This book describes the developing application of retributive principles in historical narratives before Christ. It assesses degrees of concern in the first history-writers of the world's most widespread monotheistic tradition to discern divine justice in human affairs.
Part 1: Bases and beginnings 1. Backdrop: Retributive principles in traditional societies and ancient historiography 2. The first Christian historian: Luke and his two books Part 2: Centrepiece: The Eusebian achievement 3. Towards historical triumphalism: Eusebius, Lactantius and their predecessors 4. The man in the middle: Rufinus of Aquileia between East and West Part 3: The Byzantine East 5. Church history as nonconformism: Retributive and eschatological elements in Athanasius and Philostorgius 6. The golden chain of Byzantinism: The Tripartite ecclesiastical histories of Socrates, Sozomen and Theodoret Part 4: The Latin West 7. History as theodicy: Augustine's De civitate Dei 8. Consolations of history under the declining Western empire: Sulpicius and Orosius 9. Aftermath