He had access to no literature but the Latin; or at least he had only sufficient Greek to enable him to refer to Greek authors on points of importance, and not enough to enable him to read their writings with ease and pleasure. But he had a profound knowledge of his own time, and a familiar acquaintance not only with the Latin poets, but with many other authors, some of whose writings are now lost to us, save the fragments preserved through his quotations.
But the interest attaching to the City of God is not merely historical. It is the earnestness and ability with which he developes his own philosophical and theological views which gradually fascinate the reader, and make him see why the world has set this among the few greatest books of all time. The fundamental lines of the Augustinian theology are here laid down in a comprehensive and interesting form. Never was thought so abstract expressed in language so popular.