Faustus of Mileve

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Faustus of Mileve was a Manichaean bishop of the fourth century. He is now remembered for his encounter with Augustine of Hippo, in Carthage and around the year 383. While Augustine was a Manichae, he questioned Manichaean teachers in Rome to find answers, but repeatedly was told that Faustus would have the answers.

Once Faustus was available for Augustine to hear and question, Augustine was extremely impressed with Faustus' rhetoric abilities and discipline, but learned that Faustus did not have the answers to Augustine's questions and realized that Faustus was wise enough to not entertain questions for which he had no sound answer and which might force him to argue an undefendable or foolish position. Augustine determined the Manichaean stories unsubstantiated and his questions unanswerable by the Manichae and by Faustus as its most celebrated proponent.[1] This left Augustine, at this time a follower, unsatisfied with the answers he received.[2] Later, after his conversion to Catholic Christianity, Augustine wrote a polemical work Contra Faustum.

Faustus was from Milevis, Numidia (modern Algeria). From a poor, pagan background, he had become a highly reputed teacher, preacher and debater.


  • Samuel N. C. Lieu, Manichaeism in the Later Roman Empire and Medieval China (1992), p. 154
  • Augustine of Hippo, "Confessions"


  1. ^ Augustine of Hippo, "Confessions"
  2. ^ Paul S. MacDonald, History of the Concept of Mind (2007), p. 146.