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Augustine: De Civitate Dei The City of God Books VIII and IX$
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Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780856688546

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9780856688546.001.0001

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(p.163) Commentary
Augustine: De Civitate Dei The City of God Books VIII and IX
P.G. Walsh
Liverpool University Press

This chapter provides the commentary on Book VIII of St. Augustine's The City of God. It reviews the main thrust of Augustine's criticism that has been directed at the civic rituals that were based on the mythological accounts of the Graeco-Roman deities. The myths were enacted in the stage shows mounted at the religious festivals, which Augustine repeatedly emphasized are important in the pagan religious traditions. Augustine cites and condemns the portrayal of the deities as thieves, adulterers, and slaves for the demons impersonate the gods and portray them unworthily. Augustine gives notice that he will exclude from his discussion the Epicureans, who believed that gods exist but live a life of self-absorption, with no interest in the affairs of men.

Keywords:   St. Augustine, The City of God, Book VIII, civic rituals, Graeco-Roman deities, religious festivals, Epicureans

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