Augustine: De Civitate Dei VIII & IX
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Augustine: De Civitate Dei Books VIII & IX

In this, the fifth volume of the series, Augustine devotes Books VIII and IX to a comparative study of the Platonist tradition vis-a-vis the City of God, which is the Christian Church

Book VIII begins with a brief survey of ancient philosophy from Thales to Plato. Augustine rapidly moves on to Middle Platonism, in which the Latin text of Apuleius, The God of Socrates, allows him to focus on demonology. The final chapters of this book incorporate the study of Hermes Trismegistus and the Egyptian tradition, which he is able to analyse through another Latin text, the Asclepius

Book IX resumes the study of demonology with the introduction of the Neoplatonists Plotinus and Porphyry, whom Augustine had studied during the years of his conversion at Milan. His final conclusion is that unlike the demons, the ideal mediator between heaven and earth is the God-Man Jesus Christ
P.G. Walsh is Senior Research Fellow and Emeritus Professor of Humanity at the University of Glasgow. He is editor of Augustine, De bono coniugali and De sancta uirginitate (Oxford), translator of Paulinus of Nola (Letters, Poems) and of Cassiodorus, Explanation of the Psalms (Ancient Christian Writers). He is also editor of many volumes of Livy, including separate editions of Books XXXVI to XL in the Aris & Phillips Classical Texts series. Livy is a main source of Augustine in these books of The City of God