Idea of Universal History From Hellenistic Philosophy to Early Christian Historiography

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This study excavates the Hellenistic tradition of history-writing, to interpret and situate the various artifacts which it has left behind. This in turn provides the context for a much more Hellenistic account of the Christian Eusebius, and his own historiography, than has yet been given. The book begins with the development of universal history, and the Peripatetic influence on historiography following Aristotle's methodological criticisms: the legacy of this is followed through to Diodorus, Josephus and Plutarch who, it is argued, form the major background to the development of Christian history-writing. The impact of Greek historiography on early Christian thought is every bit as great as that of Greek philosophy, and in drawing a line from Aristotle to Eusebius, Mortley illuminates the trail which the historical tradition of the period probably took.

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