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James Allan Evans

Byzantine general, was born in what is now western Bulgaria. He was the military commander during Emperor Justinian’s reign (527–565 CE), whom we know best thanks to Procopius of Caesarea, the most notable historian of the period, who joined his staff as legal secretary (assessor) in 527 and remained with him during his campaigns in North Africa and, up until 540, in Italy. Hence Belisarius is the central figure in Procopius’ History of Justinian’s Wars, published in 551, where he appears full of promise early in his career, but as time wore on, there is an insistent undertone of criticism. In the same year in which Procopius completed Justinian’s Wars in seven books, he also wrote a coda containing information that he did not dare publish. This closet history is first mentioned in the Suda, a tenth-century lexicon, which refers to it as Procopius’ Anekdota ...


Suetonius Paulinus  

Duane W. Roller

Roman military commander whose long career included the first Roman expedition into sub-Saharan Africa. Nothing is known about his early life, but given the dates of the stages of his career, he was probably born around CE 10.

In 40, the emperor Gaius Caligula summoned his cousin Ptolemy, king of Mauretania, to Rome to explain certain actions that were considered improper for an allied king. Gaius’s own erratic nature also played a role in the confrontation, and for reasons still uncertain, Ptolemy was executed. In Mauretania—whose inhabitants were not pleased at the removal of their king—a revolt broke out, led by a certain Aedemon, probably a member of Ptolemy’s court. The assassination of Gaius himself in January 41 meant that his successor Claudius inherited the Mauretanian problem.

It took at least three Roman commanders at least three years to pacify Mauretania Suetonius Paulinus seems to have been the second of ...