Chapter

Retreat at Cassiciacum

George Lawless

in Augustine of Hippo and his Monastic Rule

Published in print August 1990 | ISBN: 9780198267416
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683244 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198267416.003.0003

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Retreat at Cassiciacum

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Several months in late 386 and early 387 were very likely the most tranquil in Augustine's life. Once again he was not alone. Monica managed the house; her other son Navigius was there. Also in residence were teenage pupils, Licentius and Trygetius; Augustine spent considerable time tutoring both of them. The early writings, such as Answer to Sceptics, A Life of Happiness, On Order, and Soliloquies, remind one of Plato's and Cicero's successful achievements in the same literary genre. The discussions at Cassiciacum are described in this chapter. Pedagogically, the composition of both the dialogue On Order and Augustine's Rule are strikingly similar. A rich Graeco-Roman heritage is reflected in the group gathered at Cassiciacum during this idyllic interlude between Augustine's conversion in the garden at Milan and his baptism by Ambrose at the Easter Vigil in 387. Work (both physical and intellectual), contemplation (both philosophical and Christian), prayer and serious dialogue on a variety of themes—these were the happy notes which sounded in this lovely place of retreat.

Keywords: Cassiciacum; retreat; Augustine; Licentius; Trygetius; Answer to Sceptics; A Life of Happiness; On Order; Soliloquies; prayer

Chapter.  3485 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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