Augustine's highly dramatized resignation as a professor of rhetoric in Book Nine of The Confessions has caused a number of hermeneutic problems for scholars seeking to claim Augustine as an important part of rhetorical histories. By situating the resignation in the context of Augustine's critique of Manichaean practices of speech, I argue that Augustine's resignation marks a fundamental affirmation of rhetoric——an act in which Augustine's deep commitment to the arts of rhetoric shines forth with uncommon brilliance.

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