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History of the Wars, Vol I: Books 1-2 (Persian War)

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4.03  ·  Rating details ·  116 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
History of the Wars by the Byzantine historian Procopius (late fifth century to after 558 CE) consists largely of sixth century CE military history, with much information about peoples, places, and special events. Powerful description complements careful narration. Procopius is just to the empire s enemies and boldly criticises emperor Justinian.
Hardcover, Loeb Classical Librry #48 (Greek and English), 583 pages
Published January 1st 1914 by Harvard University Press (first published 550)
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'Aussie Rick'
Jan 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
I purchased the first five volumes of Procopius's History of the Wars after reading a review somewhere, basically buying the volumes sight unseen, a stab in the dark. Well, how right was that decision!

I have only read the first volume, Books 1-2, which covers the Persian Wars and I had a great time. The book was so easy to read, full of interesting facts and stories of peoples and places long gone and lost to history.

What is so amazing about this book was that it was written sometime in the 54
...more
Nick
Feb 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Note: I am giving all the "History of the Wars" books five stars because I loved them all, because I love Byzantine history, and because they were the main sources for my undergrad thesis. I spent literally days reading through the pages of these books.

If you are interested in the wonder that was Byzantium: you must read these -- all of them (even 'buildings')

If you just like history, you may enjoy them, as Procopius was one of the world's great historians. He told a good tale of war, politics,
...more
Andrew
If you're interested in Byzantine history, at some point, you have to read Procopius. He's the main primary source on the 6th Century, and since he was close to the center of power in the empire, he has a lot of insight to offer.

While Procopius' account of Justinians reign and Belisarius' campaigns are informative and entertaining, the translation in this edition leaves something to be desired. This is a free Kindle edition, and the original was published in the 19th Century. The language of the
...more
Tom Schulte
It is books like this that make the discovery of the large Gobekli Tepi city-complex not that remarkable to me. In that region between the Roman (Byzantine) and Pesian empires rich and large cities, city-states and even nations rose and fell rapidly during the constant warring between the two empires. Procopius makes a lively telling of this Christian Age of the Roman Empire ("Romans" called John, George, etc.) and the restless, ambitious, violent Persians that sensed the weakening state of this ...more
Tom Schulte
Jul 25, 2011 rated it liked it
It is books like this that make the discovery of the large Gobekli Tepi city-complex not that remarkable to me. In that region between the Roman (Byzantine) and Pesian empires rich and large cities, city-states and even nations rose and fell rapidly during the constant warring between the two empires. Procopius makes a lively telling of this Christian Age of the Roman Empire ("Romans" called John, George, etc.) and the restless, ambitious, violent Persians that sensed the weakening state of this ...more
Tom Schulte
It is books like this that make the discovery of the large Gobekli Tepi city-complex not that remarkable to me. In that region between the Roman (Byzantine) and Pesian empires rich and large cities, city-states and even nations rose and fell rapidly during the constant warring between the two empires. Procopius makes a lively telling of this Christian Age of the Roman Empire ("Romans" called John, George, etc.) and the restless, ambitious, violent Persians that sensed the weakening state of this ...more
David
Dec 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Interesting history. I read the public domain Kindle version. Procopius is more a politician than a tactician, so this is a high-level view of events; no sense of the fighting skills and techniques used in the era
Jesse
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a great look at the Roman / Persia conflicts in the 500s. This volume is a fascinating peek at the Middle East shortly before the rise of Islam. The translation is easy to follow, I couldn't put it down.
Eadweard
Very engaging and fun to read, now onwards to the vandal and gothic campaigns.
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Procopius of Caesarea was born in the latter years of the fifth century at Caesarea in Palestine. He originated from the land-owning provincial upper class and, like Zosimus, became a civil servant. As early as A.D. 527, before the emperor Justin's death, Procopius became counsellor, assessor, and secretary to Belisarius, whose fortunes and campaigns he followed for the next twelve or fifteen year ...more
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