aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Augustine, Confessions 6.7.11

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Augustine disapproves of his friend and pupil Alypius’ enthusiasm for following the chariot-racing.

nam et studuerat apud me, cum in nostro oppido docere coepi, et postea Carthagini, et diligebat multum, quod ei bonus et doctus viderer, et ego illum propter magnam virtutis indolem, quae in non magna aetate satis eminebat. gurges tamen morum Carthaginiensium, quibus nugatoria fervent spectacula, absorbuerat eum in insaniam circensium. sed cum in eo miserabiliter volveretur, ego autem rhetoricam ibi professus publica schola uterer, nondum me audiebat ut magistrum propter quandam simultatem quae inter me et patrem eius erat exorta. et compereram quod circum exitiabiliter amaret, et graviter angebar, quod tantam spem perditurus vel etiam perdidisse mihi videbatur.

He had studied under me when I began to teach in our town, and afterwards in Carthage; he held me in great esteem, since I seemed to him to be good and learned, and I esteemed him because of his great disposition for virtue, which was really quite conspicuous in one who was of no great age. But the whirlpool of Carthaginian fashions, in which the frivolous shows are hotly followed, had swallowed him down into the madness of the races. But he was being wretchedly tossed about in this whirlpool, while I was teaching rhetoric there in a public school; at this time he was no longer attending my lectures because of some animosity which had arisen between me and his father. I had also found out that he loved the racing to a pernicious degree, and I was grievously troubled, because I thought that he was going to destroy his great promise, or even that he had destroyed it already.

Written by aleatorclassicus

August 23, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Augustine

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