1st Edition

Procopius of Caesarea: Literary and Historical Interpretations

Edited By Christopher Lillington-Martin Copyright 2018
    316 Pages
    by Routledge

    316 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.


    I. Revisiting Procopius

    1. Writing about Procopius – then and now Averil Cameron

    2. The Greatness of Procopius Michael Whitby

    3. The wor(l)ds of Procopius Peter Van Nuffelen

    II. Literary Tropes

    4. How to interpret Procopius’ preface to the Wars Franco Basso and Geoffrey Greatrex

    5. Narrator and Participant in Procopius’ Wars Alan Ross

    III. Persian Wars

    6. Exploring the structure of Persian Wars: amplification in Procopius’ narrative Lyvia Vasconcelos Baptista

    7. Procopius and Boethius: Christian Philosophy in the Persian Wars James Murray

    IV. Characterisation

    8. Procopius and the Characterization of Bessas: Where History Meets Historiography Conor Whately

    9. Reinventing Theoderic in Procopius’ Gothic War Charles Pazdernik

    V. Military and Legal History Comparisons

    10. Procopius, πάρεδρος / quaestor, Codex Justinianus, I.27 and Belisarius’ strategy in the Mediterranean Christopher Lillington-Martin

    11. Justinian’s Laws and Procopius’ Wars Marion Kruse

    12. Comparing Procopius and Malalas Ian Colvin

    VI. Social History Comparisons

    13. Roman or Barbarian? Ethnic Identities and Political Loyalties in the Balkans according to Procopius Alexander Sarantis

    14. Landownership and Rural Society in the Writings of Procopius Peter Sarris

    VII. Receptions

    15. Scaliger’s Lie? A Note on "Project Procopius" Federico Montinaro

    VIII. The Aftermath

    16. Epilogue Anthony Kaldellis



    Christopher Lillington-Martin undertook postgraduate research, specialising in Late Antiquity, at Oxford and Reading Universities after studying at Wales (Swansea), Barcelona and Bristol Universities. He has published Procopius-related research on Dara and Rome, Belisarius and the Goths. He participates in late antique archaeology projects (e.g. Pollentia, Mallorca), is a member of the Oxford Centre for Late Antiquity, Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and a Visitor of Pembroke College, Cambridge.

    Elodie Turquois completed a DPhil in Classical Languages and Literature at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, in 2013 after receiving an undergraduate degree in Classics at the Sorbonne in Paris. Her dissertation was a typology of the material and the visual across all of Procopius’ works. Her work focuses on the representation of material culture in literature, literary theory and reception, rhetoric and technical writing.