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The date of Procopius’ Buildings in the light of recent scholarship

The date of Procopius’ Buildings in the light of recent scholarship


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The date of Procopius’ Buildings in the light of recent scholarship

Geoffrey Greatrex (Department of Classics and Religious Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Ottawa)

Estudios byzantinos: 1 (2013) 13-29.

Abstract

The article discusses the date of the composition of procopius of Caesarea’s De Aedificiis of Buildings. It advances a detailed rebuttal of arguments recently put forward by Denis Roques for dating the work to c.560 and deals in particular with the passage of Theopanes concerning the construction of the Sangarius bridge. It concludes by favouring the traditional dating of c.554 for the work.

In the last few years there has been a huge increase in the work on Procopius. While much of this has focussed, as usual, on the Anecdota or Secret History, there have also been important discussion of the De Aedificiis or Buildings. A new Italian translation and commentary on Buildings i.1 appeared in 2011, while an exhaustive translation and commentary of the entire work in French by Denis Roques was published in the same year. Of course, neither of these works could take the other into account – that of Roques is in any case posthumous – and consequently they adopt quite different stances as to the dating of the work, in both cases on the basis of good arguments.


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