Augustine's description of Ambrose's silent reading (including the remark that he never read aloud) is the first definite instance recorded in Western literature.
When virtue is pictured as innocence and innocence equated with childlikeness, the implication is obviously that knowledge and experience are no longer media of goodness, but have become in themselves contaminating. This is a very despairing outlook, in its way as black as Augustine's original sin, for it supposes that original goodness will in all likelihood be defiled…It surrenders the attempt to represent virtue in a mature phase.marina warner
Orlando's helmet in Augustine's cowl.
In the history of thought and civilization, Saint Augustine appears to me to be the first thinker who brought into prominence and undertook an analysis of the philosophical and psychological concepts of person and personality. These ideas, so vital to contemporary man, shape not only Augustine's own doctrine on God but also his philosophy of man: man as an individual, man as a member of societies and institutions the family, the city, the state and the church.
He used to say, half in jest , that his great ambition was to complete St. Augustine's Confessions , but that St. Augustine, like a great artist, had worked from multiplicity to unity , while he, like a small one, had to reverse the method and work back from unity to multiplicity.