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Biography of Augustine the African Augustine was born in Tagaste (modern Souk Ahras, Algeria) at 354 and died almost seventy-six years later in Hippo Regius (modern Annaba) on the Mediterranean coast sixty miles off. In the years between he lived outside a career which appears to moderns to bridge the gap between ancient pagan Rome and the Christian middle ages. But to Augustine, regarding his contemporaries, that gap separated real people and places they knew, not complete imaginary ages of past and future. He lived as we do, at the current, filled with uncertainty. Augustine's African homeland was part of Rome's empire since the destruction of Carthage five hundred years before his birth. Carthage had been rebuilt by Rome as the metropolis of Roman Africa, wealthy once again but posing no danger. The language of business and culture throughout Roman Africa was Latin. Careers for the rough, as we will see, led from provincial Africa into the Mediterranean world; on the other hand, wealthy Italian senators maintained vast estates in Africa which they rarely saw. The dominant faith of Africa became Christianity - a religion that opposed the customs of old Rome but that couldn't have spread as it did without the unity and prosperity that Rome had brought to the ancient world. Roman Africa was a military backwater. The legions which were retained there to maintain order and protect against raids by desert nomads were themselves the gravest danger to peace; however, their occasional rebellions were for the most part short-lived and insignificant. The only emperors who ever spent time in Africa were the ones who'd been born there; by Augustine's time, decades had passed with no emperor even thinking of going to Africa. Some clearly African American personality continued to indicate life in the state. Some non-Latin speech, possibly the aboriginal Berber of the desert or the derelict Punic that the Carthaginians had spoken, continued to be heard in dark corners. In a few of the very same corners, older local pagan cults could nevertheless be found. After Augustine became a Christian clergyman, he found Africa lease by an ecclesiastical schism which had its roots at least partially in the truculent sense of difference preserved by the less-Romanized provincials of up-country Numidia, close to the northern fringes of the Sahara. So a young guy like Augustine could belong irretr...