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BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter September 11, 2020

Procopius on Theodora: ancient and new biographical patterns

  • Sergi Grau EMAIL logo and Oriol Febrer
From the journal Byzantinische Zeitschrift


The Anékdota or Secret History of Procopius of Caesarea tends to raise perplexity among scholars for different reasons, particularly the fact that a courtier wrote this work as well as the Buildings, a clear praise of Justinian through his constructions and foundations, and the Wars, in the most canonical historiographical tradition. It is apparent that the Secret History, as it is usually acknowledged, is related to the tradition of the invective and the pamphlet, even to the earlier classic iambography, but we should try to answer the question with the same analytical tools that have been applied in recent years to the study of ancient biography, whence the author takes inspiration, especially for the portrait of empress Theodora. Here we have identified, alongside the ancient biographical patterns of the classical tradition, new ones, mostly inversions of contemporary hagiographical narratives.

Online erschienen: 2020-09-11
Erschienen im Druck: 2020-08-01

© 2020 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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