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Count Belisarius Hardcover – October 1, 1982
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Top Customer Reviews
The novel is written from the perspective of the Eunuch slave of Antonina, the cunning wife of the protaganist, Belisarius. The narrative reads much similar to I Claudius, with an almost endless ammount of historical background information on the subjects of religious discussion, relationships between the royal family, foreign affairs, etc. Graves' style, if I can describe this correctly, is almost similar to a classical story teller like Homer. His narrative contains numerous stories within stories. For example his backround on the relationships between the Roman and Persian Imperial families and his background on the families of Antonina and Theodora feature an almost inumerable ammount of tales featuring characters whose names and issues are not important in the least the main narrative.Read more ›
Unlike Claudius, the events of the book are related by the eunuch Eugenius, who is a trusted slave to the family of Antonina. The book relates a lot of history in the opening chapters as the political setting of the Eastern Empire is brought up to date by Eugenius; he then describes the early years of his mistress Antonina and Belisarius, and how they meet at the banquet of Belisarius' uncle Modestus - love at first sight. The book continues describing the rise to prominence of Belisarius, his wars against the Persians, Vandals and Goths and his relationship with Antonina. Theodora and Justinian receive more attention at the beginning of the book and certainly less as the story is told but the book is about Belisarius and the focus is his career.
Mr. Graves writes beautifully. One of the memorable passages describes the surrender of the Vandal king Geilimer who had been suffering great privations hiding out with the Moors.
"I (Eugenius) was present at the meeting, in attendance on my mistress, and I was witness of King Geilimer's pitiful and strange behavour. For, as he came toward Belisarius, he smiled, and the smile changed to hysterical laughter, and the laughter to weeping. There were tears in Belisarius' eyes, too, as he took the former monarch by the hand and led him into a neighbouring house for a drink of water.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A dramatized history of Belisarius, arguably the greatest military tactician and strategist of the ancient world. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Sleazey
This is a good read, an interesting novel set during a period and place that seems to be somewhat thinly covered within the historical fiction genre. Read morePublished 1 month ago by nixen
I have visited the house of Robert Graves in Palma de Mallorca. In this age of word processors and Internet access to just about any knowledge in the world from anywhere, it is... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Thomas E. Gieskes
book ok printing so small i will go blind, probably should have gotten in Hardback, i forgot that penguin tends to shrink the print on long books to fit, Oh well, shipped fine no... Read morePublished 3 months ago by oneoneone
Robert Graves is one of the master's of historical fiction. Anyone who enjoyed his more famous books, such as "I Claudius" will probably enjoy this one too. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Bill Mann
This is a very good historical novel about a time that I knew little about. I would have given it at least 4 stars, but it needs some heavy-duty editing. Read morePublished 9 months ago by MikeJW
Robert Graves was a superb poet and his White Goddess remains one of the most extraordinary books of the 20th Century. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
Nice story, but would really like to know how much of the book was based on actual, or best verified, history. Read morePublished 12 months ago by William H.