Augustine, De Genesi ad litteram imperfectus liber (The Literal Interpretation of Genesis: Unfinished Book) – online in English

Dr Isabella Image has kindly written to me and offered to make available her translation of Augustine, De Genesi ad litteram imperfectus liber (The Literal Interpretation of Genesis: Unfinished Book = CPL 268).  Dr Image has worked on several academic translations, so it is very nice indeed to have this one made available.  She has also kindly made the result public domain, so please circulate it freely.  Here it is:

The footnote and formatting is my responsibility tho.

I have also added the files to here.

A very literal translation already exists on the web here, at Google sites.  The Patrologia Latina text may be found online here, and indeed also Italian and Spanish versions.

Dr Image adds:

You’ll want to know my credentials: my classics BA & MPhil were at Cambridge and my patristics DPhil was at Oxford. I’ve published Augustine translations before (with Walsh & Collard) and also my doctorate (on Hilary of Poitiers).

It is very good news indeed to have this.  Thank you!

UPDATE 16 Sept 2023: Four different works by Augustine are listed in the Clavis Patrum Latinorum.  These are CPL 265, De Genesi contra Manichaeos; CPL 266, De Genesi ad litterarum l. xii; CPL 267, De Genesis ad litteram l. xii. Capitula; and this work, CPL 268, De Genesi ad litteram imperfectus liber which he abandoned.  He wrote still other works on the Hexameron and the Heptateuch.

A number of English translations exist of all of these confusingly-named works.

  • St Augustine, On Genesis, tr. John E. Rotelle, in: The Works of St Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century, part 1, vol. 13, New City Press (2006), ISBN 1-56548-175-5 and 1-56548-201-8.  This contains CPL 265, 266 and 268.
  • St Augustine, The Literal Meaning of Genesis, tr. John Hammond Taylor, in: Ancient Christian Writers 41 (1982), 2 vols, ISBN: 0-8091-0326-5 and ISBN: 0-8091-0327-3.  This contains CPL 266 only.
  • St Augustine, On Genesis: Two Books on Genesis Against the Manichees and On the Literal Interpretation of Genesis, an unfinished book, tr. Roland J. Teske, in: Fathers of the Church 84 (1991).  This contains CPL 265 and 268.  ISBN 0-8132-0084-9 and 0-8132-0088-7 (pbk).