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Secret History

Procopius
Translated by Richard Atwater; Foreword by Arthur E. R. Boak
A scathing indictment of the emperor Justinian and his 6th-century Byzantine court by the greatest historian of the period

Description

Written with passion and personal malice, the Secret History of Procopius is a scathing indictment of the emperor Justinian and his sixth-century Byzantine court. Never has there been a more calculated attempt to ruin an entire reign in the eyes of posterity. Procopius writes of:
. . . How the Great General Belisarius was hoodwinked by his wife, whose lover became a monk.
. . . How Theodora, most depraved of all empresses, won Justinian's love.
. . . How she saved five hundred harlots from a life of sin, made off with her own natural son, and other curious incidents of her passion.

". . . a first-rate job. . . the translation is not only lucid, but wholly engaging and compelling."
—Dudley Fitts

". . . ranks as one of the supreme hatchet jobs of all time. . ."
Newsweek

"The outstanding example of vituperative literature that has come to us from all antiquity."
—Arthur E. R. Boak

Procopius was the greatest historian of the Later Roman Empire. He was the author of an account of the Persian, Vandal, and Gothic Wars called The History of the Wars, and of Buildings of Justinian. His Secret History lay unpublished until 1623. The present translation by Richard Attwater is the only one to stand as a work of literature in its own right.

Procopius was the greatest historian of the Later Roman Empire. He was the author of an account of the Persian, Vandal, and Gothic Wars called The History of the Wars, and of Buildings of Justinian. His Secret History lay unpublished until 1623. The present translation by Richard Attwater is the only one to stand as a work of literature in its own right.

Praise / Awards

  • ". . . a first-rate job . . . the translation is not only lucid, but wholly engaging and compelling."
    —Dudley Fitts

Look Inside

Contents
By the Historian          3
I. How the Great General Belisarius Was Hoodwinked by His Wife        5
II. How Belated Jealousy Affected Belisarius's Military Judgment          10
III. Showing the Danger of Interfering with a Woman's Intrigues        16
IV. How Theodora Humiliated the Conqueror of Africa and Italy          20
V. How Theodora Tricked the General's Daughter          26
VI. Ignorance of the Emperor Justin, and How His Nephew Justinian Was the Virtual Ruler          31
VII. Outrages of the Blues          35
VIII. Character and Appearance of Justinian          40
IX. How Theodora, Most Depraved of All Courtesans, Won His Love          45
X. How Justinian Created a New Law Permitting Him to Marry a Courtesan        51
XI. How the Defender of the Faith Ruined His Subjects          56
XII. Proving That Justinian and Theodora Were Actually Friends in Human Form         61
XIII. Deceptive Affability and Piety of a Tyrant          67
XIV. Justice for Sale         71
XV. How All Roman Citizens Became Slaves        75
XVI. What Happened to Those Who Fell Out of Favor with Theodora         79
XVII. How She Saved Five Hundred Harlots from a Life of Sin          83
XVIII. How Justinian Killed a Trillion People          89
XIX. How He Seized All the Wealth of the Romans and Threw It Away            95
XX. Debasing of the Quaestorship          98
XXI. The Sky Tax, and How Border Armies Were Forbidden to Punish Invading Barbarians          102
XXII. Further Corruption in High Places          106
XXIII. How Landowners Were Ruined          111
XXIV. Unjust Treatment of the Soldiers          115
XXV. How He Robbed His Own Officials          119
XXVI. How He Spoiled the Beauty of the Cities and Plundered the Poor          124
XXVII. How the Defender of the Faith Protected the Interests of the Christians          130
XXVIII. His Violation of the Laws of the Romans, and How Jews Were Fined for Eating Lamb          134
XXIX. Other Incidents Revealing Him as a Liar and a Hypocrite        137
XXX. Further Innovations of Justinian and Theodora, and a Conclusion          141
Glossary          146

Product Details

  • 5 x 8.
  • 168pp.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 1961
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-08728-0

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  • $16.95 U.S.

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Keywords

  • Justinian, Procopius, Byzantine, classical studies, classics, Rome, Roman history, ancient Rome, ancient history, Roman Empire, Theodora

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