In this new biography of Justinian, Peter Sarris gives us an intimate insight into both the Emperor and his times. We meet a man who from the humblest beginnings, rose to become ruler of much of the known world achieving an almost god-like status.
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An emperor who infused even the most mundane tasks with spiritual and religious significance. A gifted administrator obsessed with detail. A middle aged lover who fell for a dancing girl and changed the law so he could marry her, ruling with Empress Theodora by his side for over twenty years. A brilliant military strategist who was never on the frontline.
The challenges he faced – climate change, battles over culture and identity, the first recorded global pandemic – and many of the solutions he found to address them still resonate with us today. And his legacy remains all around us, in the massive building programme of which the most beautiful manifestation is surely Hagia Sophia; in our legal systems through the codification of the Corpus juris civilis; and in our culture and history by making a fundamental contribution to both the formation of Christendom and the emergence of Islam.