In a new work, The City of God, written between 413 and 425, Augustine combated the pagan argument that it was Christianity that had been responsible for the catastrophic sack of Rome. It was easy to show why many pagan empires had fallen in the past, and Augustine quickly moved beyond his original subject. He attacked traditional pagan worship and of pagan interpretations of Roman history, systematically demolishing pagan philosophy.
Honest in seeking and generous in spending their wealth, the Romans had been allowed by God to acquire their great empire; but they became too eager for praise and glory. True glory belonged only to the citizens of the City of God, civitas Dei. The community of those who served the devil in the earthly city would be separated in the afterlife from those who served God, the Christians. As the demons took over Rome because the Romans had not submitted to the authority of Christ, so only in that heavenly City of God could the Christian achieve the true peace. Augustine thus elaborated a complete Christian philosophy of history.