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Justinian I
Definition by Will Wyeth

Justinian I

Justinian I reigned as emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 527 to 565 CE. Born around 482 CE in Tauresium, a village in Illyria, his uncle Emperor Justin I was an imperial bodyguard who reached the throne on the death of Anastasius in 518...
Justinian II
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Justinian II

Justinian II “the Slit-nosed” ruled as emperor of the Byzantine Empire in two spells: from 685 to 695 CE and then again from 705 to 711 CE. It was after his first reign and prior to his exile that his nose was cut off by...
Belisarius
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Belisarius

Flavius Belisarius (l. 505-565 CE) was born in Illyria (the western part of the Balkan Peninsula) to poor parents and rose to become one of the greatest generals, if not the greatest, of the Byzantine Empire. Belisarius is...
Empress Theodora
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Empress Theodora

Theodora reigned as empress of the Byzantine Empire alongside her husband, Emperor Justinian I, from 527 CE until her death in 548 CE. Rising from a humble background and overcoming the prejudices of her somewhat disreputable early career...
Corpus Juris Civilis
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Corpus Juris Civilis

The Justinian Code or Corpus Juris Civilis (Corpus of Civil Law) was a major reform of Byzantine law created by Emperor Justinian I (r. 527-565 CE) in 528-9 CE. Aiming to clarify and update the old Roman laws, eradicate inconsistencies and...
Constantinople
Definition by Donald L. Wasson

Constantinople

Built in the seventh century BCE, the ancient city of Byzantium proved to be a valuable city for both the Greeks and Romans. Because it lay on the European side of the Strait of Bosporus, the Emperor Constantine understood its strategic importance...
Byzantine Empire
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Byzantine Empire

The Byzantine Empire, often called the Eastern Roman Empire or simply Byzantium, existed from 330 to 1453 CE. With its capital founded at Constantinople by Constantine I (r. 306-337 CE), the Empire varied in size over the centuries, at one...
Totila
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Totila

Totila (birth name, Baduila-Badua r. 541-552 CE) was the last great king of the Ostrogoths in Italy. He was the nephew of the Gothic king Ildibad who was succeeded by Eraric the Rugian (d. 541 CE). The Goths of Italy felt that Eraric was...
Byzantine Emperor
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Byzantine Emperor

The Byzantine Emperor ruled as an absolute monarch in an institution which lasted from the 4th to 15th century CE. Aided by ministers, high-ranking nobility, and key church figures, the emperor (and sometimes empress) was commander-in-chief...
Hagia Sophia
Definition by Thomas Cohen

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, constructed 532-537 CE, continues to be revered as one of the most important structures in the world. Hagia Sophia (Greek Ἁγία Σοφία, for ‘Holy Wisdom') was designed...