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Siege of Naples (536)

The Siege of Naples in 536 was a successful siege of Naples by the Eastern Roman Empire under Belisarius during the Gothic War. The Byzantine army under Belisarius, having subdued Sicily with ease, landed on mainland Italy in late spring 536, and advanced along the coast on Naples. The citizens of Naples, roused by two orators, decided to resist. The siege dragged on for twenty days with numerous Byzantine casualties, and Belisarius was preparing to abandon it when his mercenaries discovered an entrance into the city through the disused aqueduct. Belisarius sent engineers to widen the hole in the aqueduct while sending some soldiers to clear out the noise of the engineers working by banging their shields together. After giving the city a final chance to surrender, Belisarius launched his troops in a brutal sack. The Ostrogothic garrison of 800 men was taken prisoner and treated well,[2] but the citizens suffered greatly at the hands of the Byzantine troops, and especially their Hunnic mercenaries. From Naples, the Byzantines marched on to Rome, which they entered in early December.

Siege of Naples
Part of the Gothic War
DateOctober–November 536 AD
Naples, Italy
Result Decisive Byzantine victory
Byzantine Empire Ostrogoths and citizens of Naples
Commanders and leaders
Belisarius Unknown
8,000 men 800 Goths
Citizen militia
Casualties and losses
? 800 POWs[1]


  • Bury, John Bagnell (1958). History of the Later Roman Empire: From the Death of Theodosius I to the Death of Justinian, Volume 2. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications, Inc. pp. 175–178. ISBN 0-486-20399-9.


  1. ^ Anthony Brogna (1995), the Generalship of Belisarius
  2. ^ Brogna, Anthony (1995). The generalship of Belisarius.