With this book Robert Graves again demonstrates his command of a vast historical subject, creating a startling and vivid picture of a decadent era. Read more. A review y David Maclaine of the historical novel Count Belisarius by Robert Graves. A vigorous tale, lacking the completely distinctive qualities of a hero that made Claudius so exceptional, Belisarius retains the same.

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A clever party trick perhaps, but one that see This had potential but unfortunately the choices made by Robert Graves make this a deeply unsatisfying read.

belisrius He organized the reconquest of Africa from the Vandals, Beliwarius from the Ostrogoths, and southern Spain from the Visigoths. RomeItaly Byzantine Empire. The unquestioning faith Belisarius placed in the pathetic little wretch Justinian as god’s appointed ruler, was soul-crushing and maddening.

He was the best archer in the imperial army and a courageous swordsman. Graves puts you grsves, to see and hear all that happened. Dad told me that one of his favorite authors was Robert Graves whose novels had seen him through much of World War II on shipboard in both theatres. For this success, Justinian comes to regard Belisarius as a threat to his power who must be contained, rather than a precocious talent to be cultivated and protected.

Anyone who enjoyed his more famous books, such as “I Claudius” will probably enjoy this one too. Graves’s treatment of Belisarius is mostly respectful: The book is full of military manoeuvres and how to win at ancient warfare.

By the end, however, I didn’t really care if Belisarius was as good as Graves made him out to be, if the narrator, Eugenius, Belisarius’ wife Antonia’s coubt is unreliable, or if Antonia slept with one man or many after marrying this ‘Last Great Roman’. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.


He also deals with machinations at the court of Justinian and Theodora set against the broader history of that period. The women in this story absolutely steam roll over the men, with no remorse or doubt.

Nov 13, A. By he had published more than works. Massacres are ordered over divergent opinions on the nature of the trinity. These shortcomings didn’t make the book unenjoyable, but they are something that a lot of historical fiction could do better. Thank belisarlus for your feedback.

And then there is the church, which at this time is a mass of factions which the Orthodoxy abhors and seeks to denigrate and punish.

Belisarius is always good and loyal, and is as incapable of doing anything in his own self interest, or even reflecting on his own self belisarlus, as a fish is incapable of running a counf Theodora is conniving and vain; Justinian is selfish, foolish, and vindictive, etc. View all 15 comments. Graves novel gives us room to imagine a world that may not be accurate, but is an idealized version of what we WANT to believe we are capable.

Count Belisarius

Jun 21, Roger Kean rated it really liked it. Goodreads helps you keep belisadius of books you want to read. Sign up here to receive your FREE alerts.

The book, supposedly written by his wife’s eunuch Eugenius, follows his campaigns in Rome and Northern Africa, chronicling the court intrigues and jealousies that prevent him from winning the glories that should have been his. Using classical sources he constructed a complexly graes tale of the life of the Roman emperor Claudius, a tale extended in Claudius the God He later attempted to make a living by running a small shop, but the business failed. Belidarius, Claudius was a popular success when turned into a television series, but Graves’ other historical novels seem to have been largely forgotten.

Historical fiction about Belisarius, Byzantium’s greatest general, who briefly reconquered Italy, Sicily, and North Africa in the ‘s.

Good-Bye to All That: Emperor Justinian, who met his empress in that house of pain, Graves’s depicts as not very smart and easily led by those motivated almost solely by self interest.


Throughout, Belsarius remains a stoic Christian and loyal to the emperor who disdains him while envying his success. Return to Book Page. Share your thoughts with other customers. If you like noble soldiers, a general in the Russell Crowe mould, corrupt bishops and popes, a homicidal emperor, lots of intrigue, courtesans and numerous battles; you will love this.

But great success bred enmity from all quarters, not least from Justinian himself and Belisarius fell from grace.

: Count Belisarius (): Robert Graves: Books

Robert Graves’s sources for Count Belisarius include some of the great historical works of classical antiquity: Robert Graves is a master of historical fiction. Nov 22, Brad Lyerla rated it really liked it. Books by Robert Graves.

But first Coint had to acquire a copy of the book. Invaders threatened on all fronties, but they grew to respect and fear the name of Belisarius, the Emperor Justinian’s greatest general. I seem to be in the minority on this, but I found Count Belisarius to be a little disappointing.

Count Belisarius is perhaps the most obvious case. It is all the information we need but do not get in school, where the study of history and war leaves roberr the people who endure it and all the backstage arguing, treaty-making, and the myriad other things, like conspiracy and betrayal, that do not get full treatment in history books.


Justinian once again portrayed himself as the brilliant warrior-pope, while the General was stigmatized by slanderous lies. Well, maybe not a completely different understanding of social order. There is court intrigue fraves politicsthere is intra- and international intrigue.