Justinian I

Eastern Roman Emperor who ruled from 527 to 565 (482-565)

Justinian I (/ʌˈstɪniən/) (Latin: Iustinianus, Greek: Φλάβιος Πέτρος Σαββάτιος Ἰουστινιανός) (c. 482 – 14 November 565), commonly known as Justinian the Great, was Eastern Roman Emperor from 527 until his death. He is considered a saint by Eastern Orthodox Christians. Justinian simplified Roman laws. These are now called Corpus Juris Civilis.

Justinian I
Detail of a contemporary portrait in the Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna
Roman Emperor of the East
Reign1 August 527 – 14 November 565 (alone from August 1 527)
PredecessorJustin I
SuccessorJustin II
Bornc. 482
Tauresium, Dardania, Eastern Roman Empire
(near today's village of Taor, Republic of Macedonia)
Died14 November 565 (aged 82)
Constantinople, Eastern Roman Empire
Full name
Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus
Regnal name
Imperator Caesar Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus Augustus
DynastyJustinian dynasty

Justinian was born to a Illyrian peasant farmer family in 482 or 483 A.D. Justinian's uncle rose from humble beginnings to become a great general and then Emperor. Justinian was educated by his uncle, who gave him important jobs and appointed him as his successor. It was a wise decision. Justinian was astute, gifted, and ambitious. He modeled himself after the ancient Roman Caesars. After becoming Emperor in 527, Justinian worked to restore Byzantium to its former glory.

Justinian proved to be a strong and effective leader in many ways. He significantly enlarged the empire’s borders. Within those boundaries, he made significant advances in government, construction, and law. He reformed the Byzantine government in order to increase efficiency and eliminate corruption. Justinian also embarked on a large-scale construction project. He oversaw the construction of the Hagia Sophia, a church in Constantinople that is now regarded as a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. He also supported numerous other civic projects in the city, including a magnificent new Senate building.

Justinian was a devout Christian who was actively involved in religious matters. He punished those found to be heretics, including Jews. He forbade Jews from erecting or reading the Bible in Hebrew, for example. Justinian also worked hard to reconcile the early church's differences of opinion. For example, different groups within the church held opposing views on whether Jesus Christ was fully divine (having the nature of a god) and should be worshiped as an equal to God. This disagreement persisted long after Justinian's death.

Justinian's legal reform was far more successful. He reorganized and standardized complicated Roman laws, and had the remaining laws written down clearly and logically in a single work known as the Code of Justinian. This remarkable work served as the foundation of European law until modern times.[1]

Other websites

Justinian I
Born: 482/483 Died: 13 November/14 November 565
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Justin I
Byzantine Emperor
with Justin I (527)
Succeeded by
Justin II
Political offices
Preceded by
Flavius Rusticius,
Flavius Vitalianus
Consul of the Roman Empire
With: Flavius Valerius
Succeeded by
Flavius Symmachus,
Flavius Boethius
Preceded by
Vettius Agorius Basilius Mavortius
Consul of the Roman Empire
Succeeded by
Flavius Decius,
II post consulatum Mavortii (West)
Title last held by
Rufius Gennadius Probus Orestes,
Consul of the Roman Empire
With: Decius Paulinus
Succeeded by


  1. "1.2 Justinian and Theodora". NGLSync. Retrieved 5 February 2023.