The Main Argument of Procopius
The Secret History
Procopius is considered to be a historian, who lived in the 6th century. From his works we are able to visit back into the Byzantine Empire, when Emperor Justinian reigned. Through the three books he created: “History of the Wars”, “The Buildings of Justinian”, and “The Secret History”, he is our primary source of information about the reign of Emperor Justinian. After reading “The Secret History”, I found the tone of the book to be different than that of a classical historian’s book. Procopius tells us that he wants the true events of this time to be recorded, for all to know the misdeeds of the tyrants, so that “those who in the future, if it so happens, are similarly ill-used at the hands of tyrants will not find this record altogether useless; for it is always comforting for those in distress to know that they are not the only ones on whom these blows have fallen”. Procopius had a great dislike for the Emperor Justinian and the Empress Theodora, and wanted his audience, which would have been the people of the Byzantine Empire, to know their true character. Perhaps Procopius found himself disillusioned by the regime he served, and voiced his outrage, and his true perspective, in his writings “The Secret History”, wanting his audience to see them with this same perspective. Procopius is a well-educated man, a well-travelled man. He held the position of assessor (military legal secretary) to General Belisarius, and accompanied him on his military campaigns. Procopius explains to his audience that for fear of his life he was unable to tell the truth about events that have happened in his previous writings. However with the passing of those involved in “The Secret History” whom he feared, he feels “it is my duty to reveal both the events hitherto passed over in silence” giving his audience an insight into his own biased truth of events. Procopius starts his...
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