The Gothic War by Procopius ( A Byzantine Historian ) (Primary Sources)

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1y Nov 13, 2019

Procopius's Wars or History of the Wars (Greek: Ὑπὲρ τῶν Πολέμων Λόγοι, Hypèr tōn Polémon Lógoi, "Words on the Wars"; Latin: De Bellis, "On the Wars") is his most important work, although less well known than the Secret History. The first seven books seem to have been largely completed by 545 and may have been published as a unit. They were, however, updated to mid-century before publication, with the latest mentioned event occurring in early 551. The eighth and final book brings the history to 553.

The first two books—often known as The Persian War (Latin: De Bello Persico)—deal with the conflict between the Romans and Sassanid Persia in Mesopotamia, Syria, Armenia, Lazica, and Iberia (present-day Georgia). It details the campaigns of the Sassaniad shah Kavadh I, the 532 'Nika' revolt, the war by Kavadh's successor Khosrau I in 540, his destruction of Antioch and deportation of its inhabitants to Mesopotamia, and the great plague that devastated the empire from 542. The Persian War also covers the early career of Procopius's patron Belisarius in some detail.

The Wars’ next two books—known as The Vandal or Vandalic War (De Bello Vandalico)—cover Belisarius's successful campaign against the Vandal kingdom that had occupied Rome's provinces in northwest Africa for the last century.

The final four books—known as The Gothic War (De Bello Gothico)—cover the Italian campaigns by Belisarius and others against the Ostrogoths. It includes accounts of the 1st and 2nd sieges of Naples and the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd sieges of Rome. The last book describes the eunuch Narses's successful conclusion of the Italian campaign and includes some coverage of campaigns along the empire's eastern borders as well.

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