Institut d’Études Augustiniennes

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Agnès Vareille

Saint Augustin et l’écriture polyphonique

Citations classiques et genèse de la pensée dans la Cité de Dieu

Using the tools of contemporary linguistics, the present book studies the Classical quotes found in Augustine’s City of God – mainly from Cicero, Sallustius, Varro, and Virgil – and tries to show how they fully contribute to the development of his thought. This study is divided in three times, as so many connections to Augustine and his work. It first tries to show how exactly the quotes appear in the text – a notion defined as “the copresence of two statements”. The second part examines the polyphony created in the work by these secondary voices, which are analysed in close relation with the book’s context of reception. It finally seems that, far from encouraging digression, this “poetics of otherness” contributes to the development of a discourse whose order acts as a guarantee of truth, and is therefore at the heart of the book’s apolegetic intention. Thus, being nurtured by an internalised and theatralised dialogue, Augustine’s text makes fruitful use of these sources as a means to draw – at least partly – the conclusion that pagan philosophy is an aporia. This study includes an appendix and a transcription of the Classical quotes found in the City of God, along with their contexts and philological annotations.


EAA 213: Paris, Institut d’études augustiniennes, 2023
ISBN: 978-2-85121-328-0
464 p., 165 x 250 mm
65€ TTC
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Last update on : Thursday 21 September 2023