What Kind of Person Emerges From the Procopius Portrayal of Justinian

Justinian(482-565), was the eastern Roman or Byzantium emperor. His reign was an up and down ambitious one, and he is best known for his law written codes. Procopius was a Byzantine scholar, not much is known about him before the year 527, but he was one of the most important historians during the time. Procopius was highly condemning towards Justinian’s reign, his resentments really come to the surface in his book, Secret History. But now on the point of Procopius’s resentment towards Justinian, what kind of person emerges from the Procopius portrayal of Justinian.

Procopius portrayed Justinian as evil and ambitious, a man who was also a liar in short. He also stated that Justinian was not clever, and was a hypocrite and rather cruel. Justinian was quick at judging people in legal situations. He was also a persecutor towards his citizens for no good reason and would take away their property for his personal gain, but was also a coward which is rather proven when he considers fleeing when the empire is under crisis. But Procopius also praised Justinian for his building program, which is seen in his book, The Buildings.

So what kind of person emerges from this portrayal? Well that is simple, the person that emerges from all of these descriptions and portrayal is a selfish, ambitious, and very flawed person. Also this person is cowardly, and an overachiever thanks to his ambitions. Hence this is the kind of person that emerges from the Procopius portrayal of Justinian.


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