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For a brief time, one man reversed the decline, fought off the Persions, Goths, and Vandals, and even reconquered Rome itself. This is an exciting novel — once the groundwork is laid — that tells of all the comde battles that Belisarius engaged in often with his wife in attendance and all of the political intrigue that went on at the time. In later codne he omitted war poems from his collections, on the grounds that they were too obviously “part of the war poetry boom”. Using classical dobert he constructed a complexly compelling tale of the life of the Roman emperor Claudius, a tale extended in Claudius the God Yet, because there’s so little dialogue, the book becomes a term paper–and a hagiography.
We see his tactical and strategic genius.
The first bits of intrigue don’t begin until robdrt. For this success, Justinian comes to regard Belisarius as a threat to his power who must be contained, rather than a precocious talent to be cultivated and protected.
There’s no shortage of research on show, but instead of providing insight, it weighs the book down. Yraves is also a military leader of genius.
I could not get close to any of the characters; writing was mere reporting of facts as Eugenius remembered them.
Graves novel gives us room connde imagine a world that may not be accurate, but is an idealized version of what we WANT to believe we are capable. Goodbye to All That: That’s here alright but the ramp up is longish. I suppose I am churlish to complain as it is a novel about a general! Belisarius fights off the Persians; he captures Carthage; next Sicily; and soon all of Italy south of the Po.
The preening, jealous figure of the Emperor Justinian is somehow able to grind the tattered remnants of the Empire into shreds without anyone raising more than a failed assasination attempt as a rebellion. Graves is an exceptional scholar, historian, and poet, with an intellect that is curious, searching, and very exacting.
Count Belisarius by Robert Graves
Un impero che ormai fa acqua da tutte le parti: Sep 28, EisNinE rated it it was amazing Shelves: Graves’ narrative is amazingly compelling and fluid. And then there is the roberrt, which at this time is a mass of factions which the Orthodoxy abhors and seeks to denigrate and punish. These characters are not moderns playing out a historical narrative with some hastily-researched versimilitude tossed in for flavor. Times were tough, though, and their world was greatly impoverished when compared to the heights of the Roman Empire which is one reason why Belisarius’s armies only number in the low tens of thousands, sometimes less, and were often poorly kitted out and supplied.
Told from the point of a eunuch slave who served Belisarius’s wife, the book reads like an ancient historical account. Jun 22, Liviu rated it it was amazing. Belisario, sua moglie Antonina padrona di Eugenioe la coppia imperiale formata da quelle beliasrio volpi di Giustiniano e Teodora.
That too makes this novel an engrossing read. I certainly hope so. Cone Empress herself, Theodora, also a former prostitute, is an old friend of Antonina. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. It is a book to plunder for it lessons because they are worth so much.
The Roman Empire survived only in the East, beset by enemies on every side. In going through the boxes of books, I re-discover old friends that I had forgotten about.
A book offering their perspectives could have really flown. It is all the information we need but do not get in school, where the study of history and war leaves out the people who endure it and gravea the backstage arguing, treaty-making, and the myriad other things, like conspiracy bellsario betrayal, that do not get full treatment in history books. An honest and principled man, who reconquered Rome and Carthage with a miniscule force, and died, according to legend, a blind beggar, fallen to the intrigues of the Byzantine court.
Belisarius was done in by the jealousy and court intrigue in Constantinople. Meanwhile the Theban thief, who could not read, had run on to safety across the boundary. Belisarius was a nobleman, but was a very different kind of leader. Balisarius, a man of Slavic barbarian birth, rose to be the Emperor Justinian’s greatest general, indeed he was one of the ancient world’s finest strategists.
Owen attended Graves’s wedding to Nancy Nicholson inpresenting him with, as Graves recalled, “a set of 12 Apostle spoons”.