A vigorous tale, lacking the completely distinctive qualities of a hero that made Claudius so exceptional, Belisarius retains the same meticulously arranged background and skilful recapturing of a period -- the Byzantine empire of the 6th century. Here are the lives of the Christian knight and his wife closely linked with those of Justinian and Theodora. Belisarius was a superb soldier and combined all types of warfare to his advantage. He fought the Vandals in Africa, the Goths in Italy, the Persians, Justinian is painted from a critical angle; Theodora, Belisarius and his wife, Antonina, are highlighted sympathetically. There is again the snob appeal of Graves' previous books, but this is more definitely gauged to men's interests, with tales of battle and strategy. Less colorful than Claudius, but a brilliant piece of scholarship.