Augustine: The City of God Books VIII and IX


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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 these books, written in the aftermath of the sack of Rome in AD 410 by the Goths, Augustine replies to the pagans, who attributed the fall of Rome to the Christian religion and its prohibition of the worship of the pagan gods.
Before his conversion to Christianity in 386, Augustine had devoted himself to the study of Platonism. In books VIII and IX of De Civitate Dei, Augustine renews his acquaintance with this philosophy, which had played such a fundamental role in his conversion. The main topic of these books is demonology, with Augustine using the De Deo Socratis of Apuleius, which places demons as the intermediaries between gods and men, as the foundation of his exploration into this theme. Augustine is keen to point out the similarities between Platonism and Christianity and therefore puts forward the theory that the ideal mediator between God and man is Christ - he who shares temporary mortality with humans and permanent blessedness with God and can therefore lead men from wretchedness to eternal bliss. Latin text with facing-page English translation, introduction and commentary.

'...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. [...] The present volume is of particular interest to specialists of Apuleius, since a large part of both books 8 and 9 of the City of God is devoted to an elaborate polemic of Augustine against Apuleius' middle-Platonic ideas on demonology.'
Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2013.10.46

Author Information

†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 coniugali and 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.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page4
Copyright Page5
Abbreviations & Bibliography10
Text & Translation of Book VIII23
Text & Translation of Book IX113
Commentary on Book VIII174
Commentary on Book IX192