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Saint Augustine

S. Aurelii Augustini

De Civitate Dei Contra Paganos

Retractationum

Libri II Cap. LXIX

Interea Roma Gothorum inruptione agentium sub rege Alarico atque impetu magnae cladis eversa est, cuius eversionem deorum falsorum multorumque cultores, quos usitato nomine paganos vocamus, in Christianam religionem referre conantes solito acerbius et amarius Deum verum blasphemare coeperunt. Unde ego exardescens zelo domus Dei adversus eorum blasphemias vel errores libros de civitate Dei scribere institui. Quod opus per aliquot annos me tenuit eo quod alia multa intercurrebant quae differe non oporteret, et me prius ad solvendum occupabant. Hoc autem de civitate Dei grande opus tandem viginti duobus libris est terminatum.

Quorum quinque primi eos refellunt qui res humanas ita prosperari volunt ut ad hoc multorum deorum cultum quos pagani colere consuerunt, necessarium

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Retractations

Saint Aurelius Augustine

The City of God Against the Pagans

Retractations

Book II, Chapter 69

In the meantime Rome had been swept by an invasion of the Goths under the leadership of King Alaric and the impact of a great disaster; and the worshippers of the many false gods, to whom we commonly give the name of pagans, attempting to attribute this visitation to the Christian religion, began more sharply and more bitterly than usual to blaspheme the true God. Burning with the zeal of God’s house, I decided to write against their blasphemies and errors the books on The City of God. This work engaged me for some years because many other matters intervened that I could not conscientiously postpone, and kept me busy completing them first. At last, however, this huge work on The City of God was brought to a conclusion in twenty-two books.

The first five books refute those whose interest in the welfare of mankind is bound up with the belief that this depends on the worship of the many gods whom the pagans were wont to worship, and who

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.augustine-city_god_pagans.1957