Narses (närˈsēz) [key], c.478–c.573, Byzantine official and general, one of the eunuchs of the palace. He assisted in the suppression of the Nika riot (532) by bribing the Blues of the Circus (see Blues and Greens) to return their allegiance to Justinian I. In 538 he was sent to Italy to cooperate with Belisarius; their dissensions delayed the campaign, and he was recalled. After the recall of Belisarius, Narses returned to Italy and completed the conquest, defeating (552) Totila. He defeated (554) an army of Franks and Alemanni at Capua. He was subsequently appointed prefect of Italy, but his administration was extremely unpopular and finally Justinian's successor, Justin II, recalled him.
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