In his main work "City of God", Augustine attempted to understand the fate of humanity and outline his philosophy of history. In this work, he intended to grasp the world-historical process and put the history of humanity in close connection with the plans and intentions of the Deity. According to Augustine, humanity in the historical process forms two 'cities': on the one hand, the secular city- the kingdom of evil, sin, and the kingdom of the devil, and on the other - -the city of God on earth.These two cities created by Augustine, represent two kinds of love: an earthly kingdom created by man`s excessive love of himself leading to contempt for God, and heavenly kingdom build on the love of God, which makes a man contempt himself. These two cities are evolving as parallels, undergoing six major epochs: the first epoch - from Adam to the Flood; the second - from Noah to Abraham; third - from Abraham to David; fourth - from David to the Babylonian captivity - the time of the Jewish kings, and prophets; fifth - from the Babylonian captivity to the birth of Christ; sixth era began with Christ and will end with the end of history in general and with the Last Judgment; then citizens of god's city will be granted eternal bliss, while citizens 'earthly city' will be brought to eternal torment.(Augustine, 2008)
According to Augustine, each person has the possibility to choose his own city, a life according to the laws of God - City of God or a sinful life - the Earthly City. Nevertheless, God is omniscient and knows in advance about the choice of everyone, so one can talk about the predestination of a particular person. Augustine describes the experience of a citizen of the City of God: "You have a great peace and serene life. Who dwells in you, is part of "the joy of his Lord," and shall not fear, and will live happily in the fullness of good." .(Augustine, 2008, p. 156) Living in the City of God it is to live by the spirit, not the flesh. Here, Augustine refers to 1 Corinthians 2: 11-24, where Paul allegedly says that during the pilgrimage, the citizens of city of God live in the spirit, not the flesh. The Earthly City is a wicked society, living for the pleasures of the flesh, worshiping false deities and neglecting the true Deity.
Both cities have their messengers in the heavens: the rebellious angels, and those who remained faithful to God. On the earth, they differ as the descendants of Cain and Abel, the two biblical characters as a symbol of the two communities. (The founder of the earthly city was a fratricide Cain, and it corresponds to the fratricide Romulus - the founder of Rome.) In this case, a citizen of "earthly city" creates an impression of lord and master of the world, while a citizen of "God`s city" is likened to a wanderer and pilgrim. The first is destined to eternal damnation, the second - to salvation in the kingdom of God. (Augustine, 2008)
Although as the basis for the periodization of world history Augustine put the facts of the biblical story of the Jewish people, in many episodes he describes the events in the history of the Eastern peoples and the Romans. For Augustine, Rome was the center of paganism and hostility to Christianity. The very idea of 'City of God', was influenced by the sack of Rome in 410 A.D. by the Visigoths led by their chief Alaric. Augustine praised this catastrophe as a punishment to Rome for its previous persecution of Christianity and the beginning of the collapse of the 'earthly city' in general. Despite the mythical character of Augustinian`s concept of City of God, it should be emphasized that it was still just an attempt to create a philosophy of history.
Augustine, , Demetrius B. Zema, Gerald G. Walsh, and Etienne Gilson. The City of God: Books I-Vii. Washington, D.C: Catholic University of America Press, 2008. Internet resource.