Perceptions of Procopius in Recent Scholarship

Title: Perceptions of Procopius in Recent Scholarship
Authors: Greatrex, Geoffrey
Date: 2014-05
Abstract: This article offers a survey of scholarship on the historian Procopius of Caesarea in the last eleven years (2003–2014). It reviews his origins and upbringing in Caesarea in Palestine before moving on to consider his portrayal of the reign of Justinian (527–65); it argues that his accounts of Justinian’s rule remain central to modern assessments of the period. But because Procopius’ works have survived in their entirety and because Justinian’s reign has attracted so much attention, there is a danger that both historian and ruler may distort our picture of the sixth-century empire: neither Procopius nor Justinian may have been as exceptional as is often thought. And while the sixth century did witness a general rise in intolerance of heretics and pagans, it may be that Justinian was reacting to a general tendency in society rather than leading the charge. The article concludes by discussing Procopius’ three works and recent publications devoted to them, noting that scholarship has sometimes suffered as a consequence of an unawareness of research being carried out simultaneously by other scholars.
CollectionÉtudes anciennes et sciences des religions - Publications // Classics and Religious Studies - Publications