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Form: Aurelius.
The greatest of the Latin Christian fathers. He was born 354 A.D. at Tagaste in Numidia. His father was a pagan, his mother, Monica, a zealous Christian. After a wild life as a young man, he became professor of rhetoric in Tagaste, Carthage, Rome, and Milan, where he was converted to Christianity through the influence of Ambrose, and baptized in 387. He returned to Africa, and was ordained presbyter in 391, and bishop of Hippo in Numidia in 396. He died there in 430, after doing much good in the city during its siege by the Vandals. His literary activity was extraordinary. Four years before his death he reckons up the number of his works, exclusive of letters and sermons, as 93, making up 233 books. Among them are six books De Musica, and essays on rhetoric, dialectic, and grammar. These productions, which testify to his interest in learning, were installments of an encyclopaedic work on the seven liberal arts, modelled upon the Disciplinoe of Varro. Among his other writings two attracted especial notice on account of the extra-ordinary effect which they produced in after times. These are The Confessions, a history of his inner life in thirteen books, written in the form of a confession to the Almighty; and the De Civitate Dei, a work in twenty-two books, demonstrating the providential action of God in the development of human history.
Type: Standard
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