As the first
step in his campaign to expel the Ostrogoths
from Italy and regain the Italian peninsula
for the Eastern Roman [Byzantine] Empire, the new Byzantine Emperor
Justinian from his capital in Constantinople dispatched a mercenary
army to invade Sicily in 535.
invading army, under the leadership of Belisarius, found the Sicilians
themselves receptive to the expulsion of the Ostrogoths. Belisarius'
force found little resistance as it swept across the island. The only
spirited defense encountered from the Ostrogoths came at Palermo [Panormus]
in the northwest of the island, and that was swiftly overcome.
The new foreign
power was to remain in control of Sicily until the arrival
of the Saracens almost 300 years later.