Augustine was a prolific writer. He was born in ad 354 and died in 430. He lived mostly in Roman North Africa. ‘The formation of Augustine's mind: Cicero, Mani, Plato, Christ’ looks at how Augustine came to shape his ideas. Through his writings, he came to exercise pervasive influence on contemporaries and the West. He wrote at a level of extraordinary psychological depth and confronted a coherent system of thought. He affected the way the West subsequently thought about man and what we mean by ‘God’. He was influenced by Cicero's dialogues, the religion of Mani (or Manichaeism) which expressed in poetic form a revulsion from the material world, and Plato's analysis of identity and difference.