He was not a professional man of letters but an army officer of Greek origin born at Antioch and contemporary with the events described in what remains of his work. He set himself the task of continuing the histories of Tacitus from A.D. 96 down to his own day. The first thirteen of his thirty-one books are lost; the remainder describe a period of only twenty-five years (A.D. 354-378) and the reigns of the emperors Constantis, Julian, Jovian, Valentinian and Valens, for which he is a prime authority. He was a pagan and an admirer of the apostate Julian, to whose career about half the surviving books are devoted. Nevertheless, his treatment of Christianity is free from prejudice and his impartiality and good judgement have been generally acknowledged.