chapter  6
The age of Augustine: burial ad sanctos, graveside parties, and the abodes of body and soul after death
Pages 14

In the North Africa of Augustine’s day (354-430 ce), Christians, perhaps more than ever before, ocked to the cemeteries to feast with the dead, and to procure a grave in which the dead would be protected, body and soul, by the presence of the martyr or saint buried nearby (Duval 1988: 204; Van der Meer 1961: 501). Augustine was only too aware of the pervasive and persistent conviction among North African Christians that the dead in some sense continued to inhabit or be associated with their mortal remains in the tomb.