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By exposing the perversion, repression, corruption, and injustice at the heart of Justinian's regime, Prokopios' The Secret History destroyed forever that emperor's reputation as the great and benevolent ruler of a vast Byzantine state.
Faithfully rendered here in blunt and idiomatic English, Prokopios' tell-all is as shocking today as it was in the sixth century. Kaldellis' substantial Introduction addresses, among other topics, the historical background to The Secret History; Prokopios' literary style and major themes; and the relationships between Prokopios, Justinian, and Empress Theodora. Maps, genealogies, a glossary, and a selection of related texts (including excerpts from Prokopios' Wars and Buildings and several contemporary documents) enhance and support the reading of this scandalous and suspenseful book.
"By far the most accurate translation now available, with useful supporting documents for teaching, and a comprehensive and enlightening introduction that even experienced Byzantinists will want to read."
—Michael Kulikowski, University of Tennessee
"This translation will be especially useful in undergraduate classes because, in the final section, Kaldellis appends translations of related passages from Prokopios's longer History of the Wars, from Justinian's legislation, and from other sixth-century primary sources. Students can use these passages to judge for themselves how accurately the Secret History portrayed Justinian's career as well as that of this controversial empress. Summing up: Essential."
—T. S. Miller, Salisbury University, in CHOICE
"This is a fantastic teaching text. . . . The translation is highly readable; the Introduction informative and useful; and the additional documents are a major plus. I look forward to using it again."
—Charles Aull, Indiana University, Bloomington
About the Author:
Anthony Kaldellis is Professor of Greek and Latin, The Ohio State University.