Liber Secundus

Edited by R. P. H. Green

in De Doctrina Christiana

Published in print January 1996 | ISBN: 9780198263340
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601125 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Early Christian Texts

Liber Secundus

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In this book, Augustine begins his discussion of signs, of which the greater part consists of words. After an interesting statement of the canon of scripture as he saw it, Augustine argues for the value of knowledge of languages, the utility of comparing different translations, and the importance of having at least some acquaintance with the subjects of traditional curriculum (music, history, logic, to name a few). To make clear, which of these may legitimately be studied by the Christian, he develops a distinction between disciplines instituted by humans, in some cases in concert with demons—and others, instituted by God, which are observed and developed by humans. This is made the basis for ‘spoiling the Egyptians’, in other words, the appropriation of pagan learning.

Keywords: Cicero; curriculum; education; love; rhetoric; scripture; signs; Tyconius; discovery; ethics; love; presentation; signs; teaching; canon; curriculum; disciplines; knowledge; languages; signs; figures of speech; hermeneutic; manuscripts; metaphor; punctuation; signs; Tyconius; Cicero; presentation; rhetoric; style; theory; wisdom

Chapter.  28821 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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