Justinian I

Eastern Roman Emperor who ruled from 527 to 565 (482-565)

Justinian I (Latin: Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus; Greek: Ἰουστινιανός Ioustinianos; 482 – 14 November 565), also known as Justinian the Great, was the Eastern Roman emperor from 527 to 565.

Detail of a contemporary portrait mosaic in the Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna

Quotes about Justinian IEdit

  • Certainly in architectural brilliance and innovation alone his age deserves to be rated as a great one. Haghía Sophia, one of the greatest achievements of Christian, or human, architecture, and the Corpus juris civilis, a supreme landmark of Roman, and European, Law, stand forth as Justinian's most enviable monuments. What ruler could hope to leave finer ones?
  • Justinian was the last of the great Roman Emperors. He reunited the Mediterranean world, issued a code that remained the basis of law for a thousand years and patronized magnificent works of art and architecture. At the same time, he was a revolutionary who wanted to transform society and who tolerated no deviation. His powerful wife, Theodora, mitigated some of his policies but made others more vicious, crushing anyone who might stand in the way of the imperial couple. Although Justinian's Empire did not last, his laws and buildings formed an enduring heritage.
    • Clive Foss, The Tyrants: 2,500 Years of Absolute Power and Corruption (2006), p. 40
  • Often described as the last true Roman, Justinian had many detractors – for he did not care whom he trampled over as he attempted to rebuild his empire in the aftermath of the barbarian conquests. The writer Procopius called him a demon in disguise, who had the blood of one thousand billion men on his hands; who ‘cheerfully banished wealth from Roman soil and became the architect of poverty for all.’ Yet for others, particularly those who did not have to deal with him at first hand, Justinian was a totemic emperor who deserved mention in the same breath as Augustus and Constantine. To them, he was a titan whose terrible magnificence shone far beyond the confines of his own times – so fiercely that many centuries later Dante Alighieri placed him in Paradise as the archetypical Roman: peerless lawgiver and a radiant, supremely gifted Caesar, who appeared in the afterlife surrounded by a light as bright and blinding as the sun.
    • Dan Jones, Powers and Thrones: A New History of the Middle Ages (2021), pp. 85-86

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

  Encyclopedic article on Justinian I on Wikipedia