A unique insight into the reign of the imperial couple Justinian and Theodora is presented. The private and public life of the emperors, their deceit and destruction and its consequences are depicted. The book reveals secrets and gives voice to that age's common men. It is an essential landmark in the history of individual legal rights.
Justinian governed the Roman empire for more than thirty-eight years, and the events of his reign were recorded by Procopius of Caesarea, secretary of the general Belisarius. Yet, significantly, Procopius composed a history, a panegyric, as well as a satire of his own times. Anthony Kaldellis here offers a new interpretation of these writings of Procopius, situating him as a major source for the sixth century and one of the great historians of antiquity and Byzantium. Breaking from the scholarly tradition that views classicism as an affected imitation that distorted history, Kaldellis argues that Procopius was a careful student of the classics who displayed remarkable literary skill in adapting his models to the purposes of his own narratives. Classicism was a matter of structure and meaning, not just vocabulary. Through allusions Procopius revealed truths that could not be spoken openly; through anecdotes he exposed the broad themes that governed the history of his age. Elucidating the political thought of Procopius in light of classical historiography and political theory, Kaldellis argues that he owed little to Christianity, finding instead that he rejected the belief in providence and asserted the supremacy of chance. By deliberately alluding to Plato's discussions of tyranny, Procopius developed an artful strategy of intertextuality that enabled him to comment on contemporary individuals and events. Kaldellis also uncovers links between Procopius and the philosophical dissidents of the reign of Justinian. This dimension of his writing implies that his work is worthy of esteem not only for the accuracy of its reporting but also for its cultural polemic, political dissidence, and philosophical sophistication. Procopius of Caesarea has wide implications for the way we should read ancient historians. Its conclusions also suggest that the world of Justinian was far from monolithically Christian. Major writers of that time believed that classical texts were still the best guides for understanding history, even in the rapidly changing world of late antiquity.
This volume aims to encourage dialogue and collaboration between international scholars by presenting new literary and historical interpretations of the sixth-century writer Procopius of Caesarea, the major historian of Justinian’s reign. Although scholarship on Procopius has flourished since 2004, when the last monograph in English on Procopius was published, there has not been a collection of essays on the subject since 2000. Work on Procopius since 2004 has been surveyed by Geoffrey Greatrex in his international bibliography; Peter Sarris has revised the 1966 Penguin Classics translation of, and introduced, Procopius’ Secret History (2007); and Anthony Kaldellis has edited, translated and introduced Procopius’ Secret History, with related texts (2010), and revised and modernised H.B. Dewing’s Loeb translation of Procopius’ Wars as The Wars of Justinian in 2014. This volume capitalises on the renaissance in Procopius-related studies by showcasing recent work on Procopius in all its diversity and vibrancy. It offers approaches that shed new light on Procopius’ texts by comparing them with a variety of relevant textual sources. In particular, the volume pays close attention to the text and examines what it achieves as a literary work and what it says as an historical product.
Commonly regarded as the last major historian of the ancient Western world, Procopius of Caesarea accompanied the Roman general Belisarius in the wars of the Emperor Justinian. Procopius became the principal historian of the sixth century, writing the major work ‘The Wars of Justinian, in addition to ‘The Buildings of Justinian’ and the infamous ‘Secret History’. Delphi’s Ancient Classics series provides eReaders with the wisdom of the Classical world, with both English translations and the original Greek texts. This comprehensive eBook presents Procopius’ complete extant works, with beautiful illustrations, informative introductions, special dual Greek and English text and the usual Delphi bonus material. (Version 1) * Beautifully illustrated with images relating to Procopius’ life and works * Features the complete extant works of Procopius, in both English translation and the original Greek * Concise introductions to the historical books * Includes H. B. Dewing’s translations, previously appearing in the Loeb Classical Library edition of Procopius * Excellent formatting of the texts * Easily locate the books or sections you want to read with detailed contents tables * Includes Procopius’ rare work THE BUILDINGS OF JUSTINIAN, first time in digital print * Provides a special dual English and Greek text, allowing readers to compare the sections paragraph by paragraph – ideal for students * Features a bonus biography – discover Procopius’ ancient world * Scholarly ordering of texts into chronological order and literary genres Please visit www.delphiclassics.com to explore our range of Ancient Classics titles or buy the entire series as a Super Set CONTENTS: The Translations THE WARS OF JUSTINIAN SECRET HISTORY THE BUILDINGS OF JUSTINIAN The Greek Texts LIST OF GREEK TEXTS The Dual Texts DUAL GREEK AND ENGLISH TEXTS The Biography INTRODUCTION TO PROCOPIUS by H. B. Dewing Please visit www.delphiclassics.com to browse through our range of exciting titles
Originally published by Duckworth and the University of California Press, Procopius is now available for the first time in paperback. Professor Cameron emphasises the essential unity of Procopius' three works and, starting from the `minor' ones, demonstrates their intimate connection with the Wars. Procopius' writings are seen to comprise a subtle whole; only if they are understood in this way can their historical value be properly appreciated. The result is a new evaluation of Procopius which will be central to any future history of the sixth century.
This dissertation examines the sixth-century historian Procopius' engagement with the ancient, especially Roman, past in his eight-volume History of the Wars of Justinian. Procopius wrote in a classicizing style that originated with Herodotus and Thucydides a millennium earlier, and yet constructed a work that was both assiduously concerned with contemporary matters, and made an impassioned argument for the importance of the classical past. I examine the many ways in which Procopius engages with memory, applying theories of social memory to help us understand better Procopius' memory-related goals and techniques. This demonstrates not only what memory studies can add to our study of Procopius, but what the study of Late Antiquity can add to our understanding of the functioning of social memory. I use "historical memory" to indicate both the memory of the genre of historiography, and contemporary social memory preserved and transformed by a work of history. The study begins with an introductory Chapter 1, which covers historical and theoretical background, then analyzes Procopius' own introductory prologue. The collection and discussion of the many types of Procopius' references to and engagements with the ancient past follows, with Chapter 2 examining the intertextual references (including a study of Procopius' "rhetorical asides") and Chapter 3 examining the textual. Here, I look at his citations of specific past eras, persons, or events (historical and mythic), as well as comparisons of past and present and presentation of the effects of time: both loss and preservation. Among the themes that are revealed in this analysis is an overarching concern of Procopius' with the specifically Roman past, and in Chapter 4 I turn to examine Procopius' presentation of Rome, Romans, and Roman-ness in more detail. I chart his changing use of the identifier "Roman," as well as his use of other ethnic monikers, and the central position the city of Rome plays in the text's remembering. The concluding Chapter 5 re-considers key themes and passages in the light of the work of Aleida Assmann, Alan Megill, and Pierre Nora, among others, and situates Procopius in the context of the remembering of sixth-century Constantinople.
Procopius of Caesarea (in Palestine) is the most important source for information about the reign of the emperor Justinian and his wife Theodora. From 527 to 531 Procopius was a counsel the great general of the time, Belisarius. He was on Belisarius's first Persian campaign, and later took part in an expedition against the Vandals. He was in Italy on the Gothic campaign until 540, after which he lived in Constantinople, since he describes the great plague of 542 in the capital. His life after that is largely unknown, although he was given the title illustris in 560 and in may have been prefect of Constantinople in 562-3. He wrote a number of official histories, including On the Wars in eight books, published 552, with an addition in 554, and On the Buildings in six books, published 561. He also left a "Secret History" , probably written c. 550 and published after his death, which was a massive attack on the character of Justinian and his wife Theodora. Parts are so vitriolic, not to say pornographic, that for some time translations from Greek were only available into Latin. The Secret History claims to provide explanations and additions that the author could not insert into his work on the Wars for fear of retribution from Justinian and Theodora. Since both before and afterward, Procopius wrote approvingly of the emperor, it was suggested in the past that he was not the author of the work, but it is now generally accepted that Procopius wrote it. Analysis of text, which show no contradictions in point of fact between the Secret History and the other works, as well a linguistic and grammatical analysis makes this a conclusive opinion.
"The last major ancient historian, Byzantine scholar PROCOPIUS OF CAESAREA (c. 500 565) traveled with the army of Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I as a military adviser, and chronicled the wars he fought this is the primary source today of information about the reign of Justinian I. Here, in Books I and II of the eight-volume History of the Wars, Procopius recounts the Persian War between Justinian and the Persian Empire, a fascinating retelling that includes extensive details of geography and thorough accounts of battles, political intrigues, and interpersonal dramas. Far from dry, this is a thrilling read, one that echoes of this still turbulent region today. Students of the history of the Middle East will be enthralled by this ancient work. "
History of WarsHistory of Wars (De Bellis, Gr. Polemon) is a work divided into eight books on the wars waged by the Roman Empire during the reign of Justinian I, many of whom were Procopius witnesses in person. The first seven books seem to have been completed around 545, but were updated shortly before their publication in 552, as they include references to events from the early 551s. Procopius later added Book VIII, which reports the events that occurred until 552, the year in which General Narses definitively destroyed the Ostrogothic Kingdom during the Gothic War.About the buildingsOn the buildings (lat.De aedificiis; gr.Peri Ktismaton) is a panegyric about the numerous public works performed by the Emperor Justinian. Structured in six books, it was written surely in the second half of the 550s, and published in 561. In this work, Justinian is presented as the prototype Christian ruler who builds churches for the glory of God, fortifies the city for the safeguard of its Subjects and shows a particular concern for water supply.Secret StoryProcopio's most celebrated work is Secret History. Although it is mentioned in Suda, where it takes the Greek title of Anekdota (unpublished composition), it was only discovered several centuries later, in the Vatican Library, and it was not edited until 1623. It covers the same years that the first seven books of the Wars, and Seems to have been written after the editing of this work. The most accepted theory places the date of its composition around 550, although other authors prefer the date of 562. According to the author, in the work he relates what he was not authorized to write in his official works for fear of reprisals of Justinian and Theodora .The Secret History constitutes a vitriolic invective against Emperor Justinian and his wife Theodora, not forgetting his old friend Belisario and his wife, Antonina. The statements he makes regarding these characters - especially about Theodora - come to the pornographic. It contrasts sharply with the vision of the emperor Proc�pio in his On the buildings with the picture given here, to the point of having doubted that he was the true author of the Secret History. The analysis of the text, however, corroborates this attribution in a reliable way.
According to Wikipedia: "Procopius of Caesarea (Latin: Procopius Caesarensis, c. AD 500 – c. AD 565) was a prominent Byzantine scholar from Palestine. Accompanying the general Belisarius in the wars of the Emperor Justinian I, he became the principal historian of the 6th century, writing the Wars of Justinian, the Buildings of Justinian and the celebrated Secret History. He is commonly held to be the last major historian of the ancient world."
“This magnificent love letter to Rome” (Stephen Greenblatt) tells the story of the Eternal City through pivotal moments that defined its history—from the early Roman Republic through the Renaissance and the Reformation to the German occupation in World War Two—“an erudite history that reads like a page-turner” (Maria Semple). Rome, the Eternal City. It is a hugely popular tourist destination with a rich history, famed for such sites as the Colosseum, the Forum, the Pantheon, St. Peter’s, and the Vatican. In no other city is history as present as it is in Rome. Today visitors can stand on bridges that Julius Caesar and Cicero crossed; walk around temples in the footsteps of emperors; visit churches from the earliest days of Christianity. This is all the more remarkable considering what the city has endured over the centuries. It has been ravaged by fires, floods, earthquakes, and—most of all—by roving armies. These have invaded repeatedly, from ancient times to as recently as 1943. Many times Romans have shrugged off catastrophe and remade their city anew. “Matthew Kneale [is] one step ahead of most other Roman chroniclers” (The New York Times Book Review). He paints portraits of the city before seven pivotal assaults, describing what it looked like, felt like, smelled like and how Romans, both rich and poor, lived their everyday lives. He shows how the attacks transformed Rome—sometimes for the better. With drama and humor he brings to life the city of Augustus, of Michelangelo and Bernini, of Garibaldi and Mussolini, and of popes both saintly and very worldly. Rome is “exciting…gripping…a slow roller-coaster ride through the fortunes of a place deeply entangled in its past” (The Wall Street Journal).