Procopius, born at Caesarea in Palestine late in the 5th century, became a lawyer. In AD 527 he was made legal adviser and secretary of Belisarius, commander against the Persians, and went with Belisarius again in 533 against the Vandals and in 535 against the Ostrogoths. Sometime after 540 he returned to Constantinople. He may have been that Procopius who was prefect of Constantinople in 562, but the date of his death (after 558) is unknown. Procopius' History of the Wars in 8 books recounts the Persian Wars of emperors Justinus and Justinian down to 550 (2 books); the Vandalic War and after-events in Africa 532 - 546 (2 books); the Gothic War against the Ostrogoths in Sicily and Italy 536 - 552 (3 books); and a sketch of events to 554 (1 book). The whole consists largely of military history, with much information about peoples and places as well, and about special events. He was a diligent, careful, judicious narrator of facts and developments and shows good powers of description. He is just to the empire's enemies and boldly criticises emperor Justinian. Other works by Procopius are the Anecdota or Secret History - vehement attacks on Justinian, Theodora, and others; and The Buildings of Justinian (down to AD 558) including roads and bridges as well as churches, forts, hospitals, and so on in various parts of the empire.
A trusted member of the Byzantine establishment, Procopius was the Empire's official chronicler, and his History of the Wars of Justinian proclaimed the strength and wisdom of the Emperor's reign. Yet all the while the dutiful scribe was working on a very different - and dangerous - history to be published only once its author was safely in his grave. The Secret History portrays the 'great lawgiver' Justinian as a rampant king of corruption and tyranny, the Empress Theodora as a sorceress and whore, and the brilliant general Belisarius as the pliable dupe of his scheming wife Antonina. Magnificently hyperbolic and highly opinionated, The Secret History is a work of explosive energy, depicting holy Byzantium as a hell of murder and misrule.
"The last major ancient historian, Byzantine scholar PROCOPIUS OF CAESAREA (c. 500565) traveled with the army of Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I as a military adviser, and chronicled the wars he foughtthis is the primary source today of information about the reign of Justinian I. Here, in Books III and IV of the eight-volume History of the Wars, Procopius tells the story of the Vandalic War between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Vandals in North Africa. Journeying by land and sea, Procopius regales us with vivid tales of battleincluding the capture of Carthage, the famous ancient city and the Vandal capital at the timeand of the intrigues and power struggles that dogged the emperor. 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."
"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. "
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