Medievalists, classicists, theologians, historians -- you name it: for scholars working within a Christian cultural context, especially in the late Classical to late Medieval periods, it's almost impossible to overstate the importance of St. Augustine. We go to Augustine for the maps we need to navigate the intellectual landscape of those far off times. Now twenty-six previously undiscovered sermons of St. Augustine have been found in a library in Austria.
The Way of the Fathers quotes Constanze Witt of the Department of Classics at the University of Texas:
Concealed in a medieval parchment manuscript amongst 70 other religious texts are ca. 26 sermons attributed to Augustine, 3 of them on brotherly love and alms-giving. These were known previously only by their titles cited in Possidius’ Indiculum. One sermon is on the martyrs Perpetua and Felicitas, and another on the recently martyred Cyprian, the latter of which condemns the copious drinking that took place on saints’ feast days. The final sermon deals with resurrection of the dead and biblical prophecies.
The 12th c. mss came from England(?) to Erfurt as part of the enormous collection of more than 630 books donated by the physician and theologue Amplonius Rating de Berka to the ‘Collegium Amplonianum’ which he founded in 1412.
For 24 amazing images of this absolutely pristine and gorgeous codex, see here.
For many modern people, Augustine is an old bugaboo who disapproved of sex after he had had his fill of it, sired a child out of wedlock, and tossed aside his mistress for a cushy job in the church. That attitude doesn't even begin to hint at the magisterial Augustine who is relied on so heavily in the study of late Classical and Medieval thought. He is a towering figure, and active scholars (which I no longer am) are surely sharpening their quills for the cornucopia of articles likely to flow from this windfall.
Via Curt Jester