Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis [St. Augustine of Hippo]
Latin (Late Imperial/Christian Era)
DISPUTATIO PRIMAE DIEI
Quinto. calendas septembris, Arcadio Augusto bis et Rufino viris clarissimis consulibus., habita disputatio adversus Fortunatum Manichaeorum presbyterum, in urbe Hipponensium regionum, in Balneis Sossii, sub praesentia populi.
[On the 5th Kalends of September, in the second consulship of the most distinguished men, the Augustus, Arcadius, and Rufinus, a dispute has arisen against Fortunatus, the priest of the Manichaean order, in the precinct's city of Hippo, in the Sossian Baths, before the public's presence.]
Summum errorem puto, omnipotentem Deum, in quo una nobis spes est, ex aliqua parte violabilem, aut coinquinabilem, aut corruptibilem credere.
[I think it the greatest mistake of all, to think that omnipotent God, in which all of my hope lies, is vulnerable in any respect, or liable to defilement, or corruptible.]
1. AUGUSTINUS dixit:
[So Augustine said:]
Ego iam errorem puto, quam antea veritatem putabam:
["For my part, I now think it an error, when before I used to think it the truth:]
utrum recte existimem, a te praesente audire cupio.
[Which one I think is the correct one is what I desire you to hear, you now being present.]
Hoc vestram haeresim affirmare scio; non quidem verbis.
[I am aware of your heresy from this fact, not just from your words.]
quibus nunc usus sum:
[I will make use of these now:]
nam et vos interrogati confitemini Deum esse incorruptibilem et omnino.
[You see you, when asked, confessed that God was incorruptible and omnipresent.]
inviolabilem et incoinquinabilem;
[And that he was inviolable and impervious to defilement.]
sed cum coeperitis caetera exponere, cogimini eum corruptibilem, penetrabilem, et coinquinabilem profiteri.
[but when you began to explain other things, you later admitted that he was corruptible, able to understood, and vulnerable to defilement.]
Dicitis enim aliam nescio quam gentem tenebrarum adversus Dei regnum rebellasse:
[you see, you say that some people or another of the shadows have rebelled against the rule of God:]
Deum autem omnipotentem, cum videret quanta labes et vastitas immineret regnis suis, nisi aliquid adversae genti opponeret,
[And yet, when they saw how great their doom and destruction was looming upon their own dominions, they opposed all-mighty God only because of something caused by a hostile nation,]
et ei resisteret, misisse hanc virtutem, de cuius commixtione cum malo et tenebrarum gente mundus sit fabricatus.
[and could he have repelled them, they would have considered this a virtue, the world would be falsely designied, with its intermingling with a wicked and 'shaded' nation.]
Hinc esse quod hic animae bonae laborant, serviunt, errant, corrumpuntur:
[Hence, here is the reason to explain why good souls toil, are forced to serve, go astray, and are corrupted:]
ut necessarium haberent liberatorem, qui eas ab errore purgaret, et a commixtione solveret, et a servitute liberaret.
[so that they can possess the liberator they need, the one who could cleanse them from sin, and loosen them from the world's hold, and save them from slavery.]
Hoc ego nefas puto credere, Deum omnipotentem aliquam adversam gentem timuisse, aut necessitatem esse passum,
[for my part, I think that it is utterly wrong to believe that omnipotent God has ever anything to fear from any other nation of people, or that we must suffer some obligation]
ut nos in aerumnas praecipitaret.
[with some result that it gets us locked up in shackles]
Principalia fidei Manichaeorum.
[But these are the main tenets of the Manicheans' faith.]
FORTUNATUS dixit: [Fortunatus said}
Quia te medium fuisse nostrum scio,
[Because I know you've meddled before in my affairs]
[this is it]
inter Manichaeos administrasse,
[to have governed the Manicheans]
ista sunt principalia fidei nostrae.
[these are the founding principles are my faith]
De conversatione hic agitur,
[This has to do with conversions]
de quibus falsis criminibus pulsamur.
[and about the types of crimes that we are being stopped from.]
Ex te ergo praesentes audiant boni viri,
[So let the good men present hear from you]
utrum sint vera
[whether the accusations are true]
super quibus criminamur et appetimur,
[about which things I am being charged as criminal and prosecuted]
an sint falsa.
[or whether they are false.]
Etenim ex tua doctrina,
[So really, from your own line of belief]
et ex tua expositione et ostensione poterunt verius scire nostram conversationem,
[and from your own demonstration and show can people more verily know my own means of conversion]
si a te fuerit prodita.
[if there should be any concession from you.]
[And now, you've interrupted my speaking.]
2. AUGUSTINUS dixit: [Augustine said]
Sed alia quaestio est de fide, alia de moribus:
[But one question deals with faith, the other with tradition:]
ego de fide proposui.
[for my part have I set forth the one concerning faith.]
Sed si illi qui adsunt,
[But if these men who are present now,]
malunt audire de moribus,
[prefer to hear the one about tradition]
nec istam quaestionem defugio.
[I will not flee the question at all.]