This chapter discusses Augustine's Book VIII and IX of The City of God, which forms part of the carefully structured first half of his work that sought to refute the complaints of pagan antagonists. It examines Augustine's initial scheme to discredit the claim that the pagan religions ensured not only success in this world, but also blessedness in the life hereafter. It also covers the natural theology of Terentius Varro, the celebrated scholar of the first century BC, who wrote Res Diuinae in order to analyze Roman religion. This chapter recounts how Varro, as an Academic philosopher, reviewed his subject critically as a man-made institution that expressed his reservations and doubts and acknowledged the importance of the traditional beliefs for the cohesion of the state. It cites Varro's regard for traditional beliefs as metaphors for the phenomena of the natural world.
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