Justinian I, Eastern Roman Emperor

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Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Justinianus Augustus von Byzanz, Eastern Roman Emperor

Also Known As: "Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus", "Ioustinianos", "Justinian I"
Birthplace: Tauresina, Illyricum
Death: November 14, 565 (82)
Constantinople, Constantinople, Byzantium
Immediate Family:

Son of Sabbatius and Vigilantia
Husband of Theodora, Eastern Roman Empress
Brother of Vigilantia

Occupation: Eastern Roman Emperor
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Justinian I, Eastern Roman Emperor

His full name was Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus. He was Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire (527). In 518, he became administrator for his uncle, Emperor Ioustinos (Justin) I, who shortly after named him as his successor. As a ruler, Justinian showed great energy. He was known as "the Emperor who never sleeps" on account of his work habits.

In 523 he married Theodôra, and in 527 he succeeded to the Empire. Theodora, who was by profession a courtesan about 20 years his junior. Justinian would have, in earlier times, been unable to marry her because of her class, but his uncle Emperor Justin I had passed a law allowing intermarriage between social classes. Theodora would become very influential in the politics of the Empire, and later emperors would follow Justinian's precedent in marrying outside the aristocratic class. The marriage caused a scandal, but Theodora would prove to be very intelligent, "street smart", a good judge of character and Justinian's greatest supporter.

Justinian immediatly set out to secure and expand the weakening Byzantine state. In 532, he signed an "eternal peace" with Persia to the east, and from 533-534 the Vandal kingdom of northern Africa was re-incorperated into the Empire. Much land was also reconquered in southern Spain from the Visigoths and in southern Italy from the Ostrogoths. By his death, Justinian had reconquered nearly the entire Mediterranean empire once held by Rome.

The Hagia Sophia Church was built during his reign. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagia_Sophia

Book 1 Chapter 25 History of the Langobards by Paul the Deacon Translation and footnotes by William Foulke

Chapter XXV At this period the emperor Justinian was governing the Roman empire with good fortune. He was both prosperous in waging wars and admirable in civil matters. For by Belisarius, the patrician, he vigorously subdued the Persians and by this same Belisarius he reduced to utter destruction the nation of the Wandals, captured their king Gclismer and restored all Africa to the Roman empire after ninety-six years. Again by the power of Belisarius he overcame the nation of the Goths in Italy and took captive Witichis their king. He subdued also the Moors who afterwards infested Africa together with their king Amtalas, by John the ex-consul, a man of wonderful courage. In like manner too, he subjugated other nations by right of war. For this reason, on account of his victories over them all, he deserved to have his surnames and to be called Alamannicus, Gothicus, Francicus, Germanicus, Anticus, Alanicus, Wandalicus, and Africanus. He also arranged in wonderful brevity the laws of the Romans whose prolixity was very great and whose lack of harmony was injurious. For all the laws of the emperors which were certainly contained in many volumes he abridged into twelve books, and he ordered this volume called the Justinian Code. On the other hand, the laws of special magistrates or judges which were spread over almost two thousand books, he reduced to the number of fifty and called that work by the name of "Digests" or "Pandects." He also composed anew four books of "Institutes" in which the texture of all laws is briefly described ; he also ordered that the new laws which he himself had ordained, when reduced to one volume, should be called in the same way the "New Code" (Novels). The same emperor also built within the city of Constantinople to Christ our Lord, who is the wisdom of God the Father, a church which he called by the Greek name " Hagia Sophia," that is, "Divine Wisdom." The workmanship of this so far excels that of all other buildings that in all the regions of the earth its like cannot be found. This emperor in fact was Catholic in his faith, upright in his deeds, just in his judgments, and therefore, to him all things came together for good. In his time Cassiodorus was renowned in the city of Rome for knowledge both human and divine. Among other things which he nobly wrote, he expounded particularly in a most powerful way the obscure parts of the Psalms. He was in the first place a consul, then a senator, and at last a monk. At this time also Dionisius, an abbott established in the city of Rome, computed a reckoning of Easter time by a wonderful argumentation. [1] Then also, at Constantinople, Priscian of Caesarea explored the depths of the grammatical art, as I might say, and then also, Arator, a subdeacon of the Roman church, a wonderful poet, wrote the acts of the apostles in hexameter verses.

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Justinian I, Eastern Roman Emperor's Timeline

May 11, 483
Tauresina, Illyricum
November 14, 565
Age 82
Constantinople, Constantinople, Byzantium