Byzantine Empire under Justinian

Topics: Justinian I, Byzantine Empire, Roman law Pages: 2 (432 words) Published: November 17, 2013
Byzantine Empire Under Justinian
One of the greatest emperors of all time was Justinian. During his reign he accomplished many important things for the Byzantine Empire. He created many new cities, founded important laws called the Justinian Code, and built fortifications, buildings, and the Hagia Sophia. He also tried to reestablish the classical Roman Empire by sending his troops throughout the Western Mediterranean. Without Justinian ruling over the Byzantine Empire, it wouldn’t be as magnificent as it was in history.

Justinian was known as “the sleepless emperor”, and ruled with the help of his wife, Theodora. Their strong-willed and disciplined qualities helped them rule well over Byzantine. One of Justinian’s greatest contributions was his codification of Roman Law. “Justinian ordered a systematic review of Roman Law issued the Corpus iuris civilis, which immediately won recognition as the definitive codification of Roman Law. Updated later by emperors, Justinian’s code has influenced civil law codes in most of Europe, in Japan, and in the state of Louisiana in the United States.” (Bentley 331)

Justinian was also known for his magnificent architectural ideas. He constructed one of the greatest architectural designs in all of ancient history, the Hagia Sophia. It was the greatest dome space in the world, and was ordained with gold, silver, gems, and thousands of lamps. “In height it rises to the heavens. A spherical-shaped dome makes it exceedingly beautiful: from the lightness of the building it does not appear to rest upon a solid foundation, but to be suspended from heaven by the fabled gold chain. The entire ceiling is covered with pure gold, which adds glory to the beauty, through the rays of light reflected upon the gold from the marble, surpass it in beauty.” (Doc 2)

Another one of Justinian’s ambitious ideas was to try to reconquer the western Roman Empire from Germanic people so he could reestablish Roman authority. He set his plan into...
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