Paulus Orosius

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Orosius, Paulus


Born circa 380; died 420. Roman historian.

Of Spanish descent, Orosius was a priest and a follower of St. Augustine. His work Seven Books of Histories Against the Pagans, which encompasses events from ancient times until 417, was written upon Augustine’s suggestion in order to expose pagans and heretics. He attempted to prove that Christianity was the salvation of mankind and that the calamities that befell Rome in the early fifth century were retribution for evil deeds of previous centuries.

Orosius periodized world history into four “world kingdoms”: Babylonia, Macedonia, Carthage, and Rome. His work is a compilation of material from the chronicles of Eusebius of Caesarea, Sulpicius Severus, and pagan Roman authors. Of special interest are his books containing excerpts from nonextant works by Livy and Tacitus, and his books containing information on the Black Sea area of the first and second centuries B.C. that is not found in other sources. Orosius’ works were widely known in the Middle Ages.


Historiarum adversum paganos libri VII. Edited by C. Zangemeister. Leipzig, 1889.
In Russian translation:
Excerpts from Orosius’ work in Vestnik drevnei istorii, 1949, no. 4, pp. 263–64.
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My hypothesis is furthermore supported by Orosius, who cannot be suspected of embracing apokatastasis, and who explicitly attributes this doctrine to Basil, as I argue in a separate article.
In the historical narratives, particularly in Orosius, we find instances of peak events reported in a sequence of clauses which depict an activity or state, i.
Stephen brought by Orosius from Jerusalem to Augustine's own church tempered his earlier skepticism.
69) As Augustine's contemporary Paulus Orosius observed in his highly influential Seven Books of History Against the Pagans, with the sin of humanity the whole of creation was changed: "with our inability to hold our intemperance in check, the world in which we live is punished through the loss of certain animals and the failure of its crops.
272-73); Orosius, The Seven Books of History against the Pagans, trans.
Drawing upon Bede, the Old English Orosius, and on cartographical evidence, this chapter contributes significantly to our understanding of geographical ideas in early England, bringing interesting material together and offering exciting readings in particular of the voyages of Ohthere and Wulfstan in the Orosius.
But Orosius stresses that he learnt his Vergil thoroughly with the schoolteacher (note the use of the term inustum): Ludi litterarii disciplina nostrae quoque memoriae inustum est (Adv.
Two Voyagers at the Court of King Alfred: The Ventures of Ohthere and Wulfstan, together with the Description of Northern Europe from the Old English Orosius.
His demonstration that Christianity was not to blame for secular Roman disasters anticipates those of Augustine and Orosius.
Among the topics are friendship and its limits in Leon Battista Alberti's Della Famiglia, the very idea of pop aesthetics, the tragic rhythm of the Scandinavian ballad, Orosius and the spectacle of Roman religious defeat, Joycean permutations of a Roman pope Peter, and a propaedeutic from the Bacchae of Euripides for interpreting Luke's Stephen-section in Acts 6:1-8:4.
Orosius who is a "piccioletta luce," one might argue, because he does not have supreme authority in the field of history.
Sadly, the book is riddled with historical errors of fact: Orosius, a champion of Christian Rome, is turned into its opponent; the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V conquers Spain in the sixteenth century; Theodoric is said to be active in the peninsula in AD 456, after his death which occurred in AD 451; the council of Agde is transposed to Spain; the Flavian Lex Irnitana appears to be moved to the second century AD; and there are many more such instances.