Among the works that are generally agreed upon to have been studied by the poet Jacob van Maerlant, the City of God of Augustine is conspicuous by its absence. There are, however, firm indications that suggest that Maerlant did in fact have direct knowledge of this work. In the first place the poet ascribed certain viewpoints to Augustine without having been prompted by his primary sources. In the second place it can be demonstrated that Maerlant's remarks about the true nature of the pagan Gods bear an uncanny resemblance to the theory which was advanced in the City of God. Finally, the presence of this work in libraries in Maerlant's vicinity constitutes an important logistic argument in favour of the hypothesis of a direct link between Augustine and Maerlant.
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