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01:512:103 Study Guide - Firm Foundation, Analog Science Fiction And Fact, Balkans


Department
History, American
Course Code
01:512:103
Professor
Margaret Ingate

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Donna Kwon October 9, 2007
Mrs. Hannah Social Studies
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Much recognition goes to the great emperor Justinian, who brought glory
down upon the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantine Empire, also known as the
Eastern Roman Empire, was indeed one of the strongest and richest empires,
most strategically placed. Hail, Justinian, the majestic of all emperors . . . But
what had he really done to deserve his divine title as emperor? Did he
accomplish what he had strived for, to revive the Roman Empire? Was Justinian
really as godly as people depicted him to be? As a Byzantine official once said,
“The emperor is equal to all men in the nature of his body, but in the authority
of his rank he is similar to God, who rules all.” Justinian was looked upon by this
official in awe. As an official, he might as well have been wondering how
someone could be as heavenly and as powerful as Justinian. It seems as though
the people of the empire really admired Justinian because of his wonderful,
crafty ways. Justinian was triumphant in his quest to revive Rome, successful in
his effort to bring Rome back. He also partially created a new Empire. So in
attempting to revive the Roman Empire, Justinian really created an improved,
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more resourceful empire, in which he dutifully ruled, as proved by the following
points.
When Justinian became emperor became emperor in 572 A.D., he was
determined to revive the ancient Roman Empire, to build a new Rome. Realizing
that Constantinople had a secure location, Justinian established Constantinople
as the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire and preserved Roman heritage for
more than a thousand years, which is a very astounding achievement.
However, though Justinian did preserve Roman heritage, he also cleaned
up a few old Roman ideas. For example, Document 1 states, “Justinian created
countless cities which did not exist before. And finding that the belief in God
was . . . straying into errors . . . he brought it about that it stood on the firm
foundation of a single faith. Moreover, finding the laws obscure because they
had become far more numerous than they should be, and in obvious confusion
because they disagreed with each other. He preserved them [in the Legal Code
of Emperor Justinian, A.D. 529] . . . by controlling their discrepancies with the
greatest firmness.” This excerpt is from
Buildings
by Procopius, Justinian’s
official court historian. However, because Procopius was Justinian’s historian, it
must be taken into account that Procopius probably hid his true opinions while
praising Justinian, so that he wouldn’t be declared traitorous. Still, this document
is a reliable source in relaying Justinian’s accomplishments, however optimistic.
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