Brad Miner at National Review:

Civility, civilization, civic, civil — all these words have their root in the Latin civis, citizen. The grandest of these, civilization, which stands for the collective refinements of a society, means, in essence, “life in the city” — the assumption from ancient times was that the best and most refined ideas, institutions, and individuals were to be found in the city. And we find that attitude toward the city in the Bible — from the Psalmist’s description of Jerusalem “built as a city, compact together,” to St. John’s vision: “And I, John, saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

Civilization and urbanity — which itself originally meant city-dwelling — are words that signal refinement, suggesting not only broad cultural knowledge but also the integration of that knowledge: sophistication, elegance, courtesy. And restraint — the great lost virtue in American life. A man or woman or nation governed by restraint will endure, because restraint gives rise to humility, and we must be humble to be good.