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St. Augustine on the Walls 

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College Freshman in the Big City

After a series of ups and downs as a teenager including the famous incident where he and his friends stole some pears (2.4.9.), Augustine was sent to the big city (Carthage) for what would be the equivalent of his college education.  This all took place in north African (now Tunisia), where Augustine was born and spent his early years. Some of this picture is missing, but it doesn’t look like a very happy scene with Augustine kneeling in front of a grumpy college professor. Carthage itself, however, was a pretty wild place, "where the din of scandalous love-affairs raged cauldron-like around me” (3.1.1).   Augustine was a typical of many college students:  he was in love with the idea of being in love, but when he did have a relationship it turned out badly because of jealousy and quarrels (2.1.1). He also spent a lot of time going to the theatre (3.2.2). Eventually, however, he was inspired by reading a book called the Hortensius (a lost work by Cicero), and that began in him a lifelong search for knowledge and wisdom (3.4.7.).

All of the buildings and costumes, of course, are from the artist's own times; Gozzoli does not attempt to recreate what it would have looked like in Augustine's time.

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School College Mother of Tears Rome The teacher To Milan Arrival in Milan
St. Ambrose Conversion Baptism Seashell Death of Monica Funeral Home Page

Images are taken from: The Web Gallery of Art.  Quotations from St. Augustine's Confessions, translated by Maria Boulding, O.S.B., (Hyde Park, New York: New City Press) 1997.  Author: John Immerwahr, Update: May 6, 2008.