Flavius Belisarius (l. 505-565 CE) was born in Illyria (the western part of the Balkan Peninsula) to poor parents and rose to become one of the greatest generals, if not the greatest, of the Byzantine Empire. Belisarius is listed among the notable candidates for the title of 'Last of the Romans' by which is meant the last individual who most perfectly embodies the values of the Roman Empire at its best. He served as commander of the military under the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I (r. 527-565 CE) with whom he had a notoriously difficult relationship.

More about: Belisarius


  • 505
    Flavius Belisarius born in Illyria.
  • 532
    Belisarius puts down the Nika Uprising, slaughtering between 20,000 and 30,000 people.
  • 533
    Belisarius defeats the Persians to the east of the Byzantine Empire and the Vandals of Africa.
  • 535
    Belisarius' first campaign against the Ostrogoths in Italy.
  • 535
    Belisarius conquers Sicily and Naples.
  • 536
    Rome falls to Belisarius.
  • 540
    Belisarius conquers Ravenna and captures the Ostrogoth king Witigis.
  • 540
    Justinian I recalls Belisarius and sends him against the Persians.
  • 545 - 550
    Belisarius' second campaign against in Italy against the Ostrogoths under Totila.
  • 559
    Belisarius sent on campaign to defeat the invading Bulgars.
  • 562
    Belisarius is arrested and imprisoned on trumped-up charges of corruption. Pardoned by Justinian and restored to former position.
  • 565
    Belisarius dies in Constantinople of natural causes.