Procopius, born at Caesarea in Palestine late in the 5th century, became a lawyer. In 527 CE he was made legal adviser and secretary of Belisarius, commander against the Persians, and went with Belisarius again in 533 against the Vandals and in 535 against the Ostrogoths. Sometime after 540 he returned to Constantinople. He may have been that Procopius who was prefect of Constantinople in 562, but the date of his death (after 558) is unknown.
In Secret History, Procopius attacks the sixth century CE emperor Justinian and empress Theodora and alleges their ruinous effect on the Roman empire. Procopius’s pen is particularly sharp in portraying Theodora’s lewdness, duplicity, cruelty, spite, vanity and pride.
Other works by Procopius are the History of the Wars in 8 books (here collected in five volumes), which recounts the Persian Wars of emperors Justinus and Justinian down to 550, the Vandalic War and after-events in Africa 532–546, the Gothic War against the Ostrogoths in Sicily and Italy 536–552, and a sketch of events to 554; and On Buildings (or The Buildings of Justinian) which describes (to 558 CE) roads and bridges as well as churches, forts, hospitals, and so on in various parts of the empire.
The Loeb Classical Library edition of Procopius is in seven volumes.