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Procopius of Caesarea

d.565. Byzantine historian. Born in Palestine, he went to Constantinople at the accession of Justinian (527) and was appointed consiliarius (legal secretary) to the military commander, Belisarius (505-565), whom he accompanied on campaigns for the next fifteen years-details of which served as the basis of his history. After 542 his duties included that of senator in Constantinople, and probably that of city prefect from 562. His Wars in seven books are divided in sequence among Persian, Vandal, and Gothic campaigns, with an eighth (550-53) updating all fronts; the whole series showed a valuable objectivity. He produced also a panegyrized account of Justinian's architectural achievements in seven volumes, and Anekdota (commonly called “Secret History”) which is a character assassination of the chief figures of the time based on unprovable accusations and at a level of scurrilous gossip.

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