The Life of Belisarius

The Life of Belisarius Philip Stanhope

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At the beginning of the sixth century of the Christian era, the empire of Constantinople was beset with enemies and sinking to decay. The tide of barbarian invasion had lately overwhelmed one half of the ancient provinces of Rome, and these conquests, both by their effect and their example, threatened speedy downfall to the rest. The emperors became either hated from their reforms, or despised from their incapacity, and in either case their fate was the same. Frequent insurrections wasted the resources of the state, and deprived the government of all energy and enterprise; while the armies, turbulent and feeble, had thrown off the restraints of military discipline. It is the purpose of my narrative, to show how the genius of one man averted these dangers, and corrected these defects; how the tottering empire was upheld; how the successors of Augustus were enabled, for a time, to resume their former ascendancy, and to wrest from the hands of the barbarians their most important possessions...
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