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Procopius History of the Wars, Books V. and VI.   By:

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In Procopius' History of the Wars, Books V. and VI., readers are transported into the turbulent world of the Byzantine Empire during the reign of Emperor Justinian. This historical account provides a detailed and fascinating glimpse into the war campaigns and political machinations of the time.

One of the most commendable aspects of Procopius' work is his meticulous attention to detail. He successfully recreates the vivid and chaotic battle scenes, skillfully describing the strategies and tactics employed by both the Byzantines and their enemies. From the grand battles, such as the Siege of Petra, to the lesser-known skirmishes, the author's vivid narration adds depth and intensity to the events, allowing readers to feel as though they are on the battlefield themselves.

Moreover, Procopius skillfully weaves together elements of military history with political intrigue. Through his account, he provides readers with valuable insights into the complex power dynamics within the Byzantine court during this period. The author delves into the ambitious aspirations of various imperial commanders, while also shedding light on the manipulation and treachery that occurred behind closed doors. This interplay between military and political spheres adds a layer of richness to the narrative, making for a truly engaging read.

However, it is important to note that Procopius' work is not without its flaws. At times, his narrative can become convoluted and difficult to follow, particularly when he introduces numerous characters or delves into lengthy digressions. Additionally, some readers may find his writing style to be dry or overly technical, which could hinder their enjoyment of the book. Nonetheless, these issues are relatively minor and should not detract from the overall value of the work.

Ultimately, Procopius' History of the Wars, Books V. and VI. is a compelling historical account that sheds light on a pivotal era in Byzantine history. Through its combination of military strategy, political intrigue, and vivid battlefield descriptions, the book offers an immersive and informative reading experience. While it may not be accessible to all readers due to its occasional complexities, those with an interest in Byzantine history or military affairs will find this book to be a valuable addition to their library.

First Page:

PROCOPIUS

WITH AN ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY H.B. DEWING

IN SEVEN VOLUMES III

HISTORY OF THE WARS, BOOKS V AND VI

LONDON WILLIAM HEINEMANN LTD

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS

First printed 1919

Printed in Great Britain

CONTENTS

PAGE

HISTORY OF THE WARS

BOOK V. THE GOTHIC WAR 1 BOOK VI. THE GOTHIC WAR ( continued ) 287

INDEX 427

PLAN OF WALLS AND GATES OF ROME facing 185

PROCOPIUS OF CAESAREA

HISTORY OF THE WARS:

BOOK V

THE GOTHIC WAR

I

Such, then, were the fortunes of the Romans in Libya. I shall now proceed to the Gothic War, first telling all that befell the Goths and Italians before this war.

During the reign of Zeno[A] in Byzantium the power in the West was held by Augustus, whom the Romans used to call by the diminutive name Augustulus because he took over the empire while still a lad,[B] his father Orestes, a man of the greatest discretion, administering it as regent for him. Now it happened that the Romans a short time before had induced the Sciri and Alani and certain other Gothic nations to form an alliance with them; and from that time on it was their fortune to suffer at the hand of Alaric and Attila those things which have been told in the previous narrative... Continue reading book >>




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