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The Vizier has written 55 articles so far, you can find them below.


Impact of Justinian’s War on Italy

Justinian invaded Italy because he saw a chance to unite the East and the West under his rule. The riches of Italy would also make a welcome addition to his empire. But what was supposed to be an easy victory, turned into a long drawn out war that lasted decades. By the time he managed to conquer Italy in the 550s, it was a mere shadow of its former self. Read on to learn the impact of Justinian’s war on Italy.
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How Narses Conquered Italy

Narses was the most powerful eunuch during the reign of Justinian. An influential and popular figure at the court, he enjoyed the favour and the friendship of both the emperor and the empress. In turn, he also gave them his complete loyalty. But when Justinian gave him the task of conquering Italy, Narses was well over seventy. He also had very little experience in conducting a battle, let alone a whole campaign. How then could this frail old eunuch conquer Italy?
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The Mixed Legacy of Procopius

One of the most interesting characters of the Age of Justinian was the historian Procopius. We owe him a great debt for recording the events that happened during his time. The first of his writings is the Wars of Justinian and the second is the Buildings of Justinian. But this is not the entire legacy that Procopius left us. He is also famous for his Secret History which portrays the characters of the age in a vastly different and negative light. Who exactly is this man whose words we depend on to shed light on his era? Read on to find out.
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How Theodora Destroyed John the Cappadocian

It was common knowledge that the empress Theodora was powerful as she was ruthless. Those who dared to cross her met with sorry ends. But despite being aware of her fearsome reputation, John the Cappadocian foolishly pitted himself against her to obtain the throne. In doing so, he underestimated her and overestimated his own ability. That was the last fatal mistake he would make. For the rest of her life, Theodora did all she could to destroy him. Read on to find out what she did.
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How John the Cappadocian Became Theodora’s Enemy

The most universally hated man in the Byzantine Empire of his day was the loathsome John the Cappadocian. As the empire’s premier tax collector, he was brutal, efficient and merciless. In private, he led a depraved and shocking lifestyle that made him even more repulsive. But there were two reasons he remained in power for so long. Firstly, Justinian valued his ability highly. Secondly, John was not yet an enemy of Theodora. Everything changed when John became Theodora’s enemy. Find out what insane reason led him to do so.
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Why Belisarius Failed to Retake Italy (part 2)

Throughout his entire career, Belisarius had great difficulty getting his officers to follow his orders. When the times favoured him, he could get away with it through luck and skill. But with the odds against him, there was no way he could achieve his goals. All his strategic and tactical brilliance were useless if he could not depend on his officers to carry out his plans. Worsening matters, he was fighting a war he couldn’t win due to inadequate resources. Even so, Belisarius didn’t despair and came up with creative solutions to deal with the problems he faced. Read on to find out what happened.
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Why Belisarius Failed to Retake Italy (part 1)

Famed for his skill and resourcefulness in war, Belisarius managed to win against great odds time and time again. He was so able that the Emperor Justinian feared he would revolt. Ironically, Justinian relied most on the same Belisarius to win tough wars. None of his other generals had the same amount of skill. But Belisarius was not a God and proved to be only human. By the time Justinian made up his mind to send him to retake Italy again in 544, the situation was critical. Even the great Belisarius could not beat the odds stacked against him. Read on to find out why.
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How Justinian Revived Gothic Italy: Rise of Totila (part 2)

When Belisarius left Italy in 540, he had almost wiped out the Goths. But Justinian’s policies led to their revival under Idibad from 540-541. Instead of learning from his mistakes and making the needed changes, Justinian was slow to act. This gave the new Gothic king Totila the chance he needed. In the span of a few years, Totila seized much of Italy from Byzantine hands. He became so powerful that the generals wrote to Justinian telling him they could no longer defend Italy from Totila. Find out how Totila managed to achieve this.
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How Justinian Revived Gothic Italy (part 1)

When Belisarius left Italy in 540, he had more or less secured the entire peninsula for his master. The Goths were on the verge of total defeat. It was merely a matter of consolidating the gains and absorbing Italy into the empire. But it seemed like Justinian could not even get this simple task done right. Somehow or other, he sowed the seeds that undid all of Belisarius’s hard earned gains. If Justinian had been more prudent, he would not have created the opportunity for the Goths to rise again. Then he would not have needed to waste lives and money to retake Italy. Read on to learn how Justinian revived Gothic Italy through his folly.
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The Persian Invasion: The Road to Peace (part 3)

The road to peace is a bloody one. When two empires of equal strength engage in an inconclusive war, true peace only comes about when both sides have no more will to fight. With the outbreak of the plague, the war between Persia and Byzantium reached a turning point. While the plague did sap the will and strength of both parties, by itself, it wasn’t enough to end the war. What it did do was to begin a chain of events that finally led to peace. Read on to learn how the Persian war ended.
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