~ Augustine of Hippo, The City of God, Book V, Chapter 24
Yet another powerful piece of political wisdom from St. Augustine’s The City of God. It’s also a highly topical reflection—just substitute the word “emperors” with presidents, prime ministers, heads of State, governors, monarchs, mayors, etc., and see if what Augustine says doesn’t apply to our own times… It seems to me, however, that what is most striking about this passage is the simplicity with which a man of immense culture and erudition, as well as of astounding complexity, has approached this issue, so that even a child can understand. It’s what is called evangelical simplicity and clarity: “Let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is from the evil one” (Mt 5:37). Unfortunately no alternative method is provided. Tertium non datur.
|Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Allegory of Good Government|
Palazzo Pubblico, Siena (click to enlarge)