The Confessions | Study Guide

Saint Augustine

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The Confessions | Key Figures

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Key Figure Description
Augustine Augustine (also known as Saint Augustine or Saint Augustine of Hippo) is the narrator of his own story of receiving God's grace and converting to Catholicism. Read More
God God is the name used for a personified concept of divinity that transcends time and space and is the origin of creation. Read More
Monica Monica (also known as Saint Monica) is the devout mother of Augustine who prays for his conversion. Read More
Bishop Ambrose Bishop Ambrose (also known as Ambrose or Saint Ambrose) introduces Augustine to reading the Old Testament less literally and more metaphorically; he eventually baptizes Augustine. Read More
Alypius Alypius is Augustine's best friend; his commitment to celibacy is an inspiration to Augustine. Read More
Adeodatus Adeodatus is Augustine's son by his common-law wife.
Adeodatus's mother Adeodatus's mother, Augustine's common-law wife for 14 or 15 years, is never named.
Elpidius Elpidius is a prominent North African Arian theologian who impresses Augustine by besting the Manichaeans in debate.
Faustus Faustus (also Bishop Faustus) is a Manichaean bishop who fails to satisfactorily answer Augustine's questions about doctrine.
Firminus Firminus is a friend of Augustine who strongly believes in astrology.
Nebridius Nebridius is a good friend of Augustine and part of his circle of seekers of truth. He eventually converts to Catholicism.
Patricius Patricius is Augustine's pagan father who works for the Roman government in Thagaste. He converts to Catholicism before he dies.
Ponticianus Ponticianus is a friend from Africa who visits Augustine and Alypius and tells them about Antony of Egypt, a hermit, ascetic, and mystic.
Simplicianus Simplicianus succeeds Ambrose as bishop of Milan. He gives Augustine spiritual direction and deepens his understanding of the Neoplatonist writers.
Symmachus Symmachus is the prefect of Rome and a leading rhetorician (one skilled in debate).
Valentinian Valentinian (also Valentinian II) is the emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire from 375 to 392 CE; Augustine briefly works as his chief rhetorician (speech writer).
Verecundus Verecundus is a wealthy teacher of rhetoric and a friend to Augustine and his circle.
Victorinus Victorinus (also Marius Victorinus) is a famous orator who translated the Neoplatonic texts Augustine reads.
Vindicianus Vindicianus is a respected physician and a Christian who warns Augustine about the folly of astrology.
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