This edition of St Augustine's City of God 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.
Books VI and VII focus on the figure of Terentius Varro a man revered by Augustines pagan contemporaries. By exploiting Varros learned researches on Roman religion, Augustine condemns Roman religious practices and beliefs in order to refute pagan claims that the Roman deities had guaranteed a blessed life in the hereafter for their devotees. These books are therefore not only an invaluable source for the study of early Christianity but also for any student of Classical Rome, who is provided here with a detailed account of one of the most learned figures of Roman antiquity one whose own works have not survived in the same state.
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.