Belisarius

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Belisarius

Belisarius (bĕlĭsârˈēəs), c.505–565, Byzantine general under Justinian I. After helping to suppress (532) the dangerous Nika riot (see Blues and Greens), he defeated (533–34) the Vandals of Africa, and captured their king. In 535 he was given command of the expedition to recover Italy from the Ostrogoths. He took Naples and Rome (536) and, after some delays occasioned by a conflict of authority with Narses, captured Milan and Ravenna (540). He fought an indecisive campaign (541–42) against Khosrow I of Persia, and in 544 was sent back to Italy against the Goths led by Totila. Handicapped by Justinian's jealousy and distrust, he could do little more than hold his enemies in check; he was recalled in 548 and replaced by Narses. In 559 he emerged from retirement to drive the Bulgarians from Constantinople. He was accused (562) of a conspiracy and temporarily imprisoned but was shortly restored to favor. He was largely responsible for the great expansion of the Eastern Empire under Justinian.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Belisarius

 

Born circa 504; died Mar. 13, 565. Byzantine general and associate of Emperor Justinian I.

Belisarius was a native of Thrace. He distinguished himself during the war with Persia (527-32), and at age 25 he was appointed commander, which was the highest military position. In 530 he defeated the Persian army at Daras and in 532 crushed the Nika uprising in Constantinople. In 534 he destroyed the Vandal state in North Africa at the Battle of Ad Decimum, and in 535 he conquered Sicily for Byzantium and then seized Naples and Rome (536). Belisarius was unjustly accused of a plot against the emperor in 562 and fell into disgrace.

The chief tactical principle of Belisarius was “to avoid hand-to-hand combat and defeat the enemy through exhaustion” (F. Engels, Izbr. voen. proizv., 1956, p. 188) and maneuvers chiefly with cavalry. Detailed information about Belisarius is known from the works of the historian Procopius of Caesarea, who was his secretary.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Belisarius

?505--565 ad, Byzantine general under Justinian I. He recovered North Africa from the Vandals and Italy from the Ostrogoths and led forces against the Persians
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005