The Confessions of Saint Augustine is counted among the greatest Christian classics ever written. Combining poignant autobiography and profound theological reflection, the work stands as an enduring testimony to God’s grace and provident care, summoning readers throughout the centuries to join the strains of the confession of praise that Augustine here directs to his creator and savior.

This Latin Reader’s Edition is designed to make reading authentic, unabridged Latin enjoyable and rewarding for students and teachers alike. Containing the first nine books of Augustine’s Confessions in their entirety, this edition also includes a main glossary of high-frequency vocabulary, a running glossary of less common terms and figures of speech, a system of references in-text, and multiple useful appendices.


K. A. BERGDORF is a former financial services entrepreneur turned classicist. He holds a degree in Latin from SUNY, a post-baccalaureate in Greek and Latin Language and Literature from Catholic University of America, and is currently completing a research degree at the University of Oxford. His research interests include the world of Late Antiquity, the Latinity of Augustine, and the influence of Terence, Cicero, and the Psalms on Augustine’s development.


“The Confessions of Augustine only reveal themselves at full strength when read in Latin. This Reader’s Edition is well-crafted to bring Latin learners to this marvelous text while still honing their skills. Students will enjoy the experience and come away prepared to go farther faster.”

—James J. O’Donnell
Arizona State University


“In his Confessions, Augustine of Hippo sought to give his readers a language in which to speak to God. To this end he crafted a work using all his skill as a student of rhetoric, and all the fruits of his life as a monk and bishop imbued with the language of Scripture—and especially with that of the Psalms. Something vital of Augustine’s vision may certainly be seen through a translation, but only in Latin are the curtains fully drawn back. This Latin Reader’s Edition will provide vital assistance for someone venturing on Augustine’s great work for the first time. The glossary of key terms, and the many vocabulary footnotes form an invaluable aid and encouragement for the reader. Kevin Bergdorf has provided a resource for which teachers and students of Augustine will be extremely grateful.”

—Lewis Ayres
Abbey House, Durham
Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas
Australian Catholic University


“Language matters as more than a way to communicate ideas; it is also an experience that carries meaning in the way that words interrelate and persuade. This book is a very good tool for delving more deeply into the experience that Augustine wanted to share with us. Kevin Bergdorf has presented the text with several kinds of reading aids, allowing this book to show how Augustine uses language to build relationships with his readers and with God as well. His feelings continue to inspire. I clearly and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to be part of his deeper adventure—a beautiful chance to get in touch with Augustine’s mind in a direct way.”

—Allan Fitzgerald, O.S.A.
Villanova University


“Texts for classical authors with running vocabularies have long been the staple of students of pagan authors. Here finally we have the beginnings of a similar facility for those who wish to read St. Augustine without constant recourse to dictionaries or translations. I wish I had had such a tool in my hands during the several years I have been learning and teaching Latin, and I am delighted that it is now available.”

—Tamsin Geach, O.P.
Blackfriars Priory and Studium
University of Oxford


“In his masterful presentation of the Confessions, Kevin Bergdorf has opened up this fundamental text of Western civilization for a whole new generation of philosophers, theologians, seminarians, clergy, and religious, as well as students of literature, classics, linguistics and above all to all those who wish to ‘know’ Augustine and his own meditative account of his conversion and continuing search for Christ and for the meaning of perfection.

“For skilled Latinists, the edition enables the reader to encounter the text anew, but ponderously and meditatively, reflecting again, or indeed for the first time, on the meaning behind familiar words and phrases and to appreciate the skill of Augustine as a writer and wordsmith. For those approaching for the first time, Bergdorf provides the key into what has so often proved to be a life-changing text for readers over sixteen centuries. The main glossary allows the reader and student to recall and revise vocabulary and grammar which will already be familiar, as well as to make use of extensive tables and examples. Running alongside the central text are words which the reader will perhaps be encountering for the first time, and these are presented not only with an easy to grasp meaning, so as to facilitate uninterrupted reading, but also informative indications of origin and grammar.

“Bergdorf’s text is a delight to use for both study and personal reflection. Well-thumbed copies of this work will, I am sure, be a feature of many libraries and bookshelves for many years to come.”

—Rupert Allen, C.O.
The Oxford Oratory

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The Confessions of Saint Augustine: A Latin Reader’s Edition Books I-IX