History of the Wars/Book VI

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
194396History of the Wars — Book VI: The Gothic War (pt. 2)Procopius



After this the Romans no longer dared risk a battle with their whole army; but they engaged in cavalry battles, making sudden sallies in the same manner as before, and were generally victorious over the barbarians. Foot-soldiers also went out from both sides, not, however, arrayed in a phalanx, but accompanying the horsemen. And once Bessas in the first rush dashed in among the enemy carrying his spear and killed three of their best horsemen and turned the rest to flight. And another time, when Constantinus had led out the Huns in the Plain of Nero in the late afternoon, and saw that they were being overpowered by the superior numbers of their opponents, he took the following measures. There has been in that place from of old a great stadium[1] where the gladiators of the city used to fight in former times, and the men of old built many other buildings round about this stadium; consequently there are, as one would expect, narrow passages all about this place. Now on the occasion in question, since Constantinus could neither overcome the throng of the Goths nor flee without great danger, he caused all the Huns to dismount from their horses, and on foot, in company with them, took his stand in one of the narrow passages there. Then by shooting from that safe position they slew large numbers of the enemy. And for some time the Goths withstood their missiles. For they hoped, as soon as the supply of missiles in the quivers of the Huns should be exhausted, to be able to surround them without any trouble, take them prisoners, and lead them back to their camp. But since the Massagetae, who were not only good bowmen but also had a dense throng to shoot into, hit an enemy with practically every shot, the Goths perceived that above half their number had perished, and since the sun was about to set, they knew not what to do and so rushed off in flight. Then indeed many of them fell; for the Massagetae followed them up, and since they know how to shoot the bow with the greatest accuracy even when running at great speed, they continued to discharge their arrows no less than before, shooting at their backs, and kept up the slaughter. And thus Constantinus with his Huns came back to Rome at night.

And when Peranius, not many days later, led some of the Romans through the Salarian Gate against the enemy, the Goths, indeed, fled as hard as they could, but about sunset a counter-pursuit was made suddenly, and a Roman foot-soldier, becoming greatly confused, fell into a deep hole, many of which were made there by the men of old, for the storage of grain, I suppose. And he did not dare to cry out, supposing that the enemy were encamped near by, and was not able in any way whatever to get out of the pit, for it afforded no means of climbing up; he was therefore compelled to pass the night there. Now on the next day, when the barbarians had again been put to flight, one of the Goths fell into the same hole. And there the two men were reconciled to mutual friendship and good-will, brought together as they were by their necessity, and they exchanged solemn pledges, each that he would work earnestly for the salvation of the other; and then both of them began shouting with loud and frantic cries. Now the Goths, following the sound, came and peered over the edge of the hole, and enquired who it was who shouted. At this, the Roman, in accordance with the plan decided upon by the two men, kept silence, and the Goth in his native tongue said that he had just recently fallen in there during the rout which had taken place, and asked them to let down a rope that he might come up. And they as quickly as possible threw down the ends of ropes, and, as they thought, were pulling up the Goth, but the Roman laid hold of the ropes and was pulled up, saying only that if he should go up first the Goths would never abandon their comrade, but if they should learn that merely one of the enemy was there they would take no account of him. So saying, he went up. And when the Goths saw him, they wondered and were in great perplexity, but upon hearing the whole story from him they drew up his comrade next, and he told them of the agreement they had made and of the pledges both had given. So he went off with his companions, and the Roman was released unharmed and permitted to return to the city. After this horsemen in no great numbers armed themselves many times for battle, but the struggles always ended in single combats, and the Romans were victorious in all of them. Such, then, was the course of these events.

A little after this an engagement took place in the Plain of Nero, wherein various small groups of horsemen were engaged in pursuing their opponents in various directions; in one group was Chorsamantis, a man of note among the guards of Belisarius, by birth a Massagete, who with some others was pursuing seventy of the enemy. And when he had got well out in the plain the other Romans rode back, but Chorsamantis went on with the pursuit alone. As soon as the Goths perceived this, they turned their horses about and came against him. And he advanced into their midst, killed one of the best of them with his spear, and then went after the others, but they again turned and rushed off in flight. But they were ashamed before their comrades in the camp, who, they suspected, could already see them, and wished to attack him again. They had, however, precisely the same experience as before and lost one of their best men, and so turned to flight in spite of their shame, and after Chorsamantis had pursued them as far as their stockade he returned alone. And a little later, in another battle, this man was wounded in the left shin, and it was his opinion that the weapon had merely grazed the bone. However, he was rendered unfit for fighting for a certain number of days by reason of this wound, and since he was a barbarian he did not endure this patiently, but threatened that he would right speedily have vengeance upon the Goths for this insult to his leg. So when not long afterwards he had recovered and was drunk at lunch time, as was his custom, he purposed to go alone against the enemy and avenge the insult to his leg; and when he had come to the small Pincian Gate he stated that he was sent by Belisarius to the enemy's camp. And the guards at the gate, who could not doubt the word of a man who was the best of the guards of Belisarius, opened the gates and allowed him to go wherever he would. And when the enemy spied him, they thought at first that some deserter was coming over to them, but when he came near and put his hand to his bow, twenty men, not knowing who he might be, went out against him. These he easily drove off, and then began to ride back at a walk, and when more Goths came against him he did not flee. But when a great throng gathered about him and he still insisted upon fighting them, the Romans, watching the sight from the towers, suspected that the man was crazy, but they did not yet know that it was Chorsamantis. At length, after making a display of great and very noteworthy deeds, he found himself surrounded by the army of the enemy, and paid the penalty for his unreasonable daring. And when Belisarius and the Roman army learned this, they mourned greatly, lamenting that the hope which all placed in the man had come to naught.


  1. Perhaps the Stadium of Caligula.



Now a certain Euthalius, at about the spring equinox, came to Taracina from Byzantium with the money which the emperor owed the soldiers. And fearing lest the enemy should come upon him on the road and both rob him of the money and kill him, he wrote to Belisarius requesting him to make the journey to Rome safe for him. Belisarius accordingly selected one hundred men of note from among his own bodyguards and sent them with two spearmen to Taracina to assist him in bringing the money. And at the same time he kept trying to make the barbarians believe that he was about to fight with his whole army, his purpose being to prevent any of the enemy from leaving the vicinity, either to bring in provisions or for any other purpose. But when he found out that Euthalius and his men would arrive on the morrow, he arrayed his army and set it in order for battle, and the barbarians were in readiness. Now throughout the whole forenoon he merely held his soldiers near the gates; for he knew that Euthalius and those who accompanied him would arrive at night. Then, at midday, he commanded the army to take their lunch, and the Goths did the same thing, supposing that he was putting off the engagement to the following day. A little later, however, Belisarius sent Martinus and Valerian to the Plain of Nero with the troops under their command, directing them to throw the enemy's camp into the greatest possible confusion. And from the small Pincian Gate he sent out six hundred horsemen against the camps of the barbarians, placing them under command of three of his own spearmen, Artasires, a Persian, and Bochas, of the race of the Massagetae, and Cutilas, a Thracian. And many of the enemy came out to meet them. For a long time, however, the battle did not come to close quarters, but each side kept retreating when the other advanced and making pursuits in which they quickly turned back, until it looked as if they intended to spend the rest of the day at this sort of thing. But as they continued, they began at last to be filled with rage against each other. The battle then settled down to a fierce struggle in which many of the best men on both sides fell, and support came up for each of the two armies, both from the city and from the camps. And when these fresh troops were mingled with the fighters the struggle became still greater. And the shouting which filled the city and the camps terrified the combatants. But finally the Romans by their valour forced back the enemy and routed them.

In this action Cutilas was struck in the middle of the head by a javelin, and he kept on pursuing with the javelin still embedded in his head. And after the rout had taken place, he rode into the city at about sunset together with the other survivors, the javelin in his head waving about, a most extraordinary sight. During the same encounter Arzes, one of the guards of Belisarius, was hit by one of the Gothic archers between the nose and the right eye. And the point of the arrow penetrated as far as the neck behind, but it did not shew through, and the rest of the shaft projected from his face and shook as the man rode. And when the Romans saw him and Cutilas they marvelled greatly that both men continued to ride, paying no heed to their hurt. Such, then, was the course of events in that quarter.

But in the Plain of Nero the barbarians had the upper hand. For the men of Valerian and Martinus, fighting with a great multitude of the enemy, withstood them stoutly, to be sure, but suffered most terribly, and came into exceedingly great danger. And then Belisarius commanded Bochas to take his troops, which had returned from the engagement unwearied, men as well as horses, and go to the Plain of Nero. Now it was already late in the day. And when the men under Bochas had come to the assistance of the Romans, suddenly the barbarians were turned to flight, and Bochas, who had impetuously followed the pursuit to a great distance, came to be surrounded by twelve of the enemy, who carried spears. And they all struck him at once with their spears. But his corselet withstood the other blows, which therefore did not hurt him much; but one of the Goths succeeded in hitting him from behind, at a place where his body was uncovered, above the right armpit, very close to the shoulder, and smote the youth, though not with a mortal stroke, nor even one which brought him into danger of death. But another Goth struck him in front and pierced his left thigh, and cut the muscles there; it was not a straight blow, however, but only a slanting cut. But Valerian and Martinus saw what was happening, and coming to his rescue as quickly as possible, they routed the enemy, and both took hold of the bridle of Bochas' horse, and so came into the city. Then night came on and Euthalius entered the city with the money.

And when all had returned to the city, they attended to the wounded men. Now in the case of Arzes, though the physicians wished to draw the weapon from his face, they were for some time reluctant to do so, not so much on account of the eye, which they supposed could not possibly be saved, but for fear lest, by the cutting of membranes and tissues such as are very numerous in that region, they should cause the death of a man who was one of the best of the household of Belisarius. But afterwards one of the physicians, Theoctistus by name, pressed on the back of his neck and asked whether he felt much pain. And when the man said that he did feel pain, he said, "Then both you yourself will be saved and your sight will not be injured." And he made this declaration because he inferred that the barb of the weapon had penetrated to a point not far from the skin. Accordingly he cut off that part of the shaft which shewed outside and threw it away, and cutting open the skin at the back of the head, at the place where the man felt the most pain, he easily drew toward him the barb, which with its three sharp points now stuck out behind and brought with it the remaining portion of the weapon. Thus Arzes remained entirely free from serious harm, and not even a trace of his wound was left on his face. But as for Cutilas, when the javelin was drawn rather violently from his head (for it was very deeply embedded), he fell into a swoon. And since the membranes about the wound began to be inflamed, he fell a victim to phrenitis[1] and died not long afterwards. Bochas, however, immediately had a very severe hemorrhage in the thigh, and seemed like one who was presently to die. And the reason for the hemorrhage, according to what the physicians said, was that the blow had severed the muscle, not directly from the front, but by a slanting cut. In any event he died three days later. Because of these things, then, the Romans spent that whole night in deep grief; while from the Gothic camps were heard many sounds of wailing and loud lamentation. And the Romans indeed wondered, because they thought that no calamity of any consequence had befallen the enemy on the previous day, except, to be sure, that no small number of them had perished in the encounters. This had happened to them before in no less degree, perhaps even to a greater degree, but it had not greatly distressed them, so great were their numbers. However, it was learned on the following day that men of the greatest note from the camp in the Plain of Nero were being bewailed by the Goths, men whom Bochas had killed in his first charge.

And other encounters also, though of no great importance, took place, which it has seemed to me unnecessary to chronicle. This, however, I will state, that altogether sixty-seven encounters occurred during this siege, besides two final ones which will be described in the following narrative. And at that time the winter drew to its close, and thus ended the second year of this war, the history of which Procopius has written.


  1. Inflammation of the brain.



But at the beginning of the spring equinox famine and pestilence together fell upon the inhabitants of the city. There was still, it is true, some grain for the soldiers, though no other kind of provisions, but the grain-supply of the rest of the Romans had been exhausted, and actual famine as well as pestilence was pressing hard upon them. And the Goths, perceiving this, no longer cared to risk a decisive battle with their enemy, but they kept guard that nothing in future should be brought in to them. Now there are two aqueducts between the Latin and the Appian Ways, exceedingly high and carried on arches for a great distance. These two aqueducts meet at a place fifty stades distant from Rome[1] and cross each other, so that for a little space they reverse their relative position. For the one which previously lay to the right from then on continues on the left side. And again coming together, they resume their former places, and thereafter remain apart. Consequently the space between them, enclosed, as it is, by the aqueducts, comes to be a fortress. And the barbarians walled up the lower arches of the aqueducts here with stones and mud and in this way gave it the form of a fort, and encamping there to the number of no fewer than seven thousand men, they kept guard that no provisions should thereafter be brought into the city by the enemy.

Then indeed every hope of better things abandoned the Romans, and every form of evil encompassed them round about. As long as there was ripe grain, however, the most daring of the soldiers, led on by lust of money, went by night to the grain-fields not far from the city mounted on horses and leading other horses after them. Then they cut off the heads of grain, and putting them on the horses which they led, would carry them into the city without being seen by the enemy and sell them at a great price to such of the Romans as were wealthy. But the other inhabitants lived on various herbs such as grow in abundance not only in the outskirts but also inside the fortifications. For the land of the Romans is never lacking in herbs either in winter or at any other season, but they always flourish and grow luxuriantly at all times. Wherefore the besieged also pastured their horses in those places. And some too made sausages of the mules that died in Rome and secretly sold them. But when the corn-lands had no more grain and all the Romans had come into an exceedingly evil plight, they surrounded Belisarius and tried to compel him to stake everything on a single battle with the enemy, promising that not one of the Romans would be absent from the engagement. And when he was at a loss what to do in that situation and greatly distressed, some of the populace spoke to him as follows:

"General, we were not prepared for the fortune which has overtaken us at the present time; on the contrary, what has happened has been altogether the opposite of our expectations. For after achieving what we had formerly set our hearts upon, we have now come into the present misfortune, and we realize at length that our previous opinion that we did well to crave the emperor's watchful care was but folly and the beginning of the greatest evils. Indeed, this course has brought us to such straits that at the present time we have taken courage to use force once more and to arm ourselves against the barbarians. And while we may claim forgiveness if we boldly come into the presence of Belisarius—for the belly knows not shame when it lacks its necessities—our plight must be the apology for our rashness; for it will be readily agreed that there is no plight more intolerable for men than a life prolonged amid the adversities of fortune. And as to the fortune which has fallen upon us, you cannot fail to see our distress. These fields and the whole country have fallen under the hand of the enemy; and this city has been shut off from all good things for we know not how long a time. And as for the Romans, some already lie in death, and it has not been their portion to be hidden in the earth, and we who survive, to put all our terrible misfortunes in a word, only pray to be placed beside those who lie thus. For starvation shews to those upon whom it comes that all other evils can be endured, and wherever it appears it is attended by oblivion of all other sufferings, and causes all other forms of death, except that which proceeds from itself, to seem pleasant to men. Now, therefore, before the evil has yet mastered us, grant us leave on our own behalf to take up the struggle, which will result either in our overcoming the enemy or in deliverance from our troubles. For when delay brings men hope of safety, it would be great folly for them prematurely to enter into a danger which involves their all, but when tarrying makes the struggle more difficult, to put off action even for a little time is more reprehensible than immediate and precipitate haste."

So spoke the Romans. And Belisarius replied as follows: "Well, as for me, I have been quite prepared for your conduct in every respect, and nothing that has happened has been contrary to my expectation. For long have I known that a populace is a most unreasoning thing, and that by its very nature it cannot endure the present or provide for the future, but only knows how rashly in every case to attempt the impossible and recklessly to destroy itself. But as for me, I shall never, willingly at least, be led by your carelessness either to destroy you or to involve the emperor's cause in ruin with you. For war is wont to be brought to a successful issue, not by unreasoning haste, but by the use of good counsel and forethought in estimating the turn of the scale at decisive moments. You, however, act as though you were playing at dice, and want to risk all on a single cast; but it is not my custom to choose the short course in preference to the advantageous one. In the second place, you promise that you will help us do battle against the enemy; but when have you ever taken training in war? Or who that has learned such things by the use of arms does not know that battle affords no room for experiment? Nor does the enemy, on his part, give opportunity, while the struggle is on, to practise on him. This time, indeed, I admire your zeal and forgive you for making this disturbance; but that you have taken this action at an unseasonable time and that the policy of waiting which we are following is prudent, I shall now make clear. The emperor has gathered for us from the whole earth and despatched an army too great to number, and a fleet such as was never brought together by the Romans now covers the shore of Campania and the greater part of the Ionian Gulf. And within a few days these reinforcements will come to us and bring with them all kinds of provisions, to put an end to our destitution and to bury the camps of the barbarians under a multitude of missiles. I have therefore reasoned that it was better to put off the time of conflict until they are present, and thus gain the victory in the war with safety, than to make a show of daring in unreasoning haste and thus throw away the salvation of our whole cause. To secure their immediate arrival and to prevent their loitering longer shall be my concern."


  1. Torre Fiscale; but it is only about thirty stades from Rome.



With these words Belisarius encouraged the Roman populace and then dismissed them; and Procopius, who wrote this history, he immediately commanded to go to Naples. For a rumour was going about that the emperor had sent an army there. And he commissioned him to load as many ships as possible with grain, to gather all the soldiers who at the moment had arrived from Byzantium, or had been left about Naples in charge of horses or for any other purpose whatever—for he had heard that many such were coming to the various places in Campania—and to withdraw some of the men from the garrisons there, and then to come back with them, convoying the grain to Ostia, where the harbour of the Romans was. And Procopius, accompanied by Mundilas the guardsman and a few horsemen, passed out by night through the gate which bears the name of the Apostle Paul,[1] eluding the enemy's camp which had been established very close to the Appian Way to keep guard over it. And when Mundilas and his men, returning to Rome, announced that Procopius had already arrived in Campania without meeting any of the barbarians,—for at night, they said, the enemy never went outside their camp,—everybody became hopeful, and Belisarius, now emboldened, devised the following plan. He sent out many of his horsemen to the neighbouring strongholds, directing them, in case any of the enemy should come that way in order to bring provisions into their camps, that they should constantly make sallies upon them from their positions and lay ambushes everywhere about this region, and thus keep them from succeeding; on the contrary, they should with all their might hedge them in, so that the city might be in less distress than formerly through lack of provisions, and also that the barbarians might seem to be besieged rather than to be themselves besieging the Romans. So he commanded Martinus and Trajan with a thousand men to go to Taracina. And with them he sent also his wife Antonina, commanding that she be sent with a few men to Naples, there to await in safety the fortune which would befall the Romans. And he sent Magnus and Sinthues the guardsman, who took with them about five hundred men, to the fortress of Tibur, one hundred and forty stades distant from Rome. But to the town of Albani,[2] which was situated on the Appian Way at the same distance from the city, he had already, as it happened, sent Gontharis with a number of Eruli, and these the Goths had driven out from there by force not long afterward.

Now there is a certain church of the Apostle Paul,[3] fourteen stades distant from the fortifications of Rome, and the Tiber River flows beside it. In that place there is no fortification, but a colonnade extends all the way from the city to the church, and many other buildings which are round about it render the place not easy of access. But the Goths shew a certain degree of actual respect for sanctuaries such as this. And indeed during the whole time of the war no harm came to either church of the two Apostles[4] at their hands, but all the rites were performed in them by the priests in the usual manner. At this spot, then, Belisarius commanded Valerian to take all the Huns and make a stockade by the bank of the Tiber, in order that their horses might be kept in greater security and that the Goths might be still further checked from going at their pleasure to great distances from their camps. And Valerian acted accordingly. Then, after the Huns had made their camp in the place where the general directed, he rode back to the city.

So Belisarius, having accomplished this, remained quiet, not offering battle, but eager to carry on the defence from the wall, if anyone should advance against it from outside with evil intent. And he also furnished grain to some of the Roman populace. But Martinus and Trajan passed by night between the camps of the enemy, and after reaching Taracina sent Antonina with a few men into Campania; and they themselves took possession of the fortified places in that district, and using them as their bases of operations and making thence their sudden attacks, they checked such of the Goths as were moving about in that region. As for Magnus and Sinthues, in a short time they rebuilt such parts of the fortress[5] as had fallen into ruin, and as soon as they had put themselves in safety, they began immediately to make more trouble for the enemy, whose fortress was not far away, not only by making frequent raids upon them, but also by keeping such of the barbarians as were escorting provision-trains in a constant state of terror by the unexpectedness of their movements; but finally Sinthues was wounded in his right hand by a spear in a certain battle, and since the sinews were severed, he became thereafter unfit for fighting. And the Huns likewise, after they had made their camp near by, as I have said, were on their part causing the Goths no less trouble, so that these as well as the Romans were now feeling the pressure of famine, since they no longer had freedom to bring in their food-supplies as formerly. And pestilence too fell upon them and was destroying many, and especially in the camp which they had last made, close by the Appian Way, as I have previously stated.[6] And the few of their number who had not perished withdrew from that camp to the other camps. The Huns also suffered in the same way, and so returned to Rome. Such was the course of events here. But as for Procopius, when he reached Campania, he collected not fewer than five hundred soldiers there, loaded a great number of ships with grain, and held them in readiness. And he was joined not long afterwards by Antonina, who immediately assisted him in making arrangements for the fleet.

At that time the mountain of Vesuvius rumbled, and though it did not break forth in eruption, still because of the rumbling it led people to expect with great certainty that there would be an eruption. And for this reason it came to pass that the inhabitants fell into great terror. Now this mountain is seventy stades distant from Naples and lies to the north[7] of it—an exceedingly steep mountain, whose lower parts spread out wide on all sides, while its upper portion is precipitous and exceedingly difficult of ascent. But on the summit of Vesuvius and at about the centre of it appears a cavern of such depth that one would judge that it extends all the way to the bottom of the mountain. And it is possible to see fire there, if one should dare to peer over the edge, and although the flames as a rule merely twist and turn upon one another, occasioning no trouble to the inhabitants of that region, yet, when the mountain gives forth a rumbling sound which resembles bellowing, it generally sends up not long afterward a great quantity of ashes. And if anyone travelling on the road is caught by this terrible shower, he cannot possibly survive, and if it falls upon houses, they too fall under the weight of the great quantity of ashes. But whenever it so happens that a strong wind comes on, the ashes rise to a great height, so that they are no longer visible to the eye, and are borne wherever the wind which drives them goes, falling on lands exceedingly far away. And once, they say, they fell in Byzantium[8] and so terrified the people there, that from that time up to the present the whole city has seen fit to propitiate God with prayers every year; and at another time they fell on Tripolis in Libya. Formerly this rumbling took place, they say, once in a hundred years or even more,[9] but in later times it has happened much more frequently. This, however, they declare emphatically, that whenever Vesuvius belches forth these ashes, the country round about is bound to flourish with an abundance of all crops. Furthermore, the air on this mountain is very light and by its nature the most favourable to health in the world. And indeed those who are attacked by consumption have been sent to this place by physicians from remote times. So much, then, may be said regarding Vesuvius.


  1. The Porta Ostiensis.
  2. See Book V. vi. 7, note.
  3. The Basilica of St. Paul stood south of the city, outside the Porta Ostiensis which is still called Porta S. Paolo.
  4. St. Peter and St. Paul.
  5. Tibur.
  6. Chap. iii. 7.
  7. This is an error on the part of Procopius. In point of fact it lies to the south-east of Naples.
  8. During the eruption of 472 A.D.
  9. Since the great eruption of 79 A.D.—the first in historical times—eruptions have succeeded one another at intervals varying from one to more than one hundred years.



At this time another army also arrived by sea from Byzantium, three thousand Isaurians who put in at the harbour of Naples, led by Paulus and Conon, and eight hundred Thracian horsemen who landed at Dryus, led by John, the nephew of the Vitalian who had formerly been tyrant, and with them a thousand other soldiers of the regular cavalry, under various commanders, among whom were Alexander and Marcentius. And it happened that Zeno with three hundred horsemen had already reached Rome by way of Samnium and the Latin Way. And when John with all the others came to Campania, provided with many waggons by the inhabitants of Calabria, his troops were joined by five hundred men who, as I have said, had been collected in Campania. These set out by the coast road with the waggons, having in mind, if any hostile force should confront them, to make a circle of the waggons in the form of a stockade and thus to ward off the enemy; and they commanded the men under Paulus and Conon to sail with all speed and join them at Ostia, the harbour of Rome[1]; and they put sufficient grain in the waggons and loaded all the ships, not only with grain, but also with wine and all kinds of provisions. And they, indeed, expected to find the forces of Martinus and Trajan in the neighbourhood of Taracina and to have their company from that point on, but when they approached Taracina, they learned that these forces had recently been recalled and had retired to Rome.

But Belisarius, learning that the forces of John were approaching and fearing that the enemy might confront them in greatly superior numbers and destroy them, took the following measures. It so happened that the enemy had encamped very close to the Flaminian Gate; this gate Belisarius himself had blocked up at the beginning of this war by a structure of stone, as has been told by me in the previous narrative,[2] his purpose of course being to make it difficult for the enemy either to force their way in or to make any attempt upon the city at that point. Consequently no engagement had taken place at this gate, and the barbarians had no suspicion that there would be any attack upon them from there. Now Belisarius tore down by night the masonry which blocked this gate, without giving notice to anyone at all, and made ready the greatest part of the army there. And at daybreak he sent Trajan and Diogenes with a thousand horsemen through the Pincian Gate, commanding them to shoot missiles into the camps, and as soon as their opponents came against them, to flee without the least shame and to ride up to the fortifications at full speed. And he also stationed some men inside this gate. So the men under Trajan began to harass the barbarians, as Belisarius had directed them to do, and the Goths, gathering from all the camps, began to defend themselves. And both armies began to move as fast as they could toward the fortifications of the city, the one giving the appearance of fleeing, and the other supposing that they were pursuing the enemy.

But as soon as Belisarius saw the enemy take up the pursuit, he opened the Flaminian Gate and sent his army out against the barbarians, who were thus taken unawares. Now it so happened that one of the Gothic camps was on the road near this gate, and in front of it there was a narrow passage between steep banks which was exceedingly difficult of access. And one of the barbarians, a man of splendid physique and clad in a corselet, when he saw the enemy advancing, reached this place before them and took his stand there, at the same time calling his comrades and urging them to help in guarding the narrow passage. But before any move could be made Mundilas slew him and thereafter allowed none of the barbarians to go into this passage. The Romans therefore passed through it without encountering opposition, and some of them, arriving at the Gothic camp near by, for a short time tried to take it, but were unable to do so because of the strength of the stockade, although not many barbarians had been left behind in it. For the trench had been dug to an extraordinary depth, and since the earth taken from it had invariably been placed along its inner side, this reached a great height and so served as a wall[3]; and it was abundantly supplied with stakes, which were very sharp and close together, thus making a palisade. These defences so emboldened the barbarians that they began to repel the enemy vigorously. But one of the guards of Belisarius, Aquilinus by name, an exceedingly active man, seized a horse by the bridle and, bestriding it, leaped from the trench into the middle of the camp, where he slew some of the enemy. And when his opponents gathered about him and hurled great numbers of missiles, the horse was wounded and fell, but he himself unexpectedly made his escape through the midst of the enemy. So he went on foot with his companions toward the Pincian Gate. And overtaking the barbarians, who were still engaged in pursuing Roman horsemen,[4] they began to shoot at them from behind and killed some of them.

Now when Trajan and his men perceived this, since they had meanwhile been reinforced by the horsemen who had been standing near by in readiness, they charged at full speed against their pursuers. Then at length the Goths, being now outgeneraled and unexpectedly caught between the forces of their enemy, began to be killed indiscriminately. And there was great slaughter of them, and very few escaped to their camps, and that with difficulty; meanwhile the others, fearing for the safety of all their strongholds, shut themselves in and remained in them thereafter, thinking that the Romans would come against them without the least delay. In this action one of the barbarians shot Trajan in the face, above the right eye and not far from the nose. And the whole of the iron point, penetrated the head and disappeared entirely, although the barb on it was large and exceedingly long, but the remainder of the arrow immediately fell to the ground without the application of force by anyone, in my opinion because the iron point had never been securely fastened to the shaft. Trajan, however, paid no heed to this at all, but continued none the less killing and pursuing the enemy. But in the fifth year afterward the tip of the iron of its own accord began to project visibly from his face. And this is now the third year since it has been slowly but steadily coming out. It is to be expected, therefore, that the whole barb will eventually come out, though not for a long time. But it has not been an impediment to the man in any way. So much then for these matters.


  1. The regular harbour, Portus, was held by the Goths.
  2. Book V. xix. 6.
  3. Cf. Book V. xix. 11.
  4. These were the forces of Trajan and Diogenes.



Now the barbarians straightway began to despair of winning the war and were considering how they might withdraw from Rome, inasmuch as they had suffered the ravages both of the pestilence and of the enemy, and were now reduced from many tens of thousands to a few men; and, not least of all, they were in a state of distress by reason of the famine, and while in name they were carrying on a siege, they were in fact being besieged by their opponents and were shut off from all necessities. And when they learned that still another army had come to their enemy from Byzantium both by land and by sea—not being informed as to its actual size, but supposing it to be as large as the free play of rumour was able to make it,—they became terrified at the danger and began to plan for their departure. They accordingly sent three envoys to Rome, one of whom was a Roman of note among the Goths, and he, coming before Belisarius, spoke as follows:

"That the war has not turned out to the advantage of either side each of us knows well, since we both have had actual experience of its hardships. For why should anyone in either army deny facts of which neither now remains in ignorance. And no one, I think, could deny, at least no one who does not lack understanding, that it is only senseless men who choose to go on suffering indefinitely merely to satisfy the contentious spirit which moves them for the moment, and refuse to find a solution of the troubles which harass them. And whenever this situation arises, it is the duty of the commanders on both sides not to sacrifice the lives of their subjects to their own glory, but to choose the course which is just and expedient, not for themselves alone, but also for their opponents, and thus to put an end to present hardships. For moderation in one's demands affords a way out of all difficulties, but it is the very nature of contentiousness that it cannot accomplish any of the objects which are essential. Now we, on our part, have deliberated concerning the conclusion of this war and have come before you with proposals which are of advantage to both sides, wherein we waive, as we think, some portion even of our rights. And see to it that you likewise in your deliberations do not yield to a spirit of contentiousness respecting us and thus destroy yourselves as well as us, in preference to choosing the course which will be of advantage to yourselves. And it is fitting that both sides should state their case, not in continuous speech, but each interrupting the other on the spur of the moment, if anything that is said shall seem inappropriate. For in this way each side will be able to say briefly whatever it is minded to say, and at the same time the essential things will be accomplished." Belisarius replied: "There will be nothing to prevent the debate from proceeding in the manner you suggest, only let the words spoken by you be words of peace and of justice."

So the ambassadors of the Goths in their turn said: "You have done us an injustice, O Romans, in taking up arms wrongfully against us, your friends and allies. And what we shall say is, we think, well known to each one of you as well as to ourselves. For the Goths did not obtain the land of Italy by wresting it from the Romans by force, but Odoacer in former times dethroned the emperor, changed the government of Italy to a tyranny, and so held it.[1] And Zeno, who then held the power of the East, though he wished to avenge his partner in the imperial office and to free this land from the usurper, was unable to destroy the authority of Odoacer. Accordingly he persuaded Theoderic, our ruler, although he was on the point of besieging him and Byzantium, not only to put an end to his hostility towards himself, in recollection of the honour which Theoderic had already received at his hands in having been made a patrician and consul of the Romans,[2] but also to punish Odoacer for his unjust treatment of Augustulus, and thereafter, in company with the Goths, to hold sway over the land as its legitimate and rightful rulers. It was in this way, therefore, that we took over the dominion of Italy, and we have preserved both the laws and the form of government as strictly as any who have ever been Roman emperors, and there is absolutely no law, either written or unwritten, introduced by Theoderic or by any of his successors on the throne of the Goths. And we have so scrupulously guarded for the Romans their practices pertaining to the worship of God and faith in Him, that not one of the Italians has changed his belief, either willingly or unwillingly, up to the present day, and when Goths have changed,[3] we have taken no notice of the matter. And indeed the sanctuaries of the Romans have received from us the highest honour; for no one who has taken refuge in any of them has ever been treated with violence by any man; nay, more, the Romans themselves have continued to hold all the offices of the state, and not a single Goth has had a share in them. Let someone come forward and refute us, if he thinks that this statement of ours is not true. And one might add that the Goths have conceded that the dignity of the consulship should be conferred upon Romans each year by the emperor of the East. Such has been the course followed by us; but you, on your side, did not take the part of Italy while it was suffering at the hands of the barbarians and Odoacer, although it was not for a short time, but for ten years, that he treated the land outrageously; but now you do violence to us who have acquired it legitimately, though you have no business here. Do you therefore depart hence out of our way, keeping both that which is your own and whatever you have gained by plunder."

And Belisarius said: "Although your promise gave us to understand that your words would be brief and temperate, yet your discourse has been both long and not far from fraudulent in its pretensions. For Theoderic was sent by the Emperor Zeno in order to make war on Odoacer, not in order to hold the dominion of Italy for himself. For why should the emperor have been concerned to exchange one tyrant for another? But he sent him in order that Italy might be free and obedient to the emperor. And though Theoderic disposed of the tyrant in a satisfactory manner, in everything else he shewed an extraordinary lack of proper feeling; for he never thought of restoring the land to its rightful owner. But I, for my part, think that he who robs another by violence and he who of his own will does not restore his neighbour's goods are equal. Now, as for me, I shall never surrender the emperor's country to any other. But if there is anything you wish to receive in place of it, I give you leave to speak."

And the barbarians said: "That everything which we have said is true no one of you can be unaware. But in order that we may not seem to be contentious, we give up to you Sicily, great as it is and of such wealth, seeing that without it you cannot possess Libya in security."

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."

The barbarians: "Not even if we impose upon ourselves the payment of a fixed sum of money every year?"

Belisarius: "No, indeed. For we are not empowered to do anything else than guard the land for its owner."

The barbarians: "Come now, we must send envoys to the emperor and make with him our treaty concerning the whole matter. And a definite time must also be appointed during which the armies will be bound to observe an armistice."

Belisarius: "Very well; let this be done. For never shall I stand in your way when you are making plans for peace."

After saying these things they each left the conference, and the envoys of the Goths withdrew to their own camp. And during the ensuing days they visited each other frequently and made the arrangements for the armistice, and they agreed that each side should put into the hands of the other some of its notable men as hostages to ensure the keeping of the armistice.


  1. 476 A.D. Cf. Book V. i. 6-8 and note.
  2. Cf. Book V. i. 10, 11.
  3. The Goths were Christians, but followed the Arian heresy.



But while these negotiations were in progress at Rome, meanwhile the fleet of the Isaurians put in at the harbour[1] of the Romans and John with his men came to Ostia, and not one of the enemy hindered them either while bringing their ships to land or while making their camp. But in order that they might be able to pass the night safe from a sudden attack by the enemy, the Isaurians dug a deep trench close to the harbour and kept a constant guard by shifts of men, while John's soldiers made a barricade of their waggons about the camp and remained quiet. And when night came on Belisarius went to Ostia with a hundred horsemen, and after telling what had taken place in the engagement and the agreement which had been made between the Romans and the Goths and otherwise encouraging them, he bade them bring their cargoes and come with all zeal to Rome. "For," he said, "I shall take care that the journey is free from danger." So he himself at early dawn rode back to the city, and Antonina together with the commanders began at daybreak to consider means of transporting the cargoes. But it seemed to them that the task was a hard one and beset with the greatest difficulties. For the oxen could hold out no longer, but all lay half-dead, and, furthermore, it was dangerous to travel over a rather narrow road with the waggons, and impossible to tow the barges on the river, as had formerly been the custom. For the road which is on the left[2] of the river was held by the enemy, as stated by me in the previous narrative,[3] and not available for the use of the Romans at that time, while the road on the other side of it is altogether unused, at least that part of it which follows the river-bank. They therefore selected the small boats belonging to the larger ships, put a fence of high planks around them on all sides, in order that the men on board might not be exposed to the enemy's shots, and embarked archers and sailors on them in numbers suitable for each boat. And after they had loaded the boats with all the freight they could carry, they waited for a favouring wind and set sail toward Rome by the Tiber, and a portion of the army followed them along the right[4] bank of the river to support them. But they left a large number of Isaurians to guard the ships. Now where the course of the river was straight, they found no trouble in sailing, simply raising the sails of the boats; but where the stream wound about and took a course athwart the wind, and the sails received no impulse from it, the sailors had no slight toil in rowing and forcing the boats against the current. As for the barbarians, they sat in their camps and had no wish to hinder their enemy, either because they were terrified at the danger, or because they thought that the Romans would never by such means succeed in bringing in any provisions, and considered it contrary to their own interest, when a matter of no consequence was involved, to frustrate their hope of the armistice which Belisarius had already promised. Moreover, the Goths who were in Portus, though they could see their enemy constantly sailing by almost near enough to touch, made no move against them, but sat there wondering in amazement at the plan they had hit upon. And when the Romans had made the voyage up the river many times in the same way, and had thus conveyed all the cargoes into the city without interference, the sailors took the ships and withdrew with all speed, for it was already about the time of the winter solstice; and the rest of the army entered Rome, except, indeed, that Paulus remained in Ostia with some of the Isaurians.

And afterwards they gave hostages to one another to secure the keeping of the armistice, the Romans giving Zeno, and the Goths Ulias, a man of no mean station, with the understanding that during three months they should make no attack upon one another, until the envoys should return from Byzantium and report the will of the emperor. And even if the one side or the other should initiate offences against their opponents, the envoys were nevertheless to be returned to their own nation. So the envoys of the barbarians went to Byzantium escorted by Romans, and Ildiger, the son-in-law of Antonina, came to Rome from Libya with not a few horsemen. And the Goths who were holding the stronghold at Portus abandoned the place by the order of Vittigis because their supplies were exhausted, and came to the camp in obedience to his summons. Whereupon Paulus with his Isaurians came from Ostia and took possession of it and held it. Now the chief reason why these barbarians were without provisions was that the Romans commanded the sea and did not allow any of the necessary supplies to be brought in to them. And it was for this reason that they also abandoned at about the same time a sea-coast city of great importance, Centumcellae[5] by name, that is, because they were short of provisions. This city is large and populous, lying to the west of Rome, in Tuscany, distant from it about two hundred and eighty stades. And after taking possession of it the Romans went on and extended their power still more, for they took also the town of Albani, which lies to the east of Rome, the enemy having evacuated it at that time for the same reason, and they had already surrounded the barbarians on all sides and now held them between their forces. The Goths, therefore, were in a mood to break the agreement and do some harm to the Romans. So they sent envoys to Belisarius and asserted that they had been unjustly treated during a truce; for when Vittigis had summoned the Goths who were in Portus to perform some service for him, Paulus and the Isaurians had seized and taken possession of the fort there for no good reason. And they made this same false charge regarding Albani and Centumcellae, and threatened that, unless he should give these places back to them, they would resent it. But Belisarius laughed and sent them away, saying that this charge was but a pretext, and that no one was ignorant of the reason why the Goths had abandoned these places. And thereafter the two sides were somewhat suspicious of one another.

But later, when Belisarius saw that Rome was abundantly supplied with soldiers, he sent many horsemen to places far distant from Rome, and commanded John, the nephew of Vitalian, and the horsemen under his command, eight hundred in number, to pass the winter near the city of Alba, which lies in Picenum; and with him he sent four hundred of the men of Valerian, whom Damianus, the nephew of Valerian, commanded, and eight hundred men of his own guards who were especially able warriors. And in command of these he put two spearmen, Suntas and Adegis, and ordered them to follow John wherever he should lead; and he gave John instructions that as long as he saw the enemy was keeping the agreement made between them, he should remain quiet; but whenever he found that the armistice had been violated by them, he should do as follows: With his whole force he was to make a sudden raid and overrun the land of Picenum, visiting all the districts of that region and reaching each one before the report of his coming. For in this whole land there was virtually not a single man left, since all, as it appeared, had marched against Rome, but everywhere there were women and children of the enemy and money. He was instructed, therefore, to enslave or plunder whatever he found, taking care never to injure any of the Romans living there. And if he should happen upon any place which had men and defences, as he probably would, he was to make an attempt upon it with his whole force. And if he was able to capture it, he was to go forward, but if it should so happen that his attempt was unsuccessful, he was to march back or remain there. For if he should go forward and leave such a fortress in his rear, he would be involved in the greatest danger, since his men would never be able to defend themselves easily, if they should be harassed by their opponents. He was also to keep the whole booty intact, in order that it might be divided fairly and properly among the army. Then with a laugh he added this also: "For it is not fair that the drones should be destroyed with great labour by one force, while others, without having endured any hardship at all, enjoy the honey." So after giving these instructions, Belisarius sent John with his army.

And at about the same time Datius, the priest of Milan, and some notable men among the citizens came to Rome and begged Belisarius to send them a few guards. For they declared that they were themselves able without any trouble to detach from the Goths not only Milan, but the whole of Liguria also, and to recover them for the emperor. Now this city is situated in Liguria, and lies about half way between the city of Ravenna and the Alps on the borders of Gaul; for from either one it is a journey of eight days to Milan for an unencumbered traveller; and it is the first of the cities of the West, after Rome at least, both in size and in population and in general prosperity. And Belisarius promised to fulfil their request, but detained them there during the winter season.


  1. Ostia, since the regular harbour, Portus, was held by the Goths.
  2. TEXT
  3. Book IV. xxvi. 14.
  4. i.e. facing upstream.
  5. Modern Civita Vecchia.



Such was the course of these events. But the envy of fortune was already swelling against the Romans, when she saw their affairs progressing successfully and well, and wishing to mingle some evil with this good, she inspired a quarrel, on a trifling pretext, between Belisarius and Constantinus; and how this grew and to what end it came I shall now go on to relate. There was a certain Presidius, a Roman living at Ravenna, and a man of no mean station. This Presidius had given offence to the Goths at the time when Vittigis was about to march against Rome, and so he set out with some few of his domestics ostensibly on a hunting expedition, and went into exile; he had communicated his plan to no one and took none of his property with him, except indeed that he himself carried two daggers, the scabbards of which happened to be adorned with much gold and precious stones. And when he came to Spolitium, he lodged in a certain temple outside the fortifications. And when Constantinus, who happened to be still tarrying there,[1] heard of this, he sent one of his guards, Maxentiolus, and took away from him both the daggers for no good reason. The man was deeply offended by what had taken place, and set out for Rome with all speed and came to Belisarius, and Constantinus also arrived there not long afterward; for the Gothic army was already reported to be not far away. Now as long as the affairs of the Romans were critical and in confusion, Presidius remained silent; but when he saw that the Romans were gaining the upper hand and that the envoys of the Goths had been sent to the emperor, as has been told by me above, he frequently approached Belisarius reporting the injustice and demanding that he assist him in obtaining his rights. And Belisarius reproached Constantinus many times himself, and many times through others, urging him to clear himself of the guilt of an unjust deed and of a dishonouring report. But Constantinus—for it must needs be that evil befall him—always lightly evaded the charge and taunted the wronged man. But on one occasion Presidius met Belisarius riding on horseback in the forum, and he laid hold of the horse's bridle, and crying out with a loud voice asked whether the laws of the emperor said that, whenever anyone fleeing from the barbarians comes to them as a suppliant, they should rob him by violence of whatever he may chance to have in his hands. And though many men gathered about and commanded him with threats to let go his hold of the bridle, he did not let go until at last Belisarius promised to give him the daggers. On the following day, therefore, Belisarius called Constantinus and many of the commanders to an apartment in the palace, and after going over what had happened on the previous day urged him even at that late time to restore the daggers. But Constantinus refused to do so; nay, he would more gladly throw them into the waters of the Tiber than give them to Presidius. And Belisarius, being by now mastered by anger, enquired whether Constantinus did not think that he was subject to his orders. And he agreed to obey him in all other things, for this was the emperor's will; this command, however, which at the present time he was laying upon him, he would never obey. Belisarius then commanded his guards to enter, whereupon Constantinus said: "In order, plainly, to have them kill me." "By no means," said Belisarius, "but to have them compel your bodyguard Maxentiolus, who forcibly carried away the daggers for you, to restore to the man what he took from him by violence." But Constantinus, thinking that he was to die that very instant, wished to do some great deed before he should suffer anything himself. He accordingly drew the dagger which hung by his thigh and suddenly thrust it at the belly of Belisarius. And he in consternation stepped back, and by throwing his arms around Bessas, who was standing near, succeeded in escaping the blow. Then Constantinus, still boiling with anger, made after him; but Ildiger and Valerian, seeing what was being done, laid hold of his hands, one of the right and the other of the left, and dragged him back. And at this point the guards entered whom Belisarius had summoned a moment before, snatched the dagger of Constantinus from his hand with great violence, and seized him amid a great uproar. At the moment they did him no harm, out of respect, I suppose, to the officers present, but led him away to another room at the command of Belisarius, and at a somewhat later time put him to death. This was the only unholy deed done by Belisarius, and it was in no way worthy of the character of the man; for he always shewed great gentleness in his treatment of all others. But it had to be, as I have said, that evil should befall Constantinus.


  1. Cf. Book V. xvi. 1 ff.



And the Goths not long after this wished to strike a blow at the fortifications of Rome. And first they sent some men by night into one of the aqueducts, from which they themselves had taken out the water at the beginning of this war.[1] And with lamps and torches in their hands they explored the entrance into the city by this way. Now it happened that not far from the small Pincian Gate an arch of this aqueduct[2] had a sort of crevice in it, and one of the guards saw the light through this and told his companions; but they said that he had seen a wolf passing by his post. For at that point it so happened that the structure of the aqueduct did not rise high above the ground, and they thought that the guard had imagined the wolf's eyes to be fire. So those barbarians who explored the aqueduct, upon reaching the middle of the city, where there was an upward passage built in olden times leading to the palace itself, came upon some masonry there which allowed them neither to advance beyond that point nor to use the ascent at all. This masonry had been put in by Belisarius as an act of precaution at the beginning of this siege, as has been set forth by me in the preceding narrative.[3] So they decided first to remove one small stone from the wall and then to go back immediately, and when they returned to Vittigis, they displayed the stone and reported the whole situation. And while he was considering his scheme with the best of the Goths, the Romans who were on guard at the Pincian Gate recalled among themselves on the following day the suspicion of the wolf. But when the story was passed around and came to Belisarius, the general did not treat the matter carelessly, but immediately sent some of the notable men in the army, together with the guardsman Diogenes, down into the aqueduct and bade them investigate everything with all speed. And they found all along the aqueduct the lamps of the enemy and the ashes which had dropped from their torches, and after observing the masonry where the stone had been taken out by the Goths, they reported to Belisarius. For this reason he personally kept the aqueduct under close guard; and the Goths, perceiving it, desisted from this attempt.

But later on the barbarians went so far as to plan an open attack against the fortifications. So they waited for the time of lunch, and bringing up ladders and fire, when their enemy were least expecting them, made an assault upon the small Pincian Gate, emboldened by the hope of capturing the city by a sudden attack, since not many soldiers had been left there. But it happened that Ildiger and his men were keeping guard at that time; for all were assigned by turns to guard-duty. So when he saw the enemy advancing in disorder, he went out against them before they were yet drawn up in line of battle and while they were advancing in great disarray, and routing those who were opposite him without any trouble he slew many. And a great outcry and commotion arose throughout the city, as was to be expected, and the Romans gathered as quickly as possible to all parts of the fortifications; whereupon the barbarians after a short time retired to their camp baffled.

But Vittigis resorted again to a plot against the wall. Now there was a certain part of it that was especially vulnerable, where the bank of the Tiber is, because at this place the Romans of old, confident in the protection afforded by the stream, had built the wall carelessly, making it low and altogether without towers; Vittigis therefore hoped to capture the city rather easily from that quarter. For indeed there was not even any garrison there of any consequence, as it happened. He therefore bribed with money two Romans who lived near the church of Peter the Apostle to pass along by the guards there at about nightfall carrying a skin full of wine, and in some way or other, by making a show of friendship, to give it to them, and then to sit drinking with them well on into the night; and they were to throw into the cup of each guard a sleep-producing drug which Vittigis had given them. And he stealthily got ready some skiffs, which he kept at the other bank; as soon as the guards should be overcome by sleep, some of the barbarians, acting in concert, were to cross the river in these, taking ladders with them, and make the assault on the wall. And he made ready the entire army with the intention of capturing the whole city by storm. After these arrangements were all complete, one of the two men who had been prepared by Vittigis for this service (for it was not fated that Rome should be captured by this army of the Goths) came of his own accord to Belisarius and revealed everything, and told who the other man was. So this man under torture brought to light all that he was about to do and displayed the drug which Vittigis had given him. And Belisarius first mutilated his nose and ears and then sent him riding on an ass into the enemy's camp. And when the barbarians saw him, they realised that God would not allow their purposes to have free course, and that therefore the city could never be captured by them.


  1. Book V. xix. 13.
  2. The Aqua Virgo.
  3. Book V. xix. 18.



But while these things were happening, Belisarius wrote to John and commanded him to begin operations. And he with his two thousand horsemen began to go about the land of Picenum and to plunder everything before him, treating the women and children of the enemy as slaves. And when Ulitheus, the uncle of Vittigis, confronted him with an army of Goths, he defeated them in battle and killed Ulitheus himself and almost the whole army of the enemy. For this reason no one dared any longer to engage with him. But when he came to the city of Auximus,[1] though he learned that it contained a Gothic garrison of inconsiderable size, yet in other respects he observed that the place was strong and impossible to capture. And for this reason he was quite unwilling to lay siege to it, but departing from there as quickly as he could, he moved forward. And he did this same thing at the city of Urbinus,[2] but at Ariminum,[3] which is one day's journey distant from Ravenna, he marched into the city at the invitation of the Romans. Now all the barbarians who were keeping guard there were very suspicious of the Roman inhabitants, and as soon as they learned that this army was approaching, they withdrew and ran until they reached Ravenna. And thus John secured Ariminum; but he had meanwhile left in his rear a garrison of the enemy both at Auximus and at Urbinus, not because he had forgotten the commands of Belisarius, nor because he was carried away by unreasoning boldness, since he had wisdom as well as energy, but because he reasoned—correctly, as it turned out—that if the Goths learned that the Roman army was close to Ravenna, they would instantly break up the siege of Rome because of their fears regarding this place. And in fact his reasoning proved to be true. For as soon as Vittigis and the army of the Goths heard that Ariminum was held by him, they were plunged into great fear regarding Ravenna, and abandoning all other considerations, they straightway made their withdrawal, as will be told by me directly. And John won great fame from this deed, though he was renowned even before. For he was a daring and efficient man in the highest degree, unflinching before danger, and in his daily life shewing at all times a certain austerity and ability to endure hardship unsurpassed by any barbarian or common soldier. Such a man was John. And Matasuntha, the wife of Vittigis, who was exceedingly hostile to her husband because he had taken her to wife by violence in the beginning,[4] upon learning that John had come to Ariminum was absolutely overcome by joy, and sending a messenger to him opened secret negotiations with him concerning marriage and the betrayal of the city.

So these two kept sending messengers to each other without the knowledge of the rest and arranging these matters. But when the Goths learned what had happened at Ariminum, and when at the same time all their provisions had failed them, and the three months' time had already expired, they began to make their withdrawal, although they had not as yet received any information as far as the envoys were concerned. Now it was about the spring equinox, and one year had been spent in the siege and nine days in addition, when the Goths, having burned all their camps, set out at daybreak. And the Romans, seeing their opponents in flight, were at a loss how to deal with the situation. For it so happened that the majority of the horsemen were not present at that time, since they had been sent to various places, as has been stated by me above,[5] and they did not think that by themselves they were a match for so great a multitude of the enemy. However, Belisarius armed all the infantry and cavalry. And when he saw that more than half of the enemy had crossed the bridge, he led the army out through the small Pincian Gate, and the hand-to-hand battle which ensued proved to be equal to any that had preceded it. At the beginning the barbarians withstood their enemy vigorously, and many on both sides fell in the first encounter; but afterwards the Goths turned to flight and brought upon themselves a great and overwhelming calamity; for each man for himself was rushing to cross the bridge first. As a result of this they became very much crowded and suffered most cruelly, for they were being killed both by each other and by the enemy. Many, too, fell off the bridge on either side into the Tiber, sank with all their arms, and perished. Finally, after losing in this way the most of their number, the remainder joined those who had crossed before. And Longinus the Isaurian and Mundilas, the guards of Belisarius, made themselves conspicuous for their valour in this battle. But while Mundilas, after engaging with four barbarians in turn and killing them all, was himself saved, Longinus, having proved himself the chief cause of the rout of the enemy, fell where he fought, leaving the Roman army great regret for his loss.


  1. Modern Osimo.
  2. Modern Urbino.
  3. Modern Rimini.
  4. Cf. Book V. xi. 27.
  5. Chap. vii. 25.



Now Vittigis with the remainder of his army marched toward Ravenna; and he strengthened the fortified places with a great number of guards, leaving in Clusium,[1] the city of Tuscany, one thousand men and Gibimer as commander, and in Urviventus[2] an equal number, over whom he set Albilas, a Goth, as commander. And he left Uligisalus in Tudera[3] with four hundred men. And in the land of Picenum he left in the fortress of Petra four hundred men who had lived there previously, and in Auximus, which is the largest of all the cities of that country, he left four thousand Goths selected for their valour and a very energetic commander, Visandus by name, and two thousand men with Moras in the city of Urbinus. There are also two other fortresses, Caesena and Monteferetra,[4] in each of which he established a garrison of not less than five hundred men. Then he himself with the rest of the army moved straight for Ariminum with the purpose of laying siege to it.

But it happened that Belisarius, as soon as the Goths had broken up the siege of Rome, had sent Ildiger and Martinus with a thousand horsemen, in order that by travelling more quickly by another road they might arrive at Ariminum first, and he directed them promptly to remove John from the city and all those with him, and to put in their place fully enough men to guard the city, taking them from the fortress which is on the Ionian Gulf, Ancon by name, two days' journey distant from Ariminum. For he had already taken possession of it not long before, having sent Conon with no small force of Isaurians and Thracians. It was his hope that if unsupported infantry under commanders of no great note should hold Ariminum, the Gothic forces would never undertake its siege, but would regard it with contempt and so go at once to Ravenna, and that if they should decide to besiege Ariminum, the provisions there would suffice for the infantry for a somewhat longer time; and he thought also that two thousand horsemen,[5] attacking from outside with the rest of the army, would in all probability do the enemy great harm and drive them more easily to abandon the siege. It was with this purpose that Belisarius gave such orders to Martinus and Ildiger and their men. And they, by travelling over the Flaminian Way, arrived long before the barbarians. For since the Goths were moving in a great throng, they proceeded in a more leisurely manner, and they were compelled to make certain long detours, both because of the lack of provisions, and because they preferred not to pass close to the fortresses on the Flaminian Way, Narnia and Spolitium and Perusia, since these were in the hands of the enemy, as has been stated above.[6]

When the Roman army arrived at Petra, they made an attack upon the fortress there, regarding it as an incident of their expedition. Now this fortress was not devised by man, but it was made by the nature of the place; for the road passes through an extremely mountainous country at that place. On the right of this road a river descends which no man can ford because of the swiftness of the current, and on the left not far away rises a sheer rock which reaches to such a height that men who might chance to be standing on its summit, as seen by those below, resemble in size the smallest birds. And in olden times there was no passage through as one went forward. For the end of the rock reaches to the very stream of the river, affording no room for those who travel that way to pass by. So the men of ancient times constructed a tunnel at that point, and made there a gate for the place.[7] And they also closed up the greatest part of the other[8] entrance, leaving only enough space for a small gate there also, and thus rendered the place a natural fortress, which they call by the fitting name of Petra. So the men of Martinus and Ildiger first made an attack upon one of the two gates,[9] and shot many missiles, but they accomplished nothing, although the barbarians there made no defence at all; but afterwards they forced their way up the cliff behind the fortress and hurled stones from there upon the heads of the Goths. And they, hurriedly and in great confusion, entered their houses and remained quiet. And then the Romans, unable to hit any of the enemy with the stones they threw, devised the following plan. They broke off large pieces from the cliff and, many of them pushing together, hurled them down, aiming at the houses. And wherever these in their fall did no more than just graze the building, they yet gave the whole fortress a considerable shock and reduced the barbarians to great fear. Consequently the Goths stretched out their hands to those who were still about the gate and surrendered themselves and the fort, with the condition that they themselves should remain free from harm, being slaves of the emperor and subject to Belisarius. And Ildiger and Martinus removed the most of them and led them away, putting them on a basis of complete equality with themselves, but some few they left there, together with their wives and children. And they also left something of a garrison of Romans. Thence they proceeded to Ancon, and taking with them many of the infantry in that place on the third day reached Ariminum, and announced the will of Belisarius. But John was not only unwilling himself to follow them, but also proposed to retain Damianus with the four hundred.[10] So they left there the infantry and retired thence with all speed, taking the spearmen and guards of Belisarius.


  1. Modern Chiusi.
  2. Urbs Vetus, modern Orvieto.
  3. Tuder or Tudertum, modern Todi.
  4. Modern Montefeltro.
  5. i.e. the force which John had when he had set out on his raid of Picenum (cf. Chap. x. 1) and with which he was now holding Ariminum.
  6. Book V. xxix. 3.
  7. The tunnel was made by the Emperor Vespasian, 76 A.D. This gate was at the southern end.
  8. i.e. northern.
  9. The upper, or southern, gate.
  10. Cf. Chap. vii. 26.



And not long afterward Vittigis and his whole army arrived at Ariminum, where they established their camp and began the siege. And they immediately constructed a wooden tower higher than the circuit-wall of the city and resting on four wheels, and drew it toward that part of the wall which seemed to them most vulnerable. But in order that they might not have the same experience here which they had before the fortifications of Rome, they did not use oxen to draw the tower, but hid themselves within it and thus hauled it forward. And there was a stairway of great breadth inside the tower on which the barbarians in great numbers were to make the ascent easily, for they hoped that as soon as they should place the tower against the fortifications, they would have no trouble in stepping thence to the parapet of the wall; for they had made the tower high with this in view. So when they had come close to the fortifications with this engine of war, they remained quiet for the time, since it was already growing dark, and stationing guards about the tower they all went off to pass the night, supposing that they would meet with no obstacle whatever. And indeed there was nothing in their way, not even a trench between them and the wall, except an exceedingly small one.

As for the Romans, they passed the night in great fear, supposing that on the morrow they would perish. But John, neither yielding to despair in face of the danger nor being greatly agitated by fear, devised the following plan. Leaving the others on guard at their posts, he himself took the Isaurians, who carried pickaxes and various other tools of this kind, and went outside the fortifications; it was late in the night and no word had been given beforehand to anyone in the city; and once outside the wall, he commanded his men in silence to dig the trench deeper. So they did as directed, and as they dug they kept putting the earth which they took out of the trench upon the side of it nearer the city-wall, and there it served them as an earthwork. And since they were unobserved for a long time by the enemy, who were sleeping, they soon made the trench both deep and sufficiently wide, at the place where the fortifications were especially vulnerable and where the barbarians were going to make the assault with their engine of war. But far on in the night the enemy, perceiving what was being done, charged at full speed against those who were digging, and John went inside the fortifications with the Isaurians, since the trench was now in a most satisfactory condition.

But at daybreak Vittigis noted what had been accomplished and in his exceeding vexation at the occurrence executed some of the guards; however, he was as eager as before to bring his engine to bear, and so commanded the Goths to throw a great number of faggots as quickly as possible into the trench, and then by drawing the tower over them to bring it into position. This they proceeded to do as Vittigis commanded, with all zeal, although their opponents kept fighting them back from the wall with the utmost vigour. But when the weight of the tower came upon the faggots they naturally yielded and sank down. For this reason the barbarians were quite unable to go forward with the engine, because the ground became still more steep before them, where the Romans had heaped up the earth as I have stated. Fearing, therefore, that when night came on the enemy would sally forth and set fire to the engine, they began to draw it back again. This was precisely what John was eager to prevent with all his power, and so he armed his soldiers, called them all together, and exhorted them as follows:

"My men, who share this danger common to us all, if it would please any man among you to live and see those whom he has left at home, let him realize that the only hope he has of obtaining these things lies in nothing but his own hands. For when Belisarius sent us forth in the beginning, hope and desire for many things made us eager for the task. For we never suspected that we should be besieged in the country along the coast, since the Romans command the sea so completely, nor would one have supposed that the emperor's army would so far neglect us. But apart from these considerations, at that time we were prompted to boldness by an opportunity to display our loyalty to the state and by the glory which we should acquire in the sight of all men as the result of our struggles. But as things now stand, we cannot possibly survive save by courage, and we are obliged to undergo this danger with no other end in view than the saving of our own lives. Therefore, if any of you perchance lay claim to valour, all such have the opportunity to prove themselves brave men, if any men in the world have, and thereby to cover themselves with glory. For they achieve a fair name, not who overpower those weaker than themselves, but who, though inferior in equipment, still win the victory by the greatness of their souls. And as for those in whom the love of life has been more deeply implanted, it will be of advantage to these especially to be bold, for it is true of all men, as a general thing, that when their fortunes stand on the razor's edge, as is now the case with us, they may be saved only by scorning the danger."

With these words John led his army out against the enemy, leaving some few men to guard the battlement. But the enemy withstood them bravely, and the battle became exceedingly fierce. And with great difficulty and late in the day the barbarians succeeded in bringing the tower back to their own camp. However, they lost so great a number of their fighting men that they decided thenceforth to make no further attacks upon the wall, but in despair of succeeding that way, they remained quiet, expecting that their enemy would yield to them under stress of famine. For all their provisions had already failed them completely, since they had not found any place from which they could bring in a sufficient supply.

Such was the course of events here. But as for Belisarius, he sent to the representatives of Milan[1] a thousand men, Isaurians and Thracians. The Isaurians were commanded by Ennes, the Thracians by Paulus, while Mundilas was set over them all and commanded in person, having as his guard some few of the guardsmen of Belisarius. And with them was also Fidelius, who had been made praetorian prefect. For since he was a native of Milan, he was regarded as a suitable person to go with this army, having as he did some influence in Liguria. They set sail, accordingly, from the harbour of Rome and put in at Genoa, which is the last city in Tuscany and well situated as a port of call for the voyage to Gaul and to Spain. There they left their ships and travelling by land moved forward, placing the boats of the ships on their waggons, in order that nothing might prevent their crossing the river Po. It was by this means, in any event, that they made the crossing of the river. And when they reached the city of Ticinum,[2] after crossing the Po, the Goths came out against them and engaged them in battle. And they were not only numerous but also excellent troops, since all the barbarians who lived in that region had deposited the most valuable of their possessions in Ticinum, as being a place which had strong defences, and had left there a considerable garrison. So a fierce battle took place, but the Romans were victorious, and routing their opponents, they slew a great number and came within a little of capturing the city in the pursuit. For it was only with difficulty that the barbarians succeeded in shutting the gates, so closely did their enemy press upon their heels. And as the Romans were marching away, Fidelius went into a temple there to pray, and was the last to leave. But by some chance his horse stumbled and he fell. And since he had fallen very near the fortifications, the Goths seeing him came out and killed him without being observed by the enemy. Wherefore, when this was afterwards discovered by Mundilas and the Romans, they were greatly distressed.

Then, leaving Ticinum, they arrived at the city of Milan and secured this city with the rest of Liguria without a battle. When Vittigis learned about this, he sent a large army with all speed and Uraïas, his own nephew, as commander. And Theudibert, the leader of the Franks, sent him at his request ten thousand men as allies, not of the Franks themselves, but Burgundians, in order not to appear to be doing injury to the emperor's cause. For it was given out that the Burgundians made the expedition willingly and of their own choice, not as obeying the command of Theudibert. And the Goths, joined by these troops, came to Milan, made camp and began a siege when the Romans were least expecting them. At any rate the Romans, through this action, found it impossible to bring in any kind of provisions, but they were immediately in distress for want of necessities. Indeed, even the guarding of the walls was not being maintained by the regular soldiers, for it so happened that Mundilas had occupied all the cities near Milan which had defences, namely Bergomum, Comum, and Novaria,[3] as well as some other strongholds, and in every place had established a considerable garrison, while he himself with about three hundred men remained in Milan, and with him Ennes and Paulus. Consequently and of necessity the inhabitants of the city were regularly keeping guard in turn. Such was the progress of events in Liguria, and the winter drew to its close, and the third year came to an end in this war, the history of which Procopius has written.


  1. Cf. Chap. vii. 35.
  2. Modern Pavia.
  3. Modern Bergamo, Como, and Novara.



And Belisarius at about the time of the summer solstice marched against Vittigis and the Gothic army, leaving a few men to act as a garrison in Rome, but taking all the others with him. And he sent some men to Tudera and Clusium, with orders to make fortified camps there, and he was intending to follow them and assist in besieging the barbarians at those places. But when the barbarians learned that the army was approaching, they did not wait to face the danger, but sent envoys to Belisarius, promising to surrender both themselves and the two cities, with the condition that they should remain free from harm. And when he came there, they fulfilled their promise. And Belisarius removed all the Goths from these towns and sent them to Sicily and Naples, and after establishing a garrison in Clusium and in Tudera, he led his army forward.

But meanwhile Vittigis had sent another army, under command of Vacimus, to Auximus, commanding it to join forces with the Goths there, and with them to go against the enemy in Ancon and make an attempt upon that fortress. Now this Ancon is a sort of pointed rock, and indeed it is from this circumstance that it has taken its name; for it is exceedingly like an "elbow." And it is about eighty stades distant from the city of Auximus, whose port it is. And the defences of the fortress lie upon the pointed rock in a position of security, but all the buildings outside, though they are many, have been from ancient times unprotected by a wall. Now as soon as Conon, who was in command of the garrison of the place, heard that the forces of Vacimus were coming against him and were already not far away, he made an exhibition of thoughtless folly. For thinking it too small a thing to preserve free from harm merely the fortress and its inhabitants together with the soldiers, he left the fortifications entirely destitute of soldiers, and leading them all out to a distance of about five stades, arrayed them in line of battle, without, however, making the phalanx a deep one at all, but thin enough to surround the entire base of the mountain, as if for a hunt. But when these troops saw that the enemy were greatly superior to them in number, they turned their backs and straightway fled to the fortress. And the barbarians, following close upon them, slew on the spot most of their number—those who did not succeed in getting inside the circuit-wall in time—and then placed ladders against the wall and attempted the ascent. Some also began burning the houses outside the fortress. And the Romans who resided habitually in the fortress, being terror-stricken at what was taking place, at first opened the small gate and received the soldiers as they fled in complete disorder. But when they saw the barbarians close at hand and pressing upon the fugitives, fearing that they would charge in with them, they closed the gates as quickly as they could, and letting down ropes from the battlement, saved a number by drawing them up, and among them Conon himself. But the barbarians scaled the wall by means of their ladders and came within a little of capturing the fortress by storm, and would have succeeded if two men had not made a display of remarkable deeds by valorously pushing off the battlements those who had already got upon the wall; one of these two was a bodyguard of Belisarius, a Thracian named Ulimuth, and the other a bodyguard of Valerian, named Gouboulgoudou, a Massagete by birth. These two men had happened by some chance to come by ship to Ancon a little before; and in this struggle, by warding off with their swords those who were scaling the wall, they saved the fortress contrary to expectation, but they themselves were carried from the battlement half dead, their whole bodies hacked with many wounds.

At that time it was reported to Belisarius that Narses had come with a great army from Byzantium and was in Picenum. Now this Narses[1] was a eunuch and guardian of the royal treasures, but for the rest keen and more energetic than would be expected of a eunuch. And five thousand soldiers followed him, of whom the several detachments were commanded by different men, among whom were Justinus, the general of Illyricum, and another Narses, who had previously come to the land of the Romans as a deserter from the Armenians who are subject to the Persians; with him had come his brother Aratius,[2] who, as it happened, had joined Belisarius a little before this with another army. And about two thousand of the Erulian nation also followed him, commanded by Visandus and Aluith and Phanitheus.


  1. He was an Armenian of Persia; see Book I. xv. 31.
  2. Book I. xv. 31.



Now as to who in the world the Eruli are, and how they entered into alliance with the Romans, I shall forthwith explain.[1] They used to dwell beyond the Ister[2] River from of old, worshipping a great host of gods, whom it seemed to them holy to appease even by human sacrifices. And they observed many customs which were not in accord with those of other men. For they were not permitted to live either when they grew old or when they fell sick, but as soon as one of them was overtaken by old age or by sickness, it became necessary for him to ask his relatives to remove him from the world as quickly as possible. And these relatives would pile up a quantity of wood to a great height and lay the man on top of the wood, and then they would send one of the Eruli, but not a relative of the man, to his side with a dagger; for it was not lawful for a kinsman to be his slayer. And when the slayer of their relative had returned, they would straightway burn the whole pile of wood, beginning at the edges. And after the lire had ceased, they would immediately collect the bones and bury them in the earth. And when a man of the Eruli died, it was necessary for his wife, if she laid claim to virtue and wished to leave a fair name behind her, to die not long afterward beside the tomb of her husband by hanging herself with a rope. And if she did not do this, the result was that she was in ill repute thereafter and an offence to the relatives of her husband. Such were the customs observed by the Eruli in ancient times.

But as time went on they became superior to all the barbarians who dwelt about them both in power and in numbers, and, as was natural, they attacked and vanquished them severally and kept plundering their possessions by force. And finally they made the Lombards, who were Christians, together with several other nations, subject and tributary to themselves, though the barbarians of that region were not accustomed to that sort of thing; but the Eruli were led to take this course by love of money and a lawless spirit. [X]When, however, Anastasius took over the Roman empire, the Eruli, having no longer anyone in the world whom they could assail, laid down their arms and remained quiet, and they observed peace in this way for a space of three years. But the people themselves, being exceedingly vexed, began to abuse their leader Rodolphus without restraint, and going to him constantly they called him cowardly and effeminate, and railed at him in a most unruly manner, taunting him with certain other names besides. And Rodolphus, being quite unable to bear the insult, marched against the Lombards, who were doing no wrong, without charging against them any fault or alleging any violation of their agreement, but bringing upon them a war which had no real cause. And when the Lombards got word of this, they sent to Rodolphus and made enquiry and demanded that he should state the charge on account of which the Eruli were coming against them in arms, agreeing that if they had deprived the Eruli of any of the tribute, then they would instantly pay it with large interest; and if their grievance was that only a moderate tribute had been imposed upon them, then the Lombards would never be reluctant to make it greater. Such were the offers which the envoys made, but Rodolphus with a threat sent them away and marched forward. And they again sent other envoys to him on the same mission and supplicated him with many entreaties. And when the second envoys had fared in the same way, a third embassy came to him and forbade the Eruli on any account to bring upon them a war without excuse. For if they should come against them with such a purpose, they too, not willingly, but under the direst necessity, would array themselves against their assailants, calling upon God as their witness, the slightest breath of whose favour, turning the scales, would be a match for all the strength of men; and He, in all likelihood, would be moved by the causes of the war and would determine the issue of the fight for both sides accordingly. So they spoke, thinking in this way to terrify their assailants, but the Eruli, shrinking from nothing whatever, decided to meet the Lombards in battle. And when the two armies came close to one another, it so happened that the sky above the Lombards was obscured by a sort of cloud, black and very thick, but above the Eruli it was exceedingly clear. And judging by this one would have supposed that the Eruli were entering the conflict to their own harm; for there ran be no more forbidding portent than this for barbarians as they go into battle. However, the Eruli gave no heed even to this, but in absolute disregard of it they advanced against their enemy with utter contempt, estimating the outcome of war by mere superiority of numbers. But when the battle came to close quarters, many of the Eruli perished and Rodolphus himself also perished, and the rest fled at full speed, forgetting all their courage. And since their enemy followed them up, the most of them fell on the field of battle and only a few succeeded in saving themselves.

[X]491 A.D.

For this reason the Eruli were no longer able to tarry in their ancestral homes, but departing from there as quickly as possible they kept moving forward, traversing the whole country which is beyond the Ister River, together with their wives and children. But when they reached a land where the Rogi dwelt of old, a people who had joined the Gothic host and gone to Italy, they settled in that place. But since they were pressed by famine, because they were in a barren land, they removed from there not long afterward, and came to a place close to the country of the Gepaedes.[3] And at first the Gepaedes permitted them to dwell there and be neighbours to them, since they came as suppliants. But afterwards for no good reason the Gepaedes began to practise unholy deeds upon them. For they violated their women and seized their cattle and other property, and abstained from no wickedness whatever, and finally began an unjust attack upon them. And the Eruli, unable to bear all this any longer, crossed the Ister River and decided to live as neighbours to the Romans in that region; this was during the reign of the Emperor Anastasius, who received them with great friendliness and allowed them to settle where they were. But a short time afterwards these barbarians gave him offence by their lawless treatment of the Romans there, and for this reason he sent an army against them. And the Romans, after defeating them in battle, slew most of their number, and had ample opportunity to destroy them all. But the remainder of them threw themselves upon the mercy of the generals and begged them to spare their lives and to have them as allies and servants of the emperor thereafter. And when Anastasius learned this, he was pleased, and consequently a number of the Eruli were left; however, they neither became allies of the Romans, nor did they do them any good.

But when Justinian took over the empire,[4] he bestowed upon them good lands and other possessions, and thus completely succeeded in winning their friendship and persuaded them all to become Christians. As a result of this they adopted a gentler manner of life and decided to submit themselves wholly to the laws of the Christians, and in keeping with the terms of their alliance they are generally arrayed with the Romans against their enemies. They are still, however, faithless toward them, and since they are given to avarice, they are eager to do violence to their neighbours, feeling no shame at such conduct. And they mate in an unholy manner, especially men with asses, and they are the basest of all men and utterly abandoned rascals.

[Y]527 A.D.

Afterwards, although some few of them remained at peace with the Romans, as will be told by me in the following narrative,[5] all the rest revolted for the following reason. The Eruli, displaying their beastly and fanatical character against their own "rex," one Ochus by name, suddenly killed the man for no good reason at all, laying against him no other charge than that they wished to be without a king thereafter. And yet even before this, while their king did have the title, he had practically no advantage over any private citizen whomsoever. But all claimed the right to sit with him and eat with him, and whoever wished insulted him without restraint; for no men in the world are less bound by convention or more unstable than the Eruli. Now when the evil deed had been accomplished, they were immediately repentant. For they said that they were not able to live without a ruler and without a general; so after much deliberation it seemed to them best in every way to summon one of their royal family from the island of Thule. And the reason for this I shall now explain.


  1. Cf. Book IV. iv. 30.
  2. Modern Danube.
  3. Cf. Book III. ii. 2-6, VII. xxiv. 10.
  4. TEXT
  5. Book VII. xxxiv. 42.



When the Eruli, being defeated by the Lombards in the above-mentioned battle, migrated from their ancestral homes, some of them, as has been told by me above,[1] made their home in the country of Illyricum, but the rest were averse to crossing the Ister River, but settled at the very extremity of the world; at any rate, these men, led by many of the royal blood, traversed all the nations of the Sclaveni one after the other, and after next crossing a large tract of barren country, they came to the Varni,[2] as they are called. After these they passed by the nations of the Dani,[3] without suffering violence at the hands of the barbarians there. Coming thence to the ocean, they took to the sea, and putting in at Thule,[4] remained there on the island.

Now Thule is exceedingly large; for it is more than ten times greater than Britain. And it lies far distant from it toward the north. On this island the land is for the most part barren, but in the inhabited country thirteen very numerous nations are settled; and there are kings over each nation. In that place a very wonderful thing takes place each year. For the sun at the time of the summer solstice never sets for forty days, but appears constantly during this whole time above the earth. But not less than six months later, at about the time of the winter solstice, the sun is never seen on this island for forty days, but never-ending night envelops it; and as a result of this dejection holds the people there during this whole time, because they are unable by any means to mingle with one another during this interval. And although I was eager to go to this island and become an eye-witness of the things I have told, no opportunity ever presented itself. However, I made enquiry from those who come to us from the island as to how in the world they are able to reckon the length of the days, since the sun never rises nor sets there at the appointed times. And they gave me an account which is true and trustworthy. For they said that the sun during those forty days does not indeed set just as has been stated, but is visible to the people there at one time toward the east, and again toward the west. Whenever, therefore, on its return, it reaches the same place on the horizon where they had previously been accustomed to see it rise, they reckon in this way that one day and night have passed. When, however, the time of the nights arrives, they always take note of the courses of the moon and stars and thus reckon the measure of the days. And when a time amounting to thirty-five days has passed in this long night, certain men are sent to the summits of the mountains—for this is the custom among them—and when they are able from that point barely to see the sun, they bring back word to the people below that within five days the sun will shine upon them. And the whole population celebrates a festival at the good news, and that too in the darkness. And this is the greatest festival which the natives of Thule have; for, I imagine, these islanders always become terrified, although they see the same thing happen every year, fearing that the sun may at some time fail them entirely.

But among the barbarians who are settled in Thule, one nation only, who are called the Scrithiphini, live a kind of life akin to that of the beasts. For they neither wear garments of cloth nor do they walk with shoes on their feet, nor do they drink wine nor derive anything edible from the earth. For they neither till the land themselves, nor do their women work it for them, but the women regularly join the men in hunting, which is their only pursuit. For the forests, which are exceedingly large, produce for them a great abundance of wild beasts and other animals, as do also the mountains which rise there. And they feed exclusively upon the flesh of the wild beasts slain by them, and clothe themselves in their skins, and since they have neither flax nor any implement with which to sew, they fasten these skins together by the sinews of the animals, and in this way manage to cover the whole body. And indeed not even their infants are nursed in the same way as among the rest of mankind. For the children of the Scrithiphini do not feed upon the milk of women nor do they touch their mother's breast, but they are nourished upon the marrow of the animals killed in the hunt, and upon this alone. Now as soon as a woman gives birth to a child, she throws it into a skin and straightway hangs it to a tree, and after putting marrow into its mouth she immediately sets out with her husband for the customary hunt. For they do everything in common and likewise engage in this pursuit together. So much for the daily life of these barbarians.

But all the other inhabitants of Thule, practically speaking, do not differ very much from the rest of men, but they reverence in great numbers gods and demons both of the heavens and of the air, of the earth and of the sea, and sundry other demons which are said to be in the waters of springs and rivers. And they incessantly offer up all kinds of sacrifices, and make oblations to the dead, but the noblest of sacrifices, in their eyes, is the first human being whom they have taken captive in war; for they sacrifice him to Ares, whom they regard as the greatest god. And the manner in which they offer up the captive is not by sacrificing him on an altar only, but also by hanging him to a tree, or throwing him among thorns, or killing him by some of the other most cruel forms of death. Thus, then, do the inhabitants of Thule live. And one of their most numerous nations is the Gauti, and it was next to them that the incoming Eruli settled at the time in question.

On the present occasion,[5] therefore, the Eruli who dwelt among the Romans, after the murder of their king had been perpetrated by them, sent some of their notables to the island of Thule to search out and bring back whomsoever they were able to find there of the royal blood. And when these men reached the island, they found many there of the royal blood, but they selected the one man who pleased them most and set out with him on the return journey. But this man fell sick and died when he had come to the country of the Dani. These men therefore went a second time to the island and secured another man, Datius by name. And he was followed by his brother Aordus and two hundred youths of the Eruli in Thule. But since much time passed while they were absent on this journey, it occurred to the Eruli in the neighbourhood of Singidunum that they were not consulting their own interests in importing a leader from Thule against the wishes of the Emperor Justinian. They therefore sent envoys to Byzantium, begging the emperor to send them a ruler of his own choice. And he straightway sent them one of the Eruli who had long been sojourning in Byzantium, Suartuas by name. At first the Eruli welcomed him and did obeisance to him and rendered the customary obedience to his commands; but not many days later a messenger arrived with the tidings that the men from the island of Thule were near at hand. And Suartuas commanded them to go out to meet those men, his intention being to destroy them, and the Eruli, approving his purpose, immediately went with him. But when the two forces were one day's journey distant from each other, the king's men all abandoned him at night and went over of their own accord to the newcomers, while he himself took to flight and set out unattended for Byzantium. Thereupon the emperor earnestly undertook with all his power to restore him to his office, and the Eruli, fearing the power of the Romans, decided to submit themselves to the Gepaedes. This, then, was the cause of the revolt of the Eruli.[6]


  1. This has not been stated before by Procopius.
  2. Or Varini, a tribe living on the coast near the mouth of the Rhine.
  3. A group of tribes inhabiting the Danish Peninsula.
  4. Probably Iceland or the northern portion of the Scandinavian peninsula, which was then regarded as an island and called "Scanza." The name of Thule was familiar from earlier times. It was described by the navigator Pytheas in the age of Alexander the Great, and he claimed to have visited the island. It was variously placed, but always considered the northernmost land in the world—"ultima Thule."
  5. Cf. Chap. xiv. 42.
  6. Chap. xiv. 37 introduces this topic.



Acarnania, a Roman fleet winters there, V. xxiv. 20

Adegis, bodyguard of Belisarius, VI. vii. 27

Adriatic Sea, of which the modern Adriatic was an inlet, V. xv. 16

Aemilia, district in northern Italy, on the right of the Po, V. xv. 30

Aeneas, son of Anchises, meets Diomedes at Beneventus and receives

  • from him the Palladium, V. xv. 9

Aeschmanus, a Massagete, bodyguard of Belisarius, V. xvi. 1

Aetolia, a Roman fleet winters there, V. xxiv. 20

Africa, mentioned in the oracle regarding Mundus, V. vii. 6, 7

Alamani, barbarian people of Gaul, V. xii. 11

Alani, a Gothic nation, V. i. 3


  • leader of the Visigoths, V. i. 3;
  • deposited plunder of Rome in Carcasiana, V. xii. 41

Alaric the Younger, ruler of the Visigoths;

  • betrothed to Theodichusa, daughter of Theoderic, V. xii. 22;
  • attacked by the Franks, V. xii. 33;
  • appeals to Theoderic, V. xii. 34;
  • meets the Franks in battle and is slain, V. xii. 35-40;
  • father of Giselic, V. xii. 43

Alba, town in Picenum, VI. vii. 25

Albani, a people north of Liguria, V. xv. 29


  • town near Rome, V. vi. 7;
  • occupied by Gontharis, VI. iv. 8, vii. 20, 23

Albanum, VI. vii. 23, see Albani

Albilas, Gothic commander of Urviventus, VI. xi. 1

Albis, a Goth sent as envoy to Belisarius, V. xx. 7

Alexander, Roman senator,

  • envoy of Justinian, V. iii. 13, vi. 26;
  • meets Amalasuntha in Ravenna, V. iii. 16;
  • his report, V. iii. 29;
  • brother of Athanasius, V. vi. 26

Alexander, commander of cavalry, VI. v. 1

Aluith, Erulian commander, VI. xiii. 18


  • form boundary between Gaul and Liguria, V. xii. 4, 20;
  • distance from Milan, VI. vii. 37, 38;
  • definition of the word "alps," V. xii. 3, 4.

Amalaberga, daughter of Amalafrida,

  • betrothed to Hermenefridus, V. xii. 22;
  • sister of Theodatus, V. xiii. 2

Amalafrida, sister of Theoderic and

  • mother of Theodatus, V. iii. 1;
  • mother of Amalaberga, V. xii. 22


  • grandson of Theoderic and son of Theodichusa, V. xii. 43, 46;
  • becomes king of the Visigoths, with Theoderic as regent, V. xii. 46;
  • marries the daughter of the Frankish king, and divides Gaul with the
  • Goths and his cousin Atalaric, V. xiii. 4;
  • receives back the treasures of Carcasiana, V. xiii. 6;
  • gives offence to Theudibert by his treatment of his wife, V. xiii. 9, 10;
  • defeated by him in battle and slain, V. xiii. 11


  • daughter of Theoderic, V. ii. 23, xxiv. 25;
  • mother of Atalaric, V. ii. 1;
  • acts as regent for him, V. ii. 3;
  • her plan for his education frustrated by the Goths, V. ii. 6 ff.;
  • allows him to be trained according to the ideas of the Goths, V. ii. 18 ff.;
  • her conflict with the Gothic nobles, V. ii. 20-22;
  • sends a ship to Epidamnus, V. ii. 26 ff., iii. 14;
  • later recalls it, V. ii. 29;
  • her concern at the failing health of Atalaric, V. iii. 10, 11;
  • plans to hand over Italy to Justinian, V. iii. 12;
  • accused by Justinian, V. iii. 15-18;
  • meets Alexander in Ravenna, V. iii. 16;
  • receives Justinian's letter, V. iii. 16-18;
  • her reply, V. iii. 19-27;
  • sends envoys agreeing to hand over all Italy to Justinian, V. iii. 28, 29;
  • hears accusations against Theodatus, V. iv. 1;
  • compels him to make restitution, V. iv. 2;
  • attempts to gain his support, V. iv. 4 ff.;
  • deceived by him, V. iv. 10;
  • imprisoned, V. iv. 13-15;
  • compelled by him to write Justinian, V. iv. 16;
  • the envoy Peter sent to treat with her, V. iv. 18;
  • championed by Justinian, V. iv. 22;
  • her death, V. iv. 25-27, 31;
  • her death foreshadowed by the crumbling of a mosaic in Naples, V. xxiv. 25;
  • her noble qualities, V. iv. 29;
  • her ability and justice as a ruler, V. ii. 3-5;
  • mother of Matasuntha, V. xi. 27


  • Roman Emperor, VI. xiv. 10;
  • makes alliance with the Eruli, VI. xiv. 28, 32

Anchises, father of Aeneas, V. xv. 9


  • fortress on the Ionian Gulf, VI. xi. 4, 21;
  • its strong position, VI. xiii. 6;
  • taken by Belisarius, VI. xi. 5;
  • attacked by the Goths, VI. xiii. 5 ff.;
  • port of Auximus, VI. xiii. 7;
  • distance from Ariminum, VI. xi. 4;
  • and from Auximus, VI. xiii. 7

Antae, a people settled near the Ister River;

  • serve in the Roman army, V. xxvii. 2


  • used as a harbour by the Romans, V. xxvi. 17;
  • distance from Ostia, ibid.

Antiochus, a Syrian, resident in Naples, favours the Roman party,

  • V. viii. 21


  • wife of Belisarius, V. xviii. 43;
  • departs for Naples, VI. iv. 6;
  • arriving in Taracina, proceeds to Campania, VI. iv. 14,
  • where she assists Procopius, VI. iv. 20;
  • assists in shipping provisions from Ostia to Rome, VI. vii. 4 ff.;
  • mother of Photius, V. v. 5, xviii. 18;
  • mother-in-law of Ildiger, VI. vii. 15

Aordus, an Erulian, brother of Datius, VI. xv. 29

Appian Way,

  • built by Appius, V. xiv. 6;
  • description of the road, V. xiv. 6-11;
  • travelled by refugees from Rome, V. xxv. 4;
  • Gothic camp near it, VI. iii. 3, iv. 3, 17

Appius, Roman consul, builder of the Appian Way, V. xiv. 6-9


  • a people of Southern Italy, V. xv. 21;
  • voluntarily submit to Belisarius, V. xv. 3

Aquileia, city in northern Italy, V. i. 22

Aquilinus, bodyguard of Belisarius;

  • performs a remarkable feat, VI. v. 18, 19

Aratius, commander of Armenians,

  • who had deserted from the Persians, VI. xiii. 17;
  • joins Belisarius in Italy with an army, ibid.

Arborychi, barbarians in Gaul,

  • formerly subject to the Romans, V. xii. 9;
  • become Roman soldiers, V. xii. 13;
  • absorbed by the Germans, V. xii. 13-15;
  • receive land from Roman soldiers, V. xii. 17

Ares, worshipped by the inhabitants of Thule, VI. xv. 25

Argos, Diomedes repulsed thence, V. xv. 8


  • their views not held by the Franks, V. v. 9;
  • not trusted by Roman soldiers in Gaul, V. xii. 17;
  • Arian heresy espoused by Amalaric, V. xiii. 10

Ariminum, city of northern Italy,

  • occupied by John, VI. x. 5 ff.;
  • abandoned by the Goths, VI. x. 6;
  • besieged by Vittigis, VI. xi. 3, xii. 1 ff.;
  • Ildiger and Martinus sent thither, VI. xi. 4, 21;
  • distance from Ravenna, VI. x. 5;
  • from Ancon, VI. xi. 4

Armenians, Narses an Armenian, VI. xiii. 17

Artasires, a Persian, bodyguard of Belisarius, VI. ii. 10

Arzes, bodyguard of Belisarius;

  • his remarkable wound, VI. ii. 16-18;
  • treatment of his wound, VI. ii. 25-29;
  • of the household of Belisarius, VI. ii. 25

Asclepiodotus, of Naples, a trained speaker;

  • with Pastor opposes the plan to surrender the city, V. viii. 22 ff.;
  • they address the Neapolitans, V. viii. 29-40;
  • bring forward the Jews, V. viii. 41;
  • his effrontery after the capture of the city, V. x. 39, 43-45;
  • bitterly accused by Stephanus, V. x. 40-42;
  • killed by a mob, V. x. 46

Asia, the continent adjoining Libya, V. xii. 1

Asinarian Gate, in Rome, V. xiv. 14


  • Gothic commander in Dalmatia, V. vii. 1, xvi. 8;
  • gathers an army among the Suevi, V. xvi. 12, 14;
  • joins Uligisalus and proceeds to Salones, V. xvi. 15, 16

Assyrians, V. xxiv. 36

Atalaric, grandson of Theoderic;

  • succeeds him as king of the Goths, V. ii. 1;
  • reared by his mother Amalasuntha, ibid.;
    who attempts to educate him, V. ii. 6 ff.;
  • corrupted by the Goths, V. ii. 19 ff.;
  • receives the envoy Alexander, V. vi. 26;
  • divides Gaul with his cousin Amalaric, V. xiii. 4, 5;
  • returns the treasures of Carcasiana to him, V. xiii. 6;
  • attacked by a wasting disease, V. iii. 10, iv. 5;
  • his death, V. iv. 4, 19;
  • his quaestor Fidelius, V. xiv. 5;
  • his death foreshadowed by the crumbling of a mosaic in Naples, V. xxiv. 24


  • brother of Alexander, V. vi. 26;
  • envoy of Justinian, V. vi. 25, vii. 24


  • her statue stolen from Troy, V. xv. 9;
  • given to Aeneas, V. xv. 10;
  • different views as to the existence of the statue in the time of
    Procopius, V. xv. 11-14;
  • a copy of it in the temple of Fortune in Rome, V. xv. 11;
  • Greek statues of, V. xv. 13

Athenodorus, an Isaurian, bodyguard of Belisarius, V. xxix. 20, 21

Attila, leader of the Huns, V. i. 3


  • name given to Augustus, Emperor of the West, V. i. 2;
  • dethroned by Odoacer, V. i. 7, VI. vi. 16

Augustus, first emperor of the Romans;

  • allowed the Thuringians to settle in Gaul, V. xii. 10;
  • builder of a great bridge over the Narnus, V. xvii. 11

Augustus, see Augustulus

Aulon, city on the Ionian Gulf, V. iv. 21

Aurelian Gate, in Rome,

  • called also the Gate of Peter, V. xix. 4, xxviii. 15;
  • near the Tomb of Hadrian, V. xxii. 12

Auximus, city in Picenum;

  • its strong position, VI. x. 3;
  • strongly garrisoned by the Goths, VI. xi. 2;
  • metropolis of Picenum, ibid.;
  • distance from its port Ancon, VI. xiii. 7

Balan, barbarian name for a white-faced horse, V. xviii. 6, 7


  • description of, V. xxi. 14-18;
  • could shoot only straight out, V. xxii. 21


  • his victory over the Vandals, V. v. 1;
  • sent by sea against the Goths, V. v. 2;
  • commander-in-chief of the army, V. v. 4;
  • sent first to Sicily, V. v. 6, 7, xiii. 14;
  • takes Catana and the other cities of Sicily, except Panormus, by
    surrender, V. v. 12;
  • takes Panormus, V. v. 12-16;
  • enjoys great fame, V. v. 17 ff.;
  • lays down the consulship in Syracuse, V. v. 18, 19;
  • given power to make settlement with Theodatus, V. vi. 25, 26, 27;
  • ordered to hasten to Italy, crosses from Sicily, V. vii. 27, viii. 1;
  • Ebrimous comes over to him as a deserter, V. viii. 3;
  • reaching Naples, attempts to bring about its surrender, V. viii. 5 ff.;
  • failing in this, begins a siege, V. viii. 42;
  • does not succeed in storming the walls, V. viii. 43;
  • cuts the aqueduct, V. viii. 45, ix. 12;
  • despairs of success in the siege, V. ix. 8, 10;
  • learns of the possibility of entering Naples by the aqueduct,
    V. ix. 10 ff.;
  • makes necessary preparations for the enterprise, V. ix. 18-21;
  • makes final effort to persuade the Neapolitans to surrender,
    V. ix. 22 ff.;
  • carries out the plan of entering the city by the aqueduct, V. x. 1 ff.;
  • captures the city, V. x. 21 ff.;
  • addresses the army, V. x. 29-34;
  • guards the Gothic prisoners from harm, V. x. 37;
  • addressed by Asclepiodotus, V. x. 39 ff.;
  • forgives the Neapolitans for killing him, V. x. 48;
  • prepares to march on Rome, leaving a garrison in Naples, V. xiv. 1, 4;
  • garrisons Cumae, V. xiv. 2;
  • invited to Rome by the citizens, V. xiv. 5;
  • enters Rome, V. xiv. 14;
  • sends Leuderis and the keys of Rome to Justinian, V. xiv. 15;
  • repairs and improves the defences of the city, ibid.;
  • prepares for a siege in spite of the complaints of the citizens,
    V. xiv. 16, 17;
  • places ballistae and "wild asses" on the wall, V. xxi. 14, 18;
  • guards the gates with "wolves," V. xxi. 19;
  • smallness of his army in Rome, V. xxii. 17, xxiv. 2;
  • receives the submission of part of Samnium, Calabria, and Apulia,
    V. xv. 1-3;
  • in control of all southern Italy, V. xv. 15;
  • sends troops to occupy many strongholds north of Rome, V. xvi. 1 ff.;
  • Vittigis fearful that he would not catch him in Rome,
    V. xvi. 20, 21, xvii. 8;
  • recalls some of his troops from Tuscany, V. xvii. 1, 2;
  • fortifies the Mulvian bridge, V. xvii. 14;
  • comes thither with troops, V. xviii. 2;
  • unexpectedly engages with the Goths and fights a battle, V. xviii. 3 ff.;
  • his excellent horse, V. xviii. 6;
  • shut out of Rome by the Romans, V. xviii. 20;
  • drives the Goths from the moat, V. xviii. 26, 27;
  • enters the city, V. xviii. 28;
  • disposes the guards of the city, V. xviii. 34;
  • receives a false report of the capture of the city, V. xviii. 35-37;
  • provides against a second occurrence of this kind, V. xviii. 38, 39;
  • ridiculed by the Romans, V. xviii. 42;
  • persuaded to take a little food late in the night, V. xviii. 43;
  • arranges for the guarding of each gate, V. xix. 14-18;
  • his name given in play to one of the Samnite children, V. xx. 1-4;
  • omen of victory for him, V. xx. 4;
  • stops up the aqueducts, V. xix. 18, VI. ix. 6;
  • operates the mills on the Tiber, V. xix. 19 ff.;
  • reproached by the citizens, V. xx. 6, 7;
  • receives envoys from Vittigis, V. xx. 8;
  • his reply to them, V. xx. 15-18;
  • appoints Fidelius praetorian prefect, V. xx. 20;
  • report of the Gothic envoys regarding him, V. xxi. 1;
  • as the Goths advance against the wall, shoots two of their number
    with his own bow, V. xxii. 2-5;
  • checks their advance, V. xxii. 7-9;
  • assigns Constantinus to the Aurelian Gate, V. xxii. 15;
  • prevented from rebuilding "Broken Wall," V. xxiii. 5;
  • summoned to the Vivarium, V. xxiii. 13;
  • directs the defence there with signal success, V. xxiii. 14-23;
  • praised by the Romans, V. xxiii. 27;
  • writes to the emperor asking for reinforcements, V. xxiv. 1 ff.;
  • receives from him an encouraging reply, V. xxiv. 21;
  • sends women, children, and servants to Naples, V. xxv. 2;
  • uses Roman artisans as soldiers on the wall, V. xxv. 11, 12;
  • exiles Silverius and some senators from Rome, V. xxv. 13, 14;
  • precautions against corruption of the guards, V. xxv. 15, 16;
    against surprise at night, V. xxv. 17;
  • unable to defend Portus, V. xxvi. 18;
  • encouraged by the arrival of Martinus and Valerian, V. xxvii. 2;
  • outwits the Goths in three attacks, V. xxvii. 4-14;
    and likewise when they try his tactics, V. xxvii. 18-23;
  • publicly praised by the Romans, V. xxvii. 25;
  • explains his confidence in the superiority of the Roman army,
    V. xxvii. 26-29;
  • compelled by the impetuosity of the Romans to risk a pitched battle,
    V. xxviii. 2, 3;
  • addresses the army, V. xxviii. 5-14;
  • leads out his forces and disposes them for battle, V. xxviii. 15-19;
  • commands in person at the great battle, V. xxix. 16 ff.;
  • grieves at the death of Chorsamantis, VI. i. 34;
  • provides safe-conduct of Euthalius, VI. ii. 1-24;
  • appealed to by the citizens to fight a decisive battle, VI. iii. 12 ff.;
  • his reply, VI. iii. 23-32;
  • sends Procopius to Naples, VI. iv. 1;
  • garrisons strongholds near Rome, VI. iv. 4 ff.;
  • provides for the safe entry of John's troops into Rome, VI. v. 5 ff.;
  • opens the Flaminian Gate, VI. v. 8;
  • out-generals the Goths and wins a decisive victory, VI. v. 9 ff.;
  • his dialogue with the envoys of the Goths, VI. vi. 3 ff.;
  • arranges an armistice with the Goths, VI. vi. 36, vii. 10;
  • goes to Ostia, VI. vii. 3, 4;
  • receives envoys from the Goths, VI. vii. 21 ff.;
  • sends out cavalry from Rome, VI. vii. 25 ff.;
  • appealed to for help from Milan, VI. vii. 35, 38;
  • his disagreement with Constantinus, VI. viii. 1 ff.;
  • puts him to death, VI. viii. 17, 18;
  • hearing of the strange lights in the aqueduct makes investigation,
    VI. ix. 9-11;
  • learns of the stratagem planned by Vittigis, VI. ix. 20;
  • punishes his accomplice, VI. ix. 22;
  • writes to John to begin operations in Picenum, VI. x. 1, 7;
  • arms his men and attacks the departing Goths, VI. x. 14 ff.;
  • sends messengers to John in Ariminum, VI. xi. 4-7;
  • sends assistance to Milan, VI. xii. 26;
  • moves against Vittigis, VI. xiii. 1;
  • takes Tudera and Clusium by surrender, VI. xiii. 2, 3;
    garrisons them, VI. xiii. 4;
  • receives reinforcements, VI. xiii. 16-18

Beneventus (Beneventum), city in Samnium,

  • called in ancient times Maleventus, V. xv. 4;
  • its strong winds, V. xv. 7;
  • founded by Diomedes, V. xv. 8;
  • relics of the Caledonian boar preserved in, ibid.;
  • meeting of Diomedes and Aeneas at, V. xv. 9

Bergomum, city near Milan; occupied by Mundilas, VI. xii. 40

Bessas, of Thrace,

  • Roman general, V. v. 3;
  • by birth a Goth, V. xvi. 2;
  • his ability, V. xvi. 2, 3;
  • at the capture of Naples, V. x. 2, 5, 10, 11, 12, 20;
  • sent against Narnia, V. xvi. 2;
  • takes Narnia by surrender, V. xvi. 3;
  • recalled to Rome, V. xvii. 1, 2;
  • returning slowly, meets the Goths in battle, V. xvii. 4, 5;
  • arrives in Rome, V. xvii. 6;
  • in command of the Praenestine Gate, sends a false report of the capture
    of the city, V. xviii. 35, xix. 15;
  • summons Belisarius to the Vivarium, V. xxiii. 13;
  • sent out against the Goths by Belisarius, V. xxvii. 18;
  • his remarkable fighting, VI. i. 3;
  • saves Belisarius from Constantinus, VI. viii. 15

Black Gulf, modern Gulf of Saros, V. xv. 18

Bochas, a Massagete,

  • bodyguard of Belisarius, VI. ii. 10;
  • sent to the Plain of Nero, VI. ii. 20;
  • helps to rout the Goths, but is surrounded and wounded, VI. ii. 21-23;
  • after inflicting great losses upon the Goths, VI. ii. 36;
  • rescued by Valerian and Martinus, VI. ii. 24;
  • dies of his wound, VI. ii. 32

Boetius, a Roman senator,

  • son-in-law of Symmachus, V. i. 32;
  • his death, V. i. 34;
  • his children receive from Amalasuntha his property, V. ii. 5


  • compared in size with Thule, VI. xv. 4;
  • offered to the Goths by Belisarius, VI. vi. 28;
  • much larger than Sicily, ibid.

Britons, V. xxiv. 36

Broken Wall,

  • a portion of the defences of Rome, V. xxiii. 3, 4;
  • not rebuilt by Belisarius, V. xxiii. 5;
  • never attacked by the Goths, V. xxiii. 6, 7;
  • never rebuilt, V. xxiii. 8

Bruttii, a people of Southern Italy, V. xv. 22, 23

Bruttium, V. viii. 4


  • a barbarian people of Gaul, V. xii. 11;
  • attacked by the Franks, V. xii. 23;
  • alliance formed against them by the Franks and Goths, V. xii. 24, 25;
  • driven back by the Franks, V. xii. 26, 28-30;
  • and completely subjugated, V. xiii. 3;
  • sent by Theudibert as allies to the Goths, VI. xii. 38, 39

Burnus, town in Liburnia, V. xvi. 13, 15

Byzantines, their identification of the Palladium, V. xv. 14


  • ashes from Vesuvius once fell there, VI. iv. 27;
  • senate house of, V. v. 19

Cadmean victory, V. vii. 5

Caesar, see Augustus


  • fortress in northern Italy, V. i. 15;
  • distance from Ravenna, ibid.;
  • garrisoned by Vittigis, VI. xi. 3

Calabria, in southern Italy, VI. v. 2


  • their location, V. xv. 21, 22;
  • voluntarily submit to Belisarius, V. xv. 3

Calydonian boar, its tusks preserved in Beneventus, V. xv. 8

Campani, a people of southern Italy, V. xv. 22


  • its cities: Naples, V. viii. 5;
  • and Cumae, V. xiv. 2;
  • sought by Roman fugitives, V. xvii. 20;
  • by refugees from Rome, V. xxv. 4, 10;
  • by Procopius, VI. ix. 1 ff.;
  • by Antonina, VI. iv. 14;
  • Roman forces unite there, VI. v. 2;
  • Procopius gathers soldiers and provisions in, VI. iv. 19;
  • offered to Belisarius by the Goths, VI. vi. 30

Cappadocians, Theodoriscus and George, V. xxix. 20

Capua, terminus of the Appian Way, V. xiv. 6

Carcasiana, city in Gaul;

  • battle fought near it, V. xii. 35 ff.;
  • besieged by the Franks, V. xii. 41;
  • siege raised at the approach of Theoderic, V. xii. 44;
  • its treasures conveyed to Ravenna, V. xii. 47;
  • later returned to Amalaric, V. xiii. 6

Carnii, a people of central Europe, V. xv. 27

Carthage, the ostensible destination of Belisarius' expedition, V. v. 6

Catana, in Sicily; taken by Belisarius, V. v. 12

Celtica, at the headwaters of the Po, V. i. 18


  • a sum of money, V. xiii. 14;
  • cf. Book I. xxii. 4

Centumcellae, town in Italy;

  • occupied by the Romans, VI. vii. 23;
  • abandoned by the Goths, VI. vii. 18;
  • distance from Rome, VI. vii. 19

Charybdis, the story of, located at the Strait of Messana, V. viii. 1

Chersonese (Thracian), the size of its isthmus, V. xv. 18

Chorsamantis, a Massagete, bodyguard of Belisarius;

  • alone pursues the Goths to their camp, VI. i. 21-25;
  • wounded in a second encounter, VI. i. 26, 27;
  • goes out alone against the Goths and is killed, VI. i. 28-33

Chorsomanus, a Massagete, bodyguard of Belisarius, V. xvi. 1

Christ, His Apostle Peter, V. xix. 4


  • their disagreement regarding doctrine, V. iii. 5, 6;
  • the following are mentioned as Christians: the Neapolitans, V. ix. 27;
  • the Arborychi and Germans, V. xii. 15;
  • the Lombards, VI. xiv. 9;
  • the Eruli, VI. xiv. 33, 34;
  • Christian teachings held in especial favour by the Romans, V. xxv. 23


  • mountain near Taracina, V. xi. 2;
  • considered to be named from the Homeric Circe, ibid.;
  • its resemblance to an island, V. xi. 3, 4

Circe, her meeting with Odysseus, V. xi. 2

Cloadarius, ruler of the Franks;

  • sanctions treaty with Theodatus, V. xiii. 27

Clusium, city in Tuscany;

  • garrisoned by Vittigis, VI. xi. 1;
  • surrenders to Belisarius, VI. xiii. 2, 3;
  • garrisoned by him, VI. xiii. 4

Comum, city near Milan; occupied by Mundilas, VI. xii. 40


  • commander of Isaurians, VI. v. 1;
  • proceeds to Ostia by sea, VI. v. 3;
  • captures Ancon, VI. xi. 5;
  • nearly loses it by a blunder, VI. xiii. 8 ff.

Constantianus, commander of the royal grooms;

  • sent to Illyricum, V. vii. 26;
  • his successful campaign in Dalmatia, V. vii. 27-36;
  • in control of the territory as far as Liburnia, V. xv. 15;
  • prepares to defend Salones, V. xvi. 14, 15

Constantine I,

  • said to have discovered the Palladium in Byzantium, V. xv. 14;
  • his forum there, ibid.

Constantinus, of Thrace,

  • Roman general, V. v. 3;
  • sent into Tuscany, V. xvi. 1;
  • takes Spolitium and Perusia and certain other strongholds, V. xvi. 3;
  • defeats a Gothic army and captures the commanders, V. xvi. 6, 7;
  • recalled to Rome, V. xvii. 1-3;
  • leaves garrisons in Perusia and Spolitium, V. xvii. 3;
  • assigned to guard the Flaminian Gate, V. xix. 16;
  • assigned to the Aurelian Gate and the adjoining wall, V. xxii. 15, 16;
  • leaves the gate during an attack, V. xxii. 18;
    returns, V. xxii. 25;
  • leads the Huns in a signally successful skirmish, VI. i. 4-10;
  • his disagreement with Belisarius, VI. viii. 1 ff.;
  • killed by his order, VI. viii. 17


  • this office held by Romans during the Gothic rule, VI. vi. 20;
  • held by Appius, V. xiv. 6;
  • by Theoderic, VI. vi. 16;
  • by Belisarius, V. v. 19

Corinth, near the head of the Crisaean Gulf, V. xv. 17

Crisaean Gulf (the Corinthian Gulf), V. xv. 17

Croton, city in southern Italy, V. xv. 23


  • coast city in Campania, V. xiv. 3;
  • distance from Naples, ibid.;
  • garrisoned by Belisarius, V. xiv. 2;
  • one of the only two fortresses in Campania, V. xiv. 2;
  • the home of the Sibyl, V. xiv. 3


  • a Thracian, bodyguard of Belisarius, VI. ii. 10;
  • his remarkable wound, VI. ii. 14, 15, 18;
  • which causes his death, VI. ii. 30, 31

Dacians, a people of central Europe, V. xv. 27


  • east of the Ionian Gulf, adjoining Precalis and Liburnia, V. xv. 25;
  • counted in the western empire, ibid.;
  • its strong winds, V. xv. 5, 6;
  • opposite to Italy, V. xv. 5, 7;
  • Mundus sent thither by Justinian, V. v. 2;
  • conquered by him, V. v. 11;
  • invaded by the Goths, V. vii. 1 ff.;
  • recovered for the empire by Constantianus, V. vii. 27-36;
  • an army sent thither by Vittigis, V. xvi. 8, 9

Damianus, nephew of Valerian; sent from Rome with troops, VI. vii. 26;

  • detained in Ariminum by John, VI. xi. 22

Dani, a barbarian nation in Europe, VI. xv. 3, 29

Datius, priest of Milan; asks aid of Belisarius, VI. vii. 35

Datius, brought as king from Thule by the Eruli, VI. xv. 29

December, last month in the Roman calendar, V. xiv. 14

Decennovium, river near Rome, V. xi. 2

Demetrius, of Philippi, envoy of Justinian, V. iii. 5, 13, 29

Demetrius, Roman commander of infantry, V. v. 3

Diogenes, bodyguard of Belisarius;

  • sent out against the Goths, V. xxvii. 11, 12, VI. v. 9;
  • sent to investigate the aqueduct, VI. ix. 9

Diomedes, son of Tydeus;

  • founder of Beneventus, V. xv. 8;
  • received the tusks of the Caledonian boar from his uncle Meleager,
  • meets Aeneas there, V. xv. 9;
  • gives the Palladium to him, V. xv. 9, 10

Dryus, city in southern Italy, called also Hydrus, V. xv. 20; VI. v. 1

Ebrimous, son-in-law of Theodatus;

  • deserts to the Romans, V. viii. 3;
  • honoured by the emperor, ibid.


  • traversed by the Nile, V. xii. 2;
  • ancient statues of the Aegyptians, V. xv. 13

Elpidius, physician of Theoderic, V. i. 38


  • commander of the Isaurians in the Roman army, V. v. 3;
  • brother of Tarmutus, V. xxviii. 23;
  • at the capture of Naples, V. x. 1, 3, 13;
  • saves his brother, V. xxix. 42;
  • sent to Milan with Isaurians, VI. xii. 27, 40

Ephesus, priest of, V. iii. 5


  • situated on the sea at the limit of Epirus, V. ii. 24, xv. 24;
  • Amalasuntha sends a ship thither, V. ii. 26, 28, iii. 14;
  • Constantianus gathers an army there, V. vii. 27, 28

Epidaurus, on the eastern side of the Ionian Gulf, V. vii. 28, 32

Epirotes, a people east of the Ionian Gulf, adjoining Precalis, V. xv. 24

Epizephyrian Locrians, among the Bruttii, V. xv. 23

Eridanus, a name sometimes given the Po River, V. i. 18


  • serving in the Roman army, VI. iv. 8, xiii. 18;
  • their wanderings as a nation, alliances, customs, etc., VI. xiv. 1-34;
  • their worthless character, VI. xiv. 35, 36, 41;
  • some of them emigrate to Thule, VI. xv. 1 ff.;
  • revolt from the Romans, VI. xiv. 37;
  • kill their king and summon another from Thule, VI. xiv. 38, 42,
    xv. 27, 30;
  • their king a figure-head, VI. xiv. 39, 40;
  • decide to ask Justinian to nominate a king for them, VI. xv. 30 ff.;
  • welcome Suartuas as king, VI. xv. 33;
  • abandon him, VI. xv. 34, 35;
  • submit to the Gepaedes, VI. xv. 36


  • the continent to the left of Gibraltar, V. xii. 1;
  • its shape, rivers, population, etc., V. xii. 3 ff.


  • comes to Taracina with money for the Roman soldiers, VI. ii. 1;
  • secures safe-conduct from Belisarius, VI. ii. 2 ff.;
  • arrives safely at nightfall, VI. ii. 6, 24

Fates, called "Fata" by the Romans, V. xxv. 19, 20


  • native of Milan, V. xiv. 5;
  • previously quaestor to Atalaric, ibid.;
  • envoy of the Romans to Belisarius, ibid.;
  • praetorian prefect, sent to Milan in company with troops,
    VI. xii. 27, 28;
  • taunts the Gothic envoys, V. xx. 19, 20;
  • killed by the Goths, VI. xii. 34, 35

Flaminian Gate, in Rome;

  • the Goths pass out through it, V. xiv. 14;
  • threatened by a Gothic camp, V. xix. 2;
  • next to the Pincian, V. xix. 16, xxiii. 3;
  • held by Constantianus, V. xix. 16;
  • closed by Belisarius, ibid., VI. v. 6;
  • not attacked by the Goths, V. xxiii. 2;
  • guarded by Ursicinus, V. xxiii. 3;
  • opened by Belisarius, VI. v. 8, 12

Flaminian Way,

  • road leading northward from Rome, VI. xi. 8;
  • the strongholds Narnia, Spolitium, and Perusia on it, VI. xi. 9

Foederati, auxiliary troops, V. v. 2

Fortune, temple of, in Rome, V. xv. 11


  • "modern" name for the Germans, V. xi. 29, xii. 8;
  • account of the growth of their kingdom up to the time of Procopius,
    V. xii. 1-xiii. 13;
  • their ruler Theudibert, VI. xii. 38;
  • persuaded by Justinian to ally themselves with him, V. v. 8-10, xiii. 28;
  • their war with the Goths, V. xi. 17, 18, 28;
  • occupy the Visigothic portion of Gaul, V. xiii. 11, 12;
  • invited to form alliance with Theodatus, receiving the Gothic portion
    of Gaul, V. xiii. 14;
  • Vittigis advises forming of such an alliance with them, V. xiii. 19-24;
  • make the treaty with some reserve, V. xiii. 26-28;
  • send Burgundians as allies, VI. xii. 38;
  • have the Suevi subject to them, V. xv. 26;
  • the nations north of Langovilla subject to them, V. xv. 29

Gadira, the strait of Gibraltar, V. xii. 1


  • extending from the Pyrenees to Liguria, V. xii. 4;
  • separated from Liguria by the Alps, V. xii. 4, 20, VI. vii. 37;
  • its great
  • extent, V. xii. 5, 6;
  • its rivers, lakes, and population, V. xii. 7-11;
  • formerly subject to the Romans, V. xii. 9;
  • occupied by the Goths, V. xi. 16, 28;
  • how the Franks became established there, V. xi. 29, xii. 1 ff.;
  • partly occupied by the Visigoths, V. xii. 12, 20;
  • guarded by Roman soldiers, V. xii. 16;
  • divided between the Franks and Goths, V. xii. 32, 45;
  • really under the sway of Theoderic, V. xii. 47;
  • divided between the Goths and Visigoths, V. xiii. 4, 5;
  • the Visigothic portion taken over by the Franks, V. xiii. 12;
  • Visigoths retire thence to Spain, V. xiii. 13;
  • the Gothic portion offered to the Franks as the price of alliance
    with Theodatus, V. xiii. 14;
  • held by the Goths under Marcias, V. xiii. 15, xvi. 7;
  • threatened by the Franks, V. xiii. 16;
  • given to them by Vittigis, V. xiii. 26, 27

Gauti, nation on the island of Thule, VI. xv. 26

Gelimer, king of the Vandals, V. v. 1, vi. 2, xxix. 8

Genoa, its location, VI. xii. 29

George, a Cappadocian, bodyguard of Martinus, conspicuous for his valour,

  • V. xxix. 20, 21

Gepaedes, a people of southern Europe;

  • their war with the Goths, V. iii. 15, xi. 5;
  • their relations with the Eruli, VI. xiv. 25-27;
  • who submit to them, VI. xv. 36

Germans, called also Franks, q.v.


  • the "Getic peril," V. xxiv. 29, 30;
  • equivalent to "Gothic," V. xxiv. 30

Gibimer, Gothic commander, stationed in Clusium, VI. xi. 1

Giselic, illegitimate son of Alaric;

  • chosen king over the Visigoths, V. xii. 43;
  • his death, V. xii. 46

Gladiators, VI. i. 5

Gontharis, Roman commander;

  • occupies Albani, VI. iv. 8

Goths, used throughout to indicate the Ostro-Goths;

  • called also "Getic," V. xxiv. 30;
  • their fortunes previous to the war with Justinian, V. i. 1 ff.;
  • form alliance with the Franks against the Burgundians, V. xii. 24, 25;
  • their crafty hesitation, V. xii. 26, 27;
  • reproached by their allies, V. xii. 31;
  • secure a portion of Gaul, V. xii. 32;
  • mingle with the Visigoths, V. xii. 49;
  • divide Gaul with the Visigoths, V. xiii. 4, 5, 7, 8;
  • remit the tribute imposed by Theoderic, V. xiii. 6;
  • ruled formerly over the peoples north of the Ionian Gulf, V. xv. 28;
  • led into Italy by Theoderic, V. xvi. 2, VI. xiv. 24;
  • prevented by Amalasuntha from injuring the Romans, V. ii. 5;
  • their leaders hostile to her, V. iii. 11;
  • oppose her in her effort to educate Atalaric, V. ii. 8 ff.;
  • grieve at the death of Amalasuntha, V. iv. 28;
  • defeated in Dalmatia, V. v. 11;
  • enter Dalmatia again, V. vii. 1 ff.;
  • again defeated, V. vii. 27-36;
  • garrison Naples strongly, V. viii. 5;
  • lose Naples, V. x. 26;
  • dissatisfied with Theodatus,
  • declare Vittigis king, V. xi. 1, 5;
  • their war with the Franks, V. xi. 17, 18, 28;
  • yield Gaul to them, V. xiii. 26;
  • withdraw from Rome, V. xi. 26, xiv. 12-14;
  • defeat the Romans at the Mulvian bridge, V. xviii. 3 ff.;
  • establish six camps about Rome and begin the siege, V. xix. 2-5, 11,
    xxiv. 26;
  • cut the aqueducts, V. xix. 13;
  • assault the wall, V. xxi-xxiii.;
  • capture Portus, V. xxvi. 14;
  • outwitted in three attacks, V. xxvii. 6-14;
  • again defeated when they try Belisarius' tactics, V. xxvii. 15-23;
  • inferiority of their soldiers to the Romans, V. xxvii. 27;
  • defeat the Romans in a pitched battle, V. xxix. 16 ff.;
  • but suffer great losses in the Plain of Nero, VI. ii. 19 ff.;
  • respect the church of Paul, VI. iv. 10;
  • suffer famine and pestilence, VI. iv. 16, 17;
  • retire from the camp near the Appian Way, VI. iv. 18;
  • decide to abandon the siege, VI. vi. 1, 2;
  • send envoys to Rome, VI. vi. 3;
  • arrange an armistice with Belisarius, VI. vi. 36, vii. 13;
  • abandon Portus, VI. vii. 16, 22;
    and Centumcellae, VI. vii. 18;
    and Albani, VI. vii. 20;
  • attempt to enter Rome by stealth, VI. ix. 1 ff.;
  • assault the Pincian Gate, VI. ix. 12 ff.;
  • abandon Ariminum, VI. x. 6;
  • raise the siege of Rome, VI. x. 8, 12, 13;
  • defeated at the Mulvian Bridge, VI. x. 15 ff.;
  • besiege Ariminum, VI. xii. 1 ff.;
  • defeated at Ticinum, VI. xii. 31, 33;
  • besiege Milan, VI. xii. 39, 40;
  • no new laws made by the Gothic kings in Italy, VI. vi. 17;
  • tolerant in religious matters, VI. vi. 18;
  • respect the churches, VI. vi. 19;
  • allowed all offices to be filled by Romans, ibid.;
  • Gothic language, V. x. 10;
  • a Goth makes trouble for the Romans at the Salarian Gate, V. xxiii. 9;
  • killed by a well-directed missile, V. xxiii. 10, 11

Gouboulgoudou, a Massagete, bodyguard of Valerian;

  • renders signal service at Ancon, VI. xiii. 14, 15

Gratiana, city at the extremity of Illyricum, V. iii. 15, 17

Greece, V. xxiv. 20, xxv. 13;

  • Magna Graecia, V. xv. 23

Greeks (Hellenes),

  • include the Epirotes, V. xv. 24;
  • their capture of Troy, V. xv. 9;
  • Greek statues of Athena, V. xv. 13;
  • Greek language, V. xviii. 6

Greeks, contemptuous term for the eastern Romans, V. xviii. 40, xxix. 11

Gripas, Gothic commander,

  • in Dalmatia, V. vii. 1;
  • defeated by Constantianus, V. vii. 27-36;
  • retires to Ravenna, V. vii. 36

Hadrian, tomb of,

  • near the Aurelian Gate, V. xxii. 12;
  • its excellent construction and decoration, V. xxii. 13, 14;
  • attacked by the Goths, V. xxii. 19 ff.;
  • statues thereon torn down by the Romans and hurled upon the Goths,
    V. xxii. 22


  • treasures of their king Solomon taken from Rome by Alaric,
    V. xii. 42;
  • a certain Hebrew makes a prophecy to Theodatus by the actions of swine,
    V. ix. 3-6;
  • see also Jews

Hellespont, V. xv. 18

Hermenefridus, ruler of the Thuringians,

  • betrothed to Amalaberga, V. xii. 22;
  • killed by the Franks, V. xiii. 1;
  • wife of, escapes to Theodatus, V. xiii. 2


  • Roman commander of infantry, V. v. 3;
  • left in command of the Roman garrison in Naples, V. xiv. 1

Homer, his testimony as to the place where Odysseus met Circe, V. xi. 2, 4


  • in the Roman army, V. iii. 15, v. 4, xxvii. 2, 27;
  • led by Constantinus in a signally successful skirmish, VI. i. 4-10;
  • encamp at the church of Paul, VI. iv. 11;
  • harass the Goths, VI. iv. 16;
  • return to Rome, VI. iv. 18;
  • see also Massagetae

Hydrus, name of Dryus in Procopius' time, V. xv. 20

Hypatius, priest of Ephesus;

  • envoy of Justinian, V. iii. 5, 13, 29

Iberia, home of Peranius, V. v. 3

Ildibert, ruler of the Franks,

  • sanctions treaty with Theodatus, V. xiii. 27

Ildiger, son-in-law of Antonina;

  • comes to Rome, VI. vii. 15;
  • with Valerian, seizes Constantinus, VI. viii. 16;
  • on guard at the Pincian Gate, VI. ix. 13;
  • meets a Gothic attack, VI. ix. 14;
  • sent by Belisarius with Martinus to Ariminum, VI. xi. 4, 8, 21;
  • they capture Petra, VI. xi. 10-19;
  • leave Ariminum, VI. xi. 22


  • capture of, V. xv. 8, 9;
  • entered by Diomedes and Odysseus as spies, V. xv. 9


  • Mundus general of, V. v. 2;
  • Constantinus sent to, V. vii. 26;
  • Justinus general of, VI. xiii. 17;
  • Eruli settled in, VI. xv. 1;
  • the city of Gratiana at its extremity, V. iii. 15;
  • home of Peter, V. iii. 30

Innocentius, Roman commander of cavalry, V. v. 3, xvii. 17

Ionian Gulf,

  • the modern Adriatic, V. i. 13, etc.;
  • ends at Ravenna, V. xv. 19


  • in the army of Belisarius, V. v. 2;
  • commanded by Ennes, V. v. 3, x. 1;
  • render signal service at the capture of Naples, V. ix. 11 ff.,
    17-21, x. 1;
  • a force of, reaches Naples, VI. v. 1;
  • arrives in the harbour of Rome, VI. vii. 1;
  • they fortify a camp, VI. vii. 2;
  • guard ships at Ostia, VI. vii. 9;
  • remain in Ostia, VI. vii. 12, 16;
  • occupy Portus, VI. vii. 16, 22;
  • occupy Ancon, VI. xi. 5;
  • with John at Ariminum, VI. xii. 6, 9;
  • sent to Milan under command of Ennes, VI. xii. 26, 27;
  • Isaurian javelins, V. xxix. 42

Ister River, the modern Danube;

  • boundary of Pannonia, V. xv. 27, etc.;
  • Antae settled near its banks, V. xxvii. 2

Istria, adjoining Liburnia and Venetia, V. xv. 25


  • often coupled with "Goths," V. i. 1, etc.;
  • their love for Theoderic, V. i. 29;
  • grieve at the death of Amalasuntha, V. iv. 28


  • its inhabitants enumerated, V. xv. 16, 21-25;
  • claimed by the barbarians, V. i. 4, VI. vi. 15, 17;
  • neglected by the Romans until the Goths held it, VI. vi. 21;
  • Amalasuntha agrees to hand it over to Justinian, V. iii. 28, iv. 18;
  • offered to Justinian by Theodatus, V. vi. 21


  • his temple in Rome, V. xxv. 18, 19;
  • one of the older gods, V. xxv. 19;
  • his double-faced statue, V. xxv. 20, 21

Jerusalem, its capture by the Romans, V. xii. 42


  • supporting the Gothic party in Naples, V. viii. 41;
  • offer stubborn resistance to the Romans at its capture, V. x. 24-26;
  • see also Hebrews

John, nephew of Vitalian,

  • commander of Thracians, VI. v. 1;
  • reaches Campania, VI. v. 2;
  • approaches Rome, VI. v. 5;
  • reaches Ostia, VI. vii. 1;
  • forms a barricade of wagons, VI. vii. 2;
  • sent out from Rome by Belisarius, VI. vii. 25 ff.;
  • instructed by Belisarius to begin operations, VI. x. 1;
  • defeats and kills Ulitheus, VI. x. 2;
  • passes by Auximus and Urbinus, VI. x. 3-5;
  • enters Ariminum, VI. x. 5, 7. 11;
  • wins great fame, VI, x. 9;
  • receives proposal of marriage from Matasuntha, VI. x. 11;
  • directed by Belisarius to leave Ariminum, VI. xi. 4;
  • refuses, VI. xi. 22;
  • prevents the approach of a tower to the wall of Ariminum, VI. xii. 6 ff.;
  • addresses his soldiers, VI. xii. 14 ff.;
  • attacks and inflicts severe losses on the Goths, VI. xii. 23-25;
  • his excellent qualities, VI. x. 10


  • called "Quintilis," as being the fifth month from March, V. xxiv. 31;
  • mentioned in the Sibyl's prophecy, V. xxiv. 28, 30, 31


  • becomes emperor, V. ii. 2;
  • appealed to by Amalasuntha, V. ii. 23;
  • makes a friendly reply, V. ii. 24;
  • Theodatus purposes to hand over Tuscany to him, V. iii. 4;
  • Amalasuntha plans to hand over Italy to him, V. iii. 12;
  • sends Alexander to learn of Amalasuntha's plans, V. iii. 14;
  • but ostensibly to make complaints against the Goths, V. iii. 15-17;
  • his letter to Amalasuntha V. iii. 16-18;
  • her reply, V. iii. 19-27;
  • sends Peter as envoy, V. iii. 30;
  • receives envoys from Amalasuntha, V. iv. 11;
  • receives envoys and a letter from Theodatus, V. iv. 15, 16;
  • sends Peter as envoy to Theodatus and Amalasuntha, V. iv. 17;
  • champions Amalasuntha against Theodatus, V. iv. 22;
  • hears the report of the Italian envoys, V. iv. 23 ff.;
  • inaugurates the Gothic war, V. v. 1 ff.;
  • sends Belisarius with a fleet to Sicily, V. v. 2, 6, 7;
  • recovers all Sicily, V. v. 17;
  • persuades the Franks to ally themselves with him, V. v. 8-10, xiii. 28;
  • Theodatus proposes an agreement with him, V. vi. 2-13;
  • receives a letter from Theodatus, V. vi. 14-21;
  • his reply, V. vi. 22-25;
  • addresses a letter to the Gothic nobles, V. vii. 22-24;
  • sends Constantianus to Illyricum and Belisarius to Italy, V. vii. 26;
  • honours the deserter Ebrimous, V. viii. 3;
  • receives the keys of Rome, V. xiv. 15;
  • sends relief to Belisarius, V. xxiv. 18;
  • writes encouragingly to Belisarius, V. xxiv. 21;
  • wins the friendship of the Eruli, VI. xiv. 33;
  • appoints a king over the Eruli at their request, VI. xv. 30 ff.;
  • attempts to restore Suartuas, VI. xv. 36;
  • year of reign noted, V. v. 1, xiv. 14

Justinus, general of Illyricum; arrives In Italy, VI. xiii. 17

Langovilla, home of the Albani, north of Liguria, V. xv. 29

Latin language, V. xi. 2, xv. 4;

  • Latin literature, V. iii. 1;
  • Latin Way, running southward from Rome, V. xiv. 6, VI. iii. 3, v. 2

Lechaeum, at the head of the Crisaean Gulf, V. xv. 17

Leuderis, a Goth;

  • left in command of the garrison in Rome, V. xi. 26;
  • his reputation for discretion, ibid.;
  • remains in Rome after the withdrawal of the garrison, V. xiv. 13;
  • sent to the emperor, V. xiv. 15, xxiv. 1

Liberius, Roman senator;

  • envoy of Theodatus, V. iv. 15, 21;
  • makes a true report to Justinian, V. iv. 23, 24


  • adjoining Dalmatia and Istria, V. xv. 25;
  • subdued by Constantianus, V. vii. 36;
  • invaded by the Goths, V. xvi. 12


  • the continent to the right of Gibraltar, V. xii. 1;
  • character of the country, V. xii. 2;
  • Huns escape from the army there, V. iii. 15;
  • Ildiger comes thence, VI. vii. 15


  • on the boundary of Gaul, V. xii. 4;
  • separated from Gaul by the Cottian Alps, V. xii. 20;
  • its chief city Milan, VI. vii. 37, 38, V. xiv. 5;
  • bounded by the Po, V. xv. 28;
  • occupied by the Romans, VI. xii. 36

Lilybaeum, in Sicily, subject of complaint by Justinian, V. iii. 15 ff.,

  • iv. 19

Locrians, see Epizephyrian Locrians

Lombards, a Christian people,

  • subjugated by the Eruli, VI. xiv. 9;
  • attacked wantonly by Rodolphus, VI. xiv. 12 ff.;
  • rout his army and kill him, VI. xiv. 21, 22;
  • defeat the Eruli, VI. xv. 1

Longinus, an Isaurian,

  • bodyguard of Belisarius;
  • distinguished for his valour, VI. x. 19, 20

Lucani, a people of southern Italy, V. xv. 22

Lucania, V. viii. 4

Lysina, island off the coast of Dalmatia, V. vii. 32

Macedonia, V. iii. 5

Magna Graecia, V. xv. 23


  • Roman commander of cavalry, V. v. 3
  • at the capture of Naples, V. x. 1, 3, 7, 8, 13;
  • sent to Tibur with Sinthues, VI. iv. 7;
  • repairs the defences, VI. iv. 15

Maleventus, ancient name of "Beneventus," city in Samnium, V. xv. 4

Marcentius, commander of cavalry, VI. v. 1

March, the first month in the early Roman calendar, V. xxiv. 31


  • commands a Gothic garrison in Gaul, V. xiii. 15;
  • summoned thence by Vittigis, V. xiii. 29, xix. 12;
  • his absence prevents Vittigis from leaving Ravenna, V. xvi. 7;
  • commands a Gothic camp in the Plain of Nero, V. xix. 12, xxix. 2


  • Roman commander sent to Italy, V. xxiv. 18-20;
  • arrives in Rome, V. xxvii. 1;
  • sent put against the Goths by Belisarius, V. xxvii. 22, 23;
  • his bodyguards Theodoriscus and George, V. xxix. 20;
  • sent to the Plain of Nero by Belisarius, VI. ii. 8;
  • fights there with varying fortune, VI. ii. 19 ff.;
  • with Valerian rescues Bochas, VI. ii. 24;
  • sent to Taracina, VI. iv. 6, 14;
  • summoned back to Rome, VI. v. 4;
  • sent by Belisarius with Ildiger to Ariminum, VI. xi. 4, 8-21;
  • they capture Petra, VI. xi. 10-19;
  • leave Ariminum, VI. xi. 22

Massagetae, in the Roman army;

  • their savage conduct at the capture of Naples, V. x. 29;
  • see also Huns

Matasuntha, daughter of Amalasuntha,

  • wedded by Vittigis, V. xi. 27;
  • opens negotiations with John, VI. x. 11

Mauricius, Roman general, son of Mundus; slain in battle, V. vii. 2, 3, 12

Maxentiolus, bodyguard of Constantinus, VI. viii. 3, 13

Maxentius, a bodyguard of the household of Belisarius, V. xviii. 14

Maximus, slayer of Valentinian, V. xxv. 15

Maximus, descendant of the above Maximus; exiled by Belisarius, V. xxv. 15

Medes, see Persians

Melas, see Black Gulf

Meleager, uncle of Diomedes, slayer of the Calydonian boar, V. xv. 8

Messana, city in Sicily, V. viii. 1


  • chief city of Liguria, VI. vii. 37, 38;
  • second only to Rome among the cities of the West. ibid.;
  • receives assistance from Belisarius against the Goths, VI. xii. 26 ff.;
  • occupied by the Romans, VI. xii. 36;
  • besieged by Uraïas, VI. xii. 39, 40;
  • its priest Datius, VI. vii. 35;
  • distance from Rome and from the Alps, VI. vii. 38

Monteferetra, town in Italy; garrisoned by Vittigis, VI. xi. 3


  • allies in the Roman army, V. v. 4;
  • their night attacks upon the Goths, V. xxv. 9;
  • sent outside the walls at night by Belisarius, V. xxv. 17;
  • in the battle in the Plain of Nero, V. xxix. 22

Moras, Gothic commander in Urbinus, VI. xi. 2

Mulvian Bridge, guarded by the Goths, V. xix. 3

Mundilas, bodyguard of Belisarius;

  • distinguished for his valour, VI. x. 19;
  • sent out against the Goths, V. xxvii. 11, 12;
  • accompanies Procopius to Naples, VI. iv. 3;
  • returns to Rome, VI. iv. 4;
  • kills a brave Goth, VI. v. 15;
  • sent in command of troops to Milan, VI. xii. 27, 36;
  • grieves at the death of Fidelius, VI. xii. 35;
  • occupies cities near Milan, VI. xii. 40

Mundus, a barbarian, general of Illyricum;

  • sent against Salones, V. v. 2;
  • secures Salones, V. v. 11;
  • slain in battle, V. vii. 4, 5, 12;
  • the Sibyl's prophecy concerning him, V. vii. 6-8;
  • father of Mauricius, V. vii. 6-8

Naples, city in Campania,

  • on the sea, V. viii. 5;
  • commanded by Uliaris, V. iii. 15;
  • strongly garrisoned by the Goths, V. viii. 5;
  • Belisarius attempts to bring about its surrender, V. viii. 6 ff.;
  • strength of its position, V. viii. 44;
  • besieged by Belisarius, V. viii. 43 ff.;
  • its aqueduct cut by Belisarius, V. viii. 45;
  • its aqueduct investigated by one of the Isaurians, V. ix. 11 ff.;
  • the city captured thereby, V. x. 1-26;
  • slaughter by the soldiers, V. x. 28, 29;
  • garrisoned by Belisarius, V. xiv. 1;
  • women, etc., sent thither by Belisarius, V. xxv. 2;
  • Procopius sent thither, VI. iv. 1;
  • Antonina retires thither, VI. iv. 6;
  • Isaurian soldiers arrive there from Byzantium, VI. v. 1;
  • offered to Belisarius by the Goths, VI. vi. 30;
  • Goths sent thither by Belisarius, VI. xiii. 4;
  • one of the only two fortresses in Campania, V. xiv. 2;
  • distance from Cumae, V. xiv. 3;
  • from Vesuvius, VI. iv. 22;
  • its mosaic picture of Theoderic, V. xxiv. 22 ff.;
  • its inhabitants Romans and Christians, V. ix. 27

Narnia, strong city in Tuscany;

  • Bessas sent against it, V. xvi. 2;
  • named from the Narnus River, V. xvii. 9;
  • distance from Rome, V. xvii. 6;
  • surrenders to Bessas, V. xvi. 3;
  • battle fought there, V. xvii. 4, 5;
  • garrisoned by Bessas, V. xvii. 6;
  • avoided by Vittigis, V. xvii. 8, VI. xi. 9

Narnus River,

  • flows by Narnia, V. xvii. 9;
  • its great bridge, V. xvii. 10, 11

Narses, a eunuch,

  • imperial steward, VI. xiii. 16;
  • arrives in Italy, ibid.

Narses, an Armenian; deserted to the Romans, VI. xiii. 17


  • send Stephanus to Belisarius, V. viii. 7;
  • reject proposals of Belisarius, V. viii. 42;
  • appeal to Theodatus for help, V. ix. 1;
  • Belisarius' final appeal to them, V. ix. 22 ff.;
  • their obduracy, V. ix. 30;
  • saved by Belisarius from abuse by the Romans, V. x. 29, 34-36;
  • kill Asclepiodotus, V. x. 46;
  • impale the body of Pastor, V. x. 47;
  • forgiven by Belisarius, V. x. 48;
  • see also Naples

Nero, Plain of, near Rome;

  • a Gothic camp established there, V. xix. 3, 12, xxviii. 17;
  • troops sent thither by Belisarius, V. xxviii. 15 ff.;
  • operations there on the day of the great battle, V. xxix. 22 ff.;
  • Marcias ordered by Vittigis to remain there, V. xxix. 2;
  • Constantinus wins a signal success in, VI. i. 4-10;
  • skirmish in, VI. i. 21;
  • Martinus and Valerian sent to, VI. ii. 8;
  • Goths victorious in, VI. ii. 19 ff.;
  • but with heavy losses, VI. ii. 36;
  • its "stadium," VI. i. 5

Nile River, its source unknown, V. xii. 2

Norici, a people of central Europe, V. xv. 27

Novaria, city near Milan; occupied by Mundilas, VI. xii. 40

Numa, early Roman king, V. xxiv. 31

Ochus, king of the Eruli, VI. xiv. 38


  • bodyguard of the emperor, V. i. 6;
  • his tyranny, V. i. 7, 8, xii. 20, VI. vi. 21;
  • divides lands in Tuscany among his followers, V. i. 28;
  • allows the Visigoths to occupy all of Gaul, V. xii. 20;
  • Zeno unable to cope with him, VI. vi. 15, 16;
  • Theoderic persuaded to attack him, V. i. 10, VI. vi. 23;
  • his troops defeated by Theoderic, V. i. 14, V. xii. 21;
  • besieged in Ravenna, V. i. 15, 24;
  • his agreement with Theoderic, V. i. 24;
  • killed by Theoderic, V. i. 25


  • his meeting with Circe, V. xi. 2;
  • with Diomedes stole the Palladium from Troy, V. xv. 9

Oilas, bodyguard of Belisarius, V. xxvii. 13

Opilio, Roman senator,

  • envoy of Theodatus, V. iv. 15, 21;
  • makes a false report to Justinian, V. iv. 25

Optaris, a Goth;

  • his hostility to Theodatus, V. xi. 7, 8;
  • pursues and kills him, V. xi. 6, 9

Orestes, father of Augustus,

  • acts as regent for his son, V. i. 2;
  • his death, V. i. 5

Ostia, city at the mouth of the Tiber;

  • neglected in Procopius' time, V. xxvi. 8;
  • no good road thence to Rome, V. xxvi. 13, VI. vii. 6;
  • the only port on the Tiber left to Rome, V. xxvi. 16, VI. iv. 2;
  • distance from Anthium, V. xxvi. 17;
  • Paulus and Conon sent thither, VI. v. 3;
  • reached by John, VI. vii. 1;
  • provisions brought into Rome by way of Ostia, VI. vii. 1 ff.

Pancratian Gate, in Rome,

  • across the Tiber, V. xxviii. 19;
  • false report of its capture, V. xviii. 35;
  • threatened by the Goths, V. xxiii. 1;
  • guarded by Paulus, V. xxiii. 2

Pancratius, a saint;

  • the Pancratian Gate named from him, V. xviii. 35

Pannonians, a people of central Europe, V. xv. 27

Panormus, city in Sicily;

  • Goths in, defy Belisarius, V. v. 12;
  • taken by him, V. v. 13-16;
  • garrisoned by him, V. viii. 1

Parian marble, used in building Hadrian's Tomb, V. xxii. 13

Pastor, of Naples, a trained speaker;

  • with Asclepiodotus opposes the proposal to surrender the city,
    V. viii. 22 ff.;
  • they address the Neapolitans, V. viii. 29-40;
  • bring forward the Jews, V. viii. 41;
  • his death, V. x. 38;
  • his body impaled by the mob, V. x. 47

Patrician rank,

  • how conferred, V. vi. 3;
  • some of the patricians consult the Sibylline prophecies, V. xxiv. 28 ff.;
  • patrician rank conferred upon Theoderic, V. i. 9, VI. vi. 16;
  • upon Ebrimous, V. viii. 3

Patrimonium, used to denote the lands of the royal house, V. iv. 1

Paucaris, an Isaurian,

  • bodyguard of Belisarius, V. ix. 17;
  • prepares the channel of the aqueduct of Naples for the passage of
    Roman troops, V. ix. 19-21

Paul the Apostle,

  • Church of, on the Tiber, VI. iv. 9;
  • respected by the Goths, VI. iv. 10;
  • its site fortified by Valerian, VI. iv. 11;
  • Gate of Rome named from him, VI. iv. 3


  • Roman commander of cavalry, V. v. 3;
  • on guard at the Pancratian Gate, V. xxiii. 2;
  • sent to Milan with Thracians, VI. xii. 27, 40


  • commander of Isaurians, VI. v. 1;
  • proceeds to Ostia by sea, VI. v. 3;
  • remains in Ostia, VI. vii. 12, 16;
  • occupies Portus, VI. vii. 16, 22

Peloponnesus, its resemblance to Spain, V. xii. 3

Penates, the ancient gods of Rome, V. xxv. 19


  • of Iberia, Roman general, V. v. 3;
  • of the family of the king of Iberia, ibid.;
  • had come as a deserter to the Romans, ibid.;
  • summons Belisarius to the Vivarium, V. xxiii. 13;
  • leads a sally against the Goths, VI. i. 11

Persia, adjoining Iberia, V. v. 3


  • frequently referred to, also under the name of Medes, V. v. 3, etc.;
  • their long shields, V. xxii. 20;
  • Artasires a Persian, VI. ii. 10


  • the first city of Tuscany, V. xvi. 4;
  • submits to Constantinus, V. xvi. 4;
  • battle fought near it, V. xvi. 6;
  • garrisoned by Constantinus, V. xvii. 3;
  • avoided by Vittigis, V. xvii. 7, VI. xi. 9

Peter, the Apostle, buried near Rome;

  • one of the gates of the city named after him, V. xix. 4;
  • his church, V. xxii. 21, VI. ix. 17;
  • his promise to guard "Broken Wall," V. xxiii. 5;
  • reverenced by the Romans above all others, V. xxiii. 5


  • an Illyrian, envoy of Justinian to Italy, V. iii. 30, iv. 17;
  • his excellent qualities, V. iii. 30;
  • learns of events in Italy and waits in Aulon, V. iv. 20, 21;
  • sent on with a letter to Amalasuntha, V. iv. 22;
  • arrives in Italy, V. iv. 25;
  • denounces Theodatus, V. iv. 30;
  • who tries to prove his innocence, V. iv. 31;
  • tries to terrify Theodatus, V. iv. 1;
  • who suggests to him an agreement with Justinian, V. vi. 2-6;
  • recalled and given further instructions, V. vi. 7-13;
  • reports to Justinian, V. vi. 14;
  • sent again to Italy, V. vi. 25, 26, vii. 24;
  • reproaches Theodatus, V. vii. 13;
  • who makes a public speech of warning, V. vii. 14-16;
  • his reply thereto, V. vii. 17-20;
  • delivers a letter from Justinian to the Gothic nobles, V. vii. 22

Petra (Pertusa), on the Flaminian Way;

  • allowed by Vittigis to retain its original garrison, VI. xi. 2;
  • attacked and captured by the Romans, VI. xi. 10 ff.;
  • its natural position and defences, VI. xi. 10-14

Phanitheus, Erulian commander, VI. xiii. 18

Philippi, in Macedonia, home of Demetrius, V. iii. 5

Photius, step-son of Belisarius;

  • accompanies him to Italy, V. v. 6;
  • at the capture of Naples, V. x. 5, 8, 9, 20;
  • his groom Valentinus, V. xviii. 18

Piceni, a people of central Italy, V. xv. 21


  • John sent thither, VI. vii. 28;
  • raided by John, VI. x. 1 ff.;
  • its metropolis Auximus, VI. xi. 2;
  • its strongholds:
    Petra, Auximus, and Urbinus, VI. xi. 2;
    Caesena and Monteferetra, VI. xi. 3;
  • its town Alba, VI. vii. 25

Pincian Gate, in Rome;

  • next to the Flaminian, V. xix. 16, xxiii. 3;
  • held by Belisarius, V. xix. 14;
  • often mentioned in the fighting, V. xxviii. 15, etc.

Pisidian, Principius the guardsman, V. xxviii. 23

Pissas, Gothic commander;

  • sent into Tuscany, V. xvi. 5;
  • defeated and captured, V. xvi. 6, 7

Pitzas, a Goth; surrenders part of Samnium to Belisarius, V. xv. 1, 2

Platonic teachings, espoused by Theodatus, V. iii. 1, vi. 10

Po River,

  • called also the "Eridanus," V. i. 18;
  • boundary of Liguria, V. xv. 28;
  • and of Aemilia, V. xv. 30;
  • crossed by Mundilas, VI. xii. 30, 31


  • harbour of Rome, V. xxvi. 3;
  • its situation, V. xxvi. 4-7;
  • distance from Rome, V. xxvi. 4;
  • a good road between it and Rome, V. xxvi. 9, VI. vii. 6;
  • captured by the Goths and garrisoned by them, V. xxvi. 14, 15, xxvii. 1,
    VI. vii. 11;
  • strength of its defences, V. xxvi. 7, 19;
  • abandoned by the Goths and occupied by Paulus, VI. vii. 16, 22

Praenestine Gate, in Rome;

  • commanded by Bessas, V. xviii. 35, xix. 15;
  • threatened by a Gothic camp, V. xix. 2;
  • near the Vivarium, V. xxii. 10

Precalis, a district east of the Ionian Gulf adjoining Epirus and Dalmatia,

  • V. xv. 25


  • a Roman of Ravenna, VI. viii. 2;
  • escapes to Spolitium. ibid.;
  • robbed of two daggers by Constantinus, VI. viii. 3;
  • appeals to Belisarius in Rome, VI. viii. 4 ff.

Principius, a Pisidian, bodyguard of Belisarius;

  • persuades him to allow his infantry troops a share in the fighting,
    V. xxviii. 23-29;
  • fights valiantly, V. xxix. 39, 40;
  • killed in battle, V. xxix. 41


  • writer of the history of the Gothic war, V. vii. 37, VI. ii. 38, xii. 41;
  • sent to Naples to procure provisions and soldiers, VI. iv. 1 ff.;
  • gathers soldiers and provisions in Campania, VI. iv. 19;
  • assisted by Antonina, VI. iv. 20;
  • religious views, V. iii. 6-9

Pyrenees Mountains, on the northern boundary of Spain, V. xii. 3

Quaestor, office held by Fidelius, V. xiv. 5

Quintilis, name given early to July as being the fifth month from March,

  • V. xxiv. 31

Ram, an engine of war; its construction, V. xxi. 6-11


  • its situation, V. i. 16 ff.;
  • besieged by the Goths, V. i. 14, 24;
  • surrendered to Theoderic, V. i. 24;
  • treasures of Carcasiana brought to, V. xii. 47;
  • occupied by Vittigis and the Goths, V. xi. 26;
  • Roman senators killed there by order of Vittigis, V. xxvi. 1;
  • distance from Ariminum, VI. x. 5;
  • from Caesena, V. i. 15;
  • from Milan, VI. vii. 37, 38;
  • from the Tuscan Sea, V. xv. 19;
  • limit of the Picene territory, V. xv. 21;
  • the priest of, V. i. 24


  • distance from Rome, V. xi. 1;
  • Goths gather at, V. xi. 1, 5

Reges, a body of infantry commanded by Ursicinus, V. xxiii. 3

Reparatus, brother of Vigilius, escapes execution by flight, V. xxvi. 2

Rex, title used by barbarian kings, and preserved by Theoderic, V. i. 26,

  • VI. xiv. 38


  • city in southern Italy, V. viii. 1;
  • Belisarius departs thence with his army, V. viii. 4

Rhine, one of the rivers of Gaul, V. xii. 7


  • one of the rivers of Gaul, V. xii. 7;
  • boundary of the Visigothic power, V. xii. 12, xiii. 5;
  • boundary of Roman power, V. xii. 20;
  • boundary between the Franks and the Goths, V. xii. 45


  • leader of the Eruli, VI. xiv. 11;
  • forced by his people to march against the Lombards, VI. xiv. 12 ff.

Rogi, a barbarian people, allies of the Goths, VI. xiv. 24


  • subjects of the Roman Empire both in the East and in the West, mentioned
    constantly throughout;
  • captured Jerusalem in ancient times, V. xii. 42;
  • Roman senators killed by order of Vittigis, V. xxvi. 1;
  • Roman dress of ancient times, preserved by descendants of soldiers
    stationed in Gaul, V. xii. 18, 19;
  • Roman soldiers, their importance greatly lessened by the addition of
    barbarians, V. i. 4;
  • superiority of their soldiers to the Goths, V. xxvii. 27;
  • small importance of their infantry, V. xxviii. 22
  • More particularly of the inhabitants of Rome:
    exhorted by Vittigis to remain faithful to the Goths, V. xi. 26;
    decide to receive Belisarius into the city, V. xiv. 4;
    admire the forethought of Belisarius, but object to his holding the
    • city for a siege, V. xiv. 16;
    compelled by Belisarius to provide their own provisions, V. xiv. 17;
    deprived of the baths, V. xix. 27;
    distressed by the labours of the siege, reproach Belisarius,
    • V. xx. 5 ff.;
    applaud his marksmanship, V. xxii. 5;
    prevent him from rebuilding "Broken Wall," V. xxiii. 5;
    their allegiance feared by Belisarius, V. xxiv. 14, 16;
    send women, children, and servants to Naples, V. xxv. 2, 10;
    some of the, attempt to open the doors of the Temple of Janus,
    • V. xxv. 18-25;
    praise Belisarius publicly, V. xxvii. 25;
    eager to fight a pitched battle, V. xxviii. 1, 3;
    many of the populace mingle with the army, V. xxviii. 18, 29,
    • xxix. 23, 25, 26;
    reduced to despair, VI. iii. 8;
    resort to unaccustomed foods, VI. iii. 10, 11;
    try to force Belisarius to light a decisive battle, VI. iii. 12 ff.;
    lived in luxury under Theoderic, V. xx. 11;
    held in especial honour the teachings of the Christians, V. xxv. 23


  • first city of the West, VI. vii. 38;
  • captured by Alaric the elder, V. xii. 41;
  • visited by envoys from Justinian, V. iii. 5, 16;
  • garrison left therein by Vittigis, V. xi. 25, 26;
  • Goths withdraw from, V. xi. 26;
  • abandoned by the Gothic garrison, V. xiv. 12, 13;
  • entered by Belisarius at the same time that the Gothic garrison left it,
    V. xiv. 14;
  • keys of, sent to Justinian, V. xiv. 15;
  • its defences repaired and improved by Belisarius, V. xiv. 15;
  • ill-situated for a siege, V. xiv. 16;
  • had never sustained a long siege, V. xxiv. 13;
  • its territories secured by Belisarius, V. xvi. 1;
  • provisioned for the siege, V. xvii. 14;
  • account of the building of the wall on both sides of the Tiber,
    V. xix. 6-10;
  • its siege begun by the Goths, V. xxiv. 26;
  • not entirely shut in by them, V. xxv. 6;
  • mills operated in the Tiber by Belisarius, V. xix. 19 ff.;
  • visited by famine and pestilence, VI. iii. 1;
  • abandoned by the Goths, VI. x. 12 ff.;
  • garrisoned by Belisarius, VI. xiii. 1;
  • terminus of the Appian Way, V. xiv. 6;
  • its boundaries adjoin Campania, V. xv. 22;
  • the palace, VI. viii. 10, ix. 5;
  • its aqueducts, VI. iii. 3-7, ix. 1, 2;
  • cut by the Goths, V. xix. 13;
  • their number and size, ibid.;
  • stopped up by Belisarius, V. xix. 18;
  • water of one used to turn the mills, V. xix. 8;
  • its chief priest Silverius, V. xi. 26, xiv. 4, xxv. 13;
  • Vigilius V. xxv. 13, xxvi. 2;
  • its gates fourteen in number, V. xix. 1;
  • the Asinarian, V. xiv. 14;
  • the Pancratian, V. xviii. 35;
  • the Salarian, V. xviii. 39;
  • the Flaminian, V. xix. 2;
  • the Praenestine, ibid.;
  • the Aurelian, V. xix. 4;
  • the Transtiburtine, ibid.;
    of Peter, ibid.;
    of Paul, VI. iv. 3;
  • the Pincian, V. xix. 14;
  • its church of Peter the Apostle, VI. ix. 17;
  • its sewers, V. xix. 29;
  • its "stadium" in the Plain of Nero VI. i. 5;
  • excavations for storage outside the walls, VI. i. 11;
  • its harbour
    Portus, V. xxv. 4, xxvi. 3, 7, 9;
    Ostia, VI. iv. 2;
  • distance from
    Centumcellae, VI. vii. 19;
    from Narnia, V. xvii. 6;
    from Portus and the sea, V. xxvi. 4;
    from Tibur, VI. iv. 7;

description of the engines of war used against it by Vittigis,

  • V. xxi. 3-12;
  • a priest of, V. xvi. 20

Rusticus, a Roman priest, sent with Peter to Justinian, V. vi. 13, 14

Sacred Island, at the mouth of the Tiber, V. xxvi. 5

Salarian Gate,

  • in Rome, V. xviii. 19, etc.;
  • held by Belisarius, V. xix. 14;
  • attacked by the Goths, V. xxxii. 1-9;
  • Goths repulsed from, V. xxiii. 24, 25

Salones, city in Dalmatia;

  • Mundus sent against, V. v. 2;
  • taken by him, V. v. 11;
  • battle near, V. vii. 2 ff.;
  • its inhabitants mistrusted by the Goths, V. vii. 10, 31;
  • weakness of its defences, V. vii. 31;
  • occupied by the Goths, V. vii. 27;
  • abandoned by them, V. vii. 32;
  • occupied by Constantianus, V. vii. 33-36;
  • Vittigis sends an army against, V. xvi. 9, 10;
  • strengthened by Constantianus, V. xvi. 14, 15;
  • invested by the Goths, V. xvi. 16


  • a people of central Italy, V. xv. 21;
  • children among; their gruesome play, V. xx. 1-4

Samnium, VI. v. 2;

  • a portion of, surrendered to Belisarius, V. xv. 1, 15;
  • the remainder held by the Goths, V. xv. 2

Scardon, city in Dalmatia, V. vii. 32, xvi. 13

Sciri, a Gothic nation, V. i. 3


  • a barbarian nation, VI. xv. 2;
  • in the Roman army, V. xxvii. 2

Scrithiphini, nation on the island of Thule; their manner of life, customs,

  • etc., VI. xv. 16-25

Scylla, the story of, located at the strait of Messana, V. viii. 1

Sibyl, The,

  • her prophecy regarding Mundus, V. vii. 6-8;
  • prophecies of, consulted by patricians, V. xxiv. 28;
  • difficulty of understanding them, V. xxiv. 34-37;
  • her cave shewn at Cumae, V. xiv. 3


  • applaud Belisarius, V. v. 18;
  • find the Romans faithful to their promises, V. viii. 18, 27


  • Belisarius sent thither with a fleet, V. v. 6, xiii. 14;
  • taken by him, V. v. 12 ff., 18;
  • garrisoned by him, V. xxiv. 2;
  • Theodatus proposes to withdraw from, V. vi. 2;
  • grain brought thence by Belisarius, V. xiv. 17;
  • Roman refugees resort to, V. xxv. 10;
  • offered to Belisarius by the Goths, VI. vi. 27;
  • Goths sent thither by Belisarius, VI. xiii. 4;
  • smaller than Britain, VI. vi. 28


  • chief priest of Rome, V. xi. 26;
  • influences the citizens to yield to the Romans, V. xiv. 4;
  • dismissed by Belisarius, V. xxv. 13

Singidunum, city in Pannonia, V. xv. 27, VI. xv. 30

Sinthues, bodyguard of Belisarius;

  • sent to Tibur with Magnus, VI. iv. 7;
  • repairs the defences, VI. iv. 15;
  • wounded in battle, ibid.

Siphilas, bodyguard of Constantianus, at the taking of Salones, V. vii. 34

Sirmium, city of the Gepaedes in Pannonia, V. iii. 15, xi. 5, xv. 27

Siscii, a people of central Europe, V. xv. 26

Solomon, king of the Jews; his treasures taken from Rome by Alaric,

  • V. xii. 42


  • first country of Europe beginning from Gibraltar, V. xii. 3;
  • its size compared with that of Gaul, V. xii. 5;
  • formerly subject to the Romans, V. xii. 9;
  • occupied by the Visigoths, V. xii. 12;
  • really under the sway of Theoderic, V. xii. 47;
  • Theudis establishes an independent power in, V. xii. 50-54;
  • Spanish woman of great wealth married by him, V. xii. 50;
  • Visigoths retire to, V. xiii. 13

Spaniards, situated beyond Gaul, V. xv. 29

Spolitium, city in Italy;

  • submits to Constantinus, V. xvi. 3;
  • garrisoned by him, V. xvi. 4, xvii. 3;
  • avoided by Vittigis, V. xvii. 7, VI. xi. 9;
  • Presidius takes refuge in, VI. viii. 2

Stephanus, a Neapolitan;

  • remonstrates with Belisarius, V. viii. 7-11;
  • urged by Belisarius to win over the Neapolitans, V. viii. 19;
  • his attempts to do so, V. viii. 20, 21;
  • assisted by Antiochus, V. viii. 21;
  • opposed by Pastor and Asclepiodotus, V. viii. 22-24;
  • goes again to Belisarius, V. viii. 25;
  • summoned once more by Belisarius, V. ix. 23;
  • returns to the city, V. ix. 29;
  • bitterly accuses Asclepiodotus before Belisarius, V. x. 40-43

Suartuas, an Erulian;

  • appointed king of the Eruli by Justinian, VI. xv. 32;
  • attempts to destroy the Eruli sent to Thule, VI. xv. 34;
  • flees to Byzantium, VI. xv. 35;
  • Justinian attempts to restore him, VI. xv. 36


  • barbarian people in Gaul, V. xii. 11;
  • in two divisions, V. xv. 26;
  • Asinarius gathers an army among them, V. xvi. 9, 12

Suntas, bodyguard of Belisarius, VI. vii. 27


  • a Roman senator and ex-consul, father-in-law of Boetius, V. i. 32;
  • his death, V. i. 34;
  • his children receive from Amalasuntha his property, V. ii. 5


  • surrenders to Belisarius, V. v. 12;
  • entered by him on the last day of his consulship, V. v. 18, 19;
  • garrisoned by him, V. viii. 1

Syria, home of Antiochus of Naples, V. viii. 21

Taracina, city near Rome, V. xi. 2;

  • at the limit of Campania, V. xv. 22;
  • Euthalius stops in, VI. ii. 1;
  • Belisarius sends a hundred men thither, VI. ii. 3;
  • occupied by Martinus and Trajan, VI. iv. 6, 14;
  • left by them, VI. v. 4

Tarmutus, an Isaurian, brother of Ennes;

  • persuades Belisarius to allow his infantry troops a share in the fighting,
    V. xxviii. 23-29;
  • fights valiantly, V. xxix. 39, 40;
  • his remarkable escape, V. xxix. 42, 43;
  • his death, V. xxix. 44

Taulantii, a people of Illyricum, V. i. 13

Theoctistus, a physician; his successful treatment of Arzes' wound,

  • VI. ii. 26 ff.


  • son of Amalafrida and nephew of Theoderic, V. iii. 1;
  • opposed by Amalasuntha in his oppression of the people of Tuscany,
    V. iii. 2, 3;
  • plans to hand over Tuscany to Justinian, V. iii. 4, 29;
  • meets the envoys of Justinian secretly, V. iii. 9;
  • accused by the Tuscans, V. iv. 1;
  • compelled by Amalasuntha to make restitution, V. iv. 2;
  • her attempts to gain his support, V. iv. 9 ff.;
  • becomes king, V. iv. 10, 19;
  • imprisons Amalasuntha, V. iv. 13-15;
  • sends envoys and a letter to Justinian, V. iv. 15, 16;
  • receives the envoy Peter from Justinian, V. iv. 17;
  • opposed by Justinian, V. iv. 22;
  • defended by Opilio, V. iv. 25;
  • persuaded to kill Amalasuntha, V. iv. 26, 27;
  • denounced by Peter, V. iv. 30;
  • his excuses, V. iv. 31;
  • terrified by Peter, suggests an agreement with Justinian, V. vi. 1-5;
  • recalls Peter and consults him further, V. vi. 6-13;
  • his letter to Justinian, V. vi. 14-21;
  • reply of Justinian, V. vi. 22-25;
  • receives envoys from Justinian, V. vi. 26;
  • refuses to put his agreement into effect, V. vii. 11, 12;
  • makes a speech regarding rights of envoys, V. vii. 13-16;
  • receives a letter addressed to the Gothic nobles, V. vii. 22;
  • guards the envoys Peter and Athanasius, V. vii. 25;
  • proposes an alliance with the Franks, V. xiii. 14, 24;
  • kept the wives and children of the garrison of Naples, V. viii. 8;
  • appealed to in vain by the Neapolitans, V. ix. 1;
  • the story of the swine whose fortune foreshadowed the outcome of the war,
    V. ix. 2-7;
  • dethroned by the Goths, V. xi. 1;
  • flees toward Ravenna, pursued by Optaris, V. xi. 6;
  • the cause of Optaris' hatred of him, V. xi. 7, 8;
  • killed on the road, V. xi. 9, xiii. 15, xxix. 6;
  • brother of Amalaberga, V. xiii. 2;
  • father of Theodegisclus, V. xi. 10;
  • father-in-law of Ebrimous, V. viii. 3;
  • father of Theodenanthe, ibid.;
  • his unstable character, V. vii. 11;
  • accustomed to seek oracles, V. ix. 3

Theodegisclus, son of Theodatus; imprisoned by Vittigis, V. xi. 10

Theodenanthe, daughter of Theodatus, wife of Ebrimous, V. viii. 3


  • Gothic king, patrician and ex-consul in Byzantium, V. i. 9, VI. vi. 16;
  • leads the Goths in rebellion, V. i. 9;
  • persuaded by Zeno to attack Odoacer, V. i. 10, VI. vi. 16, 23;
  • leads the Gothic people to Italy, V. i. 12;
  • not followed from Thrace by all the Goths, V. xvi. 2;
  • besieges Ravenna, V. i. 24;
  • his agreement with Odoacer, V. i. 24;
  • kills him, V. i. 25;
  • his war with the Gepaedes, V. xi. 5;
  • forms close alliance with the Thuringians and Visigoths, V. xii. 21, 22;
  • feared by the Franks, V. xii. 23;
  • forms an alliance with them, V. xii. 24;
  • craftily refrains from participation in the war against the Burgundians
    and gains part of their land, V. xii. 26-28, 31, 32;
  • disregarded by the Franks, V. xii. 33;
  • appealed to by Alaric and sends him an army, V. xii. 34;
  • reproached by the Visigoths, V. xii. 37;
  • drives the Franks from besieging Carcasiana, V. xii. 44;
  • recovers eastern Gaul, V. xii. 45;
  • makes Amalaric king of the Visigoths, acting as regent himself,
    V. xii. 46;
  • sends Theudis to Spain with an army, V. xii. 50;
  • tolerates his tyranny, V. xii. 51-54;
  • virtual ruler over Gaul and Spain as well as Italy, V. xii. 47-49;
  • imposed a tribute on the Visigoths, V. xii. 47, 48, xiii. 6;
  • removed the treasures of Carcasiana, V. xiii. 6;
  • kills Symmachus and Boetius, V. i. 34;
  • terrified thereafter by the appearance of a fish's head, V. i. 35 ff.;
  • his death, V. i. 39, xiii. 1;
  • succeeded by Atalaric, V. ii. 1;
  • made no new laws in Italy, VI. vi. 17;
  • mosaic picture of, in Naples, V. xxiv. 22;
  • kept the Romans in luxury, V. xx. 11;
  • did not allow the Goths to educate their children, V. ii. 14;
  • his own ignorance of letters, V. ii. 16;
  • his character as a sovereign, V. i. 26 ff., xi. 26;
  • beloved by his subjects, V. i. 29-31;
  • brother of Amalafrida, V. iii. 1;
  • father of Amalasuntha, V. ii. 23, xxiv. 25;
  • father of Theodichusa, V. xii. 22;
  • grandfather of Amalaric, V. xii. 43, 46;
  • of Atalaric, V. ii. 1, xxiv. 24;
  • of Matasuntha, V. xi. 27, xxix. 8;
  • uncle of Theodatus, V. iii. 1;
  • the family of, V. iv. 6


  • daughter of Theoderic, betrothed to Alaric the younger, V. xii. 22;
  • mother of Amalaric, V. xii. 43

Theodoriscus, a Cappadocian, guardsman of Martinus; conspicuous for his

  • valour, V. xxix. 20, 21

Thessalonica, home of Peter, V. iii. 30

Theudibert, king of the Franks;

  • gives his sister in marriage to Amalaric, V. xiii. 4;
  • appealed to by her, V. xiii. 10;
  • defeats Amalaric in battle, V. xiii. 11;
  • takes possession of the Visigothic portion of Gaul, V. xiii. 12;
  • sanctions treaty with Theodatus, V. xiii. 27;
  • sends allies to Vittigis, VI. xii. 38, 39


  • a Goth, marries a woman in Spain and sets up an independent power there,
    V. xii. 50-54;
  • tyrant in Spain, V. xiii. 13


  • ancient home of the Goths, V. xvi. 2;
  • home of Constantinus and Bessas, V. v. 3;
    of Cutilas, VI. ii. 10;
    of Ulimuth, VI. xiii. 14

Thracians, a force of,

  • reaches Dryus, VI. v. 1;
  • with the Roman army, VI. xi. 5;
  • sent to Milan under command of Paulus, VI. xii. 26, 27


  • description of the island, its inhabitants, long nights, etc.,
    VI. xv. 4 ff.;
  • Eruli settled there, VI. xv. 29;
  • the Eruli send thither for a king, VI. xiv. 42, xv. 27, 30;
  • their messengers return from, VI. xv. 33

Thurii, a city in southern Italy, V. xv. 23


  • barbarians in Gaul, V. xii. 10, 11;
  • form close alliance with Theoderic, V. xii. 21, 22;
  • their ruler Hermenefridus, V. xii. 22;
  • subjugated by the Franks, V. xiii. 1

Tiber River,

  • an obstacle to Vittigis, V. xvii. 13-15;
  • defended by Belisarius, V. xvii. 18, xviii. 2 ff.;
  • crossed by Vittigis, V. xviii. 1 ff.; xxiv. 3;
  • crossed by the Goths to storm the wall, V. xxii. 18, 25;
  • used by Belisarius to turn the mills, V. xix. 19 ff.;
  • Romans bring in provisions by it, VI. vii. 8 ff;
  • description of its mouths, V. xxvi. 5-8;
  • navigable, V. xxvi. 6;
  • freight traffic on, V. xxvi. 10-12;
  • its tortuous course, V. xxvi. 11;
  • flowed by the wall near the Aurelian Gate, V. xxii. 16, VI. ix. 16;
  • sewers of Rome discharged into it, V. xix. 29;
  • bridged in building the wall of Rome, V. xix. 10;
  • included in the fortifications of Rome, V. xix. 6-10;
  • bridge over, distance from Rome, V. xvii. 13;
  • fortified by Belisarius, V. xvii. 14;
  • abandoned by the garrison, V. xvii. 19


  • occupied by Sinthues and Magnus, VI. iv. 7;
  • distance from Rome, ibid.


  • strongly fortified city, VI. xii. 32;
  • battle fought near, VI. xii. 31, 33

Totila, ruler of the Goths, V. xxiv. 32

Trajan, bodyguard of Belisarius;

  • makes a successful attack upon the Goths, V. xxvii. 4 ff.;
  • sent to Taracina, VI. iv. 6;
  • which he occupies with Martinus, VI. iv. 14;
  • summoned back to Rome, VI. v. 4;
  • sent against the Goths, VI. v. 9, 10;
  • in the battle at the Pincian Gate, VI. v. 21;
  • his strange wound, VI. v. 24-27

Transtiburtine Gate, threatened by a Gothic camp, V. xix. 4

Tria Fata, near the temple of Janus in Rome, V. xxv. 19

Tripolis, ashes from Vesuvius fell in, VI. iv. 27

Troy, a man of Troy, V. xv. 10; see also Ilium


  • town in Italy, garrisoned by Vittigis; VI. xi. 1;
  • surrenders to Belisarius, VI. xiii. 2, 3;
  • garrisoned by him, VI. xiii. 4

Tuscan Sea,

  • south of Gaul, V. xii. 6, 7;
  • distance from Ravenna, V. xv. 19


  • accuse Theodatus before Amalasuntha, V. iv. 1;
  • welcome Constantinus into their cities, V. xvi. 4


  • extending from Aemilia to the boundaries of Rome, V. xv. 30;
  • most of its lands owned by Theodatus, V. iii. 2, 29;
  • who plans to hand it over to Justinian, V. iii. 4, iv. 17;
  • invaded by Constantinus, V. xvi. 1 ff.;
  • its cities: Genoa, VI. xii. 29;
    • Narnia, V. xvi. 2;
    • Spolitium and Perusia, V. xvi. 3;
    • Clusium, VI. xi. 1;
    • Centumcellae, VI. vii. 18, 19;
  • its lake Vulsina, V. iv. 14

Tydeus, father of Diomedes, V. xv. 8

Uliaris, a Goth, in command of Naples, V. iii. 15

Ulias, a Goth, given as a hostage, VI. vii. 13

Uligisalus, sent to Dalmatia, V. xvi. 8;

  • enters Liburnia alone, V. xvi. 12;
  • defeated, retires to Burnus, V. xvi. 13;
  • proceeds with Asinarius to Salones, V. xvi. 16;
  • stationed in Tudera, VI. xi. 1

Ulimuth, of Thrace, bodyguard of Belisarius;

  • renders signal service at Ancon, VI. xiii. 14, 15

Ulitheus, uncle of Vittigis, defeated and killed by John, VI. x. 2

Unilas, Gothic commander;

  • sent into Tuscany, V. xvi. 5;
  • defeated and captured, V. xvi. 6, 7

Uraïas, Gothic commander;

  • sent into Liguria, VI. xii. 37;
  • nephew of Vittigis, ibid.


  • city in Picenum, VI. x. 5;
  • passed by John, VI. x. 5, 7;
  • garrisoned by Vittigis, VI. xi. 2

Ursicinus, Roman commander of infantry, V. v. 3, xxiii. 3

Urviventus, town near Rome; garrisoned by Vittigis, VI. xi. 1

Vacimus, Gothic commander; sent against Ancon, VI. xiii. 5, 8

Vacis, a Goth, sent to the Salarian Gate to harangue the Romans,

  • V. xviii. 39-41

Valentinian, Roman emperor; slain by Maximus, V. xxv. 15


  • Roman commander of cavalry, V. v. 3;
  • sent to the Plain of Nero by Belisarius, V. xxviii. 16, 19;
  • unable to control his troops, V. xxix. 28

Valentinus, groom of Photius; fights valiantly, V. xviii. 18

Valerian, Roman commander;

  • sent to Italy, V. xxiv. 19;
  • winters in Aetolia, V. xxiv. 20;
  • ordered to hasten to Rome, V. xxiv. 18;
  • arrives in Rome, V. xxvii. 1;
  • sent out against the Goths by Belisarius, V. xxvii. 22;
  • sent to the Plain of Nero, VI. ii. 8;
  • fights there with varying fortune, VI. ii. 19 ff.;
  • with Martinus rescues Bochas, VI. ii. 24;
  • establishes a camp at the church of Paul, VI. iv. 11;
  • returns to the city, VI. iv. 12;
  • with Ildiger seizes Constantinus, VI. viii. 16;
  • uncle of Damian, VI. vii. 26;
  • his bodyguard Gouboulgoudou, VI. xiii. 14

Vandalarius, see Visandus

Vandals in Africa; their overthrow, V. iii. 22, v. 1, xxix. 8

Varni, a barbarian nation, VI. xv. 2

Veneti, their territory adjoining Istria, and extending to Ravenna,

  • V. xv. 25

Venetia, held by the Goths, V. xi. 16

Vergentinus, Roman senator; escapes execution by flight, V. xxvi. 2


  • threatens an eruption, VI. iv. 21;
  • description of the mountain, VI. iv. 22-24;
  • distance from Naples, VI. iv. 22;
  • its heavy ash showers, VI. iv. 25-27;
  • periodicity of its eruptions, VI. iv. 28;
  • its fertility, VI. iv. 29;
  • its salubrious atmosphere, VI. iv. 30


  • appointed chief priest of Rome, V. xxv. 13;
  • brother of Reparatus, V. xxvi. 2

Visandus Vandalarius, a Goth;

  • distinguished for his bravery at the battle of the Mulvian bridge,
    V. xviii. 29;
  • his unexpected recovery, V. xviii. 30-33;
  • stationed at Auximus, VI. xi. 2

Visandus, Erulian commander, VI. xiii. 18


  • occupy all of Spain and part of Gaul, V. xii. 12;
  • their ruler Alaric the younger, V. xii. 22;
  • form close alliance with Theoderic, V. xii. 21, 22;
  • attacked by the Franks, V. xii. 33;
  • encamp against them, V. xii. 35;
  • compel Alaric to fight, V. xii. 36-38;
  • defeated in battle, V. xii. 40;
  • choose Giselic as king, V. xii. 43;
  • Amalaric becomes king over them, V. xii. 46;
  • mingle with the Goths, V. xii. 49;
  • separate from them, V. xiii. 7, 8;
  • defeated by the Franks, V. xiii. 11;
  • withdraw from Gaul to Spain, V. xiii. 13

Vitalian, the tyrant, uncle of John, VI. v. 1, vii. 25


  • chosen king of the Goths, V. xi. 5;
  • his good birth and military achievements, ibid.;
  • sends Optaris in pursuit of Theodatus, V. xi. 6;
  • imprisons the son of Theodatus, V. xi. 10;
  • advises withdrawal to Ravenna, V. xi. 11 ff.;
  • withdraws to Ravenna, leaving a garrison in Rome, V. xi. 26;
  • unable to recall the Goths from Gaul, V. xiii. 16;
  • addresses the Goths, V. xiii. 17-25;
  • forms an alliance with the Franks, V. xiii. 26-28;
  • summons Marcias from Gaul, V. xiii. 29;
  • sends an army against the Romans in Tuscany, V. xvi. 5;
  • eager to leave Ravenna, but prevented by the absence of Marcias,
    V. xvi. 7, 11;
  • sends an army to Dalmatia, V. xvi. 8, 9;
  • finally moves against Rome, V. xvi. 19;
  • his feverish haste, V. xvi. 20, 21, xvii. 8;
  • refrains from attacking Perusia, Spolitium, and Narnia, V. xvii. 7, 8;
  • advances through Sabine territory, V. xvii. 12;
  • halts at the Tiber, V. xvii. 13;
  • sends Vacis to the Salarian Gate, V. xviii. 39;
  • commands one Gothic camp, V. xix. 12;
  • his name given in play to one of the Samnite children, V. xx. 1-4;
  • sends envoys to Belisarius, V. xx. 7;
  • hears their report, V. xxi. 1;
  • prepares to storm the wall, V. xxi. 2, 3;
  • constructs engines of war, V. xxi. 4-12;
  • makes a general assault on the wall, V. xxii. 1 ff.;
  • leads an attack on the Vivarium, V. xxii. 10 ff.;
  • where he presses the Romans hard, V. xxiii. 13;
  • breaks down the outer wall, V. xxiii. 17, 19;
  • his attacking force cut to pieces, V. xxiii. 20-22;
  • kills Roman senators, V. xxvi. 1;
  • seizes Portus, V. xxvi. 3, 14;
  • tries to use Roman tactics on Belisarius, V. xxvii. 15-23;
  • prepares for battle and addresses his army, V. xxix. 1-15;
  • commands in person at the great battle, V. xxix. 16 ff.;
  • allows Portus to be abandoned, VI. vii. 16, 22;
  • investigates the aqueduct, VI. ix. 1 ff.;
  • tries a new stratagem, VI. ix. 16 ff.;
  • alarmed for Ravenna, abandons Rome, VI. x. 8, 12, 13;
  • marches to Ariminum, leaving garrisons in certain towns VI. xi. 1-3;
  • besieges Ariminum, VI. xii. 1 ff.;
  • sends an army into Liguria, VI. xii. 37;
  • receives Frankish allies, VI. xii. 38;
  • Belisarius marches against him, VI. xiii. 1;
  • sends an army against Ancon, VI. xiii. 5;
  • uncle of Uraïas, VI. xii. 37;
  • nephew of Ulitheus, VI. x. 2;
  • husband of Matasuntha, V. xi. 27, VI. x. 11


  • an enclosure in the walls of Rome, V. xxii. 10;
  • built for the keeping of wild animals, V. xxiii. 16;
  • a very vulnerable point in the wall, V. xxiii. 13, 15;
  • attacked by Vittigis, V. xxii. 10, 11, xxiii. 13-23;
  • successfully defended under the direction of Belisarius, V. xxiii. 14-23

Vulsina, lake in Tuscany; Amalasuntha imprisoned there, V. iv. 14

Wild ass, an engine used for throwing stones, V. xxi. 18, 19

Wolf, a contrivance used by Belisarius for guarding the gates of Rome,

  • V. xxi. 19-22

Zarter, a Massagete, bodyguard of Belisarius, sent into Tuscany, V. xvi. 1


  • emperor of the East, V. i. 2;
  • persuades Theoderic to attack Odoacer, V. i. 10, VI. vi. 16, 23


  • a Roman commander of cavalry, VI. v. 2;
  • given as a hostage, VI. vii. 13