The Byzantine Empire is a powerful empire in eastern Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia. Consisting of Romania, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Kosovo, Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, and the rest of Northern Africa, it is powerful.

Reign of Justinian the GreatEdit

Early lifeEdit

Justinian I was born in A.D. 485 in the Byzantine province of Dalenia (today Byzantine Serbia). His Latin-speaking peasant family were of Roman origin. His mother was Vilgalinta, the beautiful sister of Justin, his uncle and later emperor. Justin at the time served in the Imperial Bodyguard. The name of his father is unknown.

When his father died when Justinian was 5, his uncle adopted him, brought him to Constantinople, and initiated his education. Justinian learned Roman history, mathematics, Greek, and political education.

Meanwhile, Justin, his uncle, ascended through the ranks of the army. By 513, Justin was a Senator, general, chief of the Bodyguard, and commander of all Byzantine eastern forces.

In 518, the Emperor Anatausius died. Justin was proclaimed emperor by his troops, and he was crowned such by the Bishop of Constantinople in October.

Reign of Justin I; Ascension to the ThroneEdit

Justin I was 70 years old when he became emperor. He was senile and physically weak. To handle this, he appointed Justinian Caesar in 519 and "consul" in 521. Justinian was the one who managed the Imperial court and government, in the name of his uncle. Justin I however maintained a degree of influence, effectively directing Justinian in his actions.

Justinian waited impatiently for his turn to become emperor. Justin I had proclaimed him "co-emperor" in 526, but Justinian wanted more. Finally, in June 527, Justin I had a stroke and died, aged 77. Justinian ascended the throne as Justinian I.


Early in his reign, Justinian married Theodora, a actress whom he had fallen in love with. Until her death in 548, she advised the emperor on political and religious affairs, especially on affairs of women.

Expansion of EmpireEdit

The emperor was pleased with the Imperial territory he had. He only wanted to conquer Visigoth Roman Africa and Dacia. So, in 529, he invaded Dacia with 500,000 legionaries. With luck and careful planning, he finally conquered Dacia in 532.

Justinian then sent troops from Egypt into Libya and the rest of coastal North Africa. His forces vigorously engaged the Visigoths, engaging them with full might. Finally, his forces defeated the Visigoths at the Battle of Tunis (July 535). With that, the Empire annexed the rest of coastal North Africa.

With these two conquests, Justinian had completed the present size of the Empire.

Reorganization of the EmpireEdit

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