St Augustine of Hippo, Opera [c.1200]

Scope and Content

Copy of selected works of St Augustine in a late twelfth century hand, written in Britain, possibly in St Andrews. Folio 2 gives a list of 93 works but a transcript of only eighteen works follows. Some illuminated initials, gold decorated initials wanting. There are 16th century ownership inscriptions.

Administrative / Biographical History

St Augustine of Hippo (354-430) was born in North Africa to a heathen father and a Christian mother, Monica. He reformed his early dissolute life to become one of the most outstanding theologians of the church. He attended the university of Carthage to train as a lawyer but became more interested in literature and then philosophy, influenced by one of Cicero’s now lost works. Around the same time he joined the Manichean sect. He eventually became disillusioned with them, and finally turned to Christianity when he moved to Milan to teach rhetoric. He was baptised in 387 by St Ambrose. He was ordained a priest in 391 and had written several treatises by the time he returned to North Africa, becoming bishop of Hippo in 396. Here he plunged into the Donatist and Pegalian controversies, writing polemical tracts against these heresies; his arguments moulded the doctrines of the church throughout the Middle Ages and even influenced reformers like Calvin. His teachings focussed on the corruption of human nature through the fall of man and the consequent sinfulness of man which could only be redeemed by the grace of God. Some of his writings are still widely read, such as his autobiographical Confessions, written around 400, and City of God, which was written over a number of years from 413 to 426 in response to the shock of the fall of Rome to the pagan Visigoths.


Single item

Access Information

By appointment with the Keeper of Manuscripts. Access to records containing confidential information may be restricted.

Acquisition Information

Transferred to the University Library at the transfer of the library of St Leonard's College before 1800.

Other Finding Aids

Individual Manuscripts and Small Collections database available as part of Manuscripts Database.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Binding: possibly of 14th century. Thick bevelled wooden boards re-covered by Cockerell, June 1962, with binder’s note pasted inside back cover. Two strap and pin fastenings [also replaced].Vellum: 28.3x40.2cm Written in two columns.

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Maia Sheridan, Archives Hub project archivist, based on material from the Manuscripts Database

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Keeper of Manuscripts. Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Custodial History

Formerly in the library of the priory of St Andrews in Scotland. f.159v, in a sixteenth century hand, records the names of James Winram (Wynram) and Margaret Lauder and William Lauder, lord of Halltown (Halltoun), and on f.138v, William Velke. Property of St Leonard's College, University of St Andrews, in the eighteenth century.




Fully noted in N R Ker and A J Piper Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries Oxford, 1992, Vol.IV (Paisley to York) pp.241-2.