The age of Justinian was populated by a large number of major
wars fought in the East, the Balkans, Africa, Italy and Visigothic Spain. During
these wars Byzantine generals demonstrated their skills by exploiting all their
advantages: troops of higher quality, knowledge of the terrain conducive to
guerrilla tactics, control of the high seas. But even though the Byzantine armies,
heirs of the Roman tradition, were a formidable war machine, their simultaneous
deployment in several regions was too great an effort for the Empire, chronically
afflicted by a shortage of military manpower and weakened by domestic crises.
This book is a well-documented review of offensive and defensive campaigns waged
by Byzantium, which describes sieges, land and sea battles, diplomatic manoeuvres,
military organizations and tactics, and the costs of war.
Giorgio Ravegnani teaches Byzantine History at the University of Venice.