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Eusebius: The Church History Review by Ruth Hoskins

Paul L. Maier
Kregal Publications
P. O. Box 2607
Grand Rapids, MI 49501

Eusebius of Caesarea is known as the father of church history. This is Paul Maier's translation of the Ten Books of Eusebius Church History in completion. Each book is concluded with a commentary by Maier to give more insight and understanding to the writing.

What is the book about? Eusebius is the first ever to write a history of events that surrounded the church after Christ. The first book covers Jesus and the Word of God. Books 2-7 cover the ascension of Christ in A.D.33 up to the reign of Diocletian, 284. Book 8 discusses the great persecution that began in 303. Book 9 discusses Constantine's victory in the West and more persecution in the East. Finally book 10 is a celebration of peace and tolerance given to the church.

I found that it is very important to read the introduction first. It discusses the process that Maier undertook to translate this version of Eusebius. He gives clear examples of a word for word translation verses what we will find in this book. You can clearly see how much more readable this translation is. In the introduction Maier also provides details of what Eusebius went through to get this work on paper.

I am not one to tackle early historical writings because of the awkward sentence structure and words combinations. Even in English it feels like Greek. Yet I found that Maiers' translation was as easy to follow as a classical literature book. (Not that easy, but certainly doable.) The sentence structure and added chapter headings help with understanding.

I also found the formatting to be very helpful. The words, although many, do not crowd the page, and there is plenty of white space, pictures and diagrams, that help aide with comprehension. When reading classical work, the worst thing that can happen is to become tired by the small writing page after page. You do not have that with this translation. There is absolutely no reason to be intimidated by tackling such an historical work.

This is not a book that I can read in a sitting. It is slow reading for someone who may not be familiar with historical original translated work. Yet it is not a daunting task to undertake. If I were using it in my homeschool, this would be junior or senior level work.

Product Review by Ruth Hoskins, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December, 2008