First, from the negative side:
It is easy to trawl atheist websites and come up with a conclusion like this, which I read somewhere on a Usenet newsgroup:
'More evidence that supports the fact that Jesus the Christ is pure myth and fable. For being considered the most influential person in all of history, it is strange that of the 29 first century historians who existed at the time of Jesus, none of them mention Jesus at all...
A learned friend responds:
1. Philo Judaeus
A philosopher, not a historian.
2. Apollonius of Tyana
Virtually no writings survive
3. Valerius Maximus
Not a historian - wrote a manual on "historical tales for rhetoricians" based largely on Roman history
4. Marcus Manilius
Not a historian - a poet and astrologer
5. Velleius Paterculus
A historian, but dead before the crucifixion (19 BC - 31 AD)
6. Quintus Curtius Rufus
Only surviving work is an autobiography of Alexander the Great. Oddly, Jesus doesn't appear.
7. Pomponius Mela
Not a historian - a geographer
8. Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Not a historian - a very bright man, but not a historian
9. Petronius Arbiter
Not a historian - a satirist
10. C. Musonius Rufus
Not a historian -- a philosopher, none of whose works now exist.
11. Aulus Persius Flaccus
Not a historian - a poet and satirist
12. Marcus Annaeus Lucanus
Only surviving historical work concerns the Roman Civil War. Oddly, does not mention Jesus
13. Hero(n) of Alexandria
Not a historian - a mathematician and engineer
Not a historian - a mathematician and astronomer
15. Lucius Junius Moderatus Columella
Not a historian -- a writer on agriculture.
Not a historian - an astronomer
Not a historian - a writer of fables in imitation of Aesop
Not a historian - a physician and pharmacologist
19. Plutarch of Chaeronea
A historian whose only extant works in this field focus on Alexander, Pliny and Herodotus. Oddly, does not mention Jesus
20.Justus of Tiberias
A historian whose work is lost and is anyway described by Photius as very brief and largely fictitious.
21. Pliny the Elder (Gaius Plinius Secundus)
His history is lost; the surviving work is a National History, discussing drugs etc.
22. Dio Chrysostom (Cocceianus Dio)
Regarded as a historian by his contemporaries but no historical works survive
23. Marcus Fabius Quintilianus
Only extant work is a textbook on rhetoric
24. Publius Papinius
Publius Papinius **Statius**, you mean? A poet, not a historian.
25. Dio of Prusa
Same person as Dio Chrysostom!!!
26. Silius Italicus
Not a historian - a poet. Only surviving work an epic based on the Punic wars
27. Sextus Julius Frontinus
Not a historian - a soldier and administrator
28. Marcus Valerius Martialus
Not a historian - read his "Epigrams".
29. Hierocles of Alexandria
Writing in the 5th Century AD by which time Christianity was the official religion of the Empire!!!
Watch for more...