::Justinian I


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Justinian I ({{#invoke:IPAc-en|main}}; Latin: Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus Augustus{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}, Greek: Φλάβιος Πέτρος Σαββάτιος Ἰουστινιανός Flávios Pétros Sabbátios Ioustinianós{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}) (c. 482 – 14 November 565), traditionally known as Justinian the Great and also Saint Justinian the Great in the Eastern Orthodox Church, was a Byzantine (East Roman) emperor from 527 to 565. During his reign, Justinian sought to revive the empire's greatness and reconquer the lost western half of the historical Roman Empire. One of the most important figures of late antiquity and possibly the last Roman emperor to speak Latin as a first language,<ref>The Inheritance of Rome, Chris Wickham, Penguin Books Ltd. 2009, ISBN 978-0-670-02098-0 (page 90)</ref> Justinian's rule constitutes a distinct epoch in the history of the Later Roman empire. The impact of his administration extended far beyond the boundaries of his time and domain. Justinian's reign is marked by the ambitious but only partly realized renovatio imperii, or "restoration of the Empire".<ref>J. F. Haldon, Byzantium in the seventh century (Cambridge, 2003), 17–19.</ref>

Because of his restoration activities, Justinian has sometimes been called the "last Roman" in modern historiography.<ref>For instance by G. P. Baker (Justinian, New York 1938), or in the Outline of Great Books series (Justinian the Great).</ref> This ambition was expressed by the partial recovery of the territories of the defunct western Roman empire.<ref>On the western Roman empire, see now H. Börm, Westrom (Stuttgart 2013).</ref> His general, Belisarius, swiftly conquered the Vandal kingdom in North Africa, re-extending Roman control to the Atlantic Ocean. Subsequently Belisarius, Narses, and other generals conquered the Ostrogothic kingdom, restoring Dalmatia, Sicily, Italy, and Rome to the empire after more than half a century of rule by the Ostrogoths. The prefect Liberius reclaimed most of southern Iberia, establishing the province of Spania. These campaigns re-established Roman control over the western Mediterranean, increasing the Empire's annual revenue by over a million solidi.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> During his reign Justinian also subdued the Tzani, a people on the east coast of the Black Sea that had never been under Roman rule before.<ref>Evans, J. A. S., The Age of Justinian: the circumstances of imperial power. pp. 93–94</ref>

A still more resonant aspect of his legacy was the uniform rewriting of Roman law, the Corpus Juris Civilis, which is still the basis of civil law in many modern states.<ref>John Henry Merryman and Rogelio Pérez-Perdomo, The Civil Law Tradition: An Introduction to the Legal Systems of Europe and Latin America, 3rd ed. (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007), pp. 9–11.</ref> This work was carried out primarily by his quaestor Tribonian. His reign also marked a blossoming of Byzantine culture, and his building program yielded such masterpieces as the church of Hagia Sophia, which was to be the center of Eastern Orthodox Christianity for many centuries. A devastating outbreak of bubonic plague (see Plague of Justinian) in the early 540s marked the end of an age of splendour. The Empire entered a period of territorial decline not to be reversed until the 9th century.

Procopius provides the primary source for the history of Justinian's reign. The Syriac chronicle of John of Ephesus, which does not survive, was used as a source for later chronicles, contributing many additional details of value. Both historians became very bitter towards Justinian and his empress, Theodora.<ref>While he glorified Justinian's achievements in his panegyric and his Wars, Procopius also wrote a hostile account, Anekdota (the so-called Secret History), in which Justinian is depicted as a cruel, venal, and incompetent ruler.</ref> Other sources include the histories of Agathias, Menander Protector, John Malalas, the Paschal Chronicle, the chronicles of Marcellinus Comes and Victor of Tunnuna. Justinian is considered a saint among Eastern Orthodox Christians, and is also remembered by some in the Lutheran Church on November 14.<ref>In the Eastern Orthodox Church, including the Orthodox Church in America, Justinian and his empress Theodora are commemorated on the anniversary of his death, 14 November. Some denominations translate the Julian calendar date to 27 November on the Gregorian calendar. The Calendar of Saints of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod and the Lutheran Church–Canada also remember Justinian on November 14.</ref>

Justinian I sections
Intro  Life  Natural disasters  Religious activities  Architecture, learning, art and literature  Economy and administration  Cultural Depictions  Primary sources  See also  Notes  References   Bibliography   External links