Justinian I
483 - 565
Byzantine Emperor
At the time when Justinian became emperor of the eastern Roman empire Barbaric tribes of central Europe had conquered most of the western Roman empire. Justinian spent more than 20 years in driving the Vandals, Huns, and Franks from Italy and North Africa. He restored most of the empire to Roman control.

Of more lasting importance was his 'Corpus Juris Civilis' a legal code that became the foundation of law in most western European countries.

Justinian made war on heretics and he closed the Athenian schools of philosophy because he believed that they taught paganism. He built the famous Church of Hagia Sophia at Constantinople.

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Contemporary biography by Procopius.