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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The Persian Invasion: Unfavourable Times (part 2)

With the return of Belisarius to the Persian front, it seemed as if he would sweep the enemy away and triumph once more. Unfortunately, good fortune was not on the side of Justinian and the empire. There were a few problems that hampered the effectiveness of the Persian campaign. As a result, Belisarius did not defeat the Persians in a resounding way. In fact, the war continued to go badly for the empire. Read on to find out the problems that hindered the Persian campaign.
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The Vengeance of Belisarius

Belisarius enjoyed great prestige and respect throughout the empire for his brilliance in battle. But at the same time he was also the laughing stock of the empire. It was an open secret that his wife was carrying on an affair in public with their adopted son. Time and time again, Antonina had made a fool and a cuckold of her husband. She had brought him nothing but great shame. Although Belisarius loved her deeply, she had gone too far. Find out how he got his revenge on the adulterous couple.
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The Weakness of Belisarius

Belisarius was almost invincible in battle. He was dashing, energetic, cunning, decisive, intelligent and resourceful. Due to his brilliance, he conquered North Africa, Sicily and Italy for the Byzantine Empire. It almost seemed as if he was invincible. But every human being has at least one weakness and the great general was no exception. It was unfortunate that his one crippling weakness had the power to destroy men and ruin empires. That weakness was his deep love for his wife Antonina who did not share his fidelity.
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The Persian Invasion: Khusrau’s Goal (part 1)

The Persian Shah Khusrau chose the most opportune time to invade the Byzantine Empire. With the main Byzantine army fighting in Italy, Khusrau knew he would be free to do as he wished. In any war, the final outcome is peace on the victor’s terms. Khusrau would not engage in a war without an end goal in mind. What was his goal and how would he force Justinian to comply with his terms?
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Why Khusrau Chose to Attack the Byzantine Empire

The reforms and expansion of Justinian did not go unnoticed by his enemies. The reason that Justinian could carry out his grand plans of conquest in the West was due to his good fortune. There was no one with the strength or the will to oppose him. But such good fortune would not last forever. While Justinian’s army was engaged in the West, the Shah of Persia, Khusrau, had stabilized his empire in the East. Now that he had to will to attack, all he lacked was a reason and an opportunity. Read on to find out the causes that led Khusrau to invade the Byzantine Empire.
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