|The teaching career of Augustine spanned a dozen years and two continents.
Augustine apparently had a voice that was thin in tone. This may have been one reason why his students gave less than the desired amount of attention to what he was attempting to teach them.
With his classes for adolescent males, he apparently had difficulty with class management, and also with financial management. Students would fail to return at the end of the term, when fees should have been paid.
His teaching appointments are indicated below.
In the years 374 and 375 - At the end of his formal education in Carthage, Augustine returned home to Thagaste in 374 to teach grammar. Grammar was the foundation for the study of rhetoric afterwards.
In the years 376 to 382 - Augustine returned to Carthage following the death of a dear friend in Thagaste.
In Carthage he opened a school of rhetoric. The rowdiness and pranks of the students made teaching difficult and often unpleasant. He persisted, however, for seven or eight years.
In the year 383 - After realising that his career was not advancing in Carthage, Augustine moved to Rome. Several good friends, including Alypius, a former student of his, had urged him to come to Rome. They suggested he would obtain serious students and a better income there.
He deceived his mother, Monica, about his departure from Carthage so that she could not follow him to Rome. After suffering illness upon arrival in Italy, Augustine then had to endure cheating students who disappeared when it became time to pay him for their tuition.
But good fortune came his way when Symmachus, the prefect of Rome, chose Augustine for a post in Milan as professor of rhetoric.
In the year 383 - He was appointed professor of rhetoric to the Imperial Court in Milan. This new position, however, amounted to little more than that of court propagandist.
As Augustine came to appreciation the Bible more, he came to appreciate his career less. He saw his career in rhetoric as selfish and shallow. He took a leave of absence from the imperial court, and along with some close friends and family retired to a country villa at Cassiciacum for a period of reading, discussion, and prayer.
In the year 386 - In late summer, Augustine and his companion Alypius entertained a visitor who spoke about the life of Saint Anthony in the Egyptian desert.
This prompted Augustine to reflect further about the Christian religion. His conversion soon followed, and he resigned his teaching position forever. ID0845