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Велизар, посљедњи римски генерал

NickFreak

Iskusan
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5.322
Волео бих да ми неко од историчара објасни тренд сроба из Паноније у Прибалтик уз честе повратке.
Знам да је у Прибалтику ипреко Висле ишао ћилинарски пут као и драго камење од Северњака.

Али мора постојати још нешто јако пуно народа је прошло тако и враћало се на том путу су примили аријанство јер је Аријева столица била и Сремској Митровици?
Готово све етничке групе су германизоване на овом путу ако им није био познат идентитет сем Словена за које извори нарочито наводе да су словеснксе или вендске народности уколико би ово изостало по аутоматизму би постајали германско или готско племе.
 

Khal Drogo

Domaćin
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3.289
Имамо један добар документарац који описује Велизарову кампању по Анадолији и битку код Даре 530.године;
Рат између Персије и Византије бјеше наводно вјерски мотивисан, па би то могао бити један од првих вјерских ратова у историји. Персијски шах Кавад I је покушао присилити Ибере (ПС; Иберија је уз Осроене, Јерменију и Албанију међу првим државамо у којима је хришћанство постало државномм религијом) да прихвате Заратустрино учење. Како су пропали покушаји да се дође до компромиса, дошло је до рата, наравно прави разлози и узроци су други, више материјалне природе, намјере једних и других да успоставе своју власт и Иберијом и тим простором Анадолије, но ето постоји и тај вјерски мотив.
Након промјењиве среће првих година дошло се до битке код Даре 530.године;
Battle of Dara
Battle of Dara
Belligerents
Commanders and leaders
Strength
Casualties and losses
Part of the Iberian War
Battle of Dara-battleplan.png
map of the battle
Date530 CE
LocationDara (present-day Mardin Province, southern Turkey)
ResultByzantine victory
Byzantine Empire
Ghassanids
Heruli
Huns
Sasanian Empire
Lakhmids
Belisarius
Hermogenes
Pharas
John of Lydia
Sunicas
al-Harith ibn Jabalah
Perozes
Pityaxes
Baresmanas
25,000 men[1]50,000 men[2]
(originally 40,000 men[1])
Unknown8,000+ men[3]

The Battle of Dara was fought between the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire and the Sasanians in 530. It was one of the battles of the Iberian War.

Background

Ruins of Justinian's fortifications at Dara

The Byzantine Empire was at war with the Sassanids from 527, supposedly because Kavadh I had tried to force the Iberians to become Zoroastrians. The Iberian king fled from Kavadh, but Kavadh tried to make peace with the Byzantines, and attempted to have Justin I adopt his son Khosrau. Justin agreed, but on the terms that he would do so only in a rite reserved for barbarians. This failed to satisfy Kavadh, who attacked Byzantine allies, so Justin sent his generals Sittas and Belisarius into Persia, where they were initially defeated.[5] In 529, the failed negotiations of Justin's successor Justinian prompted a Sassanian expedition of 40,000 men towards Dara.[6] The next year, Belisarius was sent back to the region alongside Hermogenes and an army; Kavadh answered with another 10,000 troops under the general Perozes, who set up camp about five kilometers away at Ammodius. In the near vicinity of Dara.[6]

Deployment
The Persians, outnumbering the Romans by 15,000 men, deployed around 20 stades away from the town of Daras and drew up their battle lines. Despite being outnumbered, Belisarius decided to give battle. He dug a number of ditches to block the Persian cavalry, leaving gaps between them to allow a counterattack.[6] According to Irfan Shahid, the tactic was adopted from the Persians at the Battle of Thannuris two years earlier.[7] These were pushed forward on either flank of his position, while his center was refused back. Here he placed his unreliable infantry behind the center ditch, being placed close enough to the walls of the fortress to provide supporting fire from the city battlements. On the left and right flanks were the Byzantine cavalry, of questionable quality. Supporting them on their interior flanks were small bodies of Huns: 300 Hun cavalry under Sunicas and Aigan supporting the left; and as many more Huns on the right under Simmas and Ascan. Belisarius also placed a body of Heruli cavalry under Pharas in ambush position off his left flank. A reserve composed of his own bucellarii household cavalry was held behind his center and commanded by John the Armenian, his trusted lieutenant and boyhood friend.

Battle
On the first day, according to Procopius, there was no general engagement, but instead a series of challenge fights between champions of both sides. One particular combat involved a Persian knight, who challenged Belisarius to single combat; but was instead met by a Byzantine bath slave named Andreas. Andreas, who had been secretly training with Belisarius' own household troopers, killed not only this Persian champion, but also a second challenger later in the day. The Persians then withdrew to Ammodius for the night. Some authors, however, have expressed doubt as to the pure historicity of Procopius' account and state that while instances of single combat did likely occur during the course of the battle, Procopius' description is intended to be a narrative device rather than a factual account. Another source, believed to be based on official documents, does indeed reference individual combat, but makes no mention of Andreas and, furthermore, places any single combat engagements at a different stage of the battle.[8]

After the first day of skirmishes, Belisarius sent a letter to the Persian commander. Rather than fight a battle, he believed it was best to avoid conflict and instead insisted that their disputes be settled by discussion. The letter read, "The first blessing is peace, as is agreed by all men who have even a small share of reason. ... The best general, therefore, is that one which is able to bring about peace from war."[9] The letter either fell on deaf ears[6] or Perezos already wanted to negotiate which eventually failed,[5] the battle resumed. The Persians already thought of the Byzantine army as a second-rate army; this letter, along with his numerical superiority, likely made Perozes even more confident of victory.[6] In his book on Belisarius Brogna merely says that Belisarius sent the letter because of his good moral character.[6] Mahon claims in his book that Belisarius doubted his chance of victory and this is why he send the letter.[10]

On the second day of the battle, 10,000 more Persian troops arrived from Nisibis. The Sassanid and Byzantine light infantry exchanged fire resulting in minor casualties on each side. As Procopius describes, "At first, then, both sides discharged arrows against each other, and the missiles by their great number made, as it were, a vast cloud; and many men were falling on both sides, but the missiles of the barbarians flew much more thickly. For fresh men were always fighting in turn, affording to their enemy not the slightest opportunity to observe what was being done; but even so the Romans did not have the worst of it. For a steady wind blew from their side against the barbarians, and checked to a considerable degree the force of their arrows."[11] Either the Persians got the best of the Romans,[6] the fight was fairly equal[5] or the Persians suffered more[12]. Then the Persians formed two lines: the right flank under Pityaxes and the left under Baresamanes.

At this time of the day the temperature of the region has been estimated to have been particularly hot, probably around 45 °C (113 °F).[13]

The first wave of the Persian attack was directed against the Byzantine left flank. The Persians forced a crossing of the ditch, pushing back the Byzantine cavalry. But the intervention of Sunicas' Huns attacking from the interior of the Byzantine line, as well as Pharas' Herulians attacking out of ambush from the opposite side, forced the Persians' wing to retreat.

The Persians then attacked the Byzantine right wing, where Perozes sent the Sassanid Zhayedan, also known as the Immortals, who were the elite Persian armored lancers. The Byzantine cavalry and infantry defending the ditch were pushed back here as they had been on the right. But Belisarius counterattacked with his reserve Bucellari cavalry, and split the Persian troops in two. Half the Persians pursued the Byzantine cavalry, but the rest were trapped, and Baresmanes was killed along with 5,000 other men. The Byzantine cavalry also recovered and routed their pursuers. Belisarius allowed a pursuit for a few miles, but let the majority of Persian survivors escape

Aftermath
Following the defeat, the Sasanians under Spahbod Azarethes together with their client Lakhmids started another invasion, this time, unexpectedly, via Commagene. Belisarius foiled their plan by swift maneuvering and forced the Persians, who were retreating, into a heavy battle at Callinicum in which the Byzantines were defeated, but with heavy casualties on both sides. The Byzantines eventually paid tributes in exchange for a peace treaty.

In 540 and 544 Dara was attacked by Khosrau I, who was unable to take it either time. Khosrau finally captured it in 573; its fall was said to have caused Justin II to go insane. Justin's wife Sophia and his friend Tiberius Constantine took control of the empire until Justin died in 578. Meanwhile, the Persians were able to march further into the empire, but Khosrau died in 579.

Maurice defeated the Persians at Dara in 586 and recaptured the fortress, but the Persians under Khosrau II defeated the Byzantines in 604. This time Persians destroyed the city, but the Byzantines later rebuilt it in 628. In 639 the Muslim Arabs captured it, and it remained in their hands until 942 when it was sacked by the Byzantines. It was sacked again by John I Tzimiskes in 958, but the Byzantines never recaptured it.

The battle in literature and media
The Battle of Dara is described in detail in, "Archaeological and Ancient Literary Evidence for a Battle near Dara Gap, Turkey, AD 530: Topography, Texts & Trenches" - see sources below. It was depicted in 2005 in the TV series Time Commanders. The battle is described in detail in the 1938 novel "Count Belisarius" by Robert Graves. It is also mentioned in the 2006 novel Belisarius: The First Shall Be Last.
Гдје је Велизар показао врхунско умијеће ратовања. Иако је располагао двоструко малобројнијом армијом, 25.000 бораца наспрам сасанидске армије од 50.000 војника низом тактичких маневара држао је иницијативу, у дводневној бици важну улогу су одиграли букелари, елитна гарда коју је Велизар лично обучавао и хунска коњица (најмање 1200 Хуна) који би доносили превагу када се ломила битка. Персијанци су доживјели тежак пораз а иако тада изузетно млад Велизар се показао способним војсковођом.
 

Khal Drogo

Domaćin
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3.289
Још један врло добар доументарац који описује Велизарову кампању по сјеверној Африци током вандалског рата и битку код Ад Децимума
Повод за вандалски рат је опет дјеломично вјерске природе, наравно стваени разлози су други, али постоји и тај мотив. У сјеверној Африци је 439.године успостављено моћно Вандалско краљевство. 530.године краљ бјеше Хилдерик који је имао добре односе са Јустинијаном, међутим те године га је збацио вандалски генерал Гелимер који је започео политику терора над свима који нису сљедбеници атијанизма, ортодоксни хришћани су протјерани и нашли спас у Византији. Поред чињенице да је збацио византијског савезника и то бјеше довољан повод за поход византијске армије и нови покушај након оног 468.године који је пропао да поврате сјеверну Африку.
Велизар се са својом војском искрцао 533.године и добро напредовао, искористио је што је део вандалске војске био заузет побуном на Сардинији.
До одлучујуће битке је дошло 13.септембра 533.године код Ад Децимума
Battle of Ad Decimum

Battle of Ad Decimum
Belligerents
Commanders and leaders
Strength
Casualties and losses
Part of the Vandalic War
DateSeptember 13, 533 CE
LocationNear Carthage
ResultByzantine victory
Byzantine EmpireVandal Kingdom
Belisarius
John the Armenian
Gelimer
Ammatas
18,000 men[1] or 15,000 menGreater than the Romans[2] or 10,000-12,000 men[1] or 11,000 men
UnknownUnknown

The Battle of Ad Decimum took place on September 13, 533 between the armies of the Vandals, commanded by King Gelimer, and the Byzantine Empire, under the command of General Belisarius. This event and events in the following year are sometimes jointly referred to as the Battle of Carthage, one of several battles to bear that name. The Byzantine victory marked the beginning of the end for the Vandals and began the reconquest of the west under the Emperor Justinian I.

Prelude
The Vandal Kingdom in North Africa was ruled by King Hilderic. His reign was noteworthy for the kingdom's excellent relations with the Byzantine Empire ruled by Emperor Justinian I.[1] Procopius writes that he was "a very particular friend and guest-friend of Justinian, who had not yet come to the throne"[citation needed], noting that Hilderic and Justinian exchanged large presents of money to each other. Hilderic allowed a new Catholic bishop to take office in the Vandal capital of Carthage, and many Vandals began to convert to Catholicism, to the alarm of the Vandal nobility. Hilderic rejected the Arian Christianity that most Vandals followed. However, in 531,[3] Hilderic was overthrown by his cousin Gelimer, a popular military commander who had commanded successfully against the Moors.[1] Gelimer began persecuting non-Arian population, and many fled to the Byzantine Empire. Justinian sent Byzantine general Belisarius to reconquer the former Roman province of North Africa. On Midsummer Day 533 the expedition set off. It consisted of 5,000 Byzantine cavalry and twice as many infantry and some additional units but their number and composition is not named by the primary sources.[1] They travelled in a fleet of 500 transports,[1] escorted by ninety-two dromons.[4] Once the fleet arrived safely in North Africa, the Byzantine army disembarked and marched up the coast to Carthage, the Vandal capital, the ships keeping pace with the army offshore.[1] Contact with the fleet was lost however when it had to sail round Cape Bon.[1]

Preparation
Ad Decimum (Latin for "at the tenth [mile post]"), was a marker along the Mediterranean coast road ten Roman miles (9.2 miles (15 km)) south of Carthage. Hearing of the Byzantine landing, Gelimer marched north from his position towards Ad Decimum.[1] He divided his forces, sending 2,000 men under his nephew Gibamund to block one of the three roads to Carthage, the other two converging at Ad Decimum.[1]

Gelimer retained 5,000-6,000 men under his own command while his brother Ammatus approached from the north with 6,000-7,000 troops, Ammatus scouting ahead of his troops in person.[1] At Ad Decimum there was a narrow defile where the Byzantines could be trapped.[1] The Byzantines did not know the layout of the road network and would probably be surprised if an army appeared behind them.[1] When the Byzantines advanced towards Carthage they would most likely try to go through the path blocked by Gibamund who was ordered to charge them.[1] This was supposed to push the Byzantines back into the valley and disorganise them.[1] Gelimer would advance into the valley and attack them from behind.[1]

When Belisarius landed in North Africa he knew the Vandals would move against him before he could reach Carthage.[4] However he did not know the Vandal dispositions so he wanted to gain intelligence about them before giving battle.[1][4][5][6] At the time when Ammatus was scouting the location of the battle, Belisarius found a good spot for a fortified camp roughly four miles from Ad Decimum,[1][7] leaving his infantry there while he advanced with his cavalry.[1][4] Belisarius had not ordered the 300-strong contingent of scouts under John the Armenian, or the 600 Huns guarding his left flank to stop so they kept advancing while Belisarius was still with his encamping infantry.[1]

Battle
The battle started with two roughly simultaneous engagements between smaller Vandal and Byzantine units.[1]

One of these was between the Byzantine Hun mercenaries and the Vandals of Gibamundus. One of the roughly 600 Huns rode out in front of the rest when encountering the Vandals.[1] Upon seeing this the Vandals stopped in their tracks allowing the Huns to charge and disperse them.[1][4] They possibly did this because of fear of a trap, being stunned at the bravery of this Hun or being surprised upon seeing Byzantines so far away from the main road.[1] They were also possibly scared of the Huns due to their reputation as great warriors.[1][4] Thus the 600 Hun mercenaries defeated 2,000 Vandals and killed Gibamundus in combat.[1][8]

At roughly the same time Ammatas made an error that would cost him his life.[1][9] Ammatas was scouting the battlefield with just a few men when he encountered the much stronger Byzantine vanguard under John, being killed in the ensuing combat.[1][4][7] The rest of Ammatas' forces moved out of Carthage in small bands of at most thirty men, thinly stretching themselves over the road between Carthage and the battlefield.[1][4][7] When these encountered the Byzantines they quickly fled.[1][7]

By now a Byzantine contingent under a man called Solomon, sent to contact John, reached the scene where battle had taken place.[1] They questioned local inhabitants to what took place there.[1] Soon after Gelimer’s main force came into sight, Solomon promptly informed Belisarius of the situation.[1] Seeing the importance of a nearby hill, an ideal location for a camp, some of Gelimer’s and Solomon’s troops began to skirmish.[1] The Byzantines had to attack uphill and against superior numbers quickly leading to defeat.[1] The retreating Byzantines encountered 800 more Byzantine troops and reformed.[1] Upon being informed of the current situation however, these 800 fled to the safety of Belisarius’ main force.[1][4][7] Reforming these troops and listening to their reports, Belisarius noticed that many Vandals had already been routed while the rest had halted.[1] Rightly believing he outnumbered the Vandals Belisarius moved rapidly on Ad Decimum.[1] Procopius believed that if Gelimer had pursued the fleeing Byzantines he would have completely overrun Belisarius unsuspecting contingent while if he would have moved towards Carthage he would have cut the Byzantine army off from John’s advance guard.[1][7] The second option would have put Gelimer in a position to attack the weaker and unsuspecting Byzantine fleet from Carthage.[1] Both being disastrous for the Byzantines.[1] Seeing only a few dead troops around the body of his brother Ammatas, Gelimer suspected the Byzantines had such an overwhelming force that Ammatas’ troops had immediately fled, leaving only few casualties behind.[1] The defeated Byzantines of Solomon just being the rear guard of this force.[1] In the clear space around Carthage the Vandals would not have had surprise on their side.[1] As such he did not try to pursue the “overwhelming” Byzantine force.[1] From Gelimer’s perspective the most viable option was to set up camp at the favorable position he had captured, gather intel, and wait for reinforcements from Sardinia to arrive.[1] Thus, instead of defeating Belisarius at his moment of greatest vulnerability he mourned his dead brother.[9]

When Belisarius attack the unprepared Vandals from an unexpected direction, he quickly routed the Vandals who fled away from Carthage in order to avoid being trapped between Belisarius and a potential other Byzantine force[1][4] (one under John indeed being present on that road).[1]

After this battle Carthage was left relatively lightly defended and was captured by the Byzantines.[1][4][8]

Development of the battle

Initial Vandal plan, with the projected entrapment of the Byzantine army.

First phase, the Byzantine advance parties defeat the Vandal flanking detachments.

Second phase, Gelimer routs the foederati.

Third phase, the final clash between Belisarius and Gelimer.

Aftermath
Belisarius camped near the site of the battle, not wanting to be too close to the city at night. The next day he marched on the city, with his wife Antonina at his side, ordering his men not to kill or enslave the population (as was normal practice at the time) because he stated the people were actually Roman citizens under Vandal rule. They found the gates to the city open, and the army was generally welcomed. Belisarius went straight to the palace and sat on the throne of the Vandal King. He then set about rebuilding the fortifications of the city, and his fleet sought shelter in the Lake of Tunis, five miles (8 km) south of Carthage.

After a second defeat at the Battle of Tricamarum later in the year, the Vandal Kingdom was all but ended.
Галимер је учинио више тактичких грешака. Подијелио је своју армију у три војске које тако раштркане због брдовитог терена нису имале визуелни контакт, убрзо је изгубљена кординација између тих војски.
Велизар је опрезно ушао у битку, послао је 6.000 хунских федерата више да извиде једну страну терена и 3.000 букелара под командом Јована Јерменског да извиде другу страну брдовитог терена. Ови контигенти послани више са задатком да извиде ситуацију сукобили су се са двјема вандалским војскама, иако малобројнији захваљујући фактору изненађења као и чињеници да су то редом били у биткама прекаљени ратници, разбили су обе ове војске.
Галимер са главнином тек тада улази у битку, погрешно процјењује да је сва византијска војска кренула у потјеру на сјевер, оставља залеђе незаштићено што Велизар користи да изврши напад са главнином своје војске, бјеше то тежак вандалски пораз, заслуга је и умијећа Велизара и његове елитне јединице букелара и хунског контигента али "заслуга" је и до бројних грешака вандалског војсковође Галимера..
Након два дана римска војска је ушла у Картагину а Велизар је показао величину јер је спречио пљачку, пустошење и разарање града.
Галимер је покушао прикупити преостале снаге, међутим доживљава још један пораз од Велизара код Трикаморума, бјеше то крај вандалског краљевства у сјеверној Африци.
 

sreckom92

Aktivan član
Poruka
1.106
Veljko i Velja od milja. Borio se za imperiju protiv drugog Srbina, Vidigoja. Pa i Todor(ik) Veliki sin srpskoj kralja Cudimira se borio za imperiju protiv Otokara, Srbina.
Isto tako je Atila (Srbin, Ratila, Ratilo) poveo pleme Huna(Huma?) ka Evropi i naterao na migracije Germana (Srba), i Slovena (Srba) preko granica Rimskog (Srpskog) Carstva.

Takodje, potomci Darija Velikog (Srbin) i Aleksandra Velikog (Srbin) su se borili za kontrolu nad Persijskim (Srpskim) Carstvom.
 

Khal Drogo

Domaćin
Poruka
3.289
Trebalo je da naglasim da nisam bio ozbiljan pri pisanju mog prethodnog komentara....
Ниси требао додати објашњење, форумаши на овом потфоруму, за разлику од птф политике гдје је то малчице другачије и свега има, знају препознати сарказам.
 

Khal Drogo

Domaćin
Poruka
3.289
Још један добар документарац који описује Велизарову кампању по јужној Италији те одбрану Рима 537-538.године
Након што Теодат збацио са власти регентицу Амаласунту, кћерку чувеног остроготског краља Теодорика Великог, који своједобно бјеше талац Цариграда гдје су га одгојили па је касније постао истинским пријатељем Византије, крунисао се краљем и заузео према Византији другачији курс, Јустнијан је добио повод да интервенише.
Послао је Велизара и Мунда који је повео кампању преко Далмације гдје ће се оклизнути о кору од банане.
Велизар је са релативно малим војним контигентом пошао преко Сицилије у поход по јужној Италији, доста брзо и вјешто освојио Напуљ и кренуо пут Рима. У Риму је мали готски гарнизон плашећи се све више непријатељски распложеног становништва напустио град и препустио га Велизару који е ушао у град са доста ограниченим војним снагама.
Готи нису добро примили пасивност Теодата приликом пада Напуља, замјењује га енергични и спосовни војсковођа Витигис који окупља бројну војску и креће у поход да поврати Рим, тако е почела опсада Рима која ће трајати више од годину дана.
Siege of Rome (537–538)

Siege of Rome
Belligerents
Commanders and leaders
Strength
Part of the Gothic War
DateMarch 537 – March 538 AD
LocationRome, Italy
ResultRoman victory
Territorial
changes
Rome successfully defended
Simple Labarum2.svg Eastern Roman EmpireOstrogothic Kingdom
BelisariusVitiges
5,000 men
5,600 reinforcements
unknown number of conscripts
Hunnic mercenaries
25,000–30,000 men[1]
The First Siege of Rome during the Gothic War lasted for a year and nine days, from 2 March 537 to 12 March 538.[2] The city was besieged by the Ostrogothic army under their king Vitiges; the defending East Romans were commanded by Belisarius, one of the most famous and successful Roman generals. The siege was the first major encounter between the forces of the two opponents, and played a decisive role in the subsequent development of the war.

Background

The Porta Asinaria, through which the East Roman army entered Rome.

With northern Africa back in Roman hands after the successful Vandalic War, Emperor Justinian I turned his sights on Italy, with the old capital, the city of Rome.

In the late 5th century, the peninsula had come under the control of the Ostrogoths, who, although they continued to acknowledge the Empire's suzerainty, had established a practically independent kingdom. However, after the death of its founder, the able Theodoric the Great, in 526, Italy descended into turmoil. Justinian took advantage of this to intervene in the affairs of the Ostrogoth state.

In 535, the Roman general Mundus invaded Dalmatia, and Belisarius, with an army of 7,500 men, captured Sicily with ease.[3] From there, in June next year, he crossed over to Italy at Rhegium. After a twenty-day siege, the Romans sacked Naples in early November. After the fall of Naples, the Goths, who were enraged with the inactivity of their king, Theodahad, gathered in council and elected Vitiges as their new king.[4] Theodahad, who fled from Rome to Ravenna, was murdered by an agent of Vitiges on the way. In the meantime, Vitiges held a council at Rome, where it was decided not to seek immediate confrontation with Belisarius, but to wait until the main army, stationed in the north, was assembled. Vitiges then departed Rome for Ravenna, leaving a 4,000 strong garrison to secure the city.[5]

Nevertheless, the citizens of Rome decisively supported Belisarius, and, in the light of the brutal sack of Naples, were unwilling to support the risks of a siege. So, a delegation on behalf of Pope Silverius and eminent citizens was sent to Belisarius. The Ostrogoth garrison quickly realized that, with the population hostile, their position was untenable. Thus, on December 9, 536 AD, Belisarius entered Rome through the Asinarian Gate at the head of 5,000 troops, while the Ostrogoth garrison was leaving the city through the Flaminian Gate and headed north towards Ravenna.[6] After 60 years, Rome was once again in Roman hands.

In February 537, Vitiges sent his commander Vacis to the Salarian Gate to beseech the Romans not to abandon the Goths. His speech was ineffective and the siege began the following day.[7]

Siege
Initial phases

The Aurelian Walls of Rome as they were in the 6th century. The locations of the Gothic camps are marked.

Belisarius, with his small force, was unable to continue his march northwards towards Ravenna, since the Ostrogoth forces vastly outnumbered his own. Instead, he settled in Rome, preparing for the inevitable counterstrike. He set up his headquarters on the Pincian Hill, in the north of the city, and started repairing the walls of the city. A ditch was dug out on the outer side, the fort of the Mausoleum of Hadrian strengthened, a chain was drawn across the Tiber, a number of citizens conscripted and stores of supplies set up. The populace of the city, aware that the siege they were trying to escape was becoming inevitable, started showing signs of discontent.

The Ostrogoth army marched on Rome, and gained passage over the River Anio at the Salarian Bridge, where the defending Romans abandoned their fortifications and fled. The next day, the Romans were barely saved from disaster when Belisarius, unaware of his forces' flight, proceeded towards the bridge with a detachment of his bucellarii. Finding the Goths already in possession of the fortified bridge, Belisarius and his escort became engaged in a fierce fight, and suffered great casualties before extricating themselves.[8]

Water mills
Rome was too large for the Goths to completely encircle. So they set up seven camps, overlooking the main gates and access routes to the city, in order to starve it out. Six of them were east of the river, and one on the western side, on the Campus Neronis, near the Vatican. This left the southern side of the city open.[7] The Goths then proceeded to block the aqueducts that were supplying the city with its water, necessary both for drinking and for operating the gristmills. The mills were those situated on the Janiculum, and provided most of the bread for the city. Although Belisarius was able to counter the latter problem by building floating mills on the stream of the Tiber, the hardships for the citizenry grew daily. Perceiving this discontent, Vitiges tried to achieve the surrender of the city by promising the Roman army free passage, but Belisarius refused the offer, telling his foe:[9]


...As for Rome, moreover, which we have captured, in holding it we hold nothing which belongs to others, but it was you who trespassed upon this city in former times, though it did not belong to you at all, and now you have given it back, however unwillingly, to its ancient possessors. And whoever of you has hopes of setting foot in Rome without a fight is mistaken in his judgment. For as long as Belisarius lives, it is impossible for him to relinquish this city.
First great assault
Soon after the rejection of his proposals, Vitiges unleashed a massive assault on the city. His engineers had constructed four great siege towers, which now began to be moved towards the city's northern walls, near the Salarian Gate, by teams of oxen. Procopius describes what happened next:


On the eighteenth day from the beginning of the siege the Goths moved against the fortifications at about sunrise [...] and all the Romans were struck with consternation at the sight of the advancing towers and rams, with which they were altogether unfamiliar. But Belisarius, seeing the ranks of the enemy as they advanced with the engines, began to laugh, and commanded the soldiers to remain quiet and under no circumstances to begin fighting until he himself should give the signal.
The reason for Belisarius' outburst was at first unclear, but as the Goths approached the moat, he drew forth his bow and shot, one after another, three Ostrogoth riders. The soldiers on the walls took this as an omen of victory and started to shout in celebration. Then Belisarius revealed his thought, as he ordered his archers to concentrate their fire on the exposed oxen, which the Goths had so thoughtlessly brought within bowshot distance from the walls. The oxen were dispatched quickly, and the four towers were left there, useless, before the walls.[10]



The Mausoleum of Hadrian was the scene of a fierce battle between Romans and Goths.

Vitiges then left a large force to keep the defenders occupied, and attacked the walls to the southeast, in the area of the Praenestine Gate, known as the Vivarium, where the fortifications were lower. A simultaneous attack was carried out in the western side, at the Mausoleum of Hadrian and the Cornelian Gate. There the fighting was particularly fierce. Eventually, after a hard fight, the Goths were driven off,[11] but the situation at the Vivarium was grave. The defenders, under Bessas and Peranius, were being hard pressed, and sent to Belisarius for help. Belisarius came, accompanied by a few of his bucellarii. As soon as the Goths breached the wall, he ordered a few soldiers to attack them before they could form up, but with the majority of his troops, he sallied forth from the gate. Taking the Goths by surprise, his men pushed them back and burned their siege engines. At the same time, whether by chance or design, the Romans at the Salarian Gate also attempted a sortie, and likewise succeeded in destroying many of the siege engines. The first attempt of the Goths to storm the city had failed, and their army withdrew to their camps.[12]

Roman successes
Despite this success, Belisarius was well aware that his situation was still dangerous. He therefore wrote a letter to Justinian, asking for aid. Indeed, Justinian had already dispatched reinforcements under the tribunes Martinus and Valerian, but they had been delayed in Greece due to bad weather. In his letter, Belisarius also added cautionary words concerning the loyalty of the populace: "And although at the present time the Romans are well disposed toward us, yet when their troubles are prolonged, they will probably not hesitate to choose the course which is better for their own interests. [...] Furthermore, the Romans will be compelled by hunger to do many things they would prefer not to do."[13] For fear of treason, extreme measures were taken by Belisarius: Pope Silverius was deposed on suspicions of negotiating with the Goths and replaced by Vigilius, the locks and keys of the gates were changed "twice each month", the guards on gate duty regularly rotated, and patrols set up.[14]

Vitiges, in the meantime, enraged by his failure, sent orders to Ravenna to kill the senators that he had held hostage there, and furthermore resolved to complete the isolation of the besieged city by cutting it off from the sea. The Goths seized the Portus Claudii at Ostia, which had been left unguarded by the Romans. As a result, although the Romans retained control of Ostia itself, their supply situation worsened, as supplies had to be unloaded at Antium (modern Anzio) and thence transported laboriously to Rome.[15] Fortunately for the besieged, twenty days later, the promised reinforcements, 1600 cavalry, arrived and were able to enter the city. Belisarius now had at his disposal a well-trained, disciplined and mobile force, and started employing his cavalry in sallies against the Goths. Invariably, the Roman horsemen, mostly of Hunnic or Slavic origin and expert bowmen, would close in on the Goths, who relied primarily on close quarters combat and lacked ranged weapons, loose a shower of arrows, and withdraw to the walls when pursued. There, ballistas and catapults lay in waiting, and drove the Goths back with great loss. Thus the superior mobility and firepower of the Roman cavalry was utilized to great effect, causing serious losses to the Goths for minimal Roman casualties.[16]

Goths achieve victory in open battle
These successes greatly encouraged the army and the people, who now put pressure on Belisarius to march forth into an open battle. At first Belisarius refused because of the still-great numerical disparity, but was at length persuaded, and made his preparations accordingly. The main force, under his command, would sally forth from the Pincian and the Salarian Gates in the north, while a smaller cavalry detachment under Valentinus, along with the bulk of the armed civilians, would confront the large Gothic force encamped west of the Tiber and prevent them from participating in the battle, without however engaging it in direct combat. Initially, because of the poor quality of the Roman infantry, Belisarius wished the battle to be restricted to a cavalry fight, but was persuaded by the pleas of two of his bodyguards, Principius and Tarmutus, and positioned a large body of his infantry under them as a reserve and rally point for the cavalry.[17]

Vitiges, for his part, deployed his army in the typical fashion, with the infantry in the center and the cavalry on the flanks. When battle was joined, the Roman cavalry once again utilized its familiar tactics, showering the dense mass of Gothic troops with arrows and withdrawing without contact. Thus they inflicted great casualties on the Goths, who were unable to adapt to these tactics, and by midday, the Romans seemed close to victory. On the Fields of Nero, on the other side of the Tiber, the Romans attempted a sudden attack on the Goths, and, due to shock and large numbers, the Goths were routed and fled to the hills for safety. But the majority of the Roman army there, as mentioned, consisted of ill-disciplined civilians, who soon lost any semblance of order, despite Valentinus' and his officers' efforts, and went about plundering the abandoned Gothic camp. This confusion gave the Goths the time to regroup, and charging once again, they drove the Romans back with great loss. In the meantime, on the eastern side of the Tiber, the Romans had reached the Gothic camps. There resistance was fierce, and the already small Roman force suffered casualties in close combat. Thus, when the Gothic cavalry in the right wing perceived their opponents' weakness, they moved against them and routed them. Soon the Romans were in full flight, and the infantry, which was supposed to act in exactly such a case as a defensive screen, disintegrated despite the valor of Principius and Tarmutus and joined the flight for the safety of the walls.[18]

Roman ascendancy and end of the siege
And the barbarians said: "[...] we give up to you Sicily, great as it is and of such wealth, seeing that without it you cannot possess Libya in security."7
And Belisarius replied: "And we on our side permit the Goths to have the whole of Britain, which is much larger than Sicily and was subject to the Romans in early times. For it is only fair to make an equal return to those who first do a good deed or perform a kindness."
The barbarians: "Well, then, if we should make you a proposal concerning Campania also, or about Naples itself, will you listen to it?"
Belisarius: "No, for we are not empowered to administer the emperor's affairs in a way which is not in accord with his wish."
Dialogue between Belisarius and the Gothic embassy
Procopius, De Bello Gothico II.VI

The Goths, also suffering, like the besieged, from disease and famine, now resorted to diplomacy. An embassy of three was sent to Belisarius, and offered to surrender Sicily and southern Italy (which were already in Roman hands) in exchange for a Roman withdrawal. The dialogue, as preserved by Procopius, clearly illustrates the reversed situation of the two parties, with the envoys claiming having suffered injustice and offering territories, and Belisarius being secure in his position, dismissive of the Goths' claims, and even making sarcastic remarks at their proposals. Nevertheless, a three-month armistice was arranged in order for Gothic envoys to travel to Constantinople for negotiations.[19] Belisarius took advantage of it and brought the 3,000 Isaurians, who had landed at Ostia, along with a large amount of supplies, safely to Rome. During the armistice, the Goths' situation deteriorated for want of supplies, and they were forced to abandon the Portus, which was promptly occupied by an Isaurian garrison, as well as the city of Centumcellae (modern Civitavecchia) and Albano. Thus, by the end of December, the Goths were virtually surrounded by Roman detachments, and their supply routes effectively cut. The Goths protested these actions, but to no avail. Belisarius even sent one of his best generals, John, with 2,000 men towards Picenum, with orders to avoid conflict but, when ordered to move, to capture or plunder any stronghold he met, and not to leave any enemy strongholds in his rear.[20]

Shortly thereafter the truce was irretrievably broken by the Goths, when they attempted to enter the city in secret. First they tried to do so by using the Aqua Virgo aqueduct. Unfortunately for them, the torches they used to explore it were detected by a guard on the nearby Pincian Gate. The aqueduct was put under close guard, and the Goths, perceiving this, made no attempt to use it again. A little later, a sudden attack against the same gate was repulsed by the guards under the command of Ildiger, Antonina's son-in-law. Later, with the aid of two paid Roman agents, they tried to drug the guards at a section of the walls near St Peter's and enter the city unopposed, but one of the agents revealed the plan to Belisarius, and this attempt too was thwarted.[21]

In retaliation, Belisarius ordered John to move on Picenum. John, after defeating a Gothic force under Ulithus, an uncle of Vitiges, was free to roam the province at will. However, he disobeyed Belisarius' instructions, and did not attempt to take the fortified towns of Auxinum (modern Osimo) and Urbinum (modern Urbino), judging that they were too strong. Instead, he bypassed them and headed for Ariminum (Rimini), invited there by the local Roman population. Ariminum's capture meant that the Romans had effectively cut Italy in two, but in addition, the city was barely a day's march away from the Gothic capital of Ravenna. Thus, at the news of Ariminum's fall, Vitiges decided to withdraw in all haste towards his capital. 374 days after the siege had begun, the Goths burned their camps and abandoned Rome, marching northeast along the Via Flaminia. But Belisarius led out his forces, and waited until half the Gothic army had crossed the Milvian Bridge before attacking the remainder. After initially fierce resistance, the Goths finally broke, and many were slain or drowned in the river.[22]

Aftermath
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After their victory over a numerically much superior enemy, the Romans gained the upper hand. Reinforcements under Narses arrived, which enabled Belisarius to take several Gothic strongholds and control most of Italy south of the River Po by the end of 539. Eventually, Ravenna itself was taken by deceit in May 540, and the war seemed to be effectively over. However, very soon, the Goths, under the capable leadership of their new king Totila, managed to reverse the situation, until the Empire's position in Italy almost collapsed. In 546, Rome was again besieged by Totila, and this time Belisarius was unable to prevent its fall. The city was reoccupied by the Imperials soon after, and Totila had to besiege it again in 549. Despite the city's fall, Totila's triumph was to be brief. The arrival of Narses in 551 spelled the beginning of the end for the Goths, and in the Battle of Taginae in 552 the Goths were routed and Totila was killed. In 553 the last Ostrogothic king, Teia, was defeated. Although several cities in the north continued resistance up to the early 560s, Gothic power was broken for good.

The Gothic Wars, and in particular the siege, had a disastrous effect on the population of the city. By one estimate the population declined by 90% to around 30,000 by the year 550. Of the original 13 aqueducts only two remained functional, and the populated area was 10% of that at its peak.[23]
Током опсаде, Велизар је са неколико пута малобројнијим војним контигентом успјешно бранио град, вјешто е премјештао јединице унутар града како би разбио тежисте напада Гота. Мобилисао је и мушко градско становништво у своју војску, па је некао успио покрити сва стражарска места.
Поред умијећа у риковођењу својим јединицама, показао је и храброст, лично предводио одбрану када бјеше критично, а показао је и дипломаску вјештину приликом преговора око примирја, бирајући моменат када ће наћи изговор и поновно преузети иницијативу.
Имао је и једну погрешну процјену, када је добио појачање од неких 16.000 војника, кренуо је у отворени окршај са намјером да разбије блокаду, но доживио је пораз и потиснут назад у град. Извукао је поуку и касније опрезније дјеловао, чекајући прави моменат да Готи који су све више имали проблема са снабдијевањем ослабе, изгубе борбени елан, како би извршио одучујући удар.
Што се и десило, након 374 дана разбијена је опсада Рима, Готи су кренули у повлачење, Велизар је сачекао да половина готске војске оде након чега је извео снажан напад нанијевши им тешке губитке.
Како већ написах, одбрана Рим, касније и кампања по Апенинима је врхунац Велизарове каријере, у књизи Готски рат, Прокопије га глорификује, хвали његове одлуке и поступке, истиче његову енергичност и храброст, међутим и њега је у тајној историји, поглавље 5 (овдје) нагрдио приписујући му више глупости, колебљивост, неодлучност, а између осталог пише и да није позван у Цариград због нужде ситуације и опасности од Персије већ на властити захтјев.
Истина је вјероватно негдје на средини.
 

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