XIV. (49) And it may become us next to consider on what account this same man is represented as founding and building a city, for it is only a multitude of men who have need of a city to dwell in; but the three who were the only human beings in existence at that time might have thought the foot of a mountain, or a small cave, a most sufficient abode. And I said, indeed, the three; but in all probability I might have spoken of him by himself; for the parents of Abel, who had been so treacherously slain, would never have endured to inhabit the same city with his murderer–a man who had committed fratricide, which is a greater pollution than even homicide. (50) For it is plain that it is not only extraordinary, but utterly contrary to all reason, that one man should build a city. In what manner could he do it? He could not build even the most trifling portion of a house, unless he employed other men as his assistants. Would the same man be able at the same time to cut stones, to cut wood, to work in iron and in brass, and to throw the vast circumference of walls round the city? to build up propylaea, and inter-walls, and temples, and sacred precincts, and porticoes, and docks, and houses, and all the other public and private buildings which one is accustomed to find in a city? And moreover, besides all these things, would he be able to carry burdens, to move away masses of earth, to widen narrow passages, to make fountains and water-courses, and all the other things with which a city ought to be provided? (51) Perhaps, therefore, since all these ideas are inconsistent with truth, it would be better to look upon the statement as an allegory, and to say that Cain determined to build up his own doctrine like a city.

XV. (52) Since, therefore, every city consists of houses and inhabitants, and laws, the houses, in Cain’s case, are the reasons which he alleges to prove his point; by which, as from a wall, he fights against the persuasive attacks of his enemies; inventing fabulous devices against the truth. The inhabitants are the companions of impiety, ungodliness, self-love, haughtiness, falsehood, vain opinions; the men wise in their own conceit, the men who know not wisdom as relating to truth, the men who are full of ignorance, and stupidity, and folly; and all the other similar and kindred evils. The laws are, lawlessness, injustice, inequality, intemperance, boldness, folly, insolence, immoderate indulgence in pleasure, and innumerable appetites in despite of nature. (53) Now of such a city as this, every impious man is found to be a builder in his own miserable soul, until God deliberately causes complete and great confusion to their sophistical Arts.{15}{#ge 11:4.} And this will be, when not only “they build a city and tower, the head of which will reach to heaven,” that is to say, […]{16}{there is a hiatus in the text here: Mangey translates it as if the deficiency were to be supplied by ton noun, “the mind.”} the mind or the reason of each individual as conversant about making great works, which they represent as having for its head a conception peculiar to itself, which is called in symbolical language heaven. For it is plain that the head and object of every reasoning must be the aforesaid mind; for the sake of which, long digressions and sentences are in the habit of being used by men who write histories.