He compiled the history and did an analysis of the writings of all the ecclesiastical writers of the first thirteen centuries.
The abbe Migne carried his Latin patrology down to the time of Innocent III.
1216), and his Greek patrology to the fall of Constantinople (1453); but, while this large extension of the field is much to the advantage of his readers, it undoubtedly stretches the meaning of patrologia far beyond its natural limits.
And in the case of a writer like Tertullian who left the Church in middle life, are we to admit certain of his works into our patrology and refuse a place to others ?
It is clear that in the circumstances the terms "father," "patristic," "patrology" must be used with much elasticity, since it is now too late to substitute for them any more comprehensive terms.