1890) - Surgeon, physician, educator, Chronology, Early Work in Toronto City Hospital

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