We can attribute two sources to the idea of universal history: one classical, with the reactions of Polybius and Diodorus of Sicily to the Aristotelian assignment of history to the particular; the other Christian, with the notion of an absolute beginning and end to history, governed by Providence. The Augustinian model, by way of universal medieval chronicles, and despite the emergence of national histories starting from the end of the sixteenth century, peaks with Bossuet’s Discours sur l’histoire universelle. From the latter came two paradoxical descendants: that of Voltaire in his Essai sur les mœurs, and that of Hegel and the great nineteenth-century philosophies of history. We recognize here Löwith’s theory on the secularization of the theology of history, theory whose foundation remains below the criticism that it continues to provoke. Since then, two paths have presented themselves for a universal history: the pursuit of exhaustiveness by the accumulation of data, or the search for a single meaning—of an immanent or a transcendent nature—for the wandering of humanity.