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By the end of the fifth century A.D., the Ostrogoths had taken Italy, marking the downfall of the Western Roman Empire. In 527, the new emperor, Justinian, swore to restore imperial Rome to its ancient glory. While he fought to maintain the eastern borders of the empire against the Persians, Justinian's strategy was to retake the lands lost to the Goths: Gaul, Spain, Britain, North Africa. In workmanlike fashion, Jacobsen, former curator at the Royal Danish Museum, provides an operational history of Justinian's campaign from the Battle of Callinicum and the Vandal War of 530 to the battles of Ad Decimum and Tricamarum. Throughout, Jacobsen traces the military strategies and tactical intrigues of leaders such as the Roman general Belisarius and the Goth leader Totila, among others. While Justinian succeeded in re-conquering North Africa, Spain and Italy, his campaigns exhausted the empire and by the latter part of the sixth century, many of these lands fell to the Visigoths, Moors and Lombards. Appendixes detail the equipment and tactics of the Romans and the Ostrogoths. 35 illus., 16 maps. (June 1)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.