At the same time, his wife, the former actress Theodora, who exercised considerable influence over him, was crowned augusta. He was an Arian and, though at first a tolerant and wise ruler, toward the end of his reign had begun to persecute the Catholics. Byzantine Emperor Justinian I achieved lasting fame through his judicial reforms, particularly through the complete revision of all Roman law, something that had not previously been attempted. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, Biography of Justinian I, Emperor of Byzantine, Biography of Empress Theodora, Byzantine Feminist, The Code of Justinian (Codex Justinianus), Timelines and Chronologies of Roman Emperors, Most Important Figures in Ancient History, Constantinople: Capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, M.A., Linguistics, University of Minnesota. He took the Roman name “Justinianus” from his uncle, Justin. Despite fan loyalty, they attempted to reduce the influence of both teams, but too late. Two important facets of Justinian’s foreign policy were his continuation of the age-old struggle with Persia and his attempt to regain the former Roman provinces in the West from the control of barbarian invaders. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. While she was never officially proclaimed co-ruler, she was his closest advisor and had massive influence on Byzantine policies. The Justinian Dynasty ended in 602 with the deposition of Maurice and the ascension … Justinian was a Christian emperor of the Roman Empire on the cusp between Antiquity and the Middle Ages. The nearly forty-year reign of Emperor Justinian I (born 482; reign 527–65) (99.35.7406) heralded extensive territorial expansion and military success, along with a new synthesis of Greco-Roman and Christian culture seen at all levels of Byzantine culture. Constantinople (now Istanbul) was the capital of the late Roman empire, but its ethereal mosaics, ivories, and metalwork often depart from classical naturalism. Emperor Justinian. When Justin became emperor in 518, Justinian was a powerful influence in guiding the policy of his elderly and childless uncle, whose favourite nephew he was. The fleet of about 500 vessels set out with 92 warships. Under his immediate predecessors, Italy had been ruled by a barbarian, the Ostrogoth Theodoric, who, though virtually independent, was the nominal representative of the Byzantine emperor. Byzantine Empire DBQ Name_____ Date_____ Section_____ Background: When Justinian became emperor in 527 BCE, he was determined to maintain Constantinople as the “New Rome.” Referred to as “the emperor who never sleeps,” Justinian is known for several significant achievements, including the Justinian Code and the creation of the Hagia Sophia. However improbable it may seem, this event was born of extreme sports fanaticism and corruption. The Eastern half, known as the Byzantine Empire would eventually come under the rule of a man named Justinian I, known as Justinian the Great. Justinian is able to come to power in 527. The third book, Institutiones, was compiled and published in 533, and the fourth book, Novellae Constitutiones Post Codicem, was completed upon Justinian’s death in 565. Start studying Byzantine Emperor: Emperor Justinian. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. In 550–551 the invaders even wintered in Byzantine territory, despite the efforts of the army to dislodge them. There was also a disputed succession to the throne after the aged Vandal king Hilderich, who had been in alliance with Constantinople and had ceased persecution of the Catholics, was deposed in favour of Gelimer in 530. They and their fans began shouting Nika 'Victory' in the Hippodrome. Thrace, Dacia, and Dalmatia were harried by Bulgars and Slavs (known as Sclaveni). His empire warred constantly with the Persians in the east and the barbarians in the north and west. His mother Vigilantia was the sister of the Excubitor (Imperial bodyguard). Justinian also dispatched Belisarius to settle problems in Africa and Europe. Justinian is sometimes called "The Last of the Romans." Justinian's wife, Theodora, was the daughter of a bear-keeper father who became bear-keeper to the "Blues" (relevant to the Nika Revolts, below), an acrobat mother, and she herself is considered to have been a courtesan. Meanwhile, Totila took over the administration of the country, though at the expense of alienating the great landowners. Justin adopted his nephew and brought him to Constantinople to guarantee his education. Thinking that this was now his opportunity to support his fellow Catholics and to reassert direct control over the province, Justinian dispatched an army and sent Belisarius with a fleet to attack Sicily, while an embassy set off to gain the support of the powerful Franks now settled in Gaul. Justinian hoped to restore the social and economic well-being of Italy by a series of measures, the Pragmatic Sanction of 554. Justinian's wife Theodora received the rank of Augusta. Justinian I served as emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 527 to 565. The Plague of Justinian (541–542 CE) was one of the worst plagues in recorded history, arguably bringing two major empires to … Belisarius, now reappointed commander in chief in the East, launched counteroffensives in 541 and 542 before his recall to Italy. Yet there are at least three possible reasons why this propaganda was justifiable for a Byzantine ruler. Originally a church, later a mosque, the 6th-century Hagia Sophia (532–537) by Byzantine emperor Justinian the Great was the largest cathedral in the world for nearly a thousand years, until the completion of the Seville Cathedral (1507) in Spain. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership. Justinian is remembered as one of the Byzantine Empire's ___ emperors while Theodora is one of the most ___ women in history Greatest(Important), notorious<-- INFAMOUS Nevertheless, their ___ worked and the Byzantine Empire mostly thrived under their rule Then, when Justin died on August 1, 527, Justinian went from joint to sole emperor. Empress Theodora and her retinue, mosaic, 6th century; on the south wall of the apse, church of San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy. Took the offensive in southern Italy and in 542 took the offensive in southern Italy and 549! The emperor made all of the Byzantine Empire emperor ; hence the name Justinianus in 552 a powerful army sent. 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