Procopius, holding a position in a period of transition between classical Greek and Byzantine literature, is the first and most talented of Byzantine historians. His writings are characterized by an energetic combination of the Attic models of the affected, but often picturesque style employed by the Byzantine writers. Although he is not free from errors of taste, he expresses his ideas with great vigour, and his thoughts are often worthy of a better age. The information which he has given us is exceedingly valuable. He had ample opportunities of observation, and his works present us with the best picture of the reign of Justinian, so important in Greco-Roman annals.
History of Justin and his two brothers, poor Illyrian husbandmen--Their enrolment in the army--Their admission into the Palace Guards, in the reign of Leo--Justin condemned to death, during the reign of Anastasius, by the General John Kyrtus, for some breach of discipline--His escape by divine intervention--He becomes praefect of the Praetorian guards--In spite of his ignorance, he is proclaimed Emperor--The way in which he was assisted to sign imperial documents--The Empress Lupicina-Euphemia--Justinian, the nephew of Justin, the real master of the Empire--His cruelty, his avarice, his inconsistency in regard to the laws--He oppresses Italy, Africa, and the rest of the Empire--Amantius condemned, to avenge an outrage upon the bishop John--Perjury towards Vitalianus.
Byzantium divided between two factions: the Blues and the Greens--Justini