Emperor Justinian: Architect of the Byzantine Legacy

4179 WordsJul 22, 200117 Pages
From my webpage at http://cappsfamily.hypermart.net/justinian.htm Byzantine Emperor Justinian was the bold architect of a revitalized Byzantine Empire that would leave a lasting legacy for Western Civilization. As much of Europe entered the Dark Ages, Justinian 's vision of a restored Roman Empire would reverse the decline of the Byzantine Empire and lay a firm foundation that would allow the Byzantine Empire to survive for centuries to come. Justinian, whose full name was Flavius Anicius Julianus Justinianus, was born around 483 AD at Tauresium in Illyricum in the Balkans of present-day central Europe. He was the nephew of Byzantine Emperor Justin, the son of Justin 's sister Vigilantia (Fortescue). Justinian 's…show more content…
REBUILDING THE ROMAN EMPIRE Justinian had dreamed of restoring the Roman Empire in Europe (Norwich 68). In order to accomplish his goal, Justinian was faced with the difficult task of retaking the Western provinces once controlled by Rome. Much of the Western Roman Empire had fallen into the hands of four groups of Germanic barbarian tribes: the Vandals, who had conquered the North African Roman territories; the Ostrogoths, who had taken control of the Italian peninsula, including Rome itself; the Franks, who controlled most of modern-day France; and the Visigoths, who held the Spanish peninsula (Fortescue). Justinian 's first obstacle to conquest in the West lay in ending centuries of warfare with the Persian Empire. The two empires were longtime rival "superpowers" in the Middle East and had battled regularly over territory until 363, when the Emperor Julian died of wounds inflicted in battle with the Persians. After the death of Julius, Jovian, the commander of the Imperial Guard, succeeded Julius, withdrew the Roman armies and reached a peace agreement with the Persian Empire. Jovian 's surrender of territory and fortresses to the Persian Empire, while costly to the Roman Empire, bought over a century of peace with the Persians (Norwich 27). During the 400 's, both the Romans and Persians

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