Count Belisarius

  • by Robert Graves
  • Narrated by Laurence Kennedy
  • 19 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The sixth-century Roman Empire is a dangerous place, threatened on all frontiers by invaders. But soon the attacking armies of Vandals, Goths, and Persians grow to fear and respect the name of one man, Belisarius: horseman, archer, swordsman, and military commander of genius. As Belisarius triumphs in battles from the East to North Africa, his success causes him to become regarded with increasing jealousy and suspicion. In his palace in Constantinople, the Emperor Justinian, dominated by his wife Theodora, plots the great general’s downfall. Written in the form of a biography by Belisarius’ manservant, this epic historical novel portrays him as a lone man of honour in a corrupt world.
Robert von Ranke Graves (24 July 1895-7 December 1985) was an English poet and novelist, scholar, translator, and writer of antiquity, specialising in Classical Greece and Rome. During his long life he produced more than 140 works. Graves's translations and innovative analysis and interpretations of the Greek myths, the memoir of his early life, Good-Bye to All That, and his speculative study of poetic inspiration, The White Goddess, have never been out of print. Graves earned his living by writing popular historical novels, including I, Claudius (for which he was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize), King Jesus, The Golden Fleece, and Count Belisarius. He was elected Professor of Poetry at Oxford in 1961 and made an honorary fellow of St John’s College, Oxford, in 1971.


What the Critics Say

"Among the most generous, self-willed, unseemly and brilliant writers of our century." (New York Times)
"And so Count Belisarius continues, with one dazzling set-piece after another, effortlessly carrying us back over 1500 years, bringing back to life a whole company of men and women before our eyes.… Winston Churchill told Graves that he could not put it down; nor, I am delighted to confess, could I." (John Julius Norwich, historian)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Hero Maligned (in so many ways)

It's very irritating when the actor reading doesn't understand the pronunciation of historical names and places, namely Latin in this case. Other than that the story is performed beautifully and the reader's voice is just perfect.
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- Tally Pendragon


Would you consider the audio edition of Count Belisarius to be better than the print version?

Each to their own, but I find Robert Graves books very difficult to read due to the lengthy narrative with very little dialogue. Audiobook in this instance works miracles as otherwise I would have missed out on this superb book.

What other book might you compare Count Belisarius to, and why?

I Claudius, probably his best known books, due to the TV adaptation, are comparable. Similar style and prose. If you liked those you'll like this.

Which character – as performed by Laurence Kennedy – was your favourite?

The narrator.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?


Any additional comments?

A must "listen" for I, Claudius fans

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- Frank M

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-06-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios