When Augustine wrote his Confessions in the last years of the fourth century, he was just over forty and had abandoned a successful career for a life of prayer and study. He interpreted his past life as a search for God, in which understanding and commitment had been frustrated by wrong education, mistaken ambition, sexual desire and sinful nature. Some readers are inspired by his brilliance and devotion, others think he misread his own past. This book discusses the transformation of Augustine's own life and of the late Roman world, the structure, style and purpose of the Confessions, and the problems of rhetoric and truth posed by Augustine's account of himself. It concludes with a brief overview of the influence of this landmark text in the history of European culture.