This edition of St Augustine's The City of God (De Civitate Dei) is the only one in English to provide a text and translation as well as a detailed commentary of this most influential document in the history of western Christianity. In Book V Augustine searches out and presents an answer to the question which lies behind the earlier books. In spite of the moral bankruptcy of the Roman state, and in spite of the disasters and injustices which have marked her history since the foundation, Rome has extended her imperial sway throughout Europe and the Near East. If the pagan gods have not guided her to this terrestrial eminence, how has this success been achieved? Augustine divides his response into four main sections: addressing the pagan notion of fate; arguing that God aided the Romans to imperial glory because a minority of them were virtuous even though they did not worship him; stating explicitly that the Roman Empire was set in place by God and is governed by his providence; and devoting the final section to the advent of Christian Emperors. Latin text with facing-page English translation, introduction and commentary.
P.G. Walsh was Senior Research Fellow and Emeritus Professor of Humanity at the University of Glasgow, and a Latin scholar of international renown. His publications include Livy: His Historical Aims and Methods (1961) and The Roman Novel (1970); editions of Augustine, De bono coniugaliand De sancta uirginitate (Oxford); and translations of Paulinus of Nola (Letters, Poems) and of Cassiodorus, Explanation of the Psalms (Ancient Christian Writers). He edited the first sixteen books of Augustine’s De Civitate Dei, as well as Books XXXVI-XL of Livy’s History for the Aris & Phillips Classical Texts series. Livy is a main source of Augustine in these books of The City of God.
‘...a good basic tool for students and scholars who wish to read and study Augustine's text in English with the possibility of consulting the Latin original.’
Bryn Mawr Classical Review