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Paulus Orosius

Orosius, Paulus (ōrōˈshēəs) [key], c.385–420, Iberian priest, theologian, and historian, b. Tarragona, Spain or Braga, Portugal. He went to see St. Augustine (c.413) and wrote, on request, a summary of the errors of Priscillian and of Origen. Augustine then sent him to Palestine to warn St. Jerome of the menace of Pelagianism. Unable to return to Spain, which was overrun by the Vandals, Orosius remained in Africa, where he completed the Seven Books of History against the Pagans (tr. by I. W. Raymond, 1936), which had been undertaken to continue the thrust of Augustine's City of God. The work became a kind of textbook of universal history for the Middle Ages; it treats world history as a concrete proof of the apocalyptic visions of the Bible. King Alfred translated it into Anglo-Saxon.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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