Battles and Generals: Combat, Culture, and Didacticism in by Conor Whately

By Conor Whately

In Battles and Generals: strive against, tradition, and Didacticism in Procopius’ Wars, Whately reads Procopius’ descriptions of wrestle during the lens of didacticism, arguing that one in every of Procopius’ intentions was once to build these money owed not just so they will be interesting to his viewers, but additionally in order that they may offer actual worth to his readership, which used to be comprised, partially, of the empire’s army command. during this research we find that the numerous battles and sieges that Procopius describes should not known; relatively, they've been crafted to mirror the character of strive against – as understood through Procopius – at the 3 fronts of Justinian’s wars, the frontier with Persia, Vandal north Africa, and Gothic Italy.

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Cf. Whitby’s (2000d: xx-lx) comments in his translation of Evagrius and Whately (2009: 92–99). One particular aspect of combat that stands out among the ecclesiastical historians, and one to pay attention to, is the siege. They were often less interested in open battle. With that said, the Battle of the Frigidus was described in considerable detail by ecclesiastical historians (on which see Cameron 2011: 93–131). 14) of the open-battle between Justinian (the general) and Khusro in 576 is another noteworthy example.

21. Thuc. 20. See Potter 1999: 12–18, 144–150 (on verisimilitude). Cf. Börm 2007: 52. 118 In addition to addressing those questions, we intend to look at some related ones, such as: what influence do individuals have on combat in Procopius? Along the same lines, what role do humans play in combat? Can a battle’s participants, from the frontline soldiers to the generals, influence a battle’s outcome, or are they ultimately at the whim of fate, or God, or even technology? 119 Does Procopius take an awareness of the influence of individuals in combat a step further and set forth any principles of generalship, at least as he saw them?

Topics include his life, family, and social background, his rhetorical and philosophical background, and his religious views. We also look at those issues that impinge more directly on his military writing, such as the breadth of Procopius’ reading, his service in the military, and his sources. The second chapter, “How to Defeat the Persians in Combat”, like the next two, has three core sections, and the focus is on combat in the Persian Wars. The first section provides a brief historical overview of the Persian Wars for those less familiar with the context.

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