The Confessions of Saint Augustine (Outler)

For other English-language translations of this work, see Confessions (Augustine).
The Confessions of Saint Augustine
by Augustine of Hippo, translated by Albert Outler

It is widely seen as the first Western autobiography ever written, and would be an influential model for Christian writers throughout the following 1000 years of the Middle Ages. It is not a complete autobiography, as it was written in his early 40s, and he lived long afterwards, during which he produced another important work (The City of God); it does, nonetheless, provide an unbroken record of his evolution of thought and is the most complete record of any single individual from the 4th and 5th centuries. It is a significant theological work.

73148The Confessions of Saint AugustineAlbert OutlerAugustine of Hippo
Manuscript on vellum. Germany, first half 13th century.


  • Introduction
  • Testimony
  • Book I - Infancy and boyhood up to age 14.
  • Book II - Fall amongst bad companions, which led to thievery and lust.
  • Book III - Studies at Carthage, conversion to Manichaeism, and continued indulgence in lust (age 16-19).
  • Book IV - Loss of a friend and studies in Aristotle and the fit and the fair (age 20-29).
  • Book V - Moving away from Manichaeism under the influence of St. Ambrose in Milan (age 29).
  • Book VI - Moving towards Catholicism under the influence of St. Ambrose (age 30).
  • Book VII - Moving towards a greater understanding of God (age 31).
  • Book VIII - Conversion to Christianity and instruction by Simplicianus on how to convert others (age 32).
  • Book IX - Baptism, the death of his mother Monica, and the death of his friends Nebridius and Vecundus, and his abandonment of his studies of rhetoric (age 33)
  • Book X - Continued reflections on the values of confessions and on the workings of memory, as related to the 5 senses.
  • Book XI - Reflections on Genesis and searching for the meaning of time.
  • Book XII - Continued reflections on the book of Genesis.
  • Book XIII - Exploration of the meaning of Genesis and the Trinity.


This work is in the public domain worldwide because it has been so released by the copyright holder.

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