Procopius

Procopius of Caesarea (Greek: Προκόπιος ὁ Καισαρεύς Prokópios ho Kaisareús; Latin: Procopius Caesariensis; c. 500 – c. 554) was a prominent late antique Byzantine Greek scholar from Palaestina Prima.[a] Accompanying the Byzantine general Belisarius in Emperor Justinian's wars, Procopius became the principal Byzantine historian of the 6th century, writing the History of the Wars, the Buildings, and the Secret History. He is commonly classified as the last major historian of the ancient Western world.

Procopius of Caesarea
Bornc. AD 500
Caesarea, Palaestina Prima (Eastern Roman Empire)
Diedc. AD 554
OccupationBarrister and legal adviser
SubjectSecular history
Notable works
  • History of the Wars
  • Buildings
  • Secret History

Life

Apart from his own writings, the main source for Procopius's life is an entry in the Suda,[2] a Greek encyclopaedia written sometime after 975, which discusses his early life. He was a native of Caesarea in the province of Palaestina Prima.[3] He would have received a conventional elite education in the Greek classics and rhetoric,[4] perhaps at the famous school at Gaza.[5] He may have attended law school, possibly at Berytus (present-day Beirut) or Constantinople (now Istanbul),[6][b] and became a lawyer (rhetor).[2] He evidently knew Latin, as was natural for a man with legal training.[c] In 527, the first year of the reign of the emperor Justinian I, he became the legal adviser (adsessor) for Belisarius, a general whom Justinian made his chief military commander in a great attempt to restore control over the lost western provinces of the empire.[d]

Procopius was with Belisarius on the eastern front until the latter was defeated at the Battle of Callinicum in 531[10] and recalled to Constantinople.[11] Procopius witnessed the Nika riots of January, 532, which Belisarius and his fellow general Mundus repressed with a massacre in the Hippodrome.[12] In 533, he accompanied Belisarius on his victorious expedition against the Vandal kingdom in North Africa, took part in the capture of Carthage, and remained in Africa with Belisarius's successor Solomon the Eunuch when Belisarius returned east to the capital. Procopius recorded a few of the extreme weather events of 535–536, although these were presented as a backdrop to Byzantine military activities, such as a mutiny in and around Carthage.[13][e] He rejoined Belisarius for his campaign against the Ostrogothic kingdom in Italy and experienced the Gothic siege of Rome that lasted a year and nine days, ending in mid-March 538. He witnessed Belisarius's entry into the Gothic capital, Ravenna, in 540. Both the Wars[14] and the Secret History suggest that his relationship with Belisarius cooled thereafter. 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.

As magister militum, Belisarius was an "illustrious man" (Latin: vir illustris; Greek: ἰλλούστριος, illoústrios); being his adsessor, Procopius must therefore have had at least the rank of a "visible man" (vir spectabilis). He thus belonged to the mid-ranking group of the senatorial order (ordo senatorius). However, the Suda, which is usually well informed in such matters, also describes Procopius himself as one of the illustres. Should this information be correct, Procopius would have had a seat in the Constantinople's senate, which was restricted to the illustres under Justinian.

It is not certain when Procopius died. Many historians—including Howard-Johnson, Cameron, and Greatrex—date his death to 554, but there was an urban prefect of Constantinople (praefectus urbi Constantinopolitanae) called Procopius in 562. In that year, Belisarius was implicated in a conspiracy and was brought before this urban prefect.

Writings

Meister von San Vitale in Ravenna
Emperor Justinian

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

History of the Wars

Procopius's Wars or History of the Wars (Greek: Ὑπὲρ τῶν Πολέμων Λόγοι, Hypèr tōn Polémon Lógoi, "Words on the Wars"; Latin: De Bellis, "On the Wars") is his most important work, although less well known than the Secret History. The first seven books seem to have been largely completed by 545 and may have been published as a unit. They were, however, updated to mid-century before publication, with the latest mentioned event occurring in early 551. The eighth and final book brings the history to 553.

The first two books—often known as The Persian War (Latin: De Bello Persico)—deal with the conflict between the Romans and Sassanid Persia in Mesopotamia, Syria, Armenia, Lazica, and Iberia (present-day Georgia).[f] It details the campaigns of the Sassaniad shah Kavadh I, the 532 'Nika' revolt, the war by Kavadh's successor Khosrau I in 540, his destruction of Antioch and deportation of its inhabitants to Mesopotamia, and the great plague that devastated the empire from 542. The Persian War also covers the early career of Procopius's patron Belisarius in some detail.

The Wars’ next two books—known as The Vandal or Vandalic War (De Bello Vandalico)—cover Belisarius's successful campaign against the Vandal kingdom that had occupied Rome's provinces in northwest Africa for the last century.

The final four books—known as The Gothic War (De Bello Gothico)—cover the Italian campaigns by Belisarius and others against the Ostrogoths. It includes accounts of the 1st and 2nd sieges of Naples and the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd sieges of Rome. The last book describes the eunuch Narses's successful conclusion of the Italian campaign and includes some coverage of campaigns along the empire's eastern borders as well.

The Wars was influential on later Byzantine historiography.[16] Histories, a continuation of Procopius's work in a similar style, was undertaken by Agathias in the 570s.

Secret History

Meister von San Vitale in Ravenna 013
Belisarius may be this bearded figure on the right of Emperor Justinian I in the mosaic in the Church of San Vitale, Ravenna, which celebrates the reconquest of Italy by the Roman army under the skillful leadership of Belisarius.

Procopius's now famous Anecdota also known as Secret History (Greek: Ἀπόκρυφη Ἱστορία, Apókryphe Historía; Latin: Historia Arcana) was discovered centuries later at the Vatican Library in Rome[17] and published in Lyon by Niccolò Alamanni in 1623. Its existence was already known from the Suda, which referred to it as Procopius's "unpublished works" (Ἀνέκδοτα, Anékdota; Anecdota). The Secret History covers roughly the same years as the first seven books of The History of the Wars and appears to have been written after they were published. Current consensus generally dates it to 550 or 558, although others set it as late as 562.

In the eyes of many scholars, the Secret History reveals an author who had become deeply disillusioned with Emperor Justinian, his wife Theodora, the general Belisarius, and his wife Antonina. The work claims to expose the secret springs of their public actions, as well as the private lives of the emperor and his entourage. Justinian is portrayed as cruel, venal, prodigal, and incompetent. In one passage, it is even claimed that he was possessed by demonic spirits or was himself a demon:

And some of those who have been with Justinian at the palace late at night, men who were pure of spirit, have thought they saw a strange demoniac form taking his place. One man said that the Emperor suddenly rose from his throne and walked about, and indeed he was never wont to remain sitting for long, and immediately Justinian's head vanished, while the rest of his body seemed to ebb and flow; whereat the beholder stood aghast and fearful, wondering if his eyes were deceiving him. But presently he perceived the vanished head filling out and joining the body again as strangely as it had left it.[18]

Similarly, the Theodora of the Secret History is a garish portrait of vulgarity and insatiable lust juxtaposed with cold-blooded self-interest, shrewishness, and envious and fearful mean-spiritedness. Among the more titillating (and dubious) revelations in the Secret History is Procopius's account of Theodora's thespian accomplishments:

Often, even in the theatre, in the sight of all the people, she removed her costume and stood nude in their midst, except for a girdle about the groin: not that she was abashed at revealing that, too, to the audience, but because there was a law against appearing altogether naked on the stage, without at least this much of a fig-leaf. Covered thus with a ribbon, she would sink down to the stage floor and recline on her back. Slaves to whom the duty was entrusted would then scatter grains of barley from above into the calyx of this passion flower, whence geese, trained for the purpose, would next pick the grains one by one with their bills and eat.[19]

On the other hand, it has been argued that Procopius prepared the Secret History as an exaggerated document out of fear that a conspiracy might overthrow Justinian's regime, which—as a kind of court historian—might be reckoned to include him. The unpublished manuscript would then have been a kind of insurance, which could be offered to the new ruler as a way to avoid execution or exile after the coup. If this hypothesis were correct, the Secret History would not be proof that Procopius hated Justinian or Theodora.[20]

The Buildings

Sangarius Bridge. Drawing 01
Triumphal arch at the entrance to the Sangarius Bridge

The Buildings (Greek: Περὶ Κτισμάτων, Perì Ktismáton; Latin: De Aedificiis, "On Buildings") is a panegyric on Justinian's public works projects throughout the empire.[21] The first book may date to before the collapse of the first dome of Hagia Sophia in 557, but some scholars think that it is possible that the work postdates the building of the bridge over the Sangarius in the late 550s.[22] Historians consider Buildings to be an incomplete work due to evidence of the surviving version being a draft with two possible redactions.[21][23]

Buildings was likely written at Justinian's behest, and it is doubtful that its sentiments expressed are sincere. It tells us nothing further about Belisarius, and it takes a sharply different attitude towards Justinian. He is presented as an idealised Christian emperor who built churches for the glory of God and defenses for the safety of his subjects. He is depicted showing particular concern for the water supply, building new aqueducts and restoring those that had fallen into disuse. Theodora, who was dead when this panegyric was written, is mentioned only briefly, but Procopius's praise of her beauty is fulsome.

Due to the panegyrical nature of Procopius's Buildings, historians have discovered several discrepancies between claims made by Procopius and accounts in other primary sources. A prime example is Procopius's starting the reign of Justinian in 518, which was actually the start of the reign of his uncle and predecessor Justin I. By treating the uncle's reign as part of his nephew's, Procopius was able to credit Justinian with buildings erected or begun under Justin's administration. Such works include renovation of the walls of Edessa after its 525 flood and consecration of several churches in the region. Similarly, Procopius falsely credits Justinian for the extensive refortification of the cities of Tomis and Histria in Scythia Minor. This had actually been carried out under Anastasius I, who reigned before Justin.[24]

Style

Procopius belongs to the school of late antique historians who continued the traditions of the Second Sophistic. They wrote in Attic Greek; their models were Herodotus, Polybius and—particularly—Thucydides; and their subject matter was secular history. They avoided vocabulary unknown to Attic Greek and inserted an explanation when they had to use contemporary words. Thus Procopius includes glosses of monks ("the most temperate of Christians") and churches (as equivalent to a "temple" or "shrine"), since monasticism was unknown to the ancient Athenians and their ekklesía had been a popular assembly.[25]

The secular historians eschewed the history of the Christian church; ecclesiastical history was left to a separate genre after Eusebius. However, Cameron has argued convincingly that Procopius's works reflect the tensions between the classical and Christian models of history in 6th-century Constantinople. This is supported by Whitby's analysis of Procopius's depiction of the capital and its cathedral in comparison to contemporary pagan panegyrics.[26] Procopius can be seen as depicting Justinian as essentially God's vicegerent, making the case for buildings being a primarily religious panegyric.[27] Procopius indicates that he planned to write an ecclesiastical history himself[28] and, if he had, he would probably have followed the rules of that genre. As far as known, however, such an ecclesiastical history was never written.

Legacy

A number of historical novels based on Procopius's works (along with other sources) have been written. Count Belisarius was written by poet and novelist Robert Graves in 1938. 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. The novel's main character, archaeologist Martin Padway, derives most of his knowledge of historical events from the Secret History.[29]

List of selected works

  • Procopii Caesariensis opera omnia. Edited by J. Haury; revised by G. Wirth. 3 vols. Leipzig: Teubner, 1962–64. 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. Recently re-issued by Penguin (2007) with an updated and livelier translation by Peter Sarris, who has also provided a new commentary and notes.
  • Prokopios, The Secret History, translated by Anthony Kaldellis. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 2010. This edition includes related texts, an introductory essay, notes, maps, a timeline, a guide to the main sources from the period and a guide to scholarship in English. The translator uses blunt and precise English prose in order to adhere to the style of the original text.

Notes

  1. ^ "Like many Byzantine scholars, Procopius affected a remarkable traditional form of writing".[1]
  2. ^ For an alternative reading of Procopius as a trained engineer, see Howard-Johnson.[7]
  3. ^ Procopius uses and translates a number of Latin words in his Wars. Börm suggests a possible acquaintance with Vergil and Sallust.[8]
  4. ^ Procopius speaks of becoming Belisarius's advisor (symboulos) in that year.[9]
  5. ^ Before modern times, European and Mediterranean historians, as far as weather is concerned, typically recorded only the extreme or major weather events for a year or a multi-year period, preferring to focus on the human activities of policy makers and warriors instead.
  6. ^ A detailed analysis is provided by Börm.[15]

References

  1. ^ "Procopius", John Moorhead, Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing: M–Z, Vol. II, Kelly Boyd, (Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1999), 962.
  2. ^ a b Suda pi.2479. See under 'Procopius' on Suda On Line.
  3. ^ Procopius, Wars of Justinian I.1.1; Suda pi.2479. See under 'Procopius' on Suda On Line.
  4. ^ Cameron, Averil: Procopius and the Sixth Century, London: Duckworth, 1985, p.7.
  5. ^ Evans, James A. S.: Procopius. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1972, p. 31.
  6. ^ Cameron, Procopius and the Sixth Century, p. 6.
  7. ^ Howard-Johnson, James: 'The Education and Expertise of Procopius'; in Antiquité Tardive 10 (2002), 19–30.
  8. ^ Börm, Henning (2007) Prokop und die Perser, p.46. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart. ISBN 978-3-515-09052-0
  9. ^ Procopius, Wars, 1.12.24.
  10. ^ Wars, I.18.1-56
  11. ^ Wars, I.21.2
  12. ^ Wars, I.24.1-58
  13. ^ 1.
  14. ^ Wars, VIII.
  15. ^ Börm, Henning. Prokop und die Perser. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2007.
  16. ^ Cresci, Lia Raffaella. "Procopio al confine tra due tradizioni storiografiche". Rivista di Filologia e di Istruzione Classica 129.1 (2001) 61–77.
  17. ^ http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/01/03/110103fa_fact_mendelsohn
  18. ^ Procopius, Secret History 12.20–22, trans. Atwater.
  19. ^ Procopius Secret History 9.20–21, trans. Atwater.
  20. ^ Cf. Börm (2015).
  21. ^ a b Downey, Glanville: "The Composition of Procopius, De Aedificiis", in Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association 78: pp. 171–183; abstract from JSTOR
  22. ^ Whitby, Michael: "Procopian Polemics: a review of A. Kaldellis Procopius of Caesarea. Tyranny, History, and Philosophy at the End of Antiquity", in The Classical Review 55 (2006), pp. 648–
  23. ^ Cameron, Averil. Procopius and the Sixth Century. London: Routledge, 1985.
  24. ^ Croke, Brian and James Crow: "Procopius and Dara", in The Journal of Roman Studies 73 (1983), 143–159.
  25. ^ Wars, 2.9.14 and 1.7.22.
  26. ^ Buildings, Book I.
  27. ^ Whitby, Mary: "Procopius' Buildings Book I: A Panegyrical Perspective", in Antiquité Tardive 8 (2000), 45–57.
  28. ^ Secret History, 26.18.
  29. ^ de Camp, L. Sprague (1949). Lest Darkness Fall. Ballantine Books. p. 111. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
This article is based on an earlier version by James Allan Evans, originally posted at Nupedia.

Further reading

External links

Texts of Procopius

Secondary material

Aedava

Aedava (also known as Aedeva, Aedabe, Aedeba, Aedadeba) was a Dacian settlement located south of the Danube in Moesia (present-day northern Bulgaria). In his De Aedificiis, the 6th century AD historian Procopius placed Aedava on the Danubian road between Augustae and Variana. He also mentioned that Emperor Justinian (r. 527–565) restored the damaged portion of the town defenses.

Benedictine University

Benedictine University is a private Roman Catholic university in Lisle, Illinois. The school was founded in 1887 as St. Procopius College by the Benedictine monks of St. Procopius Abbey in the Pilsen community on the West Side of Chicago. The institution has retained a close relationship with the Benedictine Order, which bears the name of St. Benedict (480–543 A.D.), the acknowledged father of western monasticism.The university resides within the Chicago metropolitan area, and is located near two national research facilities—Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. The university's location in the East-West Tollway corridor provides various internship and employment opportunities for students. It has branch campuses called Benedictine University at Springfield in Springfield, Illinois, and Benedictine University at Mesa in Mesa, Arizona.

Benet Academy

Benet Academy ( BEN-et; often shortened to Benet) is a co-educational, college-preparatory, Benedictine high school in Lisle, Illinois, United States, overseen by the Diocese of Joliet. Founded in 1887, the school was initially established in Chicago as the all-boys St. Procopius College and Academy by Benedictine monks, who also operated the St. Joseph Bohemian Orphanage. In 1898, the orphanage moved to Lisle, about 25 miles (40 km) west of Chicago, to be joined by St. Procopius three years later. In 1926 Benedictine nuns constructed the all-girls Sacred Heart Academy near the orphanage and school in Lisle. The orphanage closed in 1956 to make room for St. Procopius Academy, which separated from the college in 1957. Due to rising costs and waning enrollment, Sacred Heart merged with St. Procopius Academy in 1967 to form Benet Academy on the St. Procopius campus. Since then, numerous building projects have been undertaken to expand Benet's athletics, music, and science programs. As of 2017 it is considered the second best Catholic high school in Illinois, and seventh best private high school.

Admission is competitive and relies primarily on test scores. All students complete a college-preparatory curriculum and may earn college credit through programs including Advanced Placement. As of 2009, Benet's average ACT test score regularly exceeds state and national averages, and more than 99 percent of students go on to college after graduation. The school's academic program has been featured in reports by the Chicago Sun-Times and U.S. News & World Report.

The athletic program has fielded several teams that have placed fourth or higher in state tournaments. In the 2014-2015 school year the girls' volleyball team and the girls' basketball team both won IHSA state titles, which makes Benet only the second school in IHSA history and the first large (4A) school to win titles for both these sports in the same season. The boys' basketball team has broken two state records, including a 102 home-game winning streak. In the 2015-2016 year the boys' basketball team ended up getting second in the state, with the girls taking first, along with many other state titles in other sports.

Other activities include the annual Christmas Drive fundraiser and over 30 clubs and organizations, including the Math Team and Science Olympiad team, both of which have won awards in their state tournaments; moreover, the school boasts such niche clubs as the Ornithology and Nuclear Science Clubs.

Benet's performing arts program is highly praised and competitive and stages an annual winter musical, which often sells out quickly. Many performers have been nominated for state-wide awards. Other productions include the fall play, one-act plays, variety show, and spring play.

The band program performed in state-wide events in 1998 and 2002 and will this year.

Notable alumni of the school include NBA player Frank Kaminsky, former Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan, and Grammy-winning singer Dave Bickler.

Gothic War (535–554)

The Gothic War between the Byzantine Empire during the reign of Emperor Justinian I and the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy took place from 535 until 554 in the Italian peninsula, Dalmatia, Sardinia, Sicily and Corsica. The war had its roots in the ambition of the East Roman Emperor Justinian I to recover the provinces of the former Western Roman Empire, which the Romans had lost to invading barbarian tribes in the previous century (the Migration Period).

The war followed the Byzantine reconquest of the province of Africa from the Vandals. Historians commonly divide the war into two phases:

From 535 to 540: ending with the fall of the Ostrogothic capital Ravenna and the apparent reconquest of Italy by the Byzantines.

From 540/541 to 553: a Gothic revival under Totila, suppressed only after a long struggle by the Byzantine general Narses, who also repelled an invasion in 554 by the Franks and Alamanni.In 554 Justinian promulgated the Pragmatic sanction which prescribed Italy's new government. Several cities in northern Italy held out against the Byzantines until 562. By the end of the war Italy had been devastated and depopulated. The Byzantines found themselves incapable of resisting an invasion by the Lombards in 568, which resulted in Constantinople permanently losing control over large parts of the Italian peninsula.

Grand Park of Tirana

The Grand Park of Tirana (Albanian: Parku i Madh i Tiranës), or the Park on the Artificial Lake, is a 289 hectare public park situated on the southern part of Tirana, Albania.

The Park includes an artificial lake and many other landmarks such as the Saint Procopius Church, the Presidential Palace, and memorials to several Albanian personalities. It remains one of the most relaxing places in the city, despite increasing buildings being developed near the park, an early-morning run or promenade is a daily routines for many citizens. To the southern end of the Park, there is the Zoo and the Botanical Garden. The latter includes many flowers and plants that are common to the Albanian environment.

There are almost 120 species of trees, bushes and flowers. The Botanical Garden area is of 14.5 hectares and the lake's size is of 55 hectares, whereas the area of the Park itself is of 230 hectares.The Park was built between 1955 and 1956 based on a Bulgarian plan and used to be called the Gogo stable, in a green area. The Park starts at the southern end of the Dëshmorët e Kombit Boulevard, after the University of Tirana, south of the main Skanderbeg Square. It was formerly called 'Park of Saint Procopius' (Albanian: Parku i Shën Prokopit) from the Saint Procopius Church, which is located in the area. In the internal parts, there can be found the memorials of 45 British and Australian soldiers fallen during World War II, as well as a memorial of hundreds of German soldiers from the same war.

Herules

The Herules (or Heruli) were an East Germanic tribe who lived north of the Black Sea apparently near the Sea of Azov, in the third century AD, and later moved (either wholly or partly) to the Roman frontier on the central European Danube, at the same time as many eastern barbarians during late antiquity, such as the Goths, Huns, Scirii, Rugii and Alans.

In the third century, they were named along with Goths as one of the most important "Scythian" groups who attacked Greece from the Black Sea by sea, and marauded around the Balkans for several years. In the fourth century, they were subjugated by the empires of Ermanaric the Ostrogoth, and later Attila the Hun; they are not mentioned in the written record again until after the death of Attila.

Along with many other people they reappear in the written records as one of many groups from the east who were struggling for supremacy on the left bank of the middle Danube after the death of Attila, in the area stretching from modern Bavaria to modern Hungary. They established their own kingdom and many joined Odoacer, who deposed the last Western Roman Emperor Romulus Augustus in 476 AD. They became well known both as soldiers in various Roman armies, in the Italian kingdom of Odoacer, and as sea raiders on the Atlantic coast, before fading out of history. The Danubian kingdom broke up and remnants settled in the Balkans and other places. The last known political entity which was described as Herulian seem to have been in the area of modern Belgrade in the 550s, as a settlement within the Roman Empire and under Roman control.

The details of their history are difficult to reconstruct. Like the Goths and some other Germanic peoples who entered the Roman Empire, there was an origin myth for the Herules wherein they had come from the far north of Europe, and been ejected after fighting with a neighbouring people, in this case named as the Dani.

Justinian I

Justinian I (; Latin: Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus Augustus; Greek: Φλάβιος Πέτρος Σαββάτιος Ἰουστινιανός, translit. Flávios Pétros Sabbátios Ioustinianós; c. 482 – 14 November 565), traditionally known as Justinian the Great and also Saint Justinian the Great in the Eastern Orthodox Church, was the Eastern Roman emperor from 527 to 565. During his reign, Justinian sought to revive the empire's greatness and reconquer the lost western half of the historical Roman Empire. Justinian's rule constitutes a distinct epoch in the history of the Later Roman empire, and his reign is marked by the ambitious but only partly realized renovatio imperii, or "restoration of the Empire".Because of his restoration activities, Justinian has sometimes been known as the "last Roman" in mid 20th century historiography. This ambition was expressed by the partial recovery of the territories of the defunct Western Roman Empire. His general, Belisarius, swiftly conquered the Vandal Kingdom in North Africa. Subsequently, Belisarius, Narses, and other generals conquered the Ostrogothic kingdom, restoring Dalmatia, Sicily, Italy, and Rome to the empire after more than half a century of rule by the Ostrogoths. The prefect Liberius reclaimed the south of the Iberian peninsula, establishing the province of Spania. These campaigns re-established Roman control over the western Mediterranean, increasing the Empire's annual revenue by over a million solidi. During his reign, Justinian also subdued the Tzani, a people on the east coast of the Black Sea that had never been under Roman rule before. He engaged the Sasanian Empire in the east during Kavad I's reign, and later again during Khosrow I's; this second conflict was partially initiated due to his ambitions in the west.

A still more resonant aspect of his legacy was the uniform rewriting of Roman law, the Corpus Juris Civilis, which is still the basis of civil law in many modern states. His reign also marked a blossoming of Byzantine culture, and his building program yielded such masterpieces as the church of Hagia Sophia.

Narses

Narses (also sometimes written Nerses; Armenian: Նարսես; Greek: Ναρσής; 478–573) was, with Belisarius, one of the great generals in the service of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I during the Roman reconquest that took place during Justinian's reign. Narses was a Romanized Armenian. He spent most of his life as an important eunuch in the palace of the emperors in Constantinople.

Procopius (usurper)

Procopius (c. 325/326 – 27 May 366) was a Roman usurper against Valens, and a member of the Constantinian dynasty.

Procopius II of Jerusalem

Procopius II (died 1880) was Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem (December 28, 1872 – 1875).

Procopius I of Jerusalem

Procopius I (died 1788) was Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem (1787 – November 3, 1788).

Procopius of Constantinople

Procopius (Greek: Προκόπιος), original surname Pelekasis (Greek: Πελεκάσης), (1734 – 1803 or 1804) served as Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople during the period 1785-1789.

Procopius of Sázava

Saint Procopius of Sázava (died March 25, 1053) was a Bohemian canon and hermit, canonized as a saint of the Roman Catholic church in 1204.

Little about his life is known with certainty. According to hagiographical tradition, he was born in 970, in a Central Bohemian village near Kouřim. He studied in Prague and was ordained there.

He was married and had a son, called Jimram (Emeranus) but later entered the Benedictine order, presumably at Břevnov Monastery, and eventually retired to the wilderness as a hermit, living in a cave on the banks of Sázava River, where over time he attracted a group of fellow hermits.

The community of hermits was incorporated as a Benedictine monastery by the duke of Bohemia in 1032/3, now known as Sázava Monastery, or St Procopius Monastery, where he served as the first abbot for the span of twenty years until his death.

Local veneration of Procopius as a saint is recorded for the 12th century. After his canonization, he became greatly venerated throughout Bohemia, to the point of his being considered the national saint of the kingdom of Bohemia. His remains were transferred to All Saints Church in Prague Castle in 1588.

The Cyrillic portion of the Reims Gospel manuscript (since 1554 kept in Reims, France) were attributed to Procopius in the 14th century, and Charles IV commissioned an extension of the manuscript in Glagolitic script in 1395.

Sázava Monastery had been destroyed in the Hussite Wars, but was re-established in the 17th century, and Baroque-era frescos "The Meeting of Hermit Procopius with Prince Oldřich" and "Abbot Procopius Giving Alms" besides other frescos depicting scenes the saint's life and the history of the monastery, were discovered there (under layers of 19th-century paint) in the 2000s.

Hugo Fabricius, a monk at Sázava, wrote a new life of St. Procopius in the 18th century, Požehnaná Památka Welikého Swěta Diwotworce Swatýho Prokopa ("The Blessed Legacy of the Great Miracle Worker of the World, St. Procopius").

The "Cave of St. Procopius", the supposed site of his original hermitage, was discovered by Method Klement OSB in the 1940s.

Numerous churches in Bohemia are dedicated to him, and many Baroque-era statues and paintings of the saint are extant.

Among these is the early 18th century Procopius statue on Charles Bridge by Ferdinand Brokoff.

Modern retellings of the saint's life were published by Czech poets Jaroslav Vrchlický and Vítězslav Nezval.

Quemedava

Quemedava was an ancient Dacian city in Dardania mentioned by Procopius.

Sack of Rome (546)

The Sack of Rome in 546 was carried out by the Gothic king Totila during the Gothic War of 535–554 between the Ostrogoths and the Byzantine Empire. Totila was based at Tivoli and, in pursuit of his quest to reconquer the region of Latium, he moved against Rome. The city endured a siege lasting almost a year before falling to the Goths.

Saint Procopius Church of Tirana

Saint Procopius Church of Tirana is an orthodox church on the outskirts of Tirana, Albania. It was one of only two orthodox churches that existed in the city before World War II, the other one being the 19th century Evangelismos Church, which was demolished in 1967.

Theodora (6th century)

Theodora (; Greek: Θεοδώρα; c. 500 – 28 June 548) was empress of the Eastern Roman Empire by marriage to Emperor Justinian I. She was one of the most influential and powerful of the Eastern Roman empresses, albeit from a humble background. Some sources mention her as empress regnant with Justinian I as her co-regent. Along with her spouse, she is a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church, commemorated on November 14.

Třebíč

Třebíč (Czech pronunciation: [ˈtr̝̊ɛbiːtʃ] (listen); German: Trebitsch) is a town in the Moravian part of the Vysočina Region of the Czech Republic. Třebíč is a regional centre with a population of approximately 36,000. It is the administrative capital of the Třebíč District.

In the age of its expansion, Třebíč was the third most important town in Moravia. The population growth started after World War II.

There are several well-known tourist sights in the town. The Jewish Quarter and St. Procopius Basilica are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The beginnings of the town's history are connected with the establishment of a Benedictine monastery, where the castle is located today.

Valens

Valens (; Latin: Flavius Julius Valens Augustus; Greek: Οὐάλης; 328 – 9 August 378) was Eastern Roman Emperor from 364 to 378. He was given the eastern half of the empire by his brother Valentinian I after the latter's accession to the throne. Valens was defeated and killed in the Battle of Adrianople, which marked the beginning of the collapse of the Western Roman Empire.

Byzantine historians
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