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Headword: Βελισάριος
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:
Βελισάριος, ὁ στρατηγὸς, ἦν μὲν τὸ σῶμα καλός τε καὶ μέγας καὶ εὐπρόσωπος πάντων μάλιστα. οὕτω δὲ πρᾶόν τε καὶ εὐπρόσοδον παρεῖχεν αὑτὸν τοῖς ἐντυγχάνουσιν ὥστε ἀνθρώπῳ πένητί τε λίαν καὶ ἀδόξῳ ἐμφερῆ εἶναι. ἔρως δὲ αὐτοῦ τῆς ἀρχῆς πρός τε στρατιωτῶν ἀεὶ καὶ ἀγροίκων ἄμαχός τις ἐγίνετο, ὅτι δὲ ἐς μὲν στρατιώτας φιλοδωρότατος ἐγεγόνει ἀνθρώπων ἁπάντων: τῶν τε γὰρ ἐν ξυμβολῇ ἠτυχηκότων χρήμασι μεγάλοις παρεμυθεῖτο τὰ τραύματα καὶ τοῖς εὐδοκιμήσασι ψέλιά τε καὶ στρεπτοὺς ἆθλα παρείχετο, ἵππου δὲ ἢ τόξου ἢ ἄλλου ὁτουοῦν στρατιώτου ἐν τῇ μάχῃ ἀπολωλότος ἕτερον ἀντ' αὐτοῦ πρὸς Βελισαρίου αὐτίκα ὑπῆρχεν: ἐς δὲ τοὺς ἀγροίκους, ὅτι δὴ τοσαύτῃ φειδοῖ τε καὶ προνοίᾳ ἐχρῆτο ὥστε βιασθῆναι μὲν αὐτοῖς οὐδὲν πώποτε στρατηγοῦντος Βελισαρίου τετύχηκεν. ἀπεδίδοντο γὰρ αὐτοῖς κατὰ γνώμην τὰ ὤνια πάντα, καὶ ἡνίκα ἀκμάζοι τὰ λήϊα, εἰς τὸ ἀκριβὲς διεφύλασσε, μή τινι παριοῦσα ἡ ἵππος λυμήνηται, τῶν δὲ ὡραίων ἐν τοῖς δένδροις ὄντων ἅψασθαι αὐτῶν οὐδενὶ τοπαράπαν ἐξῆν. ἦν δὲ καὶ σώφρων καὶ λίαν ἐνάρετος.
c. AD 500-565. See generally Michael Whitby in OCD(4) s.v. (p.228). 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.
[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.
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.


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