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From Thegoste to Hippo

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The question of Athens and Jerusalem was originally asked by the Roman citizen, Tertullian, who lived in Carthage. Athens and Jerusalem were both important cities throughout history. Athens was the center of the pagan religion and philosophy, while Jerusalem was the center of Christianity and theology. Paganism and Christianity are both very different but they show us how Athens and Jerusalem influenced the world.

Saint Augustine was born in 354 AD in Thegosta on the Northern shore of Africa which is now called Algeria. Augustine's father, Patricius, was a pagan and his mother, Monica, was a Christian. Augustine grew up in a pagan school that taught him pagan philosophy. In the Confessions, he tells us that his school provoked him to behave poorly: "Such were the moral standards of the world at whose threshold I lay, a wretched boy;" (Augustine, 31). Augustine studied Rhetoric in school as did many people of his time. After he finished school, he wanted to pursue wisdom. After years of searching, he reached Milan where he met Bishop Ambrose. Ambrose taught Augustine to study the Bible, not thinking about its lack of eloquence or its word choice but the truths it held. In 386 AD he became a Christian, 12 years later he wrote the Confessions, a spiritual autobiography of his life with its famous first line being: "Great are you, O Lord, and exceedingly worthy of praise;" (Augustine, 14).

We can see from Augustine's life that he grew up only understanding paganism and being taught not to seek more. Instead, he wanted to search for truth so he became a Christian and later, the bishop of Hippo. We learn from Augustine's account that life isn't all about eloquence, persuasion, or personal desires; but about serving Christ

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