NB: A beta-version of The Epistle to the Hebrews, written in much the same way as Confessions I, will be available by the beginning of August.

Confessions Book I on Amazon


Here is a link to Confessions I on Amazon (USA). It is also available in the UK, Europe, and Japan. Please contact me with questions or corrections (my name exactly as in the url) @gmail.com. Below is the commentary as a PDF for download.

A Pharr-Formatted Commentary for Augustine

After the style of commentators like Clyde Pharr and Geoffrey Steadman, I have created a Latin commentary for Confessions Book I aimed at beginning and intermediate students of the language. Though with the Confessions we may be in better shape than with any other late Latin texts, having the commentaries of both James O’Donnell and Gillian Clark, there remains relatively little in the way of help for beginning or intermediate students of Latin. And thanks to the kindness of Dr. O’Donnell, I was also able to use his Latin text in creating this commentary and providing that help.

Anticipating that some might hesitate to teach a late Latin text early in the curriculum lest the freshly acquired grammar-rules for Caesar and Cicero — short for Classical Latin prose — collapse, I have also tried, in addition to giving rudimentary explanations of grammar and syntax, to mark off those places where Augustine transgresses Classical Latin’s “rules” as a pedagogical convenience.

To this end I have included references from Allen and Greenough’s New Latin Grammar (which is available online and searchable) as well as the introduction to the Latin text of the Confessions by Cambell and McGuire. In so doing I hope to have served both students of Classical Latin making a brief excursion into the world of Late Antiquity as well as the students of Augustine’s Latin in particular.

I intend to follow up this commentary on the Latin side with Book I of the de Civitate Dei (hopefully by this fall).

If you enjoy this commentary and want to encourage future works on this website for other late texts of Latin and Greek authors, please share it with friends and colleagues.

Many thanks in advance.

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