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e of .
the Idea of HistoIY

ID tIqUlty
Gerald A. Press
The idea of history. and especially the Klea that history is goal-directed,
has figured prominently in Western thought since the Renaissance. pro-
viding the conceplUal foundation for philosophies ami theologies of
histor)' as well as of a varlety of social theories. Therefore an extensive
schola rly literature has come into existence in the past century which
discusses the origin and early history of the idea. It is widely held that
in ancient Creek and Roman thought history is understood as circular
and repctiti\'e (a consequence of their anti-temporal metaphysics) in
contrdSt with Judaco-Christian thought, which sees history as linear and
unique (a consequence of their messianic and h~nce radically tcmpond
This account of the idea of history in anttquity exemplifies a more
general vlew: that the Craeco-Roman and Judaeo-Christian ('uhures
were fundamentally alien and opposed cultural forces and that. there-
fore. Christianity's victory over paganism included the replacement or
supersession of onc intellectual world by another.
In this study Dr. Press shows thal COntrary 10 this belief there was
substantial rontinuity between "pagan" and Christian ideas or history in
antiquity, rather than a striking opposition between cydic and linear
patterns. He finds that the foundation of the Christian view of history
as goal-direcled lies in the rhetorical rdlhcr thall the theologiCdl motives
of early Christian writcr!..

Cerald A. Press is a member of the Western Cuhure Program at Stanford

University .

Richard 11. I'upkill . Editor


Gerald A. Press

McCill-Queen's Universi ty Press

Montreal & Kingston . London lthaca
Cl McGill-Qucc ..... UnNcnlty Prc" 1982
IS8N 0.7".5-1002-8

Leg ..1 deposit 4th quuu:r 1982

BiblioLh~ue nalion .. lc du Quebc<:

Printcd in Can..d..
Reprintcd 200'

McGm-Qun'. UniW!:nity Press ..cknowledge. thc

.upporl of the Canld.. Council for the Arts for our
publishing prognm. We also uknowledge the Iinanci ..1
support ofllle GoW!:rnmem olCanada through the Book
Publi$hing Indu$lry ~lopmcnl Prognm (IPtDP )
lor ou r publilhing acLhitics.

Press, (;(,rodd A" {(;(,r.dd Abm), 1!H.5-

The d~lupme"t of the klc:a 0( hlnory In antiquity

(McCiIl.Qucen'l sLudlelln the hl$lory of ideal,

ISSN 07l1.()9g!l ; 2)
Bibliognphy: p.
Indudel index,
ISBN 0.71'.5-1002-8
I . HiO\ory Phil<ophy, 2, HiltOry, Ancicnt
Hhtoringraphy, I. Ti de. 11. Series.
016,8,P74 901 C82.()94246-4
To M Y Parents
for teaching me to
seek understanding

and to Vida
for helping me
to understand
what I find

ItdtnQ'WltdgmmLs IX

I JmroducUon 3

11 History as Inquiry in the Hellenic Age 23

III History as a Literary Genre : T he Hellenistic Age 35

IV T he Early Roman Empire: History as Story and the 61

Rhetorical Use of History by the Early Christians.

V The Distinction between Sacred and Profane History 89

in Late Antiquity

VI Conclusion : T he [)cvelopment of the Idea of l-li5lOl) " 12 1

and the Culluml Ferment of Late Amiquity

1tP/>t'1di.x: Bibliography of Wor.b Oil tht Arctptnl Vit'w of tilt Id,a of 147
fliskJry it! Antiquity

Indnc tororum 15 J

/tukx I ndiCtlm 165

Indn of Namts aM Subju 175


J wish to express my gr.uilude to all those who. in various ways, have helped
to make this book possible. In particular I would like to thank Jason L.
Saunders and Paul Henry, SJ., whose leaching most directly led to and
guided this work, and Richard H. Papkin, Herbert Marcuse. and Stephen
CrilCS. who have been inspirations both as teachers and as creative Ihinkers.
I would also like to thank Sleven L. Goldman. Thomas St!'Cbohm. and W.
Kendrick Pritcheu for reading earlier versions and providing muchneeded
encouragement, Paul P.soinos for invaluable help with the noles and in-
dexes, Vida Pavesich for aid, counsel. and solace from lirSllO last (bUl nOI
for typing the manuscript). and David Fate Nonon. over many years teacher,
editor, adviser. friend.

:. . T ilE ~()T.:S, classica l Creek a nd Latin au thors arc cited accord

I2ndin~ 10 the standard abbreviations of the O'!!ord Classim{ J)icliona~,.,
cd . (Oxford : C larendo n Press, 1970) . O ccasionally I have
adopted the abbrc\"iat ions of the Liddcll-Sl'Olt: Jmu:s Gmt-English
Lr:ricon (Oxford: C larcndon Press, 1966). or Le..... is and Sho rt 's Lalin
Di(tiona~v (Oxford : Clarendon Press. 1966 ). Early C hri stian aut hors
not ind uded in any of the fo regoing arc ci u:d according 10 Ihe a htm:-
viations in Du Cange's Glossarium ,\ltdiat (/ hifimat Lnlinilalis ( Paris,
1840- 50) . In some cases I have had IQ const ruct ahbrc\-iations o r I
have chosen 10 c:oma ru cl onc more consistent wi th the others than
are Du Ca nge's. for a tabulation and ex planation ofa!lthe ahbrevia-
tions, see the Index Lncnrulll (pp. 13 1--&1). Whe re\'er possible. ,U\-
lhurs are cited according tn standard !lulI1berinK S},SII: lI1 S, atrhuugh I
havc u nifo rm l}" used Ara bic numerals rather than thc mixtures (If
Arabic and Roman o((cn fou nd. C it a tions by pa~e (" p.") rt:fer to th e
pagin ation of a pa rticu lar edition, us uall y sta ndard , listed in lhe in-
dex I.ocorum . A citatio n of th e form "1.345 , 1- 8" refers to Volum e I,
page 345, li nes I~ .
I n addition , t he fo llowing abb reviations arc used for seri es, jour-
nals, and collect ions:
.4c rr Andtnt Chri.Jtiafl II'ritm: Tlu Horb ofthr Fathrr.J in TrnllS-
AiVF Thl .4ntl-Nianr Fathtr.J. Transla tions of the writings of
the fathers down to ,\ . Il . 325. Et! . Alexander Robcn s
a nd Jamcs Donald son.
(J U(JJJirnl ./ollrlllll.
er Clrmiail Phi/v").!:.!'.
CSf:I. (;url!llJ l/"ripfuflllII f(drf;mlim/'lll/l fal;II/If!IIII ,

Oit'ls, DC H crm:1Il1l Di th., /)oxo,e,mphi ,/!Talri. U('din : d(" G ru ylcr .

D- K' Hc' rn131111 Dids. IJ il Fra,e,lIIrnl( d". ror.mkrari*rr. i th ("d . ,
rt'\'is('d h y Wahlu'r Km nz. 8('rlin: \\'r irlman n. 1954.3
GC'S Oi, ,e, riuhiJf"htn rhTiJIIi(hrn SrhrijiJltlln (/" m/In } ah rhun-
d"II . Bf'rlin : Akadl'mi(' dc'r \\,iss(' llsc halic'n . 1897- 1%9.
GRBS (,',uk. Roman and 1~1'::'fIIllin' .\'Iudiu.

Il &Th !!il la"

. //Tiff 77"(111'.
lilAC j "I"llIIrf, l iil ;\lItil,,- III/d (;"';,\/1'11/11111.
J IlI J ournal q( /1" 1Ii,' to~ )' of IdfflS.
J IIS J ournal q{ f M/flli,. .'ill/di,l .
NPNF Srl", l.ihwTl' oj Ill., ,\'iant and Posl-Siant Falkm rif Ill.,
Christian Church. Ed . Philip Schaff. NI'\\' Ymk : The
Christian I.il('rillurr Co .. 1886-90 .
PG .1 .1'. ~ ti.'t IH" . Pn 'mlo.~ il/' Cl/mu Comp/fllls. S"i,s (;rtucn.
PI. .I .- P. Mi.'tllt'. Pntrnlo~in' Om',/.)' (;ompl,tu5. S"i,.f lA /inn.


exhibits a striking preoccupation

with history. The resecularization ofhislory writing in the four
teenth-century Florentinc chronicles and the Renaissance rediscovery
of the value of knowing something about the human terrestrial past
contributed to making history,' for the fiTSt time in Western civiliza-
tion, an independent pan of the educational curricul um . Francis Ba-
con, for example, divides all human learning into history , poesy, and
philosophy.' Since then histories have been writlen not only with the
traditiona l subject matters of nations and wars (including the medie-
val variant, ecclesiastical history), but also with subject mallers both
wider and narrower. Histories have been written of continen ts, civili-
zalions, and the world ; but they have also been wriuen of institutions,
languages, and cultures. There are histories of the arts (liberal , fin e,
mechanical, domestic, and martial ), of aesthetics, art criticism, and
taste, as wd l M of the sdences and technology. Historks have a lso
been written of images, themes, problems, and id eas that recur in the
folklore , art, and intellectual culture that unite a civilization, of schools
and movements of thought , and of enteTlainments, sports, and games.
There are also histories of history writing, one part of an extensive
literature of historiography . A variety of political and social theories
have found in history the evidence both for analyses of prevailing
systems and for predictions or prescri ptions about the future. Meta-
physical analyses oflhe whole course of history have issued in a variety

I Sce But rice Re ynolds "Shifting C urren ts in Hiswrical Crilici5m," JHI 11

(1953): 171-92; Louis Green, " Hi5torical In terpl'"elat ion in the Fourteenth Century
Florentine Chronicles,"' JHI2R ( 1967) : 16 1-78; and Donald J. Wilco.:. TII, Dtllflopmt"1
.f FlfIfflItiM Hllmtlllist Hisl~,iol rflplg ill lite Fiflu~tA CmlllTJ , Harvard Hisl0f"ical Studitll,
82 (1969).
I Bacon. AallllllC""tllf of l~t,"li"" Bk. 2, Pt . I, para . \ .
of phi losophies o f history; illld his to ry has hccll ta ken to he the proof
o f Chris tia nit y as wt' lI as its illl1l'(llIOSI ('sst'nCl', il s different'e from
and sUJXriorily to all o th"r n' li)(ions. I1 is not a n t'Xaggeration 10 say
th at the idea o f histo ry. is Ollt' ur tilt' most wid('1\". innut'lllial a nd for
ma tivt' idt'as in du' modt'm \\'(' S\(' rtl iult'llt'e tu al world . '
Til t' idea of hi story that has inf()rml'n th,' di slinel iwly modem so-
cial thco ri rs, philosophies, and th('uluJ.(i('s is that his tory is tdie. or
goal-directed : then' is an ('lid or glial- a 1,los- lOwarn which his tory
is (incvi tably ) mO\'in)(, whidl mOlY he kno wn ('itlll'r h ~' ration a l in -
q uiry in to the la ('ts ur hy renlatioll. and in rela tion tu which all prior
actions and CVCntS ha\"(' hot h their nU'allin .~ ;mci tlH'i r \alur. I n the
past hund rcci years this icka has hfTIl t'X H'lIsiwly cliscussect , ilS ori-
g in s sought in "ar l ~ .J ewis h Ill" Christian thuug h t, its , 'ariants dassi-
Ii ("d , its cnnscqu(,IIC('s prais('d o r niti('i . . I'(t. a nd it has ht,t'n C"ompan'd
with n tht'r and ('arli t'r id t'as ur history. In the SlIt:(""('l'(l ing " haplcrf> I
shall lry III d t'\('rOlit ll' tlt(' d('\'c,lupnH'u t ('1' dJ(' id,'a fir history ill a ll-
t;quity, taking as my horiwll this inllUl'11l ial a mi Illodl'rn ;d (,,;1 or his-
tory as goa l dir('ct('d . Bill th is is (Jnly a " htll';zon" nc'(ausf'. dcspiu'
the weigh t o f p r('\'iolls disnlss;o n , t ill' ('v idt'lll"l' slmws Iha t tht' id('a of
his to ry a s going sunwwlll'n' i", l1<1t li .u nd in llllli{llJiI Y.
T hc'rt' is . as I haw just s tl!o:~t's H'd . a wic\t'ly ;IlT ('~h'd accoun t I o f
thc id t a of history in antiquit y, ,llId it pr('suppusc's thitt there was a n
o p posit iOlI h(' tWt'{'JI tlu' GI':t('c',,- Rt IOlal) a lld .Juda(f)-C hristian c' ul-
lures. Although this oppusi tiun \\<lS all'f':l(l y ,Hlu mhrillt'd in H q.~I' I :'
Ih" mOSl inlluc'ntia l st u n~' Ilfil li ,,, thf' <iisnlss;llllclfth " id(,a uflli slUry

' Ibjo H o lhurll l"(;r.. tk ,w ti ~ I "d " n' Cum... p. ~ " I' Hi M\lr~ , " .1111 IU 1I!9J ;:fj
sa ~ $: " On ly in H .. I1f'nic :md WI'"lIi I.. rn ,;,il; l .lI inn flid hisl"ri"OI I thu II)!: h. ,\ItIU;r.... Iruly
funda m('ntal rot(' for Ihf' ... h"lr Ju unUl'(' of .uhur ..... Simil;u ly . Kos l;u Papaioallll ou .
"'nlt COIl~c nl,li'H I Hr H i5l"~ :' /)j~ltfM ' :! O !ItiI.Jl ::.t!I- :l5. ".Iul H tnr~' , SJ .. l ,IY' [St .
lug l/Slillt 0/1 P, .sQltlfli(l j !'IitW Y" rk: "Jat'mil hm , I ~ijill ) , 11, :151 111:11 I ht idras o f Ht''' li"n .
ptrlorHl lit ~. l. ncl h;NtHr y ,UI" limd .. m r nl l.t in nllld (, rll Wt Sttnl Ihlllll!;lll al1d t l1li rtly
u nk nllwn ill IhrM' ti.rm N In 11", ;\llt'i"11\ ,..",Id . K a r l Rl'illllilrdl l" " h iln o.ophy ann H is
to ry amlOll,l1; Iht (;rttks." (;'NU and R MII. It . ~ . I I HI~I.I) : H1 _!IO I,md rnak ..s III r xplain
w hy {irrt k IIIUII)(III . nn tik., lIl"d(' I'll , r:< lK'rir nrtd 1111 W" h l('1ll :,b"u! Ih r rrl ;lI il'ln~ h i p
Ilt l \\ rt u ph ilfl!lOph y allll h iN t.... ~ . :\ nd t ))wah l S ..... IlJ.:IIr I Th, Dulllft '!IIIr, 11 ;'M , :! ,101.
( "tW Yo rk : Knnpr. 1!11m , I : 1:1:.11 d l"nits his turit':\1 l""Il S" iUII ~Ut~~ 11> t hr " Chusical
soul. -
' Thr t"oll owi,,)!: di~(,1l5~ic ll1 "".hillil,; pllSSa!{h Ir"m \:... i"u~ sd ll!lars ,md thinktn il
lus trati ve: of the: .-it\> Ihat i~ ... idd ~ :u'('t' pl m ,HId p;ort k ul:lr ,,"iuu in it. :\ mo rt
rS ltuS;H list uf wurks Ih;1I fXl'Uulltl llr i""ukt Ihi~ ,'k w will hI' found ;n Ihl' ,\ppt'n
di x.
" Sf't . In. I'sa m plf', HI'!{<'l, 1.NI~ w rill IIr, I'ltilo ,,,p~ r '!/ Ili" (I~ I". Ira m . J. Sihrf't j ;-';tW
Ym k: Colunial " rl'ss. J ~ l(lO l, 1'1. :t, S... :1. C ha ll. 1, pp, :1I11- :W,
Introdutt;on 5

was Lucien Laberthonniere's I~ rialtime chrititn tl I'idialisme grtc;6 the

theme of the book is that Greek philosophy is

in ra.dical opposilion to C hristianity.

But although they carefully preserved the Greek philosophy and its
language and its dialectical procedures and even its thoories, they in-
troduced here somethi ng else. h is a different spirit that flows in their
speculations. Under their pen , words change meaning and concepts
take on a different content. Far from bei ng allevialw, I should say
rather that in their thought the opposition explodes: for, to be definite,
it is not a conciliation that they are bringing about , it is a substitution;
they substitute one doctrine for another doctrine and one attitude lor
a nother altitude. And that remains true of all the great doctors of the
Gred church a nd uf the Latin c! Irch ... .
. . . This combination, rather than producing a stable equilibrium in
which one might have hoped to settle down , finally came to the point
of manifesting even more complelt:ly Ihe opposit ion that we point
OUI . . .
It is this opposition that we would like to try to make plain. 1

Note the claims here: th ere is a different "spirit," in accordance with

which "words change meaning and concepts take on a different
content "; it is "a substitution [of] . .. one doctrine for another, " a
"radical opposi tion." And from this opposition fullows the basic
move in the usual account of the idea of history in antiquity: the
con tention that the Judaeo-C hristian idea of history differs radically
from the Graet::o-Roman .
This move was already made in 1891 by Wilhelm Windelband . the
historian of philosophy. He writes :

The fundamental tendency ofChriSlian thought .. , was to portray thc

historical drama of fall and redemption as a connected series of events
taking plact': once for all , which begins with a free decision of lower
spirits to sin, and has its turning point in the redemptive revelation,
the resolve of divine freedom . In contrast with the naturalistic
concepts of Greek thought, hiJtory is (onuilJtd of QJ tJr~ rtalm offill ac/s DJ

l.a ~rthormitr~ , 1.1 rifl/ism( duili", t l l"ldifl/iS1M ITn (Paris, 1904; reprinted Paris:
Edilion de Scuil, 1966),
I Ibid .. pp. 245-46. j. Guiuon [u Tr>fl/n " r i,""il; rhn PIi" rl SI. Auplttrw (Paris:
KQvin, 1933). p. 357 1 cites LaberthOf1R~~ in i.ll~ <:OUrK of arguing ror the ~.
placem~nl of cycles by a hillo riul world "with spiritual sigoificancc,"
6 Uta of HjJto~I'

personaii/ia, taking JI{Q(( bllt OMt. and [he' c hara c u~ r of tht'st' aCI!I, agret'
ably 10 the entire consciousnt"ss of lim (' . is of f'ssf'ntia lly rdigiou5 sig-
n ificanCf'.R

A. O. Lovcjoy, later the founder of Ihe stud y of the history of ideas,

made similar observations about C hrist ianity and the idea of history
just after the turn of the ce ntury .~ Discussion of the rn 3t1N im.: reased
arou nd t he middlt of Ihe ('cntury. and onc of the mos t infl uen ti al
parti cipants in that discussion was Osca r Cull mann, Ih(' theologia n
and opponent of Albert Scll'.,;ei tzer a nd Rudolf Bult mann . In ChristuJ
/lnd dit ail Cullmann argues tha t history is the very essence of Chris-
tianity , Ihat " all C hristian t heology in its innN mosl cssen('(' is Dibli-
ca l hislory,"IO that is, rcvdatory or redemptive history. For him "the
unique C hristian conception of li n.t as Ih e scene I)f redcmpli\"(' his-
tol')' is of a two-fold chara('lcr .. . . I n tll(' first plan'. salvation is
bound to a continuous timt proctJs which t'mbraccs past . present and
fu ture.. .. And in the second plac(' . all parts of this line a rc related
to onc historical foCI at tht~ mid-point."" And this. it is Iwlie\'cd, is
radica lly different from Greek a nd Ruman \it'ws.
Craeeo-Roman thought IOcus('d on thi' s tuet y of the nat ural world
in which what is real is what is repeatabl(": not th(' individual but th('
species is of interest . The Gracco- Roman mind was devoted to reali-
ties and truths outsid e tim(, (Ior rxamplr . Parmcnidcs. Plato. and
Plotin us), to a bstractions and ideas . rat h(,r than individ uals. " It is
abstraction tha t is for them tht" instrument of tru th and the instru ment
of salvation.. .. (the ind ividual I is for them the scanda l of
thoughl."'2 The natural world is ('tc rnal and Ihe natural species are

I Winddband , HiJIQV Qj PlrilQJQfJII.J. Irans. J am" H. Tuns t Sr......... ork: Macmillan.

1 89~ ), p. 257.
t Lo~jo}' . ~ Rf:l igion and Iht T imt Proctss," .4IrItri(.. ~ ) 011111 ..1 0./ 1'lttO/oJ.) 6
(1903) :488(('.; "Thf: Enlangling Alliallft of Rtl igion and Hino,)'," Ilihhnljtl/ll1lQI 6
( 1907) :261fT. On his view. howewr. this constilUlt$ a na",' in Christian tt h if~ . whidl
oughl 10 bt- rf: moved .
11 Cullmann, C"rnllll MII4 tiit Lif (Zurich, 1946) - CA,il f rl It Ttfll/u tNtuch!td,
1947) ... ClrriSI IIfIII Ti"". 17It Pri""li.~ ClrriJljlllf COllaplIolI rif Ti"" .. ...I HidO~I. IU. nl.
Floyd Fibon (Philaddphia: \\'f:slm inistrr Press. 1 9~) . p. 23. Similarl)". C. ~ . Co-
chrane, CllriJIi4~ il.J 1I1f4 CIIIJsifO/ CIt/llt" (Nt"' York: Ox(ord l ' nh'rnil y Prtss. 1(44 ). p.
tI Chrisl tlffd Tim" p. 32. cr. Gtrharl Ladlll"r, "T ht Impacl o( C hristianil)... in TIlt
T,lIl1Jfo,.,. .. ,illfl rif tiu Ro",..1t WllrI'. td . l.y"n Whilt (lkrkdty: Uni\"ruily'oI'Cali(ornia
p~ss . 1966). C hap. 2.
11 1.abf:rttH:mni~rf:. Lt ,illtismt chrilulI, pp. 248-50.
Introduction 7

eternal by virtue of the repeated life cycles of the individual mem-

bers. Thus, on the usual view, time, which is the number or measure
of change in nature, is understood as a circle (for example, Arist.
PIt.Y$. 229h). Rectilinear motion is "imperfect and perishable," circu-
lar is " perfect and eternaL" " Like all natura) species the human be-
ing is also eternal ; and just as each individual und ergoes the devel-
opmental cycle of the species, so events in the human social and p0-
litical world were believed to recur in cycles (for example, the Stoic
theory of the cyclic des truction and recrea tion of the world ). " For the
Creeb, what has been is what shall be, what is done is what shall be
done again ."14 The id ea of history is logically dependent upon the
tdea of time; it too, therefore , is circular. "The ancients . .. were
impressed by the visible order and beauty of the cos mos, and the
cosmic law of growth and decay was also a pattern for their under-
standing of history. According to the Greek view of life and the
world , everything moves in recurrence, like the eternal recurrence of
sunrise and sunset , of summer and winter, of generation and corrup-
tion. " I ~
History, then , is taken to be circular and repetitive. Therefore, nei-
ther history as a whole nor any individual historical event can have
any pa nicular meaning or value; si nce if a thing or an event comes [ 0
pass over and over again in just the same way, then no one instance
of the type can have any more or less meaning than any other. None
of them has any meaning in itself; only the type or form of the thing,
which is eternal. " When a man lives with the certain ty of the finalit y
and excellence of the world , he feels no need whatsoever to confer
upon the passing and fortuitous event a privileged status destined to
fortify his faith in his own a utonomy or to calm his fears over his
capacity 10 form his life according to the desires of his own will ." 16
Since history and historical even ts in Graeeo-Roman thought were
meaningless, there eou ld be for them no philosophy of history. "To
the G reeks a philo$ophy of history would have been a contradiction in

11 Kostas Papaioa nnou, "Nature a nd History in the G n:dll. Conception of Ihe Cos-
mos," DiftlntfJ, no. 25 (1959), p. 9. Likewise Robert E. Cushman, ~Greek and C hris
tian Views of Time," j(JllrJullllj Rdilio" 33 (1953): 256.
It Papaioannou , ''Cosmos,'' p. 26.

L) Kart U)with , M tflning in Jlillory (Chicago: University of Chicago Prts.$,1957),

p .4.
" Wilhdm Dilthey, Einltihl"l in dj, {;';JJt JwiJUIIMlt4jkn , lrans. L. Sauzin (t'aris:
PrnKs uni versilaires, 1942), p. 25.
8 Uta of History
u:rm5,"1I Lowith wrote. And Kostas Papaioannou sa id , "A philos-
ophy of this kind, with the rigid oppositions which it impl ies between
NalUre and mind , between objectivit y and su hjecti vity, hctween
necessity and freedom , as well as the value emphasis which it places
on all the generative facuhies of hislOry runs counter to the deepes t
aspirations of the Greek mind ." '1 Moreover. on the usua l account ,
this repclitious, meaningless circulari!)' of limt' a nd history " must be
ex perienced as a n enslavement , as a curse .... (,yc rything keeps
recurring . ... that is why the philosophical thinking of the Greek
world laOOn with the problem of lime and also wh) a ll G reek s tri v-
ing for redemption seeks as its goal to oc freed from this eternal ,
circular coursc and thus to bt' freed fmm tim e itself. "I" The pessi-
mi sm, " the eternal desperate pessimism of the eterna l circle of
events,"70 generaled by this explai ns, fin ally. both the " failure" of
classical cuhure to satisfy the spiritual needs of human beings and
the consequent decline of the anciem world .tl
Graeco- Roman thought, characterized ill this way, is then con-
trasted with Judaeo-Christian thought. Tht' laller, it is said , has a
fundam entally different conception of time, and thus brings into exis-
tence a fundamentally new idea of history. J ewish and C hristia n
thought begins from the createdness of the world. of the natural spe-
cies , and of human beings. For it tim e, and therefort' history, has a
beginning and an end-Crea tion and Day of Judgment- although
J ews and C hristians differ over the rela tionship between the present
age in history a nd the decisive even I in history. As against the cycl ic
views of classical antiquity, they "saw timt' as the li near process of
the purpose of God . Initiated by a divine act of creation , it moved
towards a definit e "tt).os: or cnd , whi ch would mark the achievement
of the divine purpose ."l? Time and history art' here understood to be

" U.with, Aftfllli", ilf Hu/(}ry, p. 4.

11 Pilpaioannou. "Cosmos, p. 3.

"Cul!milnn. CArisl G~d Time, p. ,')3 .

~ R. L. P. Milburn, EArly CAristitJ~ J"tnfJ r,'fll;o1tS .f HisllJ~l (London; A . and C.
Black, 1954), p. 7.
" E.g., An ton-Hermann C hrousi. uThr Relation of Religion 10 Hi$lory in Early
Chriltian Thought," "T'M "TMmiJf 18 ( 1955) :67; John Baillie, TM Bdiif ill Pro,rus
(New York : Scribnen. 1950), p. 50; and Jamrs M. Conno1ly. 1/II."'fI" mm.., GM /JeI
Wc",1 tif QxI (No::w York: Macmillan , t963-64), p. 4. FM an nrlier " o::rsion of tho::
"fa ilure and ded ine" mood. set' J aoob Burckhanh , TIu ..ttt tif C01\.f tll~tillt (1852),
nilns. Moses Hildas (New York: Random HOl.lse, 19+9), Chaps. 5 and 6.
ft S. G . '. Brandon, " R.C. and A.D.: The C hristian Philosophy of His tory," His/ory
TINiIlY 15 (1965) : 197 . Uktwiso::. C ullmann, Christ IIIIt! Timt. pp. 52. N. H. Snailh
Inlrodu.ction 9

rectilinear, once and for all, and directed toward the end or goal of
the Messianic Age. In contrast with Graeco-Roman theories of
" purposeless cycles, history was now seen 10 be linea r, progressing in
a straight line from th e six days of creation to a single day of Judg-
ment. "n Thus, " to Ihe Jews and Christians .. . history was primarily
a history of salvation.":M There is but one history, that of the Divine
Economy: " the Biblical conception of the unfolding of God's plan for
the creation, and particu larly for man's red emption in history . "~ As
unders tood in Judaeo-Christian thought , " terrestrial history is a for-
ward-moving process of a very special kind. It has an txortw, a cen-
tn"", and afinis, a definite beginning, a middle or focal point, and a
definite end ."" Each event is thus unique, playing its unique role in
the economy, and therelore meaningful.
This new conception of history, so it is thought, can be seen in the
development of Christian historiography. On the one hand, the new
importance attached to history is seen in the invention of altogether
new forms of historical composition, ecclesiastical history and the
biography of saints. But more significantly, in the confiden ce of the
early church historians-Eusebius, Socrates Scholasticus, Sozomen,
and Evagrius-it is seen tha t Divine Providence guides all events:
"The Church his torians' task had a basic unity, for all the historians
and their readers would agree that church history was properly and
essentially a record of the power of God and of the action of God in
human affairs. Thus church history was a test of the truth of the
faith .. .. Hence the church historian had a special vocation within
the church, not only as a narrator of events, but as a channel through
which the truth of the faith was proclaimed."7/
It is widely agreed , then, that for Judaeo-Christianity, history-
that is, the eschatological history of salvation-is linear, once and for
all, and therefore meaningful in the goal-directed sense of fulfilling

["T ime in the Old Tellament," in PToflliu otl F_ljillmnt.l, W. F. F. Brutt (Edinburgh:
T. &. T . Clart, 1963), pp. 1 7~1 distinfl:uishe$ among circular, horizont"l, "nd
vertical time.
D Constantinos A. Palridcs, T!u PIt_ix.vul tM Lu/in (lkrkdey: University ole ... li-
fOrnia Press, 196.5), p. 6.
h LOwith, MtaJIi"'l ill H iJlory, p. 5.
n R. A. Markus, " Pleroma and Fullillment. The Significance or H istory in St. I~_
nacus' Opposition to Gnosticism," Vi,UUu CltrutUvuu 8 (1954):2 13.
,. Baillie, Bflitj ill Pr9,RJJ, p. 84. Likewise C ushman, "Vicws of Time," p. 254.
"Glanville Downey, "The Perspective: or the .arly Church Historians," GRBS 6
( 1965) :69.
10 Idta oj History

Goo 's promise ofsalv3lion for his people, whereas for Grac:co-Roman
culture history is circular, repetitive, and therefore meaningless .
Since philosophy of hislOry is inconceivable apart from history under
stood as meaningful , it is fair 10 say Ihal this fund amentall y new
philosophic pursuit is a consequence of JudaeoChristianity. " The
very existence of a philosophy of history and its q ues t for a meaning
is due 10 the history of sa lvation; it emerged from faith in an ultimate
purpose: .... History . .. is meaningful only by indicating some tran-
scendent purpose beyond the actual facts," wrote l..ow ith .lII And it is
in this sense thal Augustine 's /)t rivitalt Dei is often sa id to be the firsl
treatise on the philosophy of hislOry. " The Christian philosophy of
hi story was fi rst enuncia ted by Augustine in response to pagan
claims that this new religion was responsible for the sack of Rome by
Alaric's Got hs in 410."29 Again , " Augustine may righ tly be called the
father of the C hristian ' philosophy' of history. His major work on the
subject, De dIJitall Dti {o nlra pa,(QI'IOS ... was written in the apologetic
and polemic vein typical of mos t of his writings . "~
The widely a ccepted view of the id ea of history in antiquity that 1
have been outlining is, as is clear, a part of a more general discussion
of the relationship between C racco-- Roma n and J udaco-Ch ristian in-
nuences on the formation of Wes tern thought a nd civilization . It is a
commonplace that Western thought is Ch rist ian (or Judaco-
C hristian).'l Bu t although it is !l;cnerally and vaguely agreed that

111 Uiwilh, M,tmi", /" lIiJI01.J, p . ~. Tht vi~ that J udaro-Chri.... ianil y is responsiblt
ror the inven tion of philo5oph) or his lory is aometi~s u rritd to the e)ltrem" or su p-
posing Iha t only a Chrislian can Il:a ll ~ undemand hislOr)" al all. J. N. loiAgis, ror
vcample. wriU:I: ~Tht hiSlorical ttmpcraTTlCCnl. or ..... hat,.v,. r you n il il, 10 be ge nui ne
must be deeply impregnated with the Christian Slory- IC1triJti~lfil.f ~lId HiJlo~, ( Lon-
don: Finch, 190~ ), p. \'iiil . And A. N. Wildtr IE,,~~ C1trilli~1I RlttltPir (London:
S.C .M ., 1964), p. 136J gua evt n further and daim~ Wnn prnpl,.~ ha \ ~ a history in tht
true .eMe (Keep' Israel and thos,. thal ha\"( tnltrrd into in undtrstandinR or man.
The re.ality.sc nle or other human KrouP! is prehistorical and prtpcrsonal br compari-
son." Emile Brchitr ," Quelqu,.s traits dt I ~ pll ilosophi,. dt \'hiS\oir,. dans I'anliqu ilf
clauiq\I(," R . " IIiJl8i" tI Philostl/lftit Rtl(citttm ( 1943). (>. 38-401, hnw,.,rr. holds that
Ih( StOlet af1d Polybiu" w;lh their not ion o(, h,. Un il} ofmankind. rrtalrd philosophy
of his lory; Christianit y did nOI.
Jt Brandon, ~ BC . and A.n .. ~ p. 191. J ean Dllniclou I"SI. I ren~ rl It. origines dr-
la theologie de I'histoirt," R. dt J( imu " U,iMt 34 (1947) : 227-3 1J finds tht origin in
Irenaeus' C"lIplana ti on oftht relation !xtwttn Irn- O ld a nd Ne .... TeslamentS in Irrms
of a progressive ~ucation of hum ani t ~.
,. Patrides, P1tot~ i.t, p. 13.
" Sce, ror tJ:llmple, Lynn White. 'Christian Myt h and C hrist ian History:' j H/ 2
( 1 942) : \4~; Frank li n La Van Baumer, cd., M aill Cumllls ~J U'rsUnI 11HJulltI (New
York: Alfred. A. Knopf, 196 11. p. 20: :lOO B~JK II"rilill;(J ~ Sdilll AUl UJli",. cd. l>I'ilh
Introduction II

Christianity did decisively transform Western thought, accounts of

the rise of Ch ristianity as a distinctly intel lectual phenomenon
usually set forth the differences between "pagan" and Christian
Western civilization rather than showing (in detail) how the transfor-
mation came about. Very onen studies of the relationship between
the Graeco-Roman and Judaeo-Christian intellectual worlds inter-
Pl"f:t the period of their confluence in terms either of the "decline" of
the ancient world or else of the Christian heritage from "pagan"
thought, the "classical heritage of the Middle Ages. ":12
In the perspective of historiography generally, this tradition has
the effect of depriving late antiquity- the period in which the fusio n
took place--of a character of its own. It is seen either as the end of
what came before or as the beginning of what came later; in terms
either of what went in or of what came out, but not in its own terms.
In the narrower perspective orthe historiography of ideas there is the
parallel tradition of opposing the Graeco-Roman and Judaeo-
Christian thought-worlds.
This tradition, as the historiographical framework , brings to light
another problem with the usual account of the idea of hi story in an-
tiquity: it is static, nondevelopmental. TIle different "ideas" of his-

introduction by WhitMy J . Oales (New York: Random HouK, 1948), p. v.

~ It has been customary to give ahurt dlrift to the period in studies of cultural
history because it i. "wholly religious," ~ superstitious, " or "decadent." Typical i.
A. H. M. Jones {TM DttliM 11/./" A",i,,1f World (New Hork: HolI, Rinehart, and Win
ston, 1966), 2 :9S7- 70l , who characterizes the age generally as "religious" and aSl-
uts that its only great intellectual achievement was the elaboration of .yuemalic
Studies or the "decline": t' erdinand Lot, 171, EM of lie, A/\riml W"IJ aM tIu 8,g;II'
1I;lIgs .f lit, Middll A"s (New York: Alrred A. Knopr, 193 1), Charles Corbiire, Lt
Cllristiollislne ,1 la fill " III plt;/osqpltit alll;qw (Paris: Fischbacher, 1921 ); OUo Seuk,
(HJellkllt, des UJlurga"lS tilT A"litm Wtll, 2 11015. (Berlin: Siemenrolh and Troschel,
1901); R. A. Lafferty, 171t Folf ofRo." (New York: Doubleday, 197 1), a literary trUI
ment or the facll; Solomon Katz, TIu lHtliM of R.ortu oNi lItt Riu ~ Mtdimd E",O/Jt
(hhaca: Comell Univenity Pren, 1955); f . W. \falbank, nt Dtdilll of Ill, ROIJIiI"
Ertl/Ji" i. T1u WtSt (London: Cobbeu Pren, 1946); K. Pfister, D" UJlltrl'''l dIT AlIlikm
Wt{1 (Berlin , 1MJ); Roger Remondon, lA mu d, I'E>nfJi,., ",,,,,ilt (Paris: Presses Uni
versitaire., 1964). The notion of a "dedine" is rejecled altogether by Richard Mans_
fidd , 17tt MyIlt of Ro".,'s Flllf (New York: Thomas Y. Crowd/, 1958) .
Studies or the ~heritage or the Middle Ages": W. G . de Burgh, TM UIQCY ~ lItt
A.oml WQ1hi, 2nd ro. (New York: Bames and Noble, 1960); H . SI . L. B. Moss, nu
Bi,tII of tJu Mitltih A"S, 395-1JU (London: Oxford Unillel1llity Press, 1947); Stewart
Perowne, T1u F-Ad of tAt RomlUl Wo,1d (New York: Thomu V. Crowell, 1966); R. R.
Balgar, T1u CI(jStiaJl Htri/4Je (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1954) ; Chris_
topher Dawson, T1u Md:;,., of EllrtlPl (London: Sheed .t Ward, 1932); Henry Osbom
Taylor, T1u CllUsic4l HniJo.g, ~14t MitUh Azt.l, 4th ed. (New York: Ungar, 1957) .
12 Idea of HiIlor.!

tory ar~ presented as deductions, respectively, from a metaphysical

and a theological systl!m understood as complete and unchanging .
There is the metaph ysical though t of the Greeks; and there is the
theology of thc: Christians. Each has il5 own slarling points, and each
comes to its own conclusions.
h is commonly agreed that Ihe Christian doclrinc of the Word made:
Fh:sh gives 10 history a significance it did nOI alrt:ady pos~ess for chls-
sieal Greek thought. Timt' cea~s 10 be- circular and acquires din:c-
tionality. Directional;!)" is constituted not only by Mos but by finis .
Time has beginning with Creation, recd ves its Itlos through the Incar-
nation , and has itsfillis with tht Last Jud,!:mcont. Time- thus acquirrs
meaning as the interval bclwn crC'alion and redemption .... I n sueh
a perspttlive hiMOry hr.comr:s Ilti/Jgmhirl!t" or ~aving hislOry. BIll Ihili
~rs~etive would be quilr impossiblfo ror thl' Grl!'l!'k mind in so ra r as
it d id not attain to thl' concrpt io n of tl'lrololilical or hislOri cal l;mr. JJ

Just as the two thought-worlds arc taken to bf' complete and un-
changing, so their ideas art' taken \0 be complete and unchanging,
the resuh of no process of development, independt'nI from and op-
posed to one another. M The transformation of the idea of history,

11 Cushman, "ViewJ of 7i'1PH'," p. 2.l<l . f.yo:n J. B. Bur)" whoso: lliJlor;J of Ih, lAlrr
RQmtllf ",p;u 12 vols. (London: Macmillan, 1889)/ cOluidrrs Ihl!' connlions bcl""~n
ChriSlianilY and paganism, sees Ihe ChriSlian rel igion as "rntircly oppoKd 10 Iho:
Roman .pirit which it was destined to dis,sol\'r" ( I :26).
,. That tilts uppositiun or slonic \ic ..~ is II rashiofl in histurioll inlt'rprelil1iun has IlC'en
recognilCd by W. den Botr ni.clfl'le Renlarll5 un tht: Bc:ginlLiugs of Christian
Historiott;raphy," Sllldi, Pa/,iJlia. <I : 348). And at IUlt as regards thc idea of,iml:, il
hu bem soundly C1'iticiud by Aroaldo Momigliano I"Timr in Andrnl HistorioR-
raphy," H f:I n ., Beihert 6 (1966), pp. 1-23: noprintcd in MomigliallO. QIl,r/Q COII/n-
hl4 011, S'~ri, drlli S,lIdi CitJJsiti (Romc: Ediziooi d i Slofia e IrUeralUra, 1969), pp.
13-4IJ. who concludes that there art no neat and mutua11y exclusivc \ it ..... , about
time to be found in the writings ur tne a nci~nu . For some uamplts oflhis pluralism.
St:c J ohn Ca11ahan, Fon Vitu 'J af T;mr ill AIWifll/l'lti/IJJOplty (Cambridge, Mu.! ., 1~8 ).
Beside. MOlnigliano, there: art also tc ndrncirs 10 rocus on the continuities among
patriSlic scholars; sec, ror txamplr, C. Fabt-idus. " Der sp1'achliche Klanitismus dtr
griechischtn Kirthenv.itu. Ein philugischc:s und gtislesjteschichlliches Problrm_"
jb.A .C. 10 ( 1967) : 187- 99, and M. tuhrmann. " Dir lateinilchc: Uttratur deT
Splilantikt:. Ein literarbistorische1' 8eitrall; 'l.um Kominuiliupwblo:m ," .h/iA, fllld
A6netll4tUl 13 (l967 ): ~- 79. Typical is f _ D. McClo),'$ argument [MThe SenS( or A1'-
linic Form in the MentalilY or the G r~k fathrn." Stvtli4 PIJtrU,(C, 9 : 69- 75 1 thal Iht
rathen havl: a s.c:nse oI'beauly and Ihat it is an aspecl oI'lheold paidtia Ihal h:u bt"rn
continu/!d in Christian roh ure. S. ~bc(;'''''Inack I"'Roma. COlISlantillo polis, "nK' Emperur.
and hu Geniw. ~ Cla.uiml QtUII1",ry 2; (1!175l1 "~k.~ 10 conlril>ule 10 Iht' diK'US-
.!ion on t;hangl: and t;Qnlinuil y. and. mort' specifkal1r, 10 Ihe problcm oI'whal ma >' be
understood by conversion rrom paganism 10 Christianit), in latl: antiquil(' (p. 131 ).
Introduction 13

which I hope to make clear in this study, was on this view not a
transformation at all, but only a substitution or supersession of one
idea by a wholly different, alien, and oppposed one bearing the same
name. For a transformation requires a self-same entity, which under-
goes the transformation .
Insofar as those who hold this orthodox view profess to be account-
ing for the interaction of Gracco-Roman and Judaeo-Christian
thought, of course they affirm continuity and genuine transformationj
but fundamentally, they believe that Christianity brought something
entirely new into the cultural world . W. G. de Burgh, for example,
states that Christianity "revolutionized the entire fabric of Mediter-
ranean civilization";U but his footnote 10 that statement says: "This
assertion is perfet:t1y compatible with the recognition of the historic
continuity between Christianity and pre-Christian Jewish and Hel-
lenic thought. A fair mind can hardly fail to be impressed by the
disparity between the Christian faith ... and any other creed known
to history. Affinities in points of detail would not be so arresting,
were not the differences ofspiril and influence so profound ."
While it is certainly true that Graeco-Roman and Judaeo-Christian
ways of thinking are very different, it is no It.:ss true that the one
passed into the other, and not all at once ("with Ihe conversion of
Constantine"), but gradually and over a long period of time. So it
was that Christianity had such evident social effects on the institu-
tions of tht.: Roman Empire long before it became the official religion
that Gibbon could attribute partially to its influence the decline of
the empirt.:. So it was, too, that the cultural ferment occasioned by
the presence of a large and affluent Jewish community in Alexandria ,
the cultural center of tht.: Hellenistic world , produced the first at-
tempted philosophical fusions of the Judaeo-Christian and Graeco-
Roman cultures in the writings of Philo and the first Gret.:k version of
the Pentateuch, the Septuagint. so called after the alleged number of
the translators.
The acCt.:pted account of the idea of history, then, is nondevel-
opmental. It is an account of substitution or supersession. not of
transformation, and it is rooted in an equally nondevelopmental view
of the relationship between Graeco-Roman and Judaeo-Chriscian
thought as the sources of our own intellectual tradition. But to under-
stand our own tradition we shall have to seek a developmental and

" De Burgh. Ut}. p. 280.

14 /dtD DJ HiJIO~'

historical account of the ideas or modes of thought that we consider

distinctively Christian or Judaeo-Chrislian. \Ve shall have to exa ~
mine changes in ideas within the context of political, social. religious,
and intellectual or cultural movements, '" From the cultural his-
torian's point of view, the rise of C hristianity must he not a miracle
or a divine intervention the d ecisi,'ent'ss of which is sttlled from th e
beginning. Christianity is one among man y historical processes. And
just as il influences (eventuall y) Ihf' ways ill ..... hich Wesu:rn peopk
think and fe el and act, so 100 it is influenct'd hy the cuhural form s
and movements of the world into which it was born, s uch as , n OI only
G reek philosophy, but also Crt'ck and Roman rhClOric. politics, and
education. And just as Christianity inOuencf's culture in the ea rly
centuries of our era. so do Olh('r cultural movements, s uch as those of
religious innovation , Rather than looking at t he rise of Judaeo-
Christianity as the replacemcnl of ont' {'ultural world by another, we
need to understand the processes hy which the changes occurred ,
And to the extent that we fail to understand them . we shall also fail
to understand ourselves ; for our intelkctua l tradition over Ihe man y
centuries has been, in large pan, dr lt'rmined hy j ust such transfor-
mations, and we a rt' crea lurts of our own lradition .
The accepted view of the idea of hi slory in antiquity is raulted in
the firs t place ror being nondt'velopmenlal. hUI there is a deeper
problem : Ihe whole literature uses an idt'a of histo ry that is defined
beforehand-namely, hislory as Iht, wholl' temporal process of the
wo rld (or, al leasl. or Ih(' human world ). o r, mort' simply. Ih(' pas t. I;

As early as 1904 t, J. Di'iIRtr loond it IIn~at i s ra('t o~' 10 study Ihf' ~ ;ul ~' (;h riSliill1
wrilingl with a view solely \0 the history of d~ma . What illtf'rf'Uf'O him, instf'ao , was
Mlhe process by wh ich the classical ci\ilitalion. as it rlli ~ t ~ in th f' first th r ~ ('f' nt ll-
ries, wu uansformrd intO the Chri Jt iilni~ ('lIlturf' of the four ('(' II IU";f'1 Ix-gi n n in~
with Consla nlinf'~ [ E. A. Judge, '''Antikt und C h "; s t~nl llm : Somr Rf'cf'nt Work from
Colognt," P",linetia (Auckla nd ) ~ (19731: 11. His n ....1I sllldil"S lOf'r~ puhlishf'd in his
personal journal , Allti.l:t 11'''/ ChriJiI'IIIIIIII : his prf'1lrflm has Ix-tn nrried 0111 in tlx- R,af-
lu iJ:.(ItI for A ~Ii.tt u,,1i CI!risltnllllll ano the jah,bu.d, fo r .h likt IlnJ C,'hrillmllllft. 8111 Ihue
p ublications have no, llC't n widf'I r rnif'wf'd. anothr I>~'rra ll f'nlf'rpri~ oflO'hit'h they
a re a pari has, as a 'ellll!, had lilllt illnlltn('e on the fashions i ll scholarly work on
la te ant iq uit y, For a comprthrnsh'f' ni lin l s lud~' of' OiiI,ICer and tht current Ilill., of
Ihe enterprise, sce Eelwin A. J ud,R;f', M'Antikf' und Chris tt nl llm-: T owards i1 l>dini'ion
of th.. Field. A 8 ilJlillgmphk..1 SI1 I'\"'~',w ;11 .iuJ.vl"f, I/Iul XII'f/l'lI(f" "R tI~, " j m,,,h,H 11', 1/. H.
Temporini and W. f-laaJC {Berlin : Dt- (;nll'tc'" I!';\' ). Pt. :? \ ',,1. :?:I: I. (If'. t - :.i\.
" That Cu llmann, at leaM , mtans Jomf't hinll dilff'ff'nt h~' ~ hi s lUry" -n a md r . th~
put- than does Augustinf' is rt<'Ognizffi or R..'\ . ~brku$. SalOl/lflll : Hifllt~I, 1t1ld SKit ! I'
i1l /ht 71tn/ItV of SI . ..f.Uf"J /illl' CCamorid.R:r: C;lnlhrid.1(1" ( ' nil'f'rsit~ rrf'.~s, 1 ~70 ). pp.
23 1- 32.
Introduction 15

And then it proceeds within this context to examine "pagan" and

Christian ideas of history . But since the content is assumed to be the
same for the two ideas, it is more accurate to call these "patterns" or
"views" than "ideas" of history. They oppose "linear" or " progres
sive" to "circular" or "cycl ic" patterns of history; but it is not
doubted that the "history" of which these are alternative palterns is
the whole temporal process. They oppose, in other words , different
patterns or views of the same thing. Such a procedure is little likely
to reveal what the ancients themselves thought history was if they
happened to think that it was something other than the whole tempo--
ral process. Rather than adequate studies of the development of the
idea of history, this extensive literature is to be read as an account of
ancient atlitudes toward the past.
The definition problem can also, and more productively, be seen in
terms of the question that is asked. The question about the idea of
history raised in previous studies has been: What thoughts (opinions,
views, atlitudes, visions, theories) have other or earlier cultures had
about that for which the idea is history? The attempt has been, in the
philosophical and theological discussions, to understand different
ideas of history by moving from things to ideas, to get at the idea by
starting from the reality of which it is the idea . The procedure in
general has been to attempt to understand previous ideas of a reality
by comparing what was thought and said about that reality, assumed
to be the stable, permanent object, referent, or content of the idea in
question. And the result here is that, far from understanding any idea
of what history is that is really diffirtllt from history understood as the
whole temporal process, we can only come to see what other cuhures
thought about our idea of what history is.
It may be interesting to undel"Stand what other cultures thought
about the past or the whole temporal process, but it is not to the
point. If we want to understand better the impact of Judaeo-
Christianity on Western civilization it would be necessary to reexam-
ine the cultural sources oflater Western tradition; and this is possible
only to the extent that we are able to stand outside the framework of
assumptions of Judaeo-Christian Western civi lization. In particular,
it will be possible to grasp the impact ofJudaeo-Christian thought on
the idea of history only if we first grasp what hi.story was thought to
be before this impact occurred. It should be observed that the fashion
of considering Graeco--Roman culture over against Judae<KJhrislian
reflects one of the dominant attitudes of the early Christians them
16 /dtD of History
selves toward the " pagan " culture. Consider Tertullian's famou s
rhetorical question , "What has Athens 10 do with Jerusalem?" In
large part the aucmpts of modern scholars and thinkt rs to under-
stand the relationship between these two cultures is still dominated
by this e'd.riy Chmtian habit- Io r them. doubtless. a social necess il~' !
of defining themselves as over i:lgilillSl Hellenism . The interest of a
philosopher and hi storian, however, shou ld be IQ und erstand the in-
tdlectual shift s of late a ntiquity . And fo r this it is necessa ry to sec
what the ancients thought history was rather than . in eni=ct, what
they thought about what history is by a definition worked out only by
a later tradition. I know of no dearer statement of Ihe probl em a nd
its correct solution than Werne r Jaegc r's, speaking of th e history of
Some critics have laid down that a historian of paideia must begin by
giving his own definition of it . That is rather as if Ihe)' c,.;pccted a
historian of philosophy 10 start either from Plato's definition of philos
ophy, or from [pieuru!', or from Kant's or Hurne's- all four being
widely different. A hislory of paideia should desr.ribe as accurately as
possible all the different meanings of Greek paideia. the various forms
whieh it look, and the various spirilual levels al which il apprared ,
and should explain both their individual ~culiaritie5 and their hi510r
ical conne.ions.-
We need , therefore, 10 change the questio n asked : no t "What ideas
have people had about (the one stabl e refe rent of the term)
' hislOry'?" but rather, "What different rderents has the I('rm ' history'
had for these diffe rent ages and cultures?" This question is more sat-
isfactory; for it does no t pres uppose a lack of development in the
content of ideas but , rather, begins from Ihe quite real , if too little
appreciated, permanence of the te rms making up the- intellectual \ ' 0-
cabulary of the Western tradition. As Kurt \'on Fril l pointed OUt
nearly forty years ago," the histOry of Greek intellectual terms is of

JI Jaqu, PlI.idtia, Irans. Gilb!:rl Hig ht t 3 \'015. (New York: O,.;Wn:l l lnivtni t)"
Press, 1 939-4~), 3: 300, n. 3 (to Bk . 4, C hap. 2 ). His t.iJrl.! CIt'il'iQ ~ iry ""d Gr! Paitifill.
(Cambridge Harva rd Unive rsity Pr~H , 196 1) oUllinn " tht transrorma tion of the tri.-
dition ofCrk paidcia in the Christian ccnluti'l of la It an tiquityH (Prc[) .
.. Von Frill. "NOOI and NQlN ill tht H"mt rK P'll"ms," c;r :It! , ]94:1):79. 8 nmu SIlt"II
rOit Spt'"...:he 1fl}m~r~ ~b Au","Iruck lCin~r ~lan kcn..,.t1t ," X"" l,,/rr/tildorr fu r
Allliu rnuJ DnltscN Bildlllll 2 (1939) : 393-410) had alreadr derended analrsi) or the
languagt as a sour ror und~TSllnding tht thought-world oC antiquit). Tht view
perhaps has its source in Hegtl: " Die i\u sg~d~hnlt ronsequenlt Grammalilt iSI d as
Werk des I>enk~ns, tla, leinr Kategoritn darin Ix'mtrkl ith machl," EiII/rit""" i. dir
Introduction 17

interest because these terms still comprise the heart of our intellectual
vocabulary and because therefore a knowledge of their development
will clarify persistent problems by disclosing where, when, and in what
context the terms acquired such significations as made for confusions
about them or as a result of their employment.
A word has , ordinari ly, many significations- some very diverse-
but there is reason to suppose that an examination of the attested uses
of a word at a given time and place may be discriminated into a
relatively few kinds from which may be determined a basic meaning or
underlying idea. This should provide a starting point, a backdrop,
against which the acquisition of new areas of signification or the loss or
decline of older ones will appear either as further developments of
older (original) facets of the idea or as the introduction of new ones.
An exami nation of the uses of the ancient Greek words lmoQEiv,
lO'tOQa, lO'toQu(6s:. and their an~stor, ImwQ. and the ancient Latin
words /ristoria and Iristoricus will reveal what the term " history " in its
various linguistic forms was taken to mean . This, properly speaking, is
what " history" was thought to be in antiquity, and this, therefore,
should be the primary focus for explicating the idea of history in
antiquity. Secondarily, an examination of such semantically related
terms as 'to 1tQO'YeyOva'ta and res gestae and of political, religious, and
philosophical attitudes toward the past , would provide a more com-
plete picture of the ancient idea of history, and, in particular, would
enable us to see what, if anything, the ancients thought about the
especially modern use of "history" as the whole temporal process . But
these latter questions do not and need not form a part of the present
study , because the weight of previous work , as I have argued, is, in
fa ct, about ideas and attitudes toward the past; and while to somt
extent it examines uses of the Gretk and Latin words based on tUtu){),
it considers {UtoQia and /riston'a to mean the same thing as 'tCt nQOye
ytSvata or res gesitU-which, of course, by a modern dtfinition they do .
I have been arguing that a study of the development of the idea of
history in antiquity must , in the first place, take a cultural-historical

J!nl,s."ll~ ilbtr dj, Plli/osophi, tilT ,ucllulrlt, 5amuu!u W,rt, (Su,IlIgart: Fromman, 1928),
I : l OO. At leau one stutknt of von Frill, Marlin Ouwald, hall [Nbtw-; IIM IN Bt,ill-
rUII,J 6f lAt A.thtnj~ DnnOCTOCY (Ox.ford: Cb.reooun Pr"" t 969)] employed this method
in Oil book-length anal ysis of the terms N~ and EkOJA6o;;, which allempll to explain
and :lUes, the signiflcance of the replacement of the latter by the (ormtT as the ordi
nary word for "Statule" at j ust about the time ofCle15thenes' reforms in the Athenian
18 Idea of HiJto ~.,

standpoint, and must, in the second place, proceed frum the mean-
ings of the term "history." The~ have bten a few philological studies
oflhi!! term in the past century. and it will bt well to review them . By
the fifth and fourth centuries, (atOPlU, with a lengthy period of d e-
v\":lopment alrudy bthind it , was onc of a variety of words in use for
designating knowledge or th e acquisition afknowledge. This constel-
lation of Greek words- oo<plo., yvw~'1. yvWOl ~ . oUVEOlC;, {mopCn,
lJ.uEh)J.lU , btlOTiU1Tr-was liTs! studied collcctivt:ly in the dissertation
of Bruno SocII ..... He follows and supplements Aly'sU work on lO'tWQ,
the ancestor of [(JTO{)E~V and to'tOQiu; but he is concerned with
" history" insofar as it became one of tht' words for knowledge ;n the
vocabulary orGre~k philosophy and his con cern ends with th e prriod
of ~arly Greek a chi~vemenl. Co n s~qu e ntl y , various o lher and latt'r
meanings are omiued . Moreover. Snell, like Domban's study of his-
tona somewhat earlier,u is circumscribed in its citations.
Soon after Snell's ground breaking work F. Muller'! undertook a
somtwhat more extensive study of tht term , but still nOI extending to
lat ~ antiquity or 10 non .Grar-co Roma n sources. 8lichsd , in the arti
de "lO'tOQEW (tmopla)" in Kiltd 's work ," Iikt'" Sneli , begins by (;on
sidering to"tmp along with l<JtOQELV and tmopCa . How('ve r, Bik hsel
takes Ihis broad v i~w only until Ihl: fa mily of wurds becomrs asso--
dated with history writing; the substan ce of the article concentrates
on Greek and C hristia n historiography. Two olher sludi('s, tht dis
sertation of Karl Keuck and the" shortC"r st udy of Rupp and K oehl~r'

10 Bruno Sndl, ~ Di t AuWriid.t rut dem Htgrin' dts Win tn, in dtr \'()rpl a t oni~ch el"l
PhilO5Ophie," Plrjfol~l iKAI U" I, rJllclrngnl 79 (19'141 : 100, Snell, huwt,t r, omitted vo~
and vori:\I. Thtle terms were t xamined pilrtiall)' h~' J (nchim Boc-hmt in Dil Ste(, IIM
da$/rlr im Homtrisdt", F.pos ( Berlin : Tt ubntr, 1929), brJuliu5 Srt l"lul ["Zur Entwick
lung des GtisttlbtgrifTes in der gri hiKhen Philowphie." Dir A"lit, I (1925): 244fT.l.
somtwhilt furthe r by Sndl in his \"iew or 80ehmr [Gl\Omo~ 7 ( 193 1) : 71fT. l. and finally
thoroughly in four articJeA by Kur. \"on Fritz: (I) op. cil. in n. 39 . 1IIprG : (2) "Nov~,
NOiv and Their Otrh 'at ivn in PrrSocra ttc PhilO5Oph)' (txdudinll: AnuIRoru) . PI.
I. From the Ikginnings to Parmcnidcs," CP 40 (1945) :223-42; (3) PI. 2 of umc
il"KIt, -rhe I'OSI"armrnidcall Irtillcl .~ (;1' 41 (1 !I'lti): I:.!- :i4 : and 1-1 ) "Iter :'\l~ tits
Alluagor;u,~ Ar, lril, j Ur B"Kiff.r..t"hkhfr !I ( IYtH );M7- 1II:.!.
01 AI)" D, A",Ir.,ti topi(J t~,barwm (lIpll(J ltfHIG t Bl'rI'n: Pormcttn, 19(6).
t: Oombatt, " Histotia," Ardtir fo r 1",lri"iKIr, I~Xffog .apllit IIM GrGmrMlit 3 (uipzig:
Tcubntr, 1B86 ) : 2~0-34 .
n Muller, " Ut ' H istonae' vocab ulo atqut OOtione,MM ....... ol)" 11.1 54 (1926) : 234-
57 .
.. Gcrhard Kittd, 1"~"'., Hij.trrllllrh ... 111 !,i,u,," Tr.""_'" (StuUIf"n : ~uh lhammcr.
19331: ill Engli.orh, trans. and~ . Gc..ffrt:~ W. 8roll1ilt~ (;tand Rapid~ : Wm. 8 . Eerdman5.
1966-7 1).
t) Ka rl Keuek, HU,-ri4. Cucbicltl .tl U"O,ltl .. ,.J Ki~. Bdn<llIlfl '" ill tin A",it, I I.tul."
Introduction 19

following him, deal with antiquity in a few pages and devote most of
their attention to the diffusion and diversification of cognate words in
the Romance languages during and after the Middle Ages. And both
of them focus on lmopa and hutDriO while paying little attention to
the related verbs and adjectives that would further illuminate its
meaning and thus contribute to understanding the basic idea in-
volved in its use. A thorough understanding of the meanings of these
words and the changes that occurred in them requires that attention
not be restricted to one realm of discourse--history as a kind of
knowledge or in connection with history writing-or to one part of
antiquity, or to only some of the words involved ..s In general, the
philological studies have limited themselves t~ one language, one
realm of discourse, or one period of time, and have not considered
the words in the broader context of cultural history . My enterprise,
then, is to integrate the aims of previous philosophical and theologi-
cal studies wilh Ihe methods of the philological studies and to avoid
the shortcomings of both ; thus ( I) to study the term " history" as a
member of the Gu.:ek, Latin, and thence of our own intellectual vo-
cabulary; (2) to determine, through the study of the term , the content
and development of the idea of history in antiquity ; and (3 ) through
the determination of the history of the idea of history, to learn some-
thing about the cultural transformation of the ancient world (a) as a
detailed study of the specifically intellectual relationship between
Graeco-Roman and Judaeo-Christian cultures and (6) as it reexami-
nation of the popular linear-cyclic account of the idea of history in
the two cultures. This is, therefore, a study in the history of ideas or
the history of culture; for, rejecting customary limitations of lan-
guage, realm of discourse, and period of time, it focuses on Ihe im-
pact ofJudaeo-Christianity on Graeco-Roman ideas . It is also, I be-
lieve, a philosophical inquiry because its aims and consequences are
properly philosophical- self-knowledge through a deeper under-

TII",Dlliu hell Sp,tultn! (Lcchte: EmMellcn, 1943). H . Rupp and O . Korhlcr, " Hino,;a,
Guc hichte," SDII/M1II 2 (1951) : 249- 72. See ,1..1$0 G . Stadmucllcr , .. Aion , Sattulum,"
SIUOIIM1II 2 : 31~-20. I have been unable 10 find the ,1.rtidc by A . rcnkian t"hnWQ,
ImOQiw, 1010(110," R. dts EIMtin IUII-EllroptOl I (1938)] that is mentioned in a
bibliograrhy of Ihe author. I am unable to read J. WikaJjak's 5hort article on the
history 0 /tiSl"ri" in Fil"",al" (1962-63), pp. 204-9.
.. In his study or the iIIndent idea of philotogy, Heinrich Kuch IICCS ill similar focus
as proper, and similar problems with some of the previuus literature (P/tif.lollU
(Dculschc Akad . d . Wissensch. Berl ., Sckt. fiir Ahenumlwissen$ch., 48. Berlin,
1965) , p. 6J .
w Uta of History

standing of the history of our cultur~\'c:n if its method and subject

malleI' are unfamiliar under the ruhric " philosophy."H 11 is nOI
(merely) semantic history- though it may be an exercise in historical
semantics-because this term " history" is, as I suggested earlier, a
warp-thread in the fabric of the modern inlellectual world and be-
cause the history of its meanings is. therefore. to be observed only in
the broader context and to be understood as a development . al onct'
determining and determined by other ele ments in this context, not as
a mere succession . This is also no t a stud), ill the history of hislorjog-
raphy ; because the uses and meanings of the term art' nOI restricted
to history writing. The idea of history as a parI of the inl("lIectual
vocabulary of culture is surely invol\'cd in what his torians do; but it
is also involved in other inte llectual and practical pursuits, such as
oratory , philosophy, and politil:s . And th(' origins of the term ante-
date history writing. Moremer. Ih~ his to ry of his turiography ~xceeds
the limits of the idea of history; it is a significam hu t seldom observed
fact that such "his torians" as Thucyditlts and Livy do not call their
works " his tory" and do not so characteriz(' their res('arch methods ,48
Finally, this is nOI a s tudy in th(' speculativ{" p hilosophy or theology
of history; that is, I d o not intend to examine me merits of claims
that history has this or that pattern or meani ng. or. for that matter.
the claim that it has neither pattern nor mean ing. Such claims will be
of interest here only insofar as Greek, Roma n. Jewish, or Christian

II Quentin Skinner's obsel"ation ("Meaning .nd Understanding in the HiJlol")' of

Ideas," 11 & TII8 ( 1969) :53J on t~ ,'alue of the hislOryof ide.s I!. worth quoting al
lenRth : "The . lIeJlation that Ihe hiuOI)' of ideas t"{)lUiSLS of nolhing mort" Ihan ' OU I -
worn metaphysical nOltonl" which il fr"lue-ml)' ad'.nttd III the moml'nt. with terri
fying parochialism, as a reason for iRnoring such a history, would tho:n come- 10 bt
scen as tne very reaSOfl for regarding such hiJlori,.s as indi5penubl ~' ' rl'lr"ant', not
ba.use crude 'lessons' can bt pictf'd o ut of th~m , but bau$e the- history itsc-If
provides a lesson in 5t'lf-1r.nowledg" . To d.-m and from th" h;5101")" or thOllghl a solution
10 our own immediale pt"aclical prnbl,.ms is Ihlls to commit not mue-I)' a mf'thodoIOfl;:'
ieal fallacy, but somt'thing li kt' a mnral error. 811\ to lta,n from the- past- and we-
cannot olh('rwise learn it at all- tht' distinction bc ...t'1'11 what is ne-c,.,sary and what
is tht' product mert'l y of our own cOntinR"nl arranJle-mt'lI ts. is to ],.arn Ihl' kt')I 10
".If-awareno:u itselr."
.. An instructive- comparison may Ix drawn bc-tw,...n H ~rodolul .I1d ThuC)did,.,.
Ht'rodotus ust's tmo()iv, lm:oQln and ImOQlx~ rt'iati"t'ly rrequ .. nt ly lsome nineteen
times: Kt' J . E. Powt'iI, UJliaJ"It HnNoln ... (Cambridg r: C.ambridge Univ~uity Prt'$S,
1938), p. 1741, and US" them \0 d o:"llcribt what h~ is doing. Thucydidu. by contrast,
does not use the- worn, a lil1J1I" tim" I""" M. H . N. "on usc-n, lNitJl T1l1mydid~
(Berlin: Weidma nn, 1887)1, but rather, US" tll .. languagt' of reason anet logical infer-
ence; sce Jacqueline de- Romill )', H ill8ir, tl RllufJJI t~'( 1'ItIltjN/id, ( Paris: Uo$ Iklle.
lcures, 19!J6).
Introduction 21

writers might be found to make such claims a bou t history . Indeed,

the crucial question, in light of the prevailing linear-cyclic account,
will be whether an yone in a ntiqui ty did think that history was linear
or cycl ic, meaning ful or meaningless.
And , in fact, this stud y yields results quite d ifferent from wh at is
widely beli eved . The idea of history that underl ies the uses of the
ancient words [moQa , hiJtorill, and the like throug hout an tiq ui ty,
and among C hristians as well as non-C hristian G reeks and Romans,
was either a n inform a tional account (or the informa tion itself) about
~rsons, natural things, and huma n customs, or social and poli tical
events, o r a written account a bout events either specificall y or gener-
ically; that is, the literary genre called "hi story." By the end of the
Hellenic Age both of these modes of usage exi sted . In the H ell enistic
Age the la tter was clea rly domina nt. U nder the ead y Roma n Empire
the modes returned to a bala nce, while the limits of the subjects per-
m itted in a history were relaxed a nd th e previously required accuracy
or factu ality d eclined ; history is understood as story both in the cul-
tural ma instream and in the apologies of the early Christians. Und er
the la ter Roma n Empire the growing estrange ment between the
Greek-speaking and Latin-speaking worlds appears in the divergence
between the uses of history in G reek and La tin. In Greek, histo ry
continues to be used as story by the Christians both in the apologies
and in the exegetical wri tings that showed the various meanings tha t
a Bible story might have besides the lit era l one, the one which was
" according to history." In La tin the same a pologetical and exegetica l
uses are made of history by the Christia ns; b ut the implica tion of
fa ctuality is restored . So tha t the same account which is a history is
taken to have some o lher meaning, to commu nicate or ex press some
thing besides the facls. Finally, Augustine articulates in his D~ civitall
Dei the d istinction, adumbrated a mo ng his contem poraries , between
the account of the past events of the J ews and C hristia ns and tha t of
the other nations, that is, between sacred a nd profan e history .
It follows from this that the linear-cyclic accoun t seems incorrect,
using as it d~s a definiti on utterly alien to a ntiqu ity. Although there
may be, in some transhi storical sense, a logical con nection between
the idea of lime and the id ea of history, the a ncients, as a matter or
historical fa ct, did not see them as con nected; they occasionally re-
flect on the nature: o r time, never on the nature o r h istory . Whil e
some writers of historical works say that even ts (t o. n QoyE'(6vo'ta, res
gtlttU) repeat themselves and some philosophers specula te about cos-

mi c cycles. then' ar' al so OIh(,f \'ie ..... s expressed and no o ne says that
his tory is circ ular, rep= titiuus. Of m ('a llin~l('ss. The Greeks and Ro-
man s were not pessimislic ahou! history . nor did thrir \'iew ofhis lory
fail to sati sfy their spiritua l Iw('ds. On Ih(' olhe r hand . lhe ancient
Jews and C hristia ns . whatt\'t'r lh<,y ma y han- thought about Iht'
creation and cnd of the world . did nm think Ihal hi story was recli ~
linear and uniqut'. The)" w('n' 1101 ('s puialty upt imistic ahout histo ry.
1I0r was their vi('w of his tury spiritually sa tisfying. Fru m their own
poin t ofvi('w Iht")" WIT!' nOI ('Il){iI/otin,lot i .. s pn'ulat iull ahoul the nature
and meaning (If hi story .
All of Ihest:' denials an' has('d (Ill and mOl\" ht" rt'dun-d to two fun-
damental ncgaliw ins ights ahou t th~ d('\"('lopn1l'TlI or Ih(' id~a or his
tory in antiquity : tirst. till' idl'a of hi story was nof all influential and
rormative idea in antiquity as il has h l'TII sinn' thl:" R l:"na issanc(";'~
and second , in antiquity his tory was 1101 thOlI.lthl to ht, a r("al ("ntity,
capable of txhihitin~ a patttTlI . ha\'inlo: a Illt"an ing. ins piring hopt'o or
possess ing a mllun'.
I ( is often sa id that his tory l 'onlt'S to ht' SI'(' n as mraningiul and
goal-dirl'ctrd undl'r thl' imparl of Christianity . This is true, hU1 not
in tht' SC I1Sf' in wh ich it is usually mcam . H islOry ca me to bc seen as
meaningful as :t rI'sult 1I0t "rrdll'l"tiOI1 011 tht dt'tails Hr C hristian
belief, but of apolflg"ctkal disputl's with tll(' nun-Christ ian Gr('('ks and
Ro mans: the idt'a of history as ~ual-direc t ed is not so much tht'ologi-
l'al as rht'tori("al. It" tht ori.l{inal utility nr this dl ,wgt'd idt'a nf hi sto ry
was rhetorica l. hnwt\(r. it has ntnlt' \0 hr transl('rrt,d to tht, n.-aim u f
inquiry in mock"rn sodal t!u'i ll'its. philusophit's. allel tlwologies uf his-
to ry , And altho ugh thl' id,';1 wa .~ [.lIld is ) adl"I"all' ti)r p"lt-mil'al pur-
poses, it has ht,t'" " sou rn' of persist!'''1 pl"Ohl('l11s whl'n put to o lhc r
u s~s, or whic h tilt' qU" s l lilT ulldt' rS talldill~ is lInly n!H', Tu put thc'
poinl som('what mort' spt"(:ifil'ally , whill' tht' ,'jc'\\- th;1I hisltJry is ~tJal
direc tt'd may he adrquatc' wlwl1 it is usrd tu win adht' Tt' nts , it poses
prohlems when it is rmployt'd in sc)("iat tlU'tlril's that pn'scrib(' actions
o r in phil uso ph ic~ that purpurt In olli.'f Itll d n standing or knowkdKt' ,

"~t M . I . t'inltY. " ~I rt h . ~I"nlury alld Hi SI.,r~' ." II n .. 1 1 !16~'::l81-3O"1 : cf.

P. ~t un>!. .. History:. ncl M )'I h." Pltifll.!OfJftirllf QIIII,lu(I' ,; I 1956 I : 1- 16,

History as Inquiry in the Hellenic Age

HE ENCLlSH "history" is a tra nsliteration of the Lati n

T word hi!toria, itself a transliteration of the Greek [m:og(o . An
examination of the idea of history in an tiquity must therefore begin
with the meanings of the term {cn:OQIO. But latOQlO is just onc mem
ber of a family of cognatt words tha t includes the verb LmoQELv and
the adjective lcnOQlX61!j: . All of these originate from the ancien! word
[mwQ. and. since lO'tOQElV, [crtoQ(o. a nd tCTtOQlxO; are not 3Ut:Sled
in the earli est surviving texts, the inquiry may begin with imWQ.
The earliest occurrence oflO"twQ is Iliad 18 a t Ihl'! beginning of lhe
descri ption of the wondelS l-Iephaistus wrought o n the shield he made
for Thetis' "doomed son," Achilles. On this great shield he
fashi oned the earth , hnvens, sea, and stars, and on the earth two
cilies; in the one, people are ga thered in the agora because there is a
dispute in progress belween two men over the blood -pri ce of a slain
man. T o resolve the dispu te the men go btt rO"tOQl, which is ordi-
narily translated " to a judge, arbiter, umpire, or referee." 1 Simila rly,
during the funeral games for Patrodus , Ajax and Idomeneus get into
a dispute over who is leading in the chariot race; and Idomeneus
challenges Ajax , saying:
Come then,
Let U5 put up a wager of a tripod or a cauld ron,

1 /1. 18.499_501. The proper interpretation or th is whole pan age has been debated;
cf. Lcar, }HS 8 : 122" ., and Murray in the Locb edition of the Iliad, Vol. I, p. 324, n .
I. Where not olherwiK indiClil tcd the transla tions are my ow n.
24 lrita of Histo~r

And make': :\!{arncmmlrl . SOli or :\l rt lll! , ",itn ('~.s [latO(Klllxtwl!C' n us

As 10 whic h horSC's ltad. And wht' n you plty. ~'UU wi ll find OUl .!

In hOlI! passages the imwQ is 1I1It'" whu adj udi cates a diffc rC'nce of
opi nions between two pa nics:II Iht' rl'qu('sl orlhe panics t he mselves.
More preciseJ}', he decides a caSt' in whi ch cnn lJicting accounts a re
given by the disputants about some thing di sti nct from hut of interest
to bot h of them . And tht' dispute.', ur thl' s u~j('(' t of il. is a lso of great
emotiona l impact upon ils ;t udi('IIt:(, or thr l"o mmull ity in whi ch it
occurs ..l The di spuI (' nel"'cen Ajax and IdumC'lH'us pOrlf'nds a splil in
the ranks of th e H r llents ~II j ust t ill' moment when their ten-rear
stalemated siege of Tray is ahou t 10 s u c'('I' fd . Tht' dispute O\'fr lhe
bloodpricc:, too, is emot iona lly ('hargrd . as l'3n he infr"rrt'd both from
the fac t that the pc:uplt are ,I(at ht'n'd a!)tlll l rooti ng for une man or Ihe
other and from obs('rvali{)1I of the im porTance a ttached by other
primitivc: occidcntal dvili;..atilltls In Ih(' payment of bloodpricl!' a5 an
instit ution for mainta ining t,:j"i(' peacc:} E\'idently. then, the tOtwQ is
onc whose authorit}' in d('ddinlot s uch disputrs is well known; hf' is
good a t such things. It is in Ihis eOl1\'(' nlinnal sensr', rather tha n in
an y official sensf'. t ha t thr m lf' I,flh(' lOl'WQ is on(' ofarnitration . And
what he determint's is ..... hosr a("C'Ounl fir Iht' rnallt'r at issut' is the
more acc uralt': so that Ih,' result of h is adj tld ieatioll ill a maller of'
law is j us tice and in a mall('r fir p{"rcf' ption ;tc('urale information . He
is pe rce pti\'e or judidous. It i .~ in this srnst' that Hesiod says of the
[mW{' . p.cu,a YUI! t voov 1tEllu)(aop.tvo~ tadv. th at he is sound
wilt('d , mat u red in mind. u r ..... isf' .. Similarly . the .....ord is used adjec.
ti" ally in a H omeril' H ymn etn 10 drsrrib(' Ihe a bilitirs of the t\lust's
as to,[OQEt; tPbilr;. knowlrdg('ahle fl f \\'I'll s kill ed in song." Here too the

t 11. 23.4115-87 . Th~ In. nsla lion is l.all illluftS. Mllrra\' t1~b ) rrndrrs Ihr ronciud
ing phrase. ivo Y"Wn; MOl{VIlJ\', mort liltr:llIy: ~I hat thou ma yt'.ll [tarn b~' pa ~' ing
Iht pricr .~
' Thi~ is a puint Iha l is u~ualt y mis~r,1 ill a,'('''lWI 5 nr iutW{l and Ihr origin of
lotoQdv alld 10000OQia . as ro, "J(ampl,' h~' Pohl.. ,,/. I Jlm)t/lIl. d" ItSII G'JLlli(JrIu(/l"i~,
ifS ..lbfndllllldrJ (Btrlin: Ttubntr. Ht:l 1) . " . HJ : " (011l.1Q i~ 1 ul sprunl!lkh drr Z('ugr.
d u t lWU gtsehtn hal. 11110 noch <la rh drm all lS"'lr l1 R ....:hL ... nur du ~l ... ugrn soil.
was er allS ei,LI:ene r Wah rn ... hmung wtis$. mit t'i,LI: rlltn ."ugen btobachlrl hal, "'rilrr
dan" dtr Schird. ridllrr. rkr nur(h " .. rh' .r cltT ,\u.l!;l'n'ttugl' n sir h t'in \\'isstll anrignrl
(l/ . J 8.50 I ) .~
'This is a repea trd fa us.. of lil i.l{alion ill (h .. Sa~" '!t' IJ"' 1I1 ;\j/ a nd of b"'lIlr in
ikDwfllf. Ln ci te only 1"'0 instan(' ... ~ .
' Hrs. Op. 793. I.allimorr Iranslal..,,: "wc-Ita rm...! with hrairu. "
Trans. E... I ~ n.\\h iL ... /L..nrb); d : Barrh~' J.. Epul . 9.-44 : tntW'V iO'toQC; XOUQO L.
History as Inquiry 25

word indicates being notedly good at giving or knowing how to give

an account of a certain kind .
In aIJ of what remains of those earl y Greek attempts to give ac-
counts of the natural or human world, the " pre-Socratic philoso-
phers" and the logographoi, lmwQ and its cognates are found but three
times.' In the testimony of Clement of Alexa ndria , Heraditus held
the opinion that wisdom-loving men must be Et, IlUAa no)J.wv to-
10Q0.~ . 1 Freeman, following Diels, renders this phrase "inquirers into
very many things,'" a tran slation that seems to derive less from the
earlier meaning of lCJ"noQ itself, which has already been examined,
than from the lex icon definiti ons of cognate words of later coinage,
namely lmOQElv and {otoQ(a.
But whether one read s "inquirer" or (merely) " ~rceptive," which
wou ld accord with the results so far, this occu rrence would be m OS I
interesting. For it would suggest already a " philosophic" interest in
that kind of knowledge which went by th e name of history, were it
not that another fragm ent of Heracl itus declares that " Pythagoras,
son of Mnesarchus, practiced LotOQl) most of all men, and making
extracts from these treatises he compiled a wisdom of his own, a mere
accumulation of learning (:nohlla9ll) , and poor workmanship (xa-
'XO'tEXV\Tl ). "10 'lmoQbl here indicates the collecting of accounts or of
information and deriving therefrom one's own account. The new
word lmOQlTl is thus dearly rela ted to totOOQ, which indicated know-
ing how to discriminate between competing accounts of something
and in that sense being good at account-giving of a second-order sort .
And importa ntly Heraclitus rej ects this activity, eq uating it with
polymathy, as not only wronghcaded , but also pcrniciousY

I The other thr cita lions lis ted in the Ditls-Kranz ~ Regi5le r" use tmOQlo in nei
ther dirtel nor indiuct quotation, bUI rathe r, in the surrounding literary contexl, and
ther~rore ma y not be spifically a uri butl, i.e., 10 Aeu~i l aus or 10 H teatae u$.
D- K', I : 159; Fr. (22) B35 - Clem. AI. Slrom. 3. 14 .140 (Di ndor/) . cr. Porph. A6sI.
2.49 : lmtoQ yQQ ttoUw-v 6 mwo; .IA~o; . T~ wording ma) be C lemenl's; bUI
Wilamowiu (Phil. Unlm. I :2 15) considers Ihe plluse genuine:, and it is thus used
I Fucman, AMil/ 10 /Ju Pmralit: PltiloJkm (Odord: Blackwell, 1962), p. 27.
~ D-K', I : 180; fr. (22) BI 29= D.L. 8.6. R. D. Hicks (Loeb I. oro. L., 2 :325),
however, translates: " ... and in this scltetion of his writings made: himself a wisdom
of h is own, showing much learning, bUI poor workmanship."
11 Heraditus' dislike of x ol.uJlQ9 t'l is also alienee:! by ~r. 40: " Polymathy don nOI
teach understanding, otherwise it would have taugh t Heslod, Pythagoras, Xeno-
phanes, .. nd HeCltaeus" (trans. Wheelwright).
26 Uta of lIiJto~,
A similar idea seems 10 underlie another cognate that appears for
the firs t lime in the pre-Socratic li u:raluTe, Ihe verb {(JtOQE~\I. Ikmo-
crilll S says: "~ I have travellrd most cxtcnsi\cly of all m('n of my time,
have pursued inquirirs (i,OtoQEW\! ) in tht' most dis tant places . and
haH seen the most climes and lands. and have heard the greatest
num~r of learned mt'n ; and 110 OI1C has en:r s urpassed me in the
compOl;ilion of treatises with proofs:" ! He r(' 100 what is suggested is
getting the acwunt right, t hough as dist inct from thf' earlier occur-
rences of tCJtwQ and totO(lITj . iO'tOQElV. a \'('rh. stems more 10 indi-
cate the activity or pruCt~ss of gelling tilt. right account or getting the
account righl. 11 is in Ihis !it'ns!" that onr should understand the usual
tran slations of this pa ss a~(' ano of (OlOQEIV gt'oerally as "making
inq uiries" or " pur,>uing illquiri('s:' tt Al1d inttr<,stingly. De mocritus,
unlike Heraciitus, s(t'ms tu think hi.lil:hly of this kind of knowledge.
There is ont' rt'maining (K't'urrcnc(' of lO'toQiu in these writings.
According to th(' later Epkurcan. Philodrmus. a logo,(lraphfll named
Naus iphanes di stinguisht's nl:twn:n lOlOQ(U a nd " knowledge of the
facts" (dO'lOlS '[Wv 1tQuYJ.l.Q'[l!)v), sa ~' illg , " For he says Iha( the cause
of the power to persuade aris('S not from lm:OQlU but from knowledge
of the fa cts; so that just as h(' Ise. the lIatural scil'ntist, cpuol)(6r;J
persuades thesf me n, S I) might hr pcrsuadf any group of men . "11
This usage s('ems to ht, at vilrian(,(, with that oftO'twQ. l(rmQElv, and
IOtOQlu earlier Im . Hul the t'xprcssion dbTJOlS '[Wv 1tQaYIlQntJv is so
unlike an ything in the prt"-Socratil' remains tha t it se<,ms more likely
a paraphras(' or all rxampl(' of th(' I<lm("o(alll(' stal(' uf corruplion in
ou r text of Philodcmus. 1'o
In the litera ry remains of 1he fifth century, the time of the Athe-
nian tn~ge mollY O\'('r tht' furtune s , both political and c ultural. of the
Hellen ic world. the sit uatioll is rather diff('r('nt. Thr literary remains
are more subs tantial than fi)r the earlier period : and in these writings
the re are far mor!:' frequellt m'cuncnces than previousl}', so that one
may now, with some confid('nc(', dclim:atf' the mean ings of th e words
based on lO'tWQ ,

UC ltm . AI. Sttam. 1.1 5.69; n _KJ, 1, 2011. t'r. (68) 8299.
IJPhitip Whatwright. rh,P"JlKlatiCJ (Ncow York: Od yuty, 1966), p. 186: ,,'rtC'
m~lI , Alfrilla. p. 119.
11 Fr. (75 ) 8 2. D _K l . 2, 249, 3- 5 '" Phld. HI! . :.1 . 19, 1- 20. 7 (col. :15); er. I. 299,1 - 7
(col. 25).
11 Von Arnim, howC'\'tr. UCtp l5 thr rtading all gconu;nC' jI....IHII ,,,"' If,.A, du Difl !lOll
P""sa (Btrlin . 1898). p . 48/.
Hislory DJ Inquiry 27

In the earlier period {mooQ indicated the qua li ty of skill in , percep

tiveness at, or knowing how 10 choose belween compeling accounts of
something, a second-order sort orknowing. In the fifth ccnlUry tmrop
is used as "knowing" of a firstorder, directacq uaintance sort, al-
though it is still a knowing of Ihe facts . Euripides' King Thoas , for
example, threatens to punish the women ta<; t&vb' lO'tOQ<lO:;: fxmkEu
J.uitrov, who knew about what was planned." Likewise Electra says
of the painfulness of life, x 'oyw tOu6' rO'twQ, intQ(O'twQ, I know it,
know it overmuch." The knowledge ascribed to someone by the use
of iO'twQ in these ways is still , as in th e /liad, emotionally charged .
Similarly, among the fancifu l etymologies in Plato's Crag/us Artemis
is said to have gOI her name because she is aQetij<; lO'tOQ<l, proricient
in virtue; " and a few lines later HephaislUs is referred to as 1:Ov YEV-
voi:ov $00; [atOQ<l, the eminent knowcr of light. In the use of
iatWQ in the dramatists, Ihe word had given up its se nse of knowi ng
how to distinguish ot her people's possibly factual accounts in favor of
knowing the fa cts oneself. In Plato's usage the term reverts to its
older sense of skill or know-how; but where the obj ect of the knowl-
edge had been ralher concrete, now th e object has become more ab
As in the earlier period , so in the fifth century lotOQlV has pri-
maril}' to do with the activity of acquiring the kind of knowledge
indicated by referring 10 someone as tatroQ, getting the correct ac-
count of the matter, inquiring. And as with latWQ, so with [moQElv
does the increased usage show a diversificatOll of meanings.' ImoQlv
may mean inquiring. Oedipus describes him self to his daughters as a
man who ouO' 6QWv ou9' iatoQWv . neither seeing nor inqu iring be-
came their father by his own mot her." l\:lore specifically, (otOQiv
indicates inquiring for a factual account. Th us Talthybius, pressed
by Hccuba to relate what became of her children after the fa ll of
Tray, asks her tlV [atoQEi~ , of whom do you seck an accoun e ll ' We
rind {O'toQ~v used in like manner by Herodotus, who relates the vcr

.. Eur. 11' 1431.

11 Soph. El. 850.
I. e ra. 4tl68 , 407C; cf. Nauck, TGP, Fr. 2 of Apollonidel (aplltl Slob. F/",. 67, 6: 4.
22"7 H en~) : "fW(lU<oX &pHitc; &~iwc; t",oll'iO'rn
aoolooU Til.OO'; -;t\.OOl.T' &\t t\;rropt~ ),6-ywv.
5 no .... 8.uno S ncll, rGF, Vol. 1 ( 152), .r. 2.
I t Soph . OT 1484.
to EUT. Tro. 261. Similarly. i\esch. PV 632, the Chorus ...... nI5 tu inquire abou t 10 ',

sion of Ihe S10l)' of Helen given h y the Egyptian pries ls [OtoQEovn, il

being inquired of them,ll
There is anothe r use of Iht" wrb in H c rodOlus: 10 mean inquiring
an a CCOlllll of the r.,c ts abou t natural phenomena. He says, in Ihi!\
sense, tha t he has lold us ('wry lhin.~ that he cou ld find out about the
Nilr-'s course tn' ooov IlQxpO'tatOV tOtO{)EUvta, hy inquirin~ as
lengthily as pos s i b l(' . !~ Possihly a th ird kind of factual account lor
which onc might inq uire, again in Ht-rndotus. s l'(' m s to relatl' 10 onc's
thoug hts or mOl ;\'cs. Thus Da rius' hand is s lopped on its way to
assassi na te the M agi usurpt.' rs a nd askrd (im6QEov ) wi th what inte n-
tions they have (omt' tn th(' pa lan',!!
The re is anotilC'r ~roul) (If tls('s. ptc ul i.tr to the dramatists. discin-
guis hed from the pr("crding by it s quest for indi vid ua l faclS rathe r
than connected aCl:nu nts; illlrres lingly all mTurrenccs of thi s usage
rclalr 10 indi vidua l la(' ls ahulII 1X'r.\ons a nd , in the fi rst placr, 10 the
faclS about 0 01"5 parenlagr . A s Ihr ctrnourmrn l a pproaches, for ex
ample, Oedipus tells the o ld Ilt'rdsman that his offrn sc lies in not
a nswering l OV nail) ' QV OUTOS: lOlOQEi. whal he- asks a houI the
c hild .t l Sim ila rl y Euripides' Ion is ~oi n g to inquire l [otoQ~OllJ ) of
Phochus who his fa thrr i!>, :" and Orrs ll's ('llIIsicit-rs it honorable of
Athena , ha l i010QEls:. you inquire aner his falhcr. ''';
If one may inquire li)r individu al lac ts a bou t onc's pa rentage, so
10(), s till in thl" dramati sts. filii' may ioquirt' fo r someone. ask his
whereaboUl s. So it is that Or('strs says hr is trying 10 d c te rmior (lo-
t oQW) whe re Aegis thus lin's ,:; I.ikc ..... isl OH'stt'S declares himself to
Menelaus: " I a m Ort'stes QV imoQdS:. whom you seek, Mene laus."1II
And the verh may r\'{'n he- us{'d to ind ica tr asking a ye-sor-no ques
tion abou t a mallrr of fa ct: thus He rod otu s rela tes that th e second
wife of the Iyrant Pi sis tra t us tllld her mother that ha new husba nd
had held wrongful iOle rmurs(' with hn . although Herodot us corn
ments that he does flot know du lmoQEu<T!l ElU xui oU. whether
the wife was askrd or not...

!l Hd t. 2.11 3. 1: cr. 1.:1-1.7 and 1.1 1'1.1.

:I I-Id l. 2.:14.1; d . 2.19.3; 2.29. 1: and 4.\ 92.3.
It Hdl. 3.77.2; and cl: :1.31.1 .
NSoph . OT II ~ : rr.I I S6 .
l ' Eur. ID" . I.H7.
'/10 Ae$c h. Ell",. 455: cl: Soph. T"ull . -41 5.
/ 7 Soph . El. 1101.
III Eur. 0 ,. 380: cr. [u t. HrI. 137 1.
.. HdL 1.61.2.
lIu/ory as Inquiry 29

Besides these uses of latOQElV to indicate inquiring about matters

of fa cl, there are also two occurrences in the fifth-century materials
that seem to indicate not the activity of inquiring but, rather, the
upshot of it, finding out or discovering, or, as the lexicons suggest,
" knowing by inquiry ." The first of these is from Aeschylus' Agamtm-
non. The herald hopes for the return of Menelaus:

At least if some beam or the 5un tcnO(?Ei him

Alive and well , by the design of Zeus,
Who is not yet minded utlerly 10 destroy the race,
There i5 some hope that he will come home again .
Hearing 50 much, be assured that the truth is as thou hearesl. JO

Similarly, according to Heroda tus , e roesu! t4>QOvtll;E [mOQEwv, be-

thought himself to discover who were the mightiest of the Hellenes .l'
The first passage is closely related to the use we earlier saw of inquir-
ing for someone's whereabouts, the activity here transferred to a sun-
beam; but in this occurrence the fact that the passage is a conditional
requires a rendering more concl usive than just "seeking" or " looki ng
for" Menelaus, if hope is to be a suitable response. Thus LmoQElv in
the fifth century may, in passive forms , indicate the facts for which
one is inquiring, but primarily it means 10 inquire.
Likewise the primary meaning of the noun {mop(a is an instance
of this activity, that is, an inquiring. When Herodo!us, in his discus-
sion of geography, passes from what is based upon his own observa-
(ion to what is based upon his study of Ihe chronicles of the Egyptian
pries ts, he states that so far what he has said arises from his own
seeing (lhpu;) , judgment (yvWp.'1)' and (moplo.l1 Th~ Liddell- Scott
lexicon sugges ts " a learning or knowing by inquiry" as the primary
meaning of the no un ; and they offer two citations of Herodolus as
paradigm cases of that meaning . In the first, Herodotus is trying to
sort oul the confli cting accounts of Helen given by Homer and by the
Egyptian:". He !lays:

But when I asked the priests whether the Greek account (Myoc;) of the
Trojan hU!liness were vain or true, they gll.vc me the following answer,

'10 Aac h. A,. 676--80, trOl.ns. Smyth (Loeb). Hu t Morshud ( Random Hou$e) ,
~dcscriet ."
.. Hdl. 1. 56. 1-2.
~ Hdt. 2.99. 1

~'.I\"i n )( Ihal , h l" - had In<l uintI (iHTu!,,#n) :tllll kll('\\ (liMI>UI) wha t Mt'-
ul'iaus l, il1lSC'lf IIad ~; I id . , I

And having complt,tl"d his rf'td li ng. h(' .~ a ys ;

T I,,'\ p.t .. lilt" I'r i t'~ l s l ";111 1 111:11 ~"IU(, fl l lhl'~' Ih i l1!o(~ till" klll'l' h I ill-
Il ui rilll-: (UTTI'iK!l'fL .. , im'T'Tmrtlull. h w that tilt"- ' 11<lk,' \\ illl ,,"Soh"!
kllllwlt'dRf' I 6. T llExl w~ tn Una IJ.fVOI I ;\11<_'" \ \\'ha l ha pl>tllrd in th r ir
m , '1I COU IlI t\', tI

In bol h passages lO'tOQlflOl sec-ms tn hr;l da ti ve Qfm t' a ns. describing

only the mt"a ns by which Ihr knowkdgt was acquired ; ,he knowledge
itself is ind ica tcd by dbEv(U ill til t' fi rs t passage and hy bdmoOeOl
in th e second. 1n both of Ihl'st' l' o nt C'X IS lOlOQio mea ns only an in-
qu iring. a n instanc(, of thl' Ml i"it )' ind icated h y lhe \'('rh {moQEiv .
There arc some instanc('s, IUlWr\'(' r, in whi ch {cnop(o may mea n
the results of inqui rinli: Uf, mort' pfn:ist'ly, informa tio n or accurate
info rm<l tioll , sill (,(' the v('rh h'15 In du with gc ui ll.1{ tht' fac ts stra ig ht.
Thus wt' fi nd Pl il l o' ~ SUCfa\('s sa ying Iha t nhst"TaliOIl of birds a nd
other signs pro\' idt's lO'tOPi'U tn human thuught for il1\'cs tigil ting the
fi.nu re.u And it is in t his St'('tmd a ry St'nSt' that unt" must rt"ad the
fam ous o pening line of H rrod ol us: ' HQ066'tou ' A )..lXO"vitUUtoc; lo
"[0",'1; CtJt6bEi;u; i}OE, tilt' ft 's ult s of tht' i n qui rin ~ o f Hcrodotus of
Halica rnassus a rt' hrre Stt fi) rth , ~'
It seems d c.u tha t tht' in 4u irin ~ ind ica ted by lUtOQla has to do
with facts, and (,vidcntly hy tht' end uf the li ft h ('('n tur)' that usage
was ord inary {,lIoug h Iha l it mijl!: ht ind imt e a d iSC'rf'lr intellectual ap
proach 10 Ihe world . Thus t ilt' wdl-knnwn passage of Plato's Ph(u do
(96A ) in whi ch Socra tes na fra tt'S tu tilt' yo ul\~ Pythagofra ns, Sim-
mias a nd Cetlf'S, how ht, c<t rnt" In seek wisdom in the pcr:u liar wa)'
Iha l he did ~g in s. " W he n I was young, et.'bes, I was tremendousl),
eager for tha t kind uf wisd o m which Ihe y l'all JtEQl q,UOEWC; [01:o,,a,
his tory o r na w n':' \-"'hat Suna tt's is rdr rring 10 hr r(", as th(' n"

" Hd t. 2. \18. \ , I ~a n s. God lry IIAll' h l.

" H d t.l. 119.3.
" PI. PM,. 'l44C - I'l.
,. Hdl. 1.1. 1. Th us I thillk Ilm l 5 tal~ mr ll U s uo.:h as T . S . Brown ' s , "Tho:' Gr<:'C'k
S<:,ns <:, ofTi m<:, in His tory. , . H iJ (o,ill 11 ( 1962) : 269) about " Ih e old Ionia n [0100 ("

. .. lac lu3 1 rq)()rts on II't'OlI'raph )', ,'USIOmS, rac ia l char at' tfr a nd r<:,lig iou5 br:licfsK mis-
ta ke th<:' S<!:co ndaq' for thr pri mary m<:'a ning. Po h\<:' n;r;, HtrtJol. p, <H, is nUI'<:' r Ihe
mark in d <:'fi ning Ih<:' Ionian [m ool" , " a ls a llgt mrintl1 Ausd ruc k HiI' t:;rk undung ' ,"
History aJ' Inquiry 31

mainder of the passage shows, is the ways of understanding the world

of those who are today called pre-Socratic philosophers, but whom
Aristotle called q,UOll(.Ol, evidently following Plato in considering that
their concern was solely or largely to understand q,ilOl<; nature and
natural phenomena. The use ort(1'[oQLa here clearly accords with that
of the verb as inquiring an account of the facts about nalUral phenom-
ena: an inquiry into such facts , though here the scope is broader than
any single phenomenon or class of phenomena. Socrates, however, was
interested in inquiring into the causes (ah(a) of natural things; and so
he finds this "natural history," which merely obtains fa cts, unsatisfac-
tory, and hence rejects it as philosophicall y insumcien!.
It should ~ clear thal the basic idea underlying all the uses of
(mooQ , lO'tOQEiv, and {(1'[oqa is that of inquiring for the facts, with
the: ordinary implication that what the facts really are is unclea r or
disputed to begin with. It may be noted that the uses of the verb far
oUlnumber those of the nOUII and that among verb uses there are more
active than passive ones. These twO observations jointly suggest that
what "history" means at this time is primarily an activity, inquiring, and
only secondarily an object or product, Ihe results of inquiring, kno ....:I
edge in some sense. h does nOl yet indicate it kind of writing, a n a11.
Insofar as what Herodotus is doing is indic-dted by his referring to it
(J.1.I) as aTopiTt, one should undel'S(and the word in its ordinal), <lC-
ttptation : these are the results of Herodotus' factual inquirings, the
accurate information, the right account , which he acquired aboul some
matters of importance to himself and to his audience itnd about which
conflicting accounts have been given.
To complete the account ofthe earliest uses of the progeny oficnWQ ,
the period of the decline of Athenian political hegemony may be con-
sidered , the great orators who presided over the decline and Aristotl e,
at once the first great " knower" in the Western intellectual tradition
and the tutor of Alexander , the man whose conquests and fo undations
set the cultu ral tone for the Hellenistic Age.
There are almost no occurrences of [(1'[ogEiv in Ihi, transitional
period, although in its old and ordinary activc scnse of inquiring for
the facts about natural phenomena, Aristotle wanlS 10 discuss the
parts of plants "about which we inquired (lcnoQ'lloQlIEv) before. " 31
'l(1'[oQ{a in this period seems 10 have settled down as the name for a
particular kind of intellectual or literary product a nd , in a related

" Mist. PI. RI8b27- 28.

32 Uta ~f HiJIO~Y

sense, as a word indicating knowlcdgf' Clr Ihe a.cqUlSlllon of knowl-

f'dge of a certain kind . h could still b{' usrd in its older sc: nsc as the
res ults of inquiring, an account 01" Ihe <"orr{'cl information, thr. correct
account. In his famuus sJ>CI'l'h "On tilt' Crown:' for example. Demos-
thcnes speaks (If the ~reat bC'nclil that .hl' Athenians will derivc from
lCTtOQtU of public aflairs. 1M UuI Hr-rodolus had describt"'d his wrilings,
in accordance ....ilh ,h(' !latun' of their ('on lcnIS. as lO'tOQl1'l.:f'1 And
pt:'rhaps hy mista kl', ur Pf'rhilps from S(lmr OIh,'r cause. this descTip-
li v(' use of t he noun is transform!'d intn a d('nominati\'(' one, t<JtOQlO
a!<> history writing .~' Thus Aristoll(~ points oul that wh('reas books of
travf'l (ui nir; yi'Jr; l'tEQlObol) ,Ir(' U1H'ful lilT law-making , "at 1:WV nEpt
1:a ~ nQi.t;EI; YQ<lqx)V1:WV llTtOplm. thr histori('s of writers about (hu-
man ) acts" arc usd 'ul lor J>olitic;d d,'hau's, 11 And !socrates, who is
elsewhere reported tn ha w taught his tory writing as a di stin ct genre,
says in hi s Panathrna ic spt.r h that it will ht' diffi cult for th(' au-
dience 10 understand ht'callst' it is .ia m-packcd I yEJ.l0vta) with io-
lOQla and 41'),,0004>(0 , philosophy.'!
By this lime . e\idrntlr. both philosophy and hi story are recognized
and reasonahly dearly drfinl'd dt'partmf'nts of intellectual culture.
And there is further evid(,II L(' flf this 1101 on I\' in Ari stotle's distinc-
tions between thl' kinds of plut ! J.lu90;: ) appropriate for an epic and a
his tory, th(' former bei ng wncrrnl'd with a unit), of aClion , !ht' latter
wilh a unity nf lim(,,,'1 hut also in hi s lamoU5 and mu ch debated

.. l>cm. Cm', IH.

,. While Ikrl)t1,~ us 1.~tS tplI' rh"p~ 1J;lrll\ !i,l' 'h~ ,'t';ISlIII) r.lt l~id('rt'(1 Iht I:uhcr ..r
hi! tl)ry t""n in an[iqlli l)'. h~ wu al"" \ ;1 P(opos th .. ti'llamplt orThllcydidcs l consid -
trC'd a lia r bv (Titics unlil [hr ~ ii'll' ttn lh crn1Ury; a nd . more r.. r rn , I), P. Trf",'I!S,
" HrrodohlS, Grlon. and Ptrid..5," Cl' 36 \1941 ): ~2 1 -45. S Momigliano, "Thr
Plat .. of Hl'rodmus in Ihl' Hislory fir IlisloriO!l;raphy," llilfory 13 (1958) : 1- 13; no
printed in A. D. M Onli!(li,,"o. Stlldi,. ill H;JIO';fJ~rrlp~r fLo ndnn; Wtidenfrld and Nicoi-
IOn, 1966), pp. 127- 42 .
' Th~t Htlodo1U' "id nOI "'t' lhl' Io'nr" i ll Ihi$ 1"lI~' i, I"tr()lI'ni:tl'd hy I'ohlenl.,
Htr060t. p . 44 .
' 1 Mi1l. Hh . 1 36Oa3~-3 7 .
" h oc:. Pu . 14(. The nalllrr .. "d ,alu .. .,r ho.:ral" ' <I'l}.,~((l halt ht-t n dis
ell s.!led; sre, ror exa mplr. COPf' in the jfJNf1Ial!f CIIIJJi('fll lllld SlrtlJ I'hiltJIo!.r 5 : 150,
Thom pson '5 Appt'ndiJII " , "On thr Philosoph)' of IsocTlllr5," 10 hi s rditiOCl of Plalo',
P!tQtdTUJ , and J rbh. ,l lIif O'QI~'j , 1 : 34-30. But thr faf t that h ocratts' q,lkooocp(a
rrprrsrnts a morr grnrra l "ndrrstand i,,1t of tho: Ir(m and th,. magnitude or ils in
nu .. nce on thr history ora nci rnl l'uliuf'(' is seld om a ppnclatrd. "or a slight appn'cia -
lion, Sff t\ nnr /11.11 rit M a lil'lgre),. PhilfJJt>pI!i (Pari,; Klincksitck, 196 1), pp. 42-46; IOr
a morr vrinm [(ralmrnt.Jatll'rr, Paidt ill (NI'''' '1'01"11. : Oxrord U n"'.. r,;t) PrI'U. 1944),
3 :46- 155,
"!\rist. Po. 14 59a I 7- ~ .
History aJ Inquiry 33

distinction between historian and p~t as concerned rcspectively with

what did happen and what might have happened ."
On the one hand , then, lO"tOQia in this transitional period means a
particular kind of intellectual or literary product- a " history" in very
much the same sense that we would today ca ll something a history ;
on the other hand , at least for Aristotle, it indicated a particular kind
of philosophic or scientific activity . Earlier on, the noun had been
used to indicate an inquiring into the facts about per-sons , things , or
even ts. Aristotle develops the sense of inquiry into natural phenom-
ena into a typically philosophical mode of inquiry by expanding the
scope of the inquiry to the limits of the various closses of natural phe-
nomena . Thus then: is for Aristotle, as there was al least for Plato's
Socrates, a 1(Ql q.uout)S to"toQ(a, history of nature .~ and besides
this there is a "tits 'VUXTlS {(J"[oQ'a, history oflhe soul,46 and l(J'[OQtm
1tQl tGw ~wwv, hisloril':s of animalsY Besidl':s history as a mode of
inquiry, Aristotle even seems to think of LO"tOQla as one phase of
other inquiries; for he says that it is according to nature (xata q.u-
mv) to proceed to a discussion of causes when we have fini shed the
LO"tOQia of details." Similarly, he describes a list of all the true attri-
butes of an object as an lmop(a ."
For Aristotle, then , lmoQCa has a special philosophic usage to in-
dicate a particular mode or phase of inquiry into the natural world in
its broader aspects. But while it is interesting to observe that the
word was capable of being so employed in Aristotle's time, one must
be wary of taking this as evidence of a great constriction of meaning.
While Aristotle's usage clearly derives from the ordinary usage, it is
speciali zed and philosophical , and thus 10 some ex tent idiosyncratic.
Before proceeding 10 the Hellenistic Age, mention may be made of
the adjective lmoQlx6s. In Plato's Sophist, a self-conscious neologism
is committed in drawing a distinction between imitation based on
opinion, which is called bo~O~lf.ll1nXtl , and imita lion based on

++ I bid. '451 a35-b6. for summary or the dehat c, $eC C . O . Brink, "Tragic History
and Aristode'. Schoot," Ptoc. CfI'"I6,. PM/o/. 5..:., N.S. 6 (1 960) : 14- 19.
., Arisl. Cui. 298b2 .
.. Arist. Dt lb . 402a4.
"AmI. CA 716b31 , referring 10 his own work which, ~rhaps b<-cau$e or the$e
rereren~s, has come to be called HiJlfITJ r1 A"i",als. Similarly: CA 717.33-34,
728bI3- 14; Rllp. 477a6-1, 418a21- 28. Or he may refer simply to " the histories": CA
719alO, 7fOal3, 746a15, 7Mlb31 , 7.53b I 7, 761alO, 763b16; and Rup. 418b!.
.. Arist. HA 49hll - l l .
., Arist. APr. 46a24-27 .

knowh=dge ( btlan1~ll) . which is called " {(J'toQl)(~V 'nva Illll110 IV , a

son of hislorylike imitation: "'" And Aris to tle says that in orde r 10
advise well about the economies of cit y-s tates, one need s no t only 10
have some gene ral views derivcd from onc's own ex pe rience, bu t a lso
to be {moQut.6 v, well Vt'TSt'd , about what others have lea rned .)1 Both
of t hese usages seem 10 dni\'l' from lltr n Ol ioo of LO'toQia as factual
inqu iry or information-seeking. su tha t whatt:v('r is LC'lOQlXOS is fac-
lual or informed . Tht" se(:()ud sorl ofimilalion. then, would be "a sort
of informed im itation" anet Aristotle's ad\"ic(' is to I:H= "informed"
about what others haw ItanU'd .
This a Hribuli v(' u sa~t of till' adject iv(, deri\'es from latOQlU as in-
quif)' or the res ults CIf inquiry . The adjrcliw' is a lso used o nce s ub-
sla nli vd y by Aristotlc in tilt' fam ous passagc of l ilt' Porl;{f.ll in which
he disl inguishes bclween till' his!!)rian ( lOlOQlX6C;) a nd tht' poet . and
which has already hccn diS('u!isjo.
The idea of history in tht fift h n'n tury was dominalro by a sense of
activity; hu t in Ih (' transi tiuna l period a reification aplXars to ha\'e
begun tha l con tinues in tht subst<]uInt pc riod . History shifts from a n
activity that onc perform s on ('('rtain kinds of objects wilh th e aim of
oblainin,lt ct'rta in kinds nf r!'suh s-" I inq uirt' ''-to a s ubsistent r n-
til )', inqu iry, unders wod as citllt'r a d istinc t and r(,cognizable (inves
tigativc) process- I f'nga!i{<' in (o r. prusc("ut<, j an inqu iry-or, per-
haps , the wrinrn r('su lts or tha t pro('('ss, , ha l is. his w rit's, By Aris-
totle's lime tIlt' verh has l ' OIl\(' 10 takt' a srcllnda ry place to the noun .
which now indicatrs nut so muc h tht' inq ui ring itself as Ihe r('sults of
th at inqu iring. a o('rinahlt surt (II' lit('ntry produn wilh ils own spe
cific uses, values . a nd trailS,

'.. PI. Spit , 267 0 - 1:: ,

" Arist, RII , 1359b:lO- ):l,
\l !'riR P(J, 1459.117- 2'J,

History as a Literary Genre:

The Hellenistic Age

O IlANN GVSTAV DRQYSF.N ga\l~ th e name " H ellenism" t o the pc-

J riod of Greek civilization foll owing the death of Alexa nder lhe
Grea t because he thought that 'EX).Tlvt.aTu( in Ihe Acts of t he
Apostles (6 : I) referred 10 oricntali zed G reeks and that this blending
of Greek wi th Oriental was the defining characteristi c of the age ..
Su bsequen t investigation has shown that this interpretation of (he
text of Acts is indefensible a nd that t~ G reeks ratlu:r th an the Orien-
tals were the chief contributo rs to whatever cu ltural fusion occurred .
Nevert heless it was Oroysen who in st igated the study ofl he period as
a distinct period in the ancient world, and the name, however inap-
propriate, has become canonical.

I I n 1836 Droystn called his work 011 the Diadochi and Epigoni GtMltidllt an Ihl/ar
U"'IU. He did not, or course, invelll the ttrnl. In the ! i:o:tctnth ntury, J . Scaliger
inlerprrtcd'Elloalot and ' EJJ.l1v tGto( in the n me passage as a contrast between
Jews who u!('d Htbrrw and I~ who usl Grrek in thtc synagog ue. D. Heinsiu!, on
the oth('r hand , thoug ht Ihat Ihe Jewish' EU.I')VtO'to( used a special dialect (1i"J~/J
/ul/arull((J ) which is identical with The language or thc Scptuagint. In the sevent centh
century, C. Salmasius denied that this was a special d iale(l, but retained the term
li"lltlt IwlltniJli((J ror O ld TCSTamtnl and New Testament Gruk . In the cip; hteen th
century, J. G. Herder used ~ Hdlenis mus" to indicate the wa)' or thinking or Jews and
other Gree k-speaking O ri('nla ls. And in Ihe ni ne teenth ntury, J. Matter connected
" Hcllenismc" with Ihc thoughl of Greek-speaking Egy ptian J ('ws. The classic accoun t
orlh(' history of lhe term is R. LaqU<'T, Hdlarumru (Gleue n, 192!'1). On Droysen's/lwlI
oonfu,ion .aboul lhe meaning oflhe term, ~ A. Momigliano, "J . G. Ornyu:n Or:twetn
G r('cks a nd J('w,," HiSID'.! /1Nl 7ltor} 9 ( 1970): 139- 53.
Uta of
. Hislorr.
Thr H e llenis tic Age, or Hellenism , was , from all accoums, an age
of unprecedented cultural productivit y. At Athens, still the home of
philosophy, the school s of Pla tu, AriSlollr. f:picurus . Diogenes the
Cynic. and Zeno the St oic nuurish('d. pt'rpttually (,Ilgagrd in quarrels
with each other and steadil y attrarlill~ numtx' r~ of stud('nts from all
over the Greek-speaking ..... ork!. Blit Atlll"tls was 110 longer the ('enter
of all Gret"k cultural life. With Ih(' l"Cl1I<jU{"sts of Al exander. intellec-
tual acti\"it) had rn-come intl"flliItiunal.
Art and sc ience in th e H('llen ist i(' Age were c{"nterrd in Alexandria.
Primarily Ihi!> may be attrilmltd In tht' ric h t'ndowmellls of lhe Ptole-
mit's. PlOl emy I f(lImdrd till" :\Im.( um . " home for the Muses. as a
workshop and training gwund Ii,r sd\\llars hip in all fields- apart
from till" tu rmoi l of mundallr ncis uIUT . Il h('('a ml' Ih(' rcr:ognized
institu tion for ('stablishing ddinili\'(' I('XIS. pn'paring critical iitions,
and publishing OIlllhurilaliH ,'omlllt'II!l1ril's UII t'arli('r \\'riters.
11to lem y 11 Philadt'lphus ,j)und('d IllI' ~r(,'1I I.ibrary Ill' Alexandria ,
which ultimatdy ,'amI" \'rry Iwar its Ij,undcrs lnl(:uliun or col l(:c ling
Greek literalllrt' in ils t'tHirt'IY : lilr it n!lllain('d perhaps 700,000 \'01-
umes when. in 47 11 ,1:. , it wa s hUTlwd durin ~ Ih(' ,I{('Ilt'rall'onflagrdtion
o f tht: harbor d istrit' L In additiun IU Alrxalldria and Athr ns, how-
eHr, Pergam um , Antioch, <lncl RhtKI('s ilt "ariuus tim('s and for "ary-
ing pe:rioo!> wrrr It's.~I' r ,'rlltrI'S Ill' \'ig-UTOUS l' ultural lirr . .-\11 of these
cities produced Utlt only wHrks Ilr scholaf'llhip and philosophy, hut
a lso poetry. drama, and hili tory, as wdl as s tucl i('.~ of riwlOri C, gram-
mar, mathematil's, astrunomy , nwdicillt', g-mgr:lph y, and techno logy .
f'rcguenlly a \'ari(,IY uf tI\I'Sl' '\I'Tt' prudtll't'd hy a s ingll' pt'rsull .!
Yet of all "f Ihis l'ultuml ,uti,iI Y \'(TY litlk Tt'ma ins nesidt"s the
Icstimon;t's Iha I il t.K:l'urrt'tI . I TIlt' philostl l>lw rs an' knu\\ 11 h~' a lew
rragmellts and hy nulil:('s ill dllxo,l{filphit's. Iht'llIsl'l\TS sUT\';"ing onl )'
in fragments in man y I'asr s, whkh allrihuu' llUm('rous wurks 10 the
philosophrl'S. Of tht, man y histnri,lIls whnst' namt'S \\'t' know , , li rre

I Th.. li brarians "I' AI"x;lndril' :lr<' .... ' rt:pu"'!!: Zrnudutus. Apollunius uf RhodMl.
(ta\< th.. rus. Arisluphanr, or 8yzantium. "\p"lIun;u ~ ,hr IdO!l:rdph.. r. and Arisla r'
chus . Callimachu s, Ihou,II: h n .. " .. r hrad Hr .h .. I.ihra ry, cl ...... up th.. first ('alal"l'tu.. of
ils holdin,ll:s .... hich Pi.am alonr ran up to I'll) hooks. BUI lx-sidC'S Ihis h.. is t rc:d iled
with works A.. C.lflulJ, C,ulINRJ ".f F."it" PHJ/II'f , Nil-m ~r ,11, Jl'tlI/d, .lion, ls, and 0"
,"':rmplls. 10 nam .. on l)'" rrw . anrl abo \'" lul1l(,S fir Nml1r" a nd EpiX,tlIlfJ. ~imilarlr ('XI~n'
5i\'t: int t: II"(lu al alu,inmt:nlS ar .. :utri h ut",d 10 Ihr Stoic I'o,idunius of Ap<tm ..a. Ih",
t: picu rn n I"hilod .. mu s, .h .. p.. ripal ..lit Thr:ophras tus. anI'! EraloSlhrnrs .
Sn . ...1/1 .. 1':. A. 8ari)(:r' ~ ('ommtnll; on Ih e: .. t;'aRmrnt;ar~ nalur.... ofthr Hrlknistic
IU",rar), rtm~in$ in , h.. (.allf/)' id~, .~ "..If'" Hisltl~I' 7 :l'4!I.
History as Q Littrary Gtnrt 37

are only fragments ; the sole work that has survived in anything like its
integrity is Polybius' account in Creek ofthe rise of Rome. And so it goes
for the greater part of the literary output of the age.
In circumstances such as these it is not surprising to find that occur
rences of lmoQElv, imOQla, and tCJtoQU~e; arc not at all widely disper
sed through the cultural remains; indeed, they occur mostly in the
works of two writers, Polybius and Dionysius ofHalicarnassus, a lead
ing proponent of the first-century reaction against the degeneration of
literary Greek that call ed itself Atticism . The confidence with which
conclusions may bedrawn on the basis of such evidence will have to be
qualified accordingly. Generally speaking, however, the uses of these
words in Hellenistic writings continue and solidify the tendencies op-
erat ing during the decline of the Hellenic period. The idea of history
undergoes little change .
'IO'TOpla is still used in its older signirlCation as the facts or a factual
account about some person or some important evenl in the person's life.
It is so used by Dionysius , praising the continuity ofHerodotus's work,
"even though he added a [moQla. ofXerxes' flight .'" Similarly, Poly-
bius interrupts the main line of his Histories to give a description (tt;'\,YTI-
me;) of the Italian Celts, but he says he thinks that " the lmoQlav of
these people") is worth remembering in order to understand the sort of
people against whom Hannibal had to fight in nonhern Italy.
The noull seems to retain its reference to natural facts throughoullhe
Hellenistic Age, and indeed throughout antiquity.' According to Thro-
phrastus, successor to Aristotle as scholarch ofthe Lyceum, Thales was
the first among the Hcllcnes to "set fort h history about nature" (nEQl
CPilOEO>c; tmoQ(av);' Plato 100 concerned himself "about history ofna
ture."B And at least within the circle of Peripatetic philosophers in the
Hellenistic Age, factual inquiry about natural things seems to have been
practiced and to have been called [atoQCa,9 meaning the racts or a
ractual account about natural phenomena .

D. H . Pomp. 3. 14.
) Plb. 2. t4. 1- 2.
' f: 'lh Plb. 2.14.7; 4.40.3; and Thphr., fr. 12, in Dids, D O 4%, 17- 21 .
I Thphr. Fr. I (D O 47~ , 10- 13).
I Ibid . f'r . 9 (DO 484, 19-465, 4).
' To Theophrastul an:: attributed iJol4lficGi His/llri,s, Astrf)io,il:Gi Histllry, NllmtriClI1
H istoriu vf Gr/IfD1II, o-lri'GI HuIDri,S, Hislll'J IIf 1111 DiuiM (D. I.. ~ .46-.50) , and the
dOllographical 0,. PJ,picGI Op;,till1U, whi ch may have been called 0.. Nllhtraf HiJID'J
(Oiels, DC, Pro!., p . 102). Menon is said to ha ve written a history of medicine and
Eootmus of Rhodes a NMmffll;Q/ H iJtoq, (;,o",,'ri( 1I1 HislQrUs, and AslrrHlI,iull His/Driu.
38 Idta if Hi.s/o~)'
The re is a related and ver)' importalll occurrence in the first sur-
viving trt'!3tise on grammar. that of (1)(' s('cond-u'ntury scholar Dio-
nysius Thrax, a student of Aris tarchus. who succeeded Aristophanes
of Byzantium as chief librarian at Alexa ndria . According to Diony-
s ius, the third of the s ix parts (If grammar (YQ<lIlIlOtunl) is YAWOOWV
t:E XOl lO'tOQlWV JtQOXElQOf; CtJ'tOOOOll!;. Iht' n ' ady t'xpositio n of lan-
guages and histo ries .'" In antiquity. as in Ih(' !\Iiddlr Ages,
"gra mmar" referred to halh lllf' tht'Ort,tical Of !It:ientifk slUdy of lan-
guagl!' (our "grammar") and Iht' first stagt ill tlJ(' litera ry 1'1lu(.'al ioll
ofa child (our "grammar st'hool "). Oftht, " parts" into which lJ;ony.
sillS divided grammar. :;om(' arr scirnli li c and som(' p("dago~kal . But
he is interested on ly in th(' sri,'lltifie. sn hr riot'S not {'xplain ..... hat h('
means by an "exposi tion ul'languagr s and his lOrics." What hr is talk-
ing about, though , is familiar to ;m yon(' who has takt"n a courst' in a
classical language; the pedagogi ca l (t"rrain has nut c hanged much in
twenty-fi\'e centuries .1! Going ov('r ('x('rl"lsrs or reading assignments.
one comes across unfamiliar words or linguistit- forms and unfamiliar
names of persons , places, obj('clS. or (,VI'nts. These til t" ( 'adler identi
fies. Such identification nf an unfamiliar .....ord of li nguistic 10r01 is
still called , following tIlt" u sa~t' of th(' ;l1It"lt' nt ~rammarian s, it
"gloss "; and the idrnlifi catiulI uf an unkno ..... n pt'rsnll , plaet'. nhj('ct.
or event would consist in gi\'ing som(' f.u:ts Ilr information ahout it.
'ImoQlQ is thus he re bring llsrd, as in th(' Jlrect'ding ,l:('fOUp of uses, to
indicate facts or a factual a('("f)Ullt, hut with a somewhat wider signi fi-
ca tion that includes, besidrs natural ()I~i('cts or phe n()nwna , pt'rsons,
places, and events.
H ere . then . history makes its modest debut in the t!dut:ational I:\lr-
riculum of Western civilization ; not as a discipline. a sci('n ct', or a
body of knowledge, nor c\'('n as <tcquaintanct.' with t he writings of
historians primarily. but as informatinn ahout various matten men-
tioned in whatev('r literaturt onC' stud it'd. The t r('atis(' of Dionysius
Thrax was ver}' brief. but it was ("xtraordinarily popular, It imm('di
atdy became the nasic text un th(' sU~('ct: it was t:antinually copied ,
edited , and provided with cummt'ntaries until the twelfth crntury;
and it has provided the foundations lor both Greek and Latin gram-

10 Dion. Thr. Dr A./r G fll,","dli(lI. para . I.

" HenTi Marrou ( HiJIDr;1 of Edwllli/lll In A.. ljf~;lj, pp. 165-72) dist inguIshn lou r
dirruent stages in the literary stud)" o\'er which the ~'II,","II'i*Dl presided : 6t6Qflwo\l;
(textual criticism). 6.v6:YVWOlo; (reading ). t~frrrlOI~ (fe lou" and "histories" ), and xQl-
ou; (evaluation).
History tu a Literary Genre 39

mars until the present time. The scholia on the passage of Dionys ius
we have been discussing suggest that the ancient commentators
understood latoQla more narrowly than Dionysius did . h is ex
plained as " narratives (bLl'JyT'UJ.ata)," the " narrating of ancient do.
ings (l1w..aui.rv l't(Kll;toov a4rr\"('Ilm!!;)," and "the narration of affairs in
earlier times (tTiv blT'l'Y'lOlV 'tWv l'tclAal l't(KlYv.ci'tWV)." 12 Although the
scholiasts whose commenta ries have survived are much later than
Dionysius Thrax , their explanations mark a development in the us
age of {O'tOQla that had already begun in the Hellenistic Age.
In addition to the older and narrower use of the word as informa
lion about natural phenomena, and Dionysius' wider use as infor-
mation more generally about whatever arises in a literary text, in the
world of lette:rs {tnoQ(a more: onen has to do with social a nd political
eve:nts. Polybius says, for example, that " the history of pas t events
(tTJv ... itntQ 'tWv l'tQOYEyov6'twv ... LmoQlav) in Asia and Egypt
has already been published many times a nd is well known.""
Thus fa r the contexts in which {atOQla is used do not provide
enough informa tion to make it clear whether history is the informa-
tion about certain objects-such as natural things, persons, and the
like-or an account of the information, the fa cts or a factual account .
However, the uses exam ined so far in the Hellenistic materials seem
to emphasize the matter or content of the history, its fa ctua lity.
The second broad group of uses that may be discriminated in the
period emphasizes the manner or form of the history, considering it
precisely as an account . Where the first group concerns history as
facts, a kind of knowledge, the second concerns history as an account,
a kind of literature . T he beginning of this modal distinction between
history as facts and history as account was in Herodotus' calling his work
Polybius regularly uses tatOQla as a referential term when he is
reflecting upon the account he is engaged in giving. He says, for ex-
ample, that a resume (tl;1i"('llOl!!;) of Greek history to the 140th Olym ~
piad is "appropriate to the arrangement of the history ( l'tQ6~ nlv 'ril!!;
{O'tOQla~ cnNtQ;lV otxElav)." I4 These are the concluding lines of

'1 &""; j" Di.llpi; T1IrIKiJ A TltIIt Gr.smml;cam. Tht ci tatioos ar!:' rt3Iptctivdy rrom
Mdampos (or Dioml:'de5'; j" 14. 19: Sltphtn or Byzantium, p. 303.4; and Ht liodoru! .
470.4. On Ihe innutnct DionY$ius Tbra", set J ohn Edwin Sand y!, A Hutory of
CJ/Usicat Sdtol"rslril' (New York: Hafner, 1958), I : 138-4{1.
11 Plb. 2.37.6; see also .s.31.6.
"lbid . 3.118.2.
40 /dta of HjJIO~"

Book 3 of the His/onts and act as hisj ustificatOT), transition to Book 4 .

The reference of imoQia to his accou nI as such is clear from the use
of tl;frfrlOl'i 10 refer to the s uoordinal(, accou nt of Greek history.!'-
Similarly, Cha res of M)'t ilcne. who panicipa trd in Alt:xandcr' s jour-
ney 10 the East and afterward wrol(' an account of it , tells about the
mmancc of Odatis, daughtt"r to the king of Maratho n, "as it has bt"en
written (ytYQO.1ttOl) in the historiC's f( O'toQtm ~):' 16 The use of yt-
YQ<X1tlOt ma kes it dc-a r that tilt" historit"S r('f l"rred to art' wriUcn . Oio-
nys ius of Halicarnassus criliciz('s Iht' pruse' style of Thucydidt"s for its
excessive use of parentheses, of which Ih('n" an' a great many " in the
entire iOtOQlUV." ' : And ht" (t"pC'atooly rc!t-rli to l'hucyd idcs' work as
lO"tOQia. IK
Such uses tend to be more takr-n up with the mr-chanics of the
account ~giving , organization and style, the account as a piec(' of lit
erature. The word is used stra ightforu'a rdly to indica te a piere of
literature as such. What lmoQ(o evident ly signifies in this large
group of uses, then, is a spcci('s of litera wrr.. a branch of cuhur('.
Like other branches of cu llun. history has its ow n special use and
value. Aristotle sugges ted that histories w('re uscfu l for poli tica l ddiJr
eration, unlike travrl books, which werr useful for legislating. Thur y-
dides supposed that, sincf" human cV('nlS ft'c ur. his work would bt' an
inst ructive possession for all lime: Herodotus. ra ther dirrerent ly.
wrote in order that mighty deeds might not lack renow n les t the rea
sons why the Greeks and tht, barbarians waged wa r against ('ach
other be unknown .
In the Hellenistic Age (and ('ven down to the prest'nt day) there
seems to have been little doubt that the st udy of accounts of actions
performed in the past along with the consequences that followed from
them- the study of historical works----provides the student with a
kind of experience of arrairs that may sen:t: as a correcti ve in the

I) Polybius marks Ihe' distinCIKm bttwttn the' O\"e' rall narra ti\t and some Ifut' r pari
in the n m(' wa y at 2. 14. 1-2 and at 3.57.+.-.... using the infiniti\"(, t; lJviloaotku. See
a lso Plb. 1.3.8; 2.37.3; 3.4.11, ....9, 58. 1; 4.1.2. 28.4: and 6.2.2- 3. But D. H. P, "'/'. 3.14
has bu'rt'10U; fOl'" the major, I(J'I"OQlO for the minor narr:/Il;', .
Ii According to Athen. [ 13.35; 5758 - Jacob~', FI/(' ( 125) Fr. 5 ].
11 D. H . A".". . 2. 15: s~ also 77t. 5. ilvaypO:4>oYt(~ {(J'(OQ10>; and Plb. 2.62.6;
.... 33.2-3; and 8.9.2.
,I D. H. 71. 1.9, 16. a nd 41 : see al$(l.b/. Rom. 5. 11.3. He also has a rormulaic wa y
of appealing for confirmation of his evidence to 01 )tOtvoi IcnOOiUl . Ih(' commonly
known (published?) hi51orie5; Alll m. 1.:1 a nd 11. Para . 3 refers to Iht co mpilc rs of
biog raphin (oi. tou>; JHov>; ilv6Qcirv U\1Yta~J.lEVOl ) .. nd 11 10 A I/his of PhilochoTUs.
His/ory aJ a Lilerary Gtnre 41

assessment of alternative courses of action. In this connection Poly-

bius moralizes about the foolishness of mcn who, taking no precau-
tions, allow their enemies to trade in their very marketplace, al-
though they might acquire "such experience from history (b ti'j ~
(moQia~ ... 'tT)v to~autTIv qu,:ElQ(av)."" But perhaps the IOCILJ ciaJ-
siau for this view of the value of his tory is a passage from the Art of
Rirttorn of Dionysius of Halicarn assus: "And Plato says this too, that
the poe tic, by beautifying the many deeds of the ancients, educates
those who are born later. For educa tion ( nalC~la ) is the conjoining
of oneself ( lvt Eu1;l~) with character. And Thu cydides seems 10 sa y
this, speaking about history (1CEQi. [otoQia~): that hislory is phi/oroph.J
from examples (on xat {OtoQ(a cPtAooO$(a tm:lV tx naQO.bElYIl6.-
tWV) ."20
If history as a spies of literature has its specifK cultural or practi-
C',d values, it also has its specific standards. In Polybius' words, "if
truth (lv.:r18ua ) is ta ken away from history (t; totoQ(a~) what is left
of it is a useless tale."ll In addition to this standard for the relation-
ship between the account and its subject matter, there a re also
precepts of art that concern choice of subject, arra ngement, style, and
so fonh,'1'l matters that need not be discussed here. For the present
purposes it is sufficient to observe that {atOQ(a has come to bc the
name for a species of literature and a cultural phenomenon . Indeed
the Epistle of Dionysius of Halicarnassus to Pompey, already men-
tioned , is largely a discussion of the art of history writing. And treat-
ises "On History " (J'tEQl {m:oQ(a~), apparently a bout history writing,
are attributed to Theophrastus and to Praxiphanes."
The modal distinction between history as the fa cts and history as
literature is also found in the occurrences of lmoQELv in Hellenistic
writings. It is still used occasionall y in its original sense of inquiring
for the facts about persons, things, or events. Polybius, concluding a n
account of the " tragic" accounts of Hannibal's crossing of the Alps,
says that he can report confidently about these Ihings " because of
having inquired (ImoQTIxEvm) about the events from those who were
" Plb. 5.15.5-6; see " Iso 1.1.1- 2,35.9- 10, ;,and 2.35.5-6.
D . H. RA. 11.2; sec also Plb. 2.6 1.3-6.
7. Plb. 1.14.5-6: see " Iso 3.20.5.
n C hoice subjec:l: D. H . PWI/I . 3, 4, 6. Arr"ngemenl: Plb. 3.57.4- 5, 58. 1, 118.12.
Conclusions: D . H . Pomp. 3.
., For Theophr,utus. sec D. l. 5.47. The claim of G. A ~arius (L ...."" ScJrri{t wr
GrWtiI:htudtrilnm,d IhiIl Thc:oplu,lS!us' work cannot h,,~ ~n "bout hiMOf)' writin g is
reje<led by Walbank (G nomon 29 (1 957):41 0.. 191.
42 Idta of History

there and having inspected the terrain" a nd having made the cross-
ing himself.?' The verb is also occasionally used in the close ly rdated
sense of learning or knowing by inqui ry. or, as we might ca ll it,
" historical knowledge." Thus Philodemus sap that those who a re
ignorant of the proper medi ci ne for curing a disease are conq uered
" by their own lack of expert historical knowledge (unO t Ow fouot Wv
. . . [m:oQ1'Jx6twv). "7$ Litera lly lranslatt'd. Im oQ"x6 twv means
" things th at have been learned by inquiry:'
Although the verb is somr limes used in these rela tively older ways ,
in its mos t common usage it mea ns to " repon " or 10 "rela te" some
facts about persons, things , or events. Thus Dionysius of Halicarnas-
s us und erta kes to pro\'(' tha t Demosthenes p ubli shed twel ve s p~ch es
bc: fo~ Aristotle began wri lin ~ his R htlOri(, usi ng ev id~nce " from
things tha t hav(' been reported (tx 'twv l OYOQOUfAEVWV) .""lI; And
Theophrastus says, "This was an abridged version of things rela ted
(n iIV (mOQ11J1.vwv) about firs t princi ples, written down not accord-
ing to time, b ut accord ing to simil arity of opinion."1; Al so, both Allt i-
gonus of CaryslUs, the thi rd-century para d oxograp h ~ r , and Polrbius
use: the verb in this way freq uently.tlI
Finally, a word about thr adjectiv(' (otoQ l x6~ in the Hellenis tic
Age. It is used pri marily in the su bstan tivl' way fou nd earlier in Aris-
totle; it means " historia n," on(' who engages in LotoQi o. Dionys ius of
Halica rnassus, fo r example, discusses the " task of a historian (lQYov
[otOQ1XOU) ,"19 And there is also Ih(' word (otOQ 1 OYQ<l 4K>~, " historical
writer," to indicate the historian in hi s more d istinctly litera ry
aspecl.)O In fact, this aspect who lly domina tes the uses of the adjec-
tive in thi s period , Ujonysius has a pet ph rasl', Tj l mO(Ux"; n pay-
j.lo l d a , in which the att ribu tive usage de ri ves from th e subs tant ive,
so that the phrase ind icates " the his torica l busi ness" or "craft ,"JI
And this craft is litera ry , not scientific or philosoph ic.

:H Pl b. 3.48. 12; Kt also 1.63.7: 2.17 .2: 3.38.2- 3: 9. 19.3- 4; and Phld . Rh. 1..14,
1\ Phld. RA. 1. 345. 1- 8; Itt" al$O 2.105 (t, . 12). 51f".. and Mh. 2.62.6 and 3.6 1.2- 3.
:M D. H . .1",,,,. 1.4; Kt al!oO .1 ..1. Rom. 5. 17.4, 56. 1, t"1 ("".
n T hphr. PhJliul Op illiolll, Fr. 8 (Dit"l5, DG 484. 17- 18). T his pauagt suggtSiS thal
al lu .st ror Ihe Ptr i pall~li c:s, a .. ltistory ~ did nOI rr-quirt" chrnnological arrangt"mr-nL
Anlig. pp. 6. 27, 80, 169, 179-80, 192 , 194. 191 , t 99. 202, 205, 207. Plb. 1.37 .3:
2.16.13- 14,11.2; 4.8.4, 41.2; 6.49.2. 54 .6.
" D. H . PfHllp . 3. 13; also Phld . Rh. 1.28, 301-:/9. 101. 1.200. 18- 30 a nd Cail. 124.3 .
.. Plb. 2.62.2; 8.11 .2; Antig. p. 180.
II D. H . Pom.p. 3.8; A",,,, . 2.2: Tit. 2 and 24.
Hutory as a Literary Genre 43

Perhaps the basic feature of Roman cuhure is the pervasive and

sustained influence of the Greek culture. Andronicus, the first Latin
poet, was Greek; he made a translation of the OdySJty that remained a
school text well into the Augustan Age, and he also translated eerlain
Greek tragedies into Latin meters. Likewise his successor, Naevius,
produced plays of Greek origin in Latin meters, while Ennius , the
lhird of the early poets, wrote his Antulies of Rome in the character-
istically Greek hexameters also used later by Lucretius and Vergi!.
The comic poets of this period, Plautus, Caecilius, and Ten:nce, all
produced translations of the Greek New Comedy of Philemon, Diphi-
Ius, and Menander; and the earliest historians of Rome-Quintus
Fabius Pictor, Lucius Cincius Ali mentus, and Postumius Albinus
-all wrote in Greek.
Scholarship in both Greek and Latin literature was begun at Rome
at the instance of Crates of Mallos, the Creek Stoic grammarian from
Pergamum, who, detained at Rome in 159 H.C. with a broken leg,
awakened the admiration of many Romans for the sophistication of
Gr~k study. And what interes t there was in philosophy at Rome was
inspired hy the embassy from Athens in 155 R.e ., consisting of COla-
laus the Peripatetic, Diogenes the Stoic, and Cameades the Aca-
demic, whose auditors may have included the earliest of the
"Scipionic Circle," which included C . Laelius, who appears in sev-
eral of Cieero's dialogues, Lucihus the satirist, Terence the comic
poet, Polybius, and the Stoic Panaetius, who was the first to attempt
philosophy at Rome.
In sum, the Romans borrowed thcir intellectual culture whole
cloth from the Greeks; not only the forms but also the models and
styles of those forms as well as the conceptual terminology. Indeed
we owe mostly to Cieero the translatjon (and, not infrequently, the
mistranslation) of the technical vocabulary of philosophy. which
through the Middle Ages and especially through Scholasticism,
passed into modem philosophy and which still lies at the heart of our
discussions of sensation, perception and cognition, action. passion,
and evaluation. More often. however, the Romans borrowed by sim-
ple transliteration; as, ror example, pkilosoplzia. In the same way they
borrowed by transliteration the words lzislon'Q and Izuloricusj but they
did not borrow either the ancient word [O'tWQ or the verb lO'toQ~v . 12
'" A mcdicVilI ..... tin \~rb. A.Utonar..., is allall!!d; J.ee Du Callge. Glrwariu", MnJiM tllrtji_
u.tmitaru (Paris. 188~7 14 : 2:1O.
44 Idta oJ History

This is of considerable importance. For. as has been seen , lOToQia

derived originally from {O'tOQElV and had the meanings ( 1) an inquiring
or inquiry and (2) the resuhs ofinquiry either all the facts or information
so obtained o r a factual account, or as the written account pcr se. Now
what these various meanings have in common is inquiry of a certain
kind . Even in the Helle nistic remains . which show a dominance of
history as a species of litera lure, ther<' is still the recognition , at least
implicitly, thallhe content crlhis sort orliu'ralure is related as product
to a particular kind of intellectual activity, inqu iring. In sofar as o n('
explicates a basic meaning of Izisloria-niltoricus it will nOl ha\'e this (Ore of
original active meaning becau!'i(' ther(' was not such a Latin verb.
Uses of historia and ltiJforirus in Latin writings of republ ican limes arc
infrequent. The only exception is C icero, who uses hisfor;a a greal deal
relalive 10 what is fo und in the scant y r('mains of Ih(' works of other
writ ers. Both for this reason and because of the magnitudr of his in-
fluen ce upon subseque nt \Ves t('rn thought,,11 it seems worthwhile to
consider Cicero's usage separatel y after examining those ofother repub-
lican writers.
The earliest occurrences of hiJtaria arc in the comedies of Plaulus. In
the Trinummw (381 ), Lysiteles begs the permission of his father. Philto,
to wed an undowered wife. Phiho replies that he could argue agains t it ,
for "' this myoid age holds old and ancien I history." Similarly in the
Bacchidts ( I~ ), Lydus, the tutor of Pi swclcs. objects that if th(' young
man takes a mis tress as he wishes. then he. Lydus. like Phoenix . the
lutor of Achilles, will haH' to bear sad tidings 10 his fath e r. PistocJes
replies, " Satis historiarums t! That 's e nough of his tories!" The history in
both oflhese passages seems 10 bt- an account ofi mporlant events in the
lives of persons . Philto evidemly knows what happe ned 10 olhers who
did whal l.ys itele5 proposes; and thC'" latter passage' alludes 10 the Story
of Phoenix 's sad mission to Pf"ieus. Wt' art' reminded of the regular
signification uf lo-ropEiv ill Alli( drama .. s inquiring: fe)1' the facts abolll
a person's life .
If his/aria has this rathe r antique meaning in refere nce to personal
events, the re is another occurrence in Plautus re miniscen t of a different

n " or a rbu mi or C iccro's in nu cnce, sce Richard McKf'On. " Introduction tu Ihe
Philosophy ofCicero,Mpp. \ - 9 of Ihfo Cllirlll E"if;~ o/Cim. (C hicago, 19501. ~t/)fe
diffuse is John C . Rolre. Ciu", 1111" /lis J~j1"OIrr (Ne .. York, 1963); and for a n intrrell+
ing application, $~ Slcphen Bottin, ~Cictro as a RoIr Modtl for arl~ Atnl'fica n
Lawyers: A Case Stud \' in CllIMicallnnucnct: q 7~ ( 1 ~177_;R) : :\1 ~2 1.
History as a Literary Genre 45

Greek usage. Menaechmus Sosicles, with his servant Messenio, has

been looking for his twin brother all over the Mediterranean for six
years without success. Messenio complains that they have wandered
among Istrians, Spaniards, Musilians, lUyrians, all around the
Adriatic, up the whole coast of Italy and into Greater Greece:
"You're hunting for a knot in a bulrush. Why don't we go back
home-that is, unle!s we're going to write a hislory?")4 What is sug-
gested by the use of his/aria here is an account of firsthand observa-
tions of geography, peoples, and customs, which is very like the older
usage of tmoQ(a to indicate the fa cts or a factual account about nat-
ural things .
There are, however, only these few attestations of nil/aria in older,
more Hellenic ways. More frequently, nis/aria and nis/anew have to do
not with things or persons, but with social and political events. The
biographer Cornelius Nepos relates .that Cato "was already an old
man when he began to write a his/aria of which he left seven books.
The first contains the accomplishments of the kings of the Roman
people; the second and third the origin of all the stales of Italy-and
it seems to be for that reason that he called the entire work The Ori-
gi11I."n Nepos evidently understands histaria in a broad sense here as
includ ing political events, the actions of kings, and the origins of
cities; but the histaria, whatever its subject, is a written account.
HiJtoria as a written account of events is distinguished from annals
in the famous fragmenls of the historian Sempronius Asellio (ca.
140-90) preserved by Aulus Gellius.36 The first fragment distin-
guishes annale5, which state only what happened year by year, from
"writing of the things done by the Romans, ru gestae a Romanis pu-
seribere," which shows "the purpose and the reason for which a thing
was done, qUI) consilio quaqUt rationt gerta tsstnl. " 37 The second fragment
says: "To write, however, by which consul a war was begun and by
which completed and who came into the city from it in a triumph,
and not to state in that book what was done in the war or what the
senate decrel meanwhile or what law or bill was carried, not to go
into the motives for which these things were done: that is to tell sto-
ries to children , not to write history, id fabu las PlUriS t51 narraTe, non

,. M.". 247-48.
1:1 Nep. CaU) 3.3; see also All. 16.3.
-Gell. Nil. ~.18.8-9.
" Fr. 1 in H. Peter, HiJU)ricanun R_MnufI F1I~lmnlla (Leipzig, 1883 ).
46 Idea of Histo~.,

hislorias scrilxr~."'" If Aselliu distinguishes lJiM(I17(j from (/1111(1/,.\ hy its

inclusion of the motives of the a t:luI"S, Nepos d i~ inguis h es IIi.f/olia
from biography (vitam .. . narrart) as being concerned with public
a nd private deeds (us) respec li \'dy .~ It would be imprudent 10 ~ u p
pose tha t these di stinctions rr ilcoct disti nctions ordin ari ly made
among accoun rs of pas t t""t;nts or among na rra ti ve genera . But the
fact that Ihest' writers d raw tht: distincti on ind icatf's Iha l his/oria was
the name lor an ord inari ly r("(:ugnizcd s pecies of literatu re. So it is
tha t Nepos descri bes Thucyd idcs as om' of tht>wri ters who h3\'(' If'rt a
history, his/oriam rtliquerunt.'" And similarly Nrpos uses the adjecti\'e
hi.storicus, like lO'tOQIX6<; in Grn'k. suhs tan ti\Tly to inriica lr a writer of
his tory, a histori an, say i n~ that Akibi adf's has h('t!1I praised by th rce
very suious his torians, Irn grtlljHimi his/oriri. "
Histon'cfls i:r; used in a sli,!!;htly d iO"crl' nt way in a passag!: from
Va rro's treatisc On Rural Th in.t{s: ''' Well ,' sa id I. ' I sha ll spea k abou t
what is historica l (quod ts{ his/oncon ). a bout til r two thi ngs which 1
ment ioned firs t, thr origin a nd the digni ty . Concerning thc t hird
part. \\'here il is a malleI' CIf art. Sc:Tof"" wi ll t;lkt' il up: " I;.' T ht' subjec:t
of the histnrical here has 1M;'t'1l rt:ft'ITt"t1 tn heli Jl"t" Ihe migi ns.
Yel it is nol in rcla tionship 10 wriUf' n accnun ts ca lkd history thal
someth ing is called " histori{'a l": bu t ralll(r. in relation 10 thl' com-
pl ete knowledge of the su bject und r r discussio n. whi ch in t his pas-
sage is understood to includr " pa rt cnn{'t"rnt"d wi th " history " and a
pan concerned with "a rt " I)r scil'nce. Tilt' two parts of knowledge
here seem to be knowing a hu ut somcthi ng a nd knowing how to do it:
and thc " his torical" know ing is knowin.e; about w mt'l hing , Similarly,
the u se of his/ono in Pla utus' Trinummus, alrrad y considerr d in terms
of its subject , a persona l fx."l' Urrl'tl("r , indi call's more the knowledge
possessed than tht' account ur it. Ahlwugh [ht'Tr a rf' not rnough a t-
tested uses upon which to hasC' a c.;onlid fn t itss('rtion_ W f' srem (() find
in lhese early Repuhlica n materials hOl h " diSl imtion a mong the
subjects of history and a moda l rlistin('tioll bet ..... el'n the account of
what one knows abou t t hes(' things ami thl' kno\\'iedgf itself:
C icero's uses of hisforia and hisfori(flJ. whill' mon ' frc' qU t- lll , are sub-
stantially the same as thost nf his contt"m pora ries , Ht" someli mt"s ust"s

Fr. 2 (I'eter) .
.., N~p . PtlllfJ. 1.1.
... Ntp. 1"1Irm. 9.1: also I.ucil. 6 11.
"Ntp. Air. 11.1 .
" Varro RWJI . 2. J .2.
History as 12 Liltrary Genre 47

Aistaria as a factual account; the subject of it may be a personal occur-

rence,o or natural phenomena. u More often, however, his uses of
Aistaria have to do with social and political events . He points out, for
example, that his side of Ihe argument against the Epicureans Or!
E"tJs4~ can cite numerous examples of noble action from the past,
while " in your discourses history is silent (historia mu/a est) . In the
school of Epicurus I have never heard mention of Lycurgus, Solon,
etc." Similarly, he considers the preservation of certain laudatory
speeches of the great orators by the families who commissioned them
a mixed blessing; for they include many things that never happened,
and in this way "Ihe history of our affairs (his/aria rerum ,.ostrarum ) has
been made more faulty. "t6
In all of Cicero's uses so far examined, h.is/aria is understood as the
facts or information about the particular subject, and it might be
translated as " the facts" or "account of the facts." But in just this
respect, all of these differ from what is by far the largest group of
Cicero's uses of hisloria, in which it refers 10 a written account about
social and political events.
Such an account may be referred to specifi cally as a written work.
"But a his/ona," he says, "cannot be completed unless a period of
leisure has been arranged, nor ca n it be completed in a short time.""
And in the same way he mentions the various his/anat written in
Greek and Latin." He reports what " the histories say, histontU
loqu(Jr!tu," about Publius Africanus, and he worries about "what the
histories might be saying about us, quid lItro hislariae dt nobis . .. pratdi-
Although we have no historical composition as such from his pen,
we know that Auicus urged him to write history5oG and that he was
taken with the suggestion ; for he asks Atticus to send him certain
dates and details about the consulship of C. Fannius, saying. "I am

11 Cic. All. 1.16.18.

"Cic. N" . D. 1.!1.88; Sa': also Fitt. 1.7.25; 2.33. 107; and T~,". 1.45.108 .
., Cic. Filt. 2.21 .67: also 5.2.5; and Dill. 1.19.38 and 24.50.
"Cic. Brv. t6.62; also Rtp. 2.18.33. for a philosophical inu:rpre!ation or C icero's
view Qfhulory in Rtp., S~ Ronald Halbaway, ~Cicero's Socratic View or History,"
JHI29 ( 1968): 3- 12.
" Cic. u~ . 1.3.9 .
.. E.g., Bftt. 83.283; N.t. D. 2.21 .69; Off. 3.32. 11 5; Dill. 1.24.49; AIt. 1.19.10, 12.3.1;
QF,. 1.1.10; F_ . 5. 12.2.
"Cic. Ac. 2.2.5; also DiD. 2.32.69; A ll. 2.5. 1 and 2.20. 1.
,. Cic. All. t4.14.S.
48 Uta oJ History

enflamed with zeal for history. Art/to studio Izjsto ri(1t:'.~l Again , Anlo-
nius in the dialogue 0" Orotory11 d efends the subordination of history
to oratory: "And as history, hislono is the witness of Ihe times, t he
light of truth , the life of memory, the tutor of life, lhe messenger of
antiquity, by what olher voice than the orator's can she be
commended la immortality?"
Where "islaria in the first group of uses meant a written work abou t
political events, in this second group il seems 10 indica te a branch of
litera ture or lit erary culture. the species of ..... hich the " histories" in
lhe first group arc indi vid uals. This is perfec tl y dear in the Bru/us
when he discusses the !tistoria of Licius Siscnna , obsen 'ing Ihal "this
type of writing, genus lux scriplionum" has yet to be cultivated in Latin
litera t urt'.11
In another cluster of occurrt:nces, historia is d efi ned or distin-
guished from other species of literature. In his youthful Dt invtntione,)4
historia is d efined as a nt: of the subspecies of the genus " narrative" ;
for narra tive " is divided into two parts: one is conce rncd with events
(ntgo/iu), tht' other mainl y with pt'rsons. That which con.sists of an
exposition of event s has three parts: fabula, hiItoria, and argumtnlum.
Fabula is the term applied to a narrative in whi ch the events are not
true a nd have no likeness to truth .. . . Historia is an account of things
done, remote from the- me-mory of our own age , hisloria ut gtsfa rts ab
attatis nos/rat rtmola . . .. Argumtntum is a fi ctitious narra tive which nev-
ertheless cou ld have occurred ." O n th(' o ther hand, in Tht Oralor\~
Cicero attributes 10 the Greeks the view that his/orias, along with eu-
logies, descriptions, and ex horta tions, com prise the class of epideinic
speech . Likewise. in his discussion of the idt'a l orator, Cicero has
occasion to distinguish historin from the o ratorical styll' of thl' Soph-
ists. For " history is nearly rela ted to this class, hui{ gtntri llistoriajini-
tima tsf' in that it 100 na rrates, describes countries and batt les. and
includes speeches; hut they d ifft'f in tha t history seeks a smooth . flow-
ing s tyle, unlike tht' tersl'. vigorous styll' of an oration ..;o
However, Antonius, in the dialogue On Orato~)'.\) reported ly gives a

~I Cic. All. 16.1 3.c.2; also All.

If Cic. D, 0,. 2.9.36.
I) Cic 81"11. 64.228; ab(l U t . 1.2.5- 7.

... Cic. /"D . 1.19.27.

Cic. Oral. 11 .37.
"Cic. Oral. 20.66; also 12.39; B". . 75.'2fi2 and 83.286.
J> Cic. D. 0 . 2. 15.62-64.
HiJtory as a Liurary Gmre 49

short account of the devdopmem of histo,ia from a collection of an-

nals (annalium confictio) as part of his argument that history, like the
other branches of literature , receives no special stylistic rules from
oratory, since the rules of hislOry are common knowledge :

For who does nOf know that history's first Jaw (primam .. . Iristoriae
l,gnn) i~that one dare not say what is false? Next that he must say
only what is true? That there be no suggestion uf favor in his writing?
Nor of malice? These foundations, that is, are known to all; the fin-
ished work, however, rests on the things and the words ("htu tllH,his) .
The order of things (mum 1alio) requires lemporal arrangement and
grographical description; .. . Ihe plans of campaign , Ihe uecutive ac-
tions and results, also what Ihe wriler holds 10 be important, and tha!
it be declared among the Ihings done nOI only what was done and
said, but also in what manner; and while speaking of consequencC1,
that all the causes be explained, ei ther accident, or wisdom, or fool-
hardiness, and of the people themsdves not only the things done (res
gulal), but abo the life and character of those who excel in renown
and in dignity. However, the order of words and the type of speech
(tJoerlx1rum ratio lt l"'us orationis) to be sought are the easy and nowing.

In De legibus he also invokes truth as the criterion af history where he

di stinguishes the laws to be followed in history from those to be fol -
lowed in poetry, even though Herodotus and Theopompus include
numerous stories (jabulae ).'JI And in Definib~ he opposes lziJloria to
fabula, saying that examples of noble conduct " have been recorded
nat in falsefahula only, hut also in historia."
Cicero also occasionally uses the adjective historicu.s, and usually in
ways that reRect his uses of Izistoria. On the one hand , he remarks
that Demochares wrote a history of Athens " not so much in the his-
torical as in the oratorical manner, non tam lziJlorica quam o,atorio gen-
efe."I Here historiws suggests "in thc style proper to a historical corn
position ." Then again he observes that public opinion is naive not
only about politicians, "but also about orators, philosophers, poetS,
and historians , lzistoricos,"61 using the adjective substantively, as it
had been used in Greek . There is, however, another occurrence of the

"Cic. Leg. I.t.~; ~ts() F.", . ~ . 1 2.3.

,. Cic. Fi~ . 5.22.64 .
.. Cic. B ... 83.286.
II Cic. Tap. 20.78.
50 Idta of Hutory
word in this sense that is somewhat odd. In D~ natura Dtorum he says:
"There are also s~vuaJ Vu lean!!; the fifU , the son of the sky, was
reputed the father by Minenr.t of the Apollo said b~' the ancient
historians (antiqui his/miri) 10 be the tutelary d('il~' of Alhens:~;~ 11 is.
unfortunately, not dear 10 whom he is referring in this passage;
whether to someone who collected the \'arious accounts of the
lineages of the gods and attempted 10 rationalize Ihem , which would
have been [cnoQ(a of an ancien! Iype. or to some hi storian who, as
Cicero says of Timaeu5,6) include vario us supposed acts of the gods
amid thdr properly hismriul accounts ..-\5 has alreadr bet'n secn,
Cicero does not seem to accept s uch matters as proper 10 historio.
For both the Greeks and thc' Romans, history has comt" to be
understood. primarily as a species of literature. aiming to give an ac
curate and well-wriuen account of social and political ev('nu . When
hislarin is defined or discussed, it is in trea lises of rhetoric o r gram
mar, never in philosophica l works; il is the art ur hislOry writing that
is under discussion in thest" places, ncwr any such thing as " the na
ture and meaning of history .""\
Both (crtoQ(u and hisloria have, as a secondary meanin~ . "the
facts" or " accurate information ." in which senst: history is a kind of
knowledge: namely, the facts . This kind of knowledgf' was evidently
nOt problemati c for them . In somt" contexts this sense of history is
nearly akin to what we mean by "scientific" pursuits; but " history of
nature" (l'tQi CPUOE~ l(JtOQCU. hislaria nal/m,/is) was descriptiv(', re
lating the facts aboul natural phenomf'na, nol explanatory . Indecd it
was for precisely this reason that Plato's Socrates gave it up, and not
only C icero but also other Latin writers uppose hislaria to rnlio.61
Everyone seemed to know what it was to have or to recount history

" Cic. Nlli. D. 3.22.~~ .

n Cic. Nil/. D. 2 .27.69 .
loO On history as a I~c ies of lit~raturt and its inclusion ill rllI:,orit, It I' illl" 1I1ill
E. R. Jkvan, " Rtw:toric in thl' Ancitnt World," in F.JJfl.1J iN /lOIfDlIf of Gillu" MUHII)"
ed. H . A. L , Fisher (London. 1936). pp. 189-213: t'. H . Colson, "Somt Considera-
lions 15 to tht InnucnCt: of Rhetorit on Historv:' /'roe. ~ ,,.,, Cl. AUN. 14
( 19 17) : 149-73, M. I.. Clarkl', Rk,ori(., R.., (l.oIldon, 1966), pp. ~7-58 , 76-77,96,
122-23: and, on Cicl'ro in parlicular. B. L. Haltward, "Citl'ro H istoricus. ~ CII",6,.
/lisi. flvnt41 3 (1931 ) : 221-37. Pau l Scheller's Dt H,llnlisl;clI H iJloritll COlUcri6,flUI A".
(Leipzig, 1911 ) concludes that .he art of histo ry dC'Vdopcd ..... ithin thfO rh eloricaltradi-
tion. I~ . J . R05ot: ObSl'Nt! lA Hmttl.".t of uriN UhT.tUft. 3rd M. eN!" .... York : 1::, P.
DU\tOIl , 1966), p. Ill) thilt in .hl' age that rollowed hocrMI'! he historian was " a
rhetorician in the first place, a researchl't in th~ sccond onl y.~
~ E.g., Varro U"I' 8.2.6: Cir. NOI. D. 1. 31.88: and Fifl. 1.1.23.
History as a Literary Genre 51

in this sense. In fact, one problem with rendering the term by our
word "facts" is that for us the notion of facts might require explica-
tion; for the ancients historjQ did not. The questions that they felt
comptlled to ask and answer about " history" were questions ofart.6Ii
It is only in its primary mea nings as a spccies of literature that
history is a branch of intellectual culture; it is not a science. In its
secondary meaning as "accurate information" it might indicate a
kind of knowledge; but this is not taken to be a branch of intellec tual
culture as it has been since the Renaissance. History in this latter
sense is not a subject of discourse; one might relate the facts , but not
discuss them. History is not a subj ect for philosophical inquiry; one is
either acquainted with the facts or onc is not.
In neith er of the modes of its usage, then, did history raise scien -
tific or metaphysical questions of the sort that so exercise modern
philosophers and historiographers. On the other hand, the subjects
for history seem to have remained the same for quite a long time;
history has to do with persons, things, or events. It does not have to
do with the origin and descent of the gods, the origin of mankind or
of the world, or the acts of the gods a mong mortals . Ciccro was
slightly scandalized by the fact that the Hellenistic historian Timaeus
had incl uded certain accounts of the wishes of the gods in his work .r.II
History and poetry are different genres; in the latter it is perfectly
proper and customary to dea l with mythological subjects, but in the
former it is improper and grounds for criti cism. The employmen t of
[O'tOQELV, {OtOQ(a, historia, and so forth implies that the thing being
talked about is matter of public and observable fact; the accounts of
the gods are not.
It is against this backdrop of regular usage in Greek and Latin tha t
one must exa mine the usage of these words by Jews and C hristians in
the ancient world . In this way one may compare the GraecoRoman
with the Judaeo--C hTistian idea of history.
Of the many national groups who inha bited Alexander's cosmopo-
lis not the least was the J ews, who, accord ing to Philo,"" numbered

"' U lrich '0'00 Wilamowill-MOC"lkndorlT hu n<)lro (GruJ; HUlorko/ Wrili~~ , Iran$.

Gillxrl Murray (Ollforo: Clarendon Press, 19(8), npe<:ially pp. 21- 261 Ihat the
Greek., had on ty an art, but nOl a science or hislOry.
.. E.g., Benoil LaCroill. L 'Hisltlirt t/oru 1i4~lif/lliti (Mon treal, 195 1). p . 2 1t : "The
ernancipalion of hi"ory as an aluonomou, discipline is a relatively modern facl ."
tit Cic. Nol. D. 2.27.69 .
., Philo I" Fillet . 43.
52 Idta of Hislory

on~ million in hi~ lime and comprised the predominant population in

two of the five sectors of Alexandria . As with the Romans, so for the
Jews in Egypt: prolonged contact with Greek civi lization exercised a
great influence on their social and intellectual life.
It remains a disputed question to what extent Alexandrian J ew~
were educated in the Greek manner. in the g)'1Jlnasia and tphebia . 1O As
a matter of course they learned to speak Greek-en'n to th(" extent
that the knowledge of Hebrew bt'came rar('~ . Indeed it seems to have
lx=en for fear that this situation would result in the rnlriclion of
knowledge of the Scriptures to a small elite that there came into be-
ing a Greek vusion of the Old Testament. which acquired the name
Sepluagint through the apocryphal account of its o rigins in the Lttter
to Arisleas. The translation was used in synagogues increasingly until
a reaction set in after the destru clion of Ih(' Jeru sa lem tempk in A .U .
70. This translation , which seems to he tht' resuh of a movement
las ting several centuries rather than a single pruj'ct. is both the first
and the greatest document of J ewish Hellenistic literature .
Besides the Septuagint, Ih' influence of Greek literary cuhurt' is
evidenced by other works uf Jews writing in Creek and in Crt"ck
literary forms . Eusebius has saved for us some vers(' from a traged)"
called Exodus (J:.xagoge) by tht' st'cond -cen tury writer Ezechiel as well
a~ some hexameters of J ewish histurical epics hy Philo the Elder and
Theodotus. Eusebius also saved mos t of th(' surviving fragments of
Demetrius, who wrote On tilt KingJ in JuritUQ based on the ScplUagint .
Of more hi storical writers, tht" first -n'ntury compiler Alexander Pol y-
hiSlor t:xcerpted passages from works by Artapanus and by Cleode-
mus (callt:d Malchus), ('ach of whom atl('mpted 10 demonstrate the
superiority of the Jews to the Greeks bOlh in age and in greatness of
achievements. In addition, Second Maccabt:es. like Philo' s EmbQjs..~ to
Ga;us and Josephus' Jewish Wars. shows a strong slylis ti c influence of
Thucydides and Polybius.
Of more philosophica l wrilings, Ihe Wisdom of Ben Sira, known as
Ecclesiasticus, uses Pia IoniC" and Stoic technical terms and, like

III Harry Austryn Wolfson IP.IIil, (Cambridgt: Han'ard U nivrnity Pr~S5. 1947),
I : 781f.) denies txtensive cultural (including educational) inter~no: tratKm . Howtvl'!r,
L. H. fddman (EM.JC1optdia jll.daic,. ;m ide 00 " Hellenism poinll OUI that there was

no 'pc'cial Jewish educational system in Egypt and that what thert was taught tht
lOur Gretk caminal vi rtu~ . Pa rt of the dispute invoh'ts contraT')Ointerpretations of
the decree of the empuor Claudius diKouraginJl Jews from srnding their childrrn to
the "",lIlui a and tplitM" .
History as a Literary Gmrt 53

Fourth Maccatxe::s, is re::minisce::n l of Cynic and Stoic diatritxs.lI The::

sccond-century writer Aristobulus preseOls a morc philosophical ver-
sion of the theory of J ewish superiority to the Grttks. He evide ntly
hdd that the:: He::bre::w Scriptures were avai lable:: in a Greek version
long before:: the Septuagint, and argued from this that Pythagoras,
Socrates, and Plato, acquainted with this version, derived the basis of
their own philosophies from it. a vie::w customarily attributed to
For prese::nt purpose::s, the most important representative of J ewish
Hellenistic thought is Philo of Alexandria (ca. 20 B.c.-ca. A.I). 40).
Schooled in the Old T estamen t and in the Hellenistic literary culture
of which Alexandria was the eenter, Philo undertook to reconci le
Judaism with Greek (particularly Platoni c) philosophy. His works
are the first in which may be observed the ferment of modes of
thought cha racteristic of the Gracco-Roman world and those charac:-
leristic of the Judaeo-Christian, not so much because of the particu-
lars of any philosophica l or theological project in which he was en-
gaged, but j ust because he is trying to write about things J ewish in a
language in which those things had not previously been much d is-
cussed. He is constrained . therefore, to a pply Greek words to ne::w
things; in particular, the c:onstellation of Greek intell.tual terms
must be:: so applied .
This shift to a new set of objects is evide.1t as soon as ont conside::rs
Philo's use of the passive voice of the verb lcn:OQElV. He concl udes his
account of the origin of {he Passover Feast saying, " these things are
recorde::d ({ cn:OQei:'tQ~ ) according to the ancient account of the
origin ."17 Again, he:: states that the pries ts of (he Hebrews were in-
11 Cynic influence has also been dcmoMt ratro in first-century Jewish thoug hl by
tnlcing the translOrmation ora (" ,i~ (rom Xenophon into a first-century vcrsion about
Hillel; Henry A. Fisc:hel, "Studies in Cynicism and the Ancicnt Near Eut: The
Transronnalion oh C1r.ri~ , " in Rtli,itMI ilt Alltil/lli!,r. UQ.J1 ill Mnnllry IIf ErwUt &mukll
~. , ed.J acob Neus ner (Lciden: Brill, 1968), pp. 372-4 11 . On the diatribe, sce
the a rticlc " Diatribe" by W. Capelle and H.-I . Marrou, ReQl/uib" fl, AAli.l:t lI"ti
C'rislnllllllt 3 :990- 1009. Na tura lly Jewish borrowings bttamc early Christian borrow-
ings; and Rudolr Buhmann showro [De, Stil tie. /'lltI./ini~1un Puti'gl ..1Ii tiie .l:Jflisc1tJ'~jC't
Dialri~ (GOuingen: Vandcnhock and Rup~ht , 1910)- FoTJtbngtll l ll, Rtliljlllt 111Ii
Likrlltll, titS Altnr. IIU NtIUtI T'JI_trlls , 13J the ClIlem to which Paufs style coincides
with that or lhc Cynic and Stoic popular philosophers. And elemcnls of dialribc have
been acen in the Epislle of SI. James U. H. Ropes, A Critical tmd I:.it.gtmal Cf1trImnlillry
l1li tAr Epi/llt Pi SI . }GtIIt.S (Edinburgh, 1916; 196 1), pp. 10- 18J and in H ippolytus'
C""',a NIIt/Vfll (Robert J. Bu tterwo rth , Hif!/H>lyt.J : CII" " II NOtlllm. (London, 1977),
pp.118- 14 i] .
n Philo SfH'. Lt,. 2.146.
54 /dID DJ Historv

s tall ed " in a way wry new aucl wOrlh being re'co rd ~d (o.SlOV lato-
QT)6l'1vm)."1I Hr uses Ih(" same phrase in anolhrT plac~ , s aying ' . ' Th~
mann~r of his [i.t'.. Noah'sJ prcs('n'alioll . as the sacred books contain
iI, is " 'orlh heing rt'c()rdf'd hoth :.t ~ a mar\'cl and for Ih(' improvement
of charaClcr, " 71 The \'nh is thus lI s t,cI only ill tht' passh'c. whkh . as
alrtady nOled . is typically Hrllrnislic ilnd thl' ml'alling suggested .
also typically 'i ('lI('nistic. is " ht'in~ n'nmlcd " ra lhrT than lil(" u ldfl'
sense of " iuquin ... TIll' U Sil,I (t' is .~ landard . hut the ohjects in\'()iwd
art' cenainly 1I0t ; Ilx 1111' inl(lrmaliufI n '('o rdrd has to d o with ,he
o rigin of I h(' Passo\'('r FCllst. tlu- installa lion tlf , he .J l'wis h prit's ts. and
tht t scap{' fir ~I)ah from till' Iwlly flI" Ihr wha\r , Thr firsl IWO,
conc.:erned wi ll! Ihe rilt,s IwrlclI'lTlrd hy :l errt"iu proplt' , easily ('o m
pare with history undt>I'Stoud as t' lhno,' traphil'al informatio n ; and the
acco unt of Noah '~ ('s('a l)(' is nIT likr histnTY IIndl'r~IfHKt as an ('mo
tionally chargt""d "\'t' nl in 0\ p,' rson's lifr ,
This same ness and dim'n'lH'\' "Iso ;tppt'ars in Philo's uses of lO-
lopla a s fat'ls ur informaliotl. Tht'rt' is 11 fir s I Kroup tlf liSt'S c:onct' TIl -
ing nalural phenome na , In a ,'tt' lwrai ~t' II St' Ill' ~ay.s Iha l nflhusf" ....hn
!i!;0 abroad for 101l!i!; p('rind s Ill' liml' "smn(' acquiT(' lmoQCav or what
they did not know pr('viously,"- ' Mort, s pel'ifil'ally, ht, points out that
his in q uiry into Ih(' rcaSlJII why l\ l os('s sp"ak!! uf Ih(' "li ps" of a ri\'('r
" is nol about Ihe hi~l(Jr y or rin'rs (1lEpi Jlt)tu~,uov iOToQ(a~ )": ;'; and
he memio ns Ih(' {(JlOQia ahuut tht, Ski li an slrails and tht' imoQlav
about the ~('OKraphy (If I)t'los and Rlul{lt's , ,.
Thr last two passagrs an' liHlIld in Philu's statrm('nt and c.:ritidsm
of four argume nts 'ilT tlu- cl't'alio l1 and futurf' ti{'Slruction of the
world , Th(' fi-lUTlh argumt'111 ru11S as ,i./tows;

If tht' world was t' \"\~ r l:t s liu~ ,

till' .mintOlls iu it wnuld h(' rH:rlas tin~
also. and most t'sprdally till' human ral'!, iml.~lIIurh a s il i! 5u p~ rior to
tht' resl. Hut man ai!IC) i.~ 5,"' 11 to hr IIr latr tlri,l(in hy IIltIs!" who wish to
Sl"areh into Iht' liu'u of nalurt', For it i ~ pruhablr or rathrr nrc"sa ~
that thl' ~xis t r n ('t' ..r tI)(' ans should t'(lim:icl,' with that of man , that
they are in ract CtI!'\,al, Itut onh IIt't'a llsl' sySh'rn a nd nlr thod art' naw-

TJ Philo I'. J/OJ. :.!.I .B.

" I bid, 1,59,
" Philo AI" , (,.~ .
'" Philo So",~ , 2 3112 ,
" Philo :1/1 , ,1111f1d, t1f1 and t :I ~I.
History as a Littrary Genre 55

ral to a rational animaJ , but also because it is impossible to live witk-

out them , disregarding the myths palmed ofT on the gods by tlu: play-
wrights .... But if man is not from everlasting, so ndther is any other
living creature, therefore neither the regions which have given them a
habitat, ea rth a nd water and air. This clearly shows that the world is

But Philo objects that It is fo lly to measure man by the standard of

the arts:

And if indeed people must say that the a ru are coeval with the race of
men, then they muu speak with natural histo,), (110' [atOQ'o.s: <l>UOIX-
ils:) , not unquestioningly and carelessly. And what is the history? (~6 '
{UlOQ{o.l'~ ; ). 18

What foll ows ( 146-49), that is, the "na tural history," is a very gen-
era l account of the cyclic destruction of things on earth by fire and
water, which seems to be largely derived from Plato's LaW! and Ti-
matltS.79 In a ll of these cases, {moQla is concerned with natural phe-
nomena and indicates the facts or information o r a fac tua l account
about them , that is, a piece of knowledge of a certain kind , rather
than the account in itself. a piece of literature of a certain kind .
There is a second g roup of uses of {otOQ{a as lacts or information,
which reminds us of Dionysi us Thrax because of the repeated men-
tion of " history" as a part of grammar and hence of education .
" Knowledge of the encycylical studies," he says, "adorns (he whole
spiritual house; grammar on the one hand, searching into the poetic
and investigating the [oroQ(av of ancient happenings."1O I have
t.ranslated the genitive plurJi tyxUXMWlI, in the lil'st line of l his pas-
sage. "of the encyclical studies," as an ellipsis for i 'Yx:ux).,ws -nO-WE(o. .
This phrase. recurrent in ancient writings,' ! sugges ls the same sort of

" I btd. 1 ~6. trans. Colson (Loeb).

"Iu ColMXl notes in his A.ppendi,; to thi, pauage (LMb 9 : 530). Philo is simila.rly
dependent upon these passages in the U W I ilnd Ti"'lIt11J ror his accou nts of terres trial
disaJten at Ab,. I and Y. MOl. 2.53. and 2.263 .
Philo CMT. 105 .
For a r"Ih=r di scussion of the ty,tintl.t~ l1uI6du a nd citation of lhe sources , see
Hem-i Marrou, A H ug? of EJllUltio" i" A"tif""i!], tnlns. Gcorge Lilmb (London: She-ed
and Ward . J956). pp. t76-7i . and 1-1. Fucks. [nkykl ius paifokia: Rm llr.ci* PII [ fi r
An,i*, and CllriJr,ntum 5::565-98. Philo (D, C:onKTI'llU qunf'TI'ndar Enuli/imlis KIn/in) u!'Cs
the rather more complicated phrases Tl\v lWv ~owv XOt tyxux).1.wv tn:1tm"J1JWv
.."tOT)V nUI6cicrv ( 14) and '" t"'(x\nU.lO/i JWOOUt1t (23) .

thing wc mean by "general education" as distinguished from specia-

lized or professional education. It refers to a regular set of s ubjects, a
"cycle o(studies," acquaintance with which was thought to constitu te
the necessary foundation fOf any socially significant career.1I1 The cn-
C)'clica l sTudies mentioned in the present passagf' are, besides gram-
mar (which seems includt puttry and " hislUry"), gt'omct ry, music,
a nd rhetoric. However, ill his trealise on preliminary education. Philo
has Wisdom ad\'js(' us to hold intefmurse with this cnc\'di cal edu ca-
tion because "I' the \'arious orrs pring that our association with each of
these st udies will ocget. " Fur ( the study nf) Grammar will produce
latOQiav. the thought brought lorth hy the poets and prose wrilers,
a nd wealth of in formati 0 11 (noAu!-'a8drtv )." And h ~ also mentions the
clfeets produc('d hy music. gcometry, rhetoric and d iall'ctic. I.ater in
the same work he says Ihal his uwn assuc.:ia lion wilh gramm ar taug ht
him " writing. reading and lotoQiav of tht, works of Iht" poets. " MI
In all of th ese passages, history is considerrd a part or product orthe
st ud y of grammar, as it was hy Dionysiu.'I Thrax, Wherr the gramma
rian's usagr len oprn thl' ra ngt" of subjects of history. Philo tends to
limi t it to even ts. SI) also tht' (Om01el1l:Ho rs of thr work of Dionvsi us.
But in ei ther case. hislOry indicatt's the: fa cts ur information rathcr
than the account of them . it kind or knuwl('d,l1;t' rather than a kind of
literature. Onc investigates ( ~ETabu1Jxou oa ) it .~ 1 or f{'c(,j"cs learning
(aVaAi)wlv) ofjt . ~:' ra ther than writing or com posi ng it. Likcwist' , inso-
fa r as it is trealrd in conj unct ion with pu( try, as th(' IWO pa n s of
grammar, it is a kind of knuwledgc rather tha n it species of literature,

.. Wernu Ja~Rer' s infl utn tial illlnpretati ol! ot'anfient ~ducational thought . Pllidt ;lI,
should perhaps be supplemrnled hy MarTOu ( dll(lIlioll jll Antiqll i~'I, especially P. 2.
Cha.p. 11 :.Ind COIlc:t1,l~ ion , This f lll1"'dica.1 Mucation .... as takt o o"tr by tht Romans,
who ga"t 10 tht s1,lhjf'cU Iht collrt!i\'c namt lilwr,,{u (II /, J, Tht " Ii brral arlS.- at first
oinf' a nd later Sf'\'cn, alld di" id rd ;111 0 lh~ T rh';um and tht Quadri\';um. werr Ihe
$ulmance of mlit"al td ucation, St~ M , I.. W, ]'aiSIIlf'r. " Pagan Sc:hools and C hri s-
tian Tcac ht~." in Lib,r F lon'tk.... lIilltll"lti~ iJrll' SIIIlJjt~. p, IAlm"~n ~ ..'" 65, G,6..,lsIIII
1'/L'ia,",I, I, B, 8 i$chon' a nd S , 8nl;httr. pp, -1 ' -61. Tht "b"lI/~ ,,,Its mar hll"~ fallen
into some disrepute .1monR thr SdHlllUtin, hut 5IiJllo rm M Iht bas is for th ~ r~m:.lki rlg
oI' the curri<'. ulum OfWf'SICrn civiliulioll llurin,l( the Kf'nais5a.nn~ , Sft I.. A~tSOll . T1it
&,,"" Libnlll A"s (:'-Irw Yurk. 19(6): and , for a ~kt tch oftht. de\'clopmcnt of the ~u
,,"wo; .. 'F...,"""".......
cr..&. ... Imlll ;mtic.luic.~' tu IlH Mlt-m it \ , ",'c' 11. J ~ IMI ", .. crlhf."' .~
( :\'I'''I<'l!1U1Il 117 ( I!lf,Cl ): ~~ ",,:\tt7 ,
' ., Ph ilo Co~,( ' , 15 and 7-1: cl: SO,"II . 1.'lU5,
.. Philo Clln. 105 .
.. " hilo Somll , I.W5.
lIiJlOry as a Literary G'tnrt 57

Philo thinks of the encyclical education as a cycle of bodies of knowl-

edge or sciences (bUcm1lJ.aq .1I6
For the most part, then , Philo uses [O"toQa to indicate facts or
information: but there is one instance in which he seems to mean not
the informa tion, but the account of it. Hearing is a wonderful thing,
he says, since by its means we a re acq ua inted with music a nd with
" the many kinds of speeches according to their delivery in cou rt
trials, in deliberations, or in laud at ions, and even those in [(]toQialS
and dialogues."' J The o bj ects of history in Philo's usage are not ex-
traordinary for Hellenistic times, though they are different; but he
differs markedly from the ot hers in emphasizing history as knowledge
to the detriment of history as literature.
Let us turn, fina ll y, to the adjective lmoQlx6s. Philo uses it sub-
stantivcl)' to mean " historia n,"'" but more oft en altributivcly, One
such occurrence is very similar to the substa ntive. Whi le ex plica ling
the drea m of Jacob (Gen. 28: 10) he says: "The informa tion that
Terah left the land of Chaldaea a nd migrated to Haran , taking with
him his son Abraham and his famil y, is given us not in order that we
might learn, as from a historical writer, that certain people became
emigrants . . . but lest a lesson ( I.UleT)~a ) about thi s thing mos t u!leful
for life and .....ell-suited to man be neglected.""" T he "historical writer,"
on Philo's VteW, relates the facts for their own sake, or at least has nothing
further ill mind; and this accords with the then standard vicws of \\,hal
"history" and "history writing" were about. as we have seen. Similarly.
he points out that Moses' account of Abrdham's famil y His not an his-
torical genealogy (oUx UnOptkll "YEVEa;\o-yw) .. . but Cl bringing 10 light
through signs of matters capable of profiting the soul (1fpct"YIUlTWV +Uxilv
~Aipa~ lruva).LEVWV 8ui:(J\If.l~AwvaVCl"TfTllJ; ..~) :~ ' Again the historica l
as mere facts is contrasted with some mher matter, which ,he facLS
What is here implicitly denied , however, tha t the Penta teuch is to
be understood in some sense histo rica lly, is elsew here ex plicitly main-
tained . Philo distinguishes the orades delivered by Moses into three
kinds: "The one is about the creation of the world (XOOlJ.oJtOI.Co<;) .
the next is historical ({O"tOQI.Xt1v) , the third is about legislation . ...

" Phikl CfIfIl' , 14 and 23 .

, Philo Sfnc. ut. 1.342 .
Philo Sat1. A6. 78 .
., Philo SQIII". 1.52.
,., Philo CQ"I" 44 .
5H Uta of /listor;t
the histo rica l part <lmoQtXQv IlEQO~;) is a record of worthy and u n-
worthy lives and the rewards and punis hm ents settled on both in
each generation. "~ I Philo makes a similar distinction with res pect 10
the Penta teuch as a whole.
Now of th ne books thl' nnr part is hiSlOrical Ihnoput6'V ). the olher
con cern~ commandments and prohibitions. ahout which we will spea k
la ter, ('xamin ing thoroughl y firs t what is firSl in o rd t'f. or Ih(' I.iSlor-
icat ({UtOQIXOU), thto. mH' pa rI is ahout the genu;! of lhe world (toU
xoopou yt'YtOEtll;). tht' other ii'> ~rnl':a l~ic:.a l: of the gcncalOl'!;ical, om:
pari is abou t thr punishmrnts "r thr impious, the olhcr is about the
honors of Ihr jUM. Now WI' mu.~ t lita!r why hr [i , ~ .. M osrsJ ~an his
law books with that I>arl and pU I Ihr pari about commands and pun-
ishOll"nt!t. s(,CClnd . For h t, did lIot . likf' a pros(' ~' ri tf' r (OUYYQ<l<\ltW;)
mak(" it his bu:;i n(,,5S 10 Iran' h("hind ror post("rity r("corns or ancient
df'eds ror th(" sa k,' f)r th"ir U!t.('/I'SS plrllsantllfss: rdthf'r , . , in ordu that
hf' mi!(h t show 1\\'(1 \'f'~' nn'("ss,lry thill~s; .. ." !
Thus a hhough h(' maintains that c{'rtain passages ar(' not 10 be
understood si mpl y h;s/oricaf{v, that is. rollowing standard Hdlenistic
usage. as simply ractual. st ill he holds that these books do have a
" hi storica l part:'
A conjunction occurs hen' that is ci ecisive ror the d evelopment of
the term " history" not only ill a ntiquity, but throughout th e Middl e
Ages a nd well into modern times, Philo's method or ex plaining th e
text orthe Penta teuch is allep;urical. In a vcry broad sense this means
that the text is tu be undrrstood not accordi ng to Ihe words them-
selves. not li tera lly but , ra l hrr, according tn the "h:ssons" or which
the a ctu al words arc mrrf'\y "symbols:' Wr n('ed not digress upon
the intricacies of allegorical ex('gesis as Philo pracliced and taught
it. ~' Lon~ berorr Philo, Gr('rk scholars had interpreted Hom er alle-

'" Philo P'lUm. I f P~". 1-1.

ft Philo V. ,Hgl. 2.46-48.
'" For the purpose of this study , tht details or particular allegorka l systems are oot
important. It is sufficient to sho..... tht connection tM:twttn th e idn or history anti the
literal le\'d or exegesis, ."nr a britf history of allegorical exegesis, Sn' J ohannrs
GelTcken's article ~ Alle~o~' " in th(' EI'ICJdoptdi, of RtligiOll '114 Ef!tics, cd . .!am('s Hast
ings l Nf'w Ynrk, 1925). I : 328-3 1. For a m/)O't detailed treatmenl or Philo's allC'l!orism
within the J ewish tradition, sC't E. StC'in, " DiC' allC'ltoriseht t:Jctg~ c\('s Philo aus Alex-
andria," Zmh,. f J. ttIUI I/tt"u1tflirlu lIi'JJ,lUrAttfl,n, 5 1 (1929): a nd on thC' rda tion
between J ewish and Christian biblical tllC'gtsis. stt R. Ulwt, "Thf' Jewish Midrashim
and Patriuic and Scholastic t:xt/l:esis or tht Bible," Studio. PII/rilf;rtl. I ! ,. Ttll/r u~d
L'ttlt'II'CItIlIlB'. lll' Cm" . J. gUt"" /,;f"II /" , 63 (1957) I : 49'l-514.
His/OF} as a Litnary Genre 59

gorically. The stories involved, like those of the Pentateuch, played a

role in the religious life of the community; but unlike the Pentateuch,
these stories were not thought of as histories, that is, factual ac-
counts. This is a crucial point. The Greeks and Romans repeatedly
held. as has been seen, that the difference between history and ~try
is predsely that a history must be true to fac t, must conlain accu rate
information. Philo does not disagree; the historical is the factual for
him. But besides its factuality, the account evident ly ha s anot her
meaning; besides communicating the correct information, it also (a nd
on Philo's view this is much more important) communicates a lesson.
What is thus suggested , a nd for the first lime, is that the facts stand
for or signify something beyond or behind the facts. Philo does not
actually say this; at most he only suggests that what is historica l may
be understood all egorically, that is, as containing a lesson with a
Philo was speaking about things of J ew ish culture in the language
of a different culture. He had no choice but to use words laden with
associations acqui red over a period of almost a thousand years of
cultural developmenl , associations which he, as an ou tsider relative
to that culture, could scarcely have fully appreciated. And the Greek
language itself, moreover, had formed in a way s uita~le for use in the
Greek world , To speak Greek about things Jewish required the appli-
cation of old words to new things." One has liulc difficulty in under-
standing why Philo should have used lmoQElv, lmoQla , and (moQlH
xc)(; in the contexts in which he did . The origin orthe Passover Fea st
and the manncr or installing the priests as well as information about
rivers, islands. and straits are all subjects of " natural history" in a
very old sense. In the sa me way. it was not too strange to suggest
that the account of the world's genesis was a kind of " natural his
tory ." Nor was it particularly inappropriate to describe the sacred
writings of the J ews as " historylike" since they include accounts of
great leaders, notable speeches, and events of great emotional impa ct
upon the relevant community. These are the furniture of an lO"toQia
in the ordi nary sense.
In addition to the characteristi cs that fit this new object for being
called [OlOQu(6~. however, there are certain other characteristics that

'" tl. l . Marrou has nOled l~ 'Dtx,rilla' et 'dOOpl.na d;,".~ la languc des pt"re$ de I'eglise,
Arcllivu",l..ahniratis M t"d;; A...... 9 ( 193-1): 12J hUlOo wo rd$ ;Kqllire no:-,, mo:-an in~ ~ bo:inl{
applied Hlo;J Ihings of Ihe Christian religion."
I in Idea "111 i.I/II"!

run ( UlUlter tll the ilSS4K:iatiulls whk h, as pre"iulIs dis("lIssiull has re-
vealed , those w(lrds (:;crriet! ill (;"eek .md R(lman thought . O ne insliulCe
of this IlO1I1ial (hul only pm1iaJ ) tit in the language has JUSt been ex-
ami lled, Cl lllt:ernillK tl lc a llcgl)fK'a! illtcl"j)relatiulI ( If hisltlry. Similarir,
a((Hllnt s of the ()ri~ill o f the wurld ur of mankind were nut nmsiden.:d
histo r~ . I'lalU himsdf. in lht' \'l'I~' diOllogut:: \i'OIll whkh I'hilt) derives his
"natural hishlry" of 1t'ITcslrial disastt'rs, has TimaClIS argue Ihal sill(c
we ,ll"t: only hunl<ln \\"(' mllst lx' S<llistil't1 \\'ith a " likeJ~' swr~'- (J.lU6oc;)
al)(llI t sUf h matters. ~t(m'tJ\'(' I' , hisll ll"\' ill till' (;!"at.'t:(~ R( )11li 11l 11~ ldi liCIl1
suggests a puhlid ty uf tht' "i111;)\"lIIaliou": il SIlKKt.'S I ~ Ihal Ihf"st' 'I:lt."Is"
could be known lin;thalld hy an~'Ulle \,'ho too k Ihe paim that the his-
toriall himsdf 1",,1 takt'l1. This is, pc.'I"haps, why (;n:c.,k ane! Ruman
historians (II"1 t"1l indll(le in ,ht.ir ll;ll"I' ll in !s SOUli.' alTtlunt 01" the ~OUlTt'S
c)f t hci r ill f01"1 11<11ic 111 a lid t'n'll ~ II1 It.' (Til k'ism (If Iht'se S4 I11 ITt'S. Bill there
is nu sur h at"l"CJUl U i n Iht, 1'l'nl;lh'\1I; h ur Ihl' II"!"itt,,'s SUUlTt'S u r of his
criticism of Ihem: ill !:II"I . Iht.'I"(.' i.. IIU sigil of Irho wrote Iht:' Inlrk . .\m\
besides all o f .heS(' dillirnhit,s. thnt' is simply 1111 St!1lst' in which ;..tost.'S
Hr any mht'r ll1tll1allllighl ha\(' anl"ireti (Iirsthand ) inlimmllio ll ahout
1he (Tea' iun "f t IU' world or nf 111;111. ' ht' J{1I;l r,111H Ir It11' a II ~' such i Kl"()\1Il1
would han' 1<1 he a Kot! . nut. :tJ,{ain , I'hiln doc.'!<I llot ;U:lually S<ly that the
l'ent;tl ellt'h is;t hisrm,. 1Ii.. mts tlf i.ITTOJlE~I), I.frmpLa, 0111(1 lo-ropt.KO<; as
applied tn cen ;lin matins in .Jelfish n 1l((n't' rc.~ I 1I1 in lilt' i1l1pl k .lI ;o ns
that tht., 1;l(1S Ihat history imlKales might t!1t:lI1st'ln:'s he signs of ~) Il1 C
olhn thin).;, ,lIld ,Iial Ihe 1'diahilit y Ill' till' bl(tS might ht' ~lIa,,"ueed
n OI hv their puhlicit~ hut hy rlwir dh'im' origin . 't would , hOl\"t'n-:1". he
far uverstepping tht' l'l'i<i t' lIn' to .~ UppOSl' ,ha' these ;1I't' any IIIOrt thall
suggeslions ;I' this perilKI : Illu rht, way.. in \rhkh Philll's uS<lgc difftOrs
from the nrtlinan' is In ht.' ol))<;(:'I\"I;"I:\.

The Early Roman Empire: History as Story

and the Rhetorical Use of History by the
Early Christians

HE " fall" of Egypt Undf:T Roman domination in 30 P.c. is a land

T mark in the political and cultural fortunes of the anciem world .
It marks the end of the Hellenistic Age, for (he Egypt of the PlOlc
mics was the last of the great Hellenistic kingdoms established by the
successors of Alexander and its assimilation thus completes the unifi-
cation of the Graeco-Roman world under the sole govtrnance of
Rome. The fall of Egypt also marks the passing of lhe Roman Repub-
lic, the establishment of what we call the Roman Empire. At long last
the civil wars are ended. Caesar, who sought to save." the Republic by
unrcpublican means , is assassinated by a band of republican nobles
in 44. After thirteen years of armed struggle among his co ll ~agucs
and opponents, thirl~en y~ars of anarchy and bloodshed, Octavius
d ~rca(s Anto ny at Actium in 31, thus s uppressing the last challenge
10 his own power and consolidating authority in a single government.
The nexl two centuries saw the com pl ~ tion and perfection of the
im~rial system; the age of th~ Pax RomQnQ. If these were two c~ nt u
nell of comparative peace and prosperity througho ut the empire, it
was a peace witho ut freedom , in the sen se that government ser\' ice
ceased to be widdy available and that private o pinion c~ascd to be
one's own business only. On the one hand , poli tical power was no
long~r the reward of persuasiv~ speech and , on the other , expression
61 Urn of Histo~,

ur an uprlllon disliked b~ 3n tmJX'ror cou ld ca sil y bring ruin and

dealh . ThcSl' t\\'o IIt'W rt'atun's o f social lif(' had a Illllrhd errect on
the culture genera ll y. first , all ('n\"iron mt'tlt of imperial danger. in -
trigue, capric('. j('alousy, ilnd spyin.'t du('s nut (' ncouragt' nt'a li \ity.
&cond, till' disa ppcara nn' or till" ~n'a t ill ccllt iw ror rhetorical stud y
pla ced a strain un Ill(" predo minantl y rhetorical ('d ucational sys tem ,
which di ~ turtt"d such works as w('re nOlletheless produced . There rI"-
maimet for pcrsntts so traimd tht" oplions of pra c ti (~f' in tht law
cou rts, rh etoric for its m'm sakc . or lit('rature . As thl' new polit ica l
inllu('llees wt"re m o n' strong ly (nr, :'11 It'ast. more sll.. adily) rdt, liter-
a ry laste t('ndrd towa rd art ilkiality and nrna tf'llI'SS of slyl(' rx('rcised
on tht'nl('S that \"ari('d (Only in tilt' dt.~ret' or thrir an ificialil Y. Gradu-
ally tht' d isl inl"liun ht' lwr('n JXM'try ami prmc' was t"i1:lcrd a s both
w('rc afft'c tf'd b y Ih,. innu('nn of rhftnrit- .
The list'" nflht.' lerm hislfll"\ inlileSt.' Il'XIS rt'tain . lin the illost 1><11"1 ,
Ihe linea lllt!" IlI .~ 01" rht l,;tdil'r I'(' ril)(l : hut thl'n ' an' .~ hit"ts !If
meaning a nd r('laxations of ho ulldaric's pr('\"iously resl><"cted. I.f t us
look firsl at Roman tltou~hl.

The use of histOrilf as fact s or information is carried 011 in the Latin

writings of lhe Imperial Age, and the kinds of subjects of historia re-
main the same: the facts or informat ion about natura l th ings, I infor-
matio n generally ( rollowin~ Dionysius Thrax and the grammatical
lradition),7 and information about persons.' But far more oft cn his-
toria is unders tood to be about socia l and political c\'cnls. '
\Vhal thcse four uses of hiJtona havc in common is ont' modal use
understood a5 facts or information, which emphasizes the maller of
the account. What is related by these uses of historia is Ihat the ac-
count in queSlion is factual. it is the (presu mably corrl'n) informa-
lion. As in tht" ca rlifr period , however. so too in Ihe rf'mains of im -
peria l tim es , historia is used not only 10 refer to Ihe matter of the
account , but to Iht' mann('r of tht" account-giving and. in particular,

' E.g., Apul. FI",. 16: PIt/I. 1.4.7: ~'tS IUS {J/"JJ. Lal. J.t. ~bmtnini . p. 150, 35-36:
Gell. .\ '.4 ~ . 14 . 1-2: H H~ . AJI . p. 77, I: PI;n}" p o 3.5.6: ISoranus l. Q, ,\f~d., in Kart
tkichg ri l:H:r, Dir Gri"lt iMh~ Empiritmrhlllt IBtrlin, 1931 t. pp. 90, 21- 9 1. 2.
~ .1/;., HYI/;. All, . p. 19, 1- 7: Quint . 11U1. 1.4.4. 8.18, 8.20.
I .E.g., Cdl. 1\'A 2.16.6-7: H OT. C,,""_ 3.7.20: 0 ,. Am. 1A.H : T,. 1.4 16: Phd ,. Fd.
4.6.2; P1io) II"' 35.139: Prop. 1.l.Iti, 4.7.64.
I E.!!;., .ronm, p. 198. 8: Sun RJr" . 1.:1.
His/Dry as Story 63

as a written account. There is a variety of uses within this second or

literary mode.
In the most general sense, his/oria is used 10 refer 10 a written work
either by its kind o r by its litl e .~ a nd it is also frequ ently used to
name Ihis literary genre as opposed to o ther genres.' As in the ea rlier
period , however, attempts are made to defin e the genre a nd d istin-
guish it systematically from other genres .' Histo ry, then , is a genre at
least generally disting uished from other literary genres and , at least
generally, is expected to relate the truth about the events narra led ; as
we saw in the earlier period. it is a genre useful as a source of exam-
There is a nother use of hisloria in the second mod e, whi ch invokes
the standards of the genre, standards of style a nd language ra ther
than standards of accuracy, critical thought, o r thoro ughness of
research.') In this second mode history refers to a litera ry genre, more
or less defi nite, with its o wn characteristics a nd styles. It is some-
thing written or read, ra ther than something know n or understood .
This is refl ected in the verbs and substan tives regula rly conj oined
wilh historia : componere, scribere and legtrt, au.ctor and scriptor are the
most common. As something known , hisloria is know n by acqua in-
tance; the verb used is noJCtre. It is in thi s sense th at Vitruvius recom-
mends that an architect " be acquainted with many histo ries (hiJ/oriat
. .. plu.m nov;sst)!' 10 There is a single instance in which his/oria is said
to ~ known in some ot her way. In the Sixth Sa/irt, J uvena l ad vises
us, "Let not the wife of your bosom possess a specia l style of her own ;
let her not hurl at you in whirling speech the crooked enthymeme!
Let her no t know all the histori es (nte historia.J Jtint omnu ); let there be
something in her reading which she does not understand ."" But this
is the o nly such occurrence, and otherwise historia is something
known only insofar as it is kno wn by acq uainl ance.

\ E.g., Col u m(lI ~ RIIlI. 1.; .3; ).'estUI Glm. 1.11 1. I .U. Obsid ium. p. 210. 5- 9; Cdl. NA
1.1 1.1; Dv. n . 2.443--44; Sen. Cllfl l r. I.prat r: 18 , 3 .pra~r: 8, 10.5; SI/IIJ. 6. 15; Sen. Efl.
95.2, 11 ;.11; Suet. CIII"d. ; 1.1 , ;1.2, 42.2; DIIm . 20; Cal. 3. 3; Vd!, Pa l. 2.9.S.
Apul. AfxJ/. 30; Ffo, . 9, 20; Iior. <Ann. 2.12. 10; Man . F..piX. 2.1. 1- 2; Ptl ny IIN
7.205; Pliny E/I. 2.5.5; Q uint. but. 2.8.7; Sen. SurJS. 5.8; S~n . Dial. 9.9.7; SUN . Calil'
1 E.g., Cd l. NA 2. 16.8, 5.18.4- 5; Pliny 1'.1.33. 10; Q ui m . 1,.11. 2.4.2- 3. 2.4. 18- 19.
I t'ronta, p. 122, , ; Quin t. hu t. 3.8.61; St.:n. po 24.11 .

' Fronta, p. 100,2-4; Ccll . NA 13.29.2; Pliny E/I . 5.8.5, 1.9.8; Q uinl. hut. 9.4. 129.
" Au4. 1.1.5;$cc a lw l .I.3, 1. 1.6; Ju v. S4t. 7.23 1.
" J uv. &t. 6.450.
Th~ s~co lld mode .. Iso includes the usage or hislorirus in earl ~' im-
peria l limt's; it is used s uhstantively to indica te ..... riters (If histories,
that is, hi storians. So m~tim es parli cular hi storians ar/' m('nt iOl~ cd . tJ
but more often it is historians as a group .1I Se neca USt'S hJl/oricus to
indicatt" those who ..... rite descriptions of nat ural t hin~ s, " natu ral
hi stories"; 1l but otht'r ..... ise hislorir; a rf" thuse ..... ho ..... rilt" ilbtlllt social
and political events. And it is as wrillrs that Ihf")' arl' rd t"rrf'ci 10.
They a rt' dist ing uis hed rrom utht'r kinds of ..... rit('rs l ; hy ~ i\' ill g a
s traightrorward accoont of c\'('nt s l ~ ilnd Decause of th t' U SI' uf lan-
~ u age tha t is charaCleri slie n fthem ;11 and they pro\"idc us \\'ilh exam-
ples. I ~
Th e uses of his/oria and hiSloricus in early impt'rial lilllt"S see m \'u y
much the samt'" as those of tll(' republican pe riod, hut it is \\'orlh
noting that t he second mode, lilrrar}" gr nrr , is predominant in th e
Helle nistic period , while both arc of rqual frcqu r ney ill th(' Roman .
In addition to lhe shift in hala nce, the usage- of hiS/Drill is t'xpanrled
in t .....o ..... a ys . The lirst is it drve-lopmcllt of a n t'arlirr use, lI!"igillally
ohserved in the Attic drama and s till found in ('arl y imperial rinlf's. 10
indica te an accounl of Ihr life- or a cru cia l ('vent in thl' lif,' hf 11 per-
son. In t ha t use Ihe persons (or e hara cte-rs) \\hose " hi s turirs" wt' re
referred tu wer(' semilcgendary. They had , perhaps, al one lime heen
real human beings. But the-ir Ji"es had ncrn conlinuall y Tt',' xanli ncd
and reinterpreted by the poets and playwrights. tlit' r1 \t'l\) r jc iall ~ a nd
philosoph ers, and Ih us he-came in limr archetypal li\"l's, st uries Ihe
common beli ef in which pru\"id rd Ihe alfcnj,,. has is for tlw u!lity of
Ihe G ree k people . I f lh(')' w('Tt' " persuns," Ihe-y we rt' not I.rdinary
persons, not ord inary individuals, hu t what might he l."illkd g"1'ne-ric
persons, Ihal is, capable of signifying the wholt' na tion , ) 1" ra("(" For
exampl e, wha tt" 'cr particular mistake O edipus made, still it h,tS ar
chetypaL Oedipus is EV('fyman in thf" sense that his mi sl a~. , ;:lT1d his
fate are possibilitif's for each of us. And Ihr matt('!" was:-;n Lmli e-rstood
even 111 antlqully.

11 E.g. G( II. NA 15.23.cap.: ~n . CO". Vt . 9.1: SW/If . D.2 1: SUO:I. (; 1/1"."' , 1:1. 2tr. ' f'II .
Pal. I.J 7.2.
H E.g., t'~cu, (;I.JJ. l...al . J.II. salula ri l porta, p. ~ 36, 27- :.18; Quint. !rul. 1.10.40,
2.104 ; ~n . C. III. 7.2.8: Sw,u . 6 .14; S UO: I. RAtI. 1.5; Ti/). 6U .
I ' SO:Il. Q.Nllf. Llt .2; 4.3.1; r r. hiJf"jrll {j~l"/I , Q.,V/lI. 1. 13.J .
" Cdl. ,\tt 13.7.6: Gran. tir .. p. 33, 10; Quinl. iNJI. 10.2.21 - 22: Sen. (. O~ . Hx. 9.1.
... Pw. &(rr. lIB.6; Sen . .1pocol. I.
" !'Iiny E/!. 9. 16 .1: Q l,l int . I~J I. 1.6.1. 6. 11 : tt.D.G!> .
Quill l. /tu l. 12.2.22, 11.1 7.
History as Story 65
In imperial limes, however, the persons whose " histories" are men-
tioned have ~gun to lose that stature. The younger Pliny , for exam-
ple, encouraged to write history by his friend Capito, says that he
wants to do 50, "Not that I have any confidence of success . . . but
~cau se I hold it a noble task to rescue from oblivion those who
deserve to be eternally remembered , and ex tend the fame of others, at
the same time as our own ." 19 Pliny wants to rescue the deeds of certain
individuals, not necessarily of heroic proportions, Similarly, Suctonius
tells us that L. VohaciJius Platus "set forth the cxploits (m gtSlas) of
Pompey's father, as well as those of the son, in several books. He was
the first of all freed men to write history (scribtrt hiJtoriam ), in the
opinion of Cornelius Nepos, which had been written on ly by men of
the highest position before that time."20 FronlO, too, was encouraged
by Marcus Aurelius to write a " history" of his brother's deeds ,21 and
history about an ordinary mortal is a common use by Aulus Gellius .l1
Gellius seems almost aware of the lesser intrinsic importance attach-
ing to a Jlistoria as he uses the term . He tells us " the en tertaining
history (ioamda JriJtoria )" of how Papirius Praetextatu s got his sur-
name." Although the tex t of Book 8 of his NIXtes Auicat has disap-
peared, the titles of the various chapters survive; that of Chapter 16 is
"A pleasant and remarkable history (JriJtoria ... iocunda tt miranda )
from the books of Heracleides Ponticus." And Chapter 5 of Book 6
contai ns "A noteworthy history (Jristoria , .. mnnoralu digna ) about the
actor Polus ." Earlier, to call something a " history" at leas t impli ed
that it was an accurate account , and that thcre was some importance
attaching to it . For Gellius , however, what seems 10 be important is
not so much that the account be true or important but that it be
entertaining or that it point a moral. 24
Aristotle had already distinguished poetry or fables from history on
the grounds that poetry aims at pleasure, while history aims at truth or
" PHny Ep. 5.S. I, trans, Mtlmoth (l...(M:b).
ilDS uet. Rful. 3; cr. Pliny Ep. 6. 16.71f. The account 10 TacilUs of h is uncle's deuh in
tht eruption or Vcsuvius is leiJlltrilf, though he is aware that " there is a great difference
belwC'Cn a lelter and a IeUll/rill."
71 Fronto, p. 191,4-5.
!t E.g . Gell. NA \.8. 1, 23. 1; 3.7.cap.; ...5.cap.; " .5.6 ; 14.u .p.; 6 .19.ca p.; 7.9.ca p.;
13.2. t .
ft Cell. NA 1.73.cap.
:k Gell. NA 4.20. 10; and cr. Apul. Md. 2.17, 6.29, 7, 16, 8.1. ThaI Gclti UI had leu
than scholarly intentions in writing hil wort is indicated by his sayinR that it was hi5
el1deavOII' (ne"f0tiNIII) only "10 It"'W Ihese NiI,ltt$ or mine ligh tly here and Ihere wilh ;It
few of theK nowers of history (ltiJtorilU j1o.fClliis)" [ t 7.21.1, \rans. Rolre (Loch ).
66 Idta of Hisfo~"
accuracy. Th is ancien! dis tin ction between pot"try and hi story is now
beginning to fade . Scnt'ca advises Ih e hot-te mpe red man 10 train his
mind . " Let the reading of pocms soothe it and let history hold it by
its fables ifabulis); let it be led solil y and ddi ca lt'l y:' ~" Suetonius in-
fo rms us abou t Tiberius that " his spt'cial a im was a knowl edge of
fabulou s history (noliliam his/{)riatjabularis). which he ca rrird to a silly
and laughable rxtcnt. ":/I, And j lls t as G('lIius fqui vocalffl in Iht" d is-
tinction between hisloria ami nnnaltJ. so IUO h(' ('quivoca les about his-
loria and Jab ula . Tilt" title of Book 16. C h apler 11 is: "His/oria taken
from Iht' books of Hrrodotus a ho u! tht' destruc tion or,h(' " s)'Hi": but
then he says l ha l it was in Ih(" lo urth huok uf Hf' rodotw; that he
found " this fablc (Mncjaouiam) ahout tht Psylli ."!;
This firs t e xpansion ur tilt' idra uf history suggests a relaxation of
the earlier standard s. The Ilt'rsons itn'oh-m a re sti ll. for t he most
part , fa mo us. hut thry a r(' simpl y not of th(' sut:ial and cultural stat
ure of the ea rlier usagr. Ami as t he di sti nction bcl\.\t'f'1l history and
~ try is blurred . truth or a C (' ur ac ~' as th(' dis tinni\'l' ('haract('ristic of
t he kind of a C'count called histaria ~i\'('s way s()mt'what to e n(rrtai n
mt:nI o r pleasu rf' . Hf'rf' hisloTio s('t"ms \ 0 han' murr Iwad y the mean
ing of o ur wurd "story" th an nf o ur word " his tory"': indted . this
would seem to be Ih(" brginning of tht dt"\'rlopmc llt of .. S lOry ... .. If a
his to ry is an ar.co unl of Ih(' 1i1(' I!'i ahoul Tt' al thi nKS tht Ilt)in! of which
is to inform , and a titbit is an a Cl'uun l of unTral thin~ s the point of
whi ch is 10 enlcrlain or In pltasf'. 111(' 11 a s tory is all a ccount of the
fac ts about real Ihin~s thr puint of whidl is to ('nterta in. please. or
point a mo ral.
The second ex panded USt' of hisloria is history a s the past. l\lost
uses of historia about (,\'en ts ha\"(' to du wit h Ih(' li te,MY genre . When
il means thr- fac!s or informa tiun . hO\\'r\,('r. the limits nf il an' \"agu('.
History about pe rsons is usua ll y limited tll ;t particu lar episode in Ihe
person 's life ; prrh aps this is h('uusl' of t ht rx igt'ncit's of dramatic
lite rature in w hich this USt' is most often found. a nd prrha ps ht"cause

1\ Srn. Dilll. 5.Y, 1.

... Sur!. r i". 10.3; "mt tr. ju\'. SfJl. 1U. 1 7.~.
': Cdl..\'A 16. 11.3. S imilarl ~' M JIG / illt ill U ~'/I: ...Im. rt.lI:ul;uly r~lt rs to a ("(OUIIII or
tht gods artt r ...horn Ihl:' cunut ll alioll~ an' n;!;mffi: fO .l!: .. pp. :11 . 18: 111. 7: ti6. 6: 71. 25;
73.21-22. :\ l:\o Grll. SA 3.3.11. U ~'~inus him:w-Ir: Surwn ill~ I~ II , U$. ... a~ calltd Pol~"
hislOr on ac(ou III or hi , koo ...lrdF\t of amiquil y. :, son fir hI1/0r;1I ~ ( (j/llI1lWl. 2(1) .
, - Th is 1:11(' 11 ... " I' /,j"/"",,, '" ",a/"" I"" h.'('1I III "t..
I It, [)"I1l I ~ II ' 1" '1 i~t " .. i:o." . 1" /""
f '" l.I" ~""_'f fI,. 1.,..,in'.( '''IJ.i,. 11",1 '( ;wlH f/l lllilr {lot'jp/,il( : ., \ 'ulo' 1('I". 11'11'11'1 . :~ : :!:IU.. :1-1 . C l .
H OT. 5..,,11. 1.3: Prop. 3.2tJ.2.i- 2H.
History as Story 67

PlO;. or what we should call " biography," was a literary genre dis-
tinct from history.'19 The limi ts of a history about natural things are
those of the kind of thing that is the subj ect-genus. The limits of a
history about events as literature are tho!>e of a particular written
history. HiSloria as facts about events should derive its limits, li ke
history of natural things. from the limits of the subject-genus . But
whereas the limits of a genus of material things is, a t least broadly
speaking, clear, the limits ofa genus of immaterial things-for ex",m
pie, the events of a nation or people-arc not clear without furthcr
specification. Thus history as facts about events of a nation could be
taken , ana logously with history of natural things, to indicate all the
facts, the aggregate of information, the past as it were--though it is
not in general clear whether it is the whole past or some portion of
the past.
When Cicero complains that through the preservation of laudatory
speeches " the history of our affairs (Jrisloria rerum nostrorum ) has been
made more faulty," )O it is not clear what "affairs" he means, though
by "our" he presumably means " of Rome." He says this explicitly in
another place, observing tha t "Roman history is obscure {obscura ut
Iristoria Romana)," since we do not know the name of the father of
King Ancus Martius.'1 Elsewhere, however, Itiston'a seems 10 indicate
a more extended past . He criticizes the Epicureans because "in your
discourses history is silent (ltistoria muta tst ). In the school of Epicurus
I have never heard ment ion of Lycurgus, Solon , Mihiades. ThemiSlO-
des, Epaminondas. "32 And he sometimes even seems to be thinking
of the past altogether; for it is objected tha t, although the oracle at
Delphi has declined , still "you must admit what cannot be denied ,
unless we pervert all history (nisi omntm historiam Jurvtrttnmus ), that for
many centuries the oracle was true. ""
History as the past is a somewhat more frequent use in imperial
times. Propertius says, " Fame, Rome, is not ashamed of your history
(Fama, Roma, tuat non pUdd hislonOt)."J' Aulus Gellius relates a dis-
course of the philosopher Taurus about the courtesi es that fathers

"On incient biognphy, KC A. Momigliino. "Problem, or Ancient 8ioRraph )",~

QuCllrJe CMJrib-M/(! GitCII Sum'/I drgli Sflltli CI/I.U>ci (Rome, \969), pp. 77- 94, and 171, Dn~l
IJfmtmJ o/Grnl. BiogrttfJ"} (Cambridge: H uvard University Prol, 1971 ).
:. Ci r;. BOl. 16.62 .
11 Ci r;. R'P. 2.18.33; er. Di~. 1.18.37.
12 Cic. Fi". 2.21.67; er. Di~. 1.24.50.
"Cic. Di~. 1.19.38 .
.. Prop. 3.22.20; abo 3.4.10, and cf.Juv. Selt. 2.103.
GB Uta of
. Ilis/or., -
and sons ought (0 show ~ach other a long with L; an example from
Roman history (IX hu/oria Romana )." And he tells us " what errors
Julius Hyginus observed in th~ Sixth Book orVergil, errors in Roman
history (in Romalto his/oria trralos):'I:, Thc cider Plin y insists thal
horns, prop=rly so called , art' found only on quadrupeds, and h e m:~
reckons as fabu lous both AC{('()n "and also Cipus in thr. Latin history
(in. Latia his/orio ):' who arc allr:gcd to lIa\'(' grown horns." In these
passages hisloria sct'ms 10 indicatc the aggregate of inlormation about
evenls. that is, the past.
From a modern point of vic\'o the two expanded meaningsj usI dis
cussed , history as .story and histo ry as the past. might seem 10 mUH
in opposite directions from Iht' older c('nter of meaning , For wt' te:nd
to associate: the notion of "s ton'" with liction and falst'hood but "t he:
past" with tht' "scicncr" of histo ry, which , w(' s upposr, tells us the
facts and tht' truth . From the ancient pHint of view, however, the two
expansions were congruent , al> is illus trated by an epigram on the too
li ttle appreciated fact that Vt'rgirs .-tf'IIf';d sur\'i\'ed the author's death
only in viola tion of the j ~xplicil provisions of his will . I quote the
ent ire passage from Probus ' I.ift of Vir,eil (:12-'18 );

The Af1If'id ..... as Sct vro by AU/ot;U5tus , althou!(h I \'r'q~ i ll himsdf had
prO\'ided in his will that th(' parIS !If it that hr had nUl publishc:d
shou ld not survi ve: which Ser\ius \ 'arus atte~ t s in th(' followin.': cpi-
gnm :

Virgil had ordcr('d dt'5truyed in devlluring 1amu

Th('se w ngs .....hich s in~ the Pbrygia n leilder.
run';1 and " ;lrlUS IOj.{tlht'1' "pp(l~': ~ 1It1 , ).(Tt'a l t' ~ 1 C:a ~ lr,
])u 11111 allow it ;ltIcI art' luul;.ill g' " h t'!' L.uian hi sl ur~' ,

To preserve the: written poems is to prest'n't' thf' hisloria, the: aggre-

gale of information about the pas t.
There are some other occurrenct's, however, in which it is less clear
wlu':ther what is meant is tht' infiJrmatinll fX"r se or a wrille n account.
Vergillaments t he loss of Octa\"ius' Roman " history:'" Gr-llius me n-

'\ Gt!I. ,v. , 2.2.n p.; rr. IO. 16.np.: Epi.f. . H , I!.!!.
~larl .
... Plin~ H,' 11.1 23. Thf' Slory of Cipus is .t! .. lro oolh in Q v. ,\lrl. IS.S65 and in
\ al . :.tax, 5.6.3. Gdli u! un f" f'n riiSlinKui1h IX1"f'f'JI kuowill!it aboul PraXilf'lf's tJ/
liI"iJ I1 tJ/ himmll Cl3. 17.4) .
" V f'r!( , CIIIIII. 11 (1 4). h.
Hislory as Story 69

tions Asellio "and several other writers of Roman history," and tells
us things that are "written in Greek history."" Similarly, Pompeius
Festus tells us how Rome got her name according to .. Antigonus, the
writer of Italian history" and mentions a "writer of Cuman
history."" " History" in these passages may refer to an unspecified
written account-that is, the proper reading may be "writer of an
Italian history" or "written in a Greek history"~r it may refer to
the subject of the writing, the Greek, Roman , or Italian past. Perhaps
there is some of each involved .
The unity of a history as the facts about events was previOusly
episodic, similarly a history about persons. In a larger or smaller
compass, it was the facts about some past events. In this second ex-
pansion , history as the past, these racts are being drawn together into
a conceived whole. There are not very many such uses in early im-
perial time5 , and they are often equivocal. However, ror the first time
lu'ston"a is being used to indicate Ihe whole past of a nation or a
people; for thc= first time " history" resembles what we mean when we
say that something "has a history."
Arter the Battle or Actium the political dependence or the Greek
world on the Roman was complete. Mainland Gr~ce, along with
Macedonia and Thessaly, had already been united as thc= province or
Achac=a. And now Egypt was being exploited ror Rome. A hot~ of
anti-Roman sentiment and hence kept 5ccurely under Roman domi-
nation, Alexandria ceased to be the greatest eenter of literature and
science; the Greek cities of Asia Minor, to whom Rome granted a
measure of municipal freedom , came to have a vigorous cultural lire
in the first centuries of the Roman Empire. This is reflected in the
unfamiliar names of the towns rrom which many writers or this
period came.
The remains of Greek intellectual life under the early empire are
far more extensive than those of the Hellenistic Age; but they show
little creativity, little originality. If this later age: sees the: first flow-
ering of the: prose romance, it also sees the increased production of
catalogues, compendia, anthologies, and compilations. There is a
marked decline in poetry; the living movements or the age were in
prose, but a prose which, like the Latin prose or the same time, is

~II . NA 1.13.10; 6.1.1.

,. $.". Roman, p. 328, 2- 7.
70 /dtD OJ Hislo~"

strongly marked by the influence of rhetoric-and for the sa me fea-

son: in the Greeks~akjng world as in the Latin-speak ing, roucalion
was it predominantly rhetorical enterpri se a nd , consequently , rheto-
ric influenced ever)' branch of intellcclUal culture. Nor was this in-
flu ence, on tht' whole, bt=neficial. Thr uratorical sty le of the Hcl1t'-
nistic Age tended 10 he flowery and bombastic. Toward Ihe ('nd of
the period a Traction SN in. an attempt to Trlurn In an idealbO:l..-d
purity of the ancie nt Alti c . ~' This " Allicism ," h OW('\'t'T , nl) [('ss than
the wAsian ism " it oPJXlst"d , wa s rarrif'd tu ('x tr(:n1(' s. in this case' to an
excessive and lud icrous archaism which, i ll tUrI! . prU\'okL-d a enu nler-
reaction . U ndC'T the empire, from our point of\'j(,w at !i'as!. Ihe worst
characteristics of both st\les wl"re ('ombined in a rent'\\'('d burst of
rhetorical activity called th,' Sel'Ond Sophistic.
The shirts of meaning and relaxation s of s('mantiC' boundaries ob-
served in the uses of his/ono during tht t"ariy (mpif( may also be
found in th e uses of lmoQEtv{mOQlo. though there is litt le c han~('
by and large. The verb is st ill used occasio nally in its old est st"ns(" of
" inquiring , " tI and a few times it indicates learning by inquiry or dis-
covering:'? Usua ll y, as in the Hellenistic A!l:c . it mcans " report ,"
" relate," or " record ." What is " reportro " may st ill he facts about
natural things and customs. H and in the empirical m('dica l tradition
"reported" case histories a r(" \' t"~. important ." Episod('s in tht" livcs of
semilegendary persons are also " report('d ."11 but mosl often social
and pol itical events. I/o These us('s of thC' \'('rh are familiar: hut the
usage is relaxed in se\'era l ways. First, the pt"rsons arc of decreased

'" Ho...ever, A. 1::. Dougla:s l ~ l ntrodu(:tion~ tu .11. 1;'1/; (;j(t1(111 is n""~J, ed. l>O ugl,u
(Oxford, 1966). pp. xii-xi"1 arguc5 that the Alli(:ill COlllro\,rfS>' 'us fral but Ihat ~ill
significance has bren greatly cuggeralM b)' modern !cholan" (p. xiii). Sce .. Iso E. S.
Gru~n, "Cicero and Calvus," Han.'fJrd SI. i~ Cl. Pfti/III. 71 ( 19661 : 2:12-:1:1.
I' ArT. pUI. 2 .14.28, Ludan SJ'. D. 11. Piu. C~,iIlJ . 5 16C, S.I:: . .\fa/ft . 11.191.
"Arr. pit /. 3.7.1. S.E. Ma/It 11.1 91.
" Act. PIN. 5.7 (L>ie\s, IX; 419. 12- UII. Uel';'l. Q. " "11<. p. Ii!I. ~I- l i. l'I u . .\I lt. 11 ~5 F.
QCO!lI" i .70IC. I!.7:l38 . S.E. Py :-1.215. 232.
.. See Ihe Gakn ic tr~albt 1t:EQi riJ~ il(X0tTJ~ o!pi}a[~ in Ka rl D('ichgrlibt r. D jt
Grittltu,ltt Empiritmcm.lt (Berlin. 1930), p . 127, 11. 2 1. 25, and 1211. I. Tt is arguable
that [mOOtl\, means " to inquirc" al 127, 2B, 31. 35, lInd cspedall>' 12B, 20. But
latOQia is dcfined as ~ thc narnllioll (6u'lyflOt;) of whal has oftell br~n experienced in
thc same wa y" ( 121.9- 10; and cp. [Gal.] t/ooyWyTj '" latQC'll; 100. 11- 20),50 Ihat
n ch or the arguablc citations abo,C' ('I n bt read as r('laling In thosc ... ho ha,c handed
do ... n, i.c. " rel ated" or " rconied" ("as(' hi5loriu.
" E.g. Luda n Alu. I , .se",,,.
B. S.l::. Malll . 11.1 91.
.1::.11'. D .C . 7.25.6 (Zonaras ), Hdn . HiJI. 3.7.3. 7.6. Lucian HiJl. { //fIIf'. 1.
Piu. Gill. AI1I. 3470-1::, Athen. 6.23.5C-D. 1.217 f, 8.211." . 13.60.50-1::,14.6 158,6481::.
History Q$ Story 71

stature. Sextus Empil"icus sets down things tha t arc "recorded" about
Pyrrho:' the founder of Skep ticism, and about Pythagoras ..a Then
again, what "is related" may have to do with people famous in politi-
cal affairs. Dio Cassius spea ks of a certain Quadratus whose mistress,
Marcia, became the mistress of the emperor Commodus, elder son of
Marcus Aurelius: " It is related ({moQlTUt) that she greatly favored
the Chrisfians and did them many good turns, in sofar as she could
do anything with Commodus.".9 The ~rsons are also sometimes just
ordinary people, though notable for some particular. Sextus Empiri-
cus, for example, cites Aristotle's Mtleor%gica (3.4 ): "Aristotle tells
(lmoQEi) of a Thasian who fancied that the image of a man was
always going in front of him . " )0
There is a second relaxed sense of lO'tOQElV in which the stature of
the persons involved is greatly enhanced; for it is also used to
"relate" episodes in the lives of the gods outside the dramatic con-
text . Dio Cassius remarks that Commodus strangled two Cilician
brothers, "j ust as Heracies, when an infant, is reporled (LOT6{tTat)
to have strangled the serpents sent against him by Juno."SI Similarly,
in his Homtric QutStiotu, the literary critic Heracii tus says, " It is re-
cord ed ({moQOuOl, lit ., they say) that Mnemosyne is the mother of
the Muses" and several times observes what is, or ought to be, re-
corded about the gods . n Plutarch, too, frequently teUs us what is
" reported" about the gods. s3 These relaxed uses also suggest that the
earlier pres umption, that what was being related was facts of some
imparlance, no longer holds so strongly. Among those whose
" reports" are ci ted in these texts are not only historians, in the broad
sense of anyone who writes a prose account of past events, but also
philosophers, antiquarians a nd scholars, poets and rhetoricia ns. For
Pluta rch, at least, the factuality of what is reported seems to have
little to do with the instances in which he uses the verb; he even tells
us5-t what " the mythographers relate (Ol ~u8oAoyoiivT~ [0-
tOQOuol) . "

./ .llalh. 1.272 .
.. MalA . 9 ,366; cf. Piu. QCOIII>. 7. 715, 733C, 8. 728E, etc.
.. 72.4.7; cr. Piu. A/"". Ftnt. 330A, 33 1F, QRD"'. 2720, elC.
,co Pp . 1.84; cf. Piu. Mill . I 136C, QRDIft. 267B-C, 272F.
" 72.7.2; cr. Hdn. Hut. 1.1 1.5.
" pp. 39, 15--40, 9; 63, 5- 13; 77, 9---19; 80, 20-81, 9; 84, 11- 16; ilnd 89, 2- 15.
'It E.g., Piu. FD1t. R_. 3208 ;
759A, 27810'. 285E .
"'tU. 11368; QCfllI. 9.738f , 74 IA; QGr. 2938 ; QRfIf/I.
... Piu. Qjltml. 2680.
72 /dta of Hislory

Similarly with lO'tOQlQ in tht: Grt=c:k of the early e mpire. h still

means, as in the Hellenistic period. a factual account in terms of the
account-giving, that is, a literary genre, ei ther as a ge nr~' or as a
work of that gen re, a history;\Ii And I.ucian wrOle an entire work on
How to Write History:~l He distinguishes history from ~lry (as well as
from panegyric) and insists that it be kepI separate."" In voking th('
ancient distinction , he says Ihat poelTr aims at pleasure but history
must aim at usefulness and at "setting fo rth lht" truth (tit" ti} ~ 0.)..-
T}6dar;; bllkwOlV ) ...... " For this o nc thing [i .I',. to rclatt' the rHo t as it
happened, wr;; btQ6:x9'l h 1tElVJ . as I havt' said . is lhe peculiarity of
history (t610V [atoQlac;). Onc must sac rificl' only 10 truth (Tfi
clAT]8dQ), if onc is goi nR to write history; and one must subordinate
all other aims to this one.""" Herod ian agrees with this.hl So dot's
Plutarch ,62 though h(' is so keen ly aware of the pleas ure tha t history
gives as to suggest that th e pleasu re of fi ction and poetry deri\'(' from
their simi larity to history in point of trulh .ft ' And Iht' 5ubjt'ct matter
of history must have a ce rta in dignit y, al leas t ac('ording 10 Dio Cas-
sius, who ortt=n eharaclerizt=s incidt=nts as worthy c)r un worthy of the
digni ty of hiSTOry (6 tils lcnoQlas 6yx~ ), ur wOfl hy of a plac(' in
hi story. b4
The noun is also used in its other mode, as a n account the fac tua l-
ity of which is t=mphasized rather than Ihf" account-giving; and this,
as in the earlier period. about social a nd political even t s~ \ and also
about huma n customs or natural things.'''; Thus in Galen and the
empirica l tradi tion the use of a fact ua l account (lcnOQlO) of previo us
cases, rt=mt=dies used , and their rt=su its is til(' repository of the JtEiQo
or lUttlQlO ' that is their slarli nR poi nt .... and their difTerenc(' from

!IIE.g., D.e . 72.23.2, Mu. T yr. Diu. p. 28, 5; S.t: ..\flflh. 1.063.
'" E.g., D.e. 37 .17.4; 4O.6H: Did. III D. 12. 47; Hdn . Hil l . 1.11.1 : 2. 1.1 : 15. 11 - 13;
Lucia n H UI. (1I1lSf'. 55; PIu. Cni6J. 5 17F.
" Th~ exp~ssion ImOQiov O\l"fYQO!piv occurs frtqul'llI l ~': Hid. r~IIJ(,. 2, 4. 5. 6. 16,
17 .
... Lucian Hid. tlllUCT. 1.8, and 10; er. Hdn . J/isl. 1. 15.7 fin .
\4 Ibid. 9; d . 42 and 63.
ie Ibid. 39; Max . T yr. also appreciatts th(' td ul'a tional \';llu(' of .IIislQ~1 [DiSI . p. 28,
CH;) .
Hd n. Hut. 1.1.1 , 1.4.
11 Piu. M lfUglI . 855B-F.
() Piu. HQ" PQJs. 1092!-'- 1095A: cr. Max. Tyr. Diss. p. 18, 5.
.. D.e . 54.23.]; 57.24.6; 59.22.-S; 66.9.4: 67.8. 1; 72.18.3.
~ D.e. 56. HI.!; VllI. (;, ... ~ 75 1!...C
"E.g., App. H L>l. 12.103; (;.. 1. '1'11'11. 'F.ml>., p. :.!~i . m... IK: l'lu. Q!.:,,,,;o. 8.i2.jIJ.
~' QQiat . (127,9- 10 D.); a lf;nio. 3.2. 12 (95, 15-2OD.); dooy. (91. ~33 D.).
to dooy. (100. 17- 20 D.); 1..-(. 11/1. ril. (9 1, 29-33D ).
History 4$ Story 73

th~ competing dogmatic and m~thod ol og ical medical schools,69 as

well as an important ~ducational tool. 1II Two further points ar~ worth
noting about this use of the case history: first, because other schools
also employ such cas~ histories" and because not all such accounts
are necessarily true, "some criterion of the history ((J'toQla) must be
found , by which we shall distinguish the true one from the false
ones. " 72 And second, the criterion turns out to be 1tLQ<l, experiment
or experience, not A6y~; IS so that once again wc see the old opposi-
tion between history and reason.
However, the usage of [O'tO{){a as information or facts has been
expanded in several ways. As in Latin writings of this time, " history"
may mean "story" as the result of a blurring of the old distinction
between myth or poetry and history in terms both of the truth of the
account and of the imporlance of its subject. Pseudo-Lucian recounts
his walk through the temple of Dionysius on the walls of which are
painted the heroic myths (TtQ<1)lXOU<; ,",\190,,<;); "and immediately two
or three fellows rushed up to me, offering for a sma ll fee to explain
every story (naaav ((J'toQ(av). " J4 And he also repeats to us a
"strange, incredible story" told him by an attendant in the temple,
about a youth who, having fallen in love with a statue by Praxiteles,
left a stain from his passion on the marble thigh and committed sui-
cide from remorse. J~
Similarly, Sextus Empiricus attacks the need for grammatical
study, saying, .. It is certainly plain that all the sayings in the poets
which are found useful for life and necessar.y .. . are expressed by
them dearly and have no need of grammar; while those which have
need of it-e.g., those which consist of foreign stories (0. ;tvat<; {a-

" atMt. ~. ( 147, 27-31 D. ).~ T~ empirio use prior !mOQla ;u much as
possible:" (~C't . (127,8--9 D .)].
?o t'qllOT. ( 126, 23- 127, I D.): ~ ... it is impossible for um: who is learning to happen
upon all symptoms and 10 make his ow n obse rya tion of eyerylhing. So, le5t he spend
his "'hole: life karning, but rat he r 5Orn('liltl(" make U K of the art, fo r this reason they
!Mlr th at history is usefu l for pr-Klicing medicine: (xpi,n...,a u ",pO<; TO Lo.TPruUV "'"
(aT~(lv) . "
" Ibid. (97 , 9-11 D.).
n Ibid. ( 121, 11-14 D.).
n Ibid . ( 127, 20--30, 128, 3 D.) and ' bm. 41uo:avEl . (128, 12- 20 0 .).
,. PSC'lIdo-Lllcian E...,. 8.406, trans. Macleod (Locb); cf. PhiiOltr. [".. 2.9.7 (p. 355,
15); C alli'tr. S/#I . 5.4 (p. 427, 22).
" ' bid. 15.41 4. tran,. Madc:ud (l..oc:l . The S<lmc: stor )' ;5 mentioned by the: fc:a l
l ucia n (I".. 4) ..., a j.LV80o;.
74 Uta of History

lOQlau;) or arc enigmaticall y expressed- arc usdess . -' 1" And he re-
la tes that the Argo was the first ship 10 sail the seas, as " it has been
handed down by history (OtU ~; {moQta;:), "71 Plutarch addses
busybodies to mind their own business: " Shin you r curiosity from
things without and turn it inwards; if you enjoy dealing with a his-
tory of troubles ([moplu XQxfuv), you have much to do at hOI1lC:"M
There are a lso a few instances in which. para llel I/) the l.alin. 10-
TOQ(O seems to indicate th e aggregate of past facts . Lucian says, ., ,.\
few points from ancient hi story (rile; oQxatC; lOloQlac;;) I remember
arc to the point , and I may as \Veil add Ihf'm. " ;" And Appian. speak-
ing of the risc of Rome, sapi. "These things many C rC'('ks anci many
Romans ha ve already written down , and Iht' history (,; imoQlo) is
even longer than that of Maccdon , which was thr 101lA:l'S I h<-Iore
then . " 11(1
It is not entirely clear in these passages 10 what t'xtrnl " Iht, past "
is meant and to what extent written " histo ries." It seems prudent to
suppose that both are meant ; or, rather, th.u "thr past" is a meaning
Iha l has not ye t become scparalt-d from the older mranings.
There is anothrr use of thr 1I0un as factual account. found only in
th e Greek : history of o pinion!! or ideas . Beginning his inquiry into
moral virtue, Plutarch says: 'It is bellrr. howr\,er, to run quickly
through Ihe opinions of o thers, 1I0t sn much lor thr sake of history
(OUx {moQlo~ EvEXO) as of making the- proJX'r unt's drarer and morc
firmly established , when Ihesr ha\'e bern pn:sc nltxt ... ~ t
Scx tus Empiricus uses " history " in the samt way 10 rrfer 10 an
account of pre\'ious opinions. Concluding a r('view of Ih(' opinions of
Democritus and others , he !lays. "Tht" hi !l lory of the anci('nts, Ihen,
about the criterion of truth ( ~ tWV ItOAO LWV ItEQl T01) XQttllQLO\J ti) ~
aA'TjOf,ta<; Unopw.) was SIIth .....' :\11(\ lilt' Sloit Epklt'lus OhSI'I'\t:S
that the Master Argument has three in('Ulll l)atihle premises: ' If.
then , somebody asks mc, ' Bul which pair of thest' do you maintain ?'
I shall give the an~wt:r to him that I do lIo t know (oux olba) but

" S.t:. M. II! . 1.2 78. lranl. 8u",' ( l.~bJ. AI5<J 2.96: ~ . 57 .
n S.E. AI.tIr. 9.32; cf. Luo.n HipI'. 2.67 .
" Piu. CM,iOJ. 5 15D; also 5 1SC. an d er. 5 1(;1),
'" Luci.n Laps. 7; cf. MlIJI . T r r. Diu .. p . 28. 6 .
., App. p,tl(j 12, but h(' prut'ds tu talk .bou! !hl' prnpc-r arrall,l1;('",I'''' ofhi ~ work :
cf. B Cil'. 9.67 .284 .
" PIu. P,4 Vi,l. 440t:.
a S.E. M all!. 7.140: 8. 14; also 7. 190.
History as Story 75

that I have been given the following history ({(J"[OQlav To~a{rtllv )."1I3
He goes on to list pairs of premises that various philosophers have
accepted . In giving his own reply, Epictetus compares himself with
the grammarian who uses a similar formula when asked for his own
view about a literary maller; but while that is of no great conse
quence in a literary matter, according to Epictetus, philosophers are
not entitled to give that reply ," So while we seem to have a distinctly
philosophical use of " history" here, history so understood i:i still cun
sidered philosophically insufficient.
Certainly this third new use of "history" in Greek to indicate a
factual account of opinktns is not entirely new. Aristotle often usedl\\
an account of the opinions of his predecessors la clarify the issues on
a given subject. The same practice seems to have been followed by
his successors,- And in their desire for catalogues, compilations, and
anthologies the Hellenistic and Roman ages, the Gr~k and the La
tin, produced a whole literature of the recording of opinions and
ideas, doxography." What is new under the empire is calling such an
account in Greek a "history,"

" AIT. pitl . 2.19.5.

"Ibid. 2.19.1- 11 ; a lso 2.21. 10.
.. Aristotle's use of his predecessors is extensi\lely discusxd by Harold Cherni
(Arisloll, 's CrilicisM tf P'tlr.,ic PlliI""lIy (Balti mort;, 1935) and A m/oil, ', Cri/ici.slll tf
PI,~ .PId IN Aeany (Bahimort;, HMi)). This lItack on Ari.lOde'. credibility at a
historian was 10 thorough and pt;nuasi\lt; that by 1957 Guthrit; reh compt;lIt;d to
.rgut; l ~ ArillotJc as ill Historian of Philosophy," JHS 77 ( 1957) : 3.5-41J that C hcrniu
and thost; who acct;ptt;d his vit;ws had gont; too far . To bt; critical was ont; thing; 10
rc:j ttl him whott; cloth was too much. 1nt; problt;m i. important, bt;ClutC 10 a very
grt;ll txtt;fl! our traditional picturt; or Iht; hillOry or philosophy up to Arillotlt;
dcpt;nds upon Ari"ollt;; t;itht;r dirtttly, through hi! commt;nts on his prt<it;HOn, or
indirectl y, through the doxographical tradi tion [J J ohn 8 . McDiarmid, "Thw-
phra.nus on the Presoc=ratic CaI,lKS,~ HtlOl4,tJ SI. ilt Cl. PM/oi. 61 ( 19oS3): M- 1:>6J.
Kerrt;Iri ["Rect;nl Work on Pnsocratic Philosophy;" AIItn. P"i~J. Q. 2 (1965)J cs
limated the significan or this corn~cdy : " If this view wen 10 hie correct it would hie
nearty btal to tht; traditional pielUrt; or Iht; Prt;SOCratics built up by .cholars O\It;r a
hundred yun" (p. 130), And he sides with Guthrit;, as do many. But tht; ract that
tht; problem ha. ceased to be discuued dOts not make it go away, and as rt;Ctntly as
1975 Malcolm Scholfit;ld l"Doxog raphica Anaxagoru," Hmntl 103 ( 1975): t-24J
doubted Aristotlt;'S (a nd TheophruIIlI') nliabilily as JOUTCts on Anaugoras . 'OT a
modtralt; t;\lalu:uion of Aristotlt;, sec Kurt \1011 Frilt, .. Arislode's Contribution to the
Practict; and Theory or Historiography," V"i". IIjCtltif. N i. ill PltiitJI"It;J, Vo!. 28, No.
S.p. IIS .
Van Frill, "Aristotle's Contribution," pp. 11 8-19.
" The rc:m ainl of all the Greek doxOfraphell arc: collected in Helmann Diets, DU8
I,yhk G,IItd. He includes At;tius, Arius Didymus. Theophras\Us, CiCt;TO, Philode--
mus, Hippolylus, Plulan:h, Epiphanius, Oakn, and Ht;rmt;ius. H is " Prolegomena"
(pp. 1-26S) umains the basic dl,cussion of Iht; subject,
76 idta of History

The ra nge of possible su bjects for h isloT)' has grown, and now in-
dudes ordinary or famous persons , and the gods-history unders tood
as slory . Two chara cteristics of history from its ('arl it's t beginn ings-
discerned already in the U~5 of iO'twQ in the Iliad-arc accuracy of
account and social im porla nce of subjrcl. When history is u nde r$lood
as story, however, the social importance of subj ect is somewhat di-
luted. Accounts of ordinary or fam ous peopl e mar be 1l00('worlhy o r
interesting, but they have not the impacl of the account of Oedipus,
10, or Hecuba . If importance of subject is diluted , accuracy of ac-
count is virtuall y 105 1. Wh a t is important to a story is nOI that it be
accurate, but that it be e ntenaining or edifying. Then too. (1,\ least in
Greek , pas t idt=:as or opinions ahoul a topic a rt=: now a s uhjecl for
hislOry. Galen 's d oxographical Histc'.~ cJ Plrilosop".l (1(Ql q,tAooOtpou
{atOQlOS)1M rt=:prcsenls pro bahly Iht=: earl ies! occurrencr of thr cx prrs-
sion "history of philosophy ." It s hould he dear, howcvl'r, Ihat by
"history" he re is mea nt s im ply the fa cts. or accu rate information.
Galen 's slend er book is a sorl of fi eld guidr to phi losoph y. He ht=:gins
with a b rit=:f account of the origins uf ph ilosophy. tht'" succession of
philosoph ers, and the parts, problems. and te rms of philosophy. Thl'
remainder of Ihe work ill la rgrly tak('n up wit h various problrms of
physics and the opinions that had been hdd abou l Ihrm hy prc,ious
philosoph ers. Thi s is history of philosophy. tht=:n . not in the srnsl' Iha!
prt=:vious philosophies arc ta kt=:n 10 he integrated whoks in wh ic h con-
dusions a rc advanced on the basis of argumrnt s adducr-d , bU I in the
sense that these arc th e fa cts as 10 what pTt. ,ious philosopht=: rs said
about a given problem or tupic. And fina ll y. du"rc is th(' inci pie nt use
of " history " to indica le the aggregatt=: of fac ts about Ihl' past (If some-

Christi a nity began as a religious and poli tica l reform mo'eme nl

among a small national and religious grou p, the J ews. a nd in Pales-
tine or Judaea, a provin ce of the Roman Empire. 11 allraCled lilll<"
noticl': in the Graeco- Roman world during the early stages of its de-
velopment. To his contem poraries, J l':sus seems to ha \"t' fi tted till' tra-
dition of prophecy common to all Jews and that of popula r opposi-
lion to the Pharisees , who had rt'tainro a position of poli tical and
economic dominance by cooperation wilh the Romans . The earlies t

"Gaten, Optrll_nlll, ro. Kuhn (Leipzig, 1830). t9: 222- 345.

History as Story 77

followers of Jesus were Jews. Their intensely spiritual faith, diverse

practice, and messianic expectations produced little in Ihe way of
literature besides the Gospels, and even these were written toward
the end of the century. At any rate, the Gos~1s were written for the
members of the new community; earliest Christianity was a cul tu-
rally narrow phenomenon .S!' However, after the Romans destroyed
the Jerusalem temple in A.D. 70, which led to the dispersion of many
Jews, and after Paul's preaching to the non-Jews, the membership of
the tcduiQ came to be increasingly gentile.90 Since the Roman con-
quest had continued in powt'!r the Grt'!ek dynasty that had rult'!d Ju-
daea for over three centuries, the gentiles converted tended to be
Greeks in language and culture, if not in place of national origin .
With the influx of Greeks came, of course, the influence of Greek
education and culture; and within the new community new kinds of
questions came to be raised. The most important questions of the
first century had been whether Jews were still obligated by the Law
of Moses; but in the second century the most important questions, to
witness the Greek influence, were the Gnostic theory of creation, the
philosophi c implications of belief in the divinity of J esus, and the
(social) acceptability of the Christian cult." The attempt 10 answer
these new questions constitutes the beginnings of Christian IileralUre.
The second century also saw the beginning of the first distinctively
Christian school, the Catechetical School of Alexandria,92 which was

William R. Amokt, "The Rehuioo of Primitive Christianity to Jewish Thought

and Teaching," HfJrluud 17tto/~l;rlJl Rtuitw 23 (1930): 161 - 79 . . Jean Dani!lou 's
TWogir dll )udIo-ChriJtianulM ( Pari~, 1958) r,uIlSIrUCU a p~apologetica.l Chri~t.ian the-
ology. Since it is berore the influenee of Helleni~Uc philo$ophiall ideu was felt , it is, he
argues. a Semitic. i; ~Jutbeo-C hri,wn~ theology.
'10 Since Paul's role in the creation of Chri!!ianity both socially a'ld spiritually i. 10
great, the question or his relation- and that of first century Jew. in general-to the
lurrounding society is impol1anl. Edwin A. Judge l"St. Paul and Classical Society,"
Jdrhd jir All/at M,.d CAnsulliv," 15 (1972): 19-36J obsel"YCi that the ~dcr rashion of
seeing "a sharp dutinction between hebraic and hellenutic rorms or expression" (p.
29) has been undermined recently. Rather than a pre-cxisting oppOllition, he argues,
"it W'1 5 the New T estament writers and Paul in particular who (in contrast with the
htlltnising spirit of other first centu ry Jews writing in Greek) brought the twO into a
radie.al confrontation that was et.'enlually to have great cultural consequences" (p.
30). And he thinks !.hat " If wc knew more about the antecedents of the sophistic
rnovtfl'lefll that nourished in the second century, wc might c:ome closer 10 Ihe social
selling of Paul's minion" (p. 32).
" Massy Hamilton Shepherd {"The Early Apologists and C hristian Worship,"
fltmW tf ikfiKUJII 18 (938 ): 60-791 contends Ihat the social th reat polled by C hris-
tianity had 10 do with cult r.l.ther than with belief.
'10 Cf. GtlSlave Bardy. ~ Pour rhistoire de rkole d 'Alcxand ric," Vivrt " PttWr 2
76 Uta of Hutor~:~

10 play a d ecisive ro le in Christian thought tor the next fifteen hun

dred years. By the second centur),. tllI:refore. C hristiani ty had sel
forth into the wider world of C raecoRoman civilization ; and Ihe
story of Christianity's influence on Western ci,'ilizalion must begin
here. If the first c('ntut)' was one of \'ariety and experiment in C hris-
tian belief and cu lt , the second was 0 0 (" of consolidation and defcnse
against both the destruct ive' influence of paga n (or J ewish ) attacks
from without and the disi nlcgralivr infiurnce of hrTrsirs from within .
The defr ost: against altacks produ('cd th!' apologc'tical li trraturt',
which , together ,,",' ilh Ih(' allliht'relicai literalurt', providt' us our first
opportunity to obscn '(' Ih(' rerment of Grat"('{)Roman and C hris tian
This raises a hisloriogra phieal probl('m : How is o nc 10 diiT('r('ntiale
between Judaeo-Chris tian and Graceo-Roman cnmmunilil:'S. whose
uscs of Greek and Latin are to be compart'd ? It is mi .sh~ad ill g to
speak of "Greeks," "Romans, " and "Christians." heeaust' thl' Chris-
tians were quil(' as muc h Cref!k!l or Romans as W('f(' th(' Syrians.
Egyptians, Spaniards, or Gauls who ar(' usually ((lIlsirkrt'd "Gr('('ks"
or " Romans" in contrast with th(' "C hrist ians ." Kur should ol1e
speak of "Christia ns" and " pagans" or "C('nlil('s." since' both of thl:'
latter le rms arc wholl), C hris lian c hara<:u~ ri7.ations and r('prcsC'nt di
c hOlomies foreign 10 Ih (' non-Christian G r('C'k.>; and Roma ns. Tht tcr-
minological probll'm ha s th(' sam(' origin ill hoth casts : Iht' 1:00 ('('1'1 5
(categories) e mplo}'l'd in th inking and wrilin~ ahout lilt' ('u ltural his
tory of latc antiquity, uitimat('ly deri\'('d from thl:' Christian apolog-
ists themselves, sen'(' 10 S('1 C hristianit y owr against and in o pposi
tion to everything Greek and Roman, Whil(' Ihis was all n'ry wr\J ror
apologctical-that is to sa)" polemical- purpos('s , it j!'; unsa tisfactory
for purposes of hi stnriography. "Crc("k, " " Rnma n," or " Gra('co-
Roman " and "'C hristian " or "Juda t'fI C hrist ia n" art' not s trictly com-
parable nr, s lrictly speaking, alternali\'('s. Tlu' rormt'r relrr III some-
thing (or someonl' ) primari ly in tC"rms of Ila tinnal. political. grogra.
phical, or lingu istic ronsid("rations: th(' lalt('!' primari ly in u: rm s of

(1942): 8O-U)9. On Clement'! coneeplion of natbfia, SN'J Wpus. ' Paid t"ia aod
Pronoia io the Work! or Clemeru Aleuoorinus, ~ I'i,f!i/itl, C1t' ;Jli"',~r 9 ( 1955): 14B-S8:
on hi$ attitude to the pagan 1tat6da, $l!'r Pirrrc Camrlot, ~ Lcs irlfn tir Clc' men l
d' Aluandric sur I'utilisation des sdf'necs rt dr la IillrralUrf' profanr:' R,rI.rffhrJ dr
JC1'n ttr ,.li,irrm 2 1 ( 193 1): 38-60.
" for a skctch of nrly Christia ni t~ as a ('uh urr , SN' M . Prllf'g rino, " (.a ('u ltu ra
erislia na net primi u coli," c.mrimrm, N.S. 1 11954 1: 151- 10.
History as SIOry 79

religious considerations. Moreover, when "Graeco-Roman" is contra-

sted with "Judaeo-Christian" culture, the problem is compounded;
ror while the leading motive or the latter is unquestionably religious,
that or the former is not. The entire history or Gr~k and Roman
culture evinces an interest in religious matters, but it will not support
the claim, or even the implication, that these were matters or special
or dominant interest. The Christians were not a group sepa rate or
distinct rrom the group called "Greek," "Roman," or "Gracco-
Roman ." As a historical phenomenon, Christianity arises within
Craeco-Roman civilization. Christian uses or Greek and Latin are
not-indeed , could not be-in opposition 10 the ordinary uses but ,
rather, are based on them and developments of them . If Christianity
comes to dominate the religious and political institutions or Western
civilization and if the Christian world-view comes to supplant that of
the Greeks and Romans, it is a conquest not from without but from
within .
From the outset there is a difference between the ChriSlians' rela-
tionship to Cr~k and their relationship to Latin. The language of
Christianity in the first century, even in Rome, was Greek; for out-
side of Palestine. where Greek was the ~cond language of the native
population , the Christians were mainly Greek-speaking immigrants.
By 150, however, Latin began to come into use although Christians
at Rome, such as Justin Martyr, Caius, and Hippolytus, were still
writing in G reek throughout the second and early third centuries. By
250 Latin was in the ascendancy . The Christian literature of the first
two centuries, which is not extensive, is therefore mostly in Greek .
The Christian use of Greek does not differ radically from that of
the mainstream of Greek literature of the time. 'ImoQ'o is used by
the early Christian writers to refer to che literary genre and, a first
use of this mode, " history" as distinguished from other genres.
Athenagoras of Athens, trying to show that the pagan gods were on ly
men, says, "But even those of the Greeks who are emi nent in poetry
and history (o{ 1tEPi. 1toCT)mv 'Kal. lOtop(ov oocpol) say the same
thing about H eracles."~ Similarly, C lement of Alexandria, the sec-
ond head of the Catechetical School, sets out to demonstrate the lack
or originality of Creek writers by piling up examples of plagiarism ,
the unattributed borrowing of lines or passages from earlier writers
by later. After giving examples from numerous poets , he proceeds:

"Atht:nag. CA,. 29 ( PG 6, 957A).

80 Uta oJ Hutory

"And in ord er that we may see that nOI o nl y philosophy and history,
but even rhetoric art': not free of the like failing , it is wt'1I 10 set forth a
few instances from Ihem ."<I\ In the same vei n Talian the Assr rian ,
educa ted in philosophy , rhetoric, and Sophistic, denies Ihat the
Greeks invenled the arts, for " the writers of annals of the Egyptia ns
taught you to compose hislOry ( l(Jto()(a~ UlJvtannv at nap' Alyun
,;lOll; TWV xQ6vwv avaYQacpal) . "116
" History" is also used to refer to particular historical works . In the
courst of C lement's argu ment that Jewish institutions and laws are
older (and hence more reliable) than G~ek philO!loph y, h(' ciLes the
"'histories" of Apion . Berosus. and Josephus. and he elsewhere cites
those of Thucydides and Antiachus.'; Tatian also men tions the his-
tory of Ikrosus, and , like C kment , ci tes th~ hist o ri ~s of the Phoeni-
cians, Throdotus, Hypsicrat t's and Machus, to tht' dfect that Most's
is much older than Homer, lor " in the historits of the aforesaid writ-
ers it is shown that the abduction of Europa occurred under onc of
the kings,"911 but we know that the kings are all more recent than
"History" is also used in its ot her mode as the facts or a factual
account; and , first, about ~rso n s, Tatian argues for the greater an-
tiquity of Moses simply on the grounds that no o nc agrees when
Homer lived . He says: " For it is possible 10 sho ..... tha t the opinions
held about the maller ar~ also fal se. For where the recorded dates do
not agf1:e together, it is impossible that thr hislOry br true (oubt la
tf)~ {m:OQ(Q~ <ik,.,OEUElV bUvQtov) . For ..... hat is the cause of rrror in
writi ng if it is not the selling down of things tha t art' not true?"!"!
Tatian also cites the tes timon y of Heros us as tn tht' antiquity of
Moses, establishing the writer's reliabi li ty by referencr 10 Juba, say-
ing: " Herosus is a very reliabl~ man. and a wilness to this is Juba,
who, writing about th e A!lsy rian!l, sa ys that he learn ed the history
(JlE:l-lo91lxivm Ti\v totoQlav) from Herosus. " I'" And C lemrnt usr s
"history" as the facts about natural things while li sting the 5ubjCi:IS
that it will be usefu l for tht' ca techu men 10 know. Ht' writes : "T he
same account a lso appJit's to astronomy. For treating ofl hl': his tory of

ftClem. At. St1l1m. 6.2. 16.

"Talia n Ai Cr. 1.1 (PG 6, 804A): alJO 39. 1 (PC 6, BB tD ).
"Clem. AI. SI"m . 1.21.1 01, 122, 147; 6.2.8; PrQ/f. 3.45.1.
"Talian Ad Cr. 36.2 ( PC 6, 88(8): 37. 1 (RSOB-(:) .
" Ibid. 31.4 (812A) .
... Ibid. 36.2 (880ft).
Hutory as Story 81

celestial bodies (rltv 'trov ).lE't<lQo(wv lcnOQl<lV) .. . it teaches quick-

ness in perceiving the seasons of the year, changes of the air, and the
appearance of the stars ."101 Clement also uses hislory as fa cts in the
new way, already discussed , as an account of opinions or doctrines.
The second book of his Stromata concerns the opinions about various
matters that th e Greek philosophers seem to have "borrowed'" from
Sacred Scripture. The last chapter concerns ma rriage; in evaluating
it and trying to determine when people should marry , Clement says,
"Let us consider the history in brief. " un a nd proceeds 10 recount the
opinions of Pla to, Democritus, Epicurus, the Stoics, a nd the Peri-
patella .
The early Christia n writers also use " hislory" as factual or infor-
mational accounts a bout the gods in the diluted sense or history as
story. Arguing that the pagan gods were mere mortals, Clement de-
scribes how the Muses were actually ~opl e hired by Megacla,
daughler to King Macar or Lesbos, who was so pleased with their
performance that she caused a temple to be built in their honor. He
concludes: "Such then were the Muses; and the story (1) {mop{a) is
in Myrsilus of Les bos." 1o, We are al so informed that among the
Egyptians a ship sometimes symbolizes time, though time "is symbo-
lized by a crocod ile in some other pries tly story (lepo:tLx1)v to-
tOQ(OV ) ." ICK Athenagoras al so uses " history" in this way in his attack
on the belief in the gods. He ridicules the gods on account of the
absurdities attributed to them , sa ying, " If such things be said , one
must ask: What is the propriety or utility of such a story ({cnoe(OC;) ,
that we should believe Kronas, Zcus, Ka re and the rest to ~
godS?" IM And again , he claims that the god s were mere men, "as can
be known from the story (lmoQlo) about them." I06 Clement and
Athenagoras a re willing ta follow the cu rren t usage and spea k a bout
stories of the gods in this diluted sense of history; bl,lt they also ta ke
the histories, that is, stories, seriously and employ them as wea pons
in their own attacks against such beliefs .
There is one final and very interesting occurrence of "history" in
Clement. Having quoted Hebrews 11 :3. 4, and 25 on the eiTlCaCY of

MI Clem. AI. Sm".. 6.11.90.

Hn I bid. 2.23. 138.
"" Cltm. AI. Pnl, . 2.3 1.4.
KM C ltm. AI. StTHI . 5.7.4 1.
... Athenllg. Clf . 20 (PG 6, 9328 ) .
.. Ibid. 26 (952A).
82 Uta of HiJto~.,

faith , he says : "Fa ith, therefore, having justified these befofe the law,
made t hem hd rs of the divine promise. Why. then , s hould I review
and adduce any further testimonies of fa ith from the history in our
hand s (ix 'ttl ~ nap' ,,~iv {otoQ(Q~ ) ?" h'; And q uoting Hebr("ws 11
again , he proceeds to argue that faith is the foundati on of all knowl-
edge and su~ri o r to knowledge. It is 11 01 clear whether Clement
means by history h CT(, the Epistle 10 lilt' Hcbre ....s. from which h(' has
just ~en citing exa mples of fai th , or Iht" I't"ntatt"uch, from whi ch all
of those exa mpl es uhimatrly com('. Whichever is ('orrret. il is inl e T-
('sting that a wrincn work tha t occupies an ('xaltrd pl act' in the com-
munity is said 10 he a history in some sens(', Since. howeve r. it is the
only instance in these early materials. there' is lillk 10 infer from it.
The verb IoTopElv is used hy t ill' ea rl y C hristian writers in Sl'IlS(!S
that are ontin<lry fo r Iht" lilll t". <lhhough . i lS Iht" uSt"!\ u f1lit" IlUHIl fnrm
s uggest, the objects or thes!" uses arC" mos t olten concerned solel y
wi th matters or religious interrst. Thus C lrmenl Iwicr uses Ihr H~r b
in its oldest sense as " inquire" or " invcst iga tr," but in both cases he
has in mind inquiry intn d ivin!' things. Ht' ('ncourages us to work
loward salvation b)' spreading the good news. hut warns against do-
ing so out or vainglory . Ht" writes: " And according to tllis view 1I
Thess. 2:.>-7J those who lake' part in thl' d i\il1l' words mu st Ilr 0 11
their guard , lest they engagt." in this as they would in tht." building of
cities, inqui ring (l cnoQ~oavu:~ ) only rur the sakr o r curios ity."IOII
Similarl y, he d escribes the lipiritual improvement or education: .. And
by astronomy, again , raised rro m Ihe ea rth in his mind . he is t'1t'valed
a long with heaven. and will ft'volvc wit h its rt-volution . 8t ud ),i ng (lo-
tOQWv) always d ivine things and their harmony wi th t'itch olher.""!!!
Most onen , however, the \'('rh means " relatt''' or " record :' Onc or
the ways in which C lemen l pursues his attack on Iht' pagan gods is
by holding up to rid icule Iht' religious customs of a particular place
or people: "And among you tht' Thessa lia ns pay di \'ine hom age to
slorks according to the ancient custom : Ihe Thehans 10 weasels 011
account of (their assistanct' at) Ihe birth of Heracles. And again,
what about the Th ~sa lian ~? They are reported (tcnOQOUVlUl ) 10
worship ants since they learned that Zeus, putting on the likeness of
an anI, had inte rcourse with Eurymcdusa , tht' daughter of ClelOr,

IO' Clem . AI. SltO",. 2.4.12-13. (rans . Wilson (A N" ).

.. Ibid. 1. 1.6.
oM Ibid. 6.10.80.
Histt:ny as Story 83

and begot Myrmidon. And Polemo relates (lO"[OQEt) that the people
who inhabit the Troad worship lield-mice."lIo Also indicative of this
use are similar accoun ts given about Sparta, Sici ly, Thuria, Phocaea,
and Persia. III Clement tells us what is " related " a bout fam ous persons
in his argument that G reek philosophy is derived from non-Greeks.
"Pythagoras is reported (imOQEl"tQl) to have been a disciple of Soches,
the Egyptian archprophet, a nd Plato of Sechnuphi s of Hdiopolis." 112
What is related a bout the gods is used in the First Apology of Justin
Martyr to rebut the cl aim that the C hristia n accoun ts a bout J esus are
sill y. The immacula te conception, fo r example, is no sillier than wha t
is believed a bout Ze us, Mercury, Asclepius, a nd Bacchus. He says :
"And wha t kind of deeds are recorded (lmopoil"v(m) of each of the
sons of Zeus, it is not necessa ry to tell those who already know." And ,
he proceeds, even in death J esus was like the sons of Zeus: " For their
sufferings at dea th a re recorded (latOQEitm) to have been not alike,
but diverse; so that the peculiarity of (His) suffering does not seem to
make Him inferior to them ."1!]
Th us wha t is believed a bout J esus is no worse tha n wha t is bel ieved
about the gods; and, indeed , Justin argues that it is much better. For
whereas the accounts of the pagan gods are the products of myth-
making (llu90110U"19d ol) and have no proof, wha t is said a bout J esus
is proved by the fulfillm cnt of prophecy. Li t In the Dialogue with T rypho,
a literary product of theJewish controversies of the second centu ry, he
goes further and claims that the accounts about the sons of Zeus are
originall y borrowed from the O ld Testa ment prophecies, saying," . . .
and wh en they relate (lmoQWol) that being torn in pieces , and having
died, he rose again and ascended to heaven ... do I not perceive th at
(se., the Devil ) has imita ted the prophecy a nnounced by the patria rch
Jacob and written down by Moses?" II) Clement 100 tells us wh at
Panyasis relates (l(J(OQEi) a bout the gods. "'
The Christian atlack on polytheism naturall y ex tended to idol wor-
ship, since one of the recurrent causes of persecution was that the
Christia ns refu sed to pay their respects to the images of the gods or to

u' Clcm. AI. i'nIfr. 2.39.6-7, lrans. Wilron (ANF) .

'" Ibid. 2.30.H , 38.2; 3.42.4, 6. 8; ~ .65. 1.
, 11 C lcm. AI. St rolft . 1.1 5.69; also 1.1 5. 70, 72.
,,, J. M arl. ApoI. 1.2 1 (P G 6, 3608 ); also 1.22 (36 t B).
,I< Ibid. U 3 (405sqq.).
11' J. Mart . mill . 69 (PG 6, 637A), Ira ns. (ANF).
l it C lcm. AI. Prolr. 2.35.3, 36.2.
84 Uta of Histo,y
the Roman emperor's statue. The fourth cha pter of C lement's Exhor.
tation to the Grub to Ixocome C hristians exposes the absurdity and
shamefuln ess of idol worship by repeatedl y tracing the origins of idols
OT cults to particular limes and places ; and ImoQElv is used to indi-
eau: what is "related " abou t these matters. H e 1("lIs us what is
" related " by Polt mon about the sta tues a t Athens and by Dionysius
abou t the Palladion. m He iIIustrau:s the detrimental innuence of
suc h statues by (hI" story of Pygmaiion, as " related " hy Philostepha-
nus a nd Posidippus. m
There is a final group of uses of the verb by these early Christ ians
which concerns their own religion rather tha n that of their op-
ponents. Properly to undcr5tand Cod sayi ng, " Let us makt' . .. ," says
Juslin, ., ) shall aga in relate (L<J'toQliaw) the .....ords spoken by Moses
himself.""9 Similarly, C lement , discussing the mrslic meanings of lhe
tabernacle and its furniture, contends that then- is ct'rtainl y a hidden
meaning in the reference III " the seven circuits arou nd the T emple
recorded among th e Hebrews {1tap' 'E!lQa(olt; i<J'toQOU~vr) ."I.'1 H e
also mentions, as an example of tht' henefi ts of t'lIduranct' a nd pa-
tience, " Ihe things recorded (t<J'toQOuIlEVa) a hou t Ananias" lll and
devotes the second book of tll(' Slromoto to showing that the Greeks
fil ched their philosophy from the .Je. . . s. pa ri nf the argument for
w~ ich consists in showing tha l " tht'Y ha\'4;' imitated and copied the
marvels recorded (l(JtOQOUIlEVWV ) among US."IU Finally, Justin tells
us that "Sodom and Gomorra h are recorded hy Most's ,lmopoUvtal
U1I0 MwaEw~ ) to have been citi es of impious mr.n ,"I'H
There are only a few oc(Urrcnccs of tll(' adjecli\'(' [moQu(6~ in
these materials. Cle mcllI refers to tht" " historia ns" s('nra l times.11 1
Tatia n begins his argument that "our phi losophy" is older than that
of the C rceks by saying, " Most's and Homer shall be nur limilS since
they are very ancient; Ih e one is the oldes t uf' lhr poets and historians
(l(JtOPlXWV), and the other tht' founder of a ll barbarian wisdom. "12.~
Moses, the writt=r of tht= O ld Testament. is Ihus both poet and his-

'" Ibid. 4.36.H. 47.6; d . 4.. 7.2. 48,2, 54.3; and :H 5.3.
III Ibid. 4.57.3, I~ns . Wilson (A.' f) .
lit J. Man . Dial. 62 (PG 6. 6 178).
171 Clcm . AI. SI,I7I'II. 5.6.32.
111 Ihid. 2.20.103.
In Ibid. 2.1.1 .
171 J . Man. Ap.i. 1.53 ( Pe 6, 4088 ).
I,. Clcm. AI. SI1O"'. 1.21.142; 6.2.24. and 26 (latOQloyQ6:4K>; ).
" ~ Tatian Ai GT. 3 1 (PC; 6. 869A).
History as Story 85

torian, and is set up as having the same cultural stature in the Jewish
and Ch ristian world as Homer has in the Greek and Roman world .
Furthermore, according to Clement, his philosophy is in part
"historical" or "historylike." For he writes: "The Mosaic philosophy
is accordingly divided into four paris-into the historic (,to latOQl-
xCrv) and that which is specially called the legislative , which two
properly belong 10 an ethical treatise; and the third, that which re -
lates to sacrifice, which belongs to the physical science; and fourth ,
above all , theology ." 126
The earliest Christian use of Latin parallels the use of the Greek
terms both in meanings and in contexts of use. Sometimes "history"
indicates a written work, as when Tertullian recounts the visit of
Pompey to the Jerusalem temple, on the authority of Tacitus "in the
fifth book of his Historiu {in quinla Hisloriarum suar1lm )." 111 More often,
however, at least for Tertullian, "history" refers to an informational
account as such rather than as a literary product. The subjects of
such an account vary. In the old se nse of natural history, he men-
lions a history of dreams (Izistoria somnium ) in five volumes by Her-
mippus of Berytus, 1211 and , rejecting someone's evidence of a transmi-
gration of souls, he suggests that the account may have been found
"in some very obscure histories (in hiJtonj5 aliquibus occullioribu.5 )."'2'J
Tertullian uses "history" in reference to social events when he replies
to the charge that the Christians arc the cause of certain public disas-
ters by pointing out that there were plenty of such disasters before
Christianity bt=gan . " Where were the Christians, then, when the Ro-
man state furnished so many histories of its disasters (tot kistorias (aho -
rum 5uofllm) ?"11O And he seems to use " history" as the past in his
demonstration that Moses is of greater antiquity than Homer: " we
must look into the history and literatu re of the world (in his/ona5 tI
litterQJ orbis) ."UI
We also find Tertullian using "history" as story . Against the at-
tacks on Christianity, he argues that what is said about the gods by
those who accept them vilifies them : " Is not their majesty violated ,

tK C lem. AI. Strtnrt. 1.28. J 76.

t11Ttrt. Apel. 16.3 ( PI 1, 364); also AJIoI. 19.2 (383); Ad MIl . 1.1 J (CSEL 20.80,
25-26); and Min. rei. Ocl. 21.
tIlTc:n . D,A". 46 (CSEL 20.377, 13-16).
I" Ibid . 28 (348, 4-5) .
I-TeTl . Ad Ngl. 1.9 (CSEf. 20. 73, 15-16).
no Ten . AfNJI. 19.7 (PL 1,388).
86 Idea of Hulory

their deity defiled by your plaudilS? But you really are still more
religious in the amphitheatrr , where over human blood , over the dirt
of pollution or capital punishment, your gods dance, supplyi ng
themes and stories (argummta tl his/orias) for the guih)'- unless it is
that often the guilty play the parts oflhe gods."1'I1 Again, in attacking
the Roman spectacles, he:: contends Ihal the ans and art works arc
products of the daemons: .. ..'or oonr but themselves would have
made provision and preparation for Ihe objects they had in view; nor
would they have given tht" a rts to the world by any but those in
whose names and images and stories (hi.Jloriis ) they S(' t up for their
own e nds the artifice of consf'cralion ."HI Similarly, the heres)' or
Valenlinus is said 10 be concerned wilh " the stories (his/orills ) and
Mil esia n rabies or their own A("ons." I:1I finall y, both Tenullian and
Minucius Felix use historicru substantively as " his torian ."I !;
These Greek and Latin uses or " history" by Iht' C hristian writers
or the first two centuries art", aside rrom the predominance or re-
ligious subjects. not extraordinary. In some instances they invoke the
dis tinctions among literary ~enres that Wf'rt" c urrent in the Greek and
Roman thought or t h(" lim('. While th('y usr the distinction, they do
nOI make it, Ihal is, they do nOI state nor do they ev;nct' any interest
in the grounds C)r delails of Ihe distinction . This leatuT(' or their uses

'<l l hin . t5.4 (360-6 1). Irans. {;)mt' 11.oth!. :Id .....",. 1.10 {(;~il. :ZU.80. '>-9). it
atlllosl l'f,blll;", idefllit al with (ht ~Isa~t t itM in Iht ItXl . .'\h hou~h Iht' pair,
tJrAII"""hlml hiJIO';II. ha\t:l prior his(ory ofUH' ,u t I ) a d islinl'lion he\wrt'n 11-\'0 s ptcits
nflht Rt'lI uS 1111"11/;1'11 or "Imlllzo and a~ (1) dislin('1 parll in tht' n:lI1SlrIL{,lion ofa It'!l:al
('ase, Ihole mol"(' lor-mal aud rigorous USM art htrt lran_~ltrrtd 10 lht domain of pot'.
Iry . Thus Uo lmu (,1.\'1-) Iranlialt's " p,onr "nd plot ."
" ' Tw . Jp. 10 (('SE I. 'lO. I:t. 14- 111. AI ..10' Sa l. 'L I (95. 5-HI ht' ash. h a ,htIOf-
ic alllu~lion . wht' lher wt oURht t" 1M'lit'H in .. gud whom " hislory has Ihrown IltiJ-
/11"11 ,lIr/IIZ'II ) OIl liS." In Ihe pre('l'dinR p;"lr .... graph ht' ha.<; lislt'd a nd dts<'ribtd hrit'fly
th(' I h rt'f' sorts o r .~od~ \ ."rno ,I iSIiIlI{uidHd. " Ih .. jlh ~ ,iral rlass. of' which till' philoso-
phl' n trl':lI, th(' mylhk rla 5s. wh tf h is Ihe ," ""Ialll huntl'1l uf Ihl' poneu. ann Iht
g~nlilt class. ",hir h ,hr "at; nn ~ ha\'<' ;,dulllnl ""r h "UI" I" r iut' I[" P;"lrattelisms o r
coMl r u{'liun SU.ll:!,:I"SI Iha t hit/Mi" rd"r~ I{I lht sl"{'und dass. thal ,,1' Iht' """IS. and
should Ihl'rrrure acr o rd iull.ly h.. Ir: ms blni "~Iur~ . " Ruhrrl Dirk Sinr r ["Trrtul1ian.
0 .. /h, .'iIwu'J: ..\ n ..\ " ,d ~_.i_, . " ./olll1lal "I n"v/"Kitlll SI"di, . n.s. ,!!I I I !1711 ) : 3~!I--G5! ~ 'lIIIutS
Ihat th r da ssical rh, t"rk al pri""'plr. "f ' ' ""I-,,,, ili..,, Mr lit .. l, ~~ ",,' "HI ~ t" 'hr
I:III,11;u a llllt'. hut Oils" I" ,h.. , h.. "I,,!:~ " I Trrlullia" S .... " I"" hi." .. S, .... ttu .. a nd !)c' Mgn in
lht' ' Ik rrSUrrl"l'li OIll' ... uorum' ,,1' !',rlullia.n. I Zlf.tfint c:ltml ,,,"u, 13 ( I 9!ill1: I i 7-9ti

a nd .III'-;"~I RIt,If/,ir mill/it, :1rt '!f Tr<I,,!linn 1;0.; I"W Y"rk : O .d ; ,rcl L' " h .. rsi z~ Prl"s ~. I!1711.
" ''I'm . I), . I n. :/:1 ( (;.'>1. :to.:!:II;. 1+-IIH.
" . Te n . ,.\pal. I!I.-I I PI. 1.:1117 \: :\Ii .. . 1'.. 1.0( /. 1 1. / . "\ K;.ius ~ 11,.. d" im Ih:" Ihr .Ipo-
foX"""'" i, 311 r l' id .. k li, ' IK:rt: h. I.. ",, ~ .I . S"'iIl " rp;u n l " r"l".. n. k Rhr! o.k in Tnlu l-
lian 's .Ipofoxrl /(II"' ." l AM",,, . 1 7 , 1' 1:-,111 IItH- n I I hat ;1 i_" a I; ... ~n_<k ' pt'r('ll ",hic h aims
boil! In drf~ lId Ihr Chri " i:HI~ ,HId n.m Ih~ ,,, ( u." ~li,,u ~ "Ila i ll~ ' Ih"i .. ,,,{' .. ~rr .
History as Story 87

of the Gr~k and Latin words is merely an instance of the general

character of the relationship between Christian and Graeco-Roman
thought as it is revealed in these early materials: the Christians are
using. but not participating in. Graeco-Roman culture. TIH~y use the
languages, adopt <:enain of tht! litemry fmms, and borro\\' scientilic ur
philosophic terms and distinctions; but their aim is not to understand or
teach the language, to produce literary work! that will provide pleasure
to their readers, or to criticize in order to offer a more comprehensive or
conclusive science or philosophy . Their purposes are apologetic, pole-
mical, and persuasive. This reveals perhaps tht: most distinctive feature
ohhe early Christian usage: their context is apologetic, polemical , and
~rsuasive . These words occur in the midst of defcnses against a uack,
counter-attacks, and exhortations to conversion. Nearly all of the occur-
rences that have been examined fall under onc offour eommonplaces of
early Christian literature: ( 1) thatJewish (and hence Christian) culture
is more ancient than Graeeo-Roman; ( 2) that J ewish (and hence C hris-
tian) culture is better (i .e., more original, more national , more mora l)
than Graeco-Roman; (3) that the pagan gods wen: mere mortals, and
not divine; and (4) that the beliefs about the gods and the forms of
worship of them are absurd and/or immoral.
What is distinctive about the early C hristian idea of history , then, is
not any special or new significance attributed to it but, rather, the
persuasive context of its use. Considering the social circumstances in
which this earliest Christian literature is produced and the educational
and cultural circumstances of the writers, this does not seem odd ; for
this literature was occasioned by attacks rrom without and within. It
should be recalled that of the six writers with whose works we have been
concerned so far, five--Clement , Justin Martyr, Tatian , Minucius Fe-
!ix, and Tertullian- were brought up in the non-C hristian society and
given the predominantly rhetorical education that was characteristic of
that age. Of these five , only Clement, before he b<:came ChriSlian, seems
not to have practiced the vocation of rh etor, preferring the life ofschoJ-
arship and tt!'...ching . ' ~ Both Minucius Felix and T e rtullian wel"e prac-
tiring lawyers, aIld the latte r seems to ha"c ubtained sume eminence in
Roman law.

Eyen C lement, in CQntrast with Origen, is a polemicist, according to Jaeger,

I .
bIg Cltrnt;/Ulit.J (I"J Gr,," Paid,;a (Cambridge: Harvard Uniyersity Preu , 1961) ,
Chp. S.
The Distinction between Sacred and Profane
History in Late Antiquity

T HAS LONC BEEN THE CONSENSUS of Wes l e:rn scholars that a pro-
I found transformation of the ancient world ~gan in the third cen-
tury. Since Gibbon it has been customary to refer to this as the
"crisis of the third century" and to the complete transformation as
"the decline and fall of the Roman Empire," although, far from dis-
appearing, the empire survived anOlher thousand years, albeit cen-
leTed in Byzantium and although the social and economic problems
of the third century had a marked effect on the very formation of the
Byzantine Slate.'
The second century saw the highes t development of the imperial
system; it was a time, relatively, of peace and prosperity, and the age
of the "good empcroTS"-Hadrian, Trajan, Antonius Pius, Marcus
Aurelius. However, the reign of Commodus ( 180-93), the son of
Marcus Aurelius, was followed by a hundred yea rs of wars, civil dis
order, soldieremperors, and disintegration of the em pire into provin .
cial armyfactions. War, plague, and famine thinned the population
and laid waste the land ; as cities and towns decayed , commerce d e
clinl and tax revenues dwindled . Tht! unt!asy toleration that had
f Qr S()ffie rC1:C1l1 discussions Qf the qUClIKm. s MQrlimer C hambers, ~ Thc C ri sis
of,he Third Cemury," in T/w TraJU/mn6tiOfl ofth ROfIIIIII Wort', cd . Lynn While ( Ber.
kcley: Un iversity Qf C alifornia p~u, 1966); rh FilII of R~mt: Q.II If B~ ",ptaill~,{! ~ .
MQrlimer Chambcn (New York: Hoh, Rineharl a nd Win.ston, 1967) ; Andrus
AJffildi, Sftltiitfl <:" r Gtultid/ff 4tT WdfkriSf tits 3. JaifrltulI'"ts (DarmM"dl : WiSSCn!chaft
lithe Buchgesellschart, 1967) ,
90 /din ol
. lliJ"lor. )'

been accorded all fon' igll ('ullS gan' way, wit h inu'rn,,1 Sl rrss. 10 JX'r
sccu l;on of the Ch ri stians i,,'rr (Ilia tor (-;\';1 disobedi('ll c(". T he decli ne
of the cent ral au thorit y n'adH'd ils pt'ak unde r G allic ll us (260- 68) ;
Aurd ian (270- 75) rt' s torl'(! tl f(IN and hegall a for lifkat ifl ll of the em-
pin' against ha r barian (' ll nOaC hm l' llts. which was cnmplf'l('d hy I)io-
clrlian (284- 305) . D ioclc ti all also aw' mpt<.'d 111 sl al>il ll',(' lht' goq' rn-
ment and to makt the im pt' ria\ ad minist ration more r mc;rnl. All
trace's Ilf n:publican islll fina ll y ,";w is hl'd; tht, emperor was lh t, abso-
lu u' rukr. In add ition. thrrt' was it slron .,\: H' ndcllcy 1U !t'\"(' ling of
older loca l a nd nationa l di stinctions. pri\"ill',I!:t'S. a nd lihcrt ies: It aly
and Ro me onk iall y ht'(',m lt' prorinrrs a m ullf..( pwvinn 's, I)i odl, ti a n '~
alxl ieation was 1;,1[11\\'1,<1 hy llill(' U' I'U yt'ars of str u~!{ I l's alllO Il~ his
" (n ll ('agu~s, " From t h('s(' s lr U)(~ I ('S (: ulI S(a 11l im ' I' nl(' r~('d as solc
ruler, C hris ti ani lY as tllf' Slal(' rrl iginll , a lld Byza ntiulll , nuw ca ll ed
Cunsta nlint"s poli.l- C onsta nli tIUpi r -as II, t, 111' \\' ~api l a l (If l Ilt' (' 111 -
pi n', T ht' la ll('r P,I\'ro tilt' \\'ay li ,r Ihl' srpa ratillll of East a nd WCS I.
which was consu mmalt'ci in :S6-1 wilh th(' making of \" a klll inian c m-
peror of Iht' \\"('st. Vaklls t'mpt' ror "f tilt' Eas t. T hus wha t had ill -
ways bt:cn thouRhl of as lIlt" h('a rtland of lilt' Ruman Enlpirf'-Spain,
Gau l, and Ila ly- C"Uuld fa ll to Ih(' harharia ns in t ht' li ft h ("(' Il lu ry ,
while yet " the (' m pin '" sUl"\'i \"l'd ,
The decl ine in Ih(' c ultura l trad ition of G r('c('e and Rom(' was al-
readv . .
noted !J\' T ari tus in Ih(' s('t'und l"('n IU f\'. , Th c irn ita ti \'clless and
triviality of m uch of later im p<'riill li lt"ra tu n ' may h(' a ll ribulr d in
part 10 the dt"ciinr ill thl' im pnrta nl'(' flf n llllllllL nil y lilr thoU charac-
terius the period, il nd in parI to lh(' ull;vI' rsa l i llllul~ lI..:t' of rlWlOric in
t"dU{:al iul1 ami IC Il f' rs, aln'ady Iln lf'd in ('onlU'C'lion with thf' ea rl y ('m-
pire , Wh al li lrra tu r(' tiu're was, was rhrlorlra l. a nd imd l('C lu al (' 11-
('rgy produced i l ,~ mus t e rcal;\'!' r('suits in \'umnlt'lltari('s 011 Ill(' all -
cient mast('rs, Likr the literary Irad ition , lite trad ilion of math('ma t-
ics a nd naw ral scicnc(' a lso dcdi lwd Ihr(Ht~ h lack of crcat ive fo rc{'
and loss of a ll confide nce ill t h(' dli ntcy of r('ason , Simil a rl y, phi los-
oph y expend('d its ('Ile r!(it's 1111 (')(honali nns In mora l condun .
commt'nta rit's on t"ar li ~r p hilosophrTS, fi r wurking uul Ih(' (It'tai ls ofa
Pl atonic Ihc.ology, By Ihe fo urth cen tu ry Ihl' C hristia ns a lrt'ady IU'ld
the leade rship of Ihe ilU ('lIrCl ua l \\'(lrld , Fur th('s(' r('asons, and ht-
cause of the act ual pa ucity nl' 1111' lite ra ry rr ma ins, onl y it hri<-f ('xami-
nat ion of non-C hristian C r('('k and Roma n usage s('('ms in ord t'r h('-
fore proceedi ng In Iht' C hris tia n ascrnda ncy ,
Sacred and Profone History 91

In the Latin writings of the later empire [he shifts in usage already
noted a re continued : from history as a li tera ry gen re to his tory as an
account per se and the decline of the accuracy or factuali ty implied in
the use of the word .
Historia is still used to ind ica te the literary genre;2 it is dis tin -
guished from other literary genres,' certain rules a re laid down,' and
the word is also used to indicate particular works, instances of the
genre " history."5 But historia is more ofte n used in its ot her mode as
the facts or a factual account about somethi ng, emphasizing the con-
tent ra ther th an the literary form . The su bjects of history in this
sense may be natural thi ngs ,' social and political events,' a nd , in the
grammatical tradi tion, fo llowing Dionysius Thrax , inform a tion in
generaJ.' More oft en, however, the subjects of history are gods and
heroes; thus hi story as Story , Servius, the commentator on Vergil , fo r
example, noting the disagreement a mong Cato, Va rro, and Oiomedes
a bout the arrival of Anchises in Ital y, remarks, "such is the variety
and confusion of stories (hi.rtoriarwm ) a mong them.'" Pomponius Por-
phyria, a commentator on Horace, onen ex plains obscu re points by
invoking the known story (nota historia) of a god or hero, a nd he a p-
plauds Pindar as a singer of new stories (novas historias) in dit hy-
rambs." That the use of historia no longer implies the accuracy, fa c-
tuality, or truth of the ma tt er is furth er suggested b)' Servius' use of
otra h.istoria, a true story,lI reminder of a simila r use by Aulus Cellius.
If the uses of historio indicate the persistence of change from the
earlier to the later empire, the adjecti ve historicus does not ex hi bi t a
similar continuity of developm ent. For the most pa rt it is now used
subslantively to indica te a historian , thus retaini ng its intima te can-

I Sen.. A,II_ 1.443; Porphyria CII"". 2.1 .17; Mar!. Cap. 5.526.
I Auson. 5.20. 7~ ; 21.25- 26; 26. 1-4 ; 18. 10.2 1- 22; Man . Ca p. 5 ..s~; S~n. . AtII.
1.]73, 382.
E.g., Amm. Marc. 27.2.11; 26. 1.1 ; tOrlUIl. Rhtl. pp. 83, 10-13; 84. 14--20; M art.
C ap. 5.55 1-52; Serv. A(Ir. 9.742.
) E.g., Am m . M art:. 24.2. 16; Dar. Phryg. T,II. pp. I , I"'; Diom. Grll"'", . 1 (1,34 1, 4);
Porphyrio Cann . 2.1.1 ; SUM . 1. 1.1 0 1- 2; V~el . Mil. 1.8; 4.28.
t Scn. Arll . 2. 15; 3.76.
, Ausoll. 20. 15.69; Porphyrio Caf/ll . 2. 1.1 0, 12. 1; St"". 2.1.l.J .
Diom. Gf/l","'. 2 (1. 426, 18- 26); 3 (1.482, 11 ); Domu. V. 1'" .(. 19 1- 99.
f &rv. Aell. 4.427; cf. 1.1 68, 487; Auson. I :t. 10; Macrob. Sal. 1.6A; Porp hydo Cann .
3. 19.
10 Porp hyrio Ca nn . 1.6.8; 3.7. 16; 19. 1-3; 4.2. 10; 7.27- 28; Ep . 3.9- 10, 17.!I.
11 S~rv . AIII"I. Ani. 1.6~1 ; cf. Scrv. Am. 1.526 and Auson . 19.76.1--4 .
92 ltitQ of Hi.fto~,
nection with hislOTY as a lit erary genre.!! 11 is a lso used 3m ibutin:ly,
0 11 occasion , as "factual. "Il

In the Gree k writings of Intt' antiquity the occu rre nces of [OlOQElV
a nd lmoQ,a arc lound mostly in the liH~ra t u rt' of commentary a nd
doxography. Th ey reOccI Ih t" pecu liar concern of Ihal literatu re, a nd
perhaps of that ag(, gem-rally, to hand down and explicate the
tho ught of the old masters.
T he verb is still occasionally USt-d in ils old es t se nse, " 10 inquirt","1I
but mort: frequently in ils lalest ~t"nse. as what is 'related." This may
be events,1l nat ura l phenomena ,'" well-known persons, 1' or the gods;"
but usua lly il has 10 d o wilh opinions. I" carrying on a use first found
in the wrili ngs of Plularch. St'xtus Empiri cus. and Epi ctetus. The
noun is occasionally us<"o as .. li t<"rary .....o rk .' hut rOf Ih (" most part a
" h istory" is an info rmational accoun t Of inlo rma tion. It is su used hy
Alexander of Av h nx t isia.~. knuwn :l'i 1-.\:1'1(1'11'.. onc: ur Iht' most "olumi-
nous u f the ' IlIr i(!nI (HllIllle lllalo)"s UIl Aristot lt, and rertainh' the Illost
impo nam fu!' the SHhSCI.tHCIlI 11":lIlilioll . Ht' ohs~ r\'t's Ihal. 011 Arislutit"s
,jell". "both facls am i hi.~ I OI"it'S (at jUllhiuu~ Tt: Kai. {mopuu)" a rt' dt'rin.'d
especially fru ll1 h cari ll~ , whe rt',ls klluwlt'c i,!{t' (hn(TT"11J.1.1)) WIIlt'S espt'-
ciall~' fi'on! ,isi()Il. ~" And h('rt' ag";lin , the old IIPIJ',.~ iljoll hel \It't'1I history
and I'< lIil111011 or {'OIlIell1pia tiw kllo wlt'e1!{t' is St't'II . On tht' olht'r hanel .
I.unblichus. lhe 1'\c..'tlplaleJl lisl. ("(IIU"ISIS UrTop(o:t with 8&yJ.l.QTa. illlc.mll-
ing us that (as<:".li 01 lile :lfit'l" cit'it,h .m .' knowll from hOlh kinds of

It E.g .. " mm. MarC". 11. 10.6; 23.4 . 10: :\ UJOII . 18.5A 1- 42; :\1aC"rob. S.I . 5.14 . 11 ;
!kn...1..... 7.678; 8.190; l \ufl . ..1/11. IA I: 3.33.; \ rgrl. .IW. I.pratl:
11 E . ~ ...",uson . 12.2.4: I) iom . (;'11","' . 1 ( 1.0. 21. :1 (\ .482. 3 1 sqq.l: Srr\". ."",rl .
.' rll . 9.144.
".",rl. P/(ll. t Dirb. f)(; 307a4-8 1; :\I ~Jt .."'ph . 111 .I/rlr .. VP. 40. 13- 24: :i1. i--8: /11
Stili . p. 4. 13- 17.
I'. O lymp. I" :lIr . pp. lr.7. 23-14 : 15.S. 16-17; 1.\-1. !1_ lU l'itin j,l Xr u. un thr Pr rsian
It/llbEC/l .
.. A!ex. ''Vh. In .\11'11'. PI" :11 . 1 1- 22: :Ii. ;...9: I H .li/ ,.. .. p. i!!.~ : Olm,p. IH .-4 /r ..
p. 2 111. 14-- 1 ~; !'md. In (;0111 . p. :14. 24.
11 lamb. I'P. pp. I\. 3; 22. 4: 23. 9; 2'>. 11; 41. 12; 68. 13: 99. 7; 105. 12; 106. 11 ;
136. 13: Ilorph. 1". Pyllr . 6 1 Ip. 52, 7- !1\. 55 Ip. 47, 20- 22 1.
I. Porph. V. P"~I~ . 2 ( UI. 10- 12) .
1- E.g . Alu. Aph. 11I Mdllplr .. pp. 51. 11: 52. 10; 11U, I. 6. 15- 17; Ol ynlp. III tI(t .,
pp. 43. 12; SO. 8: Porph. r. p..rllt. 44 140. 20- 23); Simp. lit Cad. 51On41 ; /" PII.,. r. 2Y
16 l Dirb. 0(; 483. H- IO) .
... E.!I., Porph . !h l' . 1 tp. -"S. 14- tlH: r . P'1~1r . .') Ip. t!l. t.'- l il .
.., III &"J .. p. 12.6- 10.
Satrtd and Pro/mu H istmy 93

source.~l 'laTOpCa may also indiC'<ue an informational account about nat-

ural phenomena n or the gO(ls.~ 1
Often, however, laroQla means an informational account a bout
opinions. Themistius, the lo urth-century philosopher and rhetorician,
intimate of the emperors Constamius and Theodosi us, was also an
expositor of Plato and Aristotle, His paraphrase of Aristotle's Dt
Allima (1.2) bf:gins, " Now it is clear from the histo ry that two things
to unders tand (OEWQEiv) about the sou l have been put forward,
change and knowledge (XlV'fl0l\, xat yvWOl\'). " After discussing the
views of Anaxagoras, Empedodcs, Her.tclitus, and Hippo, he con-
cludes the discussion by saying , "Let us, then, end the history given
out to us about the soul (riIv naQCt boOEioa\' "Ill\, lotoQLav 1tEQt
,uxiJ e;) ."~ The change in the meaning of " history" fro m the r.flh
century D.C . to the fou rth century A. I> . , even within Ihe Peripatetic
School, is dearly iIIuslrated by this passage. Aristotle refe rred 10 his
inquiry as rile; ,uxilc;: l(J'[oQa, that is, the fa cts or a factual account
about the soul (Dt An. 1.1) ; and he began it by a review of the opin-
ions of his predecessors (taS tooV 1tQOTEQWV b6l;ae;). As Themistius
understands it, however- and he is writing a para phrase, not a com-
mentary or an exposi tion- what is sought is knowledge or und er-
standing (9EOlQElV) about the soul , and one is to begin by examining
the "history" of previous opinions. Fo r Aristotle, the history was a
first-order sort of knowledge, the facts about the subject matter; for
Themistius, the history is a second-order sort of know ledge, the facts
about previous opinions about the subject matter.
Similarly Aetius tells us the opinions of the Pythagoreans and of
Philip of Opus about the earth and th e counter-earth "according to
the Aristotelian histo ry (' AQIO"tOTi.A.ElOV latoQLav) .$ And Alex-
ander of Aphrodisias repeatedly uses lcnoQ(a to indi cate Aristotle's
accounts of the opinions of his pred ecessors .1 1

The third century of Christianity within the Roma n Empire was

one of intermittent persecution except for (he offici al suppress io n

U liP, p. 30, 1S- 16.

U E.g., Alcll. Aph. 11. -'ltlt., pp. 32, 11 - 18; 57, 2-3, 25--28; I" &"1., p. 4, 13- 17;
lamb. fP, p. 66, 9-12; Simp. io Dicls, DC, pp. 480, 7; 483, 9.
ti E.g., lamb. liP, p. 169,5; Porph. AltJ'. 1.25 (p. t02, 7- 10).
1. hA . , p . 14, 4--6.
" Diets, DC 360b l -5.
rI I::.g., 1ft Mttylt ., pp. 9, 6; 16, 18; 23, 12; 41 , 17; 42, 25; 50, 1:1.
94 Uta of H istory
under Dccius (250-5 1). The empire was ha\'ing its difficult ies , a nd it
was easy enough to blame both natural and social di sasters on the
growing movement , which n eith ~r bel ieved in nor paid homage t Q the
ancient gods. In 303. under Dioclet ian . though rvidently a t the insis-
tence of Galerius, the Grea t Persecution began . It continued after
Dioclctian 's abdication until 31 J when Galerius, from his dea th bed,
grant ed tolera tion . The power struggles Ihat dom inated the begin-
ning of the fourth century ended with Consta ntinc 's victory o\'l~r
fI..fa xcnt ius at the Mih'ian Hridge ill 3 12. Tht" \'ictory was won under
the sign of the cross, which Conslanlinr adoptl!d . according to Eus('-
bius, aller th e appearance ora naming cross in the noonda y sky with
the legend tv TOlh.:p Vt'KQ, in this you s hall conq uer. It is a contra
\,crtoo quest ion whether Consla nt ine himselr act ua ll y converted. to
C hristianity,tH but in 313 he issued an edi ct at Milan decreeing tol
eration for C hristianity throughout the empire, and he later es tab
lished C hristianit ), as the ofli cial religion or the empire and moved
the imperial capi ta l rrom Rome to Byzanlium , now christened Con
stan tinople. Although pagan sym bols continued to apJX=ar on imper-
ial monu ments and coins, C hristianity was hencerort h the dominant
cultural and religiOUS rorce . The pagan reviva l undef the a postate
Julian did not survive him. ~'"
The problems confronting the tcdtSia in late antiquity were both
old and new. Responding to attempts to blame the Ch risti ans for
social problems, the apologetical literature of the third , rourth , a nd
firth centuries is extensive, and makes substantially the sa me attacks
on the popular cults as had lhe earlier apologies . I n the con tinuing
di scussion about the proper way to interpret the Sacred Scriptures,
the aliegorical method of the Alexandrian School was opposed by the
li teral (or historical ) exegesis or the Antiochene School in the works
or its greates t representatives, Diodorus of Ta rs us. Theodore of Mop
suestia, J ohn Chrysoslom , and Thcodoretus of C}' r us . ~1 And finally ,

In TIlt u nt'l'"ioll ojCOIII/Gllfill' , ed. J onn W. t:die (New Yo rk : Iloh, Rinehan aoo
Win"on, 1971) thrff distinct possible imerprelattoOl arc offered-( I) tha t he W.1.$
merely a political pragmatist, (2) tha t he was a pagan syncrctisl, aoo (l l Ihat he WaJ
a ge nuine C hristian convert-as well as a synthnis of all three.
" O n Julian 's use of educatton 10 promote Ihis re\'i\'al, see Glan\'j]Je I)owne~. "The
Emperor J ulian and the Schools," Cl 53 ( 1957): 97- 103.
III On An t;och itself and its role in the cultura l hisIOf) of the ancien t world, 1
Glanvilk Downey, TM lIiJ/tlr.J of .-h/iN" ( Princelon: Princrlon Uni\'enil) Pr65, 196 1)
and An/iMA- ill IA-t A6t of 17ttodosilU (Norman, O kl a.: Universi ty of O klahoma Preu,
Sacral and Pro/ant History 95

with the es tablishment of Christianity as the official religion or the

empire. doctrinal and liturgical regularity, always ecclesiastically dt"'-
sirahle. became politically imperative. Constamine him self presid ed
over the first ecumenical convention of the Christian church, the
Council of Nicaea, in 325. And the antiheretical literature of the
fourth and fifth centurics cspecially is immense.
It has already been observed that the language of C hrist ianity in
the first and second centuries was Greek , even in the \Vest, and that
Latin ca me into its own in the third century. The C hristian domain
then began to mirror what was happen ing politically and culturally
in the wider domain of the Roman Empire, namel y, the growing es-
trangement of EaSl and Wes t. The Christian linguist ic area divided
into Wes tern (Latin -spea king) and Eas tern (Greek-speaking ) blocs,
which developed rather differentl y." Since the Greek tradition is
beginning to be separated from the Latin , and since it is this Latin

1962). On the School of Antioch. be$idel the general remar ks in th r discussi()J1$ Qf

pankular fi gures in the PatrolQgies Qf Ahaner and QUa5I("n , $t(" the hi$lorieal, dt
scriplive, and doctrinal profile (and basic bibliography) in Ihe Dit"fillllnlli,t d, TlrifJlllfi,
Cllfllf1iiqllt (Parh: Lc:tou1:ey. I 699- t9!)()) , I: 1435- 39. art icle " Amioche (Eeolt
TheoJogique d ') .' It is generall) conceded Ihal there wu a substan lial Opposilion
belwttn Aleundrian and Anliochenc exegesis; e.g., A. Palmicri. " Alexandrian
MyS licism and the M yst iC! of Christian VirginiI Y." Am. Clltll . QI,ry. R,t. 41
( 19 16): 390-405. 81.11, 10 Ihe conlrar)", j acques Guillel. ~ Les hcp;esC"1 d ' Ab;andrie el
d ' Antioche. ConOit 01.1 m alentendu r' RltmlltJ de Jri~ltC( rtiix ituJ( 34 ( 194 7): 257-302.
and Hen ri de Lu Uac, .. 'Typologic' ct Allegorisme... ibid. 34 ( 1947): 180- 226. On
the later fortunes of the Antiochcnc method, sec M. L. W. Laislner, " Antioc hene
Exegesis in Wel tern Europe during the M iddle Ages," H am Thlt/f. RlV. 40
(1947) : 19- 31 , and Beryl Small!:)', nt 51114.1 ~ fill BiIJI( ill lilt .\ridd{, Agu , 2nd w .
(O xford, 1952).
"See CUllaloe Ba rd y, lA f UtJ/i,," dts 11l"IWtl dtJu I'iglist tJltC,tll1V (Paris, 1946). It has
been shown, a t IelJ t aooul Lal in, tha t Ihe language of th e C I.rislians differed suffi-
ciently from Ihe rontempora nrous non-Chri5lian language to juslify speaking of a
"Christia n Latin la nguage." The early comention was Schrijnen's. Einar 1.0f51ed t
{S)III4CliclI (Lund, 1933) , pp. 458If.J noted the gradualness of the tr,uuition 10 a Chris_
tia n La tin and argued that it WIJ a matter mo re often of transformations than of
neologisms. The thesis was most thoro ugh ly txplored and dOCumtnled in the numer-
ous nudies of Christille Mohrman n. The stale of the discussion as ..ell as in prior
hislol") was well.summari:r.ed by j . de Ghellinck , " Latin ehn!tien 01.1 langue laL ine del
chrttW!IlS," Lts tluMJ Ctamqun 8 {1939):449-78J, ",ho n!mai~ u ncOIwinoed. By
1946 Mohm lallll '-Quelque5 Irail5 c.aract~risliques d u utin des C hr~liell 1. M il-
( l/{Utll (,"lIfilf1lll; M'fflfti (Vatican Cil),. 19#1), p. 437J considered that Ihe exi51ence of
the special language was alread) eSlablished, and proceeded 10 oUlline and documrnl
some of lhe !ra ilS of tha l speeial language. Numerou ~ shon s tudiu ...iII tx: found in
her thldn fu r It latin del chrhinu. 2nd ed. (Rome, 19( 1). Abo:soee Ihe bibliognphy in jean
~si~. ~~io~it.u la fonKUt latiN, 18110-19-48 ( P".. ris: Bel~ uures. 1951). - uuinc:
ch rttlCn. pp. S J-~2.
96 Idta of Hislo~"
t radition that constitutes the substam:t: of the C hristian intell ectua l
inherita nce orthe Midd le A,l{cs, the Creek C hristian writers might be
the firs t to consider.
The use of lOlOQElV hy the C hristian writers of late antiq uity is nOI
extensi ve . While it is distri hu tf'd. hroadl y speaking. into the same
maj or groups as pr('viously ( i.f" .. to inquire and to record ) C hristian
usage follows non C hristian in making the former "irtually ubsoiet(' ,
Not surprisingly, nearly a ll of ,he uses of the \"(Tb either directly o r
ind irectly relat e 10 things C hristia n.
' lotOQElV sometimes means 10 inquire into natural th ings. Theo-
doretus of Cyrus, t he las\ rrprese ntat iv(" of t he Antiochene School
during it s mos l t readw' pt'riod . demo nstratcs the cxistence of Divine
Providence from, among other things, lhe cons truction of the human
body; a nd in particul a r th(' pro(,('!lS of rt'spiration, "as t hose who have
inquired ( {O'toQi)oavtE~ ) irll n s uch things clusely say," lt'ads us to sce
this.!1 ' IO"tOQElV as It' arnill ~ hy inquiry into niltural things is fou nd in
Basil the Great , the fi rst of th (' threl' cmi nellt Ca ppadoda n Fathers.
He s hows us various ways in which . as God saw, \\'atcr is good,
among which is that "olicn it springs ('"\"t'n from mines tltat it h as
crossed, deriving wa rmth fmm th ~ rn. and ris('s ho iling, and hursts
forth of a hu rning hea l. as may he It'arne-d by inquiry (f;EO'tlV lOlO-
Qi)OUl) abou t islands and cU<I!lta l plac('s ."'!
A quasi-natural s u bj~(' t of inqu iry is the going-forth and trans mi-
gration of SQllls. l\'t et hodius. not("wonhy principally for his opposition
to Origen on the preexistcnn' of the soul. tells us that " The a rrange-
ment (If the soul immiia l(' ly ill its ~;oing forl h may b(' understood as
that of t he body in the ('anh , :-.Juw if SOlnl' phe nomenon of ha\'ing
gone to slee p is learned by inquiry (to'toQEiTo.l ). the lik(' will rn'seen
to be the arrangement which th t' bod)" has."1I ' IO"tOQElV is us~d to
indi cate inquiring about Ihe gods in the writi ngs (If At hanas ius.
bishop of Al exa ndria , exilltd live t imes lwea usl': of his attacks on
Arianis m in deft'nse of th t' Niccne Crt'ed . In his apologetic Oratio
contra grnttJ (18.3) he argut's Ihal the gods cannot be worshipcd fo r
having invented the a rts, becaus(' an identi fiable mortal im'cntcd
each art, "according 10 thos(' who have inquired (TWV [OTOQl")-
oO.VTWV)." A li ttle: further on (23.4 ) 11(' a rgues that the \'arielY of idol

Jl Thwdo u:IU$ P,,,,. IX. 3 (N; 83. ~!J D ) .

" Basil Hn,amr .6 ( PG 29, Yl B); er ...~ (92A\ .
.. Melh . Nw", . 3.17.3 (p. 414. 6- 9) ; d . 3.1S.Klp. 416. 14- 16}.
Samd and Prtifant Hi/to? 97

cults shows that they are false; and he cites numerous exa mples, of
which onc is that, "as those who have inquired (01 LOtOe"OavtE~ )
explain ," the Pelasgians learned the names of the gods from the
Egyptians but do not worship the same gods as the Egyptian s.
Among the earliest historians of the new com mun ity, totOQEtv is
also used in the very ancient sense of firsthand visual inquiring, al
most equivalent to seeing. Gelasius, for example, ust:s it about natu
ral things and socia l customs .U But more often it has to do with
social and political events. Thus Eusebius tells us that he "was
present and observed (tmOQi)ool'tv)" C hristians being tortured and
beheaded ,l6 and that he " was present and saw (u naQ<ilv xal [mo
eTlOO~)" idolatrous cities that had been desolated in accordance with
divine providenceY And he has Constantine, showing the benefits to
the people of his reign a nd of the Christia n God, say that the people
" have Ob5Crved (lot6QTloov) battles a nd have seen (t6ECr.oavto) Ihe
way in which the providence of God assigned the victory to the
people." Similarly, Sozomen talks about " those who wanted to see
(ol {(JtOQi)OOvtE~ )" Didymus and Paulinus. 39
The more common meaning of the verb is " to record, " as it has
been since the Hellenistic Age. Sometimes what is " recorded"
concerns natural things or human customs. Basil explains that heat
causes the existence of waters all over the ea rth, as the writers of
world travt:ls have recorded ( {moQ1'\xaOlv ).~ Theophilus of Antioch
establishes that the Pentateuch is older than the writings of any other
nation, accord ing to what Manetho, Menander, and J osephus " have
rtcorded (lmOQl1XoOl) about our chronology ." For the Pentateuch
does not merely include the years from some great war or king, but
from the creation of the world , which is not tht: number of years that
Plato alleges, "nor yet 15 tim es 10,375 years as we have already men-
tioned that Apollonius the Egyptia n recorded ( tUtOQElV ) ,"tl What is
recorded also sometimes has to do with fam ous persons or the gods .

n~ l as . H.E. 2.17.29-30; 3.9.4; a. [us. H .E. 7. 18 (PG 20, 680C-D ).

[us. H.E. 8.9 (PG 20, 7608 ).
'It:us, Or. ~'"t. 16 (ces ' . 176, 30-177, 4).
" Ibid. 26 (OGS 7.192, 18-20).
JI Soltom. H .E. 3.15.3; 4.28.5. t:us. ~t V. C(lNI. 2.22 (CeS 7.50, 8- 16) U~<";$ im~
OV in a way th at plays on both senses, finthand visual i n ~ uiry and recording, and
defiu eKClusive sdeetion.
to Basil Haum. 3.6 (PG 29, 6~); cr. 4.5 (92A) and 5<n:om. H.E. 7.26.3 and (on
C\lltoms) 1.1 2. 11 ; 7.18.7.
01 Thcophil ul AllltH. 3.23 (PG 6, 1 I 56A); c[ 3.36 (1\6IA).
98 Idttf rif llis/o n
Atha nasiu s attacks tht' di\'inity of thf ~lXl s on thr !(Tounds that they
we re me re mortals who " "'('Tt' drcrc('rl tu h(' I'allcd gods by Ihe- ord er
of Theseus, of whom Wf' haw' heen inform.'d ( {OlOQOU~EvOU) by tht'
Hcllcllt's. " And he defends lilt' d ivinit y nf.Jtsus nn tht, ~rounds that .
a lthough " many \\'i $ (' own and ma!l;i ha\'(' ht'/' Il Tt'cordcrt (im:oQOuv-
to.l) among tht, C haldat'ans ,lOci Egyptia ns ilnd Indians," 110[11' had
the P OW (' T Ihal Jes us has 10 sa\'(' pt"oplf" 1'\'(' 11 aftrT his dl'ath through
his teachings. '!
M os l oflcn , hOWCn- T. Ih(' vern used as "r('cnrd" or " Tf'po n " has to
do with the Sacred Sc:ripwTrs. Atha nas ius all3 ek$ tht dishtlir f of Ill('
.Jt'ws, sa}ing. " Out Ill(' whole ~cr ip tur(' is filled with contradi cling the
di sbelief of the J ews . For who amon.ri'; the just. Ill(' holy prophrts. and
tht' patriarchs recordt"(! (to'topf)6tvnlJv) in tll(' di\'jllr Script u res had
the birt h of his hod y from a \' irp;in ?"1! Likf'wi s(' . Throoorf'l us 1('115 us
that the author of DCUl('rononl Y " r('{'orded (imopf)oev \ Ihings about
the cities , 10 which hr ordt'r('d thost' to n (,(, whn had fa ll('n into un-
willing murders." H(' also us('s lO'tOQElV ill this wa y rt rt' rrin ~ \0 parts
of Ihe Kcw T ~s tam (' ll\. " For alsH thr blt's ~)('d i\latlh("w has gi\'t'1l pro-
phe tic testi mony. rr('Ordrd (lot6P'loov \ tilt' nl u urll in~ nf {"hildr('ll ,"
And again hr quolr~ Mallhl' w (27 :.17- 60) a~ III tht body of J esus,
and adds. "Tht> thric:r- hl ('sst'd Mark has madt' Iht> sanlt' poi lll : and I
shall tell you what Iit' r('lalc's (lcnOP'lOt"V) ." u l\ l et hod ius \('lIs us what
is recnrdcd about Lazarus: ' ; Eus('hius \(' lIs us what Cellt'sis . .J ns~
phus, Luke. and a {"('rwin Dionys ius .. rt'lalf' .....' And Ih(' fift h-cI'n lu ry
cccl~sias li ca l historian Sozom('11 uses thr \'I' rh with a n r'x trt' mrly
broad scope whr ll hr d('scriht's a n'rta ill Addas who had "great
lea rning of till' thil1~ s thal had h('rll rrcordrd (i OTOe'l~tvwv ) by
Grcrk and bv ecci("s iasl ica l wrilrn,""

"Alhan . C. .~tIIl. 10.1: ,r. flfr, /i.b , 50.1: Tht'Ophillls , 11I11l1. 'J. .i IP(; 6. IOS7 Al ;
Sotom . II.E. 1.1.1 6- 11; Eus. D,m. El', ".16.5 ( (.'(.';\ 'J.3 . IIH. 24- '1.7).
" "Ihan . tu. I'"b. :U.7: Th~ophih's 1.. INloI. :U B IN; 6, 11458 )1 5p~a ks ut "our
p rOphl"1 and l hI" st:'r"am "r God. ~I,,~n Kh ; II.~ ,UI an'ount of ( ll;lOUJoQWV) lhl' oti.l('in
of tht world: '
"Thf'OdorI" IU$ Q. 0,,,1. tU ( P C; 80. 4088 ): d . ,. ZMIt. . IUO (Pr; Ill. (956 8 ); Did/.
3 (N; 83. 157:\): G~r. AI. ln .l o, (1'(; n 1661>1: Gt:'I:n. H.', '1.. 17.18: Sow ln . II...
8.18.8 ,(>" lllr 0 .1'.): 1 .1.5 (on Inr S : 1'. I.
\ Mt l h . Rm m , 3.18..1-5 (p. 4l.i 13-18): d : ).5.11: Thc-lxlorl"l US Q. H,X, 3 IP(.' 80.
"s.nom. I/... 1.7 ( Pt;:1O, 91B- 9:H \ 011 GC- IIC-S;S: Ltl n05(; ). 1. 1(1 ( 1I 2AI. 1.11
( t I60>\) 00 J OstphllS: :U (2'1U'\) ('n I. lI k~ ; 3.4 ,UtA) un I)to ll ~ li us, .
" Sozom. nE. 7.'J. UI: d . 7.11A. \\'hH~ [OlOQtl~tvwV is lht:' rl'$uh ur $ 1~11'
OOVUtlV, a nd EllS. H .t::. 3.6 (PG \1(1, l:ZO:JC ) .
Sacwl. and Profane History 99

Then'! is another use of the verb by Method ius, which has the ad -
ded feature that " what is recorded " refers to something other than
the literal meaning of the words; fOI" example, on a passage in Judges
(9:8-15) in whkh the trees choose a leader, Methodius commenLS:
"Now it is dear that this was Ilot sa id about trees that have grown
from the earth . For unensouled trees would hardly assemble them-
selves to elect a ruler, since they are fixed in the ground by roots.
Rather this is recorded (lO'tOQEi:tat) wholly about souls, which , be-
fore the Incarnation of Christ , had all grown to wood through their
s ins ." ~ This sort of use becomes increasingly important in C hristi an
writings .
The uses of lOlOQla by the Christian writers of la te an tiquity still
reflect the modal distinction betw~n a kind of account and a kind of
literary work ; but the lauer sense is now very rare. There are some
few cases: Sozomen uses lO'tOQ(o quite generally as " narrative" in his
Prefatory Address to the emperor Theodusius;4' and he elsewhere
notes the accuracy that is n!quired of history!>!) and sta tes that what is
fitting in a history (I.(J'Tnp1;l Tl'piTl'Oll), it.. tas k, "is only I() relate what
happened ."\) Theophilus of Alllioch refers to what is contained in hi s
own book, no longer extant, On Hisloriu and to the Histories of Her-
odotus and Thucydides. 52 Theodoretus refers to the History of J ose-
phus and to the "first History of tht Maccabm . '~J
Nearly always, however, the noun is used in the old er of the two
modes of its usage, emphasizing the content rather than the form , as
information or an informational account. Among old er su bjects, it is
still used , at least by Basil , about natural things.}' Sozomen uses {o-
'toQCa for first hand acquaintance with buildings and places famous
for sacred or secular reaso ns .~l " History" referring to cvents is used
by John C hrysostom in introducing his account of the provenance of
the Septuaginti he says, "But in order that you might learn that the

M~lh . SJ"IP. 10.2 (p. 123, 4-9).

" Ibid . Pra~r. 4.
" Ibid. 1.1.16.
~l lbid . 1. 15. 10.
n Th~phil us A.l/kll. 2.30; 1.2; and cr. 1.72.
n TheQd ar~lus hi DGlI. 11.28; 11.27; cr. EU5. H.E. 1.5 ( PG 20, 85A); 1.8 ( 1018,
1<H8); 1.6 (224C); 1.8 (236C).
M Buil /{WJlfIt . 4.3 {PC 29, 84A)i 8.8 (1840) ; cf. EU5. V. eo/lS/. 4.7 (CeS 7.120,
12-16); Gd u . H.E. 2. 17.28, and 3.9.3 (about social customs ).
uSozom. H .E . 2.26.4; 4.5.4; 5.2. 19;cr. EUI. II.E. 6. 11 (PC 20, 54 1C); Dmt. Eft.
9. 1.3 (CeS 2H04, 9).

place did not sanctify the books. but rather polluted them, I shall
recount to yo u the ancien! his tory ({moQlav n(U..mQv).".'It> Theo-
doretus uses " hi slOry" about a famou s person . and. of course. it is a
J>l!rson famou s for H:ligious Tt'asums . In the beginning of his account
of the life of Peter Ihe Ascetic'. he sa ys, .. , know the st"a of his
successes, and on account orlhis I am afraid 10 approach the his tory
(lOtoQlO) of what hits been told ahnul him ." ;; And Eusebius gi\'es us
the account (lo'tOQla) that Julius Africanu s had giw!1 to ex plain the
a pparen t inconsislf'ncy rn-I .....cen :Vl al1hcw' s and I.ukc's \'(Tsiuns of
Christ's genea logy .....
Among subj!"c!s. IhrTf an' alsu histori('s about the
mun' r(" ( tllt
god s. The second book of Throphilus ' apo \ogfliC' Ad ..Iulo~ycum la k("s
up the standard attack on h('lid in Ih(' pagan ~ods . In tll(' introduc-
tory section (2. 1) 11(" say!i th.1I hI' wanls 10 sa\'(' his audi .. n c(" from
\'ain worship, " huI aiS(), I want to mak(' th(" Irut h d ('ar ICJ yo u fro m a
few of your O WII his (Orit's (tw\, xata ot {otOQtwv ) which you read
but d o nOI quite unders tand ." He" j1;()('s Oil (2.21 to argut' Ihat tht'rt, is
a contradiction bt'twecn imagining (h(' gnds as mrn and (hrn wor-
shiping the m as gods. " and Ihi s is whal happens to you . IOU, in read-
ing thl' histories ( to.~ fmoQla; ) and )o!;t' lu'a lngi('s of Ih(" so-ca llrd
gods." He su ms up a nuthf'r arlo:UIll("1l1 in 1111' same book : " \\'(' ha\'l!
shown from their own hi:r;wrirs (tl; Utl'tWv t WV l<JlOQtwV) that the
names of thos(' who an' t'a llt-d .l(o<is art' )()Uncl 10 h(' IlIr names of men
who lived among th("m ." ....
Of course, an informationa l a Ct'ounl abou l thr C\'eI1IS of 1hr Ill'W
com munity, the n("w tX)(J"lloiu. will ht' an txXATjOlUottX'~ totOQIU.
The founder of tilt.' n("w litrrary ,ll;f'nrr r ilJlrd rcdcsias ticai his tory is
Euscbius, who inl ("I1O S. h(' trlls us. " If) writ( an a CC()UI1l ofl h(" suc('("s -
sions o f the ho ly ap()st l("s . as well ;IS nf tlit' lifllt's whi ch have elapsed
from the da ys of o ur Saviour tu uur uw n : i\Od 10 rt"!ittt' the man y
imporlanl eve n ls w hic h arl' saio 1(1 ha\'(' OCC'UI'rt'd inlhC' histo ry o f the
church (xo'to. tilv XXA.TjotaO'ttxilV to'tOQtuv)."'" H r is a ware that o f
carlic r ecd("sias tic-al wri lers IlWV EXXA.llOCUo-tlXWV OUYYQOq,EWV)

... 10. Chr~"S . All','. I.ti { P(; HI. 8.') 11: EUJ. al$ll uS<'sicrtOQio ;!buUI PIISt t\t llts
[HE 1.7 (PG 20. 968 ): 1.5 18IA- R)[ ,\Ild about f urrtllil'HnU [ f'. CtIII ll . 1.23 (CeS
1.19. 10- 12 ). Pr. CMJ/, i. W (r.C'i 1.2 15. 8- 1011 . ;lIId " ppuSt s l ; o.Qxa(wv IO'tOQ/or;
10 T~' tldo" rQO$lj" III..:.!.I 11:11.\ 1).
" ThtodortlUS Rt!. 1Ii." . !l 11'(,' H'l. 1:1110\ .
I::U5. 11.1:.'. 1, 7 (PC; 20. 898- CI .
.. TIltophil u5 , 11.'/01. 2.3". lnons. D"ds 1.1.\ '1--''1.
9' l-:us. II.F.. 1.1 IN; 'lit ~HH l. 'r;lIIs. Ril-ha rdson (.\ P.\'f).
Sacred ami Profam HUlory 101

none has done this, and he ex~cts it to be appreciated " by those

who have a love of learning about history (n:EQl 'to XQlloto\J.O.8Ei5 tlli5
lotO{)(oi5 lXOVOW} ."61 The " history" here is certainly an informa-
tional account; hut there are some new features . Since the tXl<ATjo(o
begins with C hrist, the account about it (nlS: bUU.TjOlOotlXits: .. .
n)v [otOQLav) must begin with Christ's divine economy.62
Again, ' Sozomen is aware of the inherent difficulty of writing an
ecclesiastical history (txxATj010mlxitv lotoQlav OUYYoO",al); yet he
is convinced " that since the su bject is nol the achievements of human
beings. it might seem almost unbelievable that such a history could be
written by me; but for God nothing is impossible ."6J History's subject
matter is in part the doings of divine providence, and the possibility
of its being written, therefore, as well as its lidelity, depends on God .
It is also clear from the very beginning of ecclesiastical history that
the genre has an apologetical function. Eusebius lirst discusses the
Old T esta ment prophecies and how Jesus existed long before his ap-
pearance as a mortal ; then he comments, " I have of necessity pref-
aced my history (nQO nli5 {crtOQ(ai5) with these matters in order that
no one, jUdging from the date of his incarnation , may think that our
Saviour and Lord Jesus, the Christ, has but recen tly come into be-
The examination of Christian usage in the first and second centu-
ries suggested, scarcely more, that the Scriptures might be " histories"
or at leas t "historylike." 1n this later period it is clear that the Scrip
tures, both the Old and the New T es taments, are thought to be and
to contain " histories." There are numerous cases referring to the Tes-
taments. First, in the Old T estament, Theophilus explains the mea n-
ing of "firmament" in Genesis: " In the very beginning, therefore , of
the history and genesis of the world (riis [utOQ(us: xut ytvEOWt; 'tou
Hool-40U ), the holy Scripture spoke not about this (fi rma ment) which
we see, but rather about another, heaven, which is invisible 10 us
. . .. " Again, introd ucing his quotation of the description of Eden , he
says , "And Scripture thus relates the words of the sacred history (Tf!s

.. Eus. H.E. 1.1 (528 ) .

., Eus. H.E. 1.1 (528 - 53A). The enterprise is also called a " hi5lory" at B.2 (744C)
and an "ecdniasticat history" OIl 1.5 (BOO) and 2.prarr: (t32C).
o Sozom. H.E. 1.1.11 (italics added ). He also n lls hi, work ecclesias tical hislory al
Pner: 17, 1.1.18-19, 1.8. 14 , and 9.1.23 .
.. [us. H.E. 1.4 (PG 20, 768 -C).
102 Uta of History
(O'toQ(a~ tiis lEQaC;). ,,~~ Likewise J ohn C hrysoslo m advises us to
learn from what happened 10 David and Absalom : " let th e history (i1
lO"toQla ) be a straitening of your life. ";;0; Theodoretus relefS to the
"histories" in the proph e ts.'i~ Besides these refert'nces to particular
episodes in the O ld Testamen t, O rigen refers to the whol e Pen-
ta teuch as a history. Having given severa l examples of passages that
comain a " type " or "palleTn" of broader or different signilicancc
than tht tex t, he asks, " Bu t do you wish to learn , about the rest of
the history (tmoQlac;)' if it also happenw typically ('tU:ltlX(ilC;)?""
In similar ways, the various pans of the New Testament are also
called " histories ." Euscbius says that his ecclesiaslica l hislOTY must
begin " with the main and lordliest events of the:: whole history about
Jesus (tilr; xat' Qil'rev (m:opl a r; UluIOll<:;)" and also uses (moQ(a
about the acts of Jesus' di sciples.~ J ohn C hrysostom ex plains why
Matthew "called the his tory Good News {EuayytAlov ri}v tmopiov
tK6. .... f.Uf.II) , " and distinguishes Matthew's (;'uspel from.lohn s in that the
Iauer wanted especially to \\'rite about thc Godhead , ":lIld this is
cle::ar both from the:: history itsdf (tl; o UTil<:; TiI<:; lOlOP10<:;) and from
the:: introduction to the Gospd ."ll' Likewise:: Origen refers to the Gos-
pels of J ohn and Luke as " histori es ," a nd insists that the " history"
about J e.!lus is no more improbab lt" th an Ihe Old Testame nt
"J1istories" of Adam , Eve, C ain , Noa h, and others;" a nd Methodius
me::ntions how Ananias preached to Paul and baptized him "as the
history (lmoQCa ) rel ates in Acts" and refers to the "histo ry" of Laza -
rus. 1? It shou ld be clear that the Script ures are:: here:: called " histories"
not because they have a particular literary form but , rather, because
they consist in a narrative a ccount about persons or events .
There is more to be said about these Scripture " histories ." Origen
suggests that it is very difficu lt or even impossi ble to establish the

" Theophilus AUfol. 2.11; 2.20; cf. 2.32: 3.19.

" 10. Chrys. h, PIli/m. 3. 1 (PC 55,35) : cf. Dt D llr. 7 ( JIG 54,758) and t::us. H .E. 1. 3
( PC 20, 7lC).
61 Theodorelus h,l" . 45 ( PG 81, 705B): er. I II Sop" . 'l.12 (PG RI, 1852A) and
Origen C. Ct/,. 1.44.
Ijt O rigen PriII(. 4.1.13 (PG 11 , 369B), On Odgen', ~xcgelical method, SN' lI enri de

Lubac. llisfllirt tl upril : l'illftUig(fl(t tU Etrifllrt tI'lIlJ1ts OnAi~( (Paris. 1950) .

., t::11I. H .E. 1.2 ( PG 20, 53A- B); 1.1 2 / 1I 7C, 12OA).
" 10. Ch rys . I. MtJ ult . 1.4 (PG 57.16); 1.7 (17 ).
"O rig~ b c. t' n . 223, 17e (CCS. POl. 9): C. Ull . 1.43 and 1.40 melllionl the
latOQia of the vi rgin birth and the Cuspcl as a eollf:Ction or !mOQtat .
., Meth. S.J"IP. 1.9 .75 (p. 37, 16- 19) ; Me th. Rm.... 1.52.1 (p. 307 , 8- 12); cf. Gclas.
H.E. 2.17.3- 5.
Sacred and Pro/ant History 103

truth of a history . He says, " It is necessary to say that the endeavor to

show, with regard to almost any history (oxEl;ov )10.00'1 (cnOQav),
however true, that it actually occu rred, and (0 produce a ca talepti c
presentation regarding it, is one of the most difficult undertakings, and
is in some instances an impossibility." 7] So that one must judge ca re-
fu lly which ones to assent to (ouyxa'taEhloE'tm) and which to accept
figuratively ('tQOItokO'fliotl). He even admits that "in the Gospels in
the literal histories of events ('tatc; "to Q'l'tov j'E'yEVTlJ.1tvalC; {atoQlmc;)
other things are inserted which did not happen."" He dsewhere says,
"And we have this to say by way of anticipation about the whole
history (lO'to{)COV) related in the Gospels concerni ng J esus, no t as
inviting men of acuteness to a simple and unreasoning faith , but wish-
ing to show that there is need of candor in those who are to read, and
of much investigation , a nd , so to speak, insight into th e mea ning (d;
'to ~u).'lJ.1a ) of the writers, that the o bject with which each event has
been recorded may be discovered ." 7S The writer of the " history" has
some other object of thought (cSulvo la) tha n [ 0 inform, some other
meaning or purpose (lJouA.'l,.a a).
Similarly, Theodotus relates what happened "accord ing to the his-
tory (xata ut\' {OtoQ(av) in Amos," and adds, " but equally , along
with these things, oth ers are brought to light. "76 Met hodius makes the
same point, correcting an interpretation of Paul: " in my esti mation it
would have been pointless for that wise man who wrOle under inspira-
tion- I mea n Paul- to apply the union of the first miln and woman to
Christ a nd the C hurch if the Scripture had in view nothing loftier than
the words and the history {nov ~Tf'twv xal. Tf!; t(Jtopiac;)."" History
thus mea ns what the actual words say, the literal sense ofScripture,11
but the Scripture histories comm unicate something else in addition to
or instead ofwhal the actual words say.
There are further instances of " histo ry" used to refer to kinds of
things the Scriptures might communicate besides their literal ref-

n Origen C. etu. 1.42.

"Oritten P, i,,,. 4.1.1 6 (PG tt , 3778 ).
" Orisen C. OIJ. 1.42, Irans. Crombie (ANF) ; er. LIe. tr. 125.
It Thwdorelus h. Air!. 1.2 (PG 81, I668A).
" Melh. SJI"f. 3.1, tra ns. Musu riJlo (A CIf) .
" ForlotOQta as the literal ltnse, sec Cyr. AI. /" w . (PG 12, 6840) and /"jll. (PG
73, 228"- 8 , 325C, 337A) . On Cyril's uegelic;ol method, s A. Kcrrigan, MThe Ob-
jetU or the literal and Spiritual Sensa or the New Testament accordi ng to SI. Cyril
of Aluandria ," Slut/ill P.trislm, I ( - Tr:d~.NI U ,,/tTJlI(fntllltrl ;:., Gild,. dtT tllk/V. L i lutl-
hi, 63 ( 1957 1 1 ; 3~-74 .
104 Uta of HiJtory

crence. In his Homily on tilt Hexatmeron, Basil sa ys (6.2) Ihal " the
dogma of theology is sown mystically everywhere in the history (nov.
lUlOU tfJ lO"tOQlCjl)," that "the history ('I') iotO{)La) wishes 10 exercise:
O UT mind" (2 .3) , and that "in the form of history (tv {otoQlao;: dhu)
legis lation is given out" (2.8) that the day has priorit) over night.
Similarly, Theodoretus explains Ihal Zachariah's predktion of living
waters going fOTlh from Jerusalem refers to Jesus, addi ng that " it is
permitted to discern the prophetic truth in (hl' history (latoQlav )
itsdf,"19 Methodius tells U ~ that " Ihe history (lOlOQlO) abou t J o na h
contains a grt~at mystery."1Itl J ohn C hrysostom thinks that WI!' should
learn and teach the " histories " in order 10 strengthen o ur souls.RI
And in Orig~n ' s tre ati s~ On I'irst Pn'nciplts (4. 1.9 ), tht' r('cognition
that then~ are conlradictory s tatements in Scripture histories occa-
sions an ex tended discussion of tht' principles of interpretation to be
u s~d in such cas~s . Bri ~ n y , th~ point is that tht' histories contain
certain mys teries that aim at the improvcmt:nt of our souls; thus they
may be und erstood both fig urativel y ( tQOnt'Xw ~) and bodily ( ow~a
tLxw~ ) , and the contradictions or things that did not happen which
we may find in these hi s tori ~s are pu t then' to force us to se(' that
there is a figurati ve meaning. Of course, nOl all the histories did not
actually hap~n . Indeed . mos t of them are true: but whereas th~
whole Scripture seems to have a spiritual o r figu ra tive sense, the
whole does not seem to havt' a bodily sense .lrl

It is appropriate to conclude this exposition with the Latin C hris-

tian usage of the third , fourth, and fifth CCnluries. For, o n the o ne
hand, the fall oflhe Western empire and t he accession ofChrislianity
10 a position of cultural dominance in both th ~ West and the East
signal the end of that political and cultural organization of the Med-
iterranean and Europtan world , the career of which we call antiq-
uity. And , on the other hand, it is precisely lht' C hristian thought of
these centuries that , because of the growing estrangement of Eastern

" Throdou: tus IN z,,(A. 14.B (PC.' BI , 19!13D); d . Q. R" . I , Q . 7 (PG 80, !l37C), 111
PSallll . 13 (PG 80, 949B), hI lslli. 1~ . 2 (PG 81. 34OD). /11 Eu~h . 3 1. 1" (PG BI. t 125C),
III HIlA. 2.1 (PG 81 , 1797A) .
IQ Melh . RWlfJ . 2 .2~. 1 (p. 380, 16- t9).
" 10. Chry*. Dt full. 1 ( PG~, 1.s9); d . III PJG/III. >46. 1 (PG !IS, IB8) .
a On Scrivt\lr~ s~aking {(J'[0Qt1(~, S~ ThKIorclus hi na". 1104 1 (PG 8 1. I !l3'l).
Orillen Lw. Fr. 2 17 (GGS 49.32 1), C)'I . AI. In ./ . (PG 1:1, 960C, 96 1BI.
Sacred and Pro/aM Hislory 105

and Western Christendom and because Christianity is the only crea

tive cultural force in the Wt.st, provides the intellectual foundations
of the European Middle Ages. Let us consider first the period before
The uses of historia in the Latin Christian writings of late antiq uity
uhibit the ancient modal distinction between informational account
and literary genre. Although the former is now clearly dominant,
there are some few instances of history as a literary genre. Of all the
Latin Fathers, Jerome was perhaps the most widely educated. and
most scholarly; and at a time when the Latin-speaking West was
rapi dly losing touch with the Greek-speaking East , he was recognized
as the one person who knew Latin , Greek, and Hebrew. Jerome uses
hislona 10 indicate a written work about events in the public world in
one of his letters (60. 12.3) . He writes: "A ntiquity admired a noble
man , Quinlus Fabius, who is the writer of a Roman History (Romanoe
scriptor his/anae) but made a name even more ITom paintings than
from letters." He also mentions various others who write hislOry,Bl
and even Eusebius' History 0/ tlu Church."
Lactantius , an African rhetor turned Christian and said by
Jerome~) to have been a student of Arnobius, pursuing the standard
apologetical attack on the pagan gods, relies heavily on a work by
Euhemerus, which is called his/oria and is about Ihe gods . According
10 him, "Euhemerus, an ancient author, who was from the city of
Messene, collected the things done (res gestas) by Jove a nd the others
who are considered gods, and composed a histona from the titles and
sacred inscriptions which were in the most ancient temples . . . . This
histona Ennius translated and followed ."16
Histona as a literary gen re , at least as regards the gods, is also
distinguished from other genres. Speaking of certain rumors about
the gods, Arnobius, African rhetor turned Christian apologist, says ,
"Well , let us grant that all these things have been handed down to
lhe disgrace of the immortal gods by the jesting poets (a ludenli6us
jHHtis). But what about these things which the histories wntain (his-
toriae conli1ltnt), weighty. serious, careful, and handed down in hidden

11 E.g., H ieron. /. Du . 2 (on 5: 1,6 : I, 7: 5), 4 (on 12 : 1-3); h. E,(<<Jt. 2 (011 5 : I

sqq.) [PL 23,52]; 1111 hili. 5 (on 23 :6) [PL 24, 202]; Ep . 22.35.8; also Atn. Mv. Ntll.
6.6, 1.52.
to Hieron. Vi,. W. Prol. (PL 23, 634A).
l\ I bid. 80.
"" Lact. Dil. /I1I#. 1. 11 .33 (PL 6, IHA); cf. 1. 11 .34, 36, 45,63, 65; 1.13.2; 1.14. 1.

mys teries-are Ihest' jokt"s (/ascil'io ) thought up by Ill(' p<X'IS? If they

seemed such absu rd fables ( infptiorum IflliusJabuln,) ~'O U would nrithcr
retain them in use nor edebtate' ,twn as festivals thro ugh the
years ."R7 Lactantiu s also dis tinguishes hi story from !mt' lry in making
the same point about J O\'(' in particular. He wrill's: ;" 1 ht"rdofe. not
only all the poets, hut al so Iht" writers ofhi slOrics and ancient (,\'cnts
(Jrislorio11lm quoqUt ar "rum nnliquarum scrlp/orts) . who ha lld('d down to
memory his dt"cds in Italy, agree Ihal he \\'as a ma n: Ih(' Grc('k!;
Diodorus and Thallu s. the' l.atins Nrpos . Cassiu5 and Vafro,'.... This
is the old d istinction bftw('cn poelry and hislOry as narra ting . rc'spec-
lively , fables a nd actua l (' \ '(" Il\ S. It is worthy "rIlOIf' , ho ",('n r. that
whereas thi s dis tinction carlirr cnlai lrd Ihe- rxclusinn of accounts of
Ih(: gods from his/aria. now Ihr dis tinc:tion is madt" among accounts of
,h(: gods , some of which aTt' lake-n 10 bf truf and o thfTS not.
H owever, hi510rio far morc ofle-n rfft' rs 10 a n info rmatio na l account
per se than to an explicitly writte-n accuunt or ,ht, li terary ~r nre . In
an older sense, Je-rome le-lis us what the- "writers of natural his lOry
(J(riptou5 noturolis his/ariat ) sa y." by whi eh h,>IOt'ans Aris totlr. Theo-
phrastu s, and Plin y."" And he' also ust's his/oria ahout persons. indeed
aboul himse lf, introducing his famous account of thr clre'a m in whir h
he was accust":d of being a Ciceronian rallH'r than a Christian. H t'
sa ys , " I will relalf' 10 you tht hi slory of my unhappintss (mm, injtfiri-
la/u hisloriam) . '''",
A larger group of use-s of hiJto riQ indicates a n informational account
about social and political e-\{'nls. Rt'pl ying to the charg" that C hris-
tianity had brought disasters on thl' world . Arnubius says. "C o
tbrough your hi stories (hiJ /oriaJ) and you will be- taught how <Jften a
prior age by the sa me disrast's camr 10 the wretchrdn {'ss ofpu\'('rt y:'
And he g~s on to li st othcr " \'arie-ties or turpit ud e, thos!' which his-
tories or antiquity (antiquitatiJ his/aria, ) s uppl y."'" I.acta ntius tells us
that "a ll history (omni.s his/aria ) is rull of rxampks''''! of tilr wicked

IT Arn. Atlv. /1,'111. 5. 1; cr. 1.38. Sid. Apoll . Ip o I. t . IQI di slin,ll:uis hl's IIIJ/(I';II rmm
~iJ hilfl,
Lacl. Div. J~JI. 1.13.8 (PI. 6. 1888).
" Hitron. In)". 3 (on 11 : 11) IPI. 24, 1891 .
to H itro n. p . 22.29.7 (PL 22. 416). This m a~ hc Ihl' liru inslanc!: orIriJI~'ill as a n
a utobiographical account. It is I'clwtd in the title or .l,btlard$ H is /tI .ilf (~ I"millll~"' .
Sid. Apoll. lEp. 7.9.5] rd atl'S an anl'rdotl' alxllIl a r ('nain philoSQphl'r which Ms/o, itl
UlfflIilf riJ rd at"; and cr. 8.3.-4 .
" ATn. Adv. NIlI. 1.3, 5.8.
~ La CI. Dfv. ltul. fiJi. 17 ( Pl. 6. 6 ...... ,\).
Satrtd and Profane His/Dry 107

becoming more powerful than the good. Cyprian was another African
rhetor turned Christian, and bishop of Carthage during the persecu-
tion of Decius. In a letter about the Donatist problem of baptizing
heretics, he recounts how it happened that many people were led
astray under such circumstances earlier; he says, " I want to set forth
to you from history (de historia ) what was done among us relating to
this same thing."U In these passages, his/Dria has to do with plagues,
crimes, the careers of famous people of earlier times. These are like
the events with which histories have had to do for a very long
time----cvents in the public, human world . In the first two passages
the plural is used, so that they might mean the account of these
events. But in the latler two the singular is used , suggesting the
meaning " past"; so that Lactantius would be saying that " the past"
is full of examples, and Cyprian would be selling forth what hap-
pened "from the past ."
A second subgroup of uses of historia in the sense of " the past" may
be marked off. concerning events not in the public, human world . but
in the biblical world . In order to understand the non temporal ar-
rangemen t of the Psalms, for example, Hilary of Poitiers says that
" . .. we should be thoroughly instructed in the history of deeds and
times (in gtstorum et lnnporum historia ). For according to historia the
third Psalm is later than the fiftieth."t' So that historia means the
events orthe biblical past. Similarly, Hilary instructs us, in interpret-
ing the psalms, to examine the supc=rscriptions in order to find out
which ones have to do with his/oria. He says, "But other superscrip-
tions, which signify eithe::r events according to history (secundum his-
wriarn), or times, or days, or have ~en composed of something else,
show in what a psalm consists either in the interpretation of names ,
or in a comparison of deeds, or in similarity of kinds . . . e::.g., a psalm
with 'of David' or 'to David ,' or 'Saul' in the title:: is foresee::n to fall
under the:: history of deeds (sub geJtonJ.m historia )."!r.i Similarly, Jerome
observes that Paul's state::ment (Gal. J : 17) that he went to Arabia
and returned to Damascus before he:: went to Jerusalem disagrees
with what is relatm in Acts. "The order of history (historiae ordo) does
not sc=em to agree with it, recalling what Luke says in the Acts of the::

"Cyprian Ep. 75. 10 (CSEL 3.816, 17- 18); er. Hieron. I" Daft. t (on 4:la), Bp.
60.5.3 (PL 22, 592), /" ~It.. 3, on 12 : 3 (PL 25, 1(20).
"Hi!. h Prologus 9 (PL 9, 2388).
'" Ibid. 22 (2'4M- B); cf. 5 (235A), 9 (2388), Ps. 51 (309A), 54. 1 (347C), 63. t
(407C) .

Apostles."96 And he also tries to straighten oU( the order of (','en Is in

Daniel ; for he comments on the finl dream: "This skt'tch which w('
now want 10 set forth , and which we are about IQ speak about , is
prior, according to histo ry (iuxta historiam ) 10 the two ahovc .. . . But
in the above o nes the order of history (mio hi$toria,) is followed . ,, ~;
The "order of hi story" d~5 not apply only to C\'1:01 5 within the
biblical world ; J cromc is also conc('rned la correla te events in that
world and events in the public world . H e comments on the Sl ateme nt
(Matl. 2:21 ) that "after Herod's death the angel of Iht' I.o rd ap-
peared toJoseph in Egypt ," sa~ illg. " Many fall into CHor nn accoulll
of ignorance of history (propter iRnornnliam hi.Jlorhu) . thinking that it is
the same Herod by whom the Lord was ridi cukd in his passion , and
who is now accountt'd dead , So that Ht"rod who latt'r o n was friendly
with Pilat(~: is th e son of Ihis Herod .""" And similar!\-. hf" wants to
clarify severd l statements ill Daniel that s('em to disagret' wit h the
succession of kings in I...ydia and Persia .... Su that hislor;fI as informa-
tional account about past c\'ents or the past may be applied to e\'ellls
either in the publit world or in the biblical world , or both. but there
was not understood to he- any differenl'C in kind hftwt"en the- history
of the J ews and Christians and that of Iht' nations , tlO tiifft'rt'llct, as
In another large group of uses of hittoria, it ind icates an informa-
tional account about lht" gods, Tht' standard apologtlical attack on
the gods includes the claim that they an" nOI divine. Lactamius ar-
gues that Saturn was thf" son of a mOrlai. and brings in Ht'rmC5
Trismegistus as a \\Iilness: " And Trismegistus attests lht" tru th of
this; for when he said that " el)' few had t'xistf"d in whom then' \\'as
perfect learning, he named among these his rrlati" es lI ra n us. Saturn
and Mercury. And because h!' ignored tilest' things, ht' gave- another
hi slOry (historiam ) in another plac('." I'" Elsewhert" he rders 10 the trut'
history (tltra historia ) of Jupitt"r.'(1I If aC'C'(lunts about thr gods may b!'
true, they ma y also he falst"; Arnohius insists tilat Iht' hiJlori(u of tht'
gods' mutilations , frenzies , rapes. and tht" like- are ji(tionn and./nlsn,'Ul

tI; Hicn)ll, Iq p , ad (;al. 1 ( 1)11 I : 171 IPI. 26. :W8A I.

" H ierun. Iq Dafl . 2 (on 7 : 11 .

Hiwm . Iq MIIIr . 1 (on 2 :22) [PI. 26, '29Aj .
... Hiel1)fl. IfI Dal! . 2 (on !I :30- 31 : 6 : 1- 2a). " (I)fl t 1 : 11 : 1'1 : 8- 101,
lOO U.CI . Dill. Imf. 1.l 1.61 (PI. 6. i82A) .
101 Ibid . 1.14.8- 10 ( 191AI .
1011 Am . Adll. Ndl. ~ , 14 - 1 5.
Sacred and Pro/ant His/ory 109

Such " histories," furthermore, may mislead. Commodian, the first

Latin Christian poet, also makes the apologetic attack on the gods,
discussing Saturn's devouring of Jupiter:

Who sen t rain in those times. if Jupiter was dead?

Moreover, is a god believed to be born of a mortal father?
Saturn grew old on earth and died on earth .
No one prophesied him before he came.
Or, if he thunders, the law would have been given by him.
The made-up histories (historiat co'!ftctat ) mislead. 101

Thus there are now understood to be both true and fanciful ac-
counts of the gods, that is, accounts that are properly histories and
those that are properly poetry or fable. Hisloria is being used to indi-
cate what, in the opinion of the Christians , is true about those who
are popularly esteemed gods, as distinct from myths or fables about
them. Arnobius is willing to consider the latter hisloriat too, indeed he
I"epeatedly calls them that in the fifth book of his apologetic discourse
Adversus Nationts, which is devoted to attacking the gods. He rejects
the imagined defense of the accounts as bei ng meant only allegori-
cally,lCH on the grounds that one cannot tell an allegorical story from
a nonallegorical one, and insists that all of them are records of actual
events (rerum testarum conscriptiones) and hence arc damning evidence
against their divinity .H~
In the Latin Christian writings of late antiquity, as in the Greek,
hislOry most frequently has to do with an account of something from
the Old or New Testament. Most generally, it is suggested that they
are or contain histories. Replying to the charge that the Old Tes-
tament is false, Arnobius says, " but if that historia of events is false, as
you say, then how in so short a time has the whole world been filled
with that religion?"lOl Rufinus, translating Origen , says that the be-
lief that the world began in time is "one of the ecclesiastical articles
that is held principally in accordance with faith in our history (StCfJR -
dum historiae nostratfidnn )." 101 And J erome, quoting Exodus, refers to

'" Commod. JllIlr. 1.6. 10-15; cf. 1.9.5- 9.

,.. Arn. AdiI. N4I. 5.8 .nd 32; cf. 7.44.
,., Ibid. 5.39; cf. 7.46 and 49.
'. I bid. t.55.
It, Rulin. P,. Oril. 3.5. 1.
110 Idta of Hi.s tD~1
the sighing of the Israelites, "according to the history (iuxta
historiam ),"'fJI He e1sewhrre mentions Luke's h.is/oria, the historia that is
relau:d in J udges. and wha t the Gospel 's historia says ,l(lIj
The later G rt'ck fathers discovered that ,here wefe some inconsis-
tencies or even fal sehood s within the Scriptures. and solved the prob-
lem by supposing that there was some funher meaning 10 such
" his tories." Among the 156 heresies that Filastrius of Brescia in-
cludes in his Book if Ht.T/sitS is Ihal of perrnitling such an inconsis-
tency: "There arc other heretics who a llow no small error about the
inequali ty of the psalms, es timating that tht' whole book of Psa lms is
not by the mosl blessed Oavid ; and when they invcs tigate tht' his/oria
in order, they find inequality, that is, thry discern that what is latcst
is placed first , and what is first is lates!. "l lll His solu tion is that the
"inequa liti es according to history" are tu be understood s piritually
about Christ,lll He also poin ts out the heres), of findin g ambiguity in
Isaiah and being upset brcaust: "now im'est igating hijloria. no ..... scru-
tinizing inLelligible reason, they fall into ambiguity , when both ac-
cording to the letter therr is no small usefuln ess. and according to
intelligible reason the celestial knowledge ofC hriSl rcsuuncls."'lll
Simiia rl y. J eromf' ad,"ises us that "wllen tht' his tory mlllains either
something impossible ur a "ice, it is tra nsf('rn'd tu hight:r things."' ll1
So that these accounts arc called hiJtoriar and are lak('n 10 be ca pable
of or to require ~ ing understood about somet hin ~ ot hrr th an thei r
literal mea ning ,
As with the G reek, so with th e Latin fathers t here is a thi rd sub-
group of uses of lriJ/oria about e,"rnts in the Old or !'\'ew Testament . in
which various things arc indicated as Iht' allernati\"t' mea ning or thr
text. J erome says tha t "when a passage does not fi t al'C'ord ing to his-
tory (iuxta lriJtoriam) , it can ha\'l': anothC'r meani ng accord ing I{) anal-
Ob'Y ."ll4 And Prudenlius, the !i!:rcatest ('a rl y C hristian poet. sugg('sts
that the "history" of Lot has a propht'ti c rn ea ni n~ :

.... Hicroll. J:.it. 18'\2.2 (CSF.i. !IUS, 17),

." , tl El', uti (~II. 1 {tin I: 17) l1'1, '.l6. :i2MA I. I" I..." . 1; .I;'.! t1'1. '.!~ . i'.!:1(, IImll . (I t. i" I,m'.
27 (PL 26. 27!lD).
It. t' ilam . HlllT. 130.1 (CSI, 38.97- 98 ): er: 13" .5 1:111. !liI ).
'" Ibid. 130.3 (38. 98): d . 1]().7 (38. 99 ).
It l l bid. 155. 1 (38, 130).
III H;uon . 11I .HIIIIII. 3 (on 11 : ~ . 51 IPJ.:.16. 153.-\ 1: d : In tit. 4d (;/Jf. 3 (on 5 : 131 IP!.
26. n.JC - DJ . 11/#/1 . 0,. 101 I.ur. 5 11'1. 16. 742A- BJ: Rutin. I't. 0".( . 3.5.1.
IlIlIicron . In ,,11. :.1 (on i : 1:l I \PI. 15. 68J: cr. tit. );1 . ~. 4 .
Sacred and Profane Hillory III

Take in the famous monuments of deeds,

in which historia giv~ beforehand a visible sign. l l )

The most usual di stinction , however, is between the lener and the
spirit of a text, or between hiltoria and inttlligtntia . These are taken to
be different ways of reading and understanding the Scriptures. About
J esus' se nding two of the disciples to take an ass, J erome says,
" Indeed it seems to me to pertain rather to the higher understanding
than 10 simple hislory (magis ad alliortm inlelligentiam , quam ad simplium
hislorjam). " II~ Although they are different , they are usually under
stood to be coordinate or complementary . Filastrius lells us, "Neither
shall we lose historia, which makes it 70 years that the people were in
Persia, nor shall we spurn spiritual knowledge. "111 Ambrose likewise
says, " It seems to you highly exalted if you understand the letter.
Cross over to the spiritual understanding, because the law is spiritual
. .. ror the letter kills, but the spirit vivifies."1II J erome, speaking
aboul the prophets, tells us that "every thing is to be taken spiritually ,
after the truth of history (historiae veri/alem )." And in two different
places he says that histona is the foundati on or spiritual understand-
ing. m
The uses of historicus by the Christians in late antiquity tend in the
same new directions as the uses of hislona , and show a renascence in
the attributive usage. Historicus is used substantively to indicate writ-
~rs of histories abou t the gods by Lactantius, Arnobius, and Sidonius
Apollinaris.''lO Prudentius speaks of " M oses, the histo rian (hisloricus )
of the world's birth . "111 But most often the adjective is used attribu
lively and in relation to what has a lready been ~een as the
" historical " dimension of the Scriptures. Of the Scriptures, Ambrose
says that Luke is a historian (hisloricus ), and adds that " he kept to the
historical (hisloricum ) order and revealed to us many miracles among
the Lord 's deeds. " And he also observes that the Gospel " is a rranged

III Prud. HIJ,"'Hf. 723- 24.

". Hicron. H()IfI. OT. ill Luc. 3' (PL 26. 3250: d . In Don. 3 (on I J:3-4::.. 11 :5a). lit Iw .
1.1 (PL 24. 23). Ep. I ~" 2. 1.
tll filam . HQtt. 107.8 (eSEL 38.67. 9- 10) .
II I Ambr. If! PJ. 36.80 (PL 14. I055C); cr. Hil. PJ. 53.2.
11' Hitron. ["/JIJi. Pro!:. (PL 21, 208), 6.praer: (205C- D), and lip. 129.6; cf. I. uti.
I (PL 23, 1065B-C).
I~ Lac\. Div. bUI. 5.4.6 (PI. 6,5638), 1.8.8 ( 156A ); Arn. Mu. NI". 5.34; Sid. Apoll.
Ep. 4. 1.2, 0 .8.
11 1 Prud . Hll",ll" . 339--40.
112 Uta of History

in his torica l style (histoneo Sly/o) . "I'U But usually historicus is used . n OI
of the Scriptures thl'! msl":lvts, bu t of ,he way in wh ich we are to deal
with them. Cassian tells us that "'earning explains the simple order of
historical (xpositio n (historicOl ccposiIiQ'Jis). in which no more hidden
knowledge is contained except what resounds in the words." 'u J e-
rome, tOO, mentions this " historical" exposition, and says that he will
pass on 10 the spiritual treatment of Isa iah no ....' tha t "we ha\'e laught
the historical interpretation (historieD inttrprttationr) . "I~ I

Augustine is entitled la a separat e place in th is account no less

becau,e of the importa nt modifica tions of usage tha t appear dearly
in his writings than because he was the preceptor of the Middle Ages
and his ideas have thence a cu rrency even in our own ti mes .
Augustine uses his/on'a in the sense of th e lite rary genre when he
refers to particula r written works a nd when he speaks, more gen-
era lly, of the "writers of history. "!tl He a lso seems to think that hi$-
loria is a distinct genre, and that it is a part of ed ucation , for he
insists that " those among the pagans. who, having been educated in
the liberal studies, love history, easily recog nize" the numerous ca-
lamities that befell the Romans !>tfore Christianity .I"",
Turning to older subjects, and to his/or;a as a n informational ac-
count , Aug ust ine uses the word in the sense of "na tural history'n.
and as an episode in someone's life. Ill! There is an occasional use of
his/oria as a n informationa l account about the gods , l ~' a nd . like other
Latin apologists of the time, he distinguishes among accounts of the
gods between true ones, which he ca lls hisloria" and fa lsr or fabu lous
ones , Jablllat. I'"
Like other Christian writers of late a ntiquity. August ine und er-
stands the Scriptures as hisloria, and as his/aria with some other mean-

on Am b. bp. W . Prol. I (PI. 1~. 1607), Prol . .. { 1 609 ~-q . Proi. 7 ( 161IBl : cf.
Cass. <Ani. 8.7.3 (PI. 49, 732A). But Sid. ApoIJ. (Ep. 7.9.2) says that he- al'oidl'd Ihe-
/H1N1mJ iiJ"'riccr in his own work.
"'Cau. Ctl1Il . 14.8. 7 (PL 49, 965A- 8 ): d': B. 3 . 5~. I4.B. )-1. 101.10.3.
l to Hieron. I" MallA. I (PI. 26. M B\. III IJlli . 5.proi. (PI. 24 . 154. IB3 ). and ~.23 . 28
(206 B).
11'0 Aug. CD 17,3.26.
IIf Aug. CD 2 .3; cr. )8.40.
u: Aug. CD 16.8, 16 .11.
III Aug. CD 22.B.
119 Aug. CD 4.3 1. 7.27.
uo Aug. CD IB. 12, 18.13.
Sacred and Profane History 113

ing. De civitate Dei is the greatest and most influential of all the Chris ~
tian apologies . m It was written to counter the claim that Christianity
caused the fall of Rome. Its basic moves are those of aJl Christian
apologies, and before them of Jewish apologies; one Iirs1 shows the
inferiority of the pagan gods and cuhs, and then the superiority of
Christianity. The device by which Augustinc pursues the task is the
comparison of the "heavenly" and "earthly" cities. Thus, while the
first part of the work (Books 1- 10) show how bad things in the
earthly city are and always have been, the second part (Books 11 - 22 )
is a sustained comparison of the two cities as regards their origins
(Books 11 - 14), their careers (Books 15-18 ), and their ends (Books
19-22). The examination of their careers is largely an exposition of
the Old Testament.
The Scriptures are or contain "histories" on Augustine's view . He
responds to the question what " the writer of this history (scriptor huius
hisloriae) intended in recording the generations from Adam ," '!2 and
he insists that we should believe or accept these histories, saying ,
" Now it seems to me that the hutono is to be defended , 1('.51 Scripture
be unbelievable when it says that a city was buih by one man at a
time when no more than four men , or rather three, after brother
killed brother, were seen on earth .... "m In his essay On tile Cllaracter
of tile Eccitsia, he is even more vehement. HavingjusI put forward the
curious argument that the ecciesia must be good because it depends
upon good beliefs, he says (29.60) that the only possible objection is
to suggest that the writing may be false; but no one would say that,
h~ insists , " For Ihe compl ~t~ p~rvers ion of all literature will follow,
and the abolition of all books handed down from the past, if what is

III AURustinc himself so calls it (Rtfr. 2.69. 1; and cf. Ep. 169. 1 and 184A.5).
Momm$cn L"St. Augu.Jlinc and thc Christian Idea of Progreu," )HI 12 ( 19.51 ) :346-
74J hu nOted that it mak" all the same moves as Tertullian, Lactantius, and Am()o
biuJ. Both Allaner { PDI,.loV, tr.ns. HiJda C . Graef(New York : Herder a nd Herder,
1961 ). p. ~3J and Bardenhewer (PdltoloV', tral\$. ThomasJ . Sha hen (S I. I.o uis: Her-
der, 19(8), p. 481] C(lnlider the work an apology. P. S. Hawkins (" Polemical counter-
point in the f), civil.'t On," AlIllUlill;dll SluIJiu6 ( 1973): 97_I06j ar!tUCS that the con-
tra" between the two citi" is nOI a theological or historical one, but an act of polemi-
ul evangelism . That it is the best of the early Christian apologies has been recog-
nized by Johannes Cdfcken lu.vi l rittiistlu" Apologtfttl ( Leipzig and Berlin , 1907),
pp. 318- 211 . C. N. Cochrane { CltriJliDllig lUll! ClIJSlic<ll Clllhm (New York: Oxford
Univ(rllity Pn:ss, 1944), pp. 359-98j, and Oklf Gigon (Dit alllit, KIII/~r IIlId du Cl"is-
tntlllm (Gii leoloh, 1966). pp. 123- 30).
IJ1 Aug. CD 15.20; cf. 1.5.8, 18.38. Ulit. Crtd. 3.8.
III Aug. CD 15.8.
114 Uta of HjJ lo~ r

supporled by such belid of the peoples a nd fou nd co Oil s.uch consent

of men and of times, is brought into doubt. so tha t it cannot have the
credi t and right of en!1I common history (hiJlo,;n( quidl1l1 l:ulgariJ jidrm
gro.lJilaitmqut) ." And in Iht' Ci{)' ~lGod ht, ha ses lhl' trustworthiness of
Bible history on prophf'cies fulfilled and divine' a uthori ty:

For in ..... ha\ narratioll uf "a ~ 1 r\"t' m ~ t'uule! Wt' 1~IIt' r trust than ollr
which also prroicl('(1 ("o minl( (,,\'(,1115 Vil/llra ) whid! wr tlOW S('T hdorr
ou r ('res? For Iht' "rry d i5aKrrt'nH' IH o f histurians (kistorjrorum) ;UllOII,l(
themsd ves gi\'f'S us grounds titf trustill,lo( radt r r him wh .. du('s 1111\ ('011 -
lrall icl the d i"inr hislorio th at ,,'r hold .... IThl' Jla~;lJIs. s(' dn~ Ihr
contradictio ns amOIl!{ tht' iT hi slnria ll ~. knuw lIut " 'hum tu hri irn',) But
we, relyin!!: on ri i" inr authority ill our rrJi!l: iuu 's his tor) Ii/l /I(1,I/m( rdi-
g io"iJ lriJIO ria) ar(' in 110 dO llht that wha tr\t'T r('.~is t sth a t is rumplr ' t'ly
fa lse. ..... ha.('\('r ot h(' r th i1\J,:s mal" h(' in .~ t,tlIl a r lit(' ratun'. wl,i('11
whet her th(' y b(' 1ru(' ur ,;.Is('. [onl ribulI' Illllhinll;: ..I' irnpurtatKI ' hy
which we might lin' ri):tlllly nr hI Nist'dly.llt

Altho ugh , th cn. wc arf' to trust Iht'5(' historil's, Augustin e clt'arl y

recognizes that they also han other meanings. He says, " I do nOI
oon d ~ mn those who have Iw'en able 10 1';If V(' 011 1 a mcanin~ of s pir-
itual und erstand ing (un.m m intrlli.r:mliar spirilnlis ) rllr t'\'cry t>\'('nt
there. so long as they han' li n t mainlainl'd t ht' t ruth or history (his-
torial vtrilalr) ."tn And hc latt'r goes further , in s is lin~ " thal wt'should
agree neither with those who will lakr Ihr hi story onl y (Jo/am his-
/oriamj aboul thr ark and th c ll<xKl withuut allt-gorical signilicam;e.
nor with thost' who deli'od flnl~' ligun's. havi ng rcjt'c tt>d historica l
truth (his/orico ,"i/olt) . "I M. J.ik('wis(', \\'(' an' I .. u~h l hy th(' s('n'nty
tran sla tors " to set' a !e\t'1 a hm'(' hiJ'l orin and In sl'('k nUl IhoSI' Ihi ll!(S
which the h.iJloria it se lf \\"a..~ wrill t'1l It ) I'OI1 \'('Y (si!:nifiamda ),"II;
A third subgrou p of ltiSI()ria ahout Ill(" Sniptures cxprt'sses and in-
stanccs Augusti nc's \" i ~ ws lIl1 I'x('g('sis. Ht' ,,'ritl's :

All that Scri pturt. thr. rdorf' . which i5 calkcl tht Old Tr5larm:nl , IS

I~ Aug. CD 18,40; et: 18.jfl. l i ra Hr! . .".0,99, IJI. Ch, . i .i8 .H , On Augustine- 's
~-iew or the- authorit~ 0{ Scriptur!' a nd the- ITlatio" I)(' t"'e-"n ltiJluria a nd 'Tophl/ia as
disclosure-s or G od's purposn. Sff R. :\. ~Iarklls. SirtfMl''''I: HjJI(I~ r ItRt! s.ti,{r ill /h,
17ultlfJ!{~ G/ SI. AWRltSlj", (Camb ridF!'" 19701, p. Ifl7-96.
11> Aug. CD 17.3.
I" A ug. CD 15.21.inir
10; Aug , CD 18,44 ,
So.cwi. and Profane History 11 5

handed down four fold to them who desire to know it; aecording to
history (StClfl,Jwm hislorilJlfI ), according to aetiology, according to anal
ogy, and according to alkgory; according to history when there is
taught what hath been d one; what not done, but only wrinen as
though it had been done. AccOf'ding to aetiology, when it i ~ shown for
what reason anything hath been done or said. Acc;ording to analogy,
when it is shown that the two Testaments, the Old and the New, are
not contrary to onc another. According to allegory, whcn it is laught
that certain things which have been written are not 10 be taken in Ihe
letter (aJ litltram ), but are to be understood in a figure (filurall)Y

The same four ways of setting forth the Scripture generally are else
where noted . I" ".Jerusalem," he tells us, refers to both the terrestrial
Jerusalem according to hisroria and to the celestia l J erusalem in a
figure .I .o But he says that the whole book of Genesis should be exa
mined first as hisloria then as prophecy, and where the li teral sense is
not worthy of God we should take things figuratively .141
The latter half of the City of God is an extended account of the
origin, career, and end of the two cities . In this di scussion is found
the largest concentration of uses of historia anywhere in the early
Christian writings. And there is here a fifth group of uses of hisloria as
informational account about the past or past events i n which the
Scriptures, as embodying or containing the hisloria of the Chosen
People, is distinguished from and opposed to the hisloria of the non-
Judaeo-Christian peoples. On the one hand , there is the sacred (sac-
Ta ) or divine (divina ) hisloria. In spite of lack of physical evidence for
the longevity of people in the Old Teslament, he says (15.9) thal

". Aug. VIii. Cud. 3.5; cr. 3.6,

"' Aug. (Jell . Imp . 2.5; eKample! 3.6.init. for prel c-m pUI"J>OlSC'S il is sufficient 10
show Augustine's U,JC of the idu of history in connlion .... ilh the literal level of
biblical excgesis. For an anal)'sis of his I':K~lic.a1 IhIry and ils development during
his Caretr, Set R. A. Markus. SDIIilUll. A simila r fuurfold system or exeguis-AiJlorit'1IJ
or liInrllis, tr/1fNllolinu, afJtllfTUIIJ, and 1Il1l1l!lIfNIIJ-is vc-ry .... idel) aettplcd Ihroughout
the Middle Ages. S Harry Caplan, ~ The four Stnses of Scriptural Interpretation
and the Medieval Theory of Preaching-," SfHn'/"," 4 ( 1929) : 282- 90. Henri d e Lubac
IExi,tist Mtdiirxllt (Paris: Aubier, 1959-64) J ofTers an cxtensh'e and detailed analysis
of Ihe fourfold I)'stem with voluminoU$ documentation of patristic Ih rough lale me-
dieval sources. tur Augustine'S \ie....5 of the ut ility of " history" in biblical eKegnis,
w: Doet. Ch,. 2.28.42fT.
,.., AUK. CD 17.3.
,.. Aug. Gm. c. .tt/limit. 2.2.3. The same general principle abou t literal alld figura-
tive panagel is laid down in the Dt dtriM clrristialls (3. 10. 14 and 3. 16.24), but only
Ihe gelleral di5linctlon btlween lileral and figurati ve is opt"ralive there.
11 6 Idea of Histo~.,

" faith in this sacra hiItoria is not to be wi thdrawn ." The sorra Jristor;a
shows that Nahor, the brother of Abraham , left C hald aca and se tll ed
in Mesopota mia ( \6. 13). Elsewhcr(' we examine wha t this soaa his-
ton"o says abou t the son of Selh .'u And to lhos(' who worry a bout how
ma ny peop le there were when Cain lo undf'd his ci ty, he replies ( IS.8)
that "the writer of this samrlristor;a d id n OI haw' to nc("essa ri ]\' na me
a ll the people who wert'! the n, bu t on ly . hus(' whom the plan of the
work requ ired . For the ai m of that write r. th roug h w hom the holy
Spirit was working, was 10 com(' down to Ahra ham ... and t hen 10
proceed from Ab raham to God ' s people. w hich \~' a:o; S(' I a pa rt from
the other nat ions (0 cd rr;J grn(i6us) and wou ld Sl' f\ T tu prd igur(' and
foretell all things t hat rr la t(' to thr city .... " Su this sarr(l histl)ria has
to do with God's peoplt'. who are st"pa ra te fro m Ihr ntht'r gtnttJ or
O n the ot her hand , ther(' is th(' hiJIl)rin of these JX'op\t's , the hislorin
gentium. The h.i.Jtoria gmlium praises the marw lous construction of
Babylon ( 16.4), b ut " the historio gmtium tlt'i t ht' r G reek nor Latin
knew" about the Flood ( 18.8). It tells, t{)(I. abou ttht' wondrous works
or miracles by which the gods pt'rsuadt'd proplt to worship , hem
(10. 16, 18). And the hiJlol"iu gnltiuIII also ("( lIlIaius IlUlIlemtlS punents. 11<
When the Sc.:riptun!s art' n~ ft' ITt"d tu a.' hi.\(mill it is with a
view more to th('ir con tent- wh at kind of ,,("("OUll t t h('y a rt'. faclOa l or
fi gura tive-tha n to their J(lrm. In tht, OPPOS iliull be tween sacr('d his
loria and the historin I)f thl' pcoplrs. hiJ10rin 5t'('ms tu indica lt' a mi xture
of the meanings informa tional account "I)( ,ut pa ~ t e\'rlHs a nd tht, in-
forma tion itself or " tlu' past:' though l eat1 ill .~ morr [oh'ard Iht' fo r-
T here is a fin al group of uses of histaria in which th(' mixture of
these two strains lea ns mor(' toward " th('" past" per se. The fir st half
of the Cii.J of Gad raised thr s tandard apolog(,l ic def(' nse against the
charge that the fall of Rome was due to Ihr wors hip of th(" l1("h' God
and forge tfulness of th(" old gods who gave RoOlt' peace and victory.
Augustine replies " tha t for Ih('" most pa rt they (0 01 (" about against
their will. not only fa bl("s. lying abou t ma n r II Iill~s a nd ba rel y ind i-
cating or showing any thing true. bUI also Ro ma n history itself (ipso
Ramona h.istaria) test ifies ."14I Agai n, "both ancien! his tory (vrtus Ms-

,./ A... g. CD 15. 17; cr. 17.8, 18.40. 17.24.ini l.

,. , A... g. CD 2 1.8; cr. 4.6. 12.11. 16.8, Dlld. C,o\ ,. 2.2H...I2-43.
OH Aug. CD 3.10; cr. 2.3, 18.38.
Sacud tJnd Profant HiJlory 117

tona ) testifies and the unhappy experience of our own times teaches
us" that people are sometimes reduced to cannibalism .,n And , a rgu -
ing that the 89th Psalm is a prophecy ofJ r::sus, he says ( 17. 10) tha t
the dire descriptio n of the state of the world in lines 39-45 applies to
the earthly city, " but of the way in which these things came upon
that kingd om . hisloria is the indicator of event s (index rerum gtstarum l,
if it is read ."
Finally , an even clearer example is found in his t reatise about the
discovery and expression of the meaning of Scripture, On Christian
Doctrine. The twO chief sources of obscurity in Scripture are unknown
and ambiguous signs. In the second book he claims t hat ignorance of
signs is to be remedied in part by knowlcclge of the origina l languages
and con texts and in part by knowledge of things. In the quest for
greater knowledge of things he permits the use of some profane
sources; bu t profa ne knowledge may be of ei ther human or d ivine
institution. Some of the former , for exampl e. astrology a nd divina-
tion. are superstitious; bu t some are no t. Among those kinds of
knowledge useful for und erstanding the Scriptures that a re not of
merely human institution Augustine includ es histo ry. H e says:

Whatever, then, informs (us) about the order of past times- Ihat
which is called history (Quitiquiti i&ilu, tit o,dint tnnporlim /'lllUae/orom
intiiea/ ta quae IlPfHlla/uT his/ofia)-assists us vc:ry much in understanding
the sacred Scriptures, even ir it is spoken outside the Ecclesia as a
matter of childish instruction.

From it wc may learn . for example , the consulsh ip in which J es us

was born so that we are nOl confused about his age when he was
crucified; fo r "this may be collected more dearly and more certai nl y
from a comparison of the history of the peoples (h istoria gentium) with
the Gospel." The usefulness of history (utilitas his/oriae) is also shown
by thc fact that Ambrose. " having investigated the history of the pro
pies (hiStlJria gentium )," proved that Plato lea rned his phi losophy from
the prophet J eremiah (sic) . H e conclud es:

Even when in an historical narratiun (lIorrafiont /tiJ/oriea ) funner insti-

tutions of men arc narrated, the history itself (ipsa kisloria ) is not 10 be
numbert'd among human institutions; for those things which "re past

1o, AUK. CD 22.20; cf. I BA I.

118 /dta of Hj.s/o~y
and cannOl be- undont . bd(lllg III Ihe- ordtr of timts. of which God
aloll(' is tht' author and admi nistrator. For il is our thing 10 narralr'
what has ixl'!n donr, anulhrr 10 tta e h what ou.~ h l to br dOIlC', Hi s to~'
narratC'S what has rn-cn dUlle faithfully and IIsrfuJly: but tin: I.xxlks of
tht haruspicrs. and Iht' lik(' writinJ(~ . lIim 10 I('aeh what ought 10 br
dOllt (If obsrrw:d . with Ih(' holdnrss ofall ad\';srr. no t tht fidd ity (lfa
r('portrr (non i"dids Jidl) . I M.
or the passages I!:xtrac tro alxwe. thi' run text of the first d~s nOI
h" O
permit a clear judgmcnI whc{hcr hislO~I' means an account of pas t
events or " the past." In thr second passage. howeve r. "the past" is
cil'!arly meant: for in Ihe lint st'n lr J1CI;' thl' " history itstW' is rii~ti n
guishcd from lilt' " his torical narralion:' and Ihe passage follo wi ng
the semicolon virtuall y defines the "hislOry ilSelr' as "t hose things
" 'hich are past and cannot oc und o ne (quat transjt,unl , nr( info(ta jirrj
/JOmm/ j:' And Augustine's point hert" is that hi s lor~' so dt"fincd ("an he
ustrul in uud crstandin ,~ Seriplu rt pncisdy IX'cause it is 1101 a human
production nUl . ratiH'r. a didne prudunion: it helongs "to the order
of times, of whit-h lhe- a uthur and administratllf is God ," This is the
first and only ins taller- in antiquity in wh ich hi story is said 10 be an
existing ('fuity and / m uudl"r til('" cOll trol of (Incl .
Augus tine's USt'S of hiJlorirlls, like ,II(' l"(mtemporaneous ust's by
C hris lian wril t"rs, It'an IUward the attribUli w lIsa~('. ilnd I('nd tu brar
OUI th(' sorts of s hili s that Ihe uses of hi,(/orin sugJ~('"S I. It is use" suh-
slanlin,:ly to indicau' hiswrians of uawn', ll; historians uf (' vt'II I S.II~
and those who h,I\'!' handt'd down an'ur;lIe ;t(TOUnlS uf Ih C" gods . IO '
The a tt ributin' u sa.~(' t'X('('I'ci s th e suhslal1tiw: ,md \\"hilt, it ()(:casioll-
ally occurs in Ihr- ('(mll' XI Ilf il\\'estigalioll of 1I'lI urt". n , it mort" often
ha s to dn wilh rrli~itJus ma1t('rs. TIll' 1C"lldC"l\cy among tht" Lalin
Christi an apologists, alrt'ady lIo\t'd , 10 dislill!>:uis h IWlw('('1I lru(' and
false accounts ahout tilt" ~IK l s, is rq)('tllt'ci ht'IT . :\U,II;IISlil1l' cuntends
Ihat tht" gods \\"t' r(' 0 11(1' 111("11 , "as 1I0t olll y pot'lit' lil t" rawrc , hu t al so
historica l (ltisioriuu l hands dU\\II : T " Similarly, Ill' tiistillgui slws the

,~, ..\u/t . 0 0/. f .llI . :.1 .:.1I1.4:.1- H . t hI 1110' IN t/",'lmfU Ihml i",,,,. " ... 11, \ .... tidn . " "1"10("
Su bj ',("1 alKI Slnll"IUrl' "," .'\ll.l(m , illl'~ I), """I' i~" dt,,,li,m,,:' . l u!!It"i~ i(llt S'U ";'. 11
tl\lt)I : !~1-1:l4 .me! ~Th" (:" ,11 "11\ ;ml l .\o')(II IU'1I1 III "\II)(Il~ lhlC"' n.
,I"rlm", .hl'i,'im'l/:
A"Kt~lIillit",,,, :11 (1!11I1 1: 11;:>41:.1.
,,; AII.I(. CD IIl.H.
,,_ ....... IIIl; . (,(),.
. ,3, 0
'. ".. . .,
.. ,, ..1. '0'
. . ,. .
, ,. ,""
, .. :\ tlll: . (.f) 0.1, 111.11.
, . , :\IIIt. f'-lid, . :I.!l. Cl) 1:1.\1, 1t;.!I.
,., "'''.1(. (."1) 1.:l7: d :1.:11 , 0.",. Chi . 1 .111.-1-1 .
Sacrui and ProJant Hiswry 119

fabulous (fabulosa) from the histori ca l expla na tion (his/orica ralio) of

the name of At hens, a nd nOles that while the account of M inas is
accepted as historical IrUlh (historicat vtritati ), th at of J upi ter belongs
to the emptiness of fables ( t+an ita ti J(J bu l(J rum ) . ' ~2 As regards the Sacred
Scri ptures of his own rel ig ion, he says tha t "some spi ritua l significa-
lion may well be found in the account of paradise. in which ,he first
human s dwelt, agreea ble with the historica l truth (ucrtilult' hisloricd,)
of its bod il y existence. ", n And, whi le pleading ignora nce of the rea-
son why certain ancient books a re not included in the canon of Scrip-
lure, he confesses:
I think even those men to whom the Holy Spirit cNtain l)' rc ... ea l~
mallt:rs tha t prope rl)' rdl within tht: aut horit), or rdigion may have
wriuen sometimes as men , by historica l investigatio n (Ms/oricd difigm-
till), and sometimes as p rophets, by divi ne inspi ra tion; a nd the two
kinds wen so difrerent that o ne kind , such was the vt'rdict , must be
crw iu:d , as it were, 10 Ihemsd ves, the olher to God speaking throu~ h
them . T h us onc kind contri bu ted to the increase or knowlc-dgc (ad II/m -
laltm cognilionis), the other to the au thority of relig ion ; a nd in this au-
thority the canon is guarded . ' 5'
Thus the view that the Scriptures are at least ill one aspect " history"
or " his loryli ke" is echoed in these statemenlS about thei r histori cal
truth and the historical investigation tha t seemingly went into them.

I~ Aug. CD 18. 10, 18.12; er. 18. 16.

'~I A ug . CD 13.21.ini l.
.,. Aug. CD 18.38, Irans. Gr~ m: (I...oeb).

Conclusion: The Development of the

Idea of History and the Cultural
Ferment of Late Antiquity

H E ANC IENT W O M-!) to"tooQ either m eant someo ne who was known
T for a capacity "see" clearly which of two conflicting accounts

of an emotionally charged matter was eOTree l, or, used as an adjec

live, attributed that capacity to someone. The verb lO'tOQElV s(':ems (0
have been derived fro m lO"twQ; and in the H e llenic Age it indicated
the activity characteristic of the ~C1tWQ , tha t is, findin g o ut o r inquir-
ing the correct a ccount in a case where the ma tter is both disputed
and emotionally charged . The noun l(J'[~ia seems coeva l with the
verb; of far less frequent occurrence in the Hell eni c Age, it meant an
instance of the activity indicated by the verb, an inquiring ur an
inquiry of that sort. After Herodotus published his account of the
Persian Wars under the title [moQlul, HisloritJ, however, the noun
came to ind icate the resu lts of such inquiring, and these either writ-
tl::n or not. What underlies thl::se uses, however, is an activity idea :
inquiring for accurate information or the facts about persons, thillgs,
or events.
Perhaps because of the authority that the wo rk of HerodOlus had
already attained, [O'toQ{o in the Hellenistic Age eaml:: in creasingly 10
indicate the results of inquiring and these especially as a written ac
count concerned with events; tmoQa as a literary genre. At the same
time, lO'tOQElV acquired the meaning " to record , report , or rdate"
122 Id/Q of H iJ to~r

some informatio n, a meani ng 1" 'idC'n1ly d('rin~d from L01oo(o <ts a

written accoun t and ....hic h b('~an lu suppla nt the o ld !'f mra ning.
!\Iorcovcr. ill(' noun wa .~ more frequent than Ih e ,'('rh. Thus ("\"(: 11 ill
uses o f Ihe "crh the IJrnduCI has ht"gull to domillal(' the a Clidty. a nd
a ~ ap has ~~ut\ [n " ppt' ar h('(w('('1I lhe prudun pt' " St', Iht' fans fI"
informa tio n. il nd thl' produn ill writin!{. What a ppea rs in the Gr('('k
id ru of his tOry appears also in the uses of the I.atin lr:ms lill"raliulls.
hisl fJrin and historicuJ: a mod a l dislinct io n 1)("1\\"("('11 .111 ;H:l'U ra U' lilC lU al
account about pt'rSUIlS, I h in~s. or ('\'t'IlIs, and s ut:h all ;u'coun l a ho ut
cn'!ltS and ill writ ing . Bo th in Gr('('k and in Lati n the primary m('a n
ing in the Helle nis tic A .~ (' wa s t ha t of!ll(' <I('('UlI llt in writing , history
as " lilt' rary g('n r(' wit h it s rlllt'.~ ilnd s tyles. ('a nons of ~rt'atl\('ss and
social utility. In Phil u's USt' of (ire('k tn ta lk ab<lU I 1111' things uf Ihe
.J ewish world . howr\"('r, history means. fatlu- r. ;\ faf(ual at:coullI or
Ihe facts tha n a litt'rary .lo\t'llrt. And his usag(' suggrs ts th at tht, rafts
tha t his tory ind ica t('s might hr signs or sOI1lt'th ing ('1st, and Ihat the
reliabili ty of du' ,Ilum nt mi.lo\ht hr ~uarantrl'c\ lUll by thr puhlidty of
the fa cts. bu t by its di\"ill(' origi ns.
The changed pol iti cal t"ond it ions and tht' intl'lI sifit'{1 innut:nce of
rhe toric on Ih(' ('do ("al~d world producrd a rrlaxa lion of l'onC(' plual
boundaries in tll(' Roman :\~r . A balann' seems 10 han' been re-
stored be twecn tht' two mtKirs. hi story as a lite rary genrc and as an
info rmational acwunl. Bot h in Grcck a nd in l.alin the range of s ub-
j ects txgan 10 indudt, thr ~nct s (what w(' should call " myths" or
"legend s") a nd ordi nary mortals. hislori('s in whid ) the truth or ac-
curacy of the accounl was I('ss importalll than that it 1)(' entertai ning
or instructin:, Thus we ha\'(' .. quite' IWW USl' or his tory as stury ;
history thus far approadll's pot'lry. ~l o Tl'o\"l' r , and pe rh aps r('prc:- -
senti ng Ihe- illlrra('tion be-tw!'('1l poctry a lld rhetoric, history as infor-
ma tion about past "HillS is usr-d oct'asionally in a n apparently col k c-
li \'(: \\"a~' , as th e pas!. And in G rcek, idra s or upinions ('an nuw be
s ubjects of a history, i n 1111' "arl y C hris tian lill"ratu rc of the Roman
Age, which was mosll y in Grt'('k. Ihr id!'a of his tory is Hry lik c tha t
of the non-C h rist ian world . As compar!'d w ith H cllenic or I!"\'c n Hel-
lenistic ti mf's, in their usag!' the limi ts a rc r('taxed a nd include ac-
counts or Ihe gods as well as the a((Hunts in the O ld and ~cw Tes-
taments, Accu racy or litl"r:11 truth was not cru cia l, which suggt's tS
tha t with rcsJX'cl 10 hoth C hrislian and non-C hristia n matlt'rs history
was understood to r th(" most part as story . A history in thi s st'llse
might well han' a nother mran ing, The importan t difft'f(' nct'S Iw tween
Conclusion 123

the Christian and non-Christian ideas of history are that the Chris-
tian is almost always applied to maners of religious interest and that
it regularly occurs in the context of apologetical attacks on the pagan
gods and defenses ofChristianily.
Non-Christian Greek and Latin usage during the later empire gen-
erally continued the developments of the preceding centuries. The
shift away from history as a literary genre to hi story as an informa-
tional account was very marked , and the former became infrequent.
The requirement of accuracy or factuality of the account continued
on the wane. The Christian usage of the later empire reveals the
divergence between East and West in the dirrering devc10pmenls Ihal
the idea underwent in Greek and in Lalin . In both languages il ap-
pears most often in two contexts: bibli cal exegesis and apology. In
both languages history is involved in exegesis because scriptural ac-
counts or the Scriptures themselves are consid ered hislOrics; these
histories , however, are capable of bearing another meani ng. Lileral
exegesis is " according to history," as opposed 10 various kinds ofligu-
rative or spiritual exegesis. In the apologetical writings, however,
therf! is a difff!rence betwf!f!n the Gretk and the Latin. Thf! Greek
Christians carry on the same USf! of history in the apologies tha t
charactf!rized thf! earlier period, that is, history as story. But the
Latin writf!rs rf!3Ssert the old requirement of accuracy, and argue
that the truth about the gods, thf! histories about them, show them 10
be unworthy of worship. Thus what history mea ns u, them, th eir idea
of history , is trUf! informational accounts or informatio n about per-
sons, events, and gods, and the relalionships between peupl e and
thf!ir gods; and they even seem to have used history in the collective
sense as the past, implicitly distinguishing thf! history of the Chosen
People from that of the non-Christian peoples .
lt is in this last usage that Augustine makes his great innovation.
For whilf! his usage is in no essential way different from that of his
Christian contemporaries , he makes of the distinction that they only
implied- the distinction and opposition between the sacred, provi-
dential history of the celestial city and the peoplf!s' hismry of th e
earthly city-the dominant literary and rhetorica l moti ve of his City
of God. Although thi s distinction and opposition is present, history in
both caSf!S seems on the evidence to indicate an informational ac-
count or the information itself, rather than the hypostati c unit ), of lilt:
past, which our word " histoT)'" sometimes mea ns. ' Th e opposition ,

I R. A. Marku5 iSaI"fllI.",,: H illflry fllft! StKid.J ilf l~ T1t.tfllol.r af Sailt/ .. IIW'l/i", (Cam
124 Uta of lliJIOrl'
the n, might better be expressf'd by ",he sa c r~d ur di\'inc aCCOUnl of
things" and " the peoplrs' account of things:' The hi!Hory is,
moreover, meaningfu l both in the sense Ihat besides the literal mean-
ing there may ht a "high er" liT "s piritual " way in ..... hich il is 10 be
unders tood uud in the sense Ihat aCC'I)"n!s of earlier {'\"cnlS are pro.
phetic of la tu. What Augustine means by ,hI," te rm " history," then. is
true and meani ngful informational accounts about th(' ~ods and (di-
vi nely IiIled ) c\'cnts ora pcuplc ,
It lollows from all this that Ihl" widely acccpterl ac(Ounl of the id ea
of hislOry in antiquity is wrong nn a number of points. In tile fi rs t
place, history was not it phi losophical problem to the Greeks or the
Romans. I1 is no ..... here disrussrd hy th(' philosoph('rs , It ta rn(' in for
som(' cri licism among th e pr('-Socra lics: Plaw's Socralt's rejecled it as
philosophically insuflic:it'nt ht'('aus(' it did nOI ('xplain Iht' ca uses; Ihe
Stoics, Epicurea ns, and Skeplics sca rcely mention('d it. ,-\ristotle sa id
Ihat poetry was mort' philosophical tha n hislOry, hut hf' also st'f'med
to think that his tory in tll(' s(' lI ~r of accurate info rmation ahout a
su bj l"ct was u~eful or nrC'('ssary as a prerequis ite tu the prope rl y
philosophical enterpri~(' of IrarninK tht' ca uses , This "it'\\' sun'iH''(t in
the Peripat etic School lon~ "rH'r Aristot\("s d('al h, and durin~ Iht
renascenc(' of tht' school in late antiquity ('\,('n the Mas ter's rcsumr-s
of earlier opinions alxlUt wha t('wr problrm Iw happrnro to hc con-
s idcring wcre ca lled hislOri('s hy AI('xandtr of Aphrodi~ias and Syria-
nus, But for all thaI, history was s till not a philosophical problem ,
And this is not s urprising; ielr history, as has bt'cn 5('(' 0 , was nul an
entity or a category of rea lity ~u('h that O ltt' might h:",c dillicuhy
understanding il.
S('cond, his tory was not rela terl by a ncir nl writ('r5 to the ways in
which Ihc\' understood tim(', Time did COnll" in ror som(' consid era-
tion by philosopher'S and ot he rs; and il i~ ollr of Aristotlc's categories,
al least in som(' ('lIumerations of them in th(' corpus, BUI if time as
the "when" of something j>IS(,S phi lo!'iuphi cal problems, time as the
medium of hisHlr), does nOl , Pr rhaps this rr Ot'clS a kind of philoso-
phical nai'vr-:tf about the logical rr-:lat ionship \x't w('ell the ideas of
time and history , hut it s('cms unlikdy that this problem would occur
to someone who did nOI Ihink aOOUI tht c at e~ory or ('ntity " history,"

brKl!!~ , 1970), pp, 14-1 5,231-32 1 m"krs trn- umt point w hill' $hl!w;n,1I; tht dHrl'fl'ncC'
~(wt~n what AURuSl; nt :m d Cullma nn mun b~ "!L<III'Tl'd his lOrr,"

and did not think that history indicated the whole temporal process
of a thing. The idea of history, then, is not understood as being
dependent on or derivative from the id ea of time. At any rate, there
is not a single view of lime as a circle that all Creeks accepted, as is
supposed (see p. 12. n. 34 supra).
It is also not the case, third , that either time or his tory was a
great problem from the point of view of Greek or Roman religious
thought. So it is a misunderstanding of ancient thought to say that ,
sin ce time was understood as cyclical, it "must be experienced as an
enslavement, as a curse ... everythi ng keeps recurring . . . . That is
why th e philosophical thinking of the Greek world labors with the
problem of time and also why all Creek st riving for redemption
s~ ks as its goal to be freed from this e ternal circula r course and
thus to be freed from time itselr. '" Time may have been a puzzle to
certain ancient writers, but there is no evidence of its having been
experienced as an .. ensla ....ement" or a curse." Nor is it the case
tha t philosuphers " Iabor" with the problem of time, nor does any
Greek stri .... ing for redemption seek to be liberated from time. In -
deed the stri ....ing for rlemption is a ty pi cally C hristian goa l, bUI
not Greek or Roma n.
History is also not a theologica l or religious problem for the
C hristians. It figures in their apologetical and exegetical writings,
but in neither case are there problems posed Ihat relate la C hristia n
doctrine. History does not fi gure in the creeds or in the antiheretical
lite rature in which C hristian doctrine was bdng fo rmula ted . There
were speculati ....e problems raised and discussed in this earl y period
of Christianity, but hiuary was not one of them .
Fourth , neither Greeks no r Romans nor C hristians understood
history as ha ....ing a pattern . No Greek or Roman has been found
saying tha t it is repetitive, nor any C hrist ian saying that it is li nea r
and once and for all . In order for someone to fi nd a pattern in
history, history must be taken to be the sort of thing th a t is capable
of exhibi ting a pattern ; that is , a composi te whole, made up of parts
capable of being organized in a conceivable pattern . I n other words.
history must be understood as the coll ected temporal career or
process of a thing. But no one in antiquity unders tood history in
this way: not the Greeks and Roma ns, and not the Chris ti ans . It
might be argued that Augustine comes very near or that he creates

I Cullma rll'l, Cltnsl "lid Timt ( tr~ns. t-' ilson ), p. 53.

126 Uta ~ 1/ulory

the condi tions for unders tanding history in this new way; b ut this is
10 read Augustine from th(' point of \'iew of lalcr tradition.
Finally, whi le history dot's. as is widely belifvcd . hecome mean-
ingfu l in Christian tho ught . this d O<'s n OI secm 10 be due 10 reflection
on [hdr rel igious hc.-lids, or for any th eological reasons. Rather. the
J ews and , foll owing them , thl' Christia ns s uppose that their Scrip-
tures were or conta in ed histories. In this Ih ey conformed 10 contem-
porary usage, which allowed that a history mig ht be ahoul gods or
divine acts and t ha t it need nol he trlle in the older s('nse of conform-
ity to observed lacl. In Ihe apologies lh('!'.c histori{'"s WCT!' used 10
s how how bad the popular rrligioo was and how mu ch better C hris-
tianity was, And in tht ('xt"grtica l .....orks apparent incon sistf'n cies or
immorali ties were ,'xplainrd hy th e U Sf' of nonlilcral exegesis. Nonlit-
e ra l exeges is .....as a G reek iTn-ention. dating hack 10 Ih(' l'iflh century
at leas!. So t here ..... as nothing n('w in tht' C hristians applying nonlit -
eral exegesis to thrir Scriplur('s. What i:-; lIew is that the samr ac-
count Ihat is called a his tor y is also sa id 10 ha\'(' some other meaning ,
Thi s is a reg ular feature of the C hristian exegr-ti cal litr-rature. so tha t
history acquires th(' capacity to hea r som(' otht"r mt'anin!<!: in con nec-
t ion with rel igion and through Iht, a~ elll' y of C hris tian thought . but
for reasons that are not so much theological as apologctical and ex-
egetica l, Put some ..... hat differe ntly. th(" wid('l y accepted account finds
the vast difference hctween the Graeco- Roman andJuclaeo-Chris tia n
ideas of his tory to be religious or. more precisciy . theological; accord-
ing 10 the evidt"nce examined Il('rt", the ralha slight dif1(:renccs arc
rht"lorical and litt-rary. It is, again. only from the standpoint of tht"
later trad it ion , a nd reading ancient It'xts f(~ trospt'c ti\'(: l y, th at the
changes appea r to be rela lt'd to C hristian doctrint"; for it is Iypica ll y
modern to suppose Ihat history is the ~sse n ct' of C hri stianity. Cull-
mann may be correct when he argut's that "All C hristian theology in
its innermost essence is Bihlical his tory."! hut he is not correct in
supposing that tht' C hris tians saw themselvt,s and Ihr-ir fait h in that
way in the early cemurit"s. Nor is he correct in s uppos ing that the
Chris tian view of history is fu nda me ntall y d ifferent from and opposed
to the Grae<:o-Roman .
The account that has been accepted by scholars for such a long
lime tradi tionally claims the authorit ), or early Christian thought.
The essential s of this account are: ( I ) the circula r pattern of time and

! Ibid,
COlldwilJ1I 12 7

history (as world process) in G r~ k thoug ht vs. the rectilinear pat-

terns of them for Judaeo-C hristian thoug ht; (2) the repetition and
eternal recurrence predicated by the Graeco- Roma n view vs . the in-
novation and renovation predi cated by the J udaeo-Christ ia n view;
and (3) the hopelessness, meaninglessness, and enslave ment of the
soul entail ed by the Graeco-Roman view vs. the hopefu lness , mean-
ingful ness, a nd liberation possible on th e Judaeo-Christi an view.
Someth ing resembling all of these themes is already fo und in Aug us-
tine's City of God.
The second half of the work is an ex tended comparison of the IWO
cities, devoted to showing that we should dwell in the celestia l city
and avoid the earthly city. It is divided into three parts of four books
each, which treat, respectively, ofl he o rigin s, ca reers, and ends of the
two cities. Book II shows how the cities origin ated in the separation
of the good and bad angels, and discusses, incidental to th al , Ihe
scriptural account of the crea tion of the world . Book 12 begins with a
discussion of the goodness of the good angels, the badness of the bad ,
and the reasons for both. Then , since the twO ci ties are popu lated by
both a ngels and humans, the argument proceeds to the creation of
man . This d iscussion, which occupies the remainder of the book, is a
sustained a rgumen t against the view, attributed to cenai n "philoso-
phers of this world," that the ques tion of the etern ity of the world is
to be solved by the introduction of "cycles of times (circuitus ltmporum)
in which, according to them, the sa me things have always been
renewed and repeated in the na ture of things (in "rum natura) ; there
will likewise be hereafter an uninterrupted series of revolvi ng ages
coming and going; either these cycles took place in a permanent
world or else the world , arising and dying at ce rtain intervals, always
displayed the sa me things as if new which were completed and co mc
10 pass."
This doctrine of "false cycles " of temporal things is repeah:dly con-
trasted with " the straight path of sound doctrine, " and Psalm 12 ; 4 is
dubiously quoted : "The wicked shall walk a round in ci rcles. " Among
the vario us grounds on which the theory of cosmic cycles is rejec ted
are ( 1) that it entails tha t nothing new (.'ver happens-wrong because
it denies the omnipotence of God-and (2) that according to it th(.'
soul is enslaved without hope of li beration . By cont rast. the "sua ight
way" of C hristian doctrine offers the assurance that somet hing n(.'w

'Aug. CD t2. 14. 1-2.

128 /dta of HiJto~J'
ca n happen and th e refo r~ ,hC' possibility that tlw soul might be lib
era ted. The creation of man is thence affirmed against the obj ections
of the phi losophers."
Augus tine d~s nOI claim that t his ;s a " pag311 " ,'it'w, that it is
common to Graceo Huma n ('u hurC', hut that it is a ,'iew ('xprcssed hy
some " philosophrr.i ," Still . in tilt' c:o nl t'XI of the rlwtori. al alternation
he'lwct'n C hristianit y alld IIIe' cuhun- uf IIIl' Gracco-Ruman world,
which is Ih(" mainspri n,l( .,1' tilt" C'arly Christian a polngirs. a nd he r("
h('tween Ihe ci ty ufGud al\(\ t hl' l"ity "fma ll. tilt' "philosophers of this
world " belong 10 tht' dty of thi s ,,'orl d. tilt, city of man. :\.ugus lint'
does not alt ribult' to ,hl's(' philosophers Ihe vie ..; that history g()('s in
cycles, hUI Ihal tirnts (Itm/JrJr(zl. If' rn poral Ihings (m Itm/JrJTalinl. or
f'\'ems (rts ~tsl{u l do, But if 1111(' undl'rs tood hy his tory- as it has m-f'n
argued tha l Augusli nr himsdf did not- the whole It'mporal procrss
of Ihc .....orld . lhr ll this discussiulI a nd othrr s imilar discussions r ise
where in the work would s("r m 10 installliatc tht widcly acccpted
account of the opposilion httwl'l'll Chrislian ami pilRan idf'as of his
tory , And they a rr Sf! inttrpnt,'d hy s('h,lla rs, But thf' rf' is no sing-lr
or simple C rcrk 0 1" Grar('IlRnman " it'w of timc Of Ill" hislury in tilt"
sense of the whol,' tl'mporal pro('rss of tilt' world -indc'cd history is
not uSf'd in that st'IlS{' in antiquity- to which such a unin )cilI Judaf'o,
C hristian ,"iew Ilf (iml' or hislory might he opp()sed .
It sCt'ms, ratht'r, Iha h(' attra('ti\'('I1('ss of th(' us ual accou nt is 10
be attrihu ted to pr ('ci~t>l y Ihat ~amt s pirit nf Chris tian apology Ihat
firs. formulaled it in thl' (;j~I' f!/(;od. :\'m ()nl~' was it Ihc rhetorical or
apologetical moliH which nt.'tlmmt>ndrd thl' dilftl't"ntialioll of sacred
and profanr hislOry in .h(' tirs! pi act', hut it is tht.' sa m,' mol i\'c and
the same apology th.u has rt'('tmunt'nd cd ,hl' sdwlarlr analysis of the
sources and m eanin~ or that distinniun . TIll' Chl'istian rC\'ision of the
idea of history is rhttori<'al and partisiHl , and so is thl' acc('ptrd ac
cou nt of it ,

Several observations might t,c mad c at this point. Rat he r than the
radical change thal is widely hclie\'ed, the d e\'e!opmenl of the idea of
history in antiquity diliplays considtrablt" conlinuity bolh in Ihe sub-
jects that a his tory might be about and in the kinds oflhin g or {'Illity
that a history might be . Tht' ea rlies t su~iccts. ('vcnts of social or po-
litical imporlanCl', natural things, and Ihl' particularly dramatic use
about episodes in the lives of pcnons of great cu ltural s tature, re
COllrius;Oll 129

main~d th~ primary subjects throughout antiquity for Christians and

non-Christians alike. History about natural things or human cus toms
was never a prominent usage, but a lso n e\'~ r forgotlcn . HislOry about
persons moved out of the dramatic context in tit!! Roman Age and
after; and the stature in the cultural community of the persons in-
volved also dedined, although the Christian use of hi story about the
characters in the O ld and New Testaments represents a relurn 10 the
original culturally great stature, since these figures are the heroes and
archetypal figures of the Judaeo-Christian world-view. Also in the
later period, gods and divinc acts came to be considered subjec ts for
history, and this, again , by Greeks, Romans, and C hri stians alike.
The kinds of beings or ~ntities to which " history" referred or for
which it was a name varied somewhat by addition, deletion , or change
of emphasis, but remained substantially the sa me thro ughou t antiqu-
ity . The earli~st r~feren ce, to inquiring or inquiry , becam~ moribund
in Greek after the beginning ofth~ Hdl ~ni stic Age, and never occurred
in Latin . For this reason, too, the early reference to results of inqu iring
changed into the less activity-oriented informational account . A cer-
tain species of informational accounts was ~ n shrin ed in the reference
to the literary genre. Th ~ gen~ra l distinction in ki nds of entities be-
tween informational a ccount and litcrary genre remaim:d a fundam en-
tal di stinction throughout antiquity (and has remained so to the
present day, though in an attenuated form ). Besides this fundamental
distinction, there is a distinction within " informational account" be-
tween the account pc:r se and th e info rmation itself, the fa cts. In later
antiquity there came to be an added species of the former , story, and
an added species of the lalt~r , the past .
If there is substantial contin uity in the development of the idea there
a re also two changes found in the Christian writings and not else-
where. The first is that history is here understood to be capable of
bearing a meaning other than the literal one. This note had wide
curr~ncy in Christian writings both in Greek and in Latin ; and there
were disputes about the extent to which Scripture should be read
literally, that is, "according to history," or figuratively, allegorically,
typically, etc. The second new note, implicit in the later Latin fathers,
but explicit in Augusti ne, is the differentiation between C hristian and
Genti le history. History is supposed to be something different for J ews
and Christians from what it is for other peoples.
These two changes are characteristic of Christian writers. But the
training and profession of the writers , the kinds of literatu re in which
130 /dM ~f //isto ~r

the changed usagr of his lOry is louno . a nd t ilt' kind of roll" played by
the te rm in Ihest' wo rks sug!itt's t. as a s.'col1d ohs('n'alio n. thal the
changes a rc dul' to lilt-rary a nd rhe tori ca l. filther tha n theological.
consideratio ns.
11 has a lready iwcn nu!r-et t hat Ih(' C h ri J; ti;l1l w filt'rs If Ih(" tirSI IWO
('("nl uries wrn' rhetoricians hy training ,' The litl lH'rs of Ih(' la lt'r
JX'riod . too. w('rr Ira inl"d rhrlUrs . .-\m o tl~ Ill(' (:rccks. th t' Cappado~
c ian Fathe rs, Bas il Iht" Gna .. (;rcR(lry of :":aziamms. and Gn'gnry of
~yss a \,'e rr all nul only lrainrd in rlwlnric. hut il lso \ \ '( ' rt' rht'tors hy
profess ion for SO t1l(' l il1ll' ," GI'(,~tlry of ~a7.ia Il Z Il S \\'as known as thr
"C hristian D e t1l()S\ht'I\Cs" III lilt' lhz'IIUilll" sdmlilrs. ill1d his (J,a tiuns
werr a subjec t Clf com m r nl:try duwn 10 tll\' s ixh'('I\l h {'C'lllllry ,: :\ moll!(
tht" Antiochen('s, 1;U1wd Iflr th t'il" li lt'rott or " his lnri eal " l'X('!( 'sis, T tl{'o-
dart' of Mops urs lia was a s w <lrlll ur till' ('mint'll! pa!(i11l orator I.iha-
lIius. as w(' 1t as {lfIlL(' C h r ist ian D io<!orus o rTar.ms .~ .\ ne! DicKtorus'
o lher famou s pupi l W;! ~ J ohn. (';IIIt'd Chrysostolll . tha t i ~ . (;old (' ll-
llIo u tnr d , Iflr his c'loqu(,lltT frum th(' pulpi l. \\" h idl \'it'(l \\"i lh thal uf
Libaniu s in thl' Council, " Amc)I!g tht, I.<l tin f:I\ lwrs. ( : ~prian . .-\rn o-
bius. Lactanlius, itlld Augu stim. ;111 Afril-'lIis, \HTC' all rilt'tors hy
Il' ainin~ <lfId prulrssin n hl'liWt, lurnin,lC ,11Ii .. tlllt'III S III 111 (' SI' r\' j(,(, Ill"
C hristillni ty.' '' i.aC'lan(i us was na med hy Diudc'li ;m prul(-ssor of rll('I-

\ I'p, K1 0-101' . ;iI)f )W, f c'n li!!;!!,,1 ",'i""
I / ~I /i" till NlUlHI.. ,m/I'I'''' ", 1,/ 11,/ /#111\"" ,ig..
CI',crk I\rlt'). " , 1:l1'l 1 ''' t' I'W S Ihal h,'I",, :I;,CI, Clll i~l~cn In iWr< \\" ' ft ' ~ lil~1 ,md
lQrr lll051 a polOjl r lit"'II wr'l r rs li,l( llIin )l, '\)I, ,\in ~ 1 p'I.II::lni slll" HUrl Ih" h('~ \\"('rt all
IrainM in rhl'I ori r (p. Hij l. Oil 1111' Ilun tiOlI1 " r r rrn~(''' ~' kC M" , lril c::(' nrph ir..s"phy.
\\" jlli a m R, St'hOf"d1'1 r " l)hil"!i' ~ l h ~ lmrl Nh .. t,,,-i,' ill 1111' .Idl t"tf' IW"" " I ..r ' rl'llarus,"
I i,rdia' Cltril /I/IIIIII 13 I I!15~ L ) : :!2 _:I:! 1 ,', .uduil rs 110;" . 1 - ",;os ...." 1111(" I I.cn:d ~ " , rl",~tI
,~ ," ph ic 3 1 nlII I(' ri:11 1,,.111I . , !i 'r Ihl' must ,loin \\"". (,In,,I''~ rd ill :1 ""I' I ir ~ 1 f.1 ~ h i... n li'T
Ih t solt pu~ of rd'u l ill~ Ih,' (;"' ~ Ii ..,., l p, :1:.1 1. C l: K. :'ol. (' r:tl lI , " Ifrml(,u~ :tI1I1
H.. lk o i ~li r Cuhurt," Ilnn-tlld T hml , Rn , ,n lI ' I-4!ll : -4 1_,i l
.. 0" Ras iI: 8f<rl h" ld ,\h a llr r. I'II/mlo,( t . Iram. H ild:, C . (;ra(' r r ;\(''' \' " r k: H rnt n
and H(' ml'r. l\1G 1), " , :I:"i; J uhamll's QU:I~ I rn. l 'n/ml"I:, r (t t ...dl1 -:\ Ill " r T'p' Spi"'1rum ,
196:1) :i :':..1(1-4. On Grt!(..ry ;-'; ,''I.i,,,",' I' : .-\11:111(,1'. 11, :HI;; QlI:\51 t n, :I ::n ti , RI>M'mary
Kariliml KUI' Irn- r I li" ,l1o~r 'if .\"1I.:illll~ ~ I , R",/o/ 111111 1'III/n' I/ph" 10 ,d illd: C I:UIl1doll.
1%9 )1 shflws hnw, in ( ; r"~" ry , 11... :lu6" nl I-' \" " r~ IM''''''''11 phil"s"phy :l1u1 rh.- I""" i,
Ira u, IOrn"".1 jll'"'' "IInlli,'I I)f'I\,,,,'" " I" ,. " " "I,,l i ,s " I II ",,,,!!I,, " hid , li'Tm hi~ mind
:Ind u" dtrl ir his wri " n l!~" lp, is !. O n (; "t1I:"n " r :'\ Y-'~" : ,\ II,I1 ... r. 1" :01 ; \.! ":I ~ lrn .
3 ::1:1-4 ,
' ,\lI ant r. PIIII D(D~ !" p, 3-4;; <..!u"slrll . P"'",(~~ c :I : :!:lh,
:\h a nrr. 1'11/10(0,( r. p, :I 70; QU;ISII'Il . I''' 'IO'O~I' :1: -4-111 ,
~ .~h ar'l rr. POI IQ/o,(I'. p. :11:1: QU:Ulrtl , Pntr,uo,(I' :1 : I~H -:l5. Harry ), 1. I-Iubotll
I~ Ch""SO$I "n> a nd Rhl'w rir ," U' I!. C1!-l2-4 J :21; 1- ; li l n :!rninrs hi ~ Ira tl sform atinll of
thr rlaicaJ rllcomiu lII ,
"' On Crpria n: .~ h a nl' r, /'(1 11"'0.( 1-. )1 , 1 ~1:l : QU :I ~I r n . Pnll~lu~ r 2 : 3-41 , l)n ,~rn"biu l :
Ahan(' r. p, 205: Quas,t n. :1 : 38:i. On ' H ,r,anlius: :\lta no"r, p, :lU8: Quast.. n. :.! : :!!-I:l-93,
Cmu:tusior, 131

oric at Nicomedia, but was forced to resign the office when he be

came a C hristian .1! Hilary, Ambrose, and Jerome. though not profes
sional rhewrs, were at least partially so educated . In his famou s
d~am , J erome is accused of bdng more interested in literary
achievement than religious, of being a Ciceronian , not a C hristian . If
these fam ous and influenlial falhers of Ihe Church are Ch ristians
from the slandpoint of religion, they are rhetoricians from the sland -
point of education, training, and early profession .
The nature of the writings in whi ch the cha nged idea of history is
found also points to the influence of rhetoric on the development.
The passages exa mined in the preceding cha pters came from three
kinds of works: apologies, homilies, and commentaries or expositions .
Apologies and homilies are frankly rhetorical works, written respec-
tively for non-C hristia ns and C hri stians. '2 They a im at persuasion,
not understa nding; the enterprise in which the writers a re engaged in
such works is nOl inqui ry, but exhortation . This is shown no t on ly by
the persuasive form in which the works are cas t, but also by th e
reasoning that characterizes them, excl usive alternations. Eilher this
or that. Either God or the Devil. Either Salvation or Damnation.
The commentaries and exposi tions, on the ot her hand . are at-
tempts to ex plain the meani ng of the Scriptures , especia ll y to explain
apparent inconsistencies, immoralities, or falsehoods. They are nOI
exhortations except insofar as the readel is encouraged to rind an
ac!;eptable reading of the tex t rather than to suppose that the Scrip-
tures are flawed. The widely accepted way of escape from these diffi-
culties was non literal exegesis of one kind or another, and there is
discussion or the proper sort or ex tent of nonliu:ral exegesis to be
employed; but it was !iural exegesis that was "according 10 history. "
The origi n of C hristian nonliteral exegesis is usuall y traced back to
the Alexandrian tradition , which , through the mediation of Philo,
ultima tely derived from the nonliteral interpretations of Homer's ac-
counts of the gods as far back as Xenophanes . Textual exegesis corn
prised a large part of the stand ard Graeco-Roman education, of
which the Christian fathers were producls .1l Although , th erefore, the
literature of commentary and exposition had a religious motive, the

11 Ahaner, Petrology. p. 208; QuaSlen. P13lrolov 2 : 393 .

.. Of Theophilu5. for example. Robert M. G ra nt ShOW1 ["Scripture . Rhetoric and
Theology in Theophilus," Vilili/lt CltriSti/lr\llf 13 (1959): 35-45 J that "scriplUral
sourcn a re employed in a rhetorical manner for theological purpo5CS" ( p. 33).
' I Cf. M arrou, H is/ory '.I &iMU/iort ill A II/i.".iry. pp. 165- 70.
132 Idta flf IIiJto ~1'
enterprise itself should be seen as lite-ran ". Another kind of carl y
C hris tian litera ture, the a nriheTt"t ica l. i!l m O Tt' concerned with ma tte rs
of doct rine; for it was usua ll y on ma tteTs of doctrine th at there was
d ifference of opinion sevcrt' (' nough to \\ 'a rr;l nl separation . I n this
lite ra ture, h OW(' \'(' T. scarcd y a ny US t' of hislO TY has been fo und .
Mo reover. t he use's the msf" lvfS art" rh(" turi('aJ a nd lite ra ry. In the
apologetical li lcra lUre, history is continu ally us('d 10 show Ih(' in fe r-
iorit y of poplll ar rdigio" and Ihe 5up<'rioril Y of C hrislian ity. Disa-
g ree ment a mong Ih (' his to rit,s aoou l HOI1l('r shuwed that they \\' t'("
false and that Ho me r ( :a:: Cn:d( ( Ullll l't') is nol as uld as Moses (=
Judat:o-Chrisli'lI1 (uh u re).I' l-I jMnri~ of lhe J.:od s shel\\ Ihem to h Ol\'c
been mortal! a nd u n worthy ul" worshi p, Hi slor ic's ,l oo UI Ih e p opu la r
cults sho w t h e m 10 he "itlu' r rid iculous Hr repre hensible, Hi stories
a bout ('n ' nls show Ihat the world is lW worse ulf with C hris l;an;l\'
than it was wit hou t it. In a ll this, his lo ry is inmh'c-d in Ih ~ po l ~ mi c,
bu t no t in a n t'xa mi na tio n o f Chris(ia n doct r ine: '(X , fro m tht'ir own
po im of \' icw, the w riters OI rI' no t c' lI ~a !( l'd in Ol ll t'X am;na tion of doc-
tri ne, hu t in its (h'!rnst', T hl' d iscussion!> a p pt'ar th eologil'a l to the
eye s of the mud t'fll read er bcca usc tilt' t,'rm s and id f'a s ut ilized fo r
Ihe deft' nse, w h ~ l h('r hurru\\'r ct fro m IIU' " pa.l{<ln nLlturr ('r d t'\'iscd
ti:lT the occa s io n, h a \"1;" bn :unw linnilia!" fra t un's of t ht"' lite ra ry terr a in
o f early C hristian litrra tufI', o f pal rol(),~ y, ,lIlcl Ill(' I'SSI'IlI ia lly COll tro-
\"ersial n a l ure or
Iht' \\" .. i li n f.\"~ is t" si l~ fln-r\ookc'( l.
NUl" is hi~ llJr~' inm[n d in Ihc.'o [lJgiG li di~U I ~s iulI ;Il th e homiletit' a nd
exegctical !ite r.u UI'C, In lilt's,: works I1OIl-lil4;'rOlI t'xegesis W,IS u sed ro r
edi lic.ltiu ll, 1ll0l~.1[ t'Xl ltll'lat il ll ll', ;I l\(l t'X I, \aIl;lth ll l ~I f a p P;lre lll iIlO)11Sisl-
encies or inlJllUl" lil it'S. ,11111 hislfJ)"\" i IU liG11 t."( I Iht' lit1:'1011 [t'\'d uf t he lex IS
in\"fJl\'ecl, 1\\11 \\" hi lc hi.~lory ".~ Ih l' Iclt t~ r or lilt'lOlllc \'c\ uf St:riptul"e he rl:'
;tUlui res the ( a pa( il > 10 1)1:' Iht' hcart'!" or SUIlIt' othcr mC:llI ing. Ihis is in
con n ectio n with eX;l lll inillg lilt ' Sc-riptUl"e s, Il(II ( :llrisliil ll d()(."lI"iJlt '.
T h!:' ci rcumstall('e s ill whid l the C h ristians d lOlngl'd thl' idea of
hislo r y th u s SI1~~t"SI Ihal Iht inl1ut'nH' o f (: h rb ti<l ll i t~ as ;I d istinctl y
intelk"'t.1 ua l pht'llo llll'lIu lI ha ~ I1 :OI'C lu do \\"ilh r helOrir th im is onli-
na ril y suppoSl'ct , A histnry Ill" rhl'tnrk in lall'r a nt iqui ty a nd in t'arly
C h r istian (houJ.::ht wou ld hI' rt'qu irt'd {(J cI 'lI' il~' Iht, lIa turl' a nd CXlrnt
o f s uch i nfi UCIl (,(, :'" hut it is \\orl h ml'lI ti (ln i ll~ (h a l t'a rl y C. h ris tian

" Paul Ciholas [- 1-" 011,,: TI,.. :\ 11 ;" ~ I .,.I'~!" ( :/tU ,l IlO I .. ... ,Id 7"! I t!I7I1- 79 1] ".,rrl'l' ll}
u: m;nd s us ,h"l Ill .. rlu hr rs oI1rll n ,ntr:Ulrcl PIa l.. "il l! .\ Iosl's. ,J rl!; uill!/; I",r " ,hl'
dep"ndrll"r ur 1'10110 0" Old "J'rsl:""r nt pmp h" ls .\IId r~ I I(" 'i"lI r 'Ill !> I {)SI'~ " Ip. 121).
" In 1924 Harn.' Huhhrll ("' (: h r\"~ . wm "l ", , "!C' lir,II link Wa$ kl1 nw/l .)1" .hl' I'arl}"
Conclusion 133

history writing was also a largely rhetorical or polemical enterprise.

Beginning with Euse bius, the founder of Christian historiography,
the historical writings of the C hristians are attempts to establish the
truth of their religion. Des pite divergences of emphasis , " the C hurch
historians' task had a basic unity, for all the historians and their
readers would agree that church history was properly and essent ially
a record of the power of God a nd of the action of God in hu man
affairs. Thus church history was a test of the truth of the faith ," .6
This task, as distinct from that of the G reek or Roma n writer of
history- which was to (investigate and) relate the facts , to inform- is

biJlory ofChriuian rh eloric, but Ihat by the fourth century rhetoric was in complele
conl.rot of p~a ching . In 1928 a nd 1929 Aime Pucch pu blished a ninf'-parl ~ tudy of
" L' Eloquence chretienne au IV' siede" in the R'VUf dtS COlI'S t/ Co>ifirnfus [29 : 1
(1928), 421 - 31, ;81 - 93, 673-68; 29:2 ( 1928), 177- 87, 633-4.5; 30 ; I (1928- 29),
7!l-a6, 223-3.5. 443-54, 56.5- 76 ]. More rccc:ntl y, in addition 10 the art icles cited car
lier in this chapter, Jacger [Ear{1 e/tris/ill"i!! aM Gruk Paidtill (Cambridge: Harvard
University Prns. (961 ), C haps. I and 2] has discuu cd the early fathen ' adoption of
clau ical rhetoric as part of their transforma tion of G reek filii/till . On the rhetoric of
the New Te5lament itselr. $CC AmO!l N. Wilder, EII,/.1 Christill" RAt/one. TIt, LAfI8l1l1l t gf
IN G.J/M/ ( London: SC M Pre$!, 1%4) . There arc also several \'l~ry detail-oriented
piecn by Antoaio Quacquarclli: LA IftoriCII 41Clirll IIlbirio ( Rome: Edi~ioni Scientifiche
Romane, 1956); Rtlfriat t lilllflill IIIIlnri(nrll (Rome, 1960); $(IUi PII/ril li,i (Hari,
197 1"" {burdtmi fl " Vtlm Cll riJlill'lflnrm - 5), C hap. 1 " I prcsuppositi filosorlCi della
retoriea patriSlica," and " ln ~n t io cd eloc:ulio nella ulorica crisliana anlica," VrI .
CII,. 9 (1972) : 191- 218. Michad McGcc ]"Thematic Reduplication ill C hristian
Rhetoric," Q!llIrltr/.1 jfH4mll / of SfJtII 56 ( 1970) : 196- 204 ] arg ues that "The C hristian
WOf'ld ,ie... . . . changed the INfJJli1lg . . . rathe r tha n the /11"" or rhetorical thcor)M(p.
201). And tbere have brtn a couple or imere5ting SlUdics of Lact<l.ntius debt to Cic
ero: .P. Monat [" Lac tancc Cl Ciccron. A propo$ d ' un rr agment de J ' H~ '~i"J , " R,/lIU
its EtIlduLAtiMS .53 ( 19 7.5) :248-67 ); a nd E. Gareau 1 " 8~t tll'tTt loqwi: Lacun ce et la
conceplion cicironienne de rorateus ideal," Rt~'w dts E/tu/rs U//MS 55 ( 1977) : 192-
202]. Gcorge Ke nncd y ["The Present State of lhe Stud y of Ancient Rheto ri c," CP 70
(1975)J has promised (p. 281 ) a th ird volume in his hislory of rhetoric and ora tory
that wiJIlake u~ 10 .... u. 800 IInd conclude-, by say ing that " Ihe mOl l open rro ntier now
seems 10 lie in examina.tion of the relationship' between the cla.S5ica l tradition and its
varia nts or alternativcs within J udaism, Christianity, Islam. or the cullUrel 01 Africa
or Asia." The brief stud y or ''Judaco-Christi an Rhetoric" in his CIMSitll1 RAt~'it lI11d
lis Cltris/illlllllld Stcviar T1adi/io" fio m AIICinrl/o .\frJd"" Timts (C hapel Hill; Uni vusi ty of
North Carolina PreM. 1980). pp. 120-60, is the OOt to date; scc: my re" ie!>' in Ihe jrmrnal
of W Hiltory <! PAilosopJr:r. fonht:oming. 801 at present th e~ is still no thorough
stud y or early Chri$lia.n rhetoric or of rhetoric's place in the cultu ral hislory of laIC
antiquity. Hcinrich Kuch's stud )' or Ihe idea or philology is part or the work lha!
need~ 10 be: done: Pfli/ol0llU (Berlin, 196.5), scc C5ped all y the r~ !umi, pp. 122- 28.
16 Glan"ille Downey, "The Perspeclive of the Ea. rl y Church H istorians," GRIJS 4
( 196!l): 69. Similarly, J a mes T . Sholwc]/ , "Christianity and HillOty," .J. of Phi/osop"".
PJ}cJcolol}, 0114 So mtific .'oft/hod 17 (1920) :8.5-94, 11 3- 20, J41 - .50] $Cts Ihe sp~ad and
triumph of' C hristianit y as a calamity ror histo riograph y and da.ims Ih al in Euscbiu5
" history is the rCKrvoir not of argumen t, bul of proor' (p. 141 ).
134 Idta of Hu to~}t
tht: task of ecclesiastical hisloriography throughout the Middle
Ages. 1I And it is interest ing to notc that it was pursuant 10 this per-
suasive task , to which history writing was turned by the early Chri s
(ians , that hi story wriling first ca mt' to rd y upon ('x lt'nsi\'t use of
documentary evidence"~ What had first been the tool of the Jewish
apologclicaJ historian Joscphus became the tool of the C hrist ians and
thence a reg ular feature of the discipline call rd history. Eusebius is
fa mous for this, but it is also characteristic of the less famou s church
historians Socrates and So7.0men .
Such changes as were made in the idcOI of history under the impact
of Judaco-C hristianil )" Ihen, w('re rhetorical. and it ....'ould be appro-
priate to sa)' that thl' idl'a . so altered, is a rhetorical idea. But more
important , and notwithslanding the d l'tail inlo ..... hi ch Ihl'Sl' pages
have gone, lhe idea of history in antiquity ..... as not an important idea ,
not one of thl' formati \'(' and widel y inflU('nlial id ras ei dler in th('
Gracco-Roman or in the JudaeoC hristian culturf'. Then' are such
id eas in both cultures. In lhr Graeco-Roman cuhurl'. nature ( qnJ OI~ ,
natura ), wisdom (ootP(a, JiJpitnlitJ) , and tht, good (o.ya86v, honum)
continue to be objects of inquiry and action throughou t alltiquity and
in a ll fa cets of cuhurl'. Simi larly, thr C hristians brgan in tht' third
celllury an examination of thrir beliefs, in which tht" ideas of Ion'
(q,yCll't'l , chorilas), faith ( 1t (O'tl~ .fidtS), and th e tri- unity and perfection
of God ( 8E~, Dtus) figured prominently . On c might Kin other lists
of the important ideas; then' a re other malleTS frequemly d iscussed .
The relationships between tllt" two l'u \lu rcs with respl'ct to such
idras an: many . Sometimes an idea im portant ill G raeco- Ro man cui
ture is taken over whole cloth into Judat'o-C hri sti;:m culture; some-
times an idea originally fo rmulated in Graceo-Roman cu lture is car-
ried over and rrformulated ill Judaeo-Chris lian cult ure . And there
are differencrs be tween the Iwo cuhu res as to t he imponancl' aI-
tached to various ideas. Tht' idea of God. for l'xamplt' , is found in
both cultures . The interpretatio ns given by the two ('ult u res art' quite
different ; but in addition to thal it does not seem 10 be tht' case that
anywhf:re near as much importance is attached to tht' id ea by Ihe
Greeks and Romans as bv. tht' Ch rislians. Th is is not 10 sav. that Ih e

" cr. f loyd Scward Lear, ~ Tht Mtdit"al Aniludr toward H isI00 .~ Riu In llillllt
Pa",pftlt/ 20 ( 1931): I ~- 77.
le i\rnaldo Momigliano, ~ Pa1l: a n a nd C hriStian H isloriO!l; raphy in Iht Fourth etn
IUry I\ .D .," in PafaniJm atld Cllris/ill"i!, ill llu FOII,,1t Ctlll~~F. td . MOOliglia no (Oll(ford :
Ctarendon Prs, 1963). p. 92.
C01Ic/usi011 135

Grt:t:ks and Romans did not havt: or did not attt:nd 10 tht:ir gods and
tht:ir rt:ligious dutit:s as they conct:ived tht:m; but rather. that they
did not experienct: them as g rea t mysteries, puzzles, o r problems to
~ di scussed and allalyzed. In the rt mains of Greek and Roman lit
era lure, discussions of tht: nature of the God head are relat ively infre
quent and seldom of fi rs t-ratt importa nce. It is a measure of the
retrospt:clive misunderstanding of these discussions that thty are of-
ten excerpted and exa mined by modern writers as thnugh the idea:oo
were as important to andent civilization as they are 10 modern . On
tht: other hand , tht:re are ideas which are prominent in Greek and
Roman thought but which, carried over into early C hristian thought .
have little importance. Such, for exa mpl e, is the idea of nature.
Given these difft: rent kinds of relationships between the cuhures as
regards ideas , and given the pro minence that the idea of history has
had in Western cuhure for the past thrt:e or four centuries, it is all
the more in teresting to observe that tht: idea of history was not an
important idea in antiquity. Histo ry does not pose any theoretical or
speculative problems. History nei ther explains anything nor itself
net'ds explanation. In fa ct, the o pposition between history and reason
or explanation lasts throughout aOliquity and provides the basis for
the con tinuing reject ion of history as philosophica lly insufficient. 19
When history was discussed by the Greeks a nd Romans, the literary
genrt: was meant a nd the discussions were carried on by rhetoricians.
The pro bl ems that history posed for them were problems of art , not
problems of science or knowledge. There was " na tura l history" a nd ,
in the later period , " history of opinions"; but history here was just
accurate info rmation , th e facts, or an account thereof. Such knowl-
edge as thi s indicated was knowledge by acquaintance. Hi story was
disl.:usscd by the C hri stians not directly but , rather, in the contex t of
Bible criti cism. Here history, similarly, was the literal or somatic
level or dimension of Scripture, and it was to be unders tood straight-
forwardly . Tht:re was no probl em about understanding "according to
history" ; the problems in exegt:s is had to do with nonliteral exegesis .
Tht: C hristians had a histo ry, found in the Scriptures, which served
them as their equiva lent of the histories of the Greeks and Romans
and which they acceptt'd on faith . Bu t here too there were no specu

.. h wa~ n:jeclcd a5 a rl y a5 HeradilUs; er. p. 25. lUpm. The op~lion m wt'Cn history
and l"C':HOn or ex planation was rei terAted in the exegetir.al diSllnction bctwccn historical
and imdlcc tual inlerpTCUtion.
136 /dta of Hisro~r
lalive or scientific pro blems; on(' Ilt'eded only to be acquainted with
the fa cts.
If the idea of history ..... as not important in a ncient cult ure. it cer-
tainly became so later on . August ine set up tilt' opposition brtwren
sacred and gelllile hisIHr~' ;L~ differe nt hislOries. \\'ith different begin-
nings and ends. going ClII al Ihe SO IlIlt' time and in the :;';1111(, place. The
twO cities are sid t by side ill this world and in th e ulli verst', But the
history of the cel est ial city is provicicntia l and ils ('nd is sah-alion: ilS
meaning a nd e nd arc nul thosr (lf tilt' hisl!lry of Ill(" !e rrt'striai ci lY.
T he g r ea l allth()ril~' t'luorcd h ~ AU).::tl Sl illt" and tht' IlUi lll t'IT tll )It'<1
availabilit y of the Cify Iif' (;011 during the StLtH'ctiing n'lIt uries estab-
lished the distinction between sacrf'd a nd prnfillle' hi stOry as a fun -
damenta l (metaphysical) di stinctio n in W" ~>I nn thouKht. .. But
sacred and profan e his tory wrrc fl ot only u nde rs!Uod 10 tw d iO(: rt nt.
It came to he unders tood a lso that Ih(' sa(rld his tory. which bega n
with the creat ion nf t h.. world and wo uld ('nd willl thl' st'colld coming
of the messiah ,t' which dcpendf"d for its r('liahilily upo n th(' di\ine
a uthority of inspired authorship rath('r than upon tht' In("rf'l y human
authority of observat ion and inquiry, was IIl1' mcasu r(' of all oth('r
his tories . If th en' was a confl ict octW(,I'1I what wa ~ found in the
sacred histor\, and what was saki som('wlwrt, l'lse, til t' laller had to
~ considered incorrect, l.ikcwi s(", since th(" sacn'd history began with
the crea tion of the world. any local or na tional history was under-
s tood as taking place ..... ithin tht, tim(" continuum established therehy.
The histories ..... ritten durin,!!; tht Middk Ages W('f(' , fo r tht' mos t part ,
ecclesiastica l his tories, tdlill,Lt about 111(" p ro.'::r('ss of the ce lestial ci ty.
the kingdom of God 0 11 t'a rlh , and procf'r"din.':: from ('rea linn Y It was

11>Augustine, hm"'cver, ('onsirl~red Ih.t- rl istinclion morr mysticallila" n1l'taph~si Cilll .

He 511)" (CD 15.1):" spI'ak or lh rsr hranc:hts (ofmankiod ) ,,150 l\1 ys li(aIl~' i,,! rl lift \
ilS IWO cilics. Ihal is IWO socicli" (If human heiules. 1,11' ... hil'h '"11' is Pl'mrMi nm to
reign ~ Iuna\l y wi th God and Ih.t- olhl'r In Ulldl' rRO !'ll'rnal puuishm('nl wil h Ihl'
dc\,a . ~
>I The prac: ticc of romml'ncing hinorkal ;U;!;01JlII~ wil h frr;t liul1 M'C'!Il ~ 10 ha\'C' b~

gun with I h~ CIr''''''''II/'III11 ofJulius Articanul. which lI r\'ull'd IWO hook! U) Ihr pc:riod
from cru,ion 10 M ~ . This ... u rotlo"'l'd b\' i::uS('btus in Ihr ,'onsuucli un of hil
Cltrlllliclt, which was a hiSloric:al sourCl'lxlok (or'lhl' lIe~1 th0ll5:lnd ytau. t:r. Milburn ,
111/.1 CA,ls/ill" 1",,,.pt'II'i"~s 81 His/o~t, pp. ,S8-tiO.
11 for u.amplr . PrO'Jpt'r of Aquilainl" s CIr,o~i("1tt .1I".e.lI," pn)('l'm, !rum ..\ d am \I')
A .D . "55. GrrKOry of Tours' Hislorio Fra~ro"'''l beRilll ... il h thl' rrtalion . l ~ido rl' of
Seville's C/t,omu ,"lIll1rll is a uni \'l'rsal chronidl' from crl'ali'lIl 10 ... . 11. 6 15. Thl' ..... ork,
of Ouo of Frtising a nd VinCl'I1' of fkoau\'ai5 bolh procffri from crl'alion tn Iht' I'lId of
Imlt: .
Conclus;on 137

len for the Renaissance to rediscover the value of knowing something

about the history of the terrestrial ci ty.u Even when national his-
tories were being written once again , since all history was still under-
stood to begin with creation and with Ada m, writing a national his-
tory req uired that one show the national lineage from the offspring of
Noah."M And since the national histories derive from the providential
history, they characteristically proceed upon the notion tha t that
nation has some particular role to play in the providential history .
Criticism of this view of history as differentiated into a sacred and
a profane part began as a reaction agai nst the excesses of mille-
nari anism and as one facet of the skeptical crisis of sixteenth- and
seventeenth-century France, and pa rti cula rly as a result of the tra ns-
formation of Bible criticism which these movements of thought pre-
cipitated . Z5 The Scriptures were found to be fallible; the hi story of the
world was found to be: somewhat longer than that of the Old T es-
tament peoples; it was argued that there were men before Adam; the
lineages from Noah were found 10 be undocumentable. When Ihe
framework of the sacred history-tha t is, the events from crea tion to
J esus Christ and the projccted Second Coming-d ropped out of the
picture, the continuity be: tw ~ n sacred and profan e history was
broken. David Hume's History of England makes no men tion of the
sacred history or of the then customary evangelization of England by
SI. Peter but , rather, begins with the earli es t documentable events.
The excl usion of that part of history which was called sacred and the
rejection of the distinction between sacred a nd profane brought into
being something entirely new, history as a quasi-science (in contem-
porary terminology, a social science) a nd as pa rt of the educa tional
curriculum of Western civilization. Insofa r as the subject matter is

n Cf. l.ou is Green. "HiMoricall nterpl"tlalion in the f ourteenth Century flON!ntine

Chronides, jHI 28 ( 1967) : 16 1- 78; CoostantirKlll Patridn, 17It Phonrix IUlll drt LAddtr

(Berkeley: Unive n ilY uf California Preu, 1964), C hap. 6; J ohn Baillie. TIlt BtUt! ill
P'n,rtsS, C hap. 3; Wallace K. Ferguson, TAt RtJllliml1l(t ire His/flric/d 17t~tlet, Chap. I.
'" See Oon Cameron Alien, 1 ~ U6rrJ '" NNIt (U rbana: Univeuity u( lIIinoiJ Preu,
1963), Chap. 6, espially pp. 117fT.
71 Accounts of these his loriograph ical devdopmen ts d uring the Renaissance may be
round in: Grace E. Cairns, Pllilolophiu of HiJ/(1) (New York: Philoso phical Li brary,
1962), Pari 2 C hap. !I; Frank Man ud, ShflPu of PleilaS4lf1llitlri His/ory (Stanford: Stan
ford Univenily Pms, 196!1), Chap. 3; Pa lrides, Pltonix IIM LA" tr, C haps. 5-8, a
more detailed s tudy: Winston H. f . Ba mes, "On Hi"ory. I.- Hiuorical Inq ui ry,"
Dwrltsm UII/vmilJ' j OllrM/ 8 (1946-47): 89-97; S. G. F. Brandon, "B.C. and A.D. : The
Chrin ian Philosophy of Hislory," History T.dflY t !l (1965): 198-99; 8eatrice Reynokb,
"Shifti ng C un-ents in Historical Criticism," j lll 14 (1953), especially pp. 480-92.
138 Idea of HiJto~1'

concerned , this consti tut es a return to the ancicnt Grt'ek and Roman
idea of his tory as an account of even ts in t he hum a n world, d istinct
from myth and fable in that il ('xclude's accou nts of gods . miracles.
a nd lhe like. But while lhl' biblical beginn ing and ("nd or the histor-
ical cOnlinuum and tht" miraculous ('\"enlS of Iht' sacred history
dropped OUI of the later dew. t ht" pro\'id ellt ia l mf'a ning attribuU'd to
eve nts has proved more persis lt'nl. Ew n t ho ugh lht Juriaco-C hris tian
beginning and end of histury Wf'rt' n'lrgalt'd 10 Iht' sta tus of
"mythology ," the notion that history is movi ng toward somt' goal or
cnd has sun'j\'ed. Bayle. Vohairr, and othtTS "f,he rn~ I'(lopidiJ ltJ may
not have believed that history was going anywhrTr. hut the G erman
Roma ntics did , If the p n)\'idt:ntia l ml';U1in ,~ of hi"tory was ft'movcd
by seve nu~enth - and eightet'nlh-ct'nt u ry Frt'nc h thinkers, it \\'as put
bac k by eighteenth- and nin r tt'enlh-('rn tury German philosophers of
history- with the differr nce that for thr ill th (' dt'\'('lopme nl is im-
manen t ra the r than tra nscrnden 1. Thus history has ht"l'nmt" a ma tte r
of sustained phi losophica l and thcologica l inu'rt'''1 ill Iht' modrrn
world ,
All of these deve lopments- and this is, (If courst', only a "kru:h of
the later fortunes of the idea of history- an' hased on Augustin(,' s
distinction between the twO histori es and thl' attribution to t ill' sanf'd
history of a provide ntial or salvational mea ninJi!: ' In urder for lh('r(' to
be philosophies or theologies of history, hO\\,l'\'('r, hi "tory mu st fi rst
be und erstood LO !)(' the sort of thint{ about which Iherl" (1111 bl' a
philosoph y or a theology, That is to say, history must bt- un d('rSlood
to indicate the whole temporal proc('ss or ca n 'eT Cif a thin!!; takt'n
collec tively , History in Ihi s sense is some lhin~ ra (hrr dilte rrlll from
the various senses oflh e term that ha\'{' bc{'n ('xa min ed in th{' prt'ccd-
ing c hapters. In Greek a nd Roman a nd Christian writ ings alik{', his-
tory meant an informational aCCOUnl or accurat{' inform,u ion about
various sorts of things. Thrrt' was a grnl'ral distinc tion brtwet'1l uses
in which the form was emphasized and IhOst' in which the content
was e mph asized ; that is. he twcen his tory as a l itera r~ grnre and his-
tory as informational accoullt. Tht' lallt'T ~e nu s ca ll1(' to ha\'t' samt'
modified senses in t.tler a ntiquity: an informational aC(,(IlIlH ill
which accurdC)' was less important than ellleTlilinment Ill' imlrut'tKIIl,
history as stor y, <md Ihe infurmation abuut some thing 0 1' somcune
taken as a collecti\'e whu\e, histury <IS Ihe ~Sl . This last sense most
near ly approximates histol'Y in the se nse rt"tjuired 1'01' philoso phy UI'
theology of history. BUI in al1liquit~ ;1IIt! t'\'('1I ill Augustint' Ihis does
Conclusion 139

not seem to be quite the same sort of history, for all the ancient
histories are human productions.
Written works called "histories" arc, of course, the products of hu-
man art; and history as a literary gcnre is largely concerned with the
rules and styles for producing them . History as informational account
is also a human product, both in the earliest sense that it is the result
of someone's inquiring and in the later sense that an accou nt of the
information about something is possessed by or known to someone,
handed down or reported by someone. Here a very great difference
between ancient and modern ideas of history appears. For while in
the ancient world there is no hiSfory apart from human thought and
art , in the modern world there is such history, and it is this to which
human thought and art are applied . The difference is between ( I )
someone giving, writing, or knowing the history of something, and
(2) something hIJuing a history, which someone might attempt to learn
or tn communicate. The difference may be described as one of in-
dependent existence or subsi:. . ..;nce. In modern thought there is his-
tory independent of any knower or writer as an aspect or dimension
of Ihe subject thing, person, or nation whose history it is. History
thus has become a category of reality, and in that sense a subsistent
entity . And j ust as one may theorize or speculate about time, space,
and number, .)\o one may speculate about history .
But history is not this sort of thing for late antiquity or for Augus-
tin e. Their usage of history as the past is closely conn ected to the
notion of information or the facts as human productions and posses-
sions, not as possessions of the subjects of the history. Augustine may
want to talk about the history of the two ci ties in this later sense as
the whole temporal process or carttr, but he never uses historia or any
cognate word for this purpose. His words are cursus, excursus, and pro-
rursw.~ The inquiry thus comes to a second signifi cant negative ob-
servation about the idea of history in antiquity: that history was not
understood as a subsistent en tity . But Augustine'S rhetorical and
apologetic differentiation between the two histories and the notion
III Augustine speaks of the "tourn ((I! rJIU) of the most glorious city" (I!I.IS) and the
"courses (CltrSW) of the two cities" ( 15.21), of the "origin and career (tJrfllrSIIJ ) a nd
final end o f t he two cit;e,~ (11.1), and their "career (txCUnus) . . . until hUffiiln beings
ce.:ue to reprodua:~ (1 5.1). their ~origin and progreu (pt'orurm.) and final end"
( 1.3!1 ). The very first sentence or the work declares Augustine" inten tion 10 derend
" the most glorious cily orGod both in this (Quuc of timcs ( i~ A ImI/HInl m curSII')" and
in eternity ( I. pracf.); similarl y 10. 15. Sce aoo IR GtMJim G6 ulkram ImptrJIdimt 5.4
and Df DtxtrilfG ChriJliaM 2.16.25.

th at each had its ow n beginning, course, and end provide the starting
poi nt for tha t pa rticula r phase in the developmen t of the idea of h is-
tory fro m which it emerges as , in one sense , this subsisu:nt enti ty. So
that the later idea of history as a 5ubsistrn l ('mit )'. which is the idea
involved in modern philosophies and theologies of his tory. develops
from-and only develops from- Ihe rhelOrical inlerprelation which
Augustine adumbrated in his Ci~, of God.
An objection might be raised at Ihis point. and respond ing to it
provides an occasion to reca pi lUialC' the argument of thi s book. T he
accep led account has been Iha l tht' Judaeo-Ch ri st ia n idea of history
was somet hing entirely new and essentia ll y oppost"d to the G raeco-
Roman, which it s uperseded. T ht' latt('r was history as drcul ar. rep('-
litive, and meaningless. bu t th(' rorm('r made it lint-ar, onct' and lo r
all , a nd meaningful. Thus C hris ti ans in\,cntro thc ph ilosophy or his-
tory, a branch or p hilosophy tha t is or grrat in tcr('!;( in thr: modr:rn
period, whi ch fi rst camr: to express ion in AU!i!:ustinC"s Ci{I' ofGod. T he
r:ssentials of this account art' innova tion, op position, and SUpt'fSt'S-
sion, and it cha racterizes not only stucl i('s spl'C'ilically or tllf' idea of
history in a ntiq ui ty , bu t also general st udies or th(' relation hetween
"pagan" and "C hri stia n " in thf' cult ural history of tht' anci("nt world.
I have been argu ing, on , ht' COllt rary, tha t wha t t hl' C"arly Christian
writers meant by history was not somt'l hin .~ c'sscn tia ll y ncw and dir-
ferent , th at there wer(' nm widely 3t't't'ptt'd paltt' fIl s of t' irC'lt's \s.
lines, repet ition vs . uniqueness, and so rorth , and that neither cuh urt'
inve nted ph ilosophy of history or philosophized abou t history at a ll .
because neit her und('rstood history to he tht' whol(' t('m poral process
of a th ing taken coll ecti q 'l y and unders tond to tw a possess ion or
att ribute orthat thing (i.('., as indt'penrlt'n tl y s uhsisti ng) which is p re-
requisite 10 any theorizi ng or p h il osophizi n~ abou t it.
G iven tha t a rgument , tht' objt'ct ion is this : if I :<\ay that al though
Augustine does not usc histaria lo r this, h(' might S('f'm (o r may ha\'t=
wanted ) to tal k about hi:<\!ory a:<\ the- whole- ("o urs!' of a people's
career, am I not ad mi tting, in cITect. tha t somtthing rad ica ll y new i5
rou nd in Augusli nr.' s thought, a nd thus tha t ttu: acct'ptt=cl accuun t of
the idt=a of history in antiqui ty can he dt=rended in a morlifit'cI for m?
The argument would hr t ha t there really is a nt'\\ and op posed idea
of history here, but th at it is not ('onnectt'cI wi th hi5tO,io a nd in cog-
nates unt il laler ill the \\'es tf'rn traditiOIl.
There arc severill d ifft' r('llt answcrs to this obj('ctioll . T o begin
with, when AU!i!:uslim' Sf'('ms, rrom n ur pn int IIr \'if'\\', IU be talki ng
Conclusion 141

a bout the whole temporal process, he uses (as I have pointed out
above), the words cursus, ~xcursU!, and procurJus. All of them derive from
curro, to run; thus cursU! means basically a running or course as the way ,
path, or passage run , a nd thus it comes to be used figu rati vely for the
cou rse (direction, way) of ho noTS ," ballles,2fI life,2!I o r, more vaguely, of
thingsJO and of times, the CUrJUS tnn/Jf1rum ,'1 which is precisely the phrase
that Augustine himself uses a t the o utset of the City oJGod ( I .praef. ).
ProcurslJ.s, again, basica lly mt.:ans a running forth or forward, as in an
a rmy's charge, and figu ratively the outbreak or first appearance of
something. Thus VaJerius Maximus speaks of " the origin and fi rst
manifesta tions (initio procu rsusq lJ.~ ) of virtue ... " Bu t when Augustine uses
the same phrase (CD 1.35) to a pply to the two citi es, translators are
tempted to render procursus as " progress ."]) I shall not dispute tha t
translation. But there arc two points to be noted about uses of these
words that allegedl y rerer to the whoJe temporal process: first, they
come from the traditional language a nd culture-the), arc no t
J udaw.Christian neologisms- so that if they indicate the whole tempo
ral process as a conceived unity in Augustine, there is no prima faat
reason why they should not have in the non-C hristian traditio n. There
would be nothing radicall y new on that account. In fact, in their con
texts the words do not carry such a burden but , rather, only refer, and
rather vaguely, to the successions of events; second, in Augustine as in
the previo us tradition, these words do no t have any particular a$Sacia
tions with history either as a literary genre or as an informationa l ac-
count, no r are they words that deliberately refer to processes tha t might
be analyzed for such fea tures as goal-directedness or pa tterns of any
sort. They are not, in short , part or the analytical , philosophical, or
theoretical vocabulary a t all . So if they rerer to the whole temporal
process-which I think they do not- it wo uld be misleading to suppose
that they deliberately refer to it in a ny philosophicall y serious way .

71 C ic. F'Ir!. 3. 11.2; T ac. Hu t. 1.48.

11 T ac. A" . 27.
:rtCic. Cad. 17.39; Off. 1.4 .11 , 1.32. 11 7; PMl. 2. 19.47; Sal. 21.47. M acrob. Sal.
"Cic. Fa",. 4.2.3; T ac. A". 39; HUI. 4.34.
11 Cic. Fa",. 6.5.2.
JI Val. M u:. 3.2.init.; cr. pnlomlls i rtu, 7.3.
'I See, e.g., the transla tion, by M. Dod' , G. Wilson, and J.J. Smilh in /Ja.J/J: Wril.
,'",J of S.;"l AlIllIsh"", cd . Whilney J. Oatu (New York: Random H OUR, 1948), Vol.
t, p. 40, a nd G. G. \\laI5h, D. B. Zema, G. Mona han, a nd D. J . Honan in Saj",
" _f'Utillt. n e Ci'.1 ~ ~", cd. Vernoll J. 80urke (New York: Image Hooks, 1958) . p.
142 Uta of HiJto~~
Ne.xt , if it is admille.d that neither the language. of Airlona nor that
of cumu and the. like reveals anything radically new and diffue.nt in
Augustine's idea of history, sti ll , it might he arg ued , the City 01 God as
a whole. see k~ to show th e providential meaning of the coune of celes-
tial and terrestrial event:>, and this (logica lly ) implies a conception of
his tory a s a whole. T o Ihis. too, I would like to make two replies:
firs t, as with cursUl and its deri\r alin~s, if Augustine's e nterprise.
"implies" such an idea, then no le-ss d()('s that of Vergil , for whom
" hiswry is something m Oft" than a panora ma, a glitte.ring pagea nt
which is yet wi lltOu t significanct'. To him it embodi('s a hidden mean -
ing which, while it may bt- dimly forecast in Ihe ulteran ces or seers
and prophets. is to Ix: rully disclost'd on ly with the c ulmination or
secular process in the evolution or Eternal Rome, " ~ I
This suggests Ihe second re pl y,:" that there is a rallacy invoh'ed in
basing one's judgments in the history or cu lture on ideas suppost-d ly
" implied " bUI not direc tly d isco\'t'red in Iht' texts thal olle is inter-
pre ting, The sa me rallacy underlit's ,he ohjection hcing considered
here that derivros rrom my roarlier statemrnt that "Augu stinf' may
want to talk ahout tht' his tory or the two citit's in Ihis lal er sense as
the whole temporal procrss or carec-rs ," SlIdl a s tatemt'n t is meta-
phorical, as are s latemt'nts abou l ''rorroTunncrs:' "3nt icipalions:'
"rorcshadowings, " and thr likc in Ihr hi story of ide as ,~' From a laIn
point or view, and lookinl/: backward, wr ('an scc how carlirr ,'iews
might have or did prov idf' foundation s upun which (or ill o ppositiOll
to which ) laler views werr COlls truclrd , \\'!' human bt'ings are always
mining our physical and spiritual past ror mate rials In build with in
the present. But the paS! was nnt l'i ollwhow o hs('uf('ly "try ill~ " to be

Jo c, ~,Cochrant, (;h1ij/il",i~r 4,,,1 Cltmi(tI! ( :/lII,m 1="1'" York : O ,do..r! l'n htr5 il !
Pr~ss , 19'11), p. 68. Such a \'i ~w is no!. hOWf\"f'r, rf'5lrirIMIII) il1ldl('('\ual hhlorilUl$ or
a pUI JII:~ntrat ion . Brnnk~ Od~ J l"irJi/..4 Sf"~r ill (;il'ifi~/J P"'/~I 1( h;lO rd : Clartnrlol1
Pros. 19(4 ), p. 3891 ohS("r\' ~ Ihal ' irjl;iI"", . . ~'II' in Rumr IlI r parllr!iRm and .toa l or
all hiswrical lI C"lid IY.- Cf. R. D, \\"i lli 'lm ~, - ' irgil." (i,"" &" HnH/l. X II,' S~I/"~I" ilf Ill,
C/4JJKJ :\"0. 1 (Oxford: C larC"nr! nn "rl'$.' , 1%7 1. p. n .
" Tht cri liqur skrlChtd hrn' is dl'\'r IOP'"d :ou IMlg lh hy Qu~nt in :-'kinnn... i\I r anin.1!;
~nr! Unden la ndinQ; ill Ih r H i$I" r~ uf Idl"Is." 11 ~ Th . H ,19l'i!l) : :1 .i:J. ~~. "'iIIl .Jnhn
Ouon , "Th~ IdrntilY of Ih r HiSlnry "f Ir! ra~. " Plu/nlf/l~r H ( I ~I : fI.) - II~ : 1.ouis O .
Mink , ~Chan!1:r and Causalit y in Ih,' Ui510'1 uf Idr:l$:' f.'itlllrmllr (;I"/U~I .\"IIIJi,., :!
( 1968- 69): 7- 2!i; anr! " Ifrrd Somali . .. :\Ir lhodlll,~y in thl' HiS l nr~ "I" IlI ra $: Th~ Casr
of Pi~rrt C harron ." ) otmlltl ~r IM II/J'''~ r '!f "hi1n'OP~1 I"!. { I!17-\ ) : i - :!.l . ..I, Irr :\( I ~ in 19-15
H:uo kl Chtrn i~~ had di~Jll:nn5l'd :. ~i miln rall; ... ~ in I'l r.. "ni. SI'h"la r~h ip a~
" r~uoj lion ": $1'1' Tbr RiJJI, ~f ,11, f.-m! r :Irnil,,!r f 8rlhh-~ : l"nhr rsi ll "r ClllilC,rnia
Prtu , 19'15: rriss urd . :"<tW Ynrk : KU.151'1I ,md R U~5r ll . 1!lI.i:! I, I'P, 1;111:
.. Su Skinnfr, " ~ll'an i n.l:" anI'! l ' nr!nSI ;tllrl inJ;: in Il i" h' ~' (,I' lr! r 'ls." I'P. Ill- I:!.
Conclusion 143

the fUlure, and earlier writers were not trying to say or saying badly
what later writers finally did say.)! Writers say what they mean as
best they can ; we must he careful not to confuse the two valuable but
different tasks of understanding what an author's statements mean in
their own context and understanding what was made of them by
later interpreters.
Thus the objection brillgs us back to an important point, already
premised in Chapter I , of methodology in the history of ideas: that
writers, texts, and ages are to be interpreted and underslOod not in
the inherited terms and categories of the interpreter's own age and
circumstances....- however familiar and unquestionable these may seem-
but, rather, in their own terms. As Quentin Skinner observes.
"The essential question which we therefore confront , in slUdying any
given text, is what its author, in writing at the time that he did wrile
for the audience he intended to address, could in practice have been
intending to communicate by the utterance of this given utterance.""
Augustine was not trying to invent the philosophy of history, nor
was he "anticipating" eighteenth- and nineteenth-century specula-
tions on the pattern and meaning of history ; because for him as for
the ancient Graeco-Roman and Judaeo-Christian traditions gen-
erally, history was not the sort of thing that could exhibit a paltern
and meaning. What Augustine was trying to do was to defend the
religion he had adopted with the weapons at his command. That the
rhetorical motif of two cities and two histories was used by later wri-
ters in such a way that history came to he that sort of thing, came 10
be conceived as a subsistent entity, does not mean he himself actually
did or " must" have had such an idea.

Finally, a comment on the cultural ferment of late antiquity is in

order. The linear-cyclic venion of the idea of history in antiquity, 1
have argued, reflects an aet:epted account of the cultural devel-
opments of late antiquity: that the Graeco-Roman and Judaeo-
Christian cultures are fundamentally different and opposed. So that
the analyses and interpretations of the period that are offered tend to
focu s on either what came before or what came after and to interpret

" Notwithnanding AriSlo!le', treatment of hi~ predecenors' st;uc:~nts as imper-

fect and partial answers to his own question.; on which, see Chap. 4, n. 85, syrtl .
. . Skinner, ~ Meaning and UndeNtandinR in History or Ideas," pp . .a-49.
144 Mta of HiJlory
the whole period eithu in terms of classical civilization or in terms of
medievaJ civilization. Discuss ion s have tended to he either of the de-
cl ine of t he a ncient world or of the classica l hcritag{' of the M iddle
This study of the idea of history, 10 the Contrary. suggeSlS thal
there was ex tensive continui ty of ideas and Ihal , oH leas t as regard s
the ideas which arc the tender of communic'llion with in the commu-
nity of users of a languagr, there is mort' conl inuity than change, If
this is true, then in order to understand this cult ural ferment wc must
a pproach it not in terms only of its origins or of its influence and la ter
impact, but in terms of what in fa ct w eOl on in it: tha t is, in its own
terms. It seems to Ix the cast' with the acc('ptt'd account of la te an-
tiqui ty gene:ra ll y, as it was with thc accept('d account of thf' ide:a of
history, that the popu lari!r of the: "if'\\, is to he traced back to the
early C hristian apologists themseh'es, ..... host stock ill trade was the
opposition betwee:n C hristianity and " paganism." But what was for
them a political necessity in thei r struggle for s urvival against ridi-
cule, slander, or persecution has become for modern Ihoughl a pair of
distorting glasse:s through which this part of nur common past is
seen .
The: opposition ~tween J udaeo-C hristian and Graeeo-Roman
thought as a pattern fo r understanding the cultural history of lalf'
antiquity is nol corroborated in these pages. The pervasi\eness of the
pa ll ern ilSelf in historical sl udie:s is a measure, e:\'cn in ou r time:, of
the hold tha t early C hristia n thought has upon o ur u ndersla nding of
our pas t. What would seem 10 bt called for in the fu tu re is historical
in vestigation of latc a ntiquity not based. on a pr('sumpLion of opposi-
lion and d ifference-which amounts 10 a prf'sum pt ion of Ih(" Chris-
tian apologetical framework-but , ralhcr. im es tiga liull that can re-
cognize where there is mort' of tradition (h<ln of inno\alion, more
continuity than change ,
I1 is appropriate 10 conclude with an example of tht' diffi culty and
the alternativt'. In 1923 Ernes ! Sihler wro tt" a hook t"ntitled. From Au-
gmlus 10 Augustinl', in which he undcTlook " 10 give voic<, 10 Ihose uller-
ances which were made in th e genera tion presented. mak ing du<' al-
lowance for the differences, antipathies and sympathies of minds as
presented by themselves , a nd without intrudi ng a n}' thesis o r prcj u-
dice of my own, " 1~ At Ihe begin ning of the third chapter ht' criticiz.es

.. Erne!! G. Sihler, From A",c .... ' .... /0 .."'.( IIJ/i,... . E U'!YJ o~J S/"Ji,., [)(s/m.( 11 illt fllr COlI'
Conclusioll 145

a fashion , t:stablished by Gibbon, of supposing that lift: undt:r tht:

Antoninc t:mpcrors was happy; for really, according to Sihler, things
were very bad , and worst of all in religion. "After all ," he comments,
" religion is the core and substantial element in any given civiliza
tion-and the passing of pagan rdigion was the passing of pagan
ism ."1O The supposition to which I want to draw attention is that
religion is the essence of civilization. For it is not a Graeco-Roman
supposition . In fact the one striking difference that has turned up in
thne pages between Graeco-Roman and Judaeo-Christian culture is the
almost obsessive interest of the latter in religious matters, and in
matters of broadt:r social, political, and cultural concern only insofar
as they rdatt: to religion. If tht:re is a fundamental change in Western
culture brought about by the triumph of Christianity, it is this: that
the leading motive of all cu lture Im:amt religion!!

I4c/ arlll (A'!f1icl ejClauir Pagallu m alld CltriJtiQlljl] (Cambridge: Camllridge Univenit y
p~ , 1923), p. viii.
- Ibid ., p . ~.
1. A. D. Nod: (CfllvtrJjo" (London: Oxford Universi ty Press, 1933: 1961), pp.
160-63J, realized Ihe rundamenlal dirrerence between what " religion' meant tn the
G~ks and Romans and what it mean. toJudaeo-Chrillianit}". Auguuint is the cru
cial figure in the cultural history orJale an tiquity !x:cause ht both crtattd and legiti
mir.ed the synthtsis of the Gratco-Roman and JudatO-Chrislian cultures that direclly
formed medieval Eumpt"an cultu re a nd Ihus indil"t'!ed y rorms our own. In H.1. Mar
mu's Sai"t AlIglIJti~ d /Qft" dt III ",/llIrt UliqlU (Paro: Hocard, 1938), the most innuen
tial mod~rn study or Auguslinr:'s thought in n:lation to classical culture, it is
rtfX"aledly observM Iha! all euitul"t'! is to be rdigious: e.g., " tht rigid subordination or
all manirestatioos or spirit to the religious end that dominates the entire doctrine or
culture" (p. 510) or " the care to subordinatt a ll cuhur~ 10 the only ne<:essary, the
I'tli~ious r:nd~ (p. 518). But tht rrligiocent rism in Christian r: ulture ....as nOI invr:nlcd
by Augunine; it may apprar 10 us sprcial in his thought b:ause ht is the first 10
explicitly acrrpl, in the lk doctrillQ cbriJlilUllJ, the " pagan" ans and scirncn and to
claim ror thrm an essential runction in the propagation orChriSl ianity.
Appendix: Bibliography of Works on the
Accepted View of the Idea of History
in Antiquity


Armstrong. A. H ., and Markus , R. A. Christian Faith. and Greek

Philosophy. New York: Sheed and Ward , 1964.
Baillie, John. TIu Beliif in ProgrtH, especially Chap. 2. New York:
Scribner's, 1950.
Chroust, Anlon-Hermann. "The Relation of Religion to History in
Early Christian Thought." The Thomist 18 (1955) :61-70. A
particularly thol"Ough and succinct statement of the accepted
Cannolly, James M . lIuman History and tlft Word of God, C hap. I. New
York : Macmillan , 1963~4 .
Danielou , Jean . "The Conception of History in the Christian
Tradition ." Papm O/tlll Ecumtnicallnslitutt 5 ( 1950), pp. 67-79;
reprinted, Journal of Religion 30 (1950): 171 -79.
Dawson. C hristopher. "The C hristian View of History:' BlackjriarJ
32 (195 1): 312- 27 .
Green , William M . "Augustine on the Teaching or HislOry."
Univmil)' of California Publication; in C/QJJical Philology, Vol. 12,
No. la, pp. 315-32.
Cuthrie, Harvey H . God and HiJtory in lht Old Teslammt, New York:
Seabury Press, 1960.
Harbison , Elmore Harris. Chmtianity and HUlory. Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 1964. An excellent l;ummary or the
recent discussion is ro und in Chap. 2, pp. 35-52.
Hardy, E. R. , Jr. "Christianity and Hiuory." Theology 40 ( 1940) :
14- 25, 104- 11 .
118 Rihliograph),

HalOOrn, H ajo. "C r~ ~ k and Modrrn Concepts of History ," J ournal of

Iht Hu tory of /deas 10 ( 1949): 3- 13.
J ohnslOn, E. I. " How the Gretks and Romans Regarded Hislor)'."
Cmct and Romt 3 ( 1933-34) : 38-43.
Labcrthonn iere. Lucien . " Dieu d'Aristote, Dieu d e !'i'cole, Dieu des
Chretiens." Archivio di Filosojia 2 ( 1933 ): 3- 36.
LaPiane, Ceorgc . "Theology of Hi!Olory." In The intaputation of
His/Dry, edited hy Joseph R. Strayer. pp . 149-86. Princclon :
Pri nceton U ni versity Press, 1943.
Mcllltyre. John . Tnt Ch ristian Doe/rint of lIis lo~,. Edinburgh : Oliv!!r
and Boyd , 1957.
Musu rillo, H. " Hi s lO~' and Svmbol. " Theological SluditJ 18
( 1957), 357-86.
Papaioa nnoll , KOS I3S. ":"'i awre and HislOry in the Creek Conception
of the Cosmos." Diognlts No. 25 ( 1959) : 1- 27.
Priess , T . "The Vision of History in the New Testament. " PafHrs oJ
tht Ecu.mtnical lnstitut, 5 (1950) : 48-66 .
Quispel , C . "Zeit und Gesc:hichtc: im anli kr C hristen tum ." In Man
olld Timt , Poptrs from {ht rOllo$ Ytarbooks. pp. 85- 107. Lo ndon,
Reinhardt. Kar!' " Philosophy and History a mong the G rt"t'ks." Grttct
olld Romt N.S. I ( 1954): 82-90.
Roberts, Tom A. History and Christion .1polollttics. l.o ndon: S. P.C. K .,
Shinn . Roger L. " Augustinian and Cyclical V iews of HislOry. "
Anglican Thrological Rt"it w 3 1 ( 1949) : 133-4- 1.

B. THEJ U IlAt:O-C HRISTl A:'" Vu;\\, 0 . ' Ht STORY

AS MORIU LTN D , It' N O T Dt: .'L'~CT

Patrides, Constan tinos A. Tht Photnix and tht LaddtT . Un i\'ers il) of
California Studies in English Literature. No. 29. 1964.
White, Lyon . "Christian Myth and C hristian Hi story." Journol oJ the
History DJ /dtas 2 ( 1942 ): 145- 58.


Armstrong, A. MacC . "Tht' Fulness of Time." Philosophical Quarltr/y 6

( 1956) ' 209- 22.
Bury,J. B. Tht Idea of Progrus. London: MacmiIJan, 1920.
Chrou51, Anlon-Hermann . " The Metaphys ics of Time and History in
Early C hristi an Thought. " The New Seho/tUti(ism 19 (1945):
BihHograplty 149

Cullmann , Oscar. Christ and Time. Tire Primilivt Christian Conctption oJ

Time and History. Translated by Floyd f'ilson . Philadelphia, 1950.
Cushman, Robert E. "Greek and Christian Views of Time," Journal of
R,/igion 33 ( 1953): 254-65.
lovejoy, Arthur O . "The Entangling Alliance of Religion and Histo ry,"
HibbmJourn<l16 (1907) :258-76.
- - - , "R~ligion and the Time-Process." AmtricanJoumal oJTluology
6 (1903) :439-72.
Muilenberg, James. ''The Biblical View of Time." Hm"ard ThtoJogicoi
IIroin 54 (l960):22S--52.
Munz, P. "History and Myth," Philosophical Quartrrly 6 ( 1956); 1- 16.
North, C . R. TIlt Old Testamtnt Interlm/alion if History. London:
Epworth, 1946.


Brandon, S. G . F. "B.C. and A.D.: The C hristian Philosoph y of

History." History Today 15 (1965): 191 - 99.
- - - . "The Jewish Philosophy of Hi slOry." History Today 11
(l961 ): 155~ .
Brehier , Emile. Quelques traiLS de la philosophie de I'histoire clans
i'antiquile dassique." Rn.'u, d'hisllJil" ,1 philosfJphi, n4iginIM 14
(1934) : 38--40.
Cairns, Grace E. Philosophies of History. New York : Philosophical
Library, 1962.
Case, Shirley Jackson . The Christian Philolrtphy of His/Dry. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1943.
Curtis, j . Briggs. "A Suggested Interpretation of the Biblical
Philosophy of History." Hebrew Union College Annual 34
(1963 ), 115- 23 .
Lbwith, Kar!. Meaning in Histqry. Chicago: University of ChiGlgo Press,
- --. "The Theological Background of th e Philosophy of History."
SOOal IUltarch 13 (1946 ): 5 1-80. An earlier versio n of Ihe thesis
that the philosophy of history is an essentially Christian
enterprise, for which the IDCUs cla.ssicus is the prC(;eciing citation.
Manuel , Frank . Shapes of Philosophical History. Stanford : Stanford
University Press, 1965.
Pinenger. Norman. "The Earliest Philosophy of History. " Anglican
Thtological Rtview 29 ( 1947) : 238-41 .

Collillgw()(KI. Robin Gcorge. -rh, f{/" , (If /'/U(OIY, espialJy I't. I. p,mLS.
3 and 4, :md Pl . 11 , I);II' IS. I and 2. Oxford: Clarendon Press,
Den Bocr, W. "Some Remarks on the Beginnings of Christian
Historiography."' Studia Pa(n's(;ca 4 :348-62.
Downer, Clanville. ''The Pers~c li\'e of the Early Church Histori-
ans," Cud, Roman, and B'y<.an(ine Studies 6 ( 1965): 57- 70.
Milburn. R. L. p, Early Christian InltrprelalioTlj of Hislo'..'f. Lo ndon : A.
and C. Black, 1954.
Shotwell , .lames T. "C hristianity and History ." Journal of Philosophy,
P~1C"ology and Scirntijic ,\fe/hod 18 ( 1920): 85- 94, I1 3- 20, 14 1-50.



Polish, David . Th, Eltrnal Dissenl, especially C hap . 9, London:

Abclard- Schuman, 1961.
Index Locorum

HE f.VIO NCE for the thesis developed in this study t:ullsists princi-
T pally of actual ll.'ieS of mopEiv, UTTOpW, hufmia , itnd the like by
ancient authors. The I ndex that follo .....s tabulates all passages cill..!
. in
this study. If is divided into Gn:ek and Latin authors. Every passage
indexed is cited at least once; some more than once. Citations followed
by an astelisk (*) do not (omain occurrences of U:rropfiv,lcrrop(.o., Itisturia.
and so fort h .


Aesch. Aeschylus.
Ag. Agar1llfnnon 676--80
Eum. Ellmt'nidts 455.
PV Prm"t tJ"uJ Vinelus 632.
Act. Aetius.
Pill(, Pltla ln 5 .7 [DC 419, 12- 18].
Alex. Aph . Alexander of Aphrodisias.
/" MtliJph . I n Ari(toft'/if Mtto.pll),sirn Camml'lltmm [CAG Vol. I J
9,6; 16, 18; 23. 12; 41.17; 42. 22; 42. 25; 5 1, 12;
52.10; 60. 8; 120. I. 120. 6; 120. 15-17.
In Ari.stolt'lis MflnmJlogirunml/ibros Commmlal'w [CAG
Vo!. Ill . Pars III 3 1. 7-8; 31 . 21-22; 32, 11- 18:
37.5-9: 40. 2~2'1 ; 57. 2- 3: 57. ~5-28.
In Sn lS. In lib",", dl' SmJ11 Cmnmfnturillm [CAG Vo!. () I,
Pars 1] 4. 13-17; 12, H- 12; 72, 3-4.
Antig. Amigollus of Carystus [etl. Beckmalln J. pp. 6, 27,80,
159. 180. 192. 194. 197. 199.202. 205.207.
Ap. Appullonides Fr. 2 [T,CP (."<1 . A. NauckJ.
App. Appian.
RCn/, Bello (;if,ilia 9.67.281 .
Hist. His/aritlt' 12.103.
Pm,! Prof/alio 12.
Arist. Aristotle.
A.Pr. Amli}'(ica Priom 46a24-27.
Ca,l. 0 1' Carlo 298b2.
111111'\ l .rH'm 1111/

/),. ;1"ill/(/ IUt.. ~1.

/)/' (;l'm'ml;IJI/I' A 11;111(11;11/1/ 7 I ()h~ 1- :-12: 7 I 7:t~:-I-:H :
iHlalfl: 72~ hl :\-- I ..1; i' lfl" t:~: 74I1al:, : / ;, lIh:\I:
n :\h I 7: /flla Ill: ili:\hlli.
IIA 1Ii.I/ul"/lI ; \ II ;lIIlIlilllll I ~'lall - l :\.
1-'/. Or' P /(fIIli.1 1'l1 Hh2/-
I'll. 1'/H'l i/"{/ I-F,I .. :\:-l-/)ti. 1.. 1:19al/-2~ '.
Ilr.,p. /)" Ur.I/);m llfllll' 177 a11-7. 17Ha2i-:!H. 47Mb I.
Ill,. 101I'/1II1f11 I :t,~ ij);\ll-:\!!. I :\(if )a:-{;\-i .
...h r. :\rriall .
{./,irl. 1':11;,'1..,; /) i~I""I(/,i/l//f",1 2. 1. 1.:!X: !!. l !I.;",: 2. 1!1.7- JI :
2 .21.111: :\.7. 1.
Alhall. ;\11 1;II I;t~i 11....
( :. Will. Omlm oll/Im KI'IIII'.I 111. 1: IH. :-\: 2:1.. 1.
I Ill". 1'" ,.h. I Jr /II,."nm /i",u' \ ,.,./li :\:,./ : :10. 1.
,. \ tht'lI . :\lilt'll:tl'US k d . (; . Kaii.>t'1. :\ m ls. (l.eipzilr Tt'ubner.
"'- - 11"11
I ....uu . ,.1. ,),,"(
. ;1 .' -I): -1. "-- _1 1 f' : ""') -' : I ;.:II
. -11.", " - - -:)u

I :Uilt:,I }-E: ' I .lil:,I\ .. ().IME.

Alhena ~ . :\ t hc-1laW )), IS.
ChI'. / ' r" ( .(//HII",III
'/ ' . ')"
. "_ I'I . '11,
_ .

nao.:hd. Uat"dn lidl'S.

f:ph,. 1~'lli/l;1i1ll !I. I!I.
Basil I\; t.~ il 1'1' ( ~ lt'SOl fl'a .
Ill'xII/,1II. 111111/;1"11' ;'/ I kU/I'I/I,'nm 11'(; 291 23 1:t\( :). t.R \49:\ 1.
:\.Ii IH:"I( :I,1.:\ IH'IA). 1 .r'l ~ r2:\ J. .1.1; f!I:\B I, fi.21120D],
K,K 11" IIlI,
CaedJ. ( ~ It '{'il ill s It'( l. Oli'lIlo("1I ( I.c:i p / i~ : Tt'llhnC-I", IqUil]
1 :!1. :~.
C:l lIistr. ( :"l1isll, IIHS Il'( 1. "'a ~ .. t'r (I .l'ipzi/<: : J't'lIhm: r, l ~i l ) l .
,\1111. SIIIII/'".,IIII / h'\r,.iIJlilllll'J 5.
Ch,lfl'S CIt;u'C-S or ~JjI~lelll'lt.'d . .Iamh,, Fill ;. It;)] Ft". ;).
Cle ll 1. :\1 . e lt-lIIl'lIl Ill' ;\kxan(\ri;l .
Pm,r. / ' IfllI " '.lt' .'} ....
I ,/"li "" "_ I," }.'\1 . .' I ", .} ..'F,) ...
', . 'I_ ..'-\,.) ' ,)
M ."
. ~ .,.,,,
:!.:\~I.( ....; : : H ~ "' . Ii . X: :H :'U : .I.... K.:!: 45,1.:\ : 4.5/ .:\ ;
:"1 . ,"
1: 1I

.'i''''I/I,. "illrlllllll" 1.1 Ji: I.I ;t.tl~ l : 711 .. I!! : I.:! 1.1 11 I. 1!!2. H~ ,
11. -I.' I . " _"~. ,-,'."! I.~ .I 1., 1. I"_ - I',
, ~ .... , .. ""
-' . _ 11111'"
. . , <)'1'1
~ . ~ "'H'

.,"1. "I ." ', '. H Hi. :!.1. :!ti: ti. IO.HU :
. -t . -I . ' I I'.-1.I I . I" 11" "I ..
_ .

li.II .!"'.
11Il1f'X UKOl'/11I/

e)'T. AI. Cyril of Alexand ria.

1",Lu. Comm,,,tarius;,, LUCQIII [PG 721684D.
InJo. Commtlltarillm ill Enwg,liwn luannit [PG 73 )1660;
228A. B; 325C; 3371\ ; 684D; 9f,oc; 96 IB.
D.e. Dio Cassius 7.25. 1: 7.25.6: 37. 17.1 ; 40.63.4; 54 .23. I;
56.18. 1; 57.24.6 ; 59.22.5; 66.9.4; 67.8. 1: i2.4.7; 72.7.2 ;
72. 18.3; 72 .23.2.
Dem. Demosl henes.
Cor. Dr CorOlla 144.
Democr. DemocrilUs [D-K;J FT. (68) 8 299.
D.H. l)ion ysius of Halicarnassus.
Amm. J. 2 EpidllllIOdA'",MI'I.41n /,2 1.3 ; 1.4 ; 1. 11 : 2.2 ; 2 .15.
Alii. Rom. All/iquitatt'!J R umarm,. 5. 17.3; 5.17.4 ; 5.56. 1.
Pomp. EpislrJla ad Pumpehlln 3.1; 3.6 : 3.8: 3. 13: 3. 14 .
Rh. Ars Rilr/orica 11. 2.
TII . Or ril urydid, 2. 5, 7. 9, 16. 24, 4 1.
Did . Didymus.
hi D. COmlntt!laT)' Oil Onnosthmts led. DieJs and Schuoort
(Berlin, 19(4)] 12, 47.
Dion . Thr. Dionysius Thrax , Or Arlt Grammotim [cd , Uhlig
(Leipzig. 1883) = Crmmllatici GrMci, Vol. IJ P.dra. I.
Sen . Scholia ;" Dio"Ylii TJim ri.s A,.!rm Cmmmalicalll [cd .
Uilgard (Leipzig: Teuhner, 19tH) = Gramlll(llici
Cmrci. Vu!. I, Pa rs III J 14 , 19: 303, 4 : 470. 4.
D.L. Diogenes Laenius 8.h: 5.'16-50.
Eur. Euripidcs.
Ion. Ion 154i .
IT Ipltigmia Tal/rim 143 1.
Hd H l'/nw 1:i7 1.
0,. O'"~ /('l 380.
h- T rfX1dts 26 1.
Eus. Eusebius of Caesa,'ea.
Or,". E t,. V,.mo "~tmt;u t.'tl(wgr!i({/ Y. I .3.
H .E. Hiitoria Ecc/rsiaJtira 1.1 : 1. 2: 1.3; 1.4 ; 1.5; 1.7 ;
1.8; 1.1 0: 1.11 ; 1.1 2; 2.praef. : I:!. I ; 3 .'1 ; 3.6: :l.H:
6 . 11 ; 7. 18; 8 .2; 8.9.
Or. COilS' . Ora/ioll O[Cotlsl(mtillr 16.26.
Pr. Consl. Pra i.sr of Constatllillr 7. 10 .
VConSI. Vita Corutmllilli 1. 23, 2.22. 4.7.
I :'-1 /111/1'.\ J.11{ Oflllll

lOa!. (;.rlcn {i n f\ ;\ r! lJcidlgriiht'1'. Di" (;"it'(hi. r/,,, 1-:11/-

,Jirikl'f.ll'h 1111' (Ue !"!in: Weid ilia 1111 . I 9:\n) ).

OlPll<; IT(Pl. (llP'T}{J'(WV
, . _.
Tm<; .
U{J'CI"yW-YOl<; ;II<}<)I" - ,-;)-."'IJ .
. _ . _ . ;l,
UfJUTT . 'TT(pi TT)<; O!JlUrT'T}<; o4>li(J(we;; [!Ii, !I- II: ['211. 2:\-
1,,_ -I .I', 1')-
_1 .I1 - I1
1 I I- I''1,_" I <}~ <)U . '\1
, ),.'"' . 1, I"
. . .'I" _ 0,

i. ~U ) .
({(JOY ~UJu)'ti1y'T} ti
i.OTpI}<; I!II. ~!I-:\:\ : [UO. [7- :10).
' I'TT'TT: E'TTlS . (Le;; Ti) ' hrITOK lmou<; E1nS'T}IJ.LWv im0iJ.vlliJ.U I~ :\ 7.
H;- nq.
. I 'TT'TT .dnJcr. O! vI}. (~e;; TU ' 11T'TTuKpaTuu<; 1T(Pi. <!JOOEWC; O!v9pw1to\)
il'TTotL1ITlJ.L0' 112H, 12- 201 .
tn)ll9. <!xxPIJ. . 'TTEpi (1\)VOi(rEw<; cbop~.uiKWV 1147, 2/- :\1) .
Gelas. (;l'Iasius.
liE 1I1./lI l'ill E"'-/I'.li(/,\lirtl :1 . 17 .:\-:; , 2K, 29-;W : :UI.3;
:UI. I.
Hdn . Hen)(iian.
111.' . /Ii ,/llfi" , I. 1.1 : 1.1 1.1 : 1.1 1.1 :; : 2. 1.1 : 2. I:; .Ii; 2. I iU
, -Ill . : ,'\ .1-...~ : .'1. -1. ('I .
Hd .. H('I'O( lnIIlS 1. 1.1 : 1.21.7: \.;;IU-2 : l.Iil.2 : 1.122. 1:
2. 1!I.:\: t .2!1 . 1: '2 .:H . 1: 2.9!1.I : 2. 11 ~.I: 2. 11 H. \:
2. 11 !I.:\; :\.;') I. I: 3. 7i .2 : " . 1~12 ,:\.
Henu:1. Ht:rad ilu N,
Q.llolII . QIIIII'.(/;O ll/'.I JI'IIIiI'l'm/ r It'll . ()elomEJll (Leipzig:
!lllhm' l'. [~IIO ) I :\~I , 1:"1-111; li:t :". -1 :\ : li\l ; !I- I /;
77 . !I_ I!I : XU, 2U- to\! . 9 : XI. 11 - 11;: X9. ~ - I t.
Heradi l. I-kradillls I'h ilwiUl'hus (I>K. !/lo .q FI'I'. (22 ) B:E).
IHO . Ul2!1.
Hes. !-It'siOlI.
Up. O/lI'fII rf /);1'., i9:t
l-t om . I-I UIIIII' .
//. lIiw/ IN .j!19- 50 1: 2:\ AH:)-,IH/ .
". H ml/. 111'1,,11; /lflllln;,; :\2,2.
lamh. J:r nIIJlichlls.
\ I JI /11' \ ';/1/ J' YlllIIgIJf;('fl Ic t! ...\. 1': ;tuck (Ldpzig . I HtH)J
11 . :\: 22 , 4 : 23 , !1 : 2t" 11 : :'1), I:I- lli : \1 . 12 ; li6.
!1- [2 : liN, I :' : !~I , I : iU:; , 12: IOH. I J: I :\h. 1:' :
I@, :i .
10. C h r\'S

. \uaHIlt'S CIH'YSUS10ITlUS Uol1l1 Chrysnslum) .
:\(/1'. ./1111. ..\ dl 'I' r ill.' /1I/(a ('fI., 1.6 [/'(; 4 K. 1'15 I I.
D I' 0 (11'. JI/JIllilim' iI,' Om'itl" 1'1 ..... 111111' 7 (1'(; :",,1. I :IH, 7:)!IJ.

In MaUh . f10miliae in Matth eum 1.4 {PG 57, 16]; 1.7 [PG
57. 17).
In Psalm. Expositio ;'1 Psalmos 3.1 {PC 55. 35]; 46.1 [PC 55,
hoc. lsocrates.
Pan . Panallienaieus 246.
J. Mart. Juslin Martyr.
Apel. ApoloKJ 1.21.4; 1.22.4 ; 1.53. 1; 1.53.8 .
Dial. Dialogue with Trypho 62 .2; 69 .2.
John ChrysoSlom Ste 10. Chrys.
Al,.x. Auxandtr I.
Hipp. H ippiru 2.67.
Hist. corner. Quomodo historia eorncribenda sil2 , 4, 5.6, 7,8. 9,
10. 16. 17.39.42. 55.63.
Im . Imagillts 4 .
lA/M. Pro LapSll jut" Salll/nudum 7.
Scylh. Scyllw 8.
Syr. D. Dt Syria Dea 11 .
Max. T yr. Maximus of Tyre .
Dit!. DissntatiOlltJ [cited by e numeration of F. Duhner
(P";,, D;dol. 1840))28. S; 28 . S-6.
Melh . Methodius of Olympus (ed. Bonwetsch).
ReJurr. Dt Rtsurrtctiont 1.52. 1: 2.25. 1; 3. 17.3; 3.5.8;
3. 18.4- 5; 3. 18.8.
Symp. Symposium 3. 1; 3.9: 10.2.
Nausiph. Nausiphanes {D-K. Vors.'] Fr. (7') 82.
Olymp. Olympiodorus.
In Ale. In Pla/onis Alcibiadem eommenlarium [cd . L C.
Westerink (Amste rdam: North Holland , 1956)]
43. 12; SO. 8; IS4. 9- 10 ; 155. 16-- 17 ; 167.23-
24; 218. 14-I S.
C. Gtls. Contra Ctl.mm 1.40: 1.42; 1.43 : 1.41 .
Luc. In Lucam Frr. 17e. 125.2 17, 223.
Princ. De Prinripiis 4. 1. 13: 4. 1.1 6.
Phld . Philodemus.
Rh. Volurnina Rhtloriea fed . Sudhaus. 2 vuls. (Leipzig:
Teuhner, 1892. 1896)] 1.28.34-29.1 1; 44 , 16-
21 ; 200 . 11>-30; 299. 1- 7; 34S. 1- 8; 2. 19. I; !OS
(Fe. XII). 5ff.
156 I mfn. 1.'11'111'11111

Philo Ph ile ) J udaeus Alexilndrinus.

Ab/". 01' Alnl/lulI/lII ''' , 6:1 .
A",. MI/1!f1i J)r Il",,,,,,,;'a',. MIlI,,/i 120. 1:\9.
Chf/". J)r (,'h'I'IIII;/II IOr"
CUI/K/" /J,. /"IIIIKl'r,,-,,, '/llm,,.,,,,dflf' f.'n/(I;liul/i.~ gm/in 14 . 15.
2:\. +I . 71.
111 Flu((. / 11 F/fl Cl'llIn ., ;\*.
Pm,.,,, . rl I'lli'll. J),. /'ulI'IlI;is 1'1 PIII'IIii.' 1- 2.
SUCI'. Ab. I)" S(/rri/i";u Abm/wllli 7K
SOli/I!. 0 ,. .\"'I",ii.( 1.52: 1.205: 2. :\02 .
SPt'(. Vg. I h' S/wr;,dif,w J.,gillll.{ ' .:\-12: 2. 146.
r. MUJ. 1)1' r i/a ,\I f1.\;.~ 2.4fl....4M : 2.5:\* : 2.59 : 2 . 143. 2 .26:\*.
Philostr. Phil(l.~ lralll s Ice l. K:'IYSCI' (I.cipzig. 18i9)J.
f 11/. . \ .,
I /lII/KUII'. t' -
_ .. . 1 .
PI. 1'10110.
Cm. (;1"1111'11/",\' 4UHB, 407<:.
Phd. Plum/!) 96.-\ .
PIub-. 1111(;,.,11"11.\ 244(:-D.
Sph . Sf!I)"i.~1 2tiiU-E.
Plh. PoJ\'hius 1. 1.1-2: I. :U~: I. H . 5~ : 1. :l5.~1-] fI: 1.:17.3:
I .,.,\} -1.. " _ . I' ... . I - " _ . -. I, ,) .:. . I "" .I,'!-I '-1-". ' :<I' 17 :l.,r.........~, ..
<I .:.,~.

2.:\1.:\, 11; 2 . lil. :S~ ; 2 .62.2, I;; 2.71.2; 3.'1 .N: 3.5.9:
; , . '},
_ ,: -
1 .
J ..\ \ "
"1 .. - ;:1
0 .':' oJ . " . 12 ' ."1
. ,!"1 . '10 .. .a/.
:- - 4 -.}, :, . ,'1" . } 1. " ". -.J.
:'-1 IH. I!!: 1.2.2: 4.8..1 ; 4.2R4: 4AO.3: 1,47 .2: 5.3 1.6;
- ...
:} 'l~ . ')
_ - ;'!. : :- 1.I:l
- . .:l - -I - .'\: "4"
" : , l' . ".:. . '} I . . . ') : fiI . 5"
... .v:: 0"q ... 2 :

~ . 1 1.2 : ~I . ' ~1 .:t_ 1.

piu. rllllan:h .
AI"x. F or/ . 0 1' jorllll/(I Aln:alldri 3:-iOA. 33 1F.
Cllrius. /)(' ,/Iri o.I;IIII,. 5 150 : 5 16C . 0 : 5 1i .": 5 IHC.
Fori . Rom. I),. ,/orhlml RfJll/(UlIll'lml ;-\20 8 .
Gm. IJI' K"lIill Sflr mlis 575B- C, 57tm.
Glo. A/h . Or n/fll';" /t1/ulI;n'l ;1I1II 347[)...E.
Mafijfll. /)1' I/UlIiKII ;I(lII' IImxllll i 855B- ...
Mus. 111' IIIluiru 11:\5F: 11 :16B . C : 11 40C . F.
Nml POs.~ . .VIIII po.Hl' w(fl'i ll't" l'il ' i .\'1'(// 111111111 Epirlll'lIl11 1 0~2}'-
1O~ 5r\.
Pm]: Vi,./ . /J,. /m1l'rfll ill 44UE.
Q. CurU'. QU''''.\fi/JIlI'.~ flllIl,ilNtl,.\ 7.iO 1( :. i 15[: H. 724D. 72ME,
n :m . C : 9 .73HF. HI:\ .
Q. (;1'. QIIf/l,I 'Iilllll... (; ,-m'rar 292F. 293B. 30] F.

Q. R om . QlUreStionts R uma"Ilt 264 0 ; 2676-(;; 268D; 269A:

272 D. F; 278F; 285E.
Po rph , Po rphyry (ed . Nauck (1 886 .
Ab!l. Dt AbSlintntia 1.25; 2.49.
An/r. Dt A ntro N)'m phoTUH/ 2 (p . 55. 14--18).
V. Pyth . Dt Vila P)'tJtagoriw 2 (p. 18. 10- 12); 5 (1 9. 15-
17) ; 44 (40. 20-23): 55 (47 . 20-22): 6 1 (52. 7-
Prod. Proclus.
In Crat. In P latonu Cruly/um commflltOlia led . Pasquali
(Leipzig: Teu bnc r. 1908 , p. 34. 24 .
E rol. Ero(t.! 8.406; 15.4 14.
S. E. Sexlus Empiricus.
M ath. Adutrsw Ma thtmaticos 1.43; 1.272: 1. 278: 2.96;
7. 140: 7. 190: 8. 14: 8.290: 9.32: 9.57: 9.366:
11. 19 1.
P)'r. OutJints of PyrrliO" ism 1.84: 3.225; 3.232.
Simp. Simplicius.
In Cael. I" Aristottlis de Cal-io commmtaria (CAG Vol. VII )
510a4 1.
In Phy. In Aristottlis Physica (()mmnl lal'ia (CAG IX. X) f.
25' 16.
Soph . Sophocles.
El. Eltctra 850, 11 0 1.
OT Otdipus TyrramL~ 11 50. 1156, 1484.
T mch. Trathi"iat 4 15.
Sozom. 5<lZome n .
H .E. H islOJla Ecc/tsiaslim Praer. 4, 17: 1.1.1 I. 16, 17,
18- 19: 1.8. 14; 1.1 2. 11 : 2. 1.5: 2.26.4: 3. 15.3. ItJ :
4.5.4 ; 1.28.5: 5.2.19; 7. 12.4 : 7.18.7; ; .2 1.8; ;.26.3:
8. 18.8: 9. 1.1 3.
Slob. Sto baeus.
Flor. Floriltgia 67 .6.
Strabo 15.1.30: 15. 1.34 .
T (tt ian
Ad Cr. Oratio atl Grottos 1.1 ; 3 1.1 ; 31.4 ; 36.2: 37. 1; 39. 1.
T hem. T hemistius.
In de Atl. In fibro s A n'stotelis dt Anima paraphrasis (GAG Vu!.
V, Pars Ill ) 14, 4-6.
158 Im/I'): Lorumm

Dj,,/. Dinlo/(US III [PC 83. 257AI .
/ 11 Am . III Amu! 1.2IPG 8 1, 1668A ).
111 Dall . / "Ooll it fiJ 11 .27; 11 .28 ; 11 .4 1.
III El.. / " EurMtli.~ 31. 14 [PG 8 1. 1125C-D).
I II flOi. I" Ij(l;(lt 15.2 [PG 81. 340D).
h l .fi r. l " j trtmi(JdJ.4 5 {pG 8 1. 7068\ .
h i ,v"h. /11 Nallll ll/2 . 1 [P GH I.179A ).
/ /1 1'.1'. / 11 Psal",i., 1:\ [PG 80. 949B],
In Soph. III Suphrmitlf' 2. 12 1PG 8 1. IH52A ).
III Zach . / 11 ladmriar 14.8 (pC 8 1. 1953 8) ; 14. 10 [PG 8 1.
19568 ).
Pmv. iJt PI'f.!l,jdnllin III [pG 83, 5890) .
Q. D ill /. QlIfIIJl itlllf'.J il/ DtulnollO/niol! tU [PG 80, 4088).
Q. R'K QwltJtill1lf.( i" Libl'oj Rtgllm I . Q. 7 [PG SO. 537C) ;
Ill . Q. 66 JPG 80. 740AI.
Rt f. H i.Jl. Utligius(I I-lis/oria 9 [PGS2. 1377 D] .
T heophilus
Aulol. Ad Aulvl)'rulII 2. 7; 2. 13: 2.20: 2.30; 2.32; 2.34;
3. 18; 3.22: 3.23: 3.36.
T hphr. T hetlphraSlus [Diets, DC1 Frr. 1 1475. 10- 13]; 8
(4 84.17- 181: 91484 . 19-485. 4J : 12 1486. 17- 2 11


Ambr. Ambrose.
Exp. Lu(, Expruilio El't1ngt/ii stculldum Ltu;am . Pro!' I [Pt
15. 1607AJ: Pm!. 4 [PL 15. 1609B-C I: Pm!. 7
[PL 15. 16 118J.
In P.J. Enarrationf.5 in Psalmos 36.80 [pL 14 . 1055q.
Amm. Marc. Ammianus Marcelli nus 2 1.10.6; 23.4 . 10; 24 .2. 16;
26. 1.1 ; 27 .2. I I.
Apll l. Apllleius.
Apol. AfJfJlogia 30.
Fiar. Florida Y. 16.20.
Mrt. MtlamorplwSfj 2. 12; 6.29; 7. 16: 8. 1.
PI(H. /Jf D()gtlllI/' p /[II01lis 1.'1 .7.
Arn. Arnubius.
Adv. Nal. Adt'"sUJ Nati()rn>s 1.3 ; 1.52; 5. 1. 5.S. 5. 14-1 5; 5. 18 ;
5.30; 5.32: 5.34: 6 .6; 7.38; 7.44; 7.46; 7.49.
Imln: LocVIlIII/

Aug. Augustine.
CD D,CivitattDti I.Prdef."', 1.5: 1.35: 2.3 ; 2. 14; 2. 18;
2.22; 3. \0; 3.17; 3.26 ; 3.3 1; 4.6 ; 4.3 1; 5. 12; 6.7;
7.27; 10.1 5*; 11.1 *; 12. 11 : 12. 14.1- 2: 13.20.inil .:
15. '*; 15.8; 15.9: 15. 15; 15.17: 15.20; 15.27.inil. :
15.27* ; 16.8; 16.9; 16. 11 : 17.3: 17.8 ; 17 .24.init .:
18.2; 18.8; 18. 10; 18. 12; 18. 13: 18. 16; 18. 17 ;
18.38; 18.10; 18.4 1; 18.4 4; 21.8 ; 22.8: 22.20.
Dort. CII,.. D, D OC/l'j'IQ Chri.d illna2 . l(j .2S* ; 2.28.42: 2.28.43 ;
2.28.14 .
E I1rh. En chiridiQII 3.9 .
Ep. EpistuJa, 169, 1.; 184A .S* ,
Gm. Imp. D, Gm,s; ad liltI'm m impnftctus lib,,. 2.5: 3.6.i llit. :
- 4' .
GnI. Co Manu n. V , Gm,s; cOlllra M allt'chol'os 2.2.3 .
R,I,.. Retractionts 2.69 . *.
Uli/. C,',d. Df. Utili/al" C,.,dmdi 3.5; 3.6; 3.8 .
V,ra R~1. De V,ra R ,Jigi01U' 50.99
Auson. Ausonius 5.20. 7-8: 5.2 1.25-26; 5.26. 1--4; 12.2.4 ;
12 .10 ; 18.5.4 1- 42: 18. 10 .2 1- 22; 19 .76. 1- 4 ;
Cas . Cassian.
COrti. Co"lal;o. ts [PI. 49)8 .3 [727A) ; 8.7 [732A) : 14.8
(962 8); 14.8 [965A- 8 ): 14.\0 )97IA).
Cic. Cicero.
Ae. Amdf1nica 2.2.5.
Alf. Epi.stuiat (Id Atti(fl11l 1.16.18; 1.1 9.10; 2,5.1:
2.8. 1.1 6; 2.20. 1; 12.3.1 ; 14.14.5; 16. I 'k.2.
Bm. Brntus 16 .62: 64 .228; 75.262 ; 8!\.2t:\fi.
Ca,l. Pro Catlio 17 .39*,
0 ,01'. Of OralO1., 2.9 .36: 2.15.62--64 .
Diu. Or Dil!inationl' l.I H.3 7; 1.l9.38: J.24.49. 50;
Fam . Eputultu ad Fami/iam 3. 11 .2* ; 4 .2.3; 5. 12.2 :
5.12.3; 6.5.2,
Fit!. D" Finibus 1. 7.25; 2 .2 1.67 : 2 .3 3 . 107 ; 5. 2 .5 :
In l1, D r intlffltionf t.l9.27 .
ILg. Df ugiblls 1.1.5; 1.2.5-7; 1.3.9.
Nat. D. D t' Nalll.ru D l"onlln 1.31.88; 2.27.69; 3.22.55.
Illll 111'/,:\ l .flHlrlll/l

"If. /J" 0f)i,.ii.1 \ ..1 . I 1*: l.:t!. 1 17*: :t:t U 1:1.

Omf , Om/,,,. 1 1.~7: 12.;\9 : 2(1.()(1.
I~hi', ()mlimw.f l'h;Ii/)I,ia/l' 2 . 1!1.-li*.
QI"", I:"1,;.IIUlfll' 1111 Qlli"'1I1II Fml r",1I 1. 1. 1n.
U"". IJp U,' I 'lIhlim ~ . l lctt
S,',f. I ,11 .I'1.l/m
, "_ 1.' 1-'
I .

TII/,. "'''IUI"II :W.iH,

TI/.If". '/"1/.\1'/1 11111111' / )if/J/lI(llirllft'.~ I . I:;. I ilK.
( ~ l llIll1 el1a
HII.II. I)" UI' U !tl/;m 1.1.:t
COlHl1Iod . ( :'lInl lll)(li;IIIIIS.
/11.11,.. 11I.l/mlfiwlI" l.Ii. ]O- I :): I.I!I.:I-!I,
/:"fl. F.IH.,III{,W itdO Il:SH1. III.Xlli. l i - IXI.
Ilar. I'hryg. I )an's 1'111"\ j.{iIIS.
'fm. 1),' 1:'.\"("id;1I Tmill,' '/I.\/II,.ill 1t"<1. :\lei:;tl' l" (Leipzig:
Tt'III)Il{)". IXi:ill . PI" I . 1,1.
DiOlIl. I )i.)) 11(' ( It'S.
(;mmJ/l . Of' 11/"" J.,'1wll lIJ(lfim I Il,(1. Kci l \.:i-ll. -11: :! [.t21),
1K-2Iil: :! [.t,W . ~ I ::' (U-l2. ;H Sl lcll.
Don;lI . Adills DUIla/lIS.
\'. \ '''g. I"illl 1'(""Kill I l~(1. UrulllllU'L 19 12 J. 1xl""'9:t
Festus, (;Iu.~, . 1-111. \\'.:\1. l .i lld ~ I ~' , (;/u\II1/1(/ I.lIlil/ll 12 nd ell .. \ '01. 1\' (,
pp. 1.')1) ... 'I'J-.'\)'.
I. "
_ Ill '1-.
' )'. '\""::0
... "..;.-1- . ..,.;> 'J"
I q( 'I <)

Fili\str. Fitlstdll)'.
H III'I'. l .ilN'/" ,I"~ 1/(lI'I'n.'ilml' IlIi .H: I;\(). I : I :m .:~ : 1:\11.:".;
I ;i:!.I ,
FUrlUIl . h Irtl Inat i:u Ius.
m/ f t . A I"li,' I(1If'l1II11'(l1' / .illl'; //1 1,-,<1. Halm . 1(1I('luI""1 /.Jlf; ,/;
,\1;1/11/"".1 (I..t"ipzig : Teuhnt!r. 1863)), pp. H:i. 10-
J:~: 1'1.1. 1l-20.
Frnllltl ~ Ian:tl s ( :nl"llt'iills h o nto (et!. \'0111 t!ell H Oll l (Lci
lit'll . I!I;H )J . pp, !Un. 2~ 1 : 122. i : I ~IH , ~ .
(.;ell. ;\ ulus (~lIiu .~.
SA .\'111."/,, tI";I"tII' I.K I: 1. 11 .;: 1. 1:1.111: 1.2:tc:.a p.:
I "~'I I ', ')
_ ' J , ' _
' 'I' . ' .,
\ 1. ('--"
...... "
_ . I c. '1 -, '-'I'
\1. 0u .. ;'\ .."1 . 0u .. ;)
<) , "'

I.r,.';lp.: 4.5.11: LI I.t:ap.: 4.!W.IU: :;.14 . 1- 2:

;'.11'1.1-:. : :1.1H.8-!-t: li. l.l : 1i. IY.{' lp.: i .9 .rap. :
IO. lIixap.: 1:t 2. 1: 1:\.7 .11: I:U7A : l :t29(28).2:
1:;.2:1.(<11" : i(i. II.:",: 1i.2 1.1 .
f lUlrx LfX"unl m 1ij 1

Gr.m . Lie. Gr-mius LiciniallUS [cd . ~lcmisch) , p. 33, 10.

Hicron. Hicronymus Ucromc).
Ep. Epistllla" 18 .2. 1; 18 '.2.2; 2".! .29.7; 22.35J:1; 53.9.'1 ;

60.5.3; 60. 12.3; 129.6.

H orn. Or. ill Llle. Tralls/atio homilitu Or;gmis ;" LUlIn :) [PL 26,
242A- B) ; 27 )300A); 37 [325CJ.
I II DOli . C/JInmtnla,1'um;11 D01/i~/nn I, on 4: la ; 11 on 5: I,
5:30,5:3 1, 6: 1, 6: 2a , 7: 1, 7:5, IV , n n 11:2 1,
12;1-3. 12;8-10 .
h I Eccl. COmml'1llm7Um i" Eulrl ;astm 1 !pL 23 , 1085 B-
hi Efl. ad Gal. Ct)mmnltUl7um ;11 t:pistlllnm (Id Galatus I, o n I: 17
{PI. 26, 352B); Ill, on 5; 13 [434C-D].
In J::urh . CommmtUl7um in Ez.f(hitltm 11 , on 5: 1 sqq. [PI.
25, 52): on 7: 13 (68( ; 111, 011 12:3 [102D).
In Isoi. Commentarium ill /Mljam , Ill"Ol. fPL 24, 20}; 1.1
123J; V , Pro!' on 7, 19:5 [ 154 J, U Il 5, 2:1 :6 [202 J,
0 11 5, 23:18 [2(6): VI. Praef. [205C-D).
In J tr. Cummm /a num ill jn"l'miam Ill , 0 11 \7 : 11 IPL 24 ,
hI Mal/h . Commmtorium i" nl(Hlgtliwn Matih ti I, on 2:22
[PI. 26, 29A), on 10;9. 10 [65B) ; Ill, on 2 1;4.
5 [ 153A ).
In lath. COlt/mmtarium in Zadlmlom, Pro!. (PL 25, 14 J8AJ.
Vir. Ill. Dt Vim Ilfw lriims, Prol. [PL 23. 634AJ, 80".
Hi!. I-l ilary or Poiliers.
P,. Tractalus l Upn- Psaimos, Pro!. 5 (PL 9. 235A), 9
(2388), 22 (246A-B); P".5 1;2 (309A), 51; I
(347C), 63 ; I (407(;).
HOT. Hordce.
Conn. Carmina 2.J2.10; 3.7.20.
Stnn. SmnQlIn 1.3.
H yg. Julius Hyginus.
Al tr. Potlico Astl"Qfwmu:a [cd. BUlllC], pp. 19, 1- 7: 3 1.
18; 38, 7; 66, 6; 7 1, 25 ; 73. 21-22; 77, I.
Jero me, s~t Hieron.
Juv. Juvenal.
Sat. Satira~ 2. 103; 6.450; 7.23 1; 10. 175.
!.act. Laclantius.
Div. Inst. Diui1Ult instiJutimlt$ 1.8.8; 1.11 .33,34,36,45, 6 1,
63,65; 1.1 3.2; 1.1 3.8; 1.14.1; 1.14.8-10; 5.4.6 ;
IIII/I'.\" 1.11('11,.,,111

(i.lli. 17.
I.udl. I.udlius )t(!' Marx. I!K):;), Il l::! ,
Macrob, ~I;K:rllbiLl S.
Sf/I. SII/III'I/(/I;/1 I.::! . ~.: UtA : ':U ,1.I1.
~ l al1 , ~Iilrtial.
I:'IJ;I{ H , I!J I ,
/:"fN.l,rJ"(III1I11II/111/ li/,,-; :!, 7, \- ::!:
Mar!. Clip . \Iarliantls ( :apdla :;.:I::!ll: :1.:)511: 5 . ;;!t 1 -~.
Min , FeI , !\Iinut'ius Fdix.
Or /. O('/fII';W 21.1: 2 104 .
Nep. CUl'Ildius Nt!pus.
A. lr. ;\lrihi(/(II'.\ 11 . 1.
All, AII;fII,l 1(1.:\
CIlI(1 (:11(11 :t:l.
p,./o/J, 1',.J0IJ;t/II.\ 1. 1,
Tltflll. n lf'lIIil(IK"I('.1 !I.I .
O\'. Ode\.
Am. A lI/IIfl',1 2..1..1\ ,
M ('I. "'I'f"wlllphll",I' 1:1,:165,
Tr. '1'1';.1/111 204 Ill: 2,+ I:H 1.
PelL 1'('ln miLls,
SlilYI', SIII\'I';('I11/ I I K.1l.
Phclr. PI!ae<lnl.~ .
/-'uh. FIIII/II",' ,\ ,6,2.
Plaut. Plaulus,
!laah, II" rrh irlf',1 I :'lH.
." 1'11. ,\/ ('1111/'1'/'1111 247- H4-
Tlill , T"l/fl/fl fllu.\ :H~ I ,

Plin\' (Ihe Elder).

IIX ,\'O/l/mli.1 If i.,ll/rill i ,20!'i: 11 , 12:\: :\;).1:\9.
l'liIw (I Ill' YUIIIlKlr ).
Ell. (L" " ,~-
; I H-I/llfllf' .: I- "~"I
.: I: . :1, I: ""I : :1.0
' :1.0. """,'.:1: ). 1,'l.o::
'', 1': -9"
I ..0:
7.:tUII: 9 , [li. 1.
I'orph)'rio " (IIIII>lIIIi LI' l 'l llvll yri cl.
( jmll. ( ;lIlI/lIIl' u(,/rii il/ Cl. Il umli; I:III/'ri ('(/ '-'lIIlIlItll lihml
I.Il,H: 2. 1.1, \H, 17: 2 .12. 1: ~.j.lti : 3. 19. 1- :\:
I.!!.IU: 1.7.27- :?H,
lip. (,'ml/llll'lIlm';; i'l Q, /l om/i; F/(l{'d rpot/IIII lib/1/111 :U~
Ill : Ij . ~ .
s""". (:OIllIllI'II /(/l'i ; ;11 Q. I//lm(ii Flarr; !if'I1I/IItW1II /ilmu
1.1.1111 - 2: !!. 1.14 .
buln. Locornm 163

Prob. Probus.
Wag. Vita Vtrgili 22-28.
Prop. Propenius 2.1.16; 3.4. 10; 3.20.2'-28 ; 3.22.20:
4.1.1 19; 4.7.64 .
Prud. Prudentius.
/-Iamart. flamartigtnia 33~0, 723-24 .
Quim. Quintilian.
Inst. Instilutio oroJoria 1.4.4 ; 1.6.2, 11 ; 1.8.18, 20;
1. 10.40; 2.1.4 ; 2.4 .2-3, 18-19; 2.8.7; 3.8.67;
8.6.65; 9.4 .129; 10.1.101- 3, 10.2.21- 22 ; 12.2.22;
12.4. 1; 12.11.17.
Rufin , Rufinis.
Pr. Ong. De Principiis On'gtnis 3.5.1.
Sempr. Sempronius Asellio IH. Peter, Historiarrum Roma-
norum Fragme,iJn (Leipzig, 1883 Frr. 1,2.
Sen. Seneca (the Elder).
Con . Ex. Conlrovmiarnm fXttrpta 9. 1.
Conlr. Contrl1tln"Siae I.praer. 18; 3.prdcr. 8; 7.2.8; 10.5.
Sua<. SUllSOritu 5.8; 6.14; 6 .15; 6.21.
Sen. Seneca (the Younger).
Apo<oI. Apo<oWcyntruis 1.2.
Dial. Du.log; 5.9.1; 9.9.7.
Ep. EpUtul.u 24.11; 95.2; 114.7.
Q.NaJ. Naturaks 1.11.2; 1.1 3.3; 1.3. 1.
Q uaestjOFIt!S
Serv. Servius, StrVii Grammatid qui /mmtur in Vtrgili Car-
mina Commentarii. 00 . Thilo and Hagen.
Am . In Ameidru Librorom 1.168, 373,382,443,487,
526; 2.15; 3.76; 4.427 ; 7.206; 678, 742; 8.190.
Aud. Atn. Scholia. quibus Servij commentarius auctw tst lA I;
1.651; 3.334; 9.144 .
Sid. Apoll. Sidonius Apollinaris.
Ep. EpUtul.u 1.2. 10; 4. 1.2: 4.3.8; 7.9.2; 7.9.5; 8.3.4.
Suet. Suetonius.
Caiig. CaiiguJa 34 .2.
Claud. Divus Claudius 41.1, 2; 42.2.
/)om. DomiJinnus 20.
Gal. Calba 3.3.
Gramm. De Crammaticis 15, 20.
RMI. De Rhttoribus 1.3; 1.5, 3.
Tih. Tiheriw 6 1.3; 70.3.
11>1 / I/(/n; ! "NW " III/

Tac:. I at:illl.~ .
A,(,,,', A,.,'jrfllll '27*, :lY*.
HiJl. H i,lll/fi(lt' lAM, 4.:-\4 *,
Tt'11 . . rl'rllllli'll l .
Ad N al. A I/.v{/liflllt'.~ 1.9 [eSEt. :W.7:\ . 15- 1fi1. 10 180.!)-
9J. II [Hn, 2:.....26J; 2.1 195. ~ I .
IIpol. AplllflKrlirlllfl 1:-"' [pI. 1. ;\60-..{lIj: J(i;l !:if>4) ;
HI.2 PUt'l: 1~1.4 I:\X7 \: 19.7 [:i88 \.
Or A ll , Or . ~ "illlll 2 ~' [(;SJ~L 20.;t\(i, I+-IH], 28 [:-I4H, +-
:-, ): -Hi [:\7i. 1:\- IIiJ.
5/1"(', 111- :'i/Jl'f/f/rulil IU ICSf/. 20. I :~, I+- I i I.
Val. Ma=<. , .a It'nll ~ 1\'I a XlIllll
' S .'\ __'} .11111
' . h' ...1: -I. .
. : r;, J . '\ ,)..
\ 'aITo
LiIlK- H.t.!i.
/)1' 1.1111(1/(/ 1,1I1il/(/
R rl,I /. /)1' R,' Rn\Jim 2. 1.2.
VegCI. Vt.'Hclim.
M it. /:piflll//tI ft'; lIIilil(//lS I.I)rat'i'.: 1.8: " .28.
Veil. 1'<11. \ ' tl lt'i H ~ l'alt'tTn lus. 1.17 .~ : ~!.~1 5 .
\'crg. "(;'I)1;il.
CII /(I/. C(I/''{''IJlIIII 1 I ( ' .' ). 11.
\'il r. \ 'itnn'ius,
Ard,. nI' ,-t nhif"rf llm I . I .:{, :), ti.
Index lndicum

o DF.Tf.RMINE what any author means by a word, one netds to

T examine its uses in thdr contexts. A study of the sort under-
taken here-which considers several related words in different lan-
guages over a period. of nearly a thousand yt.:ars-req uires the exami-
nation of as many uses by as many authors as possible. It is therefore
dependent on the use of dictionaries and indexes of individual au-
thors. Unfortunately there is no current, comprehensive, and anno-
tated lis t of such works for either G reek or Latin . P . Faider's R~p
ertoire des index et lexiqut d'Qulturs !alines (Paris, 1926= Collection d'iludu
{a l ines (sede scientifiqueJ, 3) to my knowledge has never been up-
dated. Harald and Blenda Riesenfeld 's Rtptrtorium ux;cographicum
Gratcum (Stockholm: Almqvisl & WikseU, 1954) is a mood of what
such a book should be. briefly assessing the compl eteness and relia-
bility of most of the books mentioned . It shou ld be updated for the
last twenty-five years .
What la llows is a list of the dictionaries and indexes consulted for
this study . I have not included word-lists found in volumes of series
such as the CorplU A ristotelicum Graecum, Corpru Scriptorum Eeclesiaslieo-
rum Lalinorum, Patroiogia GrateD, and Pa/roiogia Latina. Entries with an
asterisk( ) showed no uses of latoQElv. latoQ(a, his/on'o, and so forth.


-I. Acschines. Sigmund Preuss. Index AtSdtintw. Leipzig: T eub-

ner, 1926. Reprinl. Amsterdam: Hakkert , 1965.
2. Aeschylus. Gabriellta lie. Index Atschyitus. Leiden : Brill , 1955.
-3. Alciphron. A lciphron. Epistularum libri iv. Edited by M . A.
Schepers. Leipzig: Teubner, 1905.
166 flut,.,. Imlil"uIII

-4. Alcman . Aicman. Tilt Parln.tnion . Edited by D. I .. Page. Oxford :

5. Alexander of Aphrodisias. Commtnlarja in AristoUltm Gratco,
I - IV.
-6. Anacreon. Cannina AnQcrtonta. Edited by C . Priesendanz. Ldp-
zig: Teubner. 1912.
-7. Andocides . Ludo\'ico Learning Forman . Indix AndocidtUJ, 1...1-
curguJ, Dinarchus. Amsterdam: Ha kkert, 1962.
8. Anligonus of Carystos. Antigon,,; Co.'.)st;; Historiarum Mirabilill.m .
Edited by Be<:kmann . Leipzig: Kummcr, 1791.
-g. Antiphon . F. J.. van C lecf. Index Antipkorutus. Ithaca, N.V.,
1895. Reprint . Hildesheim : Olms, 1965.
-'0. Apollonius of Rhodes. ApoLlonii Rhodi; Argonau(j(Q. Edited by A.
Wellauer. Leipzig, 1828.
11. Apologists . Edgar J. Goodspeed . Indtx Apologtticus SiVl clauis
lwtinus Martyris Operum aliorumqut Apologll.arum Pristinorum.
Leipzig: Hinrich's, 1912.
12. Appian. Appio.n; Allxandrin; Romanarum Hisloriarum quae supewmt.
Edited by J ohann Schweighacuser. Le ipzig: Weidmann , 1785.
13. Archimedes. Opera omnia t um tomrnentariis Eulorhii. Edited by
J. L. Heiberg. Leipzig: Teubner, 1910- 15.
*'4. Aristophanes . O.J . Todd . Indlx Aristophamus. Ca mbridge:
Harvard Univc=rsity Press, 1932. Reprint . Hildesheim : Olms,
1962 .
15. Aristotle . Hcrmann Bonitz. Indlx Arislolllitus. Berli n, 1870.
16. Artemiodorus Daldianus. Arltmiordori Daldiani Onirocrition lihri
v. Edited by Rogc=r Pack . Ldpzig: Tc=ubner, 1963 .
17. Athanasius. Guido Muller. Luie", Athanasianum. Berlin : de
Cruyter, 1952.
*'6. CaJlimachus. Callimachea. Edited by O . Sch neider. Leipzig,
*1 9. Chrysippus . A. Gercke. "Chrysippea." Jaltrbuchtr for das
Philologie, Suppl. 14 ( 1885) : 688-780.
20. Clement o r Alexandria . Clemens AllxandrimLl, Optra. Edited by
OltO Stahlin. Leipzig: Hinrich's, 1936.
21. Comic Poc=ts . Fragmmta Comitorum Gratcorum. collc=ctcd by Au-
gustU! Mc=inc=ke. Bc=rlin: Reimer, 1857; Comicorum Grat(oTum
Frogmen/a. Edited by C . Kaibel. Berlin , 1699; Supple!7lentum Co-
micum . Edited by loannes Demianczuk . C racow, 1912. Reprint .
Hildcsheim : Olms, 1962.
/"dn: lmlicum 167

-22. Democritus. P. Natorp. Dit Ethika dts Dtmokritos. ~hrburg,

23. Dcmos thenes. Sigmund Preuss, Indtx Demos/htnieus. Leipzig,
1892. Reprint . Hildesheim: Dims, 1963.
-24. Didymus. DidJ7RUS. KommlTltar -tu Demos/htn~s . Edited by H.
Diels and W . Schubart. Berlin, 1904= Btrlintr Klassi/.:trttrlt I.
- 25. Dinan:hus. (Sce Andocides).
26. Dio Cassius. Cas;; Dionis Cocctiani Hisloriarum quat suptrsunt.
Edited by U. P. Boissevain . Berlin: Weidmann , 1931.
27 . Dionysius Pcricgctcs. Dionysifil Ptritgtt~s . Edited by G. Bern
hardy. Leipzig: 1826= Gtographic; Graeci M ino Tes I.
28. Dionysius Thrax . Dionys;; Thrac;s An Grammo/ico. Edited by G .
Uhlig. Leipzig: Teubner, 1883. Rcprint , 1965; Scholia in Diony-
si; Th,acis Arlem G,ommalicom. Edited by A. Hilga rd. Leipzig:
Teubner, 1901. Reprint , 1965.
29. Doxographers. Herma nn Dids . Doxographi Grate;. 4th cd .
Berlin : de Gruytcr, 1965.
30. Epictetus. EPicltt; DUm/ationtS ab Arria1lO Digestat. Ed ited by H .
Schen kl. Leipzig: T eubner, 19 16.
31. Heraclitus Ephesius. Htroditi Ephuii Rtliquiat. Edited by 1. By-
water. Oxford , IS77.
32. Herad itu s Gram maticus. Heradit; Quautiones Homt,icat. Ed ited
by Societa tis Bonnensis sodales. Leipzig: Teubner, 19 10.
*33. He roocs Alticus. IImx/, s AlIiws. Opt-m. Edited by E. Drerup. Pad -
t!riJorn, lOOS ::: Stllliin! 1.1/,. C,yhiehl, ulld K ul/ur d,s Alrntums 2: I .
34. Ht rodia n Historicus . H istoriarum lih,i octo. Edited by T . W . Ir
misch. Lei pzig. 1789- 1805.
35. Herodian Technicus . Ht rodiani Ttchnid rtliquiat. Collected by
Augustus Lenz . Leipzig: Teubner, 1867 = Grammatici G,ato,
Pars iii , Vol. I , ll.
36. Herodotus. J. E. PoweU. uxicon IItrodoltum . Cambridge : Cam-
bridge Universi ty Press, 1938.
- 37. Herondas. Htrondas, Tht M imes and Fragmtnts. Edited by A . O.
Knox. Cambridge, 1922.
38. Hesiod . Johann es Paulson . Index Htsiodtus. Lund, 1890. Re-
print. Hildesheim: Dims, 1962.
- 39. Hierocles Stoicus. Elhisent Eltmtnlarlthrt (Pap. 9780) ntbsr dm bti
Slobiius t,ha/ltnt n tthischen Excerpten aus lIieroclts. Edired by H.
von Arnim . Berlin , 1 906~ & rJintr Klauiktrtexle 4.
168 / lIIll'x / mliculII

40. Homer. Augustus Gchring. Intfrx Hom"iclI!. Lcip;tig: T ('ub-

ncr , 189 1.
41. lam blichus. Gustavus Pa nthey. lamhlichi Dr , \( ~s/"iis Ulm.
Ams terdam : Ha kkert. 1965; Ht'rmrngild I' islr lli . l amhlichi Pro-
(upticus. Slutlgarl : T euhner, 1967: Auguslus ~auck . Imblichi
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43. Isocrau's. Sigmund Pn uss. I"dr"" /suua/lus. Stu lIgart : T('ub-
ncr, 1904. Reprint. Hild("shC'i m ; Olms. 1963 .
44. Lucian . l.. C . Rril l. Ind,,, /'" bomm flf pnras;um I.urialli.
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45. Lycurgus. (Sce Andocidrs) ,
'16. Lyric P()("ts. G corg ius I-'alo uros., I"dlx r "bomm ~ " r Friih
grilChisdun Lyrik. Heidelocrg: Uni\'{'rsita ls,erlag. 19G6 .
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48. Max im us ASlrolog us . .\lnnm; rf Amm on i~ f arminll'" d, flffionum
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DUbn er. Paris: Firmin- Dido t. 1877 .
50. Me nander . . Htnandrta 0: pappis rt mtmbranis lt IIl Slissimis. Ed ited
by A. Koerlt'. Lei pzil't: T t'ul>n("r. 19 12.
5 1. New Testam ent. J. H. Thayer. A (J"rttk-English I " x;fo" of Iht
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53 . Olympiodorus. O(vmpiodorlls. Commrn/(l~l' on Iht Firsl A /fj6iadts of
Pl%. Editrd by J.. C . \\'rSIt'rink . Am sterda m: ~() rth Ho\land ,
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55. Peripa tetics . F. R. Wr-hrli. Vir Sfhul, dts .-hislo/tlts. Basel :
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56. Philo Judaeus Alexandrinus. Indrx l,trborum ad Philonis A/uon-
dn'ni Optro. Compiled hy l oanncs Li f'sep,:an~. \ '01. i . PI. 2 or
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Reimer, 1915-3Oj Cunter Ma yer. index Philontus. Berlin : de
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57. Philostratus. Philoslrati Imagines. Edited by Seminariorum Vin-
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58. Pindar. Johann Rumpcl. uxicon Pindaricum. St ultgart: Teub-
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59. Plato. Friedrich Ast. uxicon Platonicum. Leipzig: Wcidmann,
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60. Plutarch. D. A. Wyttenbach. uxicon Plutarcheum. Plutarchi
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6 1. Polybiu s. A. Maucrsberger. Polybios-uxicon . Berlin, 1956-.
62 . Porphyry. Porphyrii Opuscula s,tltCla. Rec. Augustus Nauck .
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66. Sophocles. Heinrich EbeJing. Gritchisch-Dtutsches Worttrbuch .tu
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73. Thucydides. E.-A. B ~(anl. uxicon Thuqdideum . Canf. 1847.

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[ntin: /Jldicum \7\

1905-6. Reprint. Hildesheim: Olms 1962. W. Abbot, W. A.

Oldfather, and H . V. Canter. Index Verborum Ciceronis Epistula-
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172 I mll'X /mlirulll

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Reimcr, ISin.
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37. Propenius . .J. S. l)hillil1lor~ . / I/(/I'X r,.,."m'UllI P mlH'l1iflllll.,l'. Oxfi)rd :
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38. Quimilian. [ell/ard llullcil. i.l'Xiflm Qllillli/irml'llll/. l...tipzi)o(: T ellh-
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39. Rhetoricians . J ohann C. T. Ern("sli . ["xiton Thn oiogiot Loli
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Hildesheim : D im s, 1970 .
-41. Scncca. P. G rima!. I. .1,lTIoti Stnrtor Oprrum Jloro{ium ConeOT'
da" lia. Pari s: Presses Univcrsitaircs. 1965- 67 : W. A. Dldfather,
H. V. Ca nter. and A. SI. Pease. Indtx Vrrhorum quat in Smuot
Fobulis Necno" i" Orlal'io Protlexla Rrperiu"lur. l lni\'('rsity of illi-
nois Studi es ill La nguage and Litcra ture, \-'01. 1\'. Nos. 2-+.
U rhana : U nivcrsilY of Illinois Press. 19 18.
Indtx Indicum 173

42. Silius Italicus. N. D. Young. Index Verborum Si/ianus. Iowa

Studies in Classical Philology, 8. Iowa City: Athens Press,
43. Suctonius. A. A. Howard and C. N. Jackson. Index Vuborum
C. Sudoni Tranquil/i . Cambridge, Mass., 1922. Reprint . Hildes-
heim : Olms, 1963.
44. Syrus. Publius Syrus. Edited by O. Friedrich. Berlin: Grieben,
45. Tacitus . D. Barends. Lexicon AtIleium. A Lexicon and Index to
Aeneas Tacitus' Military Manual on the Defense or Fortified
Positions. Assen : Vangorcum, 1955. A. Gerber and A . Grecf.
I.lxicon Taciteum . Leipzig: Teubner, 1897-1903.
46. Terenee. E. N. Jenkins. Index Verborum Terenfianus . Chapel
Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1932. Reprint.
Hildesheim: Olms, 1962; P. MeGly"n. Lexicon Teuntianum .
London: Black, 1963.
47 . Tertullian. Quinti Septim; Florentis Ttrtulliani Ad Naliones Libri
Duo. Edited by J . G. Ph. Borleffs. Leiden: Brill, 1929; P.
Henen . rndtx Verborum quat TertulJiani Ap%gttico amtinen!ur.
Louvain, 1910; J . H. Waszink . lndtx Verborum et Locutionum quae
Terlulliani De Animo continen/ur. Bonn: Hanstein , 1935; J . J .
Thierry . Ttrtullianus , De foga in persecutione. Hilversum , 1941.
Terlullitll . De paUlilentia, De pudicilia. Edited by Pierre de La-
brioHt:. Paris: Picard , 1906; Terlullien. De pratJcriptiont Hamtico-
rum , Edited by Pierre de Labriolle. Paris: Picard , 1907; E. Wit
teTS. Ter/ullian , Dt Jpedacu/iJ. Index verborum omnium. Louvain ,
1943: J. G. Ph . BorldTs. "Q. Sept. Fiar. Tertulliani De bap-
tismo ad fidem Treeensis veterumque editionum." Mntmo-!),ne ,
Ser. 2, 59 (1931 ), " Index Verborum ," p. 50-102; BorlefTs.
"Index verborum quae Tertulliani de paenitentia libello con
tinentur." MlItffloJyne, Ser. 2, 60 ( 1932): 254-316.
48. Tibutlus. Edward N. O'Neil. A Critical umcordance of the Ti
bullan Corpus. Ithaea, N .V ,: American Philological Association
Publication, 1963.
*49. Valerian . William H. Schuhe. bula Vt'Tborum Valerianus. Hildesh-
eim: Olms. 1965.
50. Varro. H . P. Lodge. Index VtTborum in VUTTO'I'IU Rerum Rwlicarum.
Leipzig: Teubner. 1902. Vol. 3, Fasc. 2 of Keil ed.
174 I"dn: l/U/i(lltN

51 . Vegctius. Flat'; V,g,ti RnllJti piJmrw R, ; M;/j/ari~. Edited by Car-

olus Lang. Leipzig: Tcubncr, 1885.
52 . Vergi l. G. A. Koch . l' ollstd"digtJ Wort"tlllcl! ZII dIll Grdichr"l fin P.
V"gil;w Ma ro. Hannnvcr. 1875: J. B. Wctmore. I"dnc V,rbo'"111
Vt"I'gilianlLf. New Ha\'en: Yale University Press, 19 11; H . Merguet .
Ln:i)f()?1 lU Vrrgi/iw. Leipzig: Komlllissionsverlag. 190i.
53. Vitruvius. Hermann Noh!. I"d,x VitnllliamLl". Leip7.ig: Teubne r,
1876. Reprint. SlUug"rl : Teubner, 1%5.
l rulex of Names arul Subjects

(R1~'l(fl in italia..irrdildtt fJtlgtt. 011 U'nilh all author is quoud.)

Abd .. rd , 1060 Anemis. 27

Abrah"m. 57 A~ianism, 70
Achilles, 23 Ath;masiu5, 96- 98
Actium , 6 1, 69 Athenagoras, 79-81
Acls of tAr .... poJllt5. 35 At hens, 36, 119
A C\lsi l ~ . u . 250 Auicism. 37. 70
Ad'lIl1, 102 Auicus, 47
AC'!.Ch)"lu!. 29 AuguSline, 10 , 2 1. 105. 112-19, 123,
A~lillS , 93 124 , 125. 126, 121, 128, 129, 130, 1}6,
Ajax . 23 J 3a.....43 /HlJJillf
Alcih"'des. <16 Au relia n, 90
Alc:xandef the Grt'iI!, 3 1, 35 AUlo biograp h)', 106
,\l u;l. llder of Ap hmdi,ilis, 92- 9J , 124
Alrxa ndria, 13, 36, 5 1- 53. 69; Bacon. Fnncis, 3
C n echelil,:al School of, 77, 91 , 13 1; Basil the G reat, 96- 99, 130
librarians o f. 360 Bayle, Pk rre, 138
Allegorisfll. 58-59, 60 n,owtll{. 24n
Alllbrose, 111- 12, 131 Berosus. MO
Anaxagor.:u. 93 Biography, 46, 67
AndrollKus. 43 Blood-price, 24
Annab, 45. 49 Bultmann, Rudc>lf. 6
Antiheretkal literature, 78, 132 Burckhardt, Jawb, 811
Anl loc h . 36 Bury, j. B . 1211
Arniuche nC' & hool, 94 R),ullIium, 89, 90, 94
Antiochu! of Syracu~. 80
Antiquity, IlIl:'a ninK of the I('rm, 104 Caecilius, 43
Amotlinus Pius. 89 Caesar, 6 1
Anlony . 61 Cain . 102
Apion. HO Carneades, 4 ~
Apolog y. 2 1. 78. 94 , 11 3, 123, 126. 13 1 Cani:'n, 1I2
Arg unn: nt. 48 Cato, 45. 91
Ariani'm, 96 Chares of M)tilene, 010
Arimtrdnu, 38 Che min . H .. 75 n
A mlffll , Ullfr to,52 C hristian u tin , 95i1
Aristobulu5. 53 Ckero. 43, 41 , -f6-JO, 5 1, 67
ArislOphanC'S of Byza ntium. 38 Cinci us Alimcnllls, L., 43
Aristotle. 7, J/ - U , 36, 40, 42, 65, 7 1, <":Iemclll of Alexandria , 80-8' , 87
7 5 , 9~, 93 , 106, 124 Cleodemu$ (Malchus). 52
Arnobius. W'- 9, 130 Cochrane. C. N.. 6n
Arta panu, . 52 Comment ary, 13 1
176 J111/1'.\ fll Xmlll'.1 fllld Sl/hin l.1
(.;o mnmni<tll. IIJ':J E.lut';ui"n. 14 . :.;1-;.7, 1;2. , no 77. 1I:!. l'Ii.
COOlmtldu ~. i I . H!I !In, l :m - :il. 1:l'i
C(ln~t ilminf:. l :t. \10 , !14 . \1;., !Ii 4"yKUd. ~o<; 1I'{"( lla . :.;._;,1,
u.IIlslantiltopk. !HI t:lI;ll't. rH
Cmmdl or :-'ic;t<OI, Hi. " .,-
Cratt'~ or MaUI" , ~ :I
Criwlau~. 4:i
' 1'1"11 . _ I
t:I11I)('II, 1t k,. \.:1
bmiu.I . 0 , Ill:'.
t:1 ...e~ lI s. 2!1 EPM-" 'IlI ' , ; .,. " ',, !I:!
CulhlllllUl , U " 11, l'Il!. ] .111. I :!!III Epin l rt;ul' . .1'; . /i' . ':1 4
( :uhurr : illldl~,u~I . :-I : (; r;Ir:'t l 1- R' Htl;III t:l'intru" ~\n . I'l l
:and Judil~,(: hri5'ian . -f. l :i, Ir" 1\1, tTTtn'T';fl l'l. III
5 1. in-7H, Hi , 12~ , 1:i2- :iti, 143-4:, .: lI hlIUt ' II ~. I U;",
- his,clI,' <>r. KCII.,." I. tu- li. I ~ ' . :"'11. I'I:!- t:.. r;l'ici(,,_:! i - l ,v
-f:>: 1'~ " i. " I ' : . \It' ~;lIIc h'iit" 1" ... ;,11. ;-01 - .:II ....loill >. \1. '"':!. !1.1. 'Ji_ 1fI2. 111;,_ 1:1:-1 .
:,~ : Clui!>li<tll, 1;"., :InlioIUii. , !I:I ~ .; : J:q , 1:11 ;11
C h r;~ ia01 , urigins, i ti-i!l : (:rC't"i: , b ;'KI'illl, \1
Hrl1t'ni ~l i('. 3:0-37 : (:rerk. l':,rI\' En', Ill:!
rmpire. li!"'7U: { ; r t'.' k il mIR",il;m , . t"'YTlfH~. :17 . :i!I. 411
1.Il' :lIIli'lni,}', M!I- \lfl: I mprri:d . \,I{t'. t:", ,')(,~i,. :!I. !.K- :.\I. Ill-I. I lB- 11. 114-
K!I-~ I I : Lat;n ( :hri.\ I ;" 11 , I;II{' 01111 iCluil \ . I ; . I :!:i. I ~ti . 1:11 . 1:15
104- 5; Rum:"I , 1'.0111 rmpin ', lil-tl2:
RI)m.n , ltevuhlk;lII. -f :\--H
E'''~'hi''L ,.:!
' -0 .;,hills l'ill. I{ , (".! .. ,1:1
C ) nll , :'>.,
C)pr i.:HI. /lJ 7, 1:111 F:lIoI., tJII/mlll l . G , II( 1\1, lil; . IllIi. IIIH,
112. I ll;. I ]~ j
Darilu , :11t f",.ilh. !'I2. 1:0
Da,jd , W~ Fila sl ri ,,~ . 1/11- 11
Ik HUf,l(h, W, ( ;,. l :i Frill, K. \"Om , Hi
Dedus. !I-I , 1117
Ih:mc' ri ".~ . .'12 (:"i .. ," i !'
,' 11. -, "_ , 11.-.
I)(om.", ha n.>li, -I!I
ikmocritus, :1ti. HI
Ikn,uslhl'n('s. 12, ,12
'' ;<1 I...-i.....
,:;,IIit'III1 S, !HI

Oialwic. 5n {:,.[a';II". 'l'i

Oia l ri'~ , 5:i (~lIi\l" ,\"h", 1:' , IHJ,II. !II
5\ftlT)O'L~. 3!'. ,Ill" {:..,'um!n , ;.1.
l)ihh{,l. W.. 7n ( :ihh,m , L 1:1, >1\1, l-f:'.
Diu ( :;m iu<. 71- 72 l'....... l') . I M, :!\I
l)iudrtiall, !I(I, 91, 1:\1) l'';'H~, l M
Dk,.;ln ru< ufTaulI ~. !J.I , 1:111 I;,,,,,,;,,. ;;
Uiugt:ll t. " f Bah)-I"" (S,n id, -f:I (:.,,1. i.I... "I. I :H
D;"Rt IlN nf Si n. IlK' (( :"01k), ~ ; ( ;' M"1. itit':luf. I:\.i
I>;"II)"';U' .. r Iblio"n"." " , 1'; - 12 ( ;''''I'd>, ii , 11I:1: .I" hll , Ill:.! ; L"l.r. IHO.
Di"n)~i " . Tllr"ll , IN_ 1l,1, ;.-.- !o/;. 1;2. !1i Ill:!. I n, . 1111: ;\1 :lI lh\"". WII. IU :.!
Uiphil" . -I :i ( ;., 111 Itl1a. , :11;. :11'1 _:1\'. ,-.n, .-.r" -;':1
U .,.;., rnCII!;nT CI"it!t:lI( ". ~Fa,q. 551 (:"'.1("'" "I :\:01 ;';111111'. 1:111
I);ilgt"l". F. ,I., 14 11 ( 'U'K.,n "I :\,~sa , 1:'
0,,0;1.1 ;' ''. lUi (;' q::"n "t 1.'"1"10. I:\t in
[)HlCoKr .. ph ~, ;\lo , i r.
Drnrtt'n . .I. (~ .. :i:. 11... 1.. ;..... 1'1\1
11 :" ll1ilo"l . :Ii, ~I
Ec(k~ias~ k .. 1 hislUn , :\ . \1. I ~ Hl- I j) I . 1:1Ii I kiln ' '''. ,.:.,>
E,(rI",In.lli,...,. [.2 11" ''''' :.'' .. _. 2:'" ,
EMn, 111 1 11")0:('\. (; . W . L ~ , I I; 1l
'lIdfX of Nalll~J ami SlIbjfCU 177

H~in5iU5, D., 3511 Ju ba, 80

H~~n. 28, 29 Judgn. BooA of, 11 0
H~l1e.,i$tic age (Hellenism), 35-37, 38, Julian. 94
39. "I , "2, 4'1 , 5 1. 52, 33, 6 1. 69, n . Ju liul Africanu$. 100, 116n
75, 12 1. 129 JU5tin Martyr, 79, 8J-8." 87
Hephaistu s. 27 JUIerutl. 6 J
Heracliw, (philosopher), 2', '16 , 93
Heraditus (critK). 71 Keuck . K.. 18
Herd~ r, .J. (; .. 35n
Hcr~ Tri~m~R i5'uS, 108 L..~rl honnii!orro.L.. :)
Herodotu ~. 27- 11 , 32, "0, 49 , 99, 12 1 lactanliu5. 10'- 11 , U O
Iic5iod. 2-1. 2511 Laetius. C., 43
Hilar)" J07 . 13 1 Liixlniu$, 130
Hipyo. 93 Liberal arts. St>u
Hippol ~'IU 5, 79 library. Alexandrian, 36
Hi510ricai ~ma"liC5, 20 Liv)", 20
l"IiSloriop;raph)" 3, 9 , 11, 20 , 132- 34 Logographoi , 25
His!Ot\": ofklca$ or of cultu~. 19, 143 : Love, idea of. 134
philOso phy of, 7, 10, 20. Z2. 138, 1..0 ; Lo,ejoy. A. 0 .. 6
'hro~y of. W, 22, 138 lOwilh, K. 7n. 9n. IO n
_ as " Ih~ paM, M14-1.'). 66, 69. 7" , 85, Lucian , 72-701
W7 . 11 ~ 17 . 122 . 1 23 . 138 :a$"slUry," Luciliu5. 43
2 1, 66. n . 8 1. 85, 91. 122 . 138; as Lunctius, 43
"Iclic~ (g ..... ' .clirc<tM), ... 12. 22; as
"the "'hole tcmpor.. 1 proct5.~. " 14- 15. Marrailus: SmlHd Boo. of. 52; Four/la BooIt
17 . 125. 128, 13S--42 ; "ca!lC" l1islOry." of. 53
iQ , 72- 73. "hi'IOT)' of ()piniom." 74 . :\fc Keon , R. P.. "4 n
t! J, ~2-93 . 135 ; "hiSIOr)' of natur~ :'ofa"':lho, 97
(Ilat unll hi~ton' )," 30r. 33. 50, !i.i , 60, Mart;U5 Aurelius, 65. 89
85 , IOfi. 112. f3~ ; " hi5'ur~' Ur Marroll , H . I., 55n, 56u
philu$oph)"" i f> 1lLi:9l)~a , h I
Ilomer, 29, 80, K5. 132 :'o1;n:eutiu5. 94
Homily. 13 1 Medicine. 36. iO. i 2
tl or..ce, \11 Mroflandc r. 45
Uume. 0 .. 137 ~I elhodiu$, 9{j- 104
Mille nuianism. 13i
lamblichus. 92- 91 ~1inllciu$ Felht. 87
lriomeneus, 23 Mne moSyllc, 71
Ion, 2K M omigli;ano, A .. 1211, 3211 , 350 , 67 .. .
Isiunre of &-" iUe, 136n U .. n
hocntn. J2 MMo('hus. KO
Moses. 54 , 57- 58. 00. 77. 83-85 pam", .
.Iacob. 5i 11 1. 132
J aC'ger, \\'., Hi, 3211, 56n MOIion, id~a of, 7
Jeremiah. I 17 ~lOlIer, F.. If!
Jemme, 10'-12, l !j l Mu~s, 2.. , !l 1
.Ieru~lem temple. 52, 77 Mu ~ um . Ah:'xandrian , 36
.Ieul'. 76. 77, H3. 9tJ. 100-10-1 /l'mi"" Musit.. 56
Ill. 11 7. 137 j.l~ , 60, 73
Jew~ , !l1- H . 7Mf. 8" , 911. 108, 122. 126,
12. /'Oae,'i..s, .. j
.Inhn Chrr~(lstom, 94. 99- 10-1 , 130 N.. rrali~t' generd, 'IH
Jo ne~, A. H. M . Il n Nature. idea 01". u ... 135
.I()JCphu~. 32. KO. 97, 99. 1:H Nausiph;aIl<!1, 26
178 / m/I'X ut .\"(/1/1,..1 lIIul SI/hi,'f!.,

('\C' pus, .# 5-1(, 1'''l11p.:iu.~ FeSl1h. (,11

New CumC'III', 4 3 I'''m l'c~'. Hr.
NkcllC' t :n:r d , ~ ri 1'''ml'(''liu~ I"rp h ~ rj" . ~"
Nile. 211 l 'l~id i ppu~ . 1'101
Nu~h . 54 , Ill'!. 1;1i 1" K!l unju ~ Alhi u lI_~, 4:1
It.. x;ph~nt'.\. 41
(klil \il,l~. ti I . liil I nl .~ il t'k~ . i ;l
(kdipu. 2;. :il'!, I;.' " n: ,\da rni' c". I:ti
odol~ . 29 l'nSo .. r.u i<. ph il< 'SO 'pht' H. 2:"., I :!'
Ore~I t'.~ . 21'1 " ..ohu s. (..~'
O rigell . /f12- J, IfH 1I1"'Yt:..,o"OTU. , . '! I . :I!I
Ott" "rFrcisillK. 131;11 "n 'KIt....., 1-1 1
I' r'''pc r'lill ~. ,, ;
"aitleb . " ; 1''''''1'''' ' " I ' \ ' III;lai,l(>. !:ttill
lro.6tw. 4 1 I't tn lc mi ll~. I II!- II
Pa naetius. -1 ;1 1'<t 'ud' '' ' .lld,U1, ,J
Pan ncnklcs. (; l'l"km ~ I. :I!i: 11 I'hil;lflt'l p hu ~ . :I,i
l).dt~ln' r. '=;;1. :.4 "\'I'rh .. , '; I
Pa trudu~. 2:1 1' \I h;'I(" ";III ~. 2.. :.:1. il
l'a ul. ii. Ill,!. 111:\
Pa x I( u mana. I; I I(t;.... '11 (,,,, .... A.ryoc:). "vpn~l'd 10 hislf>r~ .
Penlalludl. 1:\ . .'">7 . :iH. lm. !li ;;11. n . \12 . I ll. 1:1:;
Perg:lIllum . ~ ti fn j!,."m', 17 . 2 1
l't'riJ)<Ilelin, HI , !I:I I(.llr' ~j"'li,ulln .msfX"l li''' I), pro,hkm in
PeSS Im ism, K, 22 r .. bu r;)1 hi~l" n. I 21 i-211. ,:1.",. ' -I2-J.1
Pele r the :\ ~l' l i(". IUU I(ht'luril', 1-1 , :I'i , :;11. '>l i. li2 . i ll. ~ I , \111 .
Ph"l'il".'cs. 7(; 122. 1:1--:11 . 1:12 "
Ph i!em,," , .u I(h..I'I(s. :I/i
Pb ill) ,I ud"cu.' A Il'xaud rilllf~. I :1. :", I :V ! . I("fllan. " . lit l
5}-liU. 122. I:q 1("ln ;lIni, ~.I;nfllall . 1:\10,
Philu .1It' Eldt ... :'>2 l(u fi11lt,. '".1
Phil' 1(; h"m~. 411"
Phil< "kn lll ~. 2n . -I 2 Sal(;t " I Uuml :'I:j al . 2~ 1I
Ph ik ~ 'ph ~ 1-1 . 1\1- 211. :t!. :ll i. 1:1. :; r. ,. :1. Sr.. lil(t"T. J, C .. :\5"
-;or. 71;. HU. H 3-~ 1 I'"",,.,m. 11 121. Sdl\'..j" ,I' . .\ .. I;
127- 211 S,ip;.. Afrin .. "'~ . .. 7
l'h il(" I {plo;mu~ . H, Sdl>i<mi, C irri" , ~ :t
1';1\(1;11 . ~I l SI,"II.;ml it'S, hi\tnriL';I!. 211
P;~isullllu . 21'1 s,'m"n l1lill' ,hdlin, ., ~-I (I
Plag iarism . i!l . Ill. 11:1 Sl' nt\";t, ~ i~
Pla Ln. ' ;. 27. 311. H j. :\1;. ,,:\. :,:"' . I ~I . Ill. S" I'!U;,J,tiltl , 1:1. ;,:2 1. !~ I
93. \17. 117 . 12-\ StT\'iu,. 'J/
Pb ulII~. 4:\. H-IS . -11; S,' )(IUS l:llIl'iril"lls. -; / - 7-I . ~:?
P1ra~Iff't". i2 Sihkr . f .. (; .. 1-1-1-11
Pli n . Ellk. , ,"X , \11t; Si"1111:. I .ud " ". ~ l't
1'1 111; . YOU Il K(' t . fJ,-liJf Slo., "ti' ~ l l C,i~is. 1:\ 7
r lu( iulIs. I; Skl'\,'ir~. I:? I
PIUla fl'h. iJ - i -l. !12 Skilfl't" ,. Q .. /-1 :1
I>cIT' "
" ' "1. ;1
" ' :"",' ,., "~ . f't
.. 1. :'" 'I 1 -' 'I
_. SlIdl. IL III
" i:i. '!I. II" . IIIH. III!I. 'ill. 1111 . 122. S,,, 1';11,',. :1Il-:I I . :'1:1. ;011 . :",:1, IN
124 S"t"' lIn t .'lI 1,,\;:,,';, "I hhw ri:U1 >. ~ I. 1:J.j
l'ull'lIIon. Iq fTucbw., ....'
Pulilin. ,-I ~"I,hi,ti, . MU: s,.nmci S" J> h i ~l;t" ill
PuJ ~'''im . )';-12. -1:1 S" pl.; >", 11'1
Index of Nanzn 611d SubjtclS 179

Sozomcn . 9. 97- 101, 134 TimaeuI, 50, 51, 60

Spcnsier. 0 .. 411 Time. idea of , 6 , 7, 8 . 2 1, 124-25
SloicJ. 7. 55, 81. 124 Tnj an, 89
Suclu niul, 61-66 Truth, a5 critedo n o fhi510 ry, 41 , 48. 49,
Iniw.(n~. 18 59, 6.3, 66, 72, 10.3, 114
SYl'"iallu5. 124
Valen., 90
Tacilus, 85. 90 Valenlinian, 90
Tahhybiul.27 Valc n,inu5, 86
Talian . 80-84 . 87 ValeriUI M'lXimus. /4 1
Tclm. 8 Varro, 46. 9 1
TCTCntC. 4~ VerBi!. 4!, 68, 142
Tcrlullian, 16, 81-86, 87 Vincent of Bcauvail. "6n
Thale~, ~7 Vittu v,iuI. 61
Thcmistius, 91 Voltairc. j.. 138
Theodo rc of Mopsucstia. 94 , 1.30
Thcodol'"Ctus of CYfUS, 94. 98- 104 Windelband . W., 5
ThcodolUs. 52 . 80 WiKlom. idea or, 134
TheophiluJ. 97- /02
Thcophl'"ulul. J 7, 4 1. 106 Xcnophanes, 25n, I! I
Thcopompus. 49 Xen:n:, "
Thucydkln, 20, 40, 46, 80. 99
Tibcrius. 66 uno of Cilium, !6