23 Facts About Procopius


Procopius of Caesarea was a prominent late antique Greek scholar and historian from Caesarea Maritima.


Apart from his own writings, the main source for Procopius's life was an entry in the Suda, a Byzantine Greek encyclopaedia written sometime after 975 which discusses his early life.


Procopius was a native of Caesarea in the province of Palaestina Prima.


Procopius would have received a conventional upper class education in the Greek classics and rhetoric, perhaps at the famous school at Gaza.


Procopius evidently knew Latin, as was natural for a man with legal training.


Procopius was with Belisarius on the eastern front until the latter was defeated at the Battle of Callinicum in 531 and recalled to Constantinople.


Procopius witnessed Belisarius's entry into the Gothic capital, Ravenna, in 540.


When Belisarius was sent back to Italy in 544 to cope with a renewal of the war with the Goths, now led by the able king Totila, Procopius appears to have no longer been on Belisarius's staff.


Procopius thus belonged to the mid-ranking group of the senatorial order.


Should this information be correct, Procopius would have had a seat in Constantinople's senate, which was restricted to the under Justinian.


Procopius wrote that under Justinian's reign in 560, a major Christian church dedicated to the Virgin Mary was built on the site of the Temple Mount.


The writings of Procopius are the primary source of information for the rule of the emperor JustinianI.


Procopius was the author of a history in eight books on the wars prosecuted by Justinian, a panegyric on the emperor's public works projects throughout the empire, and a book known as the Secret History that claims to report the scandals that Procopius could not include in his officially sanctioned history for fear of angering the emperor, his wife, Belisarius, and the general's wife and had to wait until all of them were dead to avoid retaliation.


Procopius includes accounts of the 1st and 2nd sieges of Naples and the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd sieges of Rome.


Procopius includes an account of the rise of the Franks.


Procopius claimed Antonina worked as an agent for Theodora against Belisarius, and had an ongoing affair with Belisarius' godson, Theodosius.


Procopius is presented as an idealised Christian emperor who built churches for the glory of God and defenses for the safety of his subjects.


Procopius is depicted showing particular concern for the water supply, building new aqueducts and restoring those that had fallen into disuse.


Procopius belongs to the school of late antique historians who continued the traditions of the Second Sophistic.


However, Cameron has argued convincingly that Procopius's works reflect the tensions between the classical and Christian models of history in 6th-century Constantinople.


Procopius can be seen as depicting Justinian as essentially God's vicegerent, making the case for buildings being a primarily religious panegyric.


Procopius indicates that he planned to write an ecclesiastical history himself and, if he had, he would probably have followed the rules of that genre.


Procopius himself appears as a minor character in Felix Dahn's A Struggle for Rome and in L Sprague de Camp's alternate history novel Lest Darkness Fall.