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Paulus Orosius:   Histories against the Pagans


In 410 A.D. the Goths captured the city of Rome - an event which made a profound impression on writers of the time. Pagan writers were quick to blame the disaster on the spread of Christianity: the old gods no longer protected the city.

In response to these accusations, Augustine wrote his City of God; and at the same time he asked Orosius to write a companion work, which would show that similar disasters had afflicted mankind since the earliest times. In fulfilling this request, Orosius produced the longest surviving summary of the whole range of ancient Roman history, from the beginning up until Orosius' own lifetime. Orosius followed Livy in placing the foundation of Rome in 751 B.C. He used the era from the foundation of the city ("Ab Urbe Condita") to date all subsequent years, although he included frequent digressions about Greek history, which could not usually be dated in this way.

The Latin text of Orosius, as edited by C.Zangemeister, is available here. Max Bänziger has kindly corrected a number of mistakes in this copy of the text.

The English translation is adapted from the translation by I.W. Raymond (1936), which has been available online for some years. Unfortunately this translation is known to contain numerous errors; see the review by E.M.Sanford (AHR, 1937 - the first page can be found at Oxford Academic). Therefore the version shown here has been thoroughly revised, often with the help of the modern translation by A.T.Fear (Liverpool, 2010), which should be consulted by any serious student of Orosius.


Book 1.   1-2       Latin text     English translation         -     [ Geography ]
Book 1. 3-19       English translation     ante urbem conditam     [ - 752 B.C.]
Book 2. 1-19       Latin text   English translation     A.U.C. 1 - 363 [ 751 - 389 B.C.]    
Book 3. 1-14       Latin text   English translation     A.U.C. 364 - 425 [ 388 - 327 B.C.]
Book 3. 15-23       English translation     A.U.C. 426 - 463 [ 326 - 289 B.C.]
Book 4. 1-13       Latin text   English translation     A.U.C. 464 - 533 [ 288 - 219 B.C.]
Book 4. 14-23       English translation     A.U.C. 534 - 606 [ 218 - 146 B.C.]
Book 5. 1-15       Latin text   English translation     A.U.C. 606 - 646 [ 146 - 106 B.C.]
Book 5. 16-24       English translation     A.U.C. 647 - 679 [ 105 - 73 B.C.]
Book 6. 1-12       Latin text   English translation     A.U.C. 679 - 696 [ 73 - 56 B.C.]
Book 6. 13-22       Latin text   English translation     A.U.C. 697 - 751 [ 55 - 1 B.C.]
Book 7. 1-25       Latin text   English translation     A.U.C. 752 - 1060 [ 1 - 309 A.D.]
Book 7. 26-43       Latin text   English translation     A.U.C. 1061 - 1168 [ 310 - 417 A.D.]


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