Masculinity, Identity, and Power Politics in the Age of Justinian
Masculinity, Identity, and Power Politics in the Age of Justinian
A Study of Procopius
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15.6 x 23.4 cm
Table of Contents
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A Note on Translations, Sources, and Names
I Finding Procopius
1. Introduction
2. Will the Real Procopius Please Stand Up
Procopius' Oeuvre
Historiographical Debates
A Christian Procopius
Cistern or Safety Net?
II The Contest
3. The Danger of the Soft Life
Rhetoric and Reality
A Soft Empire
Vita Militaris
Romans and Goths
Aeneas' Ship
4. Courage, Fear, and Generalship in the Vandal War
Fifth-century Roman Failures
The Launch
5. Shattering the Glass Ceiling: Eunuchs in a Changing World
The Blame Game
Narses: The Manly Eunuch
Martial Manliness
Draining Belisarius' andreia
Brave New World
III Chaos Encroaching
6. Killing Justinian
Artabanes: Slayer of Tyrants
Theodora Steps In
The Plot
7. Totila: Hero or Trope?
Order out of Chaos
Standing up to Totila
Last Dance
Conclusion: All Quiet on the Italian Front
Primary Sources
Secondary Sources
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Reviews and Features

"This volume by Michael Edward Stewart is not just another monograph on Procopius, the renowned Byzantine historian. [...] Stewart uses gendered and literary approaches to understanding Procopius’ persona, his writings, and his world, in successful ways, and this monograph will open new and interesting avenues for the analysis of Byzantine historiography."
- Ecaterina Lung, University of Bucharest, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 02/49 (2021)

Michael Stewart

Masculinity, Identity, and Power Politics in the Age of Justinian

A Study of Procopius

A generation of historians has been captivated by the notorious views on gender found in the mid-sixth century Secret History by the Byzantine historian Procopius of Caesarea. Yet the notable but subtler ways in which gender coloured Procopius' most significant work, the Wars, have received far less attention. This monograph examines how gender shaped the presentation of not only key personalities such as the seminal power-couples Theodora/ Justinian and Antonina/ Belisarius, but also the Persians, Vandals, Goths, Eastern Romans, and Italo-Romans, in both the Wars and the Secret History. By analysing the purpose and rationale behind Procopius' gendered depictions and ethnicizing worldview, this investigation unpicks his knotty agenda. Despite Procopius's reliance on classical antecedents, the gendered discourse that undergirds both texts under investigation must be understood within the broader context of contemporary political debates at a time when control of Italy and North Africa from Constantinople was contested.

Michael Stewart

Michael Edward Stewart is an honorary Fellow in the school of History and Philosophical Inquiry at the University of Queensland.