Talk:Augustine of Canterbury

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a matter of centuries[edit]

604 AD is the first third of the SEVENTH century, not the 6th.

First third refers to his birth date and 604 his death date. I have revised to clarify. Dudley Miles (talk) 07:59, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

something has gone seriously wrong!![edit]

I tried to remove an erroneous bullet point however once I had made the simple edit the whole page code has gone totally crazy. I tried to revert but it won't do it. I am very sorry. Aetheling1125 20:45, 2 September 2012 (UTC)


This needs reworking by someone familiar with Augustine's life - at the moment his death is listed under 'first efforts' HyDeckar 15:08, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

This article needs much work. It is on my list for a rewrite to GA. Be bold and start on it! I'll join you when I can. -- SECisek 15:59, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Prominent Anglican?[edit]

I've removed this cat as it seemed extremely anachronistic, yes the church of Enlgand and wider Anglicanism sees continuity with the pre-Reformation church in England and he was the first Archbishop of Canterbury, but I don't think it's meaningful to label him an Anglican in any currently understod form of the term. David Underdown 09:26, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

You're right. I was on automatic pilot when I added that category because he's mentioned in other Anglicanism-related articles. InkQuill 18:11, 9 March 2007 (UTC)


Calling Ethelbert "Bretwalda" seems a bit anachronistic if not downright historially incorrect, as the article on Bretwalda itself states. I've removed the reference, since it is unhelpful.

It is a title (the meaning being closer 'overlord' rather than 'Britain-ruler' as some places here say) ascribed to Ethelbert from early centuries. It certainly is not historically incorrect and hardly seems anachronistic. - April 2012 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:55, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

I concur, Ethelbert is listed as the first Bretwalda by Bede and the ASC so it should be kept.Aetheling1125 20:47, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Review comments[edit]

Just some thoughts.

  • I'd suggest that you start with a little more contextual background: maybe a paragraph on who the Anglo-Saxons were, why England needed converting (and the fact that Roman Britain had been Christianized), the existence of the Celtic Church, and so on.
  • You might consider reversing the order of some of the material in the paragraph about Bertha and Liudhard. I think the logical sequence for the reader (once you've established the context of A-S England and so on), is first, why does Gregory send a mission? That probably starts with saying a little bit about Gregory (maybe the fair-haired "angels") and the missionary activity from Rome in other directions. Then mention Kent as the target, which leads naturally to the other material. I think Augustine can be mentioned near the end of this paragraph; he becomes the climax of the section's plot, so to speak.
  • You might be a little less definite about 592 as the date of Ceawlin's eclipse -- see the articles on Ceawlin of Wessex and Æthelberht of Kent for more background. At least make it "about 592" or something like that.
  • I haven't checked all your sources, but one I did check seemed a little imprecise: you have "a group of forty other monks" in Augustine's party, but the source, Stenton, says "about forty companions"; they're implicitly described as all being monks earlier, but I don't think you should change "about forty" to "forty".
  • This isn't strictly necessary, but you might want to change to the spelling "Æthelberht" -- that's what's used in the article on him.
  • "There is no evidence that they tried to convert the pagans who were descendants of the tribes that had invaded after the end of the Roman Empire." Who does "they" refer to? I think it means the surviving Christians, but it could be clearer.
  • "Augustine sent a report of his success to Gregory with questions concerning his work along with Laurence". The "along with Laurence" is a bit clumsy; does this mean Laurence took the letter to Rome? I also think you could go into more detail about the contents of the letter, which is quoted at great length by Bede if I remember rightly. I don't have Bede to hand but it would be interesting to know if the letter is thought to be original. You mention Gregory's instructions later; as I recall these came in the form of answers to Augustine's questions. I'd suggest making the connect clear.
  • Brechter's theory on the archdiocese having been seated at London at one time is new to me; quoted in Brooks, I take it, per your citation. Does Brooks think this is a plausible idea? I haven't seen it elsewhere and it seems a bit far-fetched to me.
  • I'll be happy to do a copyedit pass at some point, but I think it's probably best to leave that till you're comfortable with the contents.

I'll keep the article on my watchlist and will add other comments if I can think of any. Mike Christie (talk) 23:49, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Thanks again for the suggestions, I corrected the forty monks one, and I will get to the others, I'm just right in the middle of putting Brooks' data into the ABCs so I'm going to stick with that for a bit longer and get that bit finished. I really really appreciate the time and great suggestions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ealdgyth (talkcontribs) 02:11, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
The only thing I've found of any relevance is Higham's piece on Æthelberht in The Convert Kings. He has rather a lot on the Augustine's Oak meetings, if nothing else, so I'll have a read through it again and add whatever seems relevant. Angus McLellan (Talk) 16:51, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

RE: Brechter's theory on the archdiocese having been seated at London at one time is new to me; quoted in Brooks, I take it, per your citation. Does Brooks think this is a plausible idea? I haven't seen it elsewhere and it seems a bit far-fetched to me.

Independent of what happened after Augustine, it almost certainly was the case that there was once an archbishop of London ... that is if episcopal structure was established in Roman Britain as in the rest of the Empire. Gregory the Great's intention was to found arcbhbishoprics at London and York, and this probably indicates he had information about the pre-invasion episcopal structure which like the rest of the empire would have had archbishoprics in provinical capitals, in this case the two old provincial capitals Britannia Superior and Britannia Inferior.Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 03:28, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
If I'm understanding Brooks when he describes Brechter's theory (which I suspect exists somewhere in a German history journal), Brechter feels that Bede was mistaken in making Augustine archbishop at Canterbury, and that Augustine was archbishop at London. According to Brooks (this is on page 11-14 of The Early History of the Church of Canterbury) Brechter holds the view that it was only after Æthelbert's death and the pagan reaction that drove the bishops from Rochester and London that the archbishopric was established at Canterbury, because London had become untenable. The footnotes of the section are to (as I guessed) German language works: S. Brechter Die Quellen zur Angelsachsenmission Gregors des Grossens 24-6; S. Brechter "Zur Bekehrungsgeschichete der Angelsachesen" Settimane xiv 1967 191-215. Brooks says that nothing new has come to light to refute Brechter's theory since R. A. Markus' "Chronology of the Gregorian Mission" Journal of Ecclesiastical History xiv 1967 refuted Brechter's theory. We are SOOO far from my training and field it's not even funny, so I'm leaving it in the hands of experts, and relying on the big name scholars. Ealdgyth | Talk 03:40, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Just a thought but, "circa first third of the 6th century – probably 26 May 604", doesn't '6th century' mean 501 to 600? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:38, 29 April 2012 (UTC)


I think it's ready for a good copyedit (i.e. rip it to shreds) and thinking about GAN. Anyone volunteer? Ealdgyth | Talk 23:44, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Notes from copyedit[edit]

I'll put comments here that come up as I copyedit. (It'll take me a day or two, I think; I'll let you know when I get through.)

  • by pagan Germanic tribes, which later formed the basis of the Anglo-Saxons: I know what you mean but this doesn't sound right to me. They were Angles and Saxons (and etc.) when they came over; I think "by pagan Anglo-Saxon tribes" might be enough. "Germanic" gives the geographic origin, so you could fix that by adding something about "from north-western Europe" or something like that; I think that's optional.

-- Mike Christie (talk) 01:17, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

I'll think on it. I honestly couldn't find anything in my books that said the old "Angles Saxons and Jutes" line... which kinda shocked me! I was trying to stick with what could be supported by what I had on my shelves, and they didnt' even mention the Angles, honestly. Yikes, have I gotten out of touch with academia. Ealdgyth | Talk 01:20, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
You can cite Bede, of course, but I agree you'll want something else if you make this sort of change. Checking Æthelberht of Kent I see I cited Blair's Introduction to Anglo-Saxon England, pp. 13-16, and Campbell's The Anglo-Saxons, p. 23, for this sort of thing; do you have either of those? Mike Christie (talk) 01:34, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
We seem to have eliminated the problem. At least I'm no longer seeing the sentence. Ealdgyth - Talk 23:01, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Agreed; it looks like it disappeared in a rewrite. Mike Christie (talk) 15:12, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Within the area of Anglo-Saxon settlement, Christianity may have survived as a minority religion,[2] but in the western areas, a form of Christianity known as Celtic Christianity, survived: the problem is that the apposition makes it sound as though the Christianity surviving in the conquered population was not Celtic Christianity, which it must surely have been. (I don't have the Hindley book you cite so I can't look to see what he says.) I think it would be better to make more of a separation between the two points, perhaps making the note about Christianity surviving under the Anglo-Saxons a separate sentence if Hindley has any supporting details. The point about Celtic Christianity also uses "survived" for the church outside Anglo-Saxon territory, which seems wrong as it was uninterrupted; how about "Western Britain, beyond the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, remained Christian throughout these centuries. The British church developed in isolation from Rome, and under the strong influence of missionaries from Ireland; this native form of the church is known as Celtic Christianity." Or something like that. Mike Christie (talk) 01:34, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
The problem we're getting into here is that some scholars now argue that there wasn't such a thing as Celtic Christianity. Thus the tightrope I was trying to walk there. I can live with your suggestion (in fact it's a lot better constructed than mine, which is extremely badly worded, I'll admit.), but I'm not sure that the sources would support us saying that any surviving Christians in Kent itself were necessarily Celtic Christians. Later on, in the section on Augustine's further sucesses, it talks about Augustine finding a shrine of a St. Sixtus near Kent, and being told by Gregory to supress the cult and replace it with the Roman martyr St. Sixtus. Blair, where I got that story (and the footnote is from page 24 which I just noticed is missing!) speculates that suppression such as that may be why we have no good evidence for the practices of indigenous Christianity in Kent and that area. (That they were there, is evident from grave goods) So we know that there were native Christians (of a sort) in Kent, just not whether they were Celtic, Roman-Celtic, or something else (Pelagius anyone?). Now that I've bored you to tears with minutiae of Church history.... yeah, your suggestion is good, go with it! Ealdgyth | Talk 01:50, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
The new version looks fine. Mike Christie (talk) 21:52, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Okay, I think I've done all I can given how much of the text I wrote myself. I even got all of the occurances of the king's name changed to Æthelberht! Rip away! Ealdgyth - Talk 17:18, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

  • Origins of the mission: you have "Some sources say" and "Other historians ... state"; I think both need to be tweaked a bit. I wouldn't call a secondary source a "source" in the text -- too easy for a reader to assume this is a primary source. The "other historians", since they are secondary sources, should be cited as opinion, since historians don't agree, rather than saying they "state that" Gregory initiated the mission. Mike Christie (talk) 02:45, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Changed it to "One biographer of Bertha..." and "Other historians, however, feel..." does that work better? I hate describing this sort of thing... it takes forever to figure out good wording. Ealdgyth - Talk 03:28, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that's a definite improvement. Mike Christie (talk) 21:52, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Why does Gregory's 601 letter imply that Aethelberht was converted by 597? The "Also" at the start of the sentence makes it part of that argument, and I don't see the connection.
    • Grace in this context refers to the grace of baptism. I've made that explicit. I left in the "Also" but feel free to remove it if you still don't see the connection. Ealdgyth - Talk 23:01, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
That explains it. Mike Christie (talk) 15:12, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
  • The note that says "Helena was a Christian long before her son, and is generally credited with helping convert her son" needs a source.
    • Cut it, and the references to Bertha as Helena, as nothing I can find explicitly says WHY Gregory was comparing Bertha to Helena. And it's rather unneeded here anyway. Ealdgyth - Talk 23:01, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
OK. Mike Christie (talk) 15:12, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
  • "They achieved some initial success soon after their arrival." I don't think this conveys much, unless it is a lead-in to the next sentence, which doesn't seem to be the case because this sentence has its own citations. I'd connect this to a sentence showing the successes (e.g. with a colon).
    • Went ahead and implemented your suggestion. Ealdgyth - Talk 23:01, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

-- Mike Christie (talk) 00:15, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

The description of the conversion of 10,000 as "The Miracle at Canterbury" is sourced to Fletcher and Stenton, but I don't see that phrase in either of the cited works. Mike Christie (talk) 23:59, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Honestly, I have no clue where that 10,000 came from. Go ahead and cut it. Cut the entire sentence if needed, or at least cut what isn't referenced. I don't believe I added the infromation, but I could be wrong. Either way, if it's been separated from it's reference and is cited to the wrong source, it needs to be cut. (horse show is going well... might be the last I see of internet for a few days) Ealdgyth - Talk 02:25, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
OK, I had a go at this; see what you think. The 10,000 comes from a letter of Gregory's, according to Fletcher, though Fletcher doesn't take it at face value. (Glad to hear the horse show is going well -- are you competing for prizes?) Mike Christie (talk) 20:47, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Looks good to me. Ealdgyth - Talk 23:33, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
OK, struck. Mike Christie (talk) 15:12, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Both Justus and Mellitus had come to Britain in 601 as part of the supporting mission sent by Gregory. I moved this to the "Additional work" section but it's uncited there; it's in Bede, I.29, p.90 in my Penguin edition, but I notice you're not citing Bede directly but using secondary sources, so I thought I'd leave it for you to cite as you wish. Mike Christie (talk) 21:29, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Cited Ealdgyth - Talk 23:33, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
OK. Mike Christie (talk) 15:12, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

I dropped "which became his cathedral" from the bit about the origin of the church at Canterbury; I think it's OK to put in but wasn't sure how to fit it as I reworked the sentence. A couple of comments about it: what's the source for this being the cathedral? I understand that the current cathedral is near an excavated site that could be this, but is there anything near-contemporary to link this passage in Bede with Augustine's establishment of a cathedral? Or if it's a deduction (and I agree it's likely) is there someone like Brooks who can be cited to support it? Mike Christie (talk) 21:49, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

OK, after looking at the subsequent sentences about Eadmer, I think it's OK to leave out the assertion that this is his cathedral (unless something stronger can be said than Eadmer). Mike Christie (talk) 21:52, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
One more point about this: the lead talks about the recovered/repaired church, but makes it clear that there was also a church Augustine built separately, and this was the cathedral. That seems out of synch with the version in the body. Mike Christie (talk) 20:33, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Why don't you rework it to whatever you like? I dropped the Eadmer bit, does that make it clearer? I'm not sure what you are concerned about, which is making it hard for me to see the problem. (The power outage we just had isn't helping either, as it interupted my train of thought.) Ealdgyth - Talk 23:33, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Um, yeah, sorry, I wasn't being very clear here. Here's another try at clarifying what I was saying; I'd change it myself but I don't know the answers to these questions.

The lead says AEthelberht gave Augustine a ruined church to use as his cathedral. It also says that the later traditions say the cathedral lasted till after the Norman Conquest. This presumably refers to Eadmer. Eadmer's statement (as you had it) said that AEthelberht's church was Eadmer's cathedral. However, AEthelberht seems to have had two churches: one he recovered and one he built.

So my questions are:

  • Do we know which church was Augustine's cathedral? The one he recovered or the one he built?
  • Do we know which of those same two churches Eadmer is referring to?

I thought the reference to Eadmer in the body was fine and I think you could restore it; I was just unsure which church was being referred to.

One other point: you do mention the cathedral in the lead still, so I think you should either support that in the body or cut it from the lead.

Sorry to have been so confusing on this one -- my bad. Mike Christie (talk) 15:51, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Okay, I think I got the confusion now. I struck out the bit in the lede, which seems to have been the source of the confusion. The "church" Augustine built was actually a monastery, St. Augustine's. The king recovered a church inside the town that became the cathedral, the monastery was outside the walls, I believe. (My knowledge of the town of Canterbury's layout is a bit hazy). I think I've clarified it so that it shouldn't be confusing now. Let me know what you think. I'm fine with leaving the Eadmer bit out, honestly. I'm not sure it's the most reliable of information and it's a bit tangential to the subject. Ealdgyth - Talk 16:27, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
That works. I won't strike since there's so much text above, it would be unsightly. This is dealt with, though. One last point: is the reference in the lead to the cathedral surviving actually derived from Eadmer? If so I'd either cut it or replace the Eadmer reference in the body. Either way would work. If it's derived from somewhere else it should still be mentioned in the body (and reffed there, of course). Mike Christie (talk) 17:16, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
I took it out, we've whittled that section down enough that a mention in the lede is probably a bit much. Ealdgyth - Talk 17:20, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
That works. Thank you for being so patient with my nit-picking. This is a fine article and I look forward to seeing it at FAC. Mike Christie (talk) 17:24, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

You say that "Æthelberht ... summoned the British bishops to meet with Augustine in 603" but my version of Bede says that Augustine summoned them "with the aid of" the king. I think this needs rephrasing to be less definite. Mike Christie (talk) 22:07, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

How about "Augustine, along with AEthelberht, who..."? That fits with the source and aligns with Bede also. Ealdgyth - Talk 23:51, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
The secondary source says AEthelberht summoned them? That doesn't seem to tally with Bede, does it? How about blurring it a little and saying just "Augustine and AEthelberht summoned ..."? Mike Christie (talk) 15:15, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
The secondary source is a bit hazy, and quotes Bede extensively with comments interspersed. He seems to be saying that he feels that AEthelberht did most of the summoning, but that's contradicted by the quotes from Bede. This is a good compromise and I've gone with it. Ealdgyth - Talk 16:27, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
OK, we're done on this one. Mike Christie (talk) 17:16, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

"in the Latin language which was in use at Rome at that time": not sure what this means. Do you mean that Latin changed over time and this was a particular form of Latin? Mike Christie (talk) 22:16, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Clarified. Is that clearer now? It was the liturgy which was in use in Rome, which just happened to be in Latin. Ealdgyth - Talk 23:33, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that does it. Mike Christie (talk) 15:19, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

"The worshipers may have been native Christians, but Augustine treated them more as pagans": do you mean they actually were Christian, but Augustine treated them as pagans even so, or that they were may have been Christians, but Augustine did not act as though they were? I think you mean the latter but it could be reworded to be clearer. Mike Christie (talk) 22:22, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Clarified, although I'm not sure that's the best wording. Ealdgyth - Talk 00:31, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
That's good enough; it's clear what you mean now. If I think of a better wording I'll suggest it. Mike Christie (talk) 15:19, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

I don't particularly like the picture of Augustine in the infobox, though I must say I can't find anything better. Personally I would prefer to leave the infobox blank rather than use a picture so wholly imaginary and without independent artistic notability. I think you can get to FA with the picture, if you like it, but I am not keen on it myself. Mike Christie (talk) 23:56, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm not that fond of it either, but haven't been able to find anything better. Any chance of finding his name from a manuscript of Bede or something like that? Ealdgyth - Talk 02:42, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Not that I know of -- I keep a gallery of early mss that I can use for things like that here, but there's nothing there. (Feel free to add to that gallery if it's a useful resource, by the way.) I'm striking this one since it was just a suggestion. Mike Christie (talk) 15:34, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Some last notes -- I'll do another pass but I'm close to done now.

  • Saints infobox -- I'd consider dropping this. You already have the infobox above it; all this box adds is the churches that venerate him and the feast days. That could be put into the legacy paragraph pretty easily. Infoboxes are good if they are condensed forms of the most important information, and if they're at the top where they can be easily used as a reference. I don't think either applies here. Opinions vary on infoboxes, though, so you might want to get other comments on this one.
I'll try to work the infromation into the article, although the infobox might be thought needed by other editors. Ealdgyth - Talk 02:42, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, some editors like them. Up to you; I'm striking the comment since it was just a suggestion. Mike Christie (talk) 21:52, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
  • The Roman Catholic Church titles succession box at the end seems unnecessary; there's nothing in it that isn't duplicated in the Archbishop of Canterbury template below it.
I kinda like the succession boxes. I'm geeky that way. Ealdgyth - Talk 02:42, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Again, your choice. The redundancy just seemed ugly to me. Mike Christie (talk) 21:52, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Is that "Penguin Dictionary of Saints" genuinely a useful source beyond what's in the article? I'm always a bit sceptical of secondary sources listed as further reading; if they have useful material, why isn't it in the article?
No clue. Someone else added it. I don't even own it. Ealdgyth - Talk 02:42, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
I'd suggest cutting it; if you don't need it to write the article, the reader doesn't need it. Mike Christie (talk) 21:52, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Cut. Ealdgyth - Talk 23:51, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
OK. Mike Christie (talk) 15:23, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
  • You might consider switching the reference style to something like Wulfhere of Mercia. Another editor showed me this approach; you put the {{cite}} templates in the references section, and use a notes section for the footnotes, with much abbreviated descriptions. It makes the footnotes easier to read and allows a single list of all the reference sources. Not at all obligatory, but I like the style and thought you might want to take a look.
Normally I do that style of reference, but I hit a spot in GAs where a couple of reviewers wanted this style, so I just changed to that for a bit. I'll run through and change it back, now that I've seen that most folks at FAC use the notes/references system. Ealdgyth - Talk 02:42, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
It's certainly optional, but I find it easier to work with. Mike Christie (talk) 21:52, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Looks good now. Mike Christie (talk) 15:23, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

That's about it. The article is in very good shape; I will take a break and look again tomorrow and see if I can see any structural suggestions to make, but I think it's easily GA and is within shouting distance of FA. Mike Christie (talk) 04:02, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Gregory and the Angles/Angels: many readers won't know this "famous story", though to those who study this period I agree it's very well-known. I think it could stand being described in the main text. It also needs a reference, to Bede at least. Mike Christie (talk) 20:44, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Want to add that in? I'm afraid the background section is starting to overload the whole article at this point though. I'd rather clarify the mission before adding information that really belongs in Gregory's article more. Ealdgyth - Talk 00:31, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
I added a very little bit; see what you think and revert if you feel it's too much. I've struck the comment regardless as I think it's a judgement call. Mike Christie (talk) 15:55, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

The lead says Gregory chose Augustine in 596, but the body says it was 595. Mike Christie (talk) 20:49, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Fixed. Obviously I got the date wrong when I wrote the lede (grins) Ealdgyth - Talk 23:51, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

"After the mission turned back to Rome before reaching its destination, Gregory insisted on its completion": I don't have Bede in front of me, but I am sure he says only Augustine went back; the rest of the mission presumably waited for him. I think Gregory sent a letter with Augustine to the mission to encourage them. There are so few specific details about the events of Augustine's life I think you could quote this episode at slightly more length. Mike Christie (talk) 20:58, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Expanded some. Ealdgyth - Talk 00:31, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
Fine. Mike Christie (talk) 15:23, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

"They achieved some initial success soon after their arrival": I think you could just cut this sentence -- it precedes the account of his successes, so it's summarizing something that hasn't been said yet, and doesn't provide any specific information. Mike Christie (talk) 21:01, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

took your suggestion, is that better?
Uh oh, senior moment on my part; I'd commented separately about this above. It's fine now, anyway. Mike Christie (talk) 15:35, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

"This disrespect, along with other issues, led the bishops to refuse to recognize Augustine as archbishop." You follow this by pointing out that this probably wasn't the real reason, which is appropriate; however, in that light it might be good to insert "according to Bede" or something to that effect, to indicate that this is a primary source, not a historian's interpretation, and cite Bede directly. Mike Christie (talk) 21:06, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Reworked a bit. I'm trying to keep the citations to primary sources to a minimum, thus the reluctance to cite Bede that much. Ealdgyth - Talk 23:51, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Comments from RHB[edit]

I am approaching this as someone who knows very little about the subject. I will give some high-level comments mainly on structure and content. There are copyediting and prose issues as well, but it is probably worthwhile to tackle the general problems before going into specifics. Before I start, one general point that you will see often in my comments is that there are at times new subjects that are suddenly introduced. Although wikilinks help, a clause or a few words of explanation would smooth the flow of reading for a person not familiar with the subject.

Background to the mission
  • This section seems a little long relative to the rest of the article. Unless there is a significant expansion planned for the rest of the article, I would recommend reducing this section. There are small details that do not add very much to the Augustine story, e.g., the origin of St Martin’s Church, the fair-haired slaves theory, the pope writing to various kings.
Cut some on St. Martin's. Explained a bit below why it's hard to cut to much here.
  • Bede is suddenly introduced without explanation.
Explained he's a chronicler
Arrival and first efforts
  • The mission turning back to Rome is not explained. Is there a significance to what happened?
Other than it's covered in GREAT detail in some of my secondary sources? Not really. No one knows WHY the mission turned back, honestly. I'll defer to Mike on this one, should it be cut?
  • It says “…on the one hand… on the other hand…” but the two items mentioned do not seem to be in opposition as expected when this phrasing is used.
Struck out, you are correct that there really isn't opposition there.
  • Augustine established first at Canterbury. Since he was the originator, it might be good to give a reason why he chose the location.
Changed to show that Canterbury was AEthelbert's captial. Does that make enough sense? Later we discuss why Canterbury stayed the archbishopric when Gregory wanted it at London, but the simplest reason they went to Canterbury is that is where the king was.
  • The Archbishop of Arles is suddenly introduced. Who is he? Was he based in Arles (in modern-day France) or in Kent? The existence of an Archbishop implies a significant Christian population existing on British soil. This then brings more questions to mind.
Clarifiied that we don't know where or when Augustine was consecrated. Clarified that the Arles Archbishop was Frankish, thus hopefully making it clear he wasn't in Britain. If it isn't clear still, we'll break out the two-by-four for the clueless.
  • It says "That Christmas…". But what year is that?
  • The king became a saint after his death, but the sentence may be in the wrong place. Did the king die shortly after Augustine's arrival?
AEthelberht died after Augustine, 12 years or so later in fact. It isn't really in the wrong place, because there really isn't a right place. I'd be okay with cutting it entirely, but I do think it gives a bit of context that the king as well as the archbishop was regarded as a saint after death. I'm very welcome to suggestions where it might work better.
  • In the same paragraph, some information of the existence of Christians before Augustine's arrival is given. This info should go before the discussion of Augustine's arrival.
I'm not sure where to put it though. There is NO evidence that the fact that there might have been Christians still around had any influence on Gregory sending the mission. As you can see above, we know very little about them, beyond some grave goods. I could move this down by the bit about the cult of St. Sixtus, or I can add it in around the discussion of Bertha and AEthelbert. Suggestions are welcome.
  • Mellitus and Justus are suddenly introduced without explanation.
Added in context, (and cut some verbiage! Whee!)
  • The sentence "A theory by the historian S. Brechter…" is either a run-on sentence or is incomplete.
Hopefully fixed it.
Additional work
  • After the first sentence describing the two episcopal sees, there is a sudden jump to after 1066 and a discussion of a cathedral. How are they linked? Also what cathedral is it? The description of the archeology seems out of place in the "Additional work" section. Is it meant to show that Augustine managed to build new churches?
I moved around a bit to hopefully make it a bit clearer. Also cut the bit about St Martin's.
  • If Aethelbert was only the King of Kent, how was he able to summon bishops outside his realm?
Clarified, I hope.
  • There is a sudden introduction of the tonsure.
Tonsure is now mentioned in the Background section as one of the defining differences between Celtic and Roman Christianity.
Further success
  • Concerning "temples and usages" is that "temples and their use"? The "former… latter" construct does not work very well here.
  • Concerning the quote "whoever wishes…", who said that?
Made explicit (Heh, that was one surviving bit from the 1911 EB)

I would recommend reading the article out loud. I think you will find some sentence structures that seem a bit complex or difficult to understand. Following the corrections, a good copyedit/prose check is needed. I give as an example, the sentence "As to why Pope Gregory…" could be made better as in "Nothing is mentioned in the sources on why Pope Gregory chose a monk to head the mission".

Will do this tonight, after the 13 year old boy goes to bed so I don't have to compete with the XBox360 ..... Ealdgyth | Talk 22:23, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

I hope this has been helpful. --RelHistBuff (talk) 08:31, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Addressing a couple of points here, some of this is driven by the nature of the sources. We're in the Dark Ages here, where the sources drive the coverage, unfortunately. There is a lot more coverage of the fact that Augustine went to Kent and why, than coverage of what he did once he got there. Augustine himself is a very shadowy figure, not much is known about what he was like, given that most of what we know comes from monastic writers. The secondary sources cover the WHY of the missison a lot more than the WHAT of the mission, unfortunately. So that's why the background to the mission is covered in such detail. I'll try to cut it down a bit, but the fair haired slaves is an old legend about Gregory, that most folks will have dim memories of having learned in school (at least in the Commonwealth, I'm betting), thus the inclusion. Will work to make that more clear. Most of the rest of concerns above are very valid, and I'll try to address them sometime today. I'll tell Mike to hold up on the copyedit until I get to them. Thanks again! Ealdgyth | Talk 15:58, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Copyedit etc.[edit]

I think I addressed everything above except for the references. Going to switch them over now. (blech!) Ealdgyth - Talk 00:32, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

User:Secisek suggested Stamps these stamps as a possibility for an image. I just don't know anything about fair use on stamps. Ealdgyth - Talk 00:35, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

There, switched over. Going to have Brighterorange run his script over the thing and I think we're in mop up mode. Ealdgyth - Talk 01:30, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Main page[edit]

Are there plans to get this on the main page? --Secisek (talk) 18:20, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Having just watching the troubles that folks had with Oliver Typewriter Company and Ima Hogg, can I say hopefully never? Spending a day fighting vandalism isn't my idea of exciting... Ealdgyth - Talk 19:22, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

There is a certain amount of that, but I think it would be worth it. Just curious. --Secisek (talk) 19:31, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Congrats on getting this featured! I wouldn't sweat the main page. There's always the possibility to do a big ol' revert after the page leaves the public eye. :) — Dulcem (talk) 01:48, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Heh. Given how MANY history related articles there are, I think I'm safe for a while. (crosses her fingers) Ealdgyth - Talk 02:01, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Patronage source[edit]

Can you please explain how that site is a reliable source for the information? Ealdgyth - Talk 14:01, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

Though the ref was called a forum, it redirected to another page which is not a forum, and doesn't pose any obvious RS problems. I've changed the reference to this page, so it is more obviously not a questionable source. Carl.bunderson (talk) 05:59, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Actually, who is behind this site? What are their sources? I did do a format tweak on the new reference, but I'd be happier with a more reliable source, one that was either connected with a church or gave its sources or something. Ealdgyth - Talk 12:46, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Just looking from the site, it seems to be the side project of an individual. Not the height of RS, but I guess I don't see a reason to remove the information. That site is regularly one of the top hits when I've googled various saints, and the info isn't what I would call spurious. Granted, a formally published resource would be better, but the only one I have that would cover this (Butler's Lives) doesn't give St Augustine's patronage. Next time I'm at the chancery, I'll try n find something better though. Carl.bunderson (talk) 23:11, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
It hasn't been a real great concern, but it took a lot of work to get Augie boy to Featured Article status, and I'm trying to keep him there. One of those things is maintaining the reliablity of the sources. I don't think it's a horrid source, but a better one would be nice! Thanks for understanding! Ealdgyth - Talk 23:16, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Rdr info at top[edit]

Seeing as how there is a link to the dab page for all St Augustines, is it really necessary that we include a link specifically to St Augustine of Hippo? Carl.bunderson (talk) 18:06, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Cantuar and Hippo are (in my view) the most "senior" St Augustine's (and I don't think I'd be alone in that - an English church dedicated to St Augustine will almost certainly be one or the other), so why force a reader to click twice if we don't have to. David Underdown (talk) 08:36, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Pallium discussion[edit]

I've removed the information added as the source given is a generalist work and doesn't support the idea that at the time Augustine received a pallium, the pallium was something that tied him unabigiously to the papacy. At the time, the papacy wasn't what it was later in the middle ages, and the given source is a generalist work discussing the entire Middle ages and beyond, not the specifics of this time frame. Ealdgyth - Talk 16:56, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Also, can you the next time you add information to an FA or GA, please try to make the references fit the style used in the article? It's a pain to have to go around and fix others additions of sources. Ealdgyth - Talk 16:58, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Which Monastery?[edit]

The article currently states that St. Augustine was the prior of St. Anthony's Monastery and that at one point Pope Gregory was the abbot of the same. Though a source it cited, as far as I can tell this information is inaccurate. I have been unable to find the cited source to confirm it, but my own notes from Jeffery Richards' "Consul of God: The Life and Times of Gregory the Great" indicates that Gregory was the abbot of St. Andrew's, not St. Anthony's (pg 212 of the 1980 edition). This is supported by the online Catholic Encyclopedia ([1]) as well as Gregory's own Wikia page (Pope Gregory I). I have thus far been unable to find any indication that St. Andrew's and St. Anthony's were different names for the same place. Can anyone else explain this, or should I go ahead and make the change to the article? Thought (talk) 22:24, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

I double checked against the source, and it is indeed St. Andrew's. Have changed. NOt sure whether that's a typo from me or someone along the way changed it by mistake, but thanks for pointing that out! Ealdgyth - Talk 22:28, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Now renamed San Gregorio Magno al Celio - it was Gregory's old family house, which went monastic when he did - way to go! We had all this before, I'm sure I added the link. It's been like that since April at least. I'd be inclined to do as the Romans do, with a "Sant Andrea", but up to you. Caelian Hill might be linked perhaps. Johnbod (talk) 23:50, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

SVG map[edit]

I redrew the map as an SVG:

English kingdoms.svg

Is it good enough to replace the existing map? Marnanel (talk) 14:02, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Reputed miracles[edit]

Bede quotes in full a letter from Pope Gregory to Augustine, acknowledging that his talent for performing miracles is well-known, and warning him against the 'sin' of pride at being able to perform these miracles. The article, however, only refers to his reputation as a miracle-worker in the context of the exaggerated & fanciful later medieval hagiographies. I realise that, in this secular age, we pay no credence to reports of the supposedly miraculous; but is it worthwhile mentioning that part of the success of the Gregorian mission was, as Gregory's letter attests, due to Augustine's reputation as a supposed 'worker of miracles' within his own lifetime?Butcherscross (talk) 22:25, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Was it though? The best source for Wikipedia is what secondary sources say about something. To use just Bede for that would be getting into interpretation ourselves. Most modern historians don't give much credence to Gregory's belief there, so we can only discuss what the secondary historians say. Ealdgyth - Talk 00:01, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Fair enough, Ealdgyth! I'm no expert. I assume the letter from Gregory itself is considered genuine, presumably being one of the letters recovered for Bede from the Vatican archives? If so, it struck me that it might be at least worth mentioning that Augustine's reputation as a supposed miracle-worker was not just an invention of later hagiographers, as the article currently implies, but was current during his lifetime. It does reflect on how he was perceived by the English he was trying to convert. But, as I say, I'm quite happy to back down on this one! Butcherscross (talk) 00:25, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
I think the point of the last section where we discuss later vitae are that Bede's account is pretty factual compared to the later vitae from after the Norman Conquest. The later vitae contain no new facts beyond Bede, is the point. Ealdgyth - Talk 00:32, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Ok, Ealdgyth, I'm happy to concede the point! As a side-issue, I'm currently re-reading Bede, and it struck me that the letter from Gregory seems to be scolding Augustine for his pride over his supposed miracle-worker reputation. If so, this would suggest an arrogant side to Augustine's character that would fit in well with his supposed lack of humility towards the Celtic Christians. I get the impression that, despite his achievements and piety, he wasn't actually a very nice guy! :-) Butcherscross (talk) 00:51, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Wait til you hit Wilfrid, there's a "not so humble" guy! Ealdgyth - Talk 00:56, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

In the picture[edit]

The footnote says: ^ The name is in the halo, in a later hand. The figure is identified as a saint by his clerical tonsure.[1]

Put me right about this...... I would have thought that the halo identified the subject as a saint, while the tonsure identified him as a cleric. And that together they indicate that he was a cleric who became was/is a saint.

Amandajm (talk) 01:55, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

I didn't write the caption.. Johnbod did, I believe (I could be wrong, it was quite a while ago). I would imagine we could lose the second sentence and have no problems with the caption. Ealdgyth - Talk 01:57, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
If it wasn't for the tonsure it would probably be Christ, given the cross he's holding & his general appearance. I've clarified this. Also (on an OR note) by his holding the book using a cloth, which Christ doesn't do. Johnbod (talk) 02:52, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Why Kent?[edit]

I've trimmed this
"Kent was probably chosen because it was near the Christian kingdoms in Gaul and because Æthelberht had married a Christian princess..."
as it is specualtive; there are a number of reasons why Kent was chosen, which are outlined in the Background section (not the least being, they were invited!) so saying it was "probably" because Kent was near to Gaul is a bit simplistic. Moonraker12 (talk) 17:22, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Landing at Ebbsfleet[edit]

I notice that an addition I made, saying that the mission's landing place was at Ebbsfleet, in Thanet, has been deleted as the source given doesn't mention the location. That's fair enough, but is it not the case that is where they landed? And if so, shouldn't we mention it? I've re-arranged the information to take account of the source given; is that OK, do you think? Moonraker12 (talk) 13:50, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

But neither the ODNB nor Fletcher's book state it's Ebbsfleet. We discuss the whole Ebbsfleet issue in the "Death and legacy" section ... which also mentions the cross that marks the supposed site. None of the main sources I used for the article mention the traditional landing site at Ebbsfleet in their narratives - only one book even mentions Thanet, quite honestly. Augustine's landing site isn't important to the various sources, and isn't covered in most of the sources, so I've weighted the article accordingly. Because it is something often mentioned, it is discussed in the article, just not in the main narrative. Ealdgyth - Talk 14:00, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Ah! I hadn't seen that bit down there; and I didn't know it was on such shaky ground. So if you think it doesn't belong there, I can go with that; but do you think it's worth putting in a footnote/edit note, referring people to the Death and Legacy section? I'm thinking that the idea might be "common knowledge" to readers and editors of a certain age...Moonraker12 (talk) 14:12, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
An explanatory footnote would be okay, but I'm of a "certain age" and didn't have a clue there was a tradition on his landing spot... of course, I'm also American... the traditional landing site can be sourced to the same source as given in the legacy section.. Ealdgyth - Talk 14:28, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

An addendum: I've tweaked the wording in the Legacy section. The BBC report (here) may be reliable, but it's hardly neutral; what's there is Alan Kay's opinion (whoever he is), and which happily co-incides with that of the neighbouring golf club, who want the monument moved. And the contention that the site was "a mile and a half inland at the time" is dubious; it was on the Wantsum channel, according to the information here. And English Heritage (here, further information) seem OK with the site as traditional. So I'd be inclined to take it with a pinch of salt... Moonraker12 (talk) 13:06, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

Removal of quote from lead...[edit]

I removed the quotation because the lead summarizes the body of the article - the information is not in the body of the article nor is it really that important that an exact quote be there. THe information is summarized (without the quote) in the body of the article. The information that Gregory thought he was sending Augustine to the "end of the world" is really trivia and not needed in the article - much less in the lead! Kindly remove it - just because it had been there for a while, doesn't mean it needs to stay. It's undue weight (see WP:UNDUE) by far in the lead and too trivial in the body. Ealdgyth - Talk 13:36, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

I agree the quote should not be in the lead but it does not seem to me trivia. It throws light on the view of England from Rome at that time and helps to explain why Augustine tried to turn back. Dudley Miles (talk) 18:11, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
I'd agree with that statement if any of the secondary sources connected that quote with those events - unfortunately, I don't think they do at all. As it is, it's just a random quote without any secondary source coverage. Ealdgyth - Talk 19:06, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

Moonraker & Page Ownership[edit]

The article is generally lovely, so I assume that Moonraker is generally a force for good, but the snotty tone he took with me certainly isn't the way to make friends or influence people.

In the paragraph beginning:

Augustine failed to extend his authority to the Christians in [[Wales]] and [[Dumnonia]] to the west. Gregory had decreed that these Christians should submit to Augustine and that their bishops should obey him,<ref name=Harting70>Mayr-Harting ''Coming of Christianity'' pp. 70–72</ref>apparently believing that more of the Roman governmental and ecclesiastical organization survived in the Britain than was actually the case.<ref name=Conversion118>Yorke ''Conversion of Britain'' p. 118</ref> According to the narrative of Bede, the Britons in these regions viewed Augustine with uncertainty, and their suspicion was compounded by a diplomatic misjudgement on Augustine's part.<ref name=ASE110>Stenton ''Anglo-Saxon England'' pp. 110–111</ref>

I removed the struck-through section and its cite. Source or no, the comment is a snide put-down of the Brits (generally violating NPOV) and (what's a no-no even for cites) factually incorrect. No sources employed by Yorke are given or explained and her presumptive source Bede completely contradicts her. The problem is not that the British have no government or ecclesiastical organization: the problem with asserting Augustine's authority is that they have too much. The local near Severn can't make a decision without reporting to HQ and HQ quickly responds and sends a delegation of seven bishops and many learned men from a monastery of (supposedly) thousands while Augustine has less to run all of Saxon England.

Moon seems to have written the section involved, so if some other editors could talk him back towards trying to, y'know, improve the articles and have them be factually accurate, I'd appreciate it. — LlywelynII 17:31, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

Ealdgyth has sprung to the defense of Ms Yorke's honor as a reliable source. I don't question her credentials or scholarship, but the text as it exists now is prima facie false. The Britons did have an ecclesiastical structure and were simply non-subservient. If she has some other point not being made or more evidence not being presented, that's great. Kindly improve it.
But I can't access the offline source and do it myself.  — LlywelynII 17:41, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Again - the text does NOT say they didn't have any ecclesiastical structure - it says that Gregory thought more of the Roman ecclesiastical structure had survived. We don't know what sort of structure the Briton's had at this time - but you're reading way too much into this sentence. We don't even know the names of these Briton bishops - how could we know what sort of structure they had? Assuming that it was similar to the Roman one is not something we can do without any secondary source. In the end, it boils down to secondary sources - if there aren't secondary sources that contradict this sentence, then it can't be removed on some editor's interpretation of a primary source. Ealdgyth - Talk 18:03, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Actually ... *I* wrote the whole article practically from scratch ... and Yorke does indeed give her sources. Whether she gave her sources or not is immaterial - she's a reliable source on this subject. To contradict her you need equally reliable sources that take a different view. As for it violating NPOV - it quite obviously doesn't. To remove it you need to show that other reliable sources think she's wrong - I've yet to see one single reliable secondary source given for this. Bede is a primary source and we leave the interpretation of primary sources to the historians. We write our articles based on what the historians say - in this case Yorke. Ealdgyth - Talk 17:39, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Well, aside from this bit, good job!
I got pulled into this because we didn't have a page on Synod of Chester. I put one up, but it definitely could use your help & more secondary sources, if you have time sometime. — LlywelynII 17:41, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
(ec) And if you read the sentence - it doesn't say there was no government or ecclesiastical structure at all ... it says that Gregory thought that more of the ROMAN governmental and ecclesiastical structure had remained. This doesn't say that there was none (unless you don't think the British were capable of forming new governmental and ecclesiastical structures...surely that's not what you think?). To call this statement a put down is reading way too much into the statement. Ealdgyth - Talk 17:43, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
I do think that the clerical structure was run on the preexisting lines and just didn't want to yield to a Saxon-controlled archbishop. If she has some point to make about how Celtic bishops were differently arranged from the Roman-era ones, it isn't being made now. They're just refusing to recognize a new piece being put in place by Rome, not representing their own home-grown administration. — LlywelynII 17:48, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Good point though: who was their preexisting archbishop? Annales Cambriae C says the Synod of Chester elevated Meneva to one, but surely that wasn't the existing set-up. Was it still nominally London or York and they were just getting away without one at the time?  — LlywelynII 17:55, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
We don't know. Annales Cambriae is at best a 10th century source - it's going to be considered not that reliable for events in the 6th century. Most secondary historians of this time period admit that we can't know what sort of structure was in place. And all this is utterly irrelevant on this article anyway - it's best placed in articles on the British church or similar subjects. Ealdgyth - Talk 18:04, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
OK, lets take it from the top
If you are going to quote AGF I would suggest you try reading it first, then following its advice. And the exchange on your talk page is here if anyone is bothered to see who was being snotty with who. Also, if you are going to hand out allegations of ownership, or make assumptions about who wrote what, maybe you should “y’know” check your facts first.
For the record, the action being objected to was that you removed a cited statement, based on your own unsubstantiated opinion, and when challenged, chose to be combative. So you didn’t “get pulled into this” at all.
Since then you have dismissed the source as unreliable (without offering any more evidence than your own opinion) as factually incorrect (without, apparently, understanding what she actually said) and made claims that it is un-neutral (again, try reading it).
As to the paragraph in question, it describes a decision by Gregory (supported by Harting) a comment on his reasoning (Yorke) and a comment why he was mistaken ( Stenton). Your argument (as far as I can see) isn’t that Yorke is wrong at all, but that Gregory was (and good luck taking it up with him; despite your commenting on him in the present tense, I think you’ll find he’s been dead a while (that is me being snide BTW)
So (again) do you have any evidence that Yorke is wrong in her assessment of Gregory’s motives? Can you say why the paragraph ( which currently describes the sequence “action–reasoning-rebuttal” would read better as “action–rebuttal” without any hint of what is being rebutted? Moonraker12 (talk) 12:08, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
PS: I’ve restored the article (again) to its original state; perhaps you should answer these questions before changing it again.Moonraker12 (talk) 12:17, 10 February 2013 (UTC)


As I noted, I added the born-died notation because the current configuration is awkward and has been a source of repeated confusion. To more than one reader, it is not clear what the parenthetical phrase refers to. (And WP:DOB refers to the privacy information of living people, not to the form of parenthetical birth-death date information; clarity appears rather more important than protecting Augustine from identity theft.) Laszlo Panaflex (talk) 13:19, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

DOB clearly says to use born only if the person is living. If it's unclear, the solution is to remove the rather rough "birth date" approximation, rather than clutter the lead more. But I don't think it's nearly as unclear as you think it is... what are you basing this on? Ealdgyth - Talk 13:34, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
The edit just prior to mine, as well as a similar edit from two months ago, both stemming from confusion over how the birth date is presented. Laszlo Panaflex (talk) 13:49, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry - I put the wrong shortcut in. The relevant MOS part is MOS:DOB - I was only half awake and put in "WP" instead of "MOS". Ealdgyth - Talk 15:21, 28 May 2013 (UTC)


In the article it says that Augustine found reconsecrating temples as churches to be "easier" than becoming primate of Britain. So far as I know, Augustine never consecrated any temples as churches. Does anyone know of any instance of this being done? Thanks. Rwflammang (talk) 21:12, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

He would have had his underlings do that - and it's clear that it happened. note that the very last sentence of that paragraph discusses what Gregory told Augustine to do with a local cult center that was supposedly Christian but the pope still wanted it reconsecrated to a Roman saint. Thompson is the source for this - it's a directive of Gregory's to Augustine - which historians assume that Augustine (and his successors) did. Yorke Conversion of Britain mentions the reuse of pagan temples as Christian worship, Ealdgyth - Talk 21:31, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
That Gregory told Augustine to do it is beyond a doubt, but did Augustine do it? Gregory told him to compose a new liturgy using local elements for use in England, but he didn’t do that either. He used the Roman liturgy instead.
Rome is full of churches built on old temples; England, not so much. I can’t think of a single English church with a temple in its basement, or a single archeological dig under a church in England that has turned up a pre-Christian past. I don't know of any Saint Mary over Frey to compare with Santa Maria sopra Minerva.
Even if such a temple come church does exist, its existence tells us nothing of the “ease” with which it was built. No doubt such things were easy for Gregory over in Rome. I doubt that things were that easy for Augustine or his “underlings” as you call them; at any rate, I’d like to see some evidence that they were.
Thanks for the reference; I will check it out.
Rwflammang (talk) 23:59, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
Rather than get into a big huge fight here (while I'm still struggling after six months on another big article) ... I've changed the wording. Now it's clear that Gregory told Augustine to do something but nothing is implied or stated about ease or anything else. (I don't have access to the ODNB right now so I can't see that source and I'm just terribly busy with RL and keeping up other articles when I have the little bit of time for Wiki work.) The point isn't worth arguing about. Ealdgyth - Talk 01:18, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Easter date controversy[edit]

The affected text: "Other distinguishing characteristics were its calculation of the date of Easter and ...".

I recently made a change to it (added ", i.e. on the day of Passover,"), and that change was removed a few minutes later:

  • 21:42, 27 November 2015 (Mention how Easter was "calculated".)
  • 21:58, 27 November 2015 Ealdgyth (exact date not relevant)

I claim that it is relevant. The actual difference supports the earlier claim that it "developed in isolation from Rome". Specifically, this church still celebrated Passover, as was taught to their predecessors, who almost certainly got it from the original Apostles or their direct successors. Meanwhile, the Roman Church had banned the celebration of Passover as heresy and instituted Easter at the Council of Nicaea.

Reporting this significant difference between the two churches simply as "its caclulation" is far too mild and weaselly for something that is explicit heresy. (unsigned comment

Phooey! That is not how the main sources treat the issue, which is marginal in a bio of Augustine. Johnbod (talk) 14:44, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Incorporation of Pagan traditions in Christmas celebration?[edit]

I'm just going to suggest this then leave it to others more interested to follow up on, but weren't certain Pagan winter solstice customs (Yule logs, boughs of holly, the solstice feast, and.....?) incorporated as part of Christmas celebration by Saint Augustine to ease the conversion of northern Pagans? That would be an interesting note on his legacy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:36, 25 December 2015 (UTC)

That would be covered in the first paragraph in "Further sucess". Ealdgyth - Talk 13:28, 25 December 2015 (UTC)

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