Siege of Naples (542–43)


The Siege of Naples was a successful siege of Naples by the Ostrogothic leader Totila in 542–543 AD. After crushing the Byzantine armies at Faventia and Mucellium, Totila marched south towards Naples, held by the general Conon with 1,000 men. A large-scale relief effort by the newly appointed magister militum Demetrius from Sicily was intercepted and almost entirely destroyed by Gothic warships. A second effort, again under Demetrius, likewise failed when strong winds forced the fleet's vessels to beach, where they were attacked and overrun by the Gothic army. Knowing the dire situation of the city's defenders, Totila promised the garrison safe passage if they surrendered. Pressed by famine and demoralized by the failure of the relief efforts, Conon accepted, and in late March or early April 543, Naples surrendered. The defenders were well treated by Totila, and the Byzantine garrison was allowed safe departure, but the city walls were partly razed.

Siege of Naples
Part of the Gothic War
Date542 – March/April 543 AD
Location
Naples, Italy
Result Ostrogothic victory
Belligerents
Eastern Roman Empire Ostrogoths
Commanders and leaders
Conon Totila
Strength
1,000 men Unknown

Sources


  • 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. 231–233. ISBN 0-486-20399-9.