Procopius of Caesarea: Tyranny, History, and Philosophy at the End of Antiquity

By Anthony Kaldellis | Go to book overview

Appendix 1.
Secret History 19–30 and the
Edicts of Justinian

This appendix is not a historical commentary on the later chapters of the Secret History, although it offers a blueprint for one, by showing that those chapters were written in direct response to Justinian’s legislation. Not all can be paired up with extant edicts, but in most cases Procopius is referring to specific laws that have been lost. In particular, few pragmatic sanctions have survived, and many reforms were no doubt effected in that way.

Not all edicts were written by Justinian himself, although of course they were all promulgated under his name, with his approval and authority. In some chapters Procopius discusses in detail the character of his quaestors and prefects, but this too is directly relevant to the legal slant of the work, because they were the magistrates who drafted Justinian’s legislation, received it, and enforced it (to the degree that it was enforced).

Unless otherwise noted, all edicts cited below were issued before the Secret History was finished.

19.11, 20.9: pretexts for prosecution: heresy, pederasty, sexual relations with nuns. For nuns, see CJ 1.3.53, 9.3–1; Novels 123.43, 37. For sexual crimes, Novels 77, 141 (date 559); cf. Malalas 18.18. For heretics, see esp. CJ 1.5.12–22; Novels 3.1, 37, 42.3.2, 43, 45, 109, 131.14, 132. Procopius also gives (once each) polytheism, stasis, favoring the Greens, and insulting the emperor. For the latter, see Malalas 18.22. For polytheism, see esp. CJ 1.5.18.4–5; Malalas 18.42, 18.136 (date 561).

20.1–4: the city prefect relaxed price controls and shared in the profits (this was his initiative, not the emperor’s). Novel 122 (addressed to the city prefect) caps prices for services and goods, blaming merchants and artisans for charging too much (perhaps a result of the plague). This may have been Justinian’s response to the actions of his prefect, but we do not know how vigorously it was enforced. Justinian may have been concerned for the peo-

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Procopius of Caesarea: Tyranny, History, and Philosophy at the End of Antiquity
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - Classicism and Its DisContents 17
  • Chapter 2 - Tales Not Unworthy of Trust- Anecdotes and the Persian War 62
  • Chapter 3 - The Secret History of Philosophy 94
  • Chapter 4 - The Representation of Tyranny 118
  • Chapter 5 - God and Tyche in the Wars 165
  • Appendix 1 - Secret History 19–30 and the Edicts of Justinian 223
  • Appendix 2 - The Plan of Secret History 6–18 229
  • Abbreviations 231
  • Notes 233
  • Bibliography 275
  • Index 299
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