Sacred-texts  Christianity  Index  Previous  Next 



BERNHARD DOMBART has an interesting posthumous paper on the text. It is printed in Harnack & Gebhardt's 'Texte und Untersuchungen,' 1908, with the title: 'Zur Textgeschichte der Civitas Dei.' (Dombart having died before the publication, it was produced by Otto Stählin.)

The first printed edition appeared at Subiaco in 1467. Mentelin produced an important edition at Strasburg about the year following, which included the earliest commentary--that of Thomas Valois and Nicholas Triveth. This commentary is full in the earlier parts but meagre later. In 1522 J. L. Vives published the first edition which was made from a collation of the MSS., with a commentary of his own in which he attacked violently all the scholastic commentators. He makes many annotations. Some of them are amusing. We have interesting portraits of scholars like Sir Thomas More and Budé (Budæus), shrewd gibes that relieve a mass of detail, quips at scholastics, along with a defence of traditional religion against the unquiet spirit of Luther. With the comments of Vives are sometimes printed those of Leonard Coquæus (1661).

Of modern editions of the 'De Civitate Dei,' the best is that in the Vienna ' Corpus Scriptorum by E. Hoffmann. A smaller and later one, also in two volumes, by Dombart is useful. It lacks that elaborate table of contents which closes certain less important editions.

This table is not authoritative, but it is useful. Scholz gives an account of its origin.

In the late sixteenth century J. Healey made a fine translation. The folio edition of it issued in 1610 and 1620 gives also Vives' commentary. This translation (less the commentary) was recently reprinted in the 'Ancient and Modern Theological Library.' What purports to be the same appeared subsequently in three volumes in the Temple Classics. At the end of Vol. III we are told that Dr. Bussell, its editor, has rearranged and abridged it. He has done this without telling the reader where the cuts are made. Consequently all the references are useless except at the beginning, e.g. it has been compressed into eighteen books instead of twenty-two. It is difficult to know where we are, although the wording of the translation has not been changed. Another modern translation is that by Dr. Marcus Dods in the ' Library of the Fathers'--also there is one by Dr. Gee (London, 1894).

Literature on the 'De Civitate Dei' is large. Heinrich Scholz's 'Glaube und Unglaube in der Welt-geschichte' (Leipzig, 1911) is indispensable and everywhere interesting. It takes account of Reuter's view, but is independent. Bruno Seidel's thesis, ' Die Lehre des heiligen Augustinus vom Staate' is the most helpful single book. It is printed in Sdralek's 'Kirchen-geschichtliche Abhandlungen,' ix. 1 (1909). Hermann Reuter's 'Augustinische Studien' (Gotha, 1887) is illuminating; but his anti-hierarchical bias must be borne in mind. The third essay, that on the Church as the Kingdom of God, is the most important for the understanding of the ' De Civitate Dei.' But no part of it can be ignored.

Dorner's large book on Augustine ('Augustinus,' Berlin, 1873) has about one hundred pages bearing on the topics discussed here. It is important as it takes the view, followed by Ritschl and others, which makes Augustine the father of the Papacy.

Ritschl's Essay, 'Ueber die Methode der älteren Dogmengeschichte,' which appeared in the Jahrbücher für Deutsche Theologie, Bd. XVI, 191-214 (Gotha, 1871), is reprinted in the first volume of his 'Gesammelte Aufsätze,' pp. 147-169. It contains certain important statements about Augustine, which I have discussed. So also does the great work of Otto Gierke,' Das deutsche Genossenschaftsrecht.' These maximise the clericalist side (in order to condemn it). The same is true of H. von Eicken in his book, 'Geschichte und System der mittelalterlichen Weltanschauung' (Stuttgart, 1887). Hertling severely, but not unfairly, attacked this in his 'Beiträge zur Philosophic.' Important essays on the subjects here discussed are hidden away in journals, e.g. Reuter laments the common ignorance of H. Schmidt's essays. They are published in the Jahrbücher für Deutsche Theologie. Vol. vi. pp. 197-255 (1861) contains that on 'Des Augustinus Lehre von der Kirche,' vols. vii. 237-281 and viii. 261-325 that on Origen and Augustine as apologists. Those are important. Ferdinand Kattenbusch is said to be the first to call attention to Augustine's identification of the Church with the apocalyptic kingdom. His 'Kritische Studien zur Symbolik' (the second essay) will be found in ' Theologische Studien und Kritiken' (Gotha, 1878). Feuerlein, who takes Augustine as a typical mediæval, wrote his essay, 'Ueber die Stellung Augustins in der Kirchen- und Culturgeschichte,' in Sybel's ' Historische Zeitschrift,' 1869, vol. xxii. 270. It is not otherwise valuable.

Edmond Boissier's 'Fin du Paganisme' has a good many pages bearing on this topic. So also an interesting thesis from Columbia University by E. Humphreys, 'Politics and Religion in the Days of Augustine.' On the philosophy of history there is Reinkens' rectorial address at Breslau (1865), to which I alluded in my second lecture. He was afterwards an Old Catholic bishop. This essay has been over-praised. Others are those of G. S. Seyrich, 'Die Geschichtsphilosophie Augustins nach seiner Schrift de Civitate Dei' (1891), and A. Niemann, 'Augustins Geschichtsphilosophie' (1895).

Two books that are indispensable are Joseph Mausbach's 'Die Ethik des heiligen Augustinus,' two volumes (Freiburg, 1909), and Ernest Troeltsch, ' Augustin, die christliche Antike und die Mittelalter' (1915). The latter is written in strong reaction against the view of Augustine as essentially mediæval. Mausbach writes an apologetic of S. Augustine against all who, like Ritschl, make him hostile to the State and to culture.

An American, Dr. Anson, wrote on the sources of the first ten books, and Dr. Frick has discussed those of the eighteenth.

A good account will be found in Dr. Cunningham's Hulsean Lectures (1885), 'S. Austin and his Place in the History of Christian Thought.' Dr. Carlyle in his 'History of Political Theories in the West' says surprisingly little. Professor Dunning says even less in his 'History of Political Thought.' There is an unsympathetic dissertation from Geneva by F. Thomas, 'S. Augustin, La Cité de Dieu' (1886). Harnack in the 'History of Dogma ' says some important things on the same lines as Ritschl and Gierke. Beard has some pages in his book on the Reformation. The former German Chancellor, Count Georg von Hertling, has a book on Augustine ('Der Untergang der antiken Kultur, Augustin,' 1902) in the series 'Weltgeschichte in Karakterbilden'; the pp. 98 and sqq. treat of the 'De Civitate Dei.' He declares this to be the most potent in influence of all S. Augustine's works. Hertling takes the view which I have taken in Lectures III and IV, and refuses to identify the two cities sans phrase with Church and State. Roundly he declares that of any hostility to the State on the part of the Church, Augustine knew nothing. A large book on Augustine ('Augustinus,' Paderborn, 1898) by Cardinal Rauscher, and published after his death, may be mentioned. Theo Sommerlad's two works, 'Das Wirtschaftsprogramm der Kirche des Mittelalters' (Leipzig, 1903) and 'Die wirtschaftliche Thätigkeit der Kirche in Deutschland' (Leipzig, 1910), carry to the farthest point the notion of Augustine as the author of a system of gigantic social reform. Robert-son's 'Regnum Dei' may also be consulted. Much use therein is made of Reuter.

Next: Appendix