Justinian And The Roman Empire

1477 Words6 Pages
The Byzantine Empire, though often forgotten among better-known empires, such as the Roman Empire, ran for nearly one thousand years, occupying the eastern half of what once was the Roman Empire. It engaged in trade, expansion, and decades of warfare. It also gave women a better status then men, valued and preserved Greek history, and eventually fell to the Ottomans. During the year 535, Justinian overthrew the Ostrogothic Kingdom, which had occupied Italy after the split and decline of the Roman Empire. Justinian was said to be the most ambitious emperor since Constantine, whose rule ended in 337. His goal in overthrowing the Ostrogothic Kingdom was to eventually reunify the Roman Empire. Belisarius, Justinian’s general, had already…show more content…
Under the first emperor, Heraclius, the new empire struggled to keep its territory. Persia was conquering land rapidly, taking the empire’s territories in Syria and Palestine, along with Jerusalem. It took until 627 for Heraclius to gain a victory, recapturing Jerusalem from the Persians. It was not long, however, before Islam had sparked a desire for expansion in the Arabs. They quickly conquered Jerusalem, the entire Persian Empire, and headed to claim North Africa. In 677, the Arabs attempted to take Constantinople, the city along the port Byzantium was named for. Unlike Heraclius, the emperor during the second attempt on Constantinople had a better strategy, known as the “Greek Fire”. Leo III was able to not only defeat the Arabs at Constantinople, but also reclaim almost all of the Asia Minor, which was known as the Imperial Heartland for nearly three hundred years. Due to a stable government and a properly managed economy, the Byzantine Empire was able to last for quite a while. Emperors used their power correctly and there was a centralized government that helped keep the empire functioning even during rough times. Constantinople’s bureaucracy made sure everything ran smoothly. They regulated prices and wages, had systems for licensing, controlled the trade, oversaw schools, churches, observation of holidays, and even controlled the military and courts. The
Get Access