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Pagans and PhilosophersThe Problem of Paganism from Augustine to Leibniz$
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John Marenbon

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691142555

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691142555.001.0001

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(p.23) Chapter 2 Augustine
Pagans and Philosophers

John Marenbon

Princeton University Press

This chapter investigates Augustine's role in addressing the Problem of Paganism. After the Sack of Rome in 410 CE, Augustine set out to produce his most ambitious work, a Christian rethinking, not just of the history of Rome, but of the relationship between God and the course of human history. Written in the safety of North Africa, the City of God (CG), begun probably in 412 but not finished until about fourteen years later, is both an intellectual masterpiece and a foundational book for the Problem of Paganism. Although the problem has somewhat different contours for him from those it would take on in the Middle Ages, in the City of God and other works Augustine looks closely at three of the main strands of the problem — wisdom, salvation, and virtue — and takes positions which set the agenda for almost all subsequent discussion.

Keywords:   Augustine of Hippo, City of God, Roman history, sack of Rome, wisdom, salvation, virtue

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