The source of this idle fable may be derived
from a miscellaneous work of the xiith century, the Chiliads of John Tzetzes, a monk (Basil. 1546, ad calcem Lycophront.
Colon. Allobrog. 1614, in Corp. Poet. Graec.). He relates
the blindness and beggary of Belisarius in ten vulgar or
political verses (Chiliad iii. No. 88, 339 - 348, in Corp.
Poet. Graec. tom. ii. p. 311.).
This moral or romantic tale was imported into Italy with the language and manuscripts of Greece; repeated before the end of the xvth century by Crinitus, Pontanus, and Volaterranus, attacked by Alciat, for the honor of the law; and defended by Baronius, (A.D. 561, No. 2, etc.,) for the honor of the church. Yet Tzetzes himself had read in other chronicles, that Belisarius did not lose his sight, and that he recovered his fame and fortunes.