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Augustine: The City of God against the Pagans (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought) Paperback – 24 Sep 1998

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1278 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (24 Sept. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521468434
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521468435
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 5.4 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 431,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


'Dyson's wonderfully lucid, carefully literal and historically sensitive translation … makes this the edition that most readers will now choose to consult … We must be grateful for this excellent new translation.' The Times Higher Education Supplement

'It reads remarkably well; it is elegant, generally succeeds in reproducing the rhetorical colouring Augustine frequently gives his argument, and, is remarkably faithful to the text. A short but helpful introduction … provides the necessary information about the context of the work, and summarises the main points of Augustine's political thought. The book is handsome and well produced.' Journal of Ecclesiastical History

Book Description

This is the first new rendition for a generation of The City of God, the first major intellectual achievement of Latin Christianity and one of the classic texts of Western civilisation. The translation is presented with full biographical notes, a concise introduction, bibliography, and chronology of Augustine's life.

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First Sentence
Most glorious is the City of God: whether in this passing age, where she dwells by faith as a pilgrim among the ungodly, or in the security of that eternal home which she now patiently awaits until 'righteousness shall return unto judgment', but which she will then process perfectly, in final victory and perfect peace. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By wallace on 9 May 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is a good translation version with modern English, easy to understand for the old writings.
A good book to understand Augustine great work.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5 reviews
87 of 91 people found the following review helpful
Should be the new standard 21 Feb. 2001
By E. M. Dale - Published on
Format: Paperback
It is hard to find recent work on De Civitate Dei in English that does not use this newest edition and translation of probably Augustine's most influential work (if not his most readable). I am convinced that this will be the translation that will be used for the foreseeable future. An excellent rendering of the Latin original, wonderful introduction and copious notes. So clear and precise is the translation, and so helpful is the supporting scholarship, that one could conceivably come to this particular text of Augustine's work having no prior knowledge, and leave it with complete fluency. It is that good. For the full effect, get the 3 vols of the Loeb Classical Latin-English edition (the MacCracken-Greene translation is still very useful, though not in comparison to newer scholarship such as Dyson's) and work though the text yourself. I think that Augustine's Latin and Dyson's English match up well next to each other--this is a volume to own if you are contemplating any serious work with Augustine, or if you are just curious about what all the fuss over Augustine is about. A polemical, brilliant, controversial, and stimulating work, City of God is as good a place as any to introduce yourself to Augustine, and this is an excellent translation to use.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Modern Language Translation for a challenging lengthy classic religious text 1 Jan. 2014
By Pelegrinus - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read the traditional English translation and found this modern translation to be far superior. City of God is a lengthy, difficult book, and this good translation makes it more accessible.
28 of 40 people found the following review helpful
More Detailed Table of Contents 11 May 2009
By Jonathan Aquino - Published on
Format: Paperback
The Table of Contents isn't very detailed, so here's a more detailed one that you can print out and insert, based on the section titles:

Book I (3)
1 Of the Adversaries of the Name of Christ, Whom the Barbarians for Christ's Sake Spared When They Stormed the City
2 That It is Quite Contrary to the Usage of War, that the Victors Should Spare the Vanquished for the Sake of Their Gods
3 That the Romans Did Not Show Their Usual Sagacity When They Trusted that They Would Be Benefited by the Gods Who Had Been Unable to Defend Troy
4 Of the Asylum of Juno in Troy, Which Saved No One from the Greeks; And of the Churches of the Apostles, Which Protected from the Barbarians All Who Fled to Them
5 Caesar's Statement Regarding the Universal Custom of an Enemy When Sacking a City
6 That Not Even the Romans, When They Took Cities, Spared the Conquered in Their Temples
7 That the Cruelties Which Occurred in the Sack of Rome Were in Accordance with the Custom of War, Whereas the Acts of Clemency Resulted from the Influence of Christ's Name
8 Of the Advantages and Disadvantages Which Often Indiscriminately Accrue to Good and Wicked Men
9 Of the Reasons for Administering Correction to Bad and Good Together
10 That the Saints Lose Nothing in Losing Temporal Goods
11 Of the End of This Life, Whether It is Material that It Be Long Delayed
12 Of the Burial of the Dead: that the Denial of It to Christians Does Them No Injury
13 Reasons for Burying the Bodies of the Saints
14 Of the Captivity of the Saints, and that Divine Consolation Never Failed Them Therein
15 Of Regulus, in Whom We Have an Example of the Voluntary Endurance of Captivity for the Sake of Religion; Which Yet Did Not Profit Him, Though He Was a Worshipper of the Gods
16 Of the Violation of the Consecrated and Other Christian Virgins, to Which They Were Subjected in Captivity and to Which Their Own Will Gave No Consent; And Whether This Contaminated Their Souls
17 Of Suicide Committed Through Fear of Punishment or Dishonor
18 Of the Violence Which May Be Done to the Body by Another's Lust, While the Mind Remains Inviolate
19 Of Lucretia, Who Put an End to Her Life Because of the Outrage Done Her
20 That Christians Have No Authority for Committing Suicide in Any Circumstances Whatever
21 Of the Cases in Which We May Put Men to Death Without Incurring the Guilt of Murder
22 That Suicide Can Never Be Prompted by Magnanimity
23 What We are to Think of the Example of Cato, Who Slew Himself Because Unable to Endure Caesar's Victory
24 That in that Virtue in Which Regulus Excels Cato, Christians are Pre-Eminently Distinguished
25 That We Should Not Endeavor By Sin to Obviate Sin
26 That in Certain Peculiar Cases the Examples of the Saints are Not to Be Followed
27 Whether Voluntary Death Should Be Sought in Order to Avoid Sin
28 By What Judgment of God the Enemy Was Permitted to Indulge His Lust on the Bodies of Continent Christians
29 What the Servants of Christ Should Say in Reply to the Unbelievers Who Cast in Their Teeth that Christ Did Not Rescue Them from the Fury of Their Enemies
30 That Those Who Complain of Christianity Really Desire to Live Without Restraint in Shameful Luxury
31 By What Steps the Passion for Governing Increased Among the Romans
32 Of the Establishment of Scenic Entertainments
33 That the Overthrow of Rome Has Not Corrected the Vices of the Romans
34 Of God's Clemency in Moderating the Ruin of the City
35 Of the Sons of the Church Who are Hidden Among the Wicked, and of False Christians Within the Church
36 What Subjects are to Be Handled in the Following Discourse

Book II (51)
1 Of the Limits Which Must Be Put to the Necessity of Replying to an Adversary
2 Recapitulation of the Contents of the First Book
3 That We Need Only to Read History in Order to See What Calamities the Romans Suffered Before the Religion of Christ Began to Compete with the Worship of the Gods
4 That the Worshippers of the Gods Never Received from Them Any Healthy Moral Precepts, and that in Celebrating Their Worship All Sorts of Impurities Were Practiced
5 Of the Obscenities Practiced in Honor of the Mother of the Gods
6 That the Gods of the Pagans Never Inculcated Holiness of Life
7 That the Suggestions of Philosophers are Precluded from Having Any Moral Effect, Because They Have Not the Authority Which Belongs to Divine Instruction, and Because Man's Natural Bias to Evil Induces Him Rather to Follow the Examples of the Gods Than to Obey the Precepts of Men
8 That the Theatrical Exhibitions Publishing the Shameful Actions of the Gods, Propitiated Rather Than Offended Them
9 That the Poetical License Which the Greeks, in Obedience to Their Gods, Allowed, Was Restrained by the Ancient Romans
10 That the Devils, in Suffering Either False or True Crimes to Be Laid to Their Charge, Meant to Do Men a Mischief
11 That the Greeks Admitted Players to Offices of State, on the Ground that Men Who Pleased the Gods Should Not Be Contemptuously Treated by Their Fellows
12 That the Romans, by Refusing to the Poets the Same License in Respect of Men Which They Allowed Them in the Case of the Gods, Showed a More Delicate Sensitiveness Regarding Themselves than Regarding the Gods
13 That the Romans Should Have Understood that Gods Who Desired to Be Worshipped in Licentious Entertainments Were Unworthy of Divine Honor
14 That Plato, Who Excluded Poets from a Well-Ordered City, Was Better Than These Gods Who Desire to Be Honoured by Theatrical Plays
15 That It Was Vanity, Not Reason, Which Created Some of the Roman Gods
16 That If the Gods Had Really Possessed Any Regard for Righteousness, the Romans Should Have Received Good Laws from Them, Instead of Having to Borrow Them from Other Nations
17 Of the Rape of the Sabine Women, and Other Iniquities Perpetrated in Rome's Palmiest Days
18 What the History of Sallust Reveals Regarding the Life of the Romans, Either When Straitened by Anxiety or Relaxed in Security
19 Of the Corruption Which Had Grown Upon the Roman Republic Before Christ Abolished the Worship of the Gods
20 Of the Kind of Happiness and Life Truly Delighted in by Those Who Inveigh Against the Christian Religion
21 Cicero's Opinion of the Roman Republic
22 That the Roman Gods Never Took Any Steps to Prevent the Republic from Being Ruined by Immorality
23 That the Vicissitudes of This Life are Dependent Not on the Favor or Hostility of Demons, But on the Will of the True God
24 Of the Deeds of Sylla, in Which the Demons Boasted that He Had Their Help
25 How Powerfully the Evil Spirits Incite Men to Wicked Actions, by Giving Them the Quasi-Divine Authority of Their Example
26 That the Demons Gave in Secret Certain Obscure Instructions in Morals, While in Public Their Own Solemnities Inculcated All Wickedness
27 That the Obscenities of Those Plays Which the Romans Consecrated in Order to Propitiate Their Gods, Contributed Largely to the Overthrow of Public Order
28 That the Christian Religion is Health-Giving
29 An Exhortation to the Romans to Renounce Paganism

Book III (94)
1 Of the Ills Which Alone the Wicked Fear, and Which the World Continually Suffered, Even When the Gods Were Worshipped
2 Whether the Gods, Whom the Greeks and Romans Worshipped in Common, Were Justified in Permitting the Destruction of Ilium
3 That the Gods Could Not Be Offended by the Adultery of Paris, This Crime Being So Common Among Themselves
4 Of Varro's Opinion, that It is Useful for Men to Feign Themselves the Offspring of the Gods
5 That It is Not Credible that the Gods Should Have Punished the Adultery of Paris, Seeing They Showed No Indignation at the Adultery of the Mother of Romulus
6 That the Gods Exacted No Penalty for the Fratricidal Act of Romulus
7 Of the Destruction of Ilium by Fimbria, a Lieutenant of Marius
8 Whether Rome Ought to Have Been Entrusted to the Trojan Gods
9 Whether It is Credible that the Peace During the Reign of Numa Was Brought About by the Gods
10 Whether It Was Desirable that The Roman Empire Should Be Increased by Such a Furious Succession of Wars, When It Might Have Been Quiet and Safe by Following in the Peaceful Ways of Numa
11 Of the Statue of Apollo at Cumae, Whose Tears are Supposed to Have Portended Disaster to the Greeks, Whom the God Was Unable to Succor
12 That the Romans Added a Vast Number of Gods to Those Introduced by Numa, and that Their Numbers Helped Them Not at All
13 By What Right or Agreement The Romans Obtained Their First Wives
14 Of the Wickedness of the War Waged by the Romans Against the Albans, and of the Victories Won by the Lust of Power
15 What Manner of Life and Death the Roman Kings Had
16 Of the First Roman Consuls, the One of Whom Drove the Other from the Country, and Shortly After Perished at Rome by the Hand of a Wounded Enemy, and So Ended a Career of Unnatural Murders
17 Of the Disasters Which Vexed the Roman Republic After the Inauguration of the Consulship, and of the Non-Intervention of the Gods of Rome
18 The Disasters Suffered by the Romans in the Punic Wars, Which Were Not Mitigated by the Protection of the Gods
19 Of the Calamity of the Second Punic War, Which Consumed the Strength of Both Parties
20 Of the Destruction of the Saguntines, Who Received No Help from the Roman Gods, Though Perishing on Account of Their Fidelity to Rome
21 Of the Ingratitude of Rome to Scipio, Its Deliverer, and of Its Manners During the Period Which Sallust Describes as the Best
22 Of the Edict of Mithridates, Commanding that All Roman Citizens Found in Asia Should Be Slain
23 Of the Internal Disasters Which Vexed the Roman Republic, and Followed a Portentous Madness Which Seized All the Domestic Animals
24 Of the Civil Dissension Occasioned by the Sedition of the Gracchi
25 Of the Temple of Concord, Which Was Erected by a Decree of the Senate on the Scene of These Seditions and Massacres
26 Of the Various Kinds of Wars Which Followed the Building of the Temple of Concord
27 Of the Civil War Between Marius and Sylla
28 Of the Victory of Sylla, the Avenger of the Cruelties of Marius
29 A Comparison of the Disasters Which Rome Experienced During the Gothic and Gallic Invasions, with Those Occasioned by the Authors of the Civil Wars
30 Of the Connection of the Wars Which with Great Severity and Frequency Followed One Another Before the Advent of Christ
31 That It is Effrontery to Impute the Present Troubles to Christ and the Prohibition of Polytheistic Worship Since Even When the Gods Were Worshipped Such Calamities Befell the People

Book IV. (143)
1 Of the Things Which Have Been Discussed in the First Book
2 Of Those Things Which are Contained in Books Second and Third
3 Whether the Great Extent of the Empire, Which Has Been Acquired Only by Wars, is to Be Reckoned Among the Good Things Either of the Wise or the Happy
4 How Like Kingdoms Without Justice are to Robberies
5 Of the Runaway Gladiators Whose Power Became Like that of Royal Dignity
6 Concerning the Covetousness of Ninus, Who Was the First Who Made War on His Neighbors, that He Might Rule More Widely
7 Whether Earthly Kingdoms in Their Rise and Fall Have Been Either Aided or Deserted by the Help of the Gods
8 Which of the Gods Can the Romans Suppose Presided Over the Increase and Preservation of Their Empire, When They Have Believed that Even the Care of Single Things Could Scarcely Be Committed to Single Gods
9 Whether the Great Extent and Long Duration of the Roman Empire Should Be Ascribed to Jove, Whom His Worshippers Believe to Be the Chief God
10 What Opinions Those Have Followed Who Have Set Divers Gods Over Divers Parts of the World
11 Concerning the Many Gods Whom the Pagan Doctors Defend as Being One and the Same Jove
12 Concerning the Opinion of Those Who Have Thought that God is the Soul of the World, and the World is the Body of God
13 Concerning Those Who Assert that Only Rational Animals are Parts of the One God
14 The Enlargement of Kingdoms is Unsuitably Ascribed to Jove; For If, as They Will Have It, Victoria is a Goddess, She Alone Would Suffice for This Business
15 Whether It is Suitable for Good Men to Wish to Rule More Widely
16 What Was the Reason Why the Romans, in Detailing Separate Gods for All Things and All Movements of the Mind, Chose to Have the Temple of Quiet Outside the Gates
17 Whether, If the Highest Power Belongs to Jove, Victoria Also Ought to Be Worshipped
18 With What Reason They Who Think Felicity and Fortune Goddesses Have Distinguished Them
19 Concerning Fortuna Muliebris
20 Concerning Virtue and Faith, Which the Pagans Have Honored with Temples and Sacred Rites, Passing by Other Good Qualities, Which Ought Likewise to Have Been Worshipped, If Deity Was Rightly Attributed to These
21 That Although Not Understanding Them to Be the Gifts of God, They Ought at Least to Have Been Content with Virtue and Felicity
22 Concerning the Knowledge of the Worship Due to the Gods, Which Varro Glories in Having Himself Conferred on the Romans
23 Concerning Felicity, Whom the Romans, Who Venerate Many Gods, for a Long Time Did Not Worship with Divine Honor, Though She Alone Would Have Sufficed Instead of All
24 The Reasons by Which the Pagans Attempt to Defend Their Worshipping Among the Gods the Divine Gifts Themselves
25 Concerning the One God Only to Be Worshipped, Who, Although His Name is Unknown, is Yet Deemed to Be the Giver of Felicity
26 Of the Scenic Plays, the Celebration of Which the Gods Have Exacted from Their Worshippers
27 Concerning the Three Kinds of Gods About Which the Pontiff Scaevola Has Discoursed
28 Whether the Worship of the Gods Has Been of Service to the Romans in Obtaining and Extending the Empire
29 Of the Falsity of the Augury by Which the Strength and Stability of the Roman Empire Was Considered to Be Indicated
30 What Kind of Things Even Their Worshippers Have Owned They Have Thought About the Gods of the Nations
31 Concerning the Opinions of Varro, Who, While Reprobating the Popular Belief, Thought that Their Worship Should Be Confined to One God, Though He Was Unable to Discover the True God
32 In What Interest the Princes of the Nations Wished False Religions to Continue Among the People Subject to Them
33 That the Times of All Kings and Kingdoms are Ordained by the Judgment and Power of the True God
34 Concerning the Kingdom of the Jews, Which Was Founded by the One and True God, and Preserved by Him as Long as They Remained in the True Religion

Book V. (187)
1 That the Cause of the Roman Empire, and of All Kingdoms, is Neither Fortuitous Nor Consists in the Position of the Stars
2 On the Difference in the Health of Twins
3 Concerning the Arguments Which Nigidius the Mathematician Drew from the Potter's Wheel, in the Question About the Birth of Twins
4 Concerning the Twins Esau and Jacob, Who Were Very Unlike Each Other Both in Their Character and Actions
5 In What Manner the Mathematicians are Convicted of Professing a Vain Science
6 Concerning Twins of Different Sexes
7 Concerning the Choosing of a Day for Marriage, or for Planting, or Sowing
8 Concerning Those Who Call by the Name of Fate, Not the Position of the Stars, But the Connection of Causes Which Depends on the Will of God
9 Concerning the Foreknowledge of God and the Free Will of Man, in Opposition to the Definition of Cicero
10 Whether Our Wills are Ruled by Necessity
11 Concerning the Universal Providence of God in the Laws of Which All Things are Comprehended
12 By What Virtues the Ancient Romans Merited that the True God, Although They Did Not Worship Him, Should Enlarge Their Empire
13 Concerning the Love of Praise, Which, Though It is a Vice, is Reckoned a Virtue, Because by It Greater Vice is Restrained
14 Concerning the Eradication of the Love of Human Praise, Because All the Glory of the Righteous is in God
15 Concerning the Temporal Reward Which God Granted to the Virtues of the Romans
16 Concerning the Reward of the Holy Citizens of the Celestial City, to Whom the Example of the Virtues of the Romans are Useful
17 To What Profit the Romans Carried on Wars, and How Much They Contributed to the Well-Being of Those Whom They Conquered
18 How Far Christians Ought to Be from Boasting, If They Have Done Anything for the Love of the Eternal Country, When the Romans Did Such Great Things for Human Glory and a Terrestrial City
19 Concerning the Difference Between True Glory and the Desire of Domination
20 That It is as Shameful for the Virtues to Serve Human Glory as Bodily Pleasure
21 That the Roman Dominion Was Granted by Him from Whom is All Power, and by Whose Providence All Things are Ruled
22 The Durations and Issues of War Depend on the Will of God
23 Concerning the War in Which Radagaisus, King of the Goths, a Worshipper of Demons, Was Conquered in One Day, with All His Mighty Forces
24 What Was the Happiness of the Christian Emperors, and How Far It Was True Happiness
25 Concerning the Prosperity Which God Granted to the Christian Emperor Constantine
26 On the Faith and Piety of Theodosius Augustus

Book VI (237)
1 Of Those Who Maintain that They Worship the Gods Not for the Sake of Temporal But Eternal Advantages
2 What We are to Believe that Varro Thought Concerning the Gods of the Nations, Whose Various Kinds and Sacred Rites He Has Shown to Be Such that He Would Have Acted More Reverently Towards Them Had He Been Altogether Silent Concerning Them
3 Varro's Distribution of His Book Which He Composed Concerning the Antiquities of Human and Divine Things
4 That from the Disputation of Varro, It Follows that the Worshippers of the Gods Regard Human Things as More Ancient Than Divine Things
5 Concerning the Three Kinds of Theology According to Varro, Namely, One Fabulous, the Other Natural, the Third Civil
6 Concerning the Mythic, that Is, the Fabulous, Theology, and the Civil, Against Varro
7 Concerning the Likeness and Agreement of the Fabulous and Civil Theologies
8 Concerning the Interpretations, Consisting of Natural Explanations, Which the Pagan Teachers Attempt to Show for Their Gods
9 Concerning the Special Offices of the Gods
10 Concerning the Liberty of Seneca, Who More Vehemently Censured the Civil Theology Than Varro Did the Fabulous
11 What Seneca Thought Concerning the Jews
12 That When Once the Vanity of the Gods of the Nations Has Been Exposed, It Cannot Be Doubted that They are Unable to Bestow Eternal Life on Any One, When They Cannot Afford Help Even with Respect to the Things Of this Temporal Life

Book VII (267)
1 Whether, Since It is Evident that Deity is Not to Be Found in the Civil Theology, We are to Believe that It is to Be Found in the Select Gods
2 Who are the Select Gods, and Whether They are Held to Be Exempt from the Offices of the Commoner Gods
3 How There is No Reason Which Can Be Shown for the Selection of Certain Gods, When the Administration of More Exalted Offices is Assigned to Many Inferior Gods
4 The Inferior Gods, Whose Names are Not Associated with Infamy, Have Been Better Dealt with Than the Select Gods, Whose Infamies are Celebrated
5 Concerning the More Secret Doctrine of the Pagans, and Concerning the Physical Interpretations
6 Concerning the Opinion of Varro, that God is the Soul of the World, Which Nevertheless, in Its Various Parts, Has Many Souls Whose Nature is Divine
7 Whether It is Reasonable to Separate Janus and Terminus as Two Distinct Deities
8 For What Reason the Worshippers of Janus Have Made His Image with Two Faces, When They Would Sometimes Have It Be Seen with Four
9 Concerning the Power of Jupiter, and a Comparison of Jupiter with Janus
10 Whether the Distinction Between Janus and Jupiter is a Proper One
11 Concerning the Surnames of Jupiter, Which are Referred Not to Many Gods, But to One and the Same God
12 That Jupiter is Also Called Pecunia
13 That When It is Expounded What Saturn Is, What Genius Is, It Comes to This, that Both of Them are Shown to Be Jupiter
14 Concerning the Offices of Mercury and Mars
15 Concerning Certain Stars Which the Pagans Have Called by the Names of Their Gods
16 Concerning Apollo and Diana, and the Other Select Gods Whom They Would Have to Be Parts of the World
17 That Even Varro Himself Pronounced His Own Opinions Regarding the Gods Ambiguous
18 A More Credible Cause of the Rise of Pagan Error
19 Concerning the Interpretations Which Compose the Reason of the Worship of Saturn
20 Concerning the Rites of Eleusinian Ceres
21 Concerning the Shamefulness of the Rites Which are Celebrated in Honor of Liber
22 Concerning Neptune, and Salacia and Venilia
23 Concerning the Earth, Which Varro Affirms to Be a Goddess, Because that Soul of the World Which He Thinks to Be God Pervades Also This Lowest Part of His Body, and Imparts to It a Divine Force
24 Concerning the Surnames of Tellus and Their Significations, Which, Although They Indicate Many Properties, Ought Not to Have Established the Opinion that There is a Corresponding Number of Gods
25 The Interpretation of the Mutilation of Atys Which the Doctrine of the Greek Sages Set Forth
26 Concerning the Abomination of the Sacred Rites of the Great Mother
27 Concerning the Figments of the Physical Theologists, Who Neither Worship the True Divinity, Nor Perform the Worship Wherewith the True Divinity Should Be Served
28 That the Doctrine of Varro Concerning Theology is in No Part Consistent with Itself
29 That All Things Which the Physical Theologists Have Referred to the World and Its Parts, They Ought to Have Referred to the One True God
30 How Piety Distinguishes the Creator from the Creatures, So That, Instead of One God, There are Not Worshipped as Many Gods as There are Works of the One Author
31 What Benefits God Gives to the Followers of the Truth to Enjoy Over and Above His General Bounty
32 That at No Time in the Past Was the Mystery of Christ's Redemption Awanting, But Was at All Times Declared, Though in Various Forms
33 That Only Through the Christian Religion Could the Deceit of Malign Spirits, Who Rejoice in the Errors of Men, Have Been Manifested
34 Concerning the Books of Numa Pompilius, Which the Senate Ordered to Be Burned, in Order that the Causes of Sacred Rights Therein Assigned Should Not Become Known
35 Concerning the Hydromancy Through Which Numa Was Befooled by Certain Images of Demons Seen in the Water

Book VIII (312)
1 That the Question of Natural Theology is to Be Discussed with Those Philosophers Who Sought a More Excellent Wisdom
2 Concerning the Two Schools of Philosophers, that Is, the Italic and Ionic, and Their Founders
3 Of the Socratic Philosophy
4 Concerning Plato, the Chief Among the Disciples of Socrates, and His Threefold Division of Philosophy
5 That It is Especially with the Platonists that We Must Carry on Our Disputations on Matters of Theology, Their Opinions Being Preferable to Those of All Other Philosophers
6 Concerning the Meaning of the Platonists in that Part of Philosophy Called Physical
7 How Much the Platonists are to Be Held as Excelling Other Philosophers in Logic, i.e. Rational Philosophy
8 That the Platonists Hold the First Rank in Moral Philosophy Also
9 Concerning that Philosophy Which Has Come Nearest to the Christian Faith
10 That the Excellency of the Christian Religion is Above All the Science of Philosophers
11 How Plato Has Been Able to Approach So Nearly to Christian Knowledge
12 That Even the Platonists, Though They Say These Things Concerning the One True God, Nevertheless Thought that Sacred Rites Were to Be Performed in Honor of Many Gods
13 Concerning the Opinion of Plato, According to Which He Defined the Gods as Beings Entirely Good and the Friends of Virtue
14 Of the Opinion of Those Who Have Said that Rational Souls are of Three Kinds, to Wit, Those of the Celestial Gods, Those of the Aerial Demons, and Those of Terrestrial Men
15 That the Demons are Not Better Than Men Because of Their Aerial Bodies, or on Account of Their Superior Place of Abode
16 What Apuleius the Platonist Thought Concerning the Manners and Actions of Demons
17 Whether It is Proper that Men Should Worship Those Spirits from Whose Vices It is Necessary that They Be Freed
18 What Kind of Religion that is Which Teaches that Men Ought to Employ the Advocacy of Demons in Order to Be Recommended to the Favor of the Good Gods
19 Of the Impiety of the Magic Art, Which is Dependent on the Assistance of Malign Spirits
20 Whether We are to Believe that the Good Gods are More Willing to Have Intercourse with Demons Than with Men
21 Whether the Gods Use the Demons as Messengers and Interpreters, and Whether They are Deceived by Them Willingly, or Without Their Own Knowledge
22 That We Must, Notwithstanding the Opinion of Apuleius, Reject the Worship of Demons
23 What Hermes Trismegistus Thought Concerning Idolatry, and from What Source He Knew that the Superstitions of Egypt Were to Be Abolished
24 How Hermes Openly Confessed the Error of His Forefathers, the Coming Destruction of Which He Nevertheless Bewailed
25 Concerning Those Things Which May Be Common to the Holy Angels and to Men
26 That All the Religion of the Pagans Has Reference to Dead Men
27 Concerning the Nature of the Honor Which the Christians Pay to Their Martyrs

Book IX (359)
1 The Point at Which the Discussion Has Arrived, and What Remains to Be Handled
2 Whether Among the Demons, Inferior to the Gods, There are Any Good Spirits Under Whose Guardianship the Human Soul Might Reach True Blessedness
3 What Apuleius Attributes to the Demons, to Whom, Though He Does Not Deny Them Reason, He Does Not Ascribe Virtue
4 The Opinion of the Peripatetics and Stoics About Mental Emotions
5 That the Passions Which Assail the Souls of Christians Do Not Seduce Them to Vice, But Exercise Their Virtue
6 Of the Passions Which, According to Apuleius, Agitate the Demons Who Are Supposed by Him to Mediate Between Gods and Men
7 That the Platonists Maintain that the Poets Wrong the Gods by Representing Them as Distracted by Party Feeling, to Which the Demons and Not the Gods, are Subject
8 How Apuleius Defines the Gods Who Dwell in Heaven, the Demons Who Occupy the Air, and Men Who Inhabit Earth
9 Whether the Intercession of the Demons Can Secure for Men the Friendship of the Celestial Gods
10 That, According to Plotinus, Men, Whose Body is Mortal, are Less Wretched Than Demons, Whose Body is Eternal
11 Of the Opinion of the Platonists, that the Souls of Men Become Demons When Disembodied
12 Of the Three Opposite Qualities by Which the Platonists Distinguish Between the Nature of Men and that of Demons
13 How the Demons Can Mediate Between Gods and Men If They Have Nothing in Common with Both, Being Neither Blessed Like the Gods, Nor Miserable Like Men
14 Whether Men, Though Mortal, Can Enjoy True Blessedness
15 Of the Man Christ Jesus, the Mediator Between God and Men
16 Whether It is Reasonable in the Platonists to Determine that the Celestial Gods Decline Contact with Earthly Things and Intercourse with Men, Who Therefore Require the Intercession of the Demons
17 That to Obtain the Blessed Life, Which Consists in Partaking of the Supreme Good, Man Needs Such Mediation as is Furnished Not by a Demon, But by Christ Alone
18 That the Deceitful Demons, While Promising to Conduct Men to God by Their Intercession, Mean to Turn Them from the Path of Truth
19 That Even Among Their Own Worshippers the Name "Demon" Has Never a Good Signification
20 Of the Kind of Knowledge Which Puffs Up the Demons
21 To What Extent the Lord Was Pleased to Make Himself Known to the Demons
22 The Difference Between the Knowledge of the Holy Angels and that of the Demons
23 That the Name of Gods is Falsely Given to the Gods of the Gentiles, Though Scripture Applies It Both to the Holy Angels and Just Men

Book X (390)
1 That the Platonists Themselves Have Determined that God Alone Can Confer Happiness Either on Angels or Men, But that It Yet Remains a Question Whether Those Spirits Whom They Direct Us to Worship, that We May Obtain Happiness, Wish Sacrifice to Be Offered to Themselves, or to the One God Only
2 The Opinion of Plotinus the Platonist Regarding Enlightenment from Above
3 That the Platonists, Though Knowing Something of the Creator of the Universe, Have Misunderstood the True Worship of God, by Giving Divine Honor to Angels, Good or Bad
4 That Sacrifice is Due to the True God Only
5 Of the Sacrifices Which God Does Not Require, But Wished to Be Observed for the Exhibition of Those Things Which He Does Require
6 Of the True and Perfect Sacrifice
7 Of the Love of the Holy Angels, Which Prompts Them to Desire that We Worship the One True God, and Not Themselves
8 Of the Miracles Which God Has Condescended to Adhibit Through the Ministry of Angels, to His Promises for the Confirmation of the Faith of the Godly
9 Of the Illicit Arts Connected with Demonolatry, and of Which the Platonist Porphyry Adopts Some, and Discards Others
10 Concerning Theurgy, Which Promises a Delusive Purification of the Soul by the Invocation of Demons
11 Of Porphyry's Epistle to Anebo, in Which He Asks for Information About the Differences Among Demons
12 Of the Miracles Wrought by the True God Through the Ministry of the Holy Angels
13 Of the Invisible God, Who Has Often Made Himself Visible, Not as He Really Is, But as the Beholders Could Bear the Sight
14 That the One God is to Be Worshipped Not Only for the Sake of Eternal Blessings, But Also in Connection with Temporal Prosperity, Because All Things are Regulated by His Providence
15 Of the Ministry of the Holy Angels, by Which They Fulfill the Providence of God
16 Whether Those Angels Who Demand that We Pay Them Divine Honor, or Those Who Teach Us to Render Holy Service, Not to Themselves, But to God, are to Be Trusted About the Way to Life Eternal
17 Concerning the Ark of the Covenant, and the Miraculous Signs Whereby God Authenticated the Law and the Promise
18 Against Those Who Deny that the Books of the Church are to Be Believed About the Miracles Whereby the People of God Were Educated
19 On the Reasonableness of Offering, as the True Religion Teaches, a Visible Sacrifice to the One True and Invisible God
20 Of the Supreme and True Sacrifice Which Was Effected by the Mediator Between God and Men
21 Of the Power Delegated to Demons for the Trial and Glorification of the Saints, Who Conquer Not by Propitiating the Spirits of the Air, But by Abiding in God
22 Whence the Saints Derive Power Against Demons and True Purification of Heart
23 Of the Principles Which, According to the Platonists, Regulate the Purification of the Soul
24 Of the One Only True Principle Which Alone Purifies and Renews Human Nature
25 That All the Saints, Both Under the Law and Before It, Were Justified by Faith in the Mystery of Christ's Incarnation
26 Of Porphyry's Weakness in Wavering Between the Confession of the True God and the Worship of Demons
27 Of the Impiety of Porphyry, Which is Worse Than Even the Mistake of Apuleius
28 How It is that Porphyry Has Been So Blind as Not to Recognize the True Wisdom--Christ
29 Of the Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Which the Platonists in Their Impiety Blush to Acknowledge
30 Porphyry's Emendations and Modifications of Platonism
31 Against the Arguments on Which the Platonists Ground Their Assertion that the Human Soul is Co-Eternal with God
32 Of the Universal Way of the Soul's Deliverance, Which Porphyry Did Not Find Because He Did Not Rightly Seek It, and Which the Grace of Christ Has Alone Thrown Open

Book XI (449)
1 Of This Part of the Work, Wherein We Begin to Explain the Origin and End of the Two Cities
2 Of the Knowledge of God, to Which No Man Can Attain Save Through the Mediator Between God and Men, the Man Christ Jesus
3 Of the Authority of the Canonical Scriptures Composed by the Divine Spirit
4 That the World is Neither Without Beginning, Nor Yet Created by a New Decree of God, by Which He Afterwards Willed What He Had Not Before Willed
5 That We Ought Not to Seek to Comprehend the Infinite Ages of Time Before the World, Nor the Infinite Realms of Space
6 That the World and Time Had Both One Beginning, and the One Did Not Anticipate the Other
7 Of the Nature of the First Days, Which are Said to Have Had Morning and Evening, Before There Was a Sun
8 What We are to Understand of God's Resting on the Seventh Day, After the Six Days' Work
9 What the Scriptures Teach Us to Believe Concerning the Creation of the Angels
10 Of the Simple and Unchangeable Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, One God, in
47 of 84 people found the following review helpful
What a slog... 18 April 2002
By Rachel Simmons - Published on
Format: Paperback
Although this has been published as part of the "Cambridge Texts on Political Thought" series, it is only incidentally a political work. Its proper genre is Christian Apologetics - the reasoned defense of Christian belief.
Augustine's motive for writing it came from the sack of Rome in 410, which many Roman pagans blamed on the Empire's abandonment of its pagan gods for Christianity. Augustine began writing it in 413, continued with it on and off for the next 13 years, before finally completing it in 426. It is by far the longest of Augustine's works.
Although "The City of God" is formally divided into twenty-two "books" (the books of works of this period were quite short - broadly equal to the modern chapter), the book is more a unit of length than of structure. The highest level of structure of the work is more or less as follows:
(1) Against the belief that the pagan gods can give rewards in this life (5 books)
(2) Against the belief that the pagan gods can give rewards in the next life (5 books)
(3) Origins of the City of God and the City of Man (4 books)
(4) Histories of the City of God and the City of Man (4 books)
(5) Comparative futures of the City of God and the City of Man (4 books)
The first section, against the belief that the pagan gods should be worshipped for what they can give in this life, was primarily concerned with Roman history. The pagan argument was that Rome had been prosperous while it had worshipped the pagan gods, but had suffered disaster after abandoning them. Augustine's response is a recital of disasters - civil wars and despotic rule - suffered by Rome prior to turning Christian. Augustine admitted that Christianity had not brought prosperity to Rome, but pointed out that it never promised to - that Christianity's promises of reward were not in this life, but in the infinitely more important life to come.
The second section was aimed not at what might be termed 'popular paganism', but at the philosophical efforts to give paganism intellectual credibility, particularly Neo-Platonism. Following the Roman writer Varro, Augustine considered the paganism of the poets, the paganism of the state, and the paganism of the philosophers. His argument was that the philosophers admit the paganism of the poets to be nonsense, but that the paganism of the state could not be separated from that of the poets and must equally be condemned. Augustine was respectful of the paganism of the philosophers, but argued that the philosophical arguments were better fulfilled in Christianity than in paganism.
The third section was written around an exposition of Genesis. Its purpose was to define the relationship between God and creation, God and man, man and sin, sin and death, and the nature of the life to come. In the prior two sections, Augustine was primarily on the attack, but in this section he was on the defense, explaining Christian belief and defending it against philosophical objections that he thinks either arise from misunderstandings of Christianity or mistakes in Neo-Platonism.
The fourth section was devoted to history - Biblical and Roman. Augustine's account of Biblical history was quite literal - the long lives of the patriarchs, for example, was taken at face value and defended as accurate history. In it, Augustine developed the division of the world into those submitting to the will of God (the City of God) and those defying it (the City of Man). Augustine's history paid particularly close attention of prophesies of the coming of Jesus, through whom the City of God would spread over the entire world.
The fifth section was concerned with prophecies of the future of the world, particularly in the Book of Revelation, and with the nature of the next life for both the damned and the saved. Again, Augustine was quite literal in his readings of these prophecies, although he later wrote that he had probably been too literal in some of his prophetic interpretations.
In the title of my review, I described the book as a slog. It is time to explain why.
The book's first two sections consist of a 400 page attack on the truth of Roman paganism, a conclusion that the modern reader would have conceded before reading page 1. The reader's ability to get through this is not helped by the fact that it is repetitive and that much of it will mean little to readers without a solid background in Roman history. Further distancing this section from the interest of the modern reader is Augustine's frequent invocation of aerial daemons as being behind paganism. At that time, aerial daemons were believed in by pagans and Christians alike, but few (if any) moderns still do. As a result, contemporary readers will likely find Augustine's frequent references to them more hurtful than helpful to the Christian cause.
The book's last three sections, of about 700 pages, are largely concerned with the Bible. The first of these, dealing with Genesis, I found by far the most interesting of the book's five sections, but I also thought that Augustine treated the subject better in his "The Literal Meaning of Genesis". The fourth section, dealing with the rest of the Old Testament, was a by-the-numbers retelling of the original that felt like a deliberate test of the reader's powers of endurance. The last section, dealing primarily with prophecy, I found largely uninteresting because I found it unconvincing, a conviction that Augustine himself, at least to some extent, later shared.
I've given the book four stars less for itself than its author and its historical importance. Of all the works of Augustine I have read, however, this is near the bottom of those that I would recommend based on contemporary interest.
1 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Christmas shopping made easy 7 Jan. 2010
By llh8462 - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have no idea what the book is about, my son is a grad student in Philosphy and it was on his Christmas list. I can say this seller was quick to ship and honest in all areas!
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