Belisarius:Justinian/General Reclaimed Rome from Vandals & Goths with only a small army & fleet of ships Wanted all territories under 1 rule
Flavius Belisarius was a general of the Byzantine Empire. His commitment to Emperor Justinian was vital to the reconquering of the Mediterranean territory of the former Western Roman Empire, which had been previously lost to the Goths and Vandals
Belisarius had great success in spite of Justinians’ on and off again support over his life. He is often remembered as The “Last of the Romans”. He assembled a cavalry which was his primary fighting force that combined the best and most dangerous aspects of both of Rome’s greatest enemies, the Huns and the Goths. His cavalry was armed with a broad sword, Bow, lance and heavy armor. This gave his army the advantage of close and long range combat while also allowing quick maneuverability. He survived several combat situations that would otherwise seem hopeless, due to his innovative mind and quick thinking.
His will was unconquered and even won many battles when all hope was lost. His strategic mind and ability to lead small armies rivaled all. Hailed as a hero by his people and Justinian he was awarded the highest honor known as a “Triumph” and it was the last ever given by the Roman empire.
During celebration Belisarius stood before the emperor along side the defeated Vandal Lord Gelimer in presentation to the masses. The Vandal king was overheard saying “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity”, which can be perceived as foreshadowing the fall of the once mighty empire.
Belisarius had only 7500 men, when he sailed out for the island of Sicily. He readied his fleet secretly while Justinian sowed discourse amongst his enemies. Justinian often ruled mightiest within the political groups, manipulating them and leaving them venerable to the fierce attacks of his loyal general.
List of achievements and victories
- Destroyed Nika riots
- Victory over Vandals in Libya
- Justinian’s Triumph in Constantinople
- Is given consuls trip reward and captures Sicily
- Invaded Italy captures Naples and Rome
- Relieves Gothic siege and relieves Gothic kingship
- Recaptures Rome from Goths
- Becomes Commander of Imperial bodyguard
- Defends Constantinople against Bulgars
His secret life has been written about by historians. According to these historians Belisarius’ wife Antonina cheated on him with their adopted son, the young Theodosius. It is claimed the love affair was well known within the imperial court. This lead to the belief that Belisarius was weak and his views were biased. These ideas were often created by the secretary Procopius during a now believed “drummed up” corruption trial. Procopius had a longstanding hatred of Belisarius and Antonina, that was most likely the reason for his fabricated hearing.
A legendary story gained popularity during the Middle Ages. This tale states that Justinian ordered Belisarius’ eyes to be put out, and this reduced him to the status of homeless beggar near the Pincian Gate of Rome. It goes on to say he was condemned to ask passers-by to “give an obolus’ aka “give an halfpenny”, to Belisarius before pardoning him. Most modern scholars believe the story to be doubtful, but there are debates and arguments for the legend’s authenticity.
Fittingly, Belisarius and Justinian, died within a few months of each other in 565. Belisarius owned the estate of Rufinianae on the Asiatic side of the Constantinople suburbs. No one knows for certain , but he may have died there and been buried near one of the two churches in that area.
“There’s only one legitimate authority in this system”
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