By the sixth Century the east Roman empire had totally transformed itself into the byzantine Empire. Justinian, the critical emperor to use Latin, ruled until 565, leaving an outstanding list of achievements that included the codification of old roman inn law, the building and construction of Hagia Sophia, and also a vigorous effort to reclaim lost imperial lands in the west. The long reign of Justinian resulted in attempts to recover lost western districts from barbaric control, the codification of roman inn law, & building of Hagia Sophia.

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Codification of roman law

Work on Justinian’s Codex began in 528. Together with every one of his visionary and also ambitious projects, Justinian assembled jurists to compile the old law, recognized as the jus vetus, and the new law dubbed the jus novum. The ultimate Digest was consisted of of fifty books, and also augmented by the Institutes, a summary that could additionally serve together a legitimate text. Roman law had the elements of due process and asserted that also emperors acquired their powers from the people. These necessary principles would certainly revolutionize west European legal studies in the so late 11th and early 12th Centuries together relationships through the East, largely as result of the duration of the Crusades, reintroduced simple legal concepts. The advance of a legal heritage in west Europe was heavily influenced by the Codex Justinianus.

Construction that Hagia Sophia

The “House of Wisdom,” which came to be one that the largest sanctuaries in Christendom, to be a testimony to Justinian’s assistance of the Orthodox Church. Massive and imposing, the cathedral was created over the continues to be of vault Christian churches, the an initial dating earlier to the earliest work of Constantinople. Maybe symbolically, Justinian ordered the carry of the good columns the the temple of Artemis at Ephesus to Constantinople wherein they figure prominently in his “Great Church.”

Expansion the the Empire and also Recovery in the West

Haghia Sophia today

Although Justinian never personally led militaries into battle, his attempts to recover shed Roman floor in the west were successfully lugged out by superb generals like Belisarius. Defeating the Vandals in north Africa decisively, Belisarius reclaimed Sicily and advanced on Italy, catching Rome and also defeating the barbaric Ostrogoths.

In 541, however, the oriental Empire was threatened by Persian invasion and Belisarius was reassigned to protect the eastern frontiers. In Italy, Byzantine militaries continued to fight the Ostrogoths because that over a decade and the floor was ravaged by the results of war. According to historians Brian Tierney and Sydney Painter, “This period…marks the end of ancient Rome as among the great metropolises of the Mediterranean world.”

The recovered provinces were quickly lost. Manpower losses can not it is in replenished also as epidemics that bubonic plague devastated the region. Belisarius eventually lost favor and also was blinded, condemned to spend the remainder of his life together a beggar ~ above the roads of Constantinople.

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Justinian’s Legacy

Justinian, according to historians, was a “transitional figure.” together a ruler, the is lauded and criticized for being also ambitious and also overextending his resources. Yet his lengthy reign added to the lasting affect of classical culture as fine as creating Constantinople and Byzantine commercial understand and culture into one enduring entity lasting until 1453.


Cyril Mango, The Oxford background of byzantium (Oxford college Press, 2002)Brian Tierney and Sidney Painter, western Europe in the Middle ages 300-1475 5th Edition (McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1992)