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The City of God (1-10) - Study Edition

Translation and introduction by William Babcock, notes and edited by Boniface Ramsey
In stock
SKU 978-1-56548-455-9
ISBN Number: 978-1-56548-455-9
Page Count: 348
Format: Paperback
Books 1-10 contain Augustine's critique of the Roman religious, political, and intellectual tradition explaining that Rome’s traditional gods were neither able to provide happiness in this life nor in the life to come.

Along with his Confessions, The City of God is undoubtedly St. Augustine’s most influential work. In the context of what begins as a lengthy critique of classic Roman religion and a defense of Christianity, Augustine touches upon numerous topics, including the role of grace, the original state of humanity, the possibility of waging a just war, the ideal form of government, and the nature of heaven and hell. But his major concern is the difference between the City of God and the City of Man – one built on love of God, the other on love of self. One cannot but be moved and impressed by the author’s breadth of interest and penetrating intelligence. For all those who are interested in the greatest classics of Christian antiquity, The City of God is indispensible.

This long-awaited translation by William Babcock is published in two volumes, with an introduction and annotation that make Augustine’s monumental work approachable.

Click here to see the Interactive Catalog for The Works of Saint Augustine, A Translation for the 21st Century


City of God is the longest text centered on a single argument to have survived from Greco-Roman antiquity. The challenges of translating such a work arise not just from the brute size of the task, but also from the variety of topics Augustine treats, the complexity of his Latin, and the intricacy of his argument. It is thus no small accomplishment—and service—that William Babcock has rendered Augustine’s prose with such skill, vibrancy, and verve. This new translation will deservedly become the standard for many years to come.

Gregory W. Lee,
Wheaton College, Illinois

To read the complete review click here

“This is a magnificent new translation, sure to be welcomed by readers of Augustine old and new. It is certainly worthy of a place among the great translations of this work, offering an eminently readable and accurate rendition. One forgets one is reading a translation -- isn’t that the goal of all great translating? Highly recommended. “

John Cavadini,
Professor of Theology and Director of the Institute for Church Life, University of Notre Dame

“This lucid translation of Augustine’s complicated Latin text, complemented by an expert introduction and helpful notes, is a remarkable achievement indeed. A new jewel in the crown of the meantime famous and worldwide highly appreciated series!”

Johannes van Oort,
Editor of Vigiliae Christianae; Author of Jerusalem and Babylon (1991; paperback: Leiden-Boston 2012)

City of God is read by theologians and philosophers, classicists and historians of ideas. All will be grateful to William Babcock for his new subheadings and summaries, which trace the articulations of Augustine’s carefully connected argument. Babcock’s long reflection and deep understanding, expressed in his outstanding Introduction, shape every sentence of this clear and thoughtful translation.”

Gillian Clark,
Professor Emerita, University of Bristol; Co-editor, Oxford Early Christian Studies

“The monumental City of God has astonishingly relevant things to say to an age of postmodernism, secularism, multiculturalism and globalisation. This affordable new translation with useful notes will make this masterpiece accessible to the 21st century reader. “

Karla Pollmann,
Professor of Classics, University of St. Andrews, Scotland

[T]his translation fully justifies the praise that has already been heaped on it. Lyrical without any sacrifice of sense, it compares consistently well with both Dyson and Bettenson and is certainly the most beautiful and up-to-date of the existing versions … Augustine used multiple Latin versions of the Bible besides Jerome’s, including his own, and one great advantage of the edition under review is that, where past translators have used pre-existent English versions of the Vulgate for scriptural citations, Babcock renders each scriptural quotation directly and individually … Babcock takes the unique step of removing the titular headings which have formed an integral part of the work since the first printed edition, but which are in all probability non-authorial … Its absence has a clarifying effect … The notes are comprehensive enough to suffice for any level of reader and are given as footnotes for ease of reference (neatly including the kind of material on key people and events that is glossarial in the Cambridge University Press edition) … [A] truly new, elegant and intelligent translation well worth both the committed Augustinian’s and the neophyte’s while.

Arabella Milbank,
Emmanuel College, Cambridge
Read the full review at Marginalia (the Journal of the Medieval Reading Group at the University of Cambridge)

One of the better things happening in the world of Patristics is the quiet yet steady work going on at New City Press towards producing a contemporary English translation of most of St. Augustine’s extensive corpus. The latest release in its effort is the first of a two-volume edition of The City of God, beautifully and lucidly translated by William Babcock. Volume 1 provides us with not only Books 1-10 of City of God’s 22 books but also contains Babcock’s excellent introduction to the whole treatise, in addition to an extensively detailed table of contents. Read More...

Jeremy Bergstrom
Citizens of Heaven

About the Author

Augustine of Hippo (354-430) is one of the greatest thinkers and writers of the Western world. After he converted to Christianity he became bishop of Hippo in North Africa, where he was influential in civil and church affairs. His writings have had a lasting impact on Western philosophy and culture.

More Information
Price $39.95
Language English
Publication Date Sep 14, 2012
Author Saint Augustine
Format Paperback
Page Count 348