Age of Justinian

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Age of Justinian

  1. 1. The Age of Justinian Social Studies for 9th EBG Teacher: Mauricio Torres
  2. 2. Introduction • • • 527 – 565: The Byzantine Empire reached its greatest size under the emperor Justinian. He was determined to revive the ancient glory of Rome by recovering the provinces that had been lost to barbarians. • He brilliantly fought and recovered much of Italy, Africa and southern Spain. • This wars exhausted his treasury and also weakened his eastern flank. His successors lost all the lands he had recovered.
  3. 3. Justinian´s Life and Personality • Life and Traits: • Born around 482 • The last Roman Emperor to speak Latin as a first language. • Justinian was well educated in jurisprudence, theology and Roman history. • Short, fair skinned, curly haired, round faced and handsome. • His reign: • He was Byzantine Emperor from 527 to 565. • He was known as "the Emperor who never sleeps" because he hardly gives up on task, on account of his work habits. Nevertheless, he seems to have been amiable and easy to approach.
  4. 4. Hagia Sophia • His longest lasting achievement was the construction of Hagia Sophia (“Holy Wisdom”). • This was made to restore the old Roman glory through a program to beautify Constantinople. • Hagia Sophia was a great church with an enormous giant dome. Its interiors glowed with colored marble and embroidered silk curtains. • When it was completed, Justinian marveled at it an evoked Solomon´s Temple: “Solomon, I have surpassed you!”.
  5. 5. 3D Representation of the Original Hagia Sophia
  6. 6. Code of Laws • Even though Hagia Sophia was a gigantic achievement, his biggest accomplishment was his “code” of laws. • He set up a commission to collect, revise and organize all the laws from ancient Rome. Some old laws that were obsolete were discarded and others improved. • The final result of this endeavour was the Corpus Juris Civilis, also known as the “Body of Civil Law”. • Today we call it Justinian’s Code. • In later years, it was adopted all over Europe and it is a basis for international law today!
  7. 7. ABSOLUTE POWER • With the law, Justinian united and ruled the empire under his control. • He ruled as an autocrat, or sole ruler with complete authority. • His power stretched so far that he even ruled over the Church. He was called Christ’s co-ruler on Earth. • His right-hand “man” was his wife, Theodora. • She was a shrewd politician, who served alongside with Justinian and even pursued her own policies.
  8. 8. Theodora • • • • • • Theodora is perhaps the most influential and powerful woman in the Roman Empire's history. She was born around 500 AD, but no one knows the exact location. • Her father was a bear trainer and her mother was a dancer! Despite resistance due to her low class, she married Justinian. Theodora proved herself a worthy and able leader during the Nika riots; where she convinced her husband not to abandon the throne. She carefully supervised the magistrates, much more so than previous emperors, possibly to reduce bureaucratic corruption. Theodora participated in Justinian's legal and spiritual reforms, and her involvement in the increase of the rights of women was substantial.
  9. 9. Changing Fortunes • After Justinian, the empire’s fortune rose and fell. • Persians, Slavs, Vikings, Mongols and Turks attacked the empire, but they were not successful. • This way, the empire served as a buffer state. • a country lying between two rival or potentially hostile greater powers, which by its existence is thought to prevent conflict between them.
  10. 10. Arab Threat • • • In the 600 and 700s the Arabs invaded and threatened the Byzantine Empire. • Constantinople itself was attacked, but the empire held on to their heartland and their territories in the Balkans and Asia Minor. Their strength came from a central government and strong economy. • Peasants were the backbone of the economy: they worked the land, served as soldiers and they would also pay taxes. While Western Europe crumbled, Byzantium flourished!
  11. 11. Ask Yourself • Recall: • What does Hagia Sophia mean? • What was Justinian’s Code? • What is an autocrat? • Analyze: • Why did Byzantium serve as a buffer state between Europe and the Arabs? • Which of Justinian’s accomplishments had the longest lasting effect on humanity? Why? • Evaluate: • In what conditions did the Byzantine empire flourish?
  12. 12. Bibliography • Ellis, E. G., & Esler, A. (2009). World History. (P. Hall, Ed.) Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, US: Pearson Education INC. • Burstein, S. M., & Shek, R. (2012). World History (Teacher´s Edition) (1st Edition ed.). (H. McDougal, Ed.) Orlando, Florida, US.: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. • Images taken from Google.

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