ABSTRACT

Augustine met his particular problem by producing at a lofty level a significant kind of historical study, a very ambitious analysis of the whole drama of human life in time. He wrote as a believing Christian and he regarded the inspired Scriptures as containing the most accurate historical writing in existence. And he vindicated his view by saying that the prophecies had been fulfilled, and a work which so successfully predicted the future could be relied upon to discharge the easier task of merely recounting the past. Unlike Eusebius, Augustine did not love the collection of mere facts, the hunt for sources or the recording of contemporary events for the sake of the future. He accepted the date provided in the stock classical histories or in the Old Testament, though he resorted to some ingenious criticism when faced by a glaring anomaly. He was even perfunctory when he had to do any narrating - any mere recapitulating of monarchs or wars or famous occurrences. It was part of his plan to show that Rome had

suffered no end of disasters before the Christian religion had even appeared; but he had not the patience for such a work of enumeration, and he handed that part of the task to a disciple of his, Crosius, who worked the matter out in a book of his own.