The City of God against the Pagans is a central text in the Western intellectual tradition. Made up of twenty-two lengthy books, Augustine wrote his masterpiece over a thirteen-year period during which the Western Roman Empire began to unravel. The first ten books are a critique of pagan religion and philosophy, while books eleven to twenty-two treat the relationship between the City of God and the Earthly City. Throughout Augustine conveys his mature vision of what it means for a Christian to live in a world with evil. Its arguments and ideas have provoked debate for nearly 1600 years, and remains a central text in the disciplines of theology, historiography, and political theory.