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The Wars of Justinian I (Hardback)

Ancient History Rome Military

By Michael Whitby
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 304
Illustrations: 12 black and white maps
ISBN: 9781526760883
Published: 30th June 2021


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RRP £25.00

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Justinian I was the last great conquering Roman emperor, who dramatically increased the size of his realm although he never actually led an army in person. His long reign (527-565) was devoted to the challenging project of renovatio imperii, that is the renovation of Empire. His was the will and vision behind campaigns that saw the reconquest of Rome itself and Italy from the Ostrogoths, North Africa from the Vandals, and parts of Spain from the Visigoths. These grand schemes were largely accomplished through the services of two talented generals, Belisarius and Narses, and in spite of the distractions of wars against the Persians in the east for most of his reign and the devastation caused by bubonic plague.

This is the only book available devoted to analysing all of Justinian's campaigns on the basis of the full range of sources. Besides narrating the course and outcome of these wars, Michael Whitby analyses the Roman army of the period, considering its equipment, organization, leadership, strategy and tactics, and considers the longer-term impact of Justinian’s military ventures on the stability of the empire.

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About Michael Whitby

Michael Whitby studied Classics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he also completed his doctoral research before enjoying a Junior Research Fellowship at Merton. He taught Ancient History at St Andrews, where he became professor in 1995 before moving to Warwick in 1996 as Professor of Classics and Ancient History, where he was appointed Chair of Faculty (2001) and then Pro-Vice-Chancellor (2003). In 2010 he moved to Birmingham as Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Arts & Law. Michael was co-editor of Cambridge Ancient History XIV (425-600) and of The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare, as well as founder editor of the Brill series on The Medieval Mediterranean; he currently sits on the editorial board of the Liverpool series Translated Texts for Historians. He was awarded a D.Litt. by the University of Warwick for his work on Late Roman history. He has written or edited a dozen books, and numerous articles or book chapters.

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Belisarius The Last Roman General (Paperback)

A military history of the campaigns of Belisarius, the greatest general of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Emperor Justinian. He twice defeated the Persians and reconquered North Africa from the Vandals in a single year at the age of 29, before going on to regain Spain and Italy, including Rome (briefly), from the barbarians. It discusses the evolution from classical Roman to Byzantine armies and systems of warfare, as well as those of their chief enemies, the Persians, Goths and Vandals. It reassesses Belisarius' generalship and compares him with the likes of Caesar, Alexander and Hannibal. It…

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