A scathing indictment of the emperor Justinian and his 6th-century Byzantine court by the greatest historian of the period
Written with passion and personal malice, the Secret History of Procopius is a scathing indictment of the emperor Justinian and his sixth-century Byzantine court. Never has there been a more calculated attempt to ruin an entire reign in the eyes of posterity. Procopius writes of:
. . . How the Great General Belisarius was hoodwinked by his wife, whose lover became a monk.
. . . How Theodora, most depraved of all empresses, won Justinian's love.
. . . How she saved five hundred harlots from a life of sin, made off with her own natural son, and other curious incidents of her passion.
Procopius was the greatest historian of the Later Roman Empire. He was the author of an account of the Persian, Vandal, and Gothic Wars called The History of the Wars, and of Buildings of Justinian. His Secret History lay unpublished until 1623. The present translation by Richard Attwater is the only one to stand as a work of literature in its own right.
". . . a first-rate job. . . the translation is not only lucid, but wholly engaging and compelling."
". . . ranks as one of the supreme hatchet jobs of all time. . ."
"The outstanding example of vituperative literature that has come to us from all antiquity."
—Arthur E. R. Boak