This is a military history of the campaigns of Belisarius, the greatest general of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Emperor Justinian. After campaigning against the Persians, he was sent by Justinian to conquer North Africa from the Vandals, which he succeeded in doing in a single year at the age of 29. After his great victory, Justinian sent him to Italy in an attempt to reconquer the heartland of the Roman Empire from the Ostrogoths. The book discusses the evolution of the army from the classical Imperial Roman model to the beginnings of the Byzantine system of warfare, as well as those of their chief enemies, the Persians, Goths and Vandals. The book reassesses Belisarius’ generalship and compares him with the likes of Caesar, Alexander and Hannibal. It is illustrated with line drawings and battle plans as well as photographs.
Belisarius Available to purchase at Pen & Sword
The period of history in which Stilicho lived was one of the most turbulent in European history. The book explains how Stilicho came to be given control of the Western Empire and describes his attempts to save the Western Empire and Rome itself from the attacks of Alaric the Goth and other barbarian invaders.
Stilicho, one of the major figures in the history of the Late Roman Empire, may have helped to divide the Western and Eastern halves of the Roman Empire on a permanent basis. Yet he is also the individual who helped maintain the integrity of the West before the rebellion of Constantine III in Britain and the crossing of the Rhine by a force of Vandals, Sueves and Alans – both in AD 406 – set the scene for both his downfall and execution in 408 and the later disintegration of the West. Despite his role in this fascinating and crucial period of history, there is no other full-length biography of him in print.
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In AD 451 Attila, with a huge force composed of Huns, allies and vassals drawn from his already-vast empire, was rampaging westward across Gaul (essentially modern France), then still nominally part of the Western Roman Empire. Laying siege to Orleans, he was only a few days march from extending his empire from the Eurasian steppe to the Atlantic. He was brought to battle on the Catalaunian Plain and defeated by a coalition hastily assembled and led by Aetius.
Aetius is one of the major figures in the history of the Late Roman Empire and his actions helped maintain the integrity of the West in the declining years of the Empire. During the course of his life he was a hostage, first with Alaric and the Goths, and then with Rua, King of the Huns. His stay with these two peoples helped to give him an unparalleled insight into the minds and military techniques of these ‘barbarians’ which he was to use in later years to halt the depredations of the Huns. That this saviour of Rome was himself half Scythian is indicative of the complexity of the late Roman world.