Being roman in procopius' vandal wars

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Abstract

This article considers the use of ethnographic language in Procopius' Vandal Wars. In particular, it examines how self-control was employed as a flexible criterion for membership of a civilised, Roman world. We see this both in the sense of non-Romans imitating the self-controlled example of Belisarius and of Romans losing their self-control through imitating the luxury and tyranny of their Vandal opponents. In addition, the article argues for the Christianised character of this ethnographic language, which embraced the equation between right belief, divine favour and self-control seen in the ecclesiastical historians, even if Procopius' understanding of right belief emphasises religious tolerance and humility over issues of dogma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)424-447
Number of pages24
JournalByzantion: Revue Internationale des Etudes Byzantines
Volume81
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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