The first five years of Justinian’s reign (527-532) are so incident-filled that it will take us a few episodes to get through them.
In part one we stay on the Eastern front for the Battle of Dara. We revisit the way cavalry had come to dominate warfare and the motives for King Kavad’s attacks on Byzatine territory. We follow the war as it goes badly for Justinian and see his attempts to reorganise his armies. Then we introduce Belisarius, the General who would go on to become Justinian’s most able commander. He is made Master of Soldiers for the Eastern Army and in 530 comes face to face with a much larger Persian army on the plain outside the fortress of Dara.
Map: The map shows the disposition of forces at the Battle of Dara (530). The Huns are the tiny squares inside the “goal mouth.”
(Author: US Military Academy Atlas for Ancient Warfare, Source Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Battle_of_Dara-battleplan.png)
To see a moving representation of the battle visit “The Art of Battle” website here.
To see a re-creation of the battle on the BBC TV show Time Commanders click here.
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