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E01763: Augustine of Hippo, in a sermon preached almost certainly in Carthage (North Africa), invites the congregation to gather on the morrow at the table (mensa) of *Cyprian (bishop and martyr of Carthage, S00411), and also mentions a feast of unnamed martyrs which will be celebrated on the following day. Exposition on Psalm 80, written in Latin in North Africa, 392/417.

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posted on 2016-07-24, 00:00 authored by robert
Augustine of Hippo, Exposition on Psalm 80, ch. 23

Etiam in crastinum diem inuitamus caritatem uestram. Cras illi habent, ut audiuimus, mare in theatro: nos habeamus portum in Christo. Sed quoniam perendino die, id est, quarta sabbati, non possumus ad mensam Cypriani conuenire, quia festiuitas est sanctorum martyrum; crastino ad ipsam mensam conueniamus.

'We invite your Charity also for tomorrow. Tomorrow they have, as we have heard, a sea in the theatre; let us have a port in Christ. Yet since the day after tomorrow, that is on the fourth day after the Sabbath (Wednesday) we cannot gather at the sacred table of Cyprian, for there is a feast of holy martyrs, we will gather at this sacred table tomorrow.'

Text: Dekkers & Fraipont 1956. Translation: Robert Wiśniewski.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Cyprian, bishop of Carthage (Africa) and martyr, ob. 258 : S00411 Anonymous martyrs : S00060

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Sermons/Homilies


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Latin North Africa

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Carthage Carthage Carthago Karthago قرطاج‎ Qarṭāj Mçidfa Carthage

Major author/Major anonymous work

Augustine of Hippo

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Sermon/homily

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult activities - Places

Burial site of a saint - tomb/grave

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops


The Expositions on the Psalms are based on Augustine's homilies preached either in Hippo or in other places in North Africa in the period from 392 to 417.


We cannot identify the group of martyrs whose feast Augustine has in mind. The table (mensa) of Cyprian almost certainly refers to his tomb in Carthage. This passage shows that it could have been difficult to attract people to a Christian feast when secular festivities took place at the same time.


Edition: Dekkers, E., and Fraipont, J., Enarrationes in psalmos (Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina, 38; Turnhout: Brepols, 1956). About the text: La Bonnardière, M.A., "Les Enarrationes in Psalmos prêchées par saint Augustin à l'occasion de fêtes des martyrs," Recherches Augustiniennes 7 (1971), 73-104.

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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