Procopius: History of the Wars, Vol. 1, Books 1-2: The Persian War (Loeb Classical Library) (English and Greek Edition)

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ISBN-13: 978-0674990548
ISBN-10: 0674990544
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Procopius: History of the Wars, Vol. 1, Books 1-2: The Persian War (Loeb Classical Library) (English and Greek Edition) + Procopius: History of the Wars, Vol. 2, Books 3-4: Vandalic War (Loeb Classical Library) (English and Greek Edition) + Procopius, Vol. 3, Books 5-6.15: History of the Wars (Loeb Classical Library) (English and Greek Edition)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (January 1, 1914)
  • Language: English, Greek
  • ISBN-10: 0674990544
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674990548
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 1 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #745,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Florentius VINE VOICE on July 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Procopius of Caesarea was one of truly great--and often considered the last--historians of the ancient Greco-Roman world. Following in the tradition of Herodotus, Thucydides, Livy, and others, Procopius aims to present a thorough narrative of the great events of his time--namely, the epic Justinianic period of the mid-6th century AD. As the secretary of the Roman general Belisarius, Procopius was often an eye-witness to the events he describes.

In The Persian War, Procopius begins with a history through AD 520 of the often acrimonious relations between the two great powers of the time, Imperial Rome and Sassanid Persia. This retrospective look is often a thin soup of anecdotes and hearsay, though the AD 506 war under the Emperor Anastasius is covered in some detail, particularly the siege of Amida. The subsequent war with Persia beginning about AD 525 is covered in depth, particularly the Battle of Daras--a great Roman victory and the first significant Roman triumph against the Persians in decades.

Of note in this volume is the detailed description of the "Nika" Rebellion in Constantinople. Procopius offers a scathing commentary on the infamous Blue and Green factions within the city--part sports hooligans, part competing crime syndicates--who united in opposition to the Emperor Justinian and attempted to bring about his overthrow. To do this, they torched a significant portion of the city--including the second Hagia Sophia, predecessor to Justinian's great church--and crowned a usurper in the Hipppodrome. All seemed lost and Justinian was ready to flee the capital, until the Empress Theodora, in a dramatic moment, called out his manhood.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Arch Stanton on July 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Since there are so many of these darn things the review shall be divided into three sections. First, a brief description of the Loeb series of books and their advantages/disadvantages. Second shall be my thoughts on the author himself, his accuracy, as well as his style and the style of his translator. This is of course only my opinion and should be treated as such. The final part shall review what this particular book actually covers.

The Loeb series date back to the turn of the last century. They are designed for people with at least some knowledge of Greek or Latin. They are a sort of compromise between a straight English translation and an annotated copy of the original text. On the left page is printed the text in Greek or Latin depending on the language of the writer and on the right side is the text in English. For somebody who knows even a little Greek or Latin these texts are invaluable. You can try to read the text in the original language knowing that you can correct yourself by looking on the next page or you can read the text in translation and check the translation with the original for more detail. While some of the translations are excellent mostly they are merely serviceable since they are designed more as an aid to translation rather than a translation in themselves. Most of them follow the Greek or Latin very closely. These books are also very small, maybe just over a quarter the size of your average hardcover book. This means that you'll need to buy more than just one book to read a complete work. They are also somewhat pricey considering their size. The Loeb Collection is very large but most of the more famous works can be found in better (and cheaper) translations elsewhere.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Aussie Reader on January 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I purchased the first five volumes of Procopius's "History of the Wars" after reading a review somewhere (maybe the one below!), 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 540's AD and translated in the early 1900's. I was a bit worried that the narrative would be difficult to read and boring, how wrong could I be! The story fairly raced along and I never got bored with the book. I can't wait to read the next few volumes which cover Belisarius in his campaigns and wars against the Vandals in 533 and again in 535 against the Ostrogoths.

This is a great book, highly recommended to those who enjoy accounts of the ancients and those times and places from times long past.
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Procopius: History of the Wars, Vol. 1, Books 1-2: The Persian War (Loeb Classical Library) (English and Greek Edition)
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