Biography of Augustine the African Essay example

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Biography of Augustine the African

Augustine was born in Tagaste (modern Souk Ahras, Algeria) in 354 and died almost seventy-six years later in Hippo Regius (modern Annaba) on the Mediterranean coast sixty miles away. In the years between he lived out a career that seems to moderns to bridge the gap between ancient pagan Rome and the Christian middle ages. But to Augustine, as to his contemporaries, that gap separated real people and places they knew, not whole imaginary ages of past and future. He lived as we do, in the present, full of uncertainty.
Augustine's African homeland had been part of Rome's empire since the destruction of Carthage five hundred years before his birth. Carthage had been rebuilt by Rome as the metropolis of
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Augustine set out to make himself more Roman than the Romans and to penetrate to the center of the culture from which he found himself alienated by his provincial birth. But that was only the beginning of his story.
Augustine was born on 13 November, A.D. 354, in Tagaste, a town large enough to have its own bishop but too small for a college or university.[[1]] His parents, Patricius and Monica, belonged to the financially imperilled middle class. They were well enough off to have educational ambitions for their son, but too poor to finance those ambitions themselves. The fourth century was an age of mixed marriages at this level of society, in which devout Christian women like Monica were often to be found praying for the conversion of their irreligious husbands. Her prayers were not unavailing; Patricius accepted baptism on his deathbed. Though Patricius offered no direct impulse towards Christianity for his son, he must not have been much more than a passive obstacle.
Of Augustine's childhood we know only what he chooses to tell us in the highly selective memoirs that form part of the Confessions. He depicts himself as a rather ordinary sort of child, good at his lessons but not fond of school, eager to win the approval of his elders but prone to trivial acts of rebellion, quick to form close friendships but not always able to foresee their consequences. He studied Latin with some enthusiasm but never loved Greek. While he was leading what he wants us to think was

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