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date: 05 December 2022


, Roman emperor, 527–565 CE


, Roman emperor, 527–565 CE
  • L. M. Whitby


Justinian (Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus), eastern Roman emperor 527–65 ce. He was born c. 482 at Tauresium, near Bederiana in *Thrace, a place subsequently graced with the city of Justiniana Prima (mod. Caricin Grad). His father Sabbatius married a sister of the future emperor Justin, who adopted his nephew. Under Anastasius he joined the scholae or guards, and became a candidatus, personal imperial bodyguard. During the succession dispute in 518 Justinian was offered the throne but supported his more senior uncle, whose position he helped secure by eliminating potential rivals, Amantius and Vitalian. From his residence in the palace of Hormisdas he was now the dominant influence on imperial decisions, as revealed by his correspondence with Pope Hormisdas that healed the Acacian schism. Promotion reflected his power, comes (‘count’) in 519, magister militum praesentalis (‘general in attendance’) in 520, consul in 521 when celebrations were exceptionally lavish, patrician and nobilissimus (‘most noble’) before 527.


  • Late Antiquity

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