Gloria romanorum belisarius routs the vandalic host at tricamarum, reclaiming africa for the roman empire ~ december 15, ad 533 power vocabulary words


At the Battle of Ad Decimum, the great eastern Roman general, Belisarius, routed but did not destroy the vaunted army of the Vandal kingdom. To complete the conquest of Africa as commanded by the emperor Justinian, Belisarius needed to decisively defeat the cream of the Vandalic host and capture their king, Gelimer. He got his chance at Tricamarum, a town about 30 miles west of Carthage. The traditional date of the battle is given as December 15, AD 533, though Procopius, in concluding remarks about the battle, simply says that it occurred: "at about the middle of the last month which the Romans call December."

The battle, however, would not be an easy one. electricity merit badge requirements Gelimer had recently been reinforced by the army of Tzazon, his brother, which had just returned from successfully quelling a rebellion in Sardinia. The combined force outnumbered the army which Belisarius could muster by at least two-to-one. Worse, Gelimer had managed to entice Belisarius’s Hun federates with bribes, and the feared horsemen became uncertain allies, wavering between sides.

In his histories, Procopius gives a very detailed account of the Vandalic campaign in general and the battle of Tricamarum in particular, which he may have witnessed first hand. In any event, he seems to have been present in Africa during the time of the battle serving as Belisarius’s secretary. Click here to read his account of the battle.

The position of the Vandals was not difficult to discern, for as soon as word went out that the Romans were on the march, Gelimer moved to intercept them. kansas gas service bill pay He had gathered all the remaining Vandalic strength in Africa and his army, now reinforced with Tzazon’s elite warriors, again numbered over 20,000—more than enough, he reckoned, to crush the smaller Roman force in open combat. Eager for the fight, the Vandals advertised their presence outside the town of Tricamarum, some 140 stades from Carthage and dared Belisarius to come and fight them there.

“Our enemy believes that his previous defeat was a mere quirk of fate,” he opined to his chief officers who had gathered in the command tent. “The field he has selected says as much, for it is well suited for a clash of heavy horse and offers him little in the way of strategic advantage. However, it is even better suited for Hunnic cavalry tactics.”

“Aye, it’s true,” Belisarius admitted. “I have tried to assuage them, but I fear they may not be counted on during the coming battle. But we must not allow their delinquency to hinder or delay us. gas meter reading And I was not referring to them when I spoke of tactics. My guardsmen are as proficient as any Hun in the art of hit-and-withdraw. Since our enemy has no mounted bowmen, but rather depends on the sword and the spear when on horseback, we will not permit him to close with us until it suits us to do so.”

Belisarius looked gravely into the faces of his officers. “I want every man ready for battle first thing tomorrow morning. arkansas gas association We will line up with John and my guardsmen in the center. Barbatus and Pappas will hold the right. Martinus and Valerian will hold the left. I have told the Huns to station themselves in readiness on the far left flank to charge the enemy at an opportune moment.” Remembering the treachery of Arethas and his Arabs at Callinicus, Belisarius turned his eyes upon Pharas. “I want your Heruls beside the Huns. Should they show any sign of treason, destroy them.”

The meeting adjourned, and the cavalry commanders filed out of the tent into the smoky darkness of the Roman camp. gastroenterology The certainty of impending battle sent a wave of electricity through the air. Every man among them felt it. And a select few saw it. For standing upright in bound bundles outside the men’s tents, the javelins of the Roman horsemen glowed bright red, as if their tips had been heated in fire.