The Ancient Library
 

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BYZANTINE PERIOD. 561

dota) of the reign of Justinian down to the year 553, which, as to the manner in which he speaks of that emperor and his court, contrasts sin­gularly with the panegyrical tone of his former work. 6. agathias ('A-ya-0ias), ofMyrina, in JEolis, a poet as well as historian of the sixth century, well known for his Anthology (of which we have made mention in an early part of the present volume), studied first at Alexandrea, whence he re­moved to Constantinople in 554, being then about eighteen years of age, and applied himself to the study of the law, in which he became eminent. He was surnamed Scholasticus, a word which then meant an advocate. He wrote a history, in five books, of the years 553-59 of Justinian's reign, forming a sequel to Procopius. He died about 582. Agathias is one of the most trustworthy Byzantine historians ; inferior to Procopius in talent and information, but superior to him in honesty. The impartial manner in which he speaks of the various parties and sects, and particularly of the two great religious systems which divided the world in his time, has made it a matter of dispute whether he was a Christian or a pagan. His account of the Persians, and their celebrated King Chosroes, or Nushir-van, is much valued for its accuracy and fairness. 7. menander (MeVai/-fyos), of Constantinople, surnamed protector (IfyoTeVrwp, i. e., body-guard), continued the history of Agathias to the year 582. Menander's history is lost, but fragments of it are found in the works of Constantine Porphy-rogenitus, which relate to the history of the Huns, the Avari, and other Northern and Eastern races, and also to the negotiations and missions be­tween Justinian and Chosroes. 8. joannes, of Epiphanea, in Syria, flour­ished toward the close of the sixth century. He wrote a history of the Persian war under the Emperor Maurice, which has never been printed, and the only MS. of it known is in the Heidelberg library. 9. theophy-lactus simocatta, an Egyptian by descent, but a Locrian by birth, lived in the first part of the seventh century, and wrote a history, in eight books, from A.D. 582 until the death of Maurice in 602. 10. joannes, a monk of Jerusalem, in the eighth century, wrote a brief history of the Icono­clasts, and probably an anonymous work against Constantine IV. 11. theodosius, a monk of Syracuse, in the ninth century, has left a narra­tive of the taking of Syracuse by the Spanish Arabs.

12. constantinus VI., surnamed porphyrogenitus, wrote the life of his grandfather, Basilius the Macedonian, from 867 to 886. He also wrote several other works, which may serve as illustrations of the Byzantine history, such as De Administrando Imperio, on the administration of the the state, addressed to his son Romanus; De Caremoniis Aula Byzantina; De Thematibus, on the military divisions of the empire. He also caused several learned men to compile a kind of historical library out of the works of all previous historians. This great compilation was divided into fifty-three books, of which the titles of twenty-six only are known. One was on the succession of kings, another on the art of generalship, &c. Under each of these heads, passages from the various historians bearing upon the subject were collected. Three books alone, more or less muti­lated, have come down to us. One, entitled De Legationibus, is an ac­count of the various embassies between the Romans and other nations;

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