The City of God/Book I

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The City of God
by Augustine of Hippo
translated by Marcus Dods

Book I
Argument—Augustin censures the pagans, who attributed the calamities of the world, and especially the recent sack of Rome by the Goths, to the Christian religion, and its prohibition of the worship of the gods. He speaks of the blessings and ills of life, which then, as always, happened to good and bad men alike. Finally, he rebukes the shamelessness of those who cast up to the Christians that their women had been violated by the soldiers.

Book I[edit]

  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. Cæsar’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 Cæsar’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.