Justinian's Military Battles

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Justinian carried on the unending war against the Persians with mixed success. His general Belisarius lost a battle at first in 528, then completely routed the Persians at Daras, near Nisibis (June, 530); but on 19 April, 531, the Romans were defeated near Callinicum on the Euphrates; in September a peace was arranged on fairly equal terms. The emperor then conceived the plan of reconquering Africa and Italy, lost to the empire by the Vandal and Gothic invasions. In 533 a fleet of five hundred ships set sail for Africa under Belisarius. In two battles the Romans annihilated the Vandal kingdom, took the king, Gelimer, prisoner to Constantinople, and re-estabished the authority of Caesar in Africa. In 535 Belisarius sailed for Sicily. The island was conquered at once. After a reverse in Dalmatia that province was also subdued. Belisarius in 536 took Rhegium and Naples, entered Rome in triumph, seized Ravenna, sustained a siege in Rome till 538, when the Goths retired. A second general, Narses, then arrived with reinforcements from Constantinople; Milan and all Liguria were taken in 539, and in 540 all Italy up to the frontier of the Frankish Kingdom was reunited to the empire. In 542 the Goths revolted under their king, Totila; by 553 they were again crushed. Narses became the first Exarch of Italy. Verona and Brixia (Brescia), the last Gothic strongholds, fell in 562. The Roman armies then marched on Spain and conquered its south-eastern provinces (lost again in 623, after Justinian's death.) Meanwhile the Crimean Goths and all the Bosporus, even the Southern Arabs, were forced to acknowledge the rule of Rome. A second war against the Persians (540-45) pushed the Roman frontier beyond Edessa. From 549 to 556 a long in Armenia and Colchis (the Lazic War) again established the empire without a rival on the shores of the Black Sea. So Justinian ruled once more over a colossal world empire, whose extent rivaled that of the great days before Diocletian. Meanwhile the...
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