Procopious, The Tell All Historian Who Told Wrote An Official History, And The True Story.

by Daniel Russ on May 28, 2013


Procopius was a Roman citizen born in Roman Palestine from 500 AD to 560 AD. He was most likely classically trained in Greek and Latin and as he became a scholar. The emperor Justinian and the Empress Theodora made him the official historian of the Roman Byzantine court. He kept essentially two historical records. The first was a panegyric called the Wars of Justinian. The other was called the Secret Record. This was where he told the unexpurgated truth about the couple that, in his terms, ruined Byzantine Rome.


Procopious On Theodora


When she desired to punish anyone who had offended her she adopted the following plan. If it were a patrician, she sent for him privately and handed him over to one of her confidential attendants, with instructions to carry him to the furthest boundaries of the empire, In the dead of night, her agent, having bound the unfortunate man and muffled his face, put him on board a ship and having accompanied him to the place whither he had been instructed to convey him, departed, having first delivered him secretly to another who was experienced in this kind of service, with orders that he was to kept under the strictest watch and no one should be informed of him. Until afterwards either the Empress took pity on him or worn out by his suffering, at length he succumbed and died a miserable death. Thereupon she and Justinian claimed his estate and banished the family to poverty.


A youth of distinguished family, belonging to the Green factions named Basanius had incurred the Empress Theodora’s wrath by speaking of her in sarcastic terms. Hearing that she was incensed at him, he fled for refuge in the church of St. Michael the Archangel. Theodora sent the Praetor of People to seize him and charged him not with insolence but with sodomy and subjected the boy to such intolerable torments that the whole assembled people were deeply moved at seeing such a person of such noble mien and so delicately brought up that they crowd cried out for his forgiveness, but Theodora had him castrated until he was dead. The boy had been neither tried nor condemned. 


Procopious on the ruler’s theft


And after this, these barbarians ravaged the country as if they were the foe, and enslaved the Romans there; and, laden with booty and captives, these friends and allies of the Romans returned to their homes. Often some of the farmers of these regions, induced by longing for their children and wives who had been carried off to slavery, formed into bands and attacked the Huns, killing many, and capturing their horses laden with spoils; but the consequence of their success was unfortunate. For agents were sent from Constantinople to beat and torture them and seize their property, until they had given up all the horses they had taken from the barbarians.


Procopius on Theodora and Justinian:


There was at Constantinople one Zeno, the grandson of Anthemius who formerly had been the Emperor of the Western Roman Empire. They sent this man to Egypt to be governor, but delayed his departure while he loaded his ship with his valuables, for he had silver beyond any man’s counting and gold plate set with pearls and emeralds and many other precious stones. But Justinian and Theodora bribed agents to empty the ship and set it on fire. They then informed Zeno his ship was mysteriously destroyed. When he mysteriously died, they took possession of his estate and valuables.



…for the reasons I have stated previously  I and many in my position believed that they really were not human beings, but evil demons, what poets called the scourge of mankind who put their heads together to see how fast they could destroy the race of man.




.Sources: The Secret History of the Wars of Justinian


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