The University of Winnipeg



Research on War and Warfare at the End of Antiquity


Procopius, late antique scholar and principal Byzantine historian of the 6th century, is the subject of UWinnipeg’s Dr. Conor Whately, (Classics) current research. Whately is a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Development Grant Scholar for his research on War and History at the End of Antiquity, with his focus on Procopius. Procopius wrote during the reign of Emperor Justinian (AD 527 – AD 565) and is considered by some to be the last major historian of the ancient Western world.

Dr. Conor Whately, the sole investigator in a SSHRC research project entitled War and History at the End of Antiquity, ©UWinnipeg

Dr. Conor Whately, the sole investigator in a SSHRC research project entitled War and History at the End of Antiquity, ©UWinnipeg

During this past year, Whately travelled to Jordan to further his research on Procopius’ works. Whately believes Procopius’ works are an indispensable source of information on the Justinianic Empire, a pivotal time politically and historically for this region, that had lasting implications that are now reflected in the modern Western world.

Whately’s Procopius research not only takes him to Jordan, but all over the parts of the Middle East and Europe, and Northern Africa where the Justinian Empire lies in ruins. Whately heads to Ravenna, Italy, where there is contemporary visual evidence for sixth-century soldiers found at the Church of San Vitale; and Thermopylae in Greece, where the emperor Justinian engaged in a significant fortification building programme.

His research also takes him to the depths of significant English-language collections in the United Kingdom, (London (Institute for Classical Studies) and University of Oxford.

Whately will be presenting parts of his research with a collection of photos from his travels this Friday, September 29 at 3:30 pm in room 3D01, Duckworth. This lecture is free and open to all.

Besides two books already published (Battles and Generals, Exercitus Moesiae), and the books that will come out of the research for the grant, Whately is writing a textbook on the Roman army and a book on the sensory experience of battle in antiquity, which is aimed at a general audience. Finally, Whately is co-editing a volume on Ancient Military Manuals with Dr. James Chlup from the University of Manitoba.


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