In the former he imitates the Greek poet Archilochus, but takes his subjects from the men, women and incidents of the day.
As Jesus our high priest offered himself as a sacrifice to his Father, so the human priest takes Christ's place, and imitates his action by offering in church a true and full sacrifice to God the Father (Ep. 63).
Thus he says that the silver which has been changed into gold by the projection of the red elixir is not rendered resistant to the agents which affect silver but not gold, and Albertus Magnus in his De Mineralibus - the De Alchemia attributed to him is spurious - states that alchemy cannot change species but merely imitates them - for instance, colours a metal white to make it resemble silver or yellow to give it the appearance of gold.
In his survey of the " liberal arts " St Augustine imitates (as we have seen) the Disciplinae of Varro, and in the greatest of his works, the De Civitate Dei (426), he has preserved large portions of the Antiquitates of Varro and the De Republica of Cicero.
The former he imitates in the maxims (-yv14at) he throws in and the speeches which he puts into the mouth of the chief actors; the latter in his frequent geographical digressions, in the personal anecdotes, in the tendency to collect and attach some credence to marvellous tales.