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Procopius of Caesarea (Greek: Προκόπιος ο Καισαρεύς, c. 500 – c. 565) was a prominent Eastern Roman scholar. He took part in the wars of the Emperor Justinian I, and was the major historian of the 6th century AD, 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.

Writings[change | change source]

The writings of Procopius are the primary source of information for the rule of the Roman emperor Justinian. Procopius was the author of a history in eight books of the wars fought by Justinian I, with information on Justinian's public works throughout the empire, and a book known as the Secret History (Greek: Anekdota) that claims to report the scandals that Procopius could not include in his published history.

A number of historical novels based on Procopius' works (along with other sources) have been written, of which the best, Count Belisarius, was written by poet and novelist Robert Graves in 1938.

Further reading[change | change source]

  • Greatrex, Geoffrey: Recent work on Procopius and the composition of Wars VIII; in: Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 27 (2003), 45-67.
  • Treadgold, Warren: The Early Byzantine Historians, Basingstoke 2007, 176-226.

List of selected works[change | change source]

  • Procopii Caesariensis opera omnia. Edited by J. Haury; revised by G. Wirth. 3 vols. Leipzig: Teubner, 1976-64. Greek text.
  • Procopius. Edited by H. B. Dewing. 7 vols. Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press and London, Hutchinson, 1914–40. Greek text and English translation.
  • Procopius, The Secret History, translated by G.A. Williamson. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1966. A readable and accessible English translation of the Anecdota.

Other websites[change | change source]

Texts of Procopius[change | change source]

This article is based on an earlier version Archived 2001-08-22 at the Wayback Machine by James Allan Evans, originally posted at Nupedia.