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Priscus: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Priscus (left) with the Roman embassy at the court of Attila, holding his ΙΣΤΟΡΙΑ (History, which the painter has incorrectly spelled ΙΣΤΩΡΙΑ). (Detail from Mór Than's Feast of Attila.)

Priscus was from Panium (in Thrace) living in the Roman Empire during the 5th century. He was a diplomat, sophist and historian. He accompanied Maximinus, the ambassador of Theodosius II, to the court of Attila in 448. During the reign of Marcian (450–457), he also took part in missions to Arabia and Egypt.

Priscus was the author of a historical work in eight books (the History), probably from the accession of Attila to that of Zeno (433–474). Only fragments of the work remain, largely preserved in Byzantine excerpts, and the description of Attila and his court and the account of the reception of the Roman ambassadors is a valuable piece of contemporary history. His writings are unusually impartial and objective. The history of Priscus was used by Jordanes, Procopius of Caesarea and other historians.

Remaining works

Three collections of his remaining works are:

  • Ludwig Dindorf: Historici Graeci Minores (Leipzig, Teubner, 1870) (in Greek).
  • Colin D. Gordon: The Age of Attila: Fifth-century Byzantium and the Barbarians (Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 1960) (in English with commentary and annotation).
  • Roger C. Blockley: The Fragmentary Classicising Historians of the Later Roman Empire, vol. II (ISBN 0-905205-15-4) (includes fragments from other historians, including Olympiodorus of Thebes).


External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

There is more than one meaning of Priscus discussed in the 1911 Encyclopedia. We are planning to let all links go to the correct meaning directly, but for now you will have to search it out from the list below by yourself. If you want to change the link that led you here yourself, it would be appreciated.


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