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The Secret History

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Length: 161 pages4 hours

Summary

Procopius, from Palaestina Prima, or modern day Israel, is an important first hand source for the history of the 6th century, especially concerning the Emperor Justinian. Procopius was an incredibly learned man, having received a classical education, possibly from the famed School of Gaza. He would become a legal adviser for Belisarius, Justinian's chief military commander and accompany him to the war front, an experience he would document in his "Wars of Justinian." The ancient scholar's most famous work however is "The Secret History," which tells a more intimate and revealing history of Emperor Justinian and his wife, Empress Theodora, as well as Belisarius, and his wife Antonina. This fascinating document of imperialism is brutal in its honesty, often portraying its subjects in an unflattering light. "The Secret History" mentioned in the "Suda," a tenth century Byzantine encyclopedia, had been lost to history until it was rediscovered in the 17th century in the Vatican library. Scholars and history buffs alike will find Procopius' "The Secret History" an invaluable historical work from a man who is referred to as the last major historian of the ancient world.

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