Part Three: The Pelagian Crisis (411–430)
Edited By Frederick Van Fleteren
Note 52: De ciuitate dei (1)
De ciuitate dei (1)
The writing of the first part of De ciuitate dei should be deferred until 413. Letter 169 was written when Orosius was in Palestine in 415. There Augustine mentions since Lent of that year he had added two books to the three books of De ciuitate dei already written. Thus, he had written the first three books shortly before. If they were not addressed to the tribune Marcellinus we would date them in 414. The address to Marcellinus obliges us to date the first books before his death on September 13, 413. However they were begun not long previously. After the beginning of De ciuitate dei II Augustine never addresses himself to Marcellinus again. This fact indicates the remainder of the work was written after his death.
The questions Augustine treats in the letters to Volusianus (412) are the same as the subjects of De ciuitate dei I-III. Nevertheless he did not send these books to Marcellinus who ought to have had more knowledge of this work than any other person. Marcellinus had even asked Augustine to write books on these questions and assured him they would be useful for the Church Augustine responds he wishes to treat them non sic quemadmodum de his agendum est librorum negotio, sed quemadmodum potest epistolari sat esse colloquio. These words indicate at the beginning of 412 Augustine had not yet intended to write De ciuitate dei. ← 427 | 428 →