Byzantine Military Hero

Mosaic of General Belisarius
Mosaic believed to be of General Belisarius in Ravenna, Italy. Public Domain; courtesy of Wikimedia

This profile of Belisarius is part of
Who's Who in Medieval History


Byzantine Military Hero

Being the leading Byzantine general during the reign of Emperor Justinian I. He won significant battles against the Persians and Ostrogoths, suppressed the Nike Revolt, and served his emperor with unstinting loyalty.


Military Leader

Places of Residence and Influence:

Byzantium (The Eastern Roman Empire)

Important Dates:

Born: 505
Takes back the city of Rome: Dec. 9, 536
Died: March, 565

About Belisarius:

Belisarius served in Justinian's bodyguard and earned a command in his mid-twenties. After distinguishing himself in several battles against the Sasanian Empire, he returned to Constantinople, where he quashed the Nike Revolt. Next he scored notable victories against Germanic peoples in his quest to win back Italy for Justinian. His subsequent successes against the Ostrogoths were overshadowed by political difficulties. He fell out of favor with the emperor and only his wife's friendship with the empress saved him. His later years were spent in relative peace.

Find out more about the general's life and achievements in your Guide's Concise Biography of General Belisarius.

Myths About Belisarius:

A great deal of misinformation was generated about Belisarius centuries after his death. One notable story had him blinded by Justinian and wandering the streets as a beggar. There is absolutely no truth to these stories, but they have served as the basis for epic tales, novels and plays.

More Belisarius Resources:

Concise Biography of General Belisarius

General Belisarius on the Web

Concise overview at Infoplease.
Gothic War: Byzantine Count Belisarius Retakes Rome
Comprehensive overview of the Byzantine general's attempt to retake the city of Rome from the Goths, by Erik Hildinger at Military History magazine, online at TheHistoryNet.

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Snell, Melissa. "Belisarius." ThoughtCo, Oct. 29, 2020, Snell, Melissa. (2020, October 29). Belisarius. Retrieved from Snell, Melissa. "Belisarius." ThoughtCo. (accessed January 21, 2021).