Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Belisarius, in Slavonic, Belt-tzar, meaning White Prince, flourished in the reign of the Emperor Justinian. He was born in Illyria about 505 A.D., and died in 565. In 530, while in command of the eastern army of the empire, he won a brilliant victory over a Persian army twice as numerous as his own. Next year, however, at Callinicum on the Euphrates, the Persians defeated him and he was recalled. In 532 he checked the factious fighting in Constantinople between the Green and the Blue parties, who at that time were endangering the supremacy of Justinian. He was thereafter in 533 sent with an army into Africa against the Vandals, whose king, Gelimer, he made prisoner, and led in triumph through Constantinople. He was next engaged in Italy against the Goths, whose king, Vitiges, he also captured in 540 at Ravenna. Summoned to Constantinople by the emperor, he was again engaged against the Persians in 541-42, after which he had to return to Italy in consequence of the invasion of Totila. Though inadequately supplied with forces he yet sustained a struggle against the barbarians for five years. In the end, however, his repeated requests for additional aid being disregarded, he was replaced in the command (in 548) by Narses, his rival, distinguishing himself once more in 559 in a campaign against the Bulgarians. In 563 he was imprisoned through a slanderous charge of conspiracy against Justinian, whom he had served so well; but the emperor becoming convinced of his innocence soon afterwards, set him free and restored him to his dignities. According to another but not so authentic account, Belisarius wras deprived of his eyesight and reduced to beggary. He had the misfortune to be mated with a profligate wife Antonina, a companion of the Empress Theodora.