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 in the course of the lens of didacticism, arguing that certainly one of Procopius’ intentions was once to build these money owed not just in order that they can be interesting to his viewers, but in addition so they may offer genuine worth to his readership, which used to be comprised, partly, of the empire’s army command. during this research we find that the numerous battles and sieges that Procopius describes will not be accepted; fairly, 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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Extra resources for Battles and Generals: Combat, Culture, and Didacticism in Procopius’ "Wars"

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25, trans. Zenos. Cameron (2011: 93–131) discusses the varied descriptions and interpretations of the battle in detail. Cf. Leppin 2003: 231–233. Socrates’ account of the battle is based, in part, on Rufinus’ earlier version (Cameron 2011: 109). 491). A key element in both John’s and Socrates’ descriptions is the role that Theodosius’ prayers played in his victory. Some ancient accounts were keen to emphasize the intervention of God in Theodosius’ success (Cameron 2011: 98–99), others leave out any possible pagan/Christian dimension in their accounts, or so Cameron (Cameron 2011: 111).

Hal. Thuc. 27, trans. Usher. See Dion. Hal. Thuc. 4. 24 Introduction reader’s satisfaction. 130 Drama and emotion131 represent two of the most important elements of an historical narrative, and can often be evoked through the arrangement of the narrative itself. For example, in his letter to Gnaeus Pompeius where he lays out the five most important tasks of an historian, Dionysius puts considerable stress on the construction of the narrative. The second of those tasks is to pick an appropriate place to begin and end the narrative; the third is to determine what material to include and what material to omit; and the fourth is to arrange the material properly and to put each point in its proper place.

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? In looking closely at how Procopius describes, explains, and understands combat can we uncover something of the social structures and cultural beliefs that influenced his narration, explanation, and understanding?

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