Justinian Accomplishments

Describe some of Justinian's major accomplishments.

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There is a saying, famous in the American lexicon, that states "behind every great man was a great woman." Historians are in almost complete agreement that Justinian, the Byzantine Emporer from 527-565 was a great man. His legal reforms allowed the Eastern Roman Empire to endure for nearly a thousand years after his death. However, any study of Justinian's political, artistic, and economic achievements need to be examined through the lens of the great woman behind him.

One of Justinian's greatest accomplishments is that he married well. His wife, the Empress Theodora was a savvy politician in her own right. Justinian treated her as her intellectual equal and they for all intents and purposes, ruled the empire together. In fact, Theodora can be credited with saving the throne in 532 when a riot threatened to overthrow Justinian. As Justinian and his court were set to flee the city in exile when Theodora's impassioned plea to fight was heard. The rebellion was easily put down and...

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