Procopius, a Byzantine historian, born in Caesarea, Palestine, about A. D. 500, died about 565. He early removed to Constantinople, and became distinguished as an advocate. In 527 he was chosen secretary by Belisarius, and accompanied him in his wars against the Persians, the Vandals in Africa, and the Goths in Italy, where he had charge of the commissariat department, and was at the head of the fleet. Returning to Constantinople about 542, he received from the emperor Justinian the title of illustris and the position of senator, and in 562 was made prefect of the city. The most important work of Procopius is his elegant and interesting "History" of his own times in eight books. It has been translated into English by Sir Henry Holcroft (fol., London, 1653). Another work, entitled Anecdota, probably by Procopius, though the authorship is questioned, consists of a collection of anecdotes portraying, and here and there perhaps spitefully caricaturing, the morals of the Byzantine court. An English translation of it was published anonymously under the title of "The Secret History of the Court of the Emperor Justinian" (London, 1674). The best edition of Procopius's collected works is by Dindorf (3 vols., Bonn, 1833-'8). - See Procopius von Cäsarea, by Dahn (Berlin, 1865).

Procopius #1

I. Andrew, Called The Great

Called The Great Andrew, a leader of the Hussites, born toward the close of the 14th century, died at Böhmisch-Brod, Bohemia, May 30, 1434. He was adopted and educated by his uncle, a nobleman in Prague, who travelled with him through France, Spain, Italy, and the Holy Land. On his return he received clerical orders, and at the outbreak of the Hussite war he joined the sectarians, rose to the rank of a captain, and relieved the besieged town of Lundenburg in Moravia. In 1423 he gained a victory at Kremsier, and in 1424, on the death of Ziska, the Taborites elected him their leader. In conjunction with other Hussite captains he devastated Austria, Franconia, Saxony, and Silesia. Procopius the Small joined him in 1427, and the concentration against them of German forces from all sides led to a general confederation of the various Hussite parties under his banner. With this considerable army he defeated the Germans, ravaged the whole of Silesia and Moravia, and penetrated as far as Presburg in Hungary. In 1429 he turned to the north and pillaged and destroyed everything before him in order to weaken the power of the Germans. In 1430 he led an army of about 75,000 men into Franconia and Lower Bavaria, burning about 100 towns and castles and more than 1,000 villages on his way.

Cardinal Julian finally succeeded in gathering another army of German crusaders. Frederick of Brandenburg took the command, and occupied Bohemia; but when Procopius appeared with his forces, the Germans at once took to flight (Aug. 14, 1431). Procopius continued his devastations in Silesia, Hungary, and Saxony, but finally sold a truce of two years to Silesia and Saxony for large sums of money. In 1433 he attended the council of Basel, where he defended with much spirit the creed of his party, attacking especially the order of the monks, which he called an invention of the devil. Tired of the long disputations, he finally refused further to attend the council, and returned to Bohemia. Ten theologians and several princely legates were thereupon sent to Prague to continue the conference, and they succeeded in bringing about a compromise with the Calixtines. Procopius, not satisfied with the new articles of faith, besieged the city of Pilsen, and when the Calixtines had formally accepted the Compactata he turned his arms against them.

The decisive battle was fought in the neighborhood of Bohmisch-Brod, E. of Prague, May 30, 1434, where Procopius was defeated and killed. (See Hussites.)

II. The Small

The Small, the leader of the Hussite party of Or-phanites, joined Procopius the Great in 1427, shared with him the conduct of the war, and died at his side.