Belisarius

Belisarius

Overview
Flavius Belisarius was a general
General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

 of the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

. He was instrumental to Emperor Justinian's ambitious project of reconquering much of the Mediterranean territory of the former Western Roman Empire
Western Roman Empire
The Western Roman Empire was the western half of the Roman Empire after its division by Diocletian in 285; the other half of the Roman Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire, commonly referred to today as the Byzantine Empire....

, which had been lost less than a century previously.

One of the defining features of Belisarius' career was his success despite the little or no support he received from Justinian. He is also among a select group of men considered by historians to be the "Last of the Romans
Last of the Romans
The description Last of the Romans has historically been given to any man thought to embody the values of Ancient Roman civilization - values which, by implication, became extinct on his death....

".

Belisarius was probably born in Germane or Germania, a city that once stood on the site of present day Sapareva Banya
Sapareva Banya
Sapareva Banya is a town in southwestern Bulgaria, part of Kyustendil Province. It is located at the north foot of the Rila mountain 15 km east of Dupnitsa...

 in south-west Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

, in the borders of Thrace
Thrace
Thrace is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. As a geographical concept, Thrace designates a region bounded by the Balkan Mountains on the north, Rhodope Mountains and the Aegean Sea on the south, and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara on the east...

 and Illyria
Illyria
In classical antiquity, Illyria was a region in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula inhabited by the Illyrians....

.
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Timeline

533   General Belisarius of the Byzantine Empire defeats Gelimer and the Vandals at the Battle of Ad Decimium, near Carthage, North Africa.

533   Byzantine general Belisarius makes his formal entry into Carthage, having conquered it from the Vandals.

533   Byzantine general Belisarius defeats the Vandals, commanded by King Gelimer, at the Battle of Ticameron.

535   Byzantine General Belisarius completes the conquest of Sicily, defeating the Ostrogothic garrison of Syracuse, and ending his consulship for the year.

536   Byzantine General Belisarius enters Rome while the Ostrogothic garrison peacefully leaves the city, returning the old capital to its empire.

538   Witiges, king of the Ostrogoths ends his siege of Rome and retreats to Ravenna, leaving the city in the hands of the victorious Roman general, Belisarius.

 
Encyclopedia
Flavius Belisarius was a general
General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

 of the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

. He was instrumental to Emperor Justinian's ambitious project of reconquering much of the Mediterranean territory of the former Western Roman Empire
Western Roman Empire
The Western Roman Empire was the western half of the Roman Empire after its division by Diocletian in 285; the other half of the Roman Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire, commonly referred to today as the Byzantine Empire....

, which had been lost less than a century previously.

One of the defining features of Belisarius' career was his success despite the little or no support he received from Justinian. He is also among a select group of men considered by historians to be the "Last of the Romans
Last of the Romans
The description Last of the Romans has historically been given to any man thought to embody the values of Ancient Roman civilization - values which, by implication, became extinct on his death....

".

Early life and career


Belisarius was probably born in Germane or Germania, a city that once stood on the site of present day Sapareva Banya
Sapareva Banya
Sapareva Banya is a town in southwestern Bulgaria, part of Kyustendil Province. It is located at the north foot of the Rila mountain 15 km east of Dupnitsa...

 in south-west Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

, in the borders of Thrace
Thrace
Thrace is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. As a geographical concept, Thrace designates a region bounded by the Balkan Mountains on the north, Rhodope Mountains and the Aegean Sea on the south, and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara on the east...

 and Illyria
Illyria
In classical antiquity, Illyria was a region in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula inhabited by the Illyrians....

. Born into an Illyrian
Illyrians
The Illyrians were a group of tribes who inhabited part of the western Balkans in antiquity and the south-eastern coasts of the Italian peninsula...

 or Thracian
Thracians
The ancient Thracians were a group of Indo-European tribes inhabiting areas including Thrace in Southeastern Europe. They spoke the Thracian language – a scarcely attested branch of the Indo-European language family...

 family, he became a Roman soldier as a young man, serving as bodyguard of Emperor Justin I
Justin I
Justin I was Byzantine Emperor from 518 to 527. He rose through the ranks of the army and ultimately became its Emperor, in spite of the fact he was illiterate and almost 70 years old at the time of accession...

.

He came to the attention of Justin and his nephew, Justinian, as a promising and innovative officer. He was given permission by the emperor to form a bodyguard regiment (bucellarii
Bucellarii
Bucellarii is a term for a unit of soldiers in the late Roman and Byzantine empire, that were not supported by the state but rather by some individual such as a general or governor, in essence being his "household troops".These units were generally quite small, but, especially during the many...

), of heavy cavalry. He was given permission to expand this unit into a personal household regiment, 1,500 strong. Belisarius' bucellarii were the nucleus around which all the armies he would later command were organized. Armed with lance, Hunnish composite bow, throwing darts, and broadsword, they were fully armored to the standard of heavy cavalry of the day. A multi-purpose unit, they were capable of skirmishing at a distance with bow, like the Huns; or could act as heavy shock cavalry, charging and crushing an enemy with lance and sword. In essence, they combined the best and most dangerous aspects of both of Rome's greatest enemies, the Huns and the Goths.
Following Justin's death in 527, the new emperor, Justinian I
Justinian I
Justinian I ; , ; 483– 13 or 14 November 565), commonly known as Justinian the Great, was Byzantine Emperor from 527 to 565. During his reign, Justinian sought to revive the Empire's greatness and reconquer the lost western half of the classical Roman Empire.One of the most important figures of...

, appointed Belisarius to command the Byzantine army in the east to deal with incursions from the Sassanid Empire
Sassanid Empire
The Sassanid Empire , known to its inhabitants as Ērānshahr and Ērān in Middle Persian and resulting in the New Persian terms Iranshahr and Iran , was the last pre-Islamic Persian Empire, ruled by the Sasanian Dynasty from 224 to 651...

. He quickly proved himself an able and effective commander, defeating the larger Sassanid army through superior generalship. In June 530, during the Iberian War
Iberian War
The Iberian War was fought from 526 to 532 between the Eastern Roman Empire and Sassanid Empire over the eastern Georgian kingdom of Iberia.-Origin:After the Anastasian War, a seven-year truce was agreed on, yet it lasted for nearly twenty years...

, he led the Byzantines to a stunning victory over the Sassanids in the Battle of Dara
Battle of Dara
The Battle of Dara was fought between the Sassanids and the Byzantine Empire in 530. It was one of the battles of the Iberian War.- Background :...

, followed by a close defeat at the Battle of Callinicum
Battle of Callinicum
The Battle of Callinicum took place Easter day, 19 April 531, between the armies of the Eastern Roman Empire under Belisarius and the Sassanid Persians under Azarethes. After a defeat at the Battle of Dara, the Sassanids moved to invade Syria in an attempt to turn the tide of the war...

 on the Euphrates
Euphrates
The Euphrates is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia...

 in 531. This led to the negotiation of an "Eternal Peace
Eternal Peace (532)
The Eternal Peace , signed in 532 between the East Roman Empire and Sassanid Persia, was a peace treaty of indefinite duration, which concluded the Iberian War between the two powers...

" with the Persians, and Byzantine payment of heavy tributes for years in exchange for a peace treaty.

In 532, he was the highest-ranking military officer in the Imperial capital of Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 when the Nika riots
Nika riots
The Nika riots , or Nika revolt, took place over the course of a week in Constantinople in AD 532. It was the most violent riot that Constantinople had ever seen to that point, with nearly half the city being burned or destroyed and tens of thousands of people killed.-Background:The ancient Roman...

 broke out in the city (among factions of chariot racing
Chariot racing
Chariot racing was one of the most popular ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine sports. Chariot racing was often dangerous to both driver and horse as they frequently suffered serious injury and even death, but generated strong spectator enthusiasm...

 fans) and nearly resulted in the overthrow of Justinian. Belisarius, with the help of the magister militum
Magister militum
Magister militum was a top-level military command used in the later Roman Empire, dating from the reign of Constantine. Used alone, the term referred to the senior military officer of the Empire...

of the Illyricum, Mundus, along with the generals Narses
Narses
Narses was, with Belisarius, one of the great generals in the service of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I during the "Reconquest" that took place during Justinian's reign....

 and John the Armenian
John the Armenian
John the Armenian was a Byzantine official and military leader. He was killed during the Vandalic War in 533.John the Armenian commanded the Byzantine vanguard at the Battle of Ad Decimum, and killed Ammatas the brother of the Vandal king Gelimer near Carthage. John fought in the center of the...

, suppressed the rebellion with a bloodbath in the Hippodrome, the gathering place of the rebels, that is said to have claimed the lives of 30,000 people.

Against the Vandals


For his efforts, Belisarius was rewarded by Justinian with the command of a great land and sea expedition against the Vandal Kingdom
Vandal Kingdom
The Vandal Kingdom was a kingdom in North Africa established by the Vandals, an East Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin. Having crossed the Rhine in 407, the Vandals settled in southern Spain, modern day Andalusia, until pushed out by the Visigoths...

, mounted in 533-534. The Byzantines had political, religious, and strategic reasons for such a campaign. The pro-Byzantine Vandal king Hilderic
Hilderic
Hilderic was the penultimate king of the Vandals and Alans in North Africa in Late Antiquity . Although dead by the time the Vandal kingdom was overthrown in 534, he nevertheless played a key role in that event....

 had been deposed and murdered by the usurper Gelimer
Gelimer
Gelimer , King of the Vandals and Alans , was the last ruler of the North African Kingdom of the Vandals...

, giving Justinian a legal pretext. Furthermore, the Arian
Arianism
Arianism is the theological teaching attributed to Arius , a Christian presbyter from Alexandria, Egypt, concerning the relationship of the entities of the Trinity and the precise nature of the Son of God as being a subordinate entity to God the Father...

 Vandals had periodically persecuted the Nicene Christians
Nicene Creed
The Nicene Creed is the creed or profession of faith that is most widely used in Christian liturgy. It is called Nicene because, in its original form, it was adopted in the city of Nicaea by the first ecumenical council, which met there in the year 325.The Nicene Creed has been normative to the...

 within their kingdom, many of whom made their way to Constantinople seeking redress. The Vandals had launched many pirate raids on Byzantine trade interests, hurting commerce in the western areas of the Empire. Justinian also wanted control of the Vandal territory in north Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

, which was vital for guaranteeing Byzantine access to the western Mediterranean.

In the late summer of 533, Belisarius sailed to Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 and landed near the city of Leptis Magna
Leptis Magna
Leptis Magna also known as Lectis Magna , also called Lpqy, Neapolis, Lebida or Lebda to modern-day residents of Libya, was a prominent city of the Roman Empire. Its ruins are located in Khoms, Libya, east of Tripoli, on the coast where the Wadi Lebda meets the sea...

. He ordered his fleet not to lose sight of the army, then marched along the coastal highway toward the Vandal capital of Carthage
Carthage
Carthage , implying it was a 'new Tyre') is a major urban centre that has existed for nearly 3,000 years on the Gulf of Tunis, developing from a Phoenician colony of the 1st millennium BC...

. He did this to prevent supplies from being cut off, and to avoid a great defeat such as occurred in the first attempt to retake northern Africa 35 years before.

Thirteen miles from Carthage, the forces of Gelimer (who had just executed Hilderic) and Belisarius finally met at the Battle of Ad Decimum
Battle of Ad Decimum
The Battle of Ad Decimum took place on September 13, 533 between the armies of the Vandals, commanded by King Gelimer, and the Eastern Roman Empire , under the command of general Belisarius. This event and events in the following year are sometimes jointly referred to as the Battle of Carthage, one...

 on September 13, 533. It nearly turned into a defeat for the Byzantines. Gelimer had chosen his position well and had some success along the main road. The Byzantines, however, seemed dominant on both sides of the main road to Carthage. At the height of the battle, Gelimer became distraught upon learning of the death of his brother in battle. This gave Belisarius a chance to regroup, and he went on to win the battle and capture Carthage. A second victory at the Battle of Tricamarum on December 15 of the same year resulted in Gelimer's surrender early in 534 at Mount Papua, restoring the lost Roman provinces of north Africa to the empire. For this achievement, Belisarius was granted a Roman triumph
Roman triumph
The Roman triumph was a civil ceremony and religious rite of ancient Rome, held to publicly celebrate and sanctify the military achievement of an army commander who had won great military successes, or originally and traditionally, one who had successfully completed a foreign war. In Republican...

 (the last ever given) when he returned to Constantinople. According to Procopius
Procopius
Procopius of Caesarea was a prominent Byzantine scholar from Palestine. Accompanying the general Belisarius in the wars of the Emperor Justinian I, he became the principal historian of the 6th century, writing the Wars of Justinian, the Buildings of Justinian and the celebrated Secret History...

, if he is to be believed, in the procession were paraded the spoils of the Temple of Jerusalem,(the Vandal treasure, which included many objects looted from Rome 80 years earlier, including the imperial regalia and the menorah of the Second Temple
Second Temple
The Jewish Second Temple was an important shrine which stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem between 516 BCE and 70 CE. It replaced the First Temple which was destroyed in 586 BCE, when the Jewish nation was exiled to Babylon...

. ) which had been recovered from the Vandal capital along with Gelimer himself before he was sent into peaceful exile. Medals were stamped in his honor with the inscription Gloria Romanorum, though none seem to have come down to modern times. Belisarius was also made sole consul
Consul
Consul was the highest elected office of the Roman Republic and an appointive office under the Empire. The title was also used in other city states and also revived in modern states, notably in the First French Republic...

 in 535, being one of the last individuals ever to hold this office, which was by this time merely a ceremonial relic of the ancient Roman Republic
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

.

Nevertheless, the recovery of Africa was not complete; army mutinies and revolts by the native Berbers
Berber people
Berbers are the indigenous peoples of North Africa west of the Nile Valley. They are continuously distributed from the Atlantic to the Siwa oasis, in Egypt, and from the Mediterranean to the Niger River. Historically they spoke the Berber language or varieties of it, which together form a branch...

 would plague the new praetorian prefecture of Africa
Praetorian prefecture of Africa
The praetorian prefecture of Africa was a major administrative division of the Eastern Roman Empire, established after the reconquest of northwestern Africa from the Vandals in 533-534 by emperor Justinian I...

 for almost 15 years.

Against the Ostrogoths


Justinian now resolved to restore as much of the Western Roman Empire
Western Roman Empire
The Western Roman Empire was the western half of the Roman Empire after its division by Diocletian in 285; the other half of the Roman Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire, commonly referred to today as the Byzantine Empire....

 as he could. In 535, he commissioned Belisarius to attack the Ostrogothic Kingdom
Ostrogothic Kingdom
The Kingdom established by the Ostrogoths in Italy and neighbouring areas lasted from 493 to 553. In Italy the Ostrogoths replaced Odoacer, the de facto ruler of Italy who had deposed the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire in 476. The Gothic kingdom reached its zenith under the rule of its...

 in Italy. Belisarius landed in Sicily and took the island for use as a base against Italy, while Mundus recovered Dalmatia
Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

. The preparations for the invasion of the Italian mainland were interrupted in Easter 536, when Belisarius sailed to Africa to counter an uprising of the local army. His reputation made the rebels abandon the siege of Carthage, and Belisarius pursued and defeated them at Membresa. Thereupon he returned to Sicily, and then crossed into Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 proper, where he captured Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

 and Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 in 536.

In 537-538 he successfully defended Rome
Siege of Rome (537-538)
The First Siege of Rome during the Gothic War lasted for a year and nine days, from 2 March 537 to 12 March 538. It was fought between the defending East Romans, under general Belisarius, and the Ostrogothic army under king Vitiges...

 against the Goths and moved north to take Mediolanum (Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

) and the Ostrogoth capital of Ravenna
Ravenna
Ravenna is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and the second largest comune in Italy by land area, although, at , it is little more than half the size of the largest comune, Rome...

 in 540, where the Goth king Witiges
Witiges
Witiges or Vitiges was King of the Ostrogoths in Italy from 536 to 540.He succeeded to the throne of Italy in the early stages of the Gothic War, as Belisarius had quickly captured Sicily the previous year and was currently in southern Italy at the head of the forces of Justinian I, the Eastern...

 was captured. Shortly before to the taking of Ravenna, the Ostrogoths offered to make Belisarius the western emperor. Belisarius feigned acceptance and entered Ravenna via its sole point of entry, a causeway through the marshes, accompanied by his comitatus/bucellarii ("Household Regiment"). Thereupon, he proclaimed the capture of Ravenna in the name of the Emperor Justinian.

The Goths' offer raised suspicions in Justinian's mind and Belisarius was recalled. He returned home with the Gothic king and court in custody.

Belisarius was recalled in part to deal with the Persian conquest of Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, a crucial province of the empire. Belisarius took the field and waged a brief, inconclusive campaign in 541-542. He eventually managed to negotiate a truce (aided with the payment of a large sum of money, 5,000 pounds of gold), in which the Persians agreed not to attack Byzantine territory for the next five years.

Belisarius returned to Italy in 544, where he found that the situation had changed greatly. In 541 the Ostrogoths had elected Totila
Totila
Totila, original name Baduila was King of the Ostrogoths from 541 to 552 AD. A skilled military and political leader, Totila reversed the tide of Gothic War, recovering by 543 almost all the territories in Italy that the Eastern Roman Empire had captured from his Kingdom in 540.A relative of...

 as their new leader and had mounted a vigorous campaign against the Byzantines, recapturing all of northern Italy and even driving the Byzantines out of Rome. Belisarius managed to recover Rome briefly but his Italian campaign proved unsuccessful, due in no small part to his being starved of supplies and reinforcements by a jealous Justinian. In 548, Justinian relieved him in favor of the eunuch Narses
Narses
Narses was, with Belisarius, one of the great generals in the service of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I during the "Reconquest" that took place during Justinian's reign....

, who, thanks both to military competence and cooperation from the Emperor was able to bring the campaign to a successful conclusion. For his part, Belisarius went into retirement.

In 537, in an incident that troubled him for the rest of his life, Belisarius, an Orthodox Christian, was commanded by the monophysite Empress Theodora
Theodora (6th century)
Theodora , was empress of the Roman Empire and the wife of Emperor Justinian I. Like her husband, she is a saint in the Orthodox Church, commemorated on November 14...

 to depose the reigning Pope, who had been installed by the Goths. This Pope was the former subdeacon Silverius
Pope Silverius
Pope Saint Silverius was Pope from June 8, 536 until March 537. According to the "New Catholic Encyclopedia" , the dates of Pope Silverius' pontificate are in doubt: "June 1 or 8, 536, to c. November 11, 537; d. Palmaria, probably December 2, 537."...

, the son of Pope Hormisdas
Pope Hormisdas
Pope Saint Hormisdas was Pope from July 20, 514 to 523. His papacy was dominated by the Acacian schism, started in 484 by Acacius of Constantinople's efforts to placate the Monophysites...

, against whom charges of treason were trumped up and pressed by Antonina, Belisarius' wife and Theodora's best friend. Belisarius was to replace him with the Deacon Vigilius
Pope Vigilius
Pope Vigilius reigned as pope from 537 to 555, is considered the first pope of the Byzantine Papacy.-Early life:He belonged to a aristocratic Roman family; his father Johannes is identified as a consul in the Liber pontificalis, having received that title from the emperor...

, Apocrisarius of Pope John II in Constantinople. Vigilius had been chosen in 531 by Pope Boniface II to be his successor, but this choice was overwhelmingly rejected by the Roman clergy and faithful. Silverius was deposed and exiled to Patara in Lycia in Asia Minor but recalled at the command of the Emperor Justinian, following the complaints of the bishop of Patara. However, Vigilius had already been installed in his place and he and Antonina seem to have encompassed his death by starvation on the island of Palmaria (Ponza
Ponza
Ponza is the largest of the Italian Pontine Islands archipelago, located 33 km south of Cape Circeo in the Tyrrhenian Sea. It also the name of the commune of the island, a part of the province of Latina in the Lazio region....

), whose patron saint
Patron saint
A patron saint is a saint who is regarded as the intercessor and advocate in heaven of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family, or person...

 he remains today. At the Second Ecumenical Council of Constantinople
Second Council of Constantinople
The Second Council of Constantinople is recognized as the Fifth Ecumenical Council by the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Old Catholics, and a number of other Western Christian groups. It was held from May 5 to June 2, 553, having been called by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian...

 (553), Belisarius was one of the Emperor's envoys to Pope Vigilius in their tug of war over "The Three Chapters"
Three-Chapter Controversy
The Three-Chapter Controversy, a phase in the Chalcedonian controversy, was an attempt to reconcile the Non-Chalcedonian Christians of Syria and Egypt with Chalcedonian Eastern Orthodoxy, following the failure of the Henotikon...

. The Patriarch Eutychius, who presided over this council in place of Pope Vigilius, was the son of one of Belisarius' generals. Belisarius, for his part, built a small oratory on the site of the present church of Santa Maria in Trivio
Santa Maria in Trivio
Santa Maria in Trivio is a church in Rome. It is dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus, and is located on Piazza dei Crociferi in rione Trevi.In 1571 the church was given to the Order of the Crociferi. Between 1573 and 1575 the architect Giacomo del Duca rebuilt the church, designing e.g. the...

 in Rome as a sign of his repentance. He also built two hospices for pilgrims and a monastery, which have since disappeared. Santa Maria in Trivio is around the corner from the Trevi fountain; a 12th century inscription is the only surviving monument of the great general.

Later life and campaigns



The retirement of Belisarius came to an end in 559, when an army of Kutrigur Bulgars
Bulgars
The Bulgars were a semi-nomadic who flourished in the Pontic Steppe and the Volga basin in the 7th century.The Bulgars emerge after the collapse of the Hunnic Empire in the 5th century....

, under Khan
Khan (title)
Khan is an originally Altaic and subsequently Central Asian title for a sovereign or military ruler, widely used by medieval nomadic Turko-Mongol tribes living to the north of China. 'Khan' is also seen as a title in the Xianbei confederation for their chief between 283 and 289...

 Zabergan
Zabergan
Zabergan, Samur Khan, or Sam-Or Khan was a Kutrigur Khan, associated with the Eurasian Avars. Either under orders, or in revolt from them, he led the Kutrigur Bulgar Huns in attacks against Justinian I's northern frontier in 559...

 crossed the Danube River to invade Byzantine territory for the first time and threatened Constantinople itself. Justinian recalled Belisarius to command the Byzantine army. In his last campaign, Belisarius defeated the Kutrigurs
Kutrigurs
The Kutrigurs , first mentioned in 539/540, were a horde of equestrian nomads later known as part of the Bulgars that inhabited the Eurasian plains during the Dark Ages. They came into existence when the Eurasian Avars conquered half of the Hunno-Bulgars, whilst the remaining group, who were free ...

 and drove them back across the river with a greatly outnumbered force at his command.

In 562, Belisarius stood trial in Constantinople on a charge of corruption. The charge is presumed to be trumped-up, and modern research suggests that his former secretary Procopius
Procopius
Procopius of Caesarea was a prominent Byzantine scholar from Palestine. Accompanying the general Belisarius in the wars of the Emperor Justinian I, he became the principal historian of the 6th century, writing the Wars of Justinian, the Buildings of Justinian and the celebrated Secret History...

 of Caesarea, may have judged his case. Belisarius was found guilty and imprisoned. However, not long after, Justinian pardoned him, ordered his release, and restored him to favour at the imperial court.

In the first five chapters of his Secret History, Procopius characterises Belisarius as a cuckold husband, who was emotionally dependent on his debauched wife, Antonina
Antonina (wife of Belisarius)
Antonina was a Byzantine patrikia and wife of the general Belisarius. Her influence of her husband was great. Procopius features her as dominating Belisarius.- Family :...

. According to the historian, Antonina cheated on Belisarius with their godson, the young Theodosius. Procopius claims that the love affair was well known in the imperial court and the general was regarded as weak and ridiculous; this view is often considered biased as Procopius nursed a longstanding hatred of both Belisarius and Antonina. Empress Theodora reportedly helped and saved Antonina when Belisarius tried to charge his wife at last.

Fittingly, Belisarius and Justinian, whose sometimes strained partnership increased the size of the empire by 45%, died within a few weeks of one another in November of 565. Belisarius owned the estate of Rufinianae on the Asiatic side of the Constantinople suburbs. He may very well have died there and been buried near one of the two churches in the area, probably Saints Peter and Paul.

Legend as a blind beggar





According to a story that gained popularity during the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, Justinian is said to have ordered Belisarius' eyes to be put out, and reduced him to the status of homeless beggar near the Pincian Gate
Porta Pinciana
Porta Pinciana is a gate of the Aurelian Walls in Rome.The name derives from the gens Pincia, who owned the epponymous hill...

 of Rome, condemned to asking passers-by to "give an obolus
Obolus
The obol was an ancient silver coin. In Classical Athens, there were six obols to the drachma, lioterally "handful"; it could be excahnged for eight chalkoi...

 to Belisarius" (date obolum Belisario), before pardoning him. Most modern scholars believe the story to be apocryphal, though Philip Stanhope
Philip Stanhope, 5th Earl Stanhope
Philip Henry Stanhope, 5th Earl Stanhope FRS , styled Viscount Mahon between 1816 and 1855, was a British politician and historian...

, a 19th century British philologist who wrote Life of Belisarius — the only exhaustive biography of the great general — believed the story to be true. Based on a parsing of the available primary sources, Stanhope created an argument for the legend's authenticity.

Though the legend remains of dubious provenance, after the publication of Jean-François Marmontel
Jean-François Marmontel
Jean-François Marmontel was a French historian and writer, a member of the Encyclopediste movement.-Biography:He was born of poor parents at Bort, Limousin...

's novel Bélisaire
Bélisaire (novel)
Bélisaire is a banned 1767 French novel on the life of the Byzantine general Belisarius by Jean-François Marmontel. It popularised the apochryphal tale of his being reduced to beggary by Justinian I despite his great services to the empire, citing it as an example of the ingratitude of those in...

(1767
1767 in literature
See also: 1766 in literature, other events of 1767, 1768 in literature, list of years in literature.-Events:* The tax on tea and paper is imposed on the American colonies, leading to the Boston Tea Party.* New Testament translated into Manx....

), this account became a popular subject for progressive painters and their patrons in the later 18th century, who saw parallels between the actions of Justinian and the repression imposed by contemporary rulers. For such subtexts, Marmontel's novel received a public censure by Louis Legrand
Louis Legrand
Louis Auguste Mathieu Legrand was a French artist. His works are varieties of etchings, graphic art and paintings. His paintings featured the Parisian social life. Many were of prostitutes, dancers and bar scenes, which featured a sense of eroticism...

 of the Sorbonne, which contemporary divines regarded as model expositions of theological knowledge and clear thinking (Catholic Encyclopedia: "Louis Legrand"). Marmontel and the painters and sculptors (a bust of Belisarius by the French sculptor Jean-Baptiste Stouf
Jean-Baptiste Stouf
Jean-Baptiste Stouf was a French sculptor known especially for his commemorative portrait busts and expressive emotional content....

 is at the J. Paul Getty Museum
J. Paul Getty Museum
The J. Paul Getty Museum, a program of the J. Paul Getty Trust, is an art museum. It has two locations, one at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, California, and one at the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California...

) depicted Belisarius as a kind of secular saint
Secular saint
The term, secular saint, which has no strict definition, generally refers to someone venerated and respected for contributions to a noble cause, but not recognized as a canonical saint by a religion...

, sharing the suffering of the downtrodden poor. The most famous of these paintings, by Jacques-Louis David
Jacques-Louis David
Jacques-Louis David was an influential French painter in the Neoclassical style, considered to be the preeminent painter of the era...

, combines the themes of charity
Charity (virtue)
In Christian theology charity, or love , means an unlimited loving-kindness toward all others.The term should not be confused with the more restricted modern use of the word charity to mean benevolent giving.- Caritas: altruistic love :...

 (the alms
Alms
Alms or almsgiving is a religious rite which, in general, involves giving materially to another as an act of religious virtue.It exists in a number of religions. In Philippine Regions, alms are given as charity to benefit the poor. In Buddhism, alms are given by lay people to monks and nuns to...

 giver), injustice
Injustice
Injustice is the lack of or opposition to justice, either in reference to a particular event or act, or as a larger status quo. The term generally refers to misuse, abuse, neglect, or malfeasance that is uncorrected or else sanctioned by a legal system. Misuse and abuse with regard to a particular...

 (Belisarius), and the radical reversal of power (the soldier who recognises his old commander). Others portray him being helped by the poor after his rejection by the powerful.

In art and popular culture


Belisarius was featured in several works of art before the 20th century. The oldest of them is the historical treatise by his very own secretary, Procopius
Procopius
Procopius of Caesarea was a prominent Byzantine scholar from Palestine. Accompanying the general Belisarius in the wars of the Emperor Justinian I, he became the principal historian of the 6th century, writing the Wars of Justinian, the Buildings of Justinian and the celebrated Secret History...

. The Anecdota, commonly referred to as the Arcana Historia or Secret History, is an extended attack on Belisarius and Antonina, and on Justinian and Theodora, indicting Belisarius as a love-blind fool and his wife as unfaithful and duplicitous. Other works include:

Drama
  • Belasarius – a play by Jakob Bidermann (1607)
  • The life and history of Belisarius, who conquer'd Africa and Italy, with an account of his disgrace, the ingratitude of the Romans, and a parallel between him and a modern hero – a drama by John Oldmixon
    John Oldmixon
    John Oldmixon was an English historian.He was a son of John Oldmixon of Oldmixon, Weston-super-Mare in Somerset. His first writings were poetry and dramas, among them being Amores Britannici; Epistles historical and gallant ; and a tragedy, The Governor of Cyprus...

     (1713)
  • Belasarius– a drama by William Philips (1724)


Literature
  • Bélisaire – a novel by Jean-François Marmontel
    Jean-François Marmontel
    Jean-François Marmontel was a French historian and writer, a member of the Encyclopediste movement.-Biography:He was born of poor parents at Bort, Limousin...

     (1767)
  • Belisarius: A Tragedy– by Margaretta Faugères
    Margaretta Faugères
    Margaretta Bleecker Faugères was the daughter of Ann Eliza Bleecker. She was an American playwright, poet and political activist.-Childhood:...

     (1795). Though written as a play, Faugères "intended [this work] for the closet," i.e., to be read and not necessarily performed. Her preface voices complaints about "maledictions" and long-winded rhetoric in popular tragic drama, which she says tend to bore and even outrage a reader, and announces an intent to "substitute concise narrative and plain sense." The drama's plot and character development are secondary to moral conflicts, mainly between vengeance and mercy/pity, respectively associated with pride and humility.
  • Beliar – 18th century poem by Friedrich de la Motte Fouque
    Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué
    Friedrich Heinrich Karl de la Motte, Baron Fouqué was a German writer of the romantic style.-Biography:He was born at Brandenburg an der Havel, of a family of French Huguenot origin, as evidenced in his family name...

    .
  • Mardi
    Mardi
    Mardi, and a Voyage Thither is the third book by American author Herman Melville, first published in 1849.-Overview:Mardi is Melville's first pure fiction work...

    – novel by Herman Melville
    Herman Melville
    Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. He is best known for his novel Moby-Dick and the posthumous novella Billy Budd....

     (1849); Melville playfully assigns the moniker "my Belisarius" to the Samoan Islander first encountered aboard the abandoned vessel "Parki".
  • Ein Kampf um Rom
    A Struggle for Rome
    Struggle for Rome is an historical novel written by Felix Dahn .-Plot summary:...

    – an historical novel by Felix Dahn
    Felix Dahn
    Felix Ludwig Julius Dahn was a German lawyer, author and historian.-Biography:Julius Sophus Felix Dahn was born in Hamburg as the oldest son of Friedrich and Constanze Dahn who were notable actors at the city's theatre. The family had both German and French roots...

     (1867)
  • Belisarius, 19th century poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was an American poet and educator whose works include "Paul Revere's Ride", The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline...

    .
  • Count Belisarius
    Count Belisarius
    Count Belisarius is a historical novel by Robert Graves, first published in 1938, recounting the life of the Byzantine general Belisarius ....

    – a novel by Robert Graves
    Robert Graves
    Robert von Ranke Graves 24 July 1895 – 7 December 1985 was an English poet, translator and novelist. During his long life he produced more than 140 works...

     (1938); Ostensibly written from the viewpoint of the eunuch Eugenius, servant to Belisarius' wife, but actually based on Procopius
    Procopius
    Procopius of Caesarea was a prominent Byzantine scholar from Palestine. Accompanying the general Belisarius in the wars of the Emperor Justinian I, he became the principal historian of the 6th century, writing the Wars of Justinian, the Buildings of Justinian and the celebrated Secret History...

    's history, the book portrays Belisarius as a solitary honorable man in a corrupt world, and paints a vivid picture of not only his startling military feats but also the colorful characters and events of his day, such as the savage Hippodrome
    Hippodrome of Constantinople
    The Hippodrome of Constantinople was a circus that was the sporting and social centre of Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire. Today it is a square named Sultanahmet Meydanı in the Turkish city of Istanbul, with only a few fragments of the original structure surviving...

     politics of the Constantinople chariot races, which regularly escalated to open street battles between fans of opposing factions, and the intrigue between the emperor Justinian and the empress Theodora.
  • Lest Darkness Fall
    Lest Darkness Fall
    Lest Darkness Fall is an alternate history science fiction novel written in 1939 by author L. Sprague de Camp. The book is often considered one of the best examples of the alternate history genre; it is certainly one of the most influential...

    – an alternative history novel by L. Sprague de Camp
    L. Sprague de Camp
    Lyon Sprague de Camp was an American author of science fiction and fantasy books, non-fiction and biography. In a writing career spanning 60 years, he wrote over 100 books, including novels and notable works of non-fiction, including biographies of other important fantasy authors...

     (1939). Belisarius appears first as the Byzantine opponent of the time travel
    Time travel
    Time travel is the concept of moving between different points in time in a manner analogous to moving between different points in space. Time travel could hypothetically involve moving backward in time to a moment earlier than the starting point, or forward to the future of that point without the...

    er Martin Padway who tries to spread modern science
    Science
    Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

     and inventions in Gothic Italy. Eventually Belisarius becomes a general in Padway's army and secures Italy for him.
  • Jorge Luis Borges
    Jorge Luis Borges
    Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo , known as Jorge Luis Borges , was an Argentine writer, essayist, poet and translator born in Buenos Aires. In 1914 his family moved to Switzerland where he attended school, receiving his baccalauréat from the Collège de Genève in 1918. The family...

     mentioned the legend of Belisario as a blind beggar in some of his poetic works, for example, "A quien ya no es joven," the first verse of which reads: "Ya puedes ver el tragico escenario y cada cosa en lugar debido; la espada y la ceniza para Dido y la moneda para Belisario."
  • Foundation and Empire
    Foundation and Empire
    Foundation and Empire is a novel written by Isaac Asimov that was published by Gnome Press in 1952. It is the second book published in the Foundation Series, and the fourth in the in-universe chronology...

    – a science fiction
    Science fiction
    Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

     novel by Isaac Asimov, second novel in the Foundation Series (1952). The character Bel Riose
    Bel Riose
    Bel Riose is a fictional character in Isaac Asimov's Foundation series. He was the last strong General of the Galactic Empire, Commander of the legendary Twentieth Fleet, who eventually came to be known as "the Last of the Imperials", and earned this title well. His tactical genius was compared...

    , based on Belisarius, is the last great general of the first Galactic Empire
    Galactic Empire (Asimov)
    In Isaac Asimov's Robot/Empire/Foundation series of novels, the Galactic Empire is an empire consisting of millions of planets settled by humans across the whole Milky Way Galaxy. Its symbol is the Spaceship and Sun logo.-Author's creation of the empire:...

    , which was modelled on the late Roman Empire.
  • The General
    The General series
    The General is a set of military science fiction books written by S.M. Stirling from an outline by David Drake...

     – a series of military science fiction
    Military science fiction
    Military science fiction is a subgenre of science fiction in which the principal characters are members of a military service and an armed conflict is taking place, normally in space, or on a planet other than Earth...

     novels by S.M. Stirling and David Drake
    David Drake
    David Drake is an American author of science fiction and fantasy literature. A Vietnam War veteran who has worked as a lawyer, he is now one of the premier authors of the military science fiction subgenre.-Biography:...

    . The plot draws much from the life and campaigns of Belisarius; the main character, Raj Whitehall, sets out to reunite the planet of Bellevue after the fall of galactic civilization.
  • A Flame in Byzantium – an historical horror fiction novel by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
    Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
    -Biography:She was born in Berkeley, California. She attended Berkeley schools through high school followed by three years at San Francisco State College .In November 1969 she married Donald Simpson and divorced in February 1982...

     (1987)
  • The Belisarius series
    Belisarius series
    The Belisarius Series is a fictional saga in the alternate history and military history sub-genres of science fiction, written by American authors David Drake and Eric Flint...

     – six science fiction
    Science fiction
    Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

     novels by Eric Flint
    Eric Flint
    Eric Flint is an American author, editor, and e-publisher. The majority of his main works are alternate history science fiction, but he also writes humorous fantasy adventures.- Career :...

     and David Drake
    David Drake
    David Drake is an American author of science fiction and fantasy literature. A Vietnam War veteran who has worked as a lawyer, he is now one of the premier authors of the military science fiction subgenre.-Biography:...

    . Alternate history
    Alternate history (fiction)
    Alternate history or alternative history is a genre of fiction consisting of stories that are set in worlds in which history has diverged from the actual history of the world. It can be variously seen as a sub-genre of literary fiction, science fiction, and historical fiction; different alternate...

     exploring what might have happened if Belisarius and a rival were granted knowledge of future events and technologies. The first four books are available as free ebooks from the Baen Free Library
    Baen Free Library
    The Baen Free Library is a digital library of the science fiction and fantasy publishing house Baen Books where 112 full books can be downloaded free in a number of formats, without copy protection...

    , or all six at The Fifth Imperium website.
  • Belisarius: The First Shall Be Last (2006) and Belisarius: Glory of the Romans (2010) – novels by Paolo Belzoni


Opera
  • Belisario
    Belisario
    Belisario is a tragedia lirica, or opera, in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Salvadore Cammarano wrote the Italian libretto after Luigi Marchionni's adaptation of Eduard von Schenk's play. The plot is loosely based on the life of the famous general Belisarius of the 6th century Byzantine Empire...

    – a 19th century opera
    Opera
    Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

    , by Gaetano Donizetti
    Gaetano Donizetti
    Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti was an Italian composer from Bergamo, Lombardy. His best-known works are the operas L'elisir d'amore , Lucia di Lammermoor , and Don Pasquale , all in Italian, and the French operas La favorite and La fille du régiment...



Comics
  • Destiny: A Chronicle of Deaths Foretold
    Destiny: A Chronicle of Deaths Foretold
    Destiny: A Chronicle of Deaths Foretold is a 1996 comic book mini-series published by Vertigo, written by Alisa Kwitney and with art by Kent Williams, Michael Zulli, Scott Hampton and Rebecca Guay...

    – comic book miniseries authored by Alisa Kwitney
    Alisa Kwitney
    Alisa Kwitney is an American author.Kwitney was born in New York City. She graduated from Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and from Columbia University's Master of Fine Arts Fiction Writing Program. Kwitney was also an editor for Vertigo, the mature/dark fantasy branch of DC...

     with art by Kent Williams, Michael Zulli
    Michael Zulli
    Michael Zulli is an American artist known for his work as an animal and wildlife illustrator and as a comic book illustrator. He's gotten great acclaim for his work on The Sandman with writer Neil Gaiman and has been a longtime collaborator with the author...

    , Scott Hampton
    Scott Hampton
    Scott Hampton is an American comic book artist well known for his painted artwork. He is the brother of fellow-comics-creator Bo Hampton.-Biography:Scott Hampton was born in 1959 in High Point, North Carolina....

    , and Rebecca Guay
    Rebecca Guay
    Rebecca Guay is an artist specializing in watercolor painting and illustration. She is mostly known for her work commissioned by Magic: The Gathering, White Wolf, and DC Vertigo comics, World of Warcraft TCG, Wizards of the Coast, Dungeons & Dragons and Bella Sara TCG.-Early life:Guay received a...

     (1997). Belisarius briefly appears as a jealous husband, imprisoning his wife in their quarters due to rumors of her affairs, instead of fighting in Italy.


Games
  • Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings
    Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings
    Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings is a real-time strategy video game developed by Ensemble Studios and published by Microsoft. Released in 1999 for the Microsoft Windows and Macintosh operating systems, it was the second game in the Age of Empires series...

    – a video game by Ensemble Studios
    Ensemble Studios
    Ensemble Studios was a video game developer initially established in 1995 as an independent company, but was owned by Microsoft from 2001 to 2009, when it was officially disbanded. Ensemble developed many real-time strategy games, including the Age of Empires game series, Age of Mythology, and Halo...

     (1999). Belisarius is a "Hero" that can only be accessed in the map editor. He has the appearance of a Cataphract
    Cataphract
    A cataphract was a form of armored heavy cavalry utilised in ancient warfare by a number of peoples in Western Eurasia and the Eurasian Steppe....

    , the Byzantine unique unit.
  • Civilization IV
    Civilization IV
    Sid Meier's Civilization IV is a turn-based strategy, 4X computer game released in 2005 and developed by lead designer Soren Johnson under the direction of Sid Meier and Meier's studio Firaxis Games. It is the fourth installment of the Civilization series...

    – a video game by Take Two
    Take-Two Interactive
    Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. is a major American publisher, developer, and distributor of video games and video game peripherals. Take-Two wholly owns 2K Games and Rockstar Games. The company's headquarters are in New York City, with international headquarters in Windsor, United Kingdom...

     (2005). Belisarius is a "Great Person". specifically, one of many Great Generals that arise through gameplay via successful warfare with other civilizations but not barbarians.
  • Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb
    Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb
    Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb is an action video game developed by The Collective and published by LucasArts in 2003 for PlayStation 2, Xbox, Macintosh and Windows. It features cover art by Drew Struzan. The game is a new adventure of fictional archeologist Indiana Jones. The story is set in...

    – a video game by LucasArts
    LucasArts
    LucasArts Entertainment Company, LLC is an American video game developer and publisher. The company was once famous for its innovative line of graphic adventure games, the critical and commercial success of which peaked in the mid 1990s...

     (2005). During his quest to find the tomb of the first emperor of China
    China
    Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

    , Indiana Jones
    Indiana Jones
    Colonel Henry Walton "Indiana" Jones, Jr., Ph.D. is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Indiana Jones franchise. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg created the character in homage to the action heroes of 1930s film serials...

     learns that the Nazis have discovered Belisarius' "sunken temple" beneath a mosque in Constantinople
    Constantinople
    Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

    .
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
    The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
    The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is a single-player action role-playing video game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks and the Take-Two Interactive subsidiary 2K Games...

    – a video game by Bethesda Softworks
    Bethesda Softworks
    Bethesda Softworks, LLC, is an American video game company. A subsidiary of ZeniMax Media, the company was originally based in Bethesda, Maryland and eventually moved to their current location in Rockville, Maryland...

     (2006). A soldier named Belisarius is found in the Cloud Ruler Temple as a non-player character
    Non-player character
    A non-player character , sometimes known as a non-person character or non-playable character, in a game is any fictional character not controlled by a player. In electronic games, this usually means a character controlled by the computer through artificial intelligence...

     and another character with the name Belisarius is a speaker of the Black Hand only seen in the final Dark Brotherhood quest Honor thy Mother.
  • Freespace 2
    FreeSpace 2
    FreeSpace 2 is a 1999 space combat simulation computer game developed by Volition, Inc. as the sequel to Descent: FreeSpace – The Great War. It was completed ahead of schedule in less than a year, and released to great critical acclaim...

    – A video game by Volition Inc. The ship NTCv Belisarius is destroyed after emerging from subspace
    Hyperspace (science fiction)
    Hyperspace is a plot device sometimes used in science fiction. It is typically described as an alternative region of space co-existing with our own universe which may be entered using an energy field or other device...

    , heavily damaged and defiant of all calls to surrender, despite facing a superior enemy.


Films
  • Belisarius was portrayed by Lang Jeffries
    Lang Jeffries
    Lang Jeffries was a Canadian-American actor of television and film who was married to actress Rhonda Fleming from 1960-1962....

     in the 1968 German movie Kampf um Rom I
    Kampf um Rom I
    Kampf um Rom I is a 1968 West German historical drama film directed by Robert Siodmak, about Justinian's attempts to repel barbarian incursions and reclaim those parts of the empire already lost. Before screening it in the US in 1973 both parts were combined to one and shortened from over three...

    , directed by Robert Siodmak
    Robert Siodmak
    Robert Siodmak was a German born American film director. He is best remembered as a thriller specialist and for the series of Hollywood film noirs he made in the 1940s.-Early life:...

    .

Primary Sources

  • Procopius
    Procopius
    Procopius of Caesarea was a prominent Byzantine scholar from Palestine. Accompanying the general Belisarius in the wars of the Emperor Justinian I, he became the principal historian of the 6th century, writing the Wars of Justinian, the Buildings of Justinian and the celebrated Secret History...

    , Belisarius and Narses, Academic Fellowship, 1964.
  • Procopius, The Secret History of the Court of Justinian, online at Gutenberg Project.

Secondary Sources

  • "Belisarius" Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 27 Apr 2009
  • R. Boss, R. Chapman, P. Garriock, Justinian's War: Belisarius, Narses and the Reconquest of the West, Montvert Publications, 1993, ISBN 1-874101-01-9.
  • Glanville Downey, Belisarius,: Young general of Byzantium, Dutton, 1960
  • Percy Stickney Grant
    Percy Stickney Grant
    Percy Stickney Grant was an American Protestant Episcopalian clergyman. He was born in Boston and was educated at Harvard University and at the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge . He was assistant minister of the church of the Ascension and minister of St...

    , The search of Belisarius;: A Byzantine legend, Brentano's, 1907.
  • Edward Gibbon
    Edward Gibbon
    Edward Gibbon was an English historian and Member of Parliament...

     has much to say on Belisarius in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is a non-fiction history book written by English historian Edward Gibbon and published in six volumes. Volume I was published in 1776, and went through six printings. Volumes II and III were published in 1781; volumes IV, V, VI in 1788–89...

    , Chapter 41 online.
  • Lord Mahon, The Life of Belisarius, 1848. Reprinted 2006 (unabridged with editorial comments) Evolution Publishing, ISBN 1889758671
  • Lord Mahon, The Life of Belisarius, J. Murray, 1829. With a new critical introduction and further reading by Jon Coulston. 2005 Westholme Publishing, ISBN 1-59416-019-8 http://www.westholmepublishing.com/id35.html
  • Ancient Warfare
    Ancient Warfare (magazine)
    Ancient Warfare is a glossy, bi-monthly military history magazine published by the Dutch publishing company Karwansaray. The founding and current magazine editor is Jasper Oorthuys....

     magazine, Vol. IV, Issue 3 (Jun/Jul, 2010), was devoted to "Justinian's fireman: Belisarius and the Byzantine empire", with articles by Sidney Dean, Duncan B. Campbell
    Duncan Campbell (ancient historian)
    Duncan B Campbell is a scholar of Greek and Roman warfare. He published his first paper in 1984, as an undergraduate at Glasgow University , and produced a complete re-assessment of Roman siegecraft for his PhD. Besides academic articles, he has written several popular books about ancient warfare,...

    , Ian Hughes, Ross Cowan, Raffaele D'Amato, and Christopher Lillington-Martin.

External links