Justinian is said to have influenced history by restoring the Roman empire to its former glory. He was the nephew of Justin the First and followed his education at Constantinople. In 521 he was named consul and later in 527 was proclaimed by the other Justin as his colleague in the empire. He died that year and Justinian was proclaimed sole emperor and crowned.
Justinian was shrewd and wise in selecting the most talented military personnel--under Narses, Belisarius and others his reign seemed to re-establish the Roman Empire back out to its historical limits, and he is said to have reunited the East and the West in so doing. Justinian's first fight with the Persians ended with a good treaty for him. However, with 532 the Nika Riots burst out and this political unrest bred rebels who even elected their own emperor. Justinian thought about escaping from Constantinople but his generals managed to contain the rioting. The Vandal kingdom, Africa, was regained as a part of the empire and Rome's imperial authority was re-imposed throughout the North of Italy and Spain.