Confessions (Second Edition)
Translated by F. J. Sheed
Introduction by Peter Brown; Notes by Michael Foley
2007 384 pp.
Like the first Hackett edition of the Augustine’s Confessions, the second edition features F. J. Sheed’s remarkable translation of this classic spiritual autobiography with an Introduction by noted historian of late antiquity Peter Brown. New to this edition are a wealth of notes on literary, philosophical, biblical, historical, and liturgical topics by Michael P. Foley, an Editor’s Preface, a map, a timeline, paragraph numbers in the text, a glossary, and a thorough index. The text itself has been completely reset, with textual and explanatory notes placed at the foot of the page for easy reference.
“This translation is already a classic. It is the translation that has guided three generations of students and readers into a renewed appreciation of the beauty and urgency of a masterpiece of Christian autobiography. This is largely because the translator has caught not only the meaning of Augustine’s Confessions, but a large measure of its poetry. It makes the Latin sing in English as it did when it came from the pen of Augustine, some sixteen hundred years ago. Deeply rooted in the tradition of which Augustine was himself a principal founder, this translation is not only modern: it is a faithful echo, in a language that has carried throughout the ages, of its author’s original passion and disquiet.”
“Saint Augustine’s Latin presents notable difficulties for translators. And even good English translations have usually dated badly. Frank Sheed’s, which I read a mere fifty years ago, still shows no signs of dating. It captures Augustine’s extraordinary combination of precise statement and poetic evocation as does no other.”