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"Belisarius at Callinicum" Topic

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04 Nov 2017 6:46 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian26 Jun 2012 5:46 p.m. PST

What was the primary reason for Belisarius' loss at the Battle of Callinicum (531 AD)?

Twilight Samurai Supporting Member of TMP26 Jun 2012 7:01 p.m. PST

After a quick look at the wiki for the battle, one might think discipline was not what it had been in years past. It says his troops clamoured for battle and he believed they would mutiny unless he agreed, though it seems he wished to avoid a risky battle.

Sysiphus Inactive Member26 Jun 2012 7:56 p.m. PST

Trusting his right flank to the Arab ally.

Agesilaus Inactive Member26 Jun 2012 9:40 p.m. PST

He lost the field, but severely crippled his opponent.

Khusrau Inactive Member27 Jun 2012 3:20 a.m. PST

Primary reason was the Arab ally loss, and Byzantine cavalry that simply were outmatched by their Sasanian opponents.

And P.S… there was a common trope in Roman accounts that the ill discipline of their troops forcing them to battle causes problems. It re-occurs many times, and lets the general off the hook.

Personal logo John the Greater Supporting Member of TMP27 Jun 2012 6:02 a.m. PST

I'm guessing the Sassanids had something to do with it.

Who asked this joker27 Jun 2012 11:59 a.m. PST

I'm guessing the Sassanids had something to do with it.

The bane of Rome and Byzantium. I would definitely agree with this.

Lewisgunner Inactive Member05 Jul 2012 2:41 p.m. PST

This battle was the subject of the Society of Ancients Battleday project a couple of years ago.. Having
Looked at the games and reports I would suggest that Belisarius allows the Sasanids to move troops to his right and outflank him when he should have attacked them as they weakened their centre to make the flanking move. The action between the Arabs exposed the Roman flank, but as the Sasanids Arabs did not make much contribution to the attack on the Roman centre it cannot be held to be the main cause of Belisarius' failure.


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