E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Belisarius begging for an obolus. Belisarius, the greatest of Justinians 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.