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History of the Wars: Bks.V-VI, xv v. 3 (Loeb Classical Library) Hardcover – 1 Jul 1989

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History of the Wars: Bks.V-VI, xv v. 3 (Loeb Classical Library) + History of the Wars: Gothic War Continues Bks.6, 16-7, 35, v. 4 (Loeb Classical Library) + History of the Wars: Bks.VII, xxxvi-VIII v. 5 (Loeb Classical Library)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 458 pages
  • Publisher: Loeb (1 July 1989)
  • Language: English, Greek
  • ISBN-10: 0674991192
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674991194
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 2.5 x 15.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,237,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Since there are so many of these darn things the review shall be divided into three sections. First, a brief description of the Loeb series of books and their advantages/disadvantages. Second shall be my thoughts on the author himself, his accuracy, as well as his style and the style of his translator. This is of course only my opinion and should be treated as such. The final part shall review what this particular book actually covers.

The Loeb series date back to the turn of the last century. They are designed for people with at least some knowledge of Greek or Latin. They are a sort of compromise between a straight English translation and an annotated copy of the original text. On the left page is printed the text in Greek or Latin depending on the language of the writer and on the right side is the text in English. For somebody who knows even a little Greek or Latin these texts are invaluable. You can try to read the text in the original language knowing that you can correct yourself by looking on the next page or you can read the text in translation and check the translation with the original for more detail. While some of the translations are excellent mostly they are merely serviceable since they are designed more as an aid to translation rather than a translation in themselves. Most of them follow the Greek or Latin very closely. These books are also very small, maybe just over a quarter the size of your average hardcover book. This means that you'll need to buy more than just one book to read a complete work. They are also somewhat pricey considering their size. The Loeb Collection is very large but most of the more famous works can be found in better (and cheaper) translations elsewhere.
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By K H on 5 April 2013
Verified Purchase
These books give you the original Greek text on every other page
and then an English translation on the facing page. Hence it is
always possible to check out the original Greek words, instead of
just trusting that the translator has done a good job – which is
not always the case.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Procopius Books V-VI.15: The Italian campaign of Belisarius 21 Feb. 2004
By Florentius - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This volumes covers Book 5 and half of Book 6 of Procopius's Wars. It focuses on the Gothic Wars, giving a brief history of the fall of the Roman Empire in the West, the reign of Theoderic, and other events up to the beginning of Justinian's reign in AD 527. It then chronicles the incredible campaign of Belisarius who, with a pathetically small force, manages to subdue all of Sicily, southern Italy, and even regain the city of Rome itself for the Empire-lost since AD 476. The Goths under Vittigis rally and besiege Belisarius in Rome for over a year with (Procopius claims) 150,000 troops. But Belisarius manages to defend the city and defeat the siege in a sequence of battles and actions that can only be described as epic. Once the siege is broken and reinforcements are sent from Byzantium, the Roman army is able to push north toward the Gothic capital of Ravenna. The volume ends just as the Roman general Narses arrives on the scene. He will play an important role in the final defeat of the Goths in Italy in later volumes.
If you love classical or medieval history, you'll find this book to be an enjoyable read. The author, Procopius, was the secretary to Belisarius and an eyewitness to practically all the events he records. His style is fluid and the narrative includes many of the oddities and interesting tidbits that only an eyewitness can provide. For the serious scholar of this time period, this book is required reading. One should certainly read it-along with the rest of Procopius's histories-before picking up the Secret History.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Last Classical Historian 11 July 2011
By Arch Stanton - Published on Amazon.com
Since there are so many of these darn things the review shall be divided into three sections. First, a brief description of the Loeb series of books and their advantages/disadvantages. Second shall be my thoughts on the author himself, his accuracy, as well as his style and the style of his translator. This is of course only my opinion and should be treated as such. The final part shall review what this particular book actually covers.

The Loeb series date back to the turn of the last century. They are designed for people with at least some knowledge of Greek or Latin. They are a sort of compromise between a straight English translation and an annotated copy of the original text. On the left page is printed the text in Greek or Latin depending on the language of the writer and on the right side is the text in English. For somebody who knows even a little Greek or Latin these texts are invaluable. You can try to read the text in the original language knowing that you can correct yourself by looking on the next page or you can read the text in translation and check the translation with the original for more detail. While some of the translations are excellent mostly they are merely serviceable since they are designed more as an aid to translation rather than a translation in themselves. Most of them follow the Greek or Latin very closely. These books are also very small, maybe just over a quarter the size of your average hardcover book. This means that you'll need to buy more than just one book to read a complete work. They are also somewhat pricey considering their size. The Loeb Collection is very large but most of the more famous works can be found in better (and cheaper) translations elsewhere. If you want to read a rarer book or read one in the original language then you can't do better than the Loeb Editions.

There are 7 volumes of Procopius in the Loeb series which include all his known works. Procopius was the last great Classical historian and a personal favorite of mine. His works were written in the middle of the 6th Century during the reign of Justinian when the Empire was once again on the rise. His books are about the wars to reconquer the Western Empire which had fallen in 476. As an author Procopius is highly readable. His works cover a very interesting period and do so with great skill. He is from the Sallustan school of history writing and divides his work into sections based on similar topics instead of following a strictly chronological approach. This makes his books both easier to follow and more entertaining for the reader. While his books are technically focused on the wars they cover much more than that including politics and economic matters. Procopius is also the author of two other very different books. One a very boring panegyric on the building works of Justinian and the other called the 'Anecdota' or 'Secret History' which is basically a collection of every possible slander he could make against Justinian, his wife Theodora, and just about everybody else he'd ever met. As you might gather from those two different books Procopius suffers on accuracy issues. While he doesn't seem to have told direct lies (except in his secret history) his lies of omission are likely to be serious. Unfortunately he is our main source for that era which makes it hard to check him against other sources. Still, even if he fudges facts a little to obscure some points he is unlikely to have completely changed the events described. The translation is quite good.

This volume contains the first book and a bit dealing with the war to reclaim Italy. I don't know why they split the books into bits. After the victory in Africa the Romans decided to follow up by reclaiming Italy.
Excellent; could use a general map of Italy. 8 July 2011
By Kirialax - Published on Amazon.com
This is another fine volume in the Loeb Classical Library text and translation of Procopius. Specifically, this volumes deals with Belisarios in Italy, and the background to that conflict. Procopius gives a solid introduction to the politics in the Ostrogothic kingdom from the time of Theodoric's conquest on behalf of the Eastern Emperor Zeno, but after that it picks up right where the previous volume (History of the Wars, Volume II: Books 3-4. (Vandalic War)) left off. Sicily had fallen to Belisarios' troops and once they have Justinian's permission since internal Gothic politics gave them the opportunity to intervene, the army landed in Italy. The first stop was Naples, which Belisarios took after a brief siege. They quickly proceeded north and occupied Rome, where the new Gothic king Vittigis besieges them. This siege takes up the bulk of this volume, and is hardly dry reading. Not only are Procopius' descriptions realistic, they are exciting although the chronology of the siege is difficult to follow. The volume ends with the Roman defense of Rimini after the Goths were forced to retreat from Rome and a digression on the revolt of the Eruli.

This is another good edition of Procopius. The translation is clear, although the speeches are written in an archaic style. This last part is hardly a problem, for it is not as extreme as some other older Loebs, and it is safe to say that this translation has stood the test of time very well. The only thing lacking is a general map of Italy, especially one that included the Roman road network as Procopius makes frequent references to them. Sure, one could use a map in another book, but one included in here would have been very convenient for quick reference. Other editions in the LCL series have some excellent maps and appendices, Caesar's 'de Bello Gallico' is a shining example, so there is no excuse as to why this volume could not have had a better map. Regardless, it is still altogether an excellent package and is highly recommended.
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