Possidius' Augustine and post-Augustinian Africa

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Abstract

Possidius' Vita Augustini was written sometime between 432 and 437 CE:. As an intimate friend and fellow bishop of Augustine, Possidius has provided historians with a wealth of detailed information. The Vita has not been appreciated as a literary piece in its own right with its own specific authorial concerns. The Vita does not fit easily into the style of late antique hagiography known by Augustine and his circle. Rather, the Vita suggests Possidius' response to the unique circumstances of post-Augustinian Africa: the crisis of the Vandal invasions and subsequent rise of Arianism. Possidius provided a model Augustine who, through his monastic and pastoral commitment, combated heresy and helped realize the pax et unitas of the Church. Possidius was willing to break with Augustine's self-portrayal in Confessions and recast the Vita more akin to Augustine's response to the taking of Rome in City of God.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-105
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Early Christian Studies
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Religious studies

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