Belisarius(redirected from Bellisarius)
Also found in: Dictionary.
Belisarius(bĕlĭsâr`ēəs), c.505–565, Byzantine general under Justinian IJustinian I
, 483–565, Byzantine emperor (527–65), nephew and successor of Justin I. He was responsible for much imperial policy during his uncle's reign. Soon after becoming emperor, Justinian instituted major administrative changes and tried to increase state
..... Click the link for more information. . After helping to suppress (532) the dangerous Nika riot (see Blues and GreensBlues and Greens,
political factions in the Byzantine Empire in the 6th cent. They took their names from two of the four colors worn by the circus charioteers. Their clashes were intensified by religious differences.
..... Click the link for more information. ), 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 NarsesNarses
, c.478–c.573, Byzantine official and general, one of the eunuchs of the palace. He assisted in the suppression of the Nika riot (532) by bribing the Blues of the Circus (see Blues and Greens) to return their allegiance to Justinian I.
..... Click the link for more information. , captured Milan and Ravenna (540). He fought an indecisive campaign (541–42) against Khosrow IKhosrow I
(Khosrow Anüshirvan) , d. 579, king of Persia (531–79), greatest of the Sassanid, or Sassanian, monarchs. He is also known as Chosroes I or Khosru I. He succeeded his father, Kavadh I, but before becoming king, Khosrow was responsible for a great massacre (c.
..... Click the link for more information. of Persia, and in 544 was sent back to Italy against the Goths led by TotilaTotila
, d. 552, last king of the Ostrogoths (541–52). By defeating the Byzantines at Faenza and Mugello (542) and by taking Naples (543) and Rome (546), he became master of central and S Italy.
..... Click the link for more information. . 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.
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.