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[Translated by H.B. Dewing, in Procopius, New York, 1914.]



... But even those among them who had decided to espouse in word the name of Christians, seeking thus to avert their present misfortunes, these not much later were generally seized at their libations and sacrifices and other unholy acts.... For the measures that were taken with regard to the Christians will be told by me in the following narrative.

Afterwards he also prohibited sodomy [to paiderastein] by law, not examining closely into offences committed subsequently to the law but concerning himself only with those persons who long before had been caught by this malady. And the prosecution of these cases was carried out in reckless fashion, since the penalty was exacted even without an accuser, for the word of a single man or boy, and even, if it so happened, of a slave compelled against his will to give evidence against his owner, was considered definite proof. Those who were thus convicted had their privates [ta aidoia] removed and were paraded through the streets. Not in all cases, however, was this punishment inflicted in the beginning, but only upon those reputed to be Greens or to be possessed of great wealth or those who in some other way chanced to have offended the rulers...


[speaking of Justinian's wife, the Empress Theodora:]

... nor could anything else whatever stand in her way.

And being angry with a certain Diogenes, as being a Green, a man who was witty and liked by all, even by the Emperor himself, she nevertheless was determined to bring against him the slanderous charge of male intercourse [gamoon andreioon]. Consequently she persuaded two of his own domestics [toon oiketoon] to act as both accusers and witnesses and set them upon their owner. And when he was first examined, not secretly and with the great privacy which is usually observed, but in a public trial, with many judges appointed who were men of note, all on account of the reputation of Diogenes, since it did not seem to the judges, as they sought to get at the exact truth, that the statements of the domestics were of sufficient weight to justify a decision, particularly as they were young boys [paidarioon], she confined Theodore, one of the connections of Diogenes, in the usual cells. There she attacked the man with much cajolery and also with abuse. But since she met with no success, she caused the attendants to wind a leathern strap on the man's head, about his ears, and then ordered them to twist and so to tighten the strap. And Theodore believed that his eyes had jumped out of his head, leaving their proper seats, yet he was unwilling to fabricate any untruth. So finally the judges acquitted Diogenes on the ground that the charge was unsupported by evidence, and the whole city in consequence celebrated a public holiday.

17. Such was the outcome of this affair. But at the beginning of this Book I told all that the Empress after directing the man to guard the prisoner as securely as possible and forbidding him to speak of the matter to anyone until either the Empress should take pity on the poor wretch, or, after suffering for years a lingering death by reason of the miseries of his existence in that place and utterly wasting away, he should at last end his days.

And she also conceived an anger against a certain Vasianus, a youthful member of the Green Faction and not without distinction, for having covered her with abuse. For this reason Vasianus (for he had not failed to hear of this anger) fled to the Church of the Archangel. And she immediately set upon him the official in charge of the people, commanding him to make no point of his abuse of her, but laying against him the charge of sodomy [paiderastoiee]. And the official removed the man from the sanctuary and inflicted a certain intolerable punishment upon him. And the populace, upon seeing a free-born man involved in such dire misfortunes, a man who had long been living in luxury, were all straightway filled with anguish at the calamity and in lamentation raised their cries to the heavens, seeking to intercede for the youth. She, however, only punished him even more, and cutting of his private parts [to aidoion] destroyed him without a trial and confiscated his property to the Treasury. Thus whenever this hussy became excited, no sanctuary proved secure nor did any legal prohibition hold...