Although the eighty-two Letters in this volume do not themselves specifically state when they were written, the research of modern scholars leads to a fairly firm conclusion that they were composed over a span of approximately ten years, 386-405. On a basis of internal evidence, it seems that the first twenty letters date from a period prior to Augustine's priestly ordination. The addressees represent a fair cross section of society in the late fourth and early fifth centuries of our era. Bishops and priests, however, outnumber other contemporaries. Widely varied in subject matter, some of the letters deal with theological, polemical, exegetical and ecclesiastical topics, other offer moral and spiritual guidance, while still others discuss philosophical questions and touch on historical events. A surprising amount of information pertains to the life, customs, and abuses in the Church in northern Africa at this period. As one would suspect at this period in Augustine's life, the errors of the Pelagians and Donatists do not escape notice. In these Letters the modern reader can acquaint himself with some of the interests and thoughts of two towering figures that have influenced western civilization: St. Jerome and St. Augustine.