He wrote a history of the world (Chronografiai, in five books) from the creation to the year AD 221, covering, according to his computation, 5723 years. He calculated the period between the Creation and the birth of Christ as 5499 years, and ante-dated the latter event by three years. This method of reckoning became known as the Alexandrian era, and was adopted by almost all the eastern churches.
The history, which had an apologetic aim, is no longer extant, but copious extracts from it are to be found in the Chronicon of Eusebius, who used it extensively in compiling the early episcopal lists. There are also fragments in George Syncellus, Cedrenus and the Paschale Chronicon. Eusebius (Church History i. 7; vi. 31) gives some extracts from his letter to one Aristides, reconciling the apparent discrepancy between Matthew and Luke in the genealogy of Christ by a reference to the Jewish law, which compelled a man to marry the widow of his deceased brother, if the latter died without issue. His terse and pertinent letter to Origen, impugning the authority of the apocryphal book of Susanna, and Origen's wordy and uncritical answer, are both extant. The ascription to Africanus of an encyclopaedic work entitled Kestoi (embroidered girdles), treating of agriculture, natural history, military science, etc., has been needlessly disputed on account of its secular and often credulous character. Neander suggests that it was written by Africanus before he had devoted himself to religious subjects. A fragment of this work was found in the Oxyrhynchus papyri.