Augustine of Hippo: The City of God

History 280/285A

Spring 2015
204 Wheeler
Day & Time: 
Th 10-1P

280A.001 CCN: 39768

285A.001 CCN: 39873

This course will focus on Augustine of Hippo’s City of GodDe Civitate Dei, in its North African context. We will plan to read the entire work (in translation, but with the Latin at our side) emphasizing three avenues of approach (or three themes).
  1. Citizenship and status: How does Augustine understand and construct citizenship? This theme will require a fairly in-depth investigation of issues of citizenship debated at the time; that is, the tax implications, privileges and obligations resulting from one’s status and similar issues pertaining to economic history.
  2. Display: How does Augustine describe display? What forms of display do appear? What might they mean? What notions of masculinity (gender in general but masculinity foremost) are called upon in Augustine’s description of display?
  3. History: Is the City of God a history? What notions of historiography are employed in reaching an answer to that question? What are the implications?

The course will require in-class presentations of individual books of the CD and a final paper.