Orosius: tradition and revolution in Latin historiography

Catalina Balmaceda, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile

Catalina Balmaceda, 2016: "Orosio: tradición y revolución en la historiografía latina", Onomázein 33, 156-173.
DOI: 10.7764/onomazein.33.8

This article deals with the historiographical work of Orosius, Christian historian, in the context of his own times, at the beginning of fifth century AD. I argue that Orosius wrote his Histories closely linked to the Greco-Roman tradition in style and content, but totally revolutionary in interpretation. Like the ancients historians, he seeks to remind us important facts of the past, to pass moral judgment and write elegantly using rhetorical tools. However, the author not only narrates facts, but he also provides an interpretation of them, seeking to demonstrate that pagan historians have not been able to understand the underlying message of history: for Orosius, Roman history stands for universal and Christian history at the same time, and it is precisely in this point were the originality of his work lies.