The Byzantine General Belisarius was Emperor Justinian’s best military mind. He lived from 500-565 A.D. Early in his career, as a Roman soldier, he served close to Emperor Justin I (Justinian’s uncle) where he impressed both the current and future Emperors. His pride and joy was his unit of heavy cavalry, men armed with a lance, a sword, and a bow.
Justinian, a Byzantine Emperor, is known in modern times for his attempted restoration and unification of the Roman Empire. Belisarius contributed to Justinian’s vision with successful military campaigns which recaptured lost segments of the former empire in the west (the seat of power was Constantinople). Some of his accomplishments include suppressing a rebellion in Constantinople (modern day Istanbul, in Turkey), the defeat of the Vandals in North Africa, the defeat of the Goths in Italy (twice), and the defense of Syria against an army of Persians.
In Belisarius’s last military campaign he defeated an army of Bulgars who threatened Justinian in the capital of Constantinople. The opposing force was 2,000 strong and Belisarius defeated them with only 300 men.
Belisarius and Justinian died within months of each other in the year 565.