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.
WORKSHistoriarum 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.