By Conor Whately
In Battles and Generals: wrestle, tradition, and Didacticism in Procopius’ Wars, Whately reads Procopius’ descriptions of strive against throughout the lens of didacticism, arguing that considered one of Procopius’ intentions was once to build these bills not just in order that they may be pleasing to his viewers, but in addition in order that they could supply genuine price to his readership, which was once comprised, partially, of the empire’s army command. during this research we find that the numerous battles and sieges that Procopius describes are usually not general; really, they've been crafted to mirror the character of strive against – as understood by means of Procopius – at the 3 fronts of Justinian’s wars, the frontier with Persia, Vandal north Africa, and Gothic Italy.
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Additional resources for Battles and Generals: Combat, Culture, and Didacticism in Procopius’ "Wars"
Along the same lines, appendix one includes a brief overview of all the battles and sieges discussed in this book. It will supplement those historical surveys, and will point the reader towards some additional bibliography. 8 The Wider Applicability of Procopian Combat Although offering first and foremost a cultural approach to reading and understanding Procopian combat, this book will also shed some light on Procopius’ practices as an historian. Scholars such as Cameron and Shaw are right to play Introduction 37 up the rhetorical nature of Procopius’ descriptions of battle, for he is, of course, a rhetorical writer; however, such an appreciation does not justify dismissals of his accounts of combat.
95 If there is one thing that the progymnasmata have in common, it is that Thucydides serves as an exemplary model for 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 Not everyone, of course, has read the use of battle conventions as signs of literary sterility. Paul (1982) and Rossi (2004), for example, argue the contrary. Indeed, as regards the ekphrasis Fowler (1991: 30) says “the signs [in both art and literature] are read according to systems of meaning that are cultural constructs”. Aelius Theon, Spengel p. 68. Aelius Theon, Spengel p.
I prefer to rely on my own knowledge, and to point out who it was in actual fact that first injured the Greeks; then I will proceed with my history” (Hdt. 5, trans. De Sélincourt and Marincola). Polyb. 6. Cf. Polyb. 11–12, Later Byzantine historians had this same conviction. See, for example, the preface to Anna Komnene’s Alexiad in which she expresses ‘concern’ lest her readers deem that her history is “…wholly false and mere panegyric” (trans. Sewter). Anna’s preface in fact includes many of the traits that we have outlined above.