Justinian

Justinian I Justinian had a very significant role in world
history. There are many things that are
overlooked when speaking of Justinian. For instance,
Justinian was a great architect. Many times
we overlook the little characteristics of Justinian and we
focus on the code of Justinian. Justinian
was born a barbarian, probably born of Slavic parents in
Illyia. We know nothing of his early years
except that his uncle adopted him. His uncle was Justin I,
the emperor of Constantinople. Then in
527 A.D., Justin made Justinian a co-ruler. Four months
later, when Justin died, Justinian became
the sole emperor. This was the beginning of Justinian’s
famous rule, which lasted from 527 A.D.

through 565 A.D. (The Reign of Justinian). The reign of
Justinian was significant in many ways.

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First of all, it marked the final end of the Roman Empire. It
Byzantine empire. It was also the beginning of Western
Europe’s unique position within the
civilization of the old world. The religion of Islam spread
and the Franks rose to power (The Reign
of Justinian). Among other things, Justinian’s rule saw a
flourishment in the areas of architecture, the
arts, and literature. It was a time of re-building for the
empire. Justinian pursued an ambitious
dream of restoring the old Roman Empire. In fact, Justinian
led the Byzantine army in many wars to
regain this land. These wars destroyed much of the great
architecture that Justinian himself had
created. More than any other series of events before of since
that time. Justinian was successful in
driving out the Ostrogoths from Italy, and the Vandals from
Justinian bought peace with the Persians, weakened the
Justinian tried to restore the empire to match the size that
it was at the time of the Roman Empire.

These immense military efforts did all but exhaust the
empire’s treasury. He even had to pay Persia
for peace just so that he could have a free hand in the west.

However, even after Justinian’s
immense efforts, after his death, most of Italy, Southern
recaptured, leaving only Justinian’s dream of restoring the
empire to the glory it once knew. His
dream had failed (The Empire at the time of Justinian). The
westerners didn’t want to return to
some of the old Roman ways such as Roman taxation, Roman
justice, and the imperial influences in
their lives. The Easterners didn’t want to waste money
defending western conquests and were
impoverished by the cost of these wars. During this time of
war Justinian had to raise the taxes in
order to pay for the war, and rebuild the burnt city as fire
was set to the city in the Nika Revolt.

There were great losses due to the wars. Italy laid in ruins
centuries after this tragedy. Along with this, much of Rome’s
great buildings could have survived if
Justinian had left the Ostrogoths in Italy. Even though
Justinian’s reconquests in the west were not
permanent, his destruction or weakening of civilized Germanic
tribes was. The only tribe untouched
by Justinian was the Burgundians who had too few people to
didn’t stop the new invaders in the west when Justinian died.

weakness, and after Justinian’s death, they attacked the
Byzantine Empire. After all this, the
Eastern and Westerners wanted to restore the empire. Finally,
in 632 AD, the Byzantine’s were
victorious over the Persians but because both of the groups
for the Muslim armies to overthrow them (The Reign of
Justinian) Justinian felt many of the laws of
Byzantium were very confusing. many were out of date, some
contradicting others, and not in one
place did a complete collection of the laws exist. To solve
commission to study the problem. Their work resulted in the
publication of the Code of Justinian.

This code consisted of imperial decrees, legal opinions of
judges and lawyers, and even a textbook
for law students. The code allowed him to gain better control
over his provincial governors to more
effectively finance his military campaigns against Persia and
other surrounding nations. Roman law
formed the base of civil law. Still today many countries have
bits and pieces of the code entwined
in their law. It became a model for new laws and systems of
laws. And many legal maxims still in
use today have been derived from Justinian’s Code
(Justinian’s Code). The Code was published
on April 7, 529. Justinian’s Code is just as notable and
publicly known as Hammarabi’s Code.

Parts of Justinian’s Code resembles parts of Hammarabi’s Code
Justinian). Another over looked characteristic of Justinian
was his religion. He was very religious.

He strengthened Christianity at the expense of non-Christian
culture. Justinian abolished all pagan
teachers and all schools of pagan philosophy. Justinian was
Byzantine emperors. “Justice”, the meaning and spelling are
taken from Justinian. He was married
to Theodora, who was a famous actress. The results of his
development in western Europe. The Middle Ages would not have
Justinian. It was not necessarily his achievements but
because of his failures that history turned out
the way that it did. Justinian is known as the last great
Roman Emperor (Justinian). Justinian thought
of himself as the restorer of Roman power and prestige (The
Empire at the time of Justinian). On
the issue of architecture, Justinian restored many of the
old, traditional Roman Churches. The most
famous and noted of these is St. Sophia, or the Church of
architectural wonder of the middle ages. This is just one of
the numerous churches that Justinian
restored (The Empire at the time of Justinian). Justinian was
buildings and other structures were used as gifts, but also
monuments that declared the greatness of
a ruler. He was eager to have a permanent literary record of
previously mentioned, Justinian restored many of the Churches
hospital that was free of charges for the poor of the city.

“The reign of Justinian would have been
incomplete if it had not brought with it some new monuments
to the glory of the empire.” He
wanted to provide the people with the much needed public
buildings. “Justinian surpassed the work
of Constantine, who up to that point, had been the greatest
builder among the Christian emperors
of the Empire.” (The Empire at the time of Justinian) On the
subject of art and literature, Justinian
supported each of these. He supported the Classical Greek
Literature, and the arts. At first the
Christians in the empire didn’t accept the literature and
education of the Classical Greek style.

They (the Christians) failed to see a way in which the
blasphemous literature could be brought into
a relationship with the Christian teaching. But in time, and
with a few actions of Justinian, the
Christian thinkers began to realize that there was much that
Greek teachings. One action of Justinian was, in my opinion,
located throughout the empire, but one in particular, in
Athens, the teachers would only teach the
Classics in their Pagan views, as they still remained Pagans.

Justinian gave them the opportunity to
become Christian, and when they refused he shut down the
atmosphere of the capital city, a number of distinguished
literary figures of Justinian’s time popped
up. Their works were largely influenced by the great Greek
Plato. It is said that if Justinian had sided with the
Christians when dealing with the Classical Greek
teachings, he would be cutting a major part of his heritage.

prepared for such an action (The Empire at the time of
Justinian). Even though his dream of
restoration had failed, he didn’t fail in all areas. many of
architecture, and the famed Code of Justinian, are still
around today. Parts of the code are found in
laws of different countries. Justinian’s reign would prove to
be beneficial not only to his empire, but
to the world as we know it today. Justinian was a very
important ruler who did much to influence
Bibliography:
Bibliography
Empire at the time of Justinian, The-
www.greece.org/Romiosini/constple.html
Justinian-
www.ukans.edu/kansas/medieval/108/lectures/justinian.html
Justinian’s Code- www.wwlia.org/history.htm#529
Reign of Justinian, The –
www.ukans.org/kansas/medieval/108/justinian.html
*All authors are unknown