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Justinians Reign Emperor Justinian ruled from 527-565 He was born in an Illyrian village to a peasant family and joined the army at an early age He quickly rose in rank as his uncle Justin was the emperor at that time He married an actress named Theodora and shortly before his uncle died he claimed the throne He is noted for various achievements throughout his unusually long reign there were a whole string of short-lived emperors between Theodosius and him These included the recapture of many of the western provinces of the empire the collection of all Roman law and the building of the Hagia Sophia These achievements were not however universally admired one of his biographers Procopius gives us an entirely different view of events and when his accomplishments are mentioned are it is only in a spiteful manner So there are distinctly different views of his success It is not doubted that Justinian did achieve a few important things throughout his thirty-eight year reign He collected together all of the Roman law codes into three parts Such a feat had not been attempted for over a hundred years Tribonian and a commission were assigned the task of producing the first comprehensive collection of Roman law since that of Theodosius II in 438 This collection obviously showed his political foresight and earned him respect as a leader because all of the rulers over the previous hundred years had been military men interested solely in the art of war and with a poor understanding of politics Thus in admitting that war was not the only way forward but in fact internal political affairs were also of consequence Justinian shows us one of his virtues To say that Justinian did not promote war is not however true In fact he commenced an ambitious campaign to retake the territories in the west and Africa that were lost to the barbarians These actions did much to
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