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Unformatted text preview: This is not to discount the Italians and Greeks themselves. Justinian's ambitions for reconquest were by no means shared by his soldiers, subjects, or Italians supposedly awaiting his salvation. While perhaps popular during the first quick thrusts, campaigns in Italy became increasingly difficult. This meant ever-mounting taxes for Byzantines as well as Italians in areas subject to Imperial control. Furthermore, much of the Western Roman aristocracy had become committed to the Gothic cause in the preceding fifty years, continuing to help them on pain of death for suspected treason. Boethius is a perfect example, as he was executed in 527 by Goths suspecting traitorous communication with Constantinople. As one of the last classical philosophers in the West, his execution has given the Goths a particularly bad name. Of course, Cassiodorus continued to work for his Gothic masters, retiring later to a monastery he founded. More basically, however, by the 520s, Italy was beginning to enjoy its first full generation of relative...
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- Fall '08
- Dark Ages, major urban areas, Western Roman aristocracy, Roman society. Lombards