Xenophon’s Hellenica in Procopius’ Wars: Pharnabazus and Belisarius


THIS INVESTIGATION is an attempt to substantiate a flash of recognition between a passage in Xenophon’s Hellenica and a corresponding passage in Procopius of Caesarea’s Wars—a place where one ought not to expect it. Although Procopius has long been acknowledged to have been a reader and imitator of Thucydides and Herodotus, among other canonical authors, so far as the works of Xenophon are concerned he has been believed until recently to have used only the Cyropaedia.It comes as a bolt from the blue, therefore, to be reading the Hellenica and to be reminded of the Wars. Yet recovery of the intertextual dimension of Procopius’ work in this instance is vital because it enables that historian to speak, in a work intended for public consumption at a time when the principals were still alive and therefore in a manner that is necessarily oblique, to the allegiances and motivations of a prominent person at a moment of high political intrigue.Read the rest here.

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