Co-edited commentary on Augustine, City of God

Augustine, bishop (397-430) of Hippo in North Africa, was one of the most influential writers of the western world. He wrote City of God (De Civitate Dei, 412-26) in response to charges that Gothic troops were able to sack the 'eternal city' of Rome (410) because the gods of Rome were offended by Christian neglect. In 22 books, Augustine offered a critique of Roman imperialism, religion and culture, and of Greek philosophy; discussed the history of Israel in relation to the Mediterranean world; and expounded Christian theology, Biblical exegesis and social and political thought, including slavery and the use of force to maintain peace. His central argument is that there are two 'cities': the City of God is the community of humans and angels who want what God wants, the 'earthly city' the community of those who want what they themselves want. Citizenship depends on what you love, not on membership of a church or state.
These are important concepts, but for most readers, Augustine's classical and Biblical sources are unfamiliar, and the bibliography on Augustine is overwhelming. Modern translations offer little annotation, and there is little commentary in any language. AHRC funds the first five years of this international collaborative project for a print commentary (Oxford University Press) and a web-based commentary that can be updated and modified for different and emerging user-groups. ICT does more than make the process easier, it transforms the kind of commentary that can be written.

Principal investigator
Professor Gillian Clark
Principal project staff
Professor Edith Gillian Clark; Professor Karla Pollmann; Professor Todd Breyfogle
Start date
Thursday, January 1, 2004
Source material
Source material is the text written by the City of God commentators.