Monday, May 31, 2010

Your Daily Downer

Has the cheeriest of "blogs" - this one - become a repository for downers? What is going on? I was reading some interesting material about the mother of Augustine's son in CHRISTIANITY: THE FIRST THREE THOUSAND YEARS. What a good and interesting person! We don't know her name because Augustine didn't tell us. A footnote in MacCulloch directed me to some comments in Peter Brown's biography of Augustine. I happen to have a copy, so I flipped through it, looking for the reference to which I had been directed. My edition of the Brown differs from MacCulloch's, so the page numbers included with the footnote didn't help me. It took a long time to find this honorable woman in Brown's index, because here is how she is listed: "concubine." That's it! That's all she gets: generic concubinage. Thanks for nothing, Saint Augustine. (I would illustrate this "post" with an image of her, but as far as I can tell there's not one! You can find plenty of his Mom, who said [I'm paraphrasing] "Get rid of this concubine who has been faithful to you for fifteen years so you can marry a NICE LADY.") I should credit Brown's index for introducing me to the word "concubinage," which is just above "concubine." So that is one good thing. It's fun to learn your word for the day! See? Not everything is horrible. I'm glad to help.