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    The City of God

    I was scrolling around on our RoKu last night and on one of the sidebars and ad for something about "The City of God". It was a talk by a professor at a University. I watched it for just a few minutes. Anyway, they referenced the Illiad, the Oddesy, Aenid, etc. If, I, an adult were to take it on with the MP study guide, should I really have some Latin and those other books first?
    Christine

    (2019/2020)
    DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
    DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
    DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

    Previous Years
    DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
    DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
    DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

    #2
    Re: The City of God

    Christine, City of God has been on my mind lately -- I'm glad you asked, and curious what others will reply!

    I recently learned, on reading a translation of Marcus Aurelius' Meditations, that Augustine drew the title "City of God" from Meditations, in which Aurelius describes the world/universe as a "city of God" and people as the citizens. I didn't know that the epic poems were considered central to reading "City of God" but shouldn't be surprised ...

    I do find that sometimes reading a later work when I can, and THEN reading the earlier works, allows the later (often Christian) book to shine back and enlighten the older ideas. But have never tackled City of God myself and am a bit intimidated by it! Great question!!
    Ana, mama to
    ds A, 13yo
    ds N, 8yo

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      #3
      Re: The City of God

      As an adult, something I try to keep in mind is that these are all great works, and each writer most likely intended his work to stand on its own two legs. It is not as though there is a "prerequisite" list provided at the front of the book! So I know that I will get something deep and rewarding from simply reading the work I have in my hands at the moment.

      That being said, it is helpful to realize that the list of "great works" is such because these are the things that were universally studied, which means that a great author had read and studied the great works which preceded him. That education and background knowledge certainly went into the preparation of their own works, and in fact show up through the references they make within their works - which makes having read the "classics" in a sort of chronological order can be really valuable.

      I would just keep it in balance. If you want to read the Iliad, Odyssey, and Aeneid first, then hit Augustine - great. But if Augustine has sparked your interest right now and you want to read it first, go for it. Chances are, you will end up reading it more than once in your lifetime anyway - adding a great depth of understanding each time (and maybe fitting some Homer in there too!).

      AMDG,
      Sarah
      2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
      DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
      DS, 16
      DD, 14
      DD, 12
      DD, 10
      DD, 7.5
      DD, 5.5
      +DS+
      DS, 18 months

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        #4
        Re: The City of God

        Sarah, thank you -- that was beautifully said!
        Ana, mama to
        ds A, 13yo
        ds N, 8yo

        Comment


          #5
          Re: The City of God

          Sure thing!

          AMDG,
          Sarah
          2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
          DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
          DS, 16
          DD, 14
          DD, 12
          DD, 10
          DD, 7.5
          DD, 5.5
          +DS+
          DS, 18 months

          Comment


            #6
            Re: The City of God

            I second Sarah's advice. Read Augustine now if that is what sparks your interest. One of the main things to know about The City of God is that Augustine wrote it in the aftermath of the sack of Rome by the Goths in AD 410, when everyone was trying to make sense of the fall of the mighty Roman Empire. Many were blaming Christians and Christianity.

            But, for example, you don't need to know Roman history to understand his point, when he writes of how the churches provided sanctuary and saved lives during the sack, not only of Christians -- but also of pagans who then turned around and blamed Christianity for the sack.

            As another example, you would not need to have first read the Iliad and the Odyssey to understand his point that the Trojan gods did not save Troy from destruction. And, although he discusses Cicero in this work and was profoundly influenced by him, it is not necessary to have read Cicero to understand The City of God. In short, you should feel free to read it if you like. I hope you enjoy it.

            Or you could listen to the complete lecture first and then decide about reading the book, or even parts of it.

            Bonnie
            Last edited by Bonnie; 05-06-2017, 03:51 PM.

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