Language in the Confessions of Augustine

Language in the Confessions of Augustine

by Philip Burton
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Oxford University Press
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Language in the Confessions of Augustine

Augustine's Confessions tells the story of the author's encounters with language; from his acquisition of language as a child, through his career as schoolboy orator, star student at Carthage, professor of rhetoric at Carthage and Rome. Having worked his way up to the eminence of Court Orator to the Roman Emperor at Milan, Augustine rediscovered the Catholic Christianity of his childhood-and decided that this was incompatible with his rhetorical profession. Over the next ten years, he gradually reinvents himself as a different sort of language professional: a Christian intellectual, commentating on Scripture and preaching to his flock.

Philip Burton explores some aspects of this encounter, investigating both Augustine's attitude towards language and his actual linguistic practice. Starting with a consideration of the importance of sermo-language, style, dialectic, divine Logos-in classical and Christian thought, Burton addresses Augustine's employment of comic and popular-culture literary genres, his use of Greek, his attitude towards books and reading, his use of biblical idioms, and his treatment of the paralinguistic (laughing, singing, weeping, and groaning).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199554454
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 04/15/2009
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 210
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents

Sermo     1
Alternative Comedy: The Language of the Theatre     35
The Vocabulary of the Liberal Arts     63
Talking Books     88
Biblical Idioms in the Confessions     112
The Paralinguistic     133
Epilogue     173
Greek Words in the Confessions     178
Bibliography     179
Index locorum     189
Index rerum     195
Index verborum graecorum     196
Index verborum latinorum     197

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