St. Augustine of Hippo’s Confessions

Confessions is an autobiographical work written by St. Augustine of Hippo in Latin, between A.D. 397 and 398. It is not a complete autobiography but is considered the first western autobiography ever written. It consists of thirteen sections, or books, telling of Augustine’s boyhood until the age of forty.

The first seven books focus on what he considers to be sinful infancy and boyhood, rhetorical education, insincere conversion to and then separation from Manicheanism, and his inner desire for Christianity, without being able to understand it or convert to it.

His conversion to Christianity occurs in the eighth and ninth books. He then abandons rhetoric and focuses upon further understanding of the Bible, in particular Genesis, through reflection. Lastly, in book thirteen, he explores the true meaning of Genesis and the Holy Trinity.

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