Early Church Fathers
958 This officer, "magister memoriae," was a private secretary of the emperor, and had, among other privileges of his office, the right of granting liberty to private individuals to travel by the imperial conveyances along the great highways connecting Rome with the remotest boundaries of the provinces. See Suetonitis, Vita Augnsti, chap. xlix., and Pliny, Letters, Books x.-xiv., and Codex Jnstiniani, Book xii. Title 51.
959 We conjecture from the context that this expresses the force of the obscure words, "saltem timeantur annonae."
960 "Scire tuum nibil est nisi te scire hoc sciat alter."-Persius, Sat. i. 27.
961 Cornicules. The lapse of centuries may have introduced into the north of Africa birds unknown in Augustin's time. The translator has seen these birds in Egypt.
963 Qui summe est.
964 Opportunissimo tempore.
965 We give the original of this exquisite sentence, both far its intrinsic value, and because it is a good example of that antithetic style of writing which makes the exact and felicitous rendering of Augustin's words into any other language peculiarly difficult: Nisi humilitas omnia qaecumque bene facimus et praecesserit, et comitetur, et consecula fuerit, et proposita quam intueamur, et appsosita cui adhaereamus, et imposita qua reprimamur, jam nobis de aliquo bono facto gaudentibus totum extorquet de manu superbia.
966 The words of Cicero are: "Post, Anaximenes aera Deum statuit, eumque gigni, esseque immensum, et infinitum, et semper in motu: quasi aut aer sine ulla forma Deus esse possit, cum praesertim Deum non modo aliqua sed pulcherrima specie esse deceat: aut non omne quod ortum sit mortalitas consequatur."-De Natura Deorum, Book 1.
967 Ipsam veritatem atque sapientiam.
968 The words of Cicero are these: "Nec vidit neque motum sensui junctum et continentem in infinito ullum esse posse, neque sensum omnino auo non tota natura pulsa sentiret." Augustin, quoting probably from memory (see § 9), gives infinto as the dative of possession instead of in infinito.
969 Cicero, de Natura Deorum, lib. 1.
970 Litteriones ut militariter loquar.
971 Cicero, de Natura Deorum, lib. I.
972 Phil. i. 27.
973 Phil. iv. 5, 6.
974 Paula, Eustochium, and other recluses of Bethlehem.
975 Two opinions have been advanced as to the signification of this enigmatical allusion to the events recorded in Jeremiah, chap. xliii. Some think that Jerome refers to Rome, then occupied by the Goths. Others find here a reference to the state of the Church at Jerusalem at the time; perhaps under the name of Nebuchadnezzar some heretical bishop is designed.
976 The name Melania, though now almost as little known to the world at large as the fossil univalve molluscs to which palaeontologists have assigned the designation, was in the time of Augustin highly esteemed throughout Christendom. The elder Melania, a lady of rank and affluence, left Rome when it was threatened by Alaric, and spent thirty-seven years in the East, returning to the city in 445 A.D. her daughter-in-law, Albina, and her grand-daughter, the younger Melania (whose husband was the Pinianus mentioned here and in the two following letters), left Rome with her in 408 A.D., and after spending two years in Sicily, passed over into Africa, and fixed their residence at Thagaste, the native town of St. Augustin. A visit which they paid to him at Hippo was the occasion of the extraordinary proceedings. referred to in Letters CXXV. and CXXVI.
977 2 Cor. xi. 29.
978 The "absis" was a chapel or recess in the choir, where the bishop was accustomed to stand surrounded by his clergy.
979 Zech. v. 4. Augustin calls it "Zachariae falx," translating, as the LXX. have done: dre/panon.
980 Ps. xv. 4.