Threatened by invaders on all sides, the Roman Empire in the sixth century struggled to maintain its borders. Leading its defense was the Byzantine general Belisarius, the Emperor Justinian’s greatest military leader. Eminent historical novelist and classicist Robert Graves presents a vivid account of a time in history both decadent and violent.
Threatened by invaders on all sides, the Roman Empire in the sixth century fought to maintain its borders. Leading its defense was the Byzantine general Belisarius, a man who earned the grudging respect of his enemies, and who rose to become the Emperor Justinian’s greatest military leader.
Loosely based on Procopius’ History of the Justinian Wars and Secret History, this novel tells the general’s story through the eyes of Eugenius, a eunuch and servant to the general’s wife. It presents a compelling portrait of a man bound by a strict code of honor and unrelenting loyalty to an emperor who is intelligent but flawed, and whose decisions bring him to a tragic end. Eminent historical novelist and classicist Robert Graves presents a vivid account of a time in history both dissolute and violent, and demonstrates one again his mastery of this historical period.
ROBERT GRAVES (1895–1985) was a preeminent English poet, novelist, critic, translator, and scholar of classical mythology. He served in World War I—an experience recounted in his 1929 autobiography, Good-bye to All That—and later became the first professor of English literature at the University of Cairo. Best remembered today for his acclaimed historical novels about the Roman emperor Claudius, I, Claudius and Claudius the God, his other books include The White Goddess, The Hebrew Myths, and Collected Poems.ALAN HODGE (1915–1979) was a historian and editor. In addition to The Reader Over Your Shoulder, he collaborated with Graves on Work in Hand, a poetry collection, and The Long Week-End, a social history of Britain during the First and Second World Wars.PATRICIA T. O’CONNER, a former staff editor at the New York Times Book Review, is the author of five books on language, most recently Origins of the Specious, written with her husband, Stewart Kellerman. Her first book, Woe Is I, has half a million copies in print and will soon appear in a fourth edition. She and Mr. Kellerman blog about the English language at www.grammarphobia.com.
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