Belisarius

Belisarius begging for an obolus. Belisarius, the greatest of Justinian's generals, being accused of conspiring against the life of the emperor, was deprived of all his property; and his eyes being put out, he lived a beggar in Constantinople. The tale is that he fastened a bag to his road-side hut, and had inscribed over it, “Give an obolus to poor old Belisarius.” This tradition is of no historic value.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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