In Books I-V of De Civitate Dei , Augustine rejects the claim that worship of the pagan gods had brought success in this life, and in Books VI-X, the prospect of a happy afterlife. In Books XI-XII, the sixth volume in Peter Walsh's series, Augustine turns from attack to defence, for at this point he initiates his apology for the Christian faith. Books XI and XII document the initial phase of the rise of the two cities, the city of God and the city of this world, beginning with the creation of the world and the human race. In Book XI, Augustine rejects the theories of Aristotle, Plato and the Epicureans on the creation of the universe and addresses the creation of angels, Satan, the role of the holy Trinity and the importance of numberology in the Genesis account. In Book XII Augustine is chiefly concerned with refuting standard objections to the Christian tradition, returning to discussion of the Creation, including his calculation, based on the scriptures, that the world was created less than 6,000 years ago. This is the only edition of these books in English that provides not only a text but also a detailed commentary on one of the most influential documents in the history of western Christianity.
P.G. Walsh was Senior Research Fellow and Emeritus Professor of Humanity
at the University of Glasgow. He is editor of Augustine, De bono coniugali and
De sancta uirginitate (Oxford), translator of Paulinus of Nola (Letters, Poems)
and of Cassiodorus, Explanation of the Psalms (Ancient Christian Writers). He
is also editor of many volumes of Livy, including separate editions of Books
XXXVI to XL in the Aris & Phillips Classical Texts series. Livy is a main source
of Augustine in these books of The City of God.
Text & Translation
November 30, 2015