Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/433

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418
PROCOPIUS

brought up at Xanthus in Lycia. Having studied grammar under Orion and philosophy under Olympiodorus the Peripatetic, at Alexandria, he proceeded to Athens. There he attended the lectures of the Neoplatonists Plutarch and Syrianus, and about 450 succeeded the latter in the chair of philosophy (hence his surname Diadochus, which, however, is referred by others to his being the “ successor ” of Plato). As an ardent upholder of the old pagan religion Proclus incurred the hatred of the Christians, and was obliged to take refuge in Asia Minor. After a year's absence he returned to Athens, where he remained until his death. His epitaph, written by himself, is to be found in Anthologia palatina, vii. 451. Although possessed of ample means, Proclus led a most temperate, even ascetic life, and employed his wealth in generous relief of the poor. He was supposed to hold communion with the gods, who endowed him with miraculous powers. He acted up to his famous saying that “the philosopher should be the hierophant of the whole world ” by celebrating Egyptian and Chaldaean as well as Greek festivals, and on certain days performing sacred rites in honour of all the dead.

His great literary activity was chiefly devoted to the elucidation of the writings of Plato. There are still extant commentaries on the First Alcibiades, Parmenides, Republic, Timaens and Cratylus. His views are more fully expounded in the Ilepi Tis Ko.-rd Hkérwva 0eo)ofyias (In Platonis theologian). The 2-roixeiwots 0€0h0'YLK';] (Institutio theological) contains a compendious account of the principles of Neoplatonism and the modifications introduced in it by Proclus himself. The pseudo-Aristotelian De causis is an Arabic extract from this work, ascribed to Alfarabius (d. 950), circulated in the west by means of a Latin translation (ed. O. Bardenhewer, Freiburg, 1882). It was answered by the Christian rhetorician Procopius of Gaza in a treatise which was deliberately appropriated without acknowledgment by N icolaus of Methone, a Byzantine theologian of the 12th century (see W. Christ, Geseh. der griechisehen Litteratur, 1898, § 692). Other philosophical works by Proclus are Zroixeiwois cbuirucf; ii Hepl Kivhaews (Institntio physiea sive De motu, a compendium of the last five books of Aristotle's Ilepi qSuau<'?']s bxpodoews, De physica auscultation), and De providential et fate, Decem dubitationes circa providential, De malorum subsistentia, known only by the Latin translation of William of Moerbeke (archbishop of Corinth, 1277-1281), who also translated the Zroixeiwots 060>')/LK?) into Latin. In addition to the epitaph already mentioned, Proclus was the author of hymns, seven of which have been preserved (to Helios, Aphrodite, the Muses, " the Gods, the Lycian Aphrodite, Hecate and ]anus, and Athena), and of an epigram in the Greek Anthology (Anthol. pal. iii. 3, 166 in Didot edition.) His astronomical and mathematical writings include "I'1rorb/rwoLs rciw éarpovop.u&v birodéaewv (Hypotyposis astronomic arum positionnm, ed. C. Manitius, Leipzig, 1909); Hepi oqiiaipas (De sphaera); Hapdcbpaais eis T1)V l'Iro)e;/.aiou 1'e'rp6.f3v.B}ov, a paraphrase of the difficult passages in Ptolemy's astrological work T etrabiblus; Ei; -ro rrpciwrov r6':v Eb|c}eh$ov oroixeiwv, a commentary on the first book of Euclid's Elements; a short treatise on the effect of eclipses (De ejectibus eclipsing, only in a Latin translation).

His grammatical works are: a commentary on the Works and Days of Hesiod (incomplete); some scholia on Homer; an elementary treatise on the epistolary style, Hepi é'l|'L0'T0lL}l-UJCOU xapaxrijpos (Characteres epistolici), attributed in some MSS. to Libanius. The Xpmr-ro;ia0ia -ypapipa-ruc'/; by a Proclus, who is identified by Suidas with the Neoplatonist, is probably the work of a grammarian of the 2nd or 3rd century, though Wilamowitz-Mollendorff (Philolog. Untersnch. vii.; supported by O. Immisch in Festschrift Th. Gomperz, pp. 237-274) agrees with Suidas. According to Suidas, he was also the author of 'E1riXetp1§ ;.w.ra ui Kara Xpwnai/6.'>v (Animadversiones duodeviginti in christianos). This work, identified by W. Christ with the Institutio theological, was answered by Ioannes Philoponus (7th century) in his De aeternitate mundi. Some of his commentary on the Chaldaean oracles (Aéyia Xakéaixé) has been discovered in modern times.

There is no complete edition of the works of Proclus. The selection of V. Cousin (Paris, 1864) contains the treatises De providential et fato, Decem dubitationes, and De malorum subsistentia, the commentaries on the Alcibiades and Parmenides. The Institutio theological has been edited by G. F. Creuzer in the Didot edition of Plotinus (Paris, 1855); the In Platonis theologian has not been reprinted since 1618, when it was published by Aemilius Portus with a Latin translation. Most recent editions of individual works are: Commentaries on the Parmenides, French translation with notes by A. E. Chaignet (1900-1903); Republic, by W. Kroll (1899-1901); Timaeus, by E. Diehl (1903-); Hymns, by E. Abel (1883) and A. Ludwich (1895); commentary on Euclid by G. Friedlein (1873); A6'y:.a Xa)aZi<é., byA. jahn (1891); Characteres epistolici, by A. Vllestermann (1856), Scholia to Hesiod in E. Vollbehr's edition (1844). Thomas Taylor, the “ Platonist, " translated the commentaries on the Timaeits and Euclid, The Theology of Plato, the Elements of Theology, and the three Latin treatises.

On Proclus generally and his works see article in Suidas; Marinus, Vita Procli; J. A. Fabricius, Bibliotheca graeca (ed. Harles), ix. 63-445; W. Christ, Geschichte der griechischen Litteratur (1898), 2623; J. E. Sandys, Hist. of Classical Scholarship (1906), i. 372; J. B. Bury, Later Roman Empire (1889), i. 13, where Proclus is styled the “ Hegel of Neoplatonism "; on his philosophy, T. Whittaker, The Neo-Platanists (1901), and Neoplatonism.

Extracts from the Xpmr-roimota are preserved in Photius (Cod. 239), almost the only source of information regarding the epic cycle; on the question of authorship, see Christ § 637, and Sandys, p. 379; also D. B. Monro's appendix to his ed. of Homer's Odyssey, xiii.-xxiv. (1901).


PROCOPIUS, Byzantine historian, was born at Caesarea. in Palestine towards the end of the 5th century A.D. He became a lawyer, probably at Constantinople, and was in 527 appointed secretary and legal adviser to Belisarius, who was proceeding to command the imperial army in the war against the Persians (De bello persico i. 12). When the Persian War was suspended and Belisarius was dispatched against the Vandals of Africa. in 533, Procopius again accompanied him, as he subsequently did in the war against the Ostrogoths of Italy, which began in 535. After the capture of Ravenna in 540 Procopius seems to have returned to Constantinople, since he minutely describes the great plague of 542 (op. cit. ii. 22). It does not appear whether he was with the Roman armies in the later stages of the Gothic War, when Belisarius and afterwards Narses fought against Totila in Italy; his narrative of these years is much less full and minute than that of the earlier warfare. Of his subsequent fortunes we know nothing, except that he was living in 559. Whether he was the Procopius who was prefect of Constantinople in 562 (Theophanes, Chronographia, 201, 202), and was removed from office in the year following, cannot be determined. As the historian was evidently a person of note, who had obtained the rank of illustrins (Suidas), and from a passage in the Anecdota (1 2) seems to have risen to be a senator, there is no improbability in his having been raised to the high office of prefect. Procopius's writings fall into three divisions: the Histories (Persian, Vandal and Gothic Wars), in eight books; the treatise on the Buildings of Jnstinian (De aedihciis), in six books; and the Unpublished Memoirs ('A1/é:<5ora, Historia arcana), so called because they were not published during the lifetime of the author.

The Histories are called by the author himself the Books about the Wars (oi birép -ro'I>v 1ro}é;.4w1/ Mfyoi). They consist of: (1) the Persian Wars, in two books, giving a narrative of the long struggle of the emperors Tustin and Tustinian against the Persian kings Kavadh and Chosroes Anushirvan down to 550; (2) the Vandal War, in two books, describing the conquest of the Vandal kingdom in Africa and the subsequent events there from 532 down to 546 (with a few words on later occurrences); (3) the Gothic War, in three books, narrating the war against the Ostrogoths in Sicily and Italy from 536 till 552. The eighth book contains a further summary of events down to 554. These eight books of Histories, although mainly occupied with military matters, contain notices of some of the more important domestic events, such as the Nika insurrection at Constantinople in 532, the plague in 542, the conspiracy of Artabenes in 548. They tell us, however, comparatively little about the civil administration of the empire, and nothing about legislation. On the other hand they are rich in geographical and ethnographical information.