Justinian Storyboard


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  • Justinian's Power
  • Justinian Becomes Emperor
  • Dreams of Glory
  • Justinian grew up very close to power. His mother was the sister of a highly respected army general named Justin. Justin took great liking in his nephew and made sure he got a good education.
  • The Code of Justinian
  • In 518, Justin became emperor. In 527, he made Justinian his associate and the two ruled together. That same year Justin died, and Justinian became the sole ruler of Rome. However, he couldn't do it alone, so he married Theodora, a former actress.
  • The Revolt
  • After numerous military campaigns, Justinian's army won nearly all of Italy, part of Spain, and had two successful wars with Persia. This furthered expanded the empire. However, Justinian's campaigns eventually weaken the empire's economy.
  • Difficult Times
  • As the empire grew, Justinian viewed many of Rome's laws as outdated. He created a code of new laws called "Justinian Code." This code governed nearly every part of Byzantine life, from slavery and prosperity to crimes and women's rights. His code served for 900 years.
  • In 532, "Nika Rebellion" broke out in Constantinople. The rioters accused the government of using harsh ruses to stop an earlier uprising . They declared a new emperor. On Theodora's urging, Justinian sent his troops to stop the revolt, killing many protestors.
  • In 542, a deadly plague struck the empire, moving from city to city. This reduced the population by 40%. Fewer people meant a smaller tax base and fewer recruits for the army. This was then followed by an earthquake in 557, putting Justinian in a tough spot.
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