Contests of Andreia in Procopius' Gothic Wars

Michael Edward Stewart


Much of the recent work on gender constructions in the writings of the sixth-century Byzantine writer Procopius have focused on his Secret History. Yet, the crucial role that gender constructions play in his other writings has garnered far less notice. This essay concentrates on one theatre of war, Italy, and examines how in the Gothic Wars Procopius used the field of battle as a means to comment on the role that courage and manliness played in determining the outcome of the war. The conflict, in Procopius’ telling, offered the Byzantines the opportunity not only to regain Italy, but also to test their military and manly virtues against a worthy enemy, the Goths.



Procopius, Gothic wars, Gender Studies

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