Augustine Of Hippo Analysis

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Born in 354 C.E., the rhetorician Augustine of Hippo lived at the crossroads of the glory of Roman antiquity and its dissolution into chaos and disorder at the hands of the Vandals. In the fourth century, Constantine deemed Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire, bringing the religion from a small cult following to increased validity in the public eye. However, some were still reluctant to convert; virtually all Romans were spiritually inclined, but many belonged to polytheism and were resistant to Christianity. Augustine himself was at first unwilling to convert, despite his mother’s insistence. He, like many others, was concerned with his relationship to God, or Gods, and once he did convert, he was overtaken with the evangelical…show more content…
But his increasing suffering heightened his attention to his sexual escapism in the form of a personified Continence, who implores him to cast away his sins and find the Lord to relieve his misery. Shortly thereafter, he hears a child’s voice singsong, in what he interprets as a divine omen, to open his book of Scripture and read. Augustine “snatched it up” and read, with great wonder, Romans 13:13: “put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provisions for the flesh in concupiscences.” Immediately, Augustine felt an utter salvation overcome him; “it was as though a light of utter confidence shone in all my heart, and all the darkness of uncertainty vanished away” (62). Finally, after years of spiritual plague and emptiness, Augustine had found something to make him truly…show more content…
Over fifteen hundred years later, human beings as a species are no closer to fully reckoning with the spiritual, and though many find religion in small deeds—a yawning cat, a gentle breeze—we have not universally found relief. As such, many will find themselves in Augustine, a young man tormented with an existential nothingness that he so desperately seeks to fill with earthly delights. And perhaps one can take solace in his words as a beacon of hope, and of better days to come; for there is some relief to spiritual agonies such as Augustine’s, and his work still speaks to the universal human longing for fulfillment. But perhaps this speaks also to his great skill as a rhetorician: Augustine is keenly able to convert his audiences, both in the fourth century and in the

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