Belisarius facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Belisarius may be this bearded figure on the right of Emperor Justinian I in the mosaic in the Church of San Vitale, Ravenna, which celebrates the reconquest of Italy by the Roman army. Compare Lillington-Martin (2009) page 16
Germania, modern-day Sapareva Banya, Bulgaria
|Died||c. March 565 (aged 64)
Saints Peter and Paul, Constantinople
|Commands held||Roman army in the east, land and sea expedition against the Vandal Kingdom, Roman army|
Flavius Belisarius (Greek: Φλάβιος Βελισάριος; c. 500 – 565) was a military commander of the Byzantine Empire. He was instrumental in the reconquest of much of the Mediterranean territory belonging to the former Western Roman Empire, which had been lost less than a century prior.
One of the defining features of Belisarius' career was his success despite varying levels of available resources. His name is frequently given as one of the so-called "Last of the Romans".
He conquered the Vandal Kingdom of North Africa in the Vandalic War in nine months and conquered much of Italy during the Gothic War. He also defeated the Vandal armies in the battle of Ad Decimum and played an important role at Tricamarum, compelling the Vandal king, Gelimer, to surrender. During the Gothic War, he took Rome and then held out against great odds during the siege of Rome.
He also won an important battle against the Persians at Dara but was defeated at Callinicum. He successfully repulsed a Hunnish incursion at Melantias. He was also known for military deception; he repulsed a Persian invasion by deceiving their commander and lifted the siege of Ariminum without a fight.
Images for kids
Belisarius Begging for Alms, as depicted in popular legend, in the painting by Jacques-Louis David (1781)