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Books > Biographies & Memoirs > Historical > Europe > Italy > 1473822971
  1. Belisarius: The Last Roman General
    Belisarius: The Last Roman General
    Belisarius: The Last Roman General
    Image(s) provided for illustrative purposes and may differ from the actual product
  2. Belisarius: The Last Roman General

    Delivery: 10-20 Working Days
    Customer Ratings (34 reviews)
    Price R846.00

Additional Information

A military history of the campaigns of Belisarius, the greatest general of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Emperor Justinian. He twice defeated the Persians and reconquered North Africa from the Vandals in a single year at the age of 29, before going on to regain Spain and Italy, including Rome (briefly), from the barbarians. It discusses the evolution from classical Roman to Byzantine armies and systems of warfare, as well as those of their chief enemies, the Persians, Goths and Vandals. It reassesses Belisarius’ generalship and compares him with the likes of Caesar, Alexander and Hannibal. It will be illustrated with line drawings and battle plans as well as photographs.

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Ian Hughes
Pen and Sword
Pen and Sword
16pp plates, 15 B+W drawings, 27 maps, 1
16pp plates, 15 B+W drawings, 27 maps, 1
Pen and Sword
Pen and Sword
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

First off, this book is a military history. Viewing it as anything else is going to be counterproductive. If you want a straight biography then you're just going to have to wait, or else you can read Lord Mahon's biography from the 1820s.

So, the good points first. As a military biography it works. It works quite well in fact. Thanks to Procopius we have a great deal more information on Belisarius' career than on anyone else in that century. Certainly more than we have for any non-Emperor. And Hughes understanding of the military aspect of his career is almost flawless. I don't know what the other reviewer was talking about, I thought his enthusiasm for the era came through quite well. The book progresses in chronological order starting with a chapter on the political situation in Western Europe at the time. It details what little... Read more
Belisarius is a fascinating historical figure--a virtuous man in an age of strife, corruption, and transition--and the right hand man of the last great Roman Emperor, Justinian. Often compared to the greatest generals in history, Belisarius achieved more militarily, with fewer resources, than any general in history.

When I saw this new biography, I snapped it up immediately. Having read the previous biography by Lord Mahon written over 150 years ago, as well as the complete works of Procopius, the History of Agathias, the Chronicle of John Malalas, the Paschal Chronicle, etc., I was impressed with how Hughes made use of the considerable primary source material at his disposal. Most heartening of all, he does not rely overmuch on the scandalous "Secret History" and does not spend more time than is warranted on the supposed sexual escapades of Belisarius's wife, Antonina. To his further credit, Hughes avoids a particular bugbear of mine--blaming Pope Silverius for attempting... Read more
There not being a full accounting of the life of the underappreciated Belisarius since that of Lord Mahon over 150 years ago, I was eagerly awaiting publication of this book. I really wanted to like it but it fell just short.

To be charitable, this book did not flow for me - you want the author's enthusiasm for the subject to pick you up and carry you through the narrative, but "Belisaurius, The Last Roman General" was somewhat flat. While not as dry as some books meant only a scholarly audience, neither does it soar like so many popular biographies.

On the plus side, Hughes does an excellent job interpreting the meager and contradictory primary sources. He presents all sides of any historical argument fairly and reaches rationale and compelling conclusions. Hughes does an excellent job of setting the scene of battle and describing the military capacities of each side. He finishes every campaign with a solid summary and evaluation of Belisauius' actions... Read more
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