Francis Cairns Publications

ARCA Classical and Medieval Texts, Papers and Monographs ISSN 0309-5541

The History of Menander the Guardsman.
Introductory Essay, Text, Translation and Historiographical Notes

R.C. Blockley

ARCA 17. ISBN 978-0-905205-25-0. Cloth, xiii+307 pp. Publ. 1985.
(pb repr. 2006. 978-0-905205-45-8)

The late sixth-century A.D. Greek historian Menander the Guardsman (Menander Protector) wrote during the reign of the emperor Maurice (582-602). His work, which survives in extensive fragments, is a major source for the end of Justinian's reign and those of his successors, Justin II (565-578) and Tiberius II (578-582). Menander's particular interest was diplomacy, and his fragments are an invaluable, and often vivid, commentary on Roman relations with Persians, Avars, Turks and other nations on their eastern frontier.

This edition opens with an introductory essay succinctly gathering the available information about Menander and his History and drawing judicious conclusions; the text has a facing English translation; the volume also contains historiographical notes, tables of correlations of the fragments with earlier collections, bibliography and indexes.

This edition is part of R.C. Blockley's long-term project on those classicising historians of the later Empire whose work survives in substantial fragments. See also The Fragmentary Classicising Historians of the Later Roman Empire (2 vols, 1981 and 1983) and East Roman Foreign Policy (1992).


Anzeiger für die Altertumswissenschaft 43 (1990) 61-2 (Wolfram Hörander)

L'Antiquité Classique 56 (1987) 490-91 (Bernard Coulie)

Journal of Hellenic Studies 107 (1987) (J. Frendo): "The text presented is a joy to read, the apparatus ... is interspersed with rare but unfailingly judicious first person interventions and should prove of lasting value, whilse the accompanying translation is both accurate and readable. The notes at the back of the volume are immensely useful and informative."

Eirene 25 (1988) 108-9 (Friedhelm Winkelmann)

Phoenix 42 (1988) 281-4 (Averil Cameron): "much, indeed most, of the commentary is striking completely new ground, and its great merit is to make Menander for the first time both comprehensible and usable" (283)