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Headword: Belisarios
Adler number: beta,233
Translated headword: Belisarius, Belisarios
Vetting Status: high
The general, was beautiful and large of body and handsome above all. He showed himself so gentle and accessible to whomever he met that he tended to resemble a very poor and obscure man. There arose a certain unbeatable love for his rule from the soldiers at the time and the rural population, because he had become the most generous of all men to the soldiers. For when they were unlucky in battle, he comforted their wounds with great sums of money and provided to those who distinguished themselves armlets and metal collars as prizes, but when a horse or bow or anything else belonging to a soldier had been lost in battle, another to replace it was immediately supplied by Belisarius. [And he was beloved] among the rural population because he applied such great thrift and forethought that they never in any way suffered violence while Belisarius was serving as general. For they sold all their produce as they wished, and when the crops were ripe for harvest, he maintained strict guard over them, so that the cavalry passing by any of them might not ruin them, and when the fruits were ripe in the trees, it was absolutely forbidden for anyone to touch them. And he was sensible and very virtuous.[1]
Greek Original:
Belisarios, ho stratêgos, ên men to sôma kalos te kai megas kai euprosôpos pantôn malista. houtô de praon te kai euprosodon pareichen hauton tois entunchanousin hôste anthrôpôi penêti te lian kai adoxôi empherê einai. erôs de autou tês archês pros te stratiôtôn aei kai agroikôn amachos tis egineto, hoti de es men stratiôtas philodôrotatos egegonei anthrôpôn hapantôn: tôn te gar en xumbolêi êtuchêkotôn chrêmasi megalois paremutheito ta traumata kai tois eudokimêsasi pselia te kai streptous athla pareicheto, hippou de ê toxou ê allou hotououn stratiôtou en têi machêi apolôlotos heteron ant' autou pros Belisariou autika hupêrchen: es de tous agroikous, hoti dê tosautêi pheidoi te kai pronoiai echrêto hôste biasthênai men autois ouden pôpote stratêgountos Belisariou tetuchêken. apedidonto gar autois kata gnômên ta ônia panta, kai hênika akmazoi ta lêïa, eis to akribes diephulasse, mê tini pariousa hê hippos lumênêtai, tôn de hôraiôn en tois dendrois ontôn hapsasthai autôn oudeni toparapan exên. ên de kai sôphrôn kai lian enaretos.
c. AD 500-565. See generally Michael Whitby in OCD(4) s.v. (p.228) and PLRE IIIa s.v. Belisarius(1). Except for the final sentence (on which see note below) the present material is taken nearly verbatim from Procopius of Caesarea, History of the Wars of Justinian 7.1.6-11 (web address 1).
[1] Not in Procopius' account. Probably a summary of Procopius' closing statement: "Furthermore, he possessed the virtue of self-restraint in a marvellous degree; and hence it was that he never would touch any woman other than his wedded wife" (trans. H.B. Dewing, Loeb Classical Library).
Ian Hughes, Belisarius: The Last Roman General. Yardley, PA: Westholme Publishing, 2009.
J.R. Martindale, The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, vol. IIIa, (Cambridge, 1992)
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: agriculture; biography; botany; clothing; economics; ethics; food; historiography; history; military affairs; zoology
Translated by: Craig Gibson on 21 June 2003@12:06:48.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified and mildly augmented notes; augmented keywords; cosmetics) on 22 June 2003@05:56:33.
Catharine Roth (added keyword) on 7 October 2005@00:18:33.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 15 November 2005@08:33:46.
Catharine Roth (added bibliography) on 24 October 2009@22:37:03.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 28 May 2012@04:41:38.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 1 August 2014@05:31:49.
Ronald Allen (added bibliography, added link) on 4 January 2024@11:58:10.


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