Justinian ve Yasaları

CKM 2018-19 / Aziz Yardımlı


Justinian ve Yasaları

  Justinian I (482-565) (527-565)

Justinian the Great and Theodora in Constantinople.

  • Justinian imparatorluğun büyüklüğünü yeniden kurdu ve Batıda yitirilen toprakları yeniden ele geçirdi. Ama Roma’nın sınırları çoktandır tarih-öncesi Germenlerin de sınırları olmuştu.
  • Batıda Uygarlık ve Barbarlık arasındaki çatışma tarihte sık sık görüldüğü gibi kaba kuvvetin utkusu ile sonuçlanacak, Germanik feodalizme düşen karanlık ve Katolik bir Avrupa bin yıllık bir ‘Orta Çağlar’ dönemine girecekti.
  • Tarihin bu reel bozulmasına daha sonra Germanik tarihçiliğin entellektüel bozulması eşlik etti ve Dünya Tarihinin kendisi çarpıtıldı.
  • Roma İmparatorluğunun yeri “Kutsal Roma İmparatorluğu” ve “Bizans İmparatorluğu” gibi kurgular ile dolduruldu ve tarihsel tabloda gereken başka ince ayarlar yapıldı.

Justinian I; borders from acession in 527 to conquests in 565 AD.
  • Roma’nın büyüklüğü birincil olarak etik büyüklük idi. Justinian o güne dek hiçbir imparatorun yapmadığını yaptı, Roma’nın 12 Tablet Yasalarından bu yana bin yıl boyunca kaotikleşmiş yasalarını toparlattı, düzelttirdi, ve ortaya Corpus Juris Civilis çıktı. Avrupa’nın kuzeyinde Germanik feodalizmin yasaya gereksinimi yoktu ve Germanik dünya Yasa ile ancak Reformasyondan sonra tanışmaya başlayacaktı.
Corpus Juris Civilis


Opera & studio S. van Leeuwen. Amsterdam und Leiden, Blaeu, Elzevir und Hack 1663. Fol. Blindgepr. Ldr.- Bd. d. Zt. (fleckig und berieben; Lederbezug mit kleinen Fehlstellen).

- Erste Ausgabe dieser Bearbeitung. - Frontispiz mit Fehlstellen und auf vorderen Innendeckel montiert. - Mit Griffregister. - Titelblatt mit alten Besitzvermerken. - Tlw. etwas fleckig, gebräunt und wasserrandig. - Einige Bll. mit tlw. ausgebesserten Läsuren. - Nicht kollationiert.

The Corpus Iuris Civilis was issued in three parts, in Latin, under the direction of the imperial questor Tribonian at the request of Emperor Justinian in 529-534. The first part was the Codex Justinianus compiled all of the extant imperial constitutiones from the time of Hadrian. It used both the Codex Theodosianus and private collections such as the Codex Gregorianus and Codex Hermogenianus. The second part, the Digest (Digesta) or Pandects (Pandectae), was issued in 533 : it compiled the writings of the great Roman jurists such as Ulpian along with current edicts. The third part, the Institutes (Institutiones), was intended as a sort of legal textbook for law schools. Later, Justinian issued a number of other laws, mostly in Greek, which were called Novels (Novellae).


Justinian I (W)

Justinian I (482-565) (527-565) (W)



Emperor of the Byzantine Empire
Reign 1 August 527 – 14 November 565
Co-emperor: 1 April 527 – 1 August 527
Coronation 1 August 527
Predecessor Justin I
Successor Justin II
Co-Reign Theodora
Born c. 482
Tauresium, Dardania, Byzantine Empire
Died 14 November 565 (aged 83)
Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
Spouse Theodora
  • unknown daughter
  • John (adopted)
  • Theodora (adopted)
Full name
Petrus Sabbatius
Regnal name
Imperator Caesar Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus Augustus
Dynasty Justinian dynasty
Mother Vigilantia
Religion Chalcedonian Christianity


Mosaic of Justinianus I
Basilica San Vitale (Ravenna)

Justinian I (Latin: Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus Augustus; Greek: Φλάβιος Πέτρος Σαββάτιος Ἰουστινιανός, translit. Flávios Pétros Sabbátios Ioustinianós; c. 482 – 14 November 565), traditionally known as Justinian the Greatand also Saint Justinian the Great in the Eastern Orthodox Church, was the Eastern Roman emperor from 527 to 565. During his reign, Justinian sought to revive the empire’s greatness and reconquer the lost western half of the historical Roman Empire. Justinian's rule constitutes a distinct epoch in the history of the Later Roman empire, and his reign is marked by the ambitious but only partly realized renovatio imperii, or “restoration of the Empire.”

Because of his restoration activities, Justinian has sometimes been known as the "last Roman" in mid 20th century historiography. This ambition was expressed by the partial recovery of the territories of the defunct Western Roman Empire.

His general, Belisarius, swiftly conquered the Vandal Kingdom in North Africa. Subsequently, Belisarius, Narses, and other generals conquered the Ostrogothic kingdom, restoring Dalmatia, Sicily, Italy, and Rome to the empire after more than half a century of rule by the Ostrogoths. The prefect Liberius reclaimed the south of the Iberian peninsula, establishing the province of Spania. These campaigns re-established Roman control over the western Mediterranean, increasing the Empire's annual revenue by over a million solidi. During his reign, Justinian also subdued the Tzani, a people on the east coast of the Black Sea that had never been under Roman rule before. He engaged the Sasanian Empire in the east during Kavad I's reign, and later again during Khosrow I’s; this second conflict was partially initiated due to his ambitions in the west.

A still more resonant aspect of his legacy was the uniform rewriting of Roman law, the Corpus Juris Civilis, which is still the basis of civil law in many modern states. His reign also marked a blossoming of Byzantine culture, and his building program yielded such masterpieces as the church of Hagia Sophia.



Life (W)

Justinian was born in Tauresium, Dardania, around 482. A native speaker of Latin (possibly the last Roman emperor to be one), he came from a peasant family believed to have been of Illyro-Roman or Thraco-Roman origins. The cognomen Iustinianus, which he took later, is indicative of adoption by his uncle Justin. During his reign, he founded Justiniana Prima not far from his birthplace. His mother was Vigilantia, the sister of Justin. Justin, who was in the imperial guard (the Excubitors) before he became emperor, adopted Justinian, brought him to Constantinople, and ensured the boy's education. As a result, Justinian was well educated in jurisprudence, theology and Roman history. Justinian served for some time with the Excubitors but the details of his early career are unknown. Chronicler John Malalas, who lived during the reign of Justinian, tells of his appearance that he was short, fair skinned, curly haired, round faced and handsome. Another contemporary chronicler, Procopius, compares Justinian's appearance to that of tyrannical Emperor Domitian, although this is probably slander.

When Emperor Anastasius died in 518, Justin was proclaimed the new emperor, with significant help from Justinian. During Justin’s reign (518-527), Justinian was the emperor's close confidant. Justinian showed much ambition, and it has been thought that he was functioning as virtual regent long before Justin made him associate emperor on 1 April 527, although there is no conclusive evidence of this. As Justin became senile near the end of his reign, Justinian became the de facto ruler. Justinian was appointed consul in 521 and later commander of the army of the east. Upon Justin's death on 1 August 527, Justinian became the sole sovereign.

As a ruler, Justinian showed great energy. He was known as “the emperor who never sleeps” on account of his work habits. Nevertheless, he seems to have been amiable and easy to approach. Around 525, he married his mistress, Theodora, in Constantinople. She was by profession a courtesan and some twenty years his junior. In earlier times, Justinian could not have married her owing to her class, but his uncle, Emperor Justin I, had passed a law allowing intermarriage between social classes. Theodora would become very influential in the politics of the Empire, and later emperors would follow Justinian's precedent in marrying outside the aristocratic class. The marriage caused a scandal, but Theodora would prove to be a shrewd judge of character and Justinian's greatest supporter. Other talented individuals included Tribonian, his legal adviser; Peter the Patrician, the diplomat and longtime head of the palace bureaucracy; Justinian's finance ministers John the Cappadocian and Peter Barsymes, who managed to collect taxes more efficiently than any before, thereby funding Justinian's wars; and finally, his prodigiously talented generals, Belisarius and Narses.

Justinian's rule was not universally popular; early in his reign he nearly lost his throne during the Nika riots, and a conspiracy against the emperor's life by dissatisfied businessmen was discovered as late as 562. Justinian was struck by the plague in the early 540s but recovered. Theodora died in 548 at a relatively young age, possibly of cancer; Justinian outlived her by nearly twenty years. Justinian, who had always had a keen interest in theological matters and actively participated in debates on Christian doctrine, became even more devoted to religion during the later years of his life. When he died on 14 November 565, he left no children, though his wife Theodora had given birth to a stillborn son several years into his reign. He was succeeded by Justin II, who was the son of his sister Vigilantia and married to Sophia, the niece of Empress Theodora. Justinian's body was entombed in a specially built mausoleum in the Church of the Holy Apostles until it was desecrated and robbed during the pillage of the city in 1204 by the Latin States {!} of the Fourth Crusade.



Legislative activities

Legislative activities (W)


Justinian achieved lasting fame through his judicial reforms, particularly through the complete revision of all Roman law, something that had not previously been attempted. The total of Justinian's legislation is known today as the Corpus juris civilis. It consists of


Early in his reign, Justinian appointed the quaestor Tribonian to oversee this task. The first draft of the Codex Justinianeus, a codification of imperial constitutions from the 2nd century onward, was issued on 7 April 529. (The final version appeared in 534.) It was followed by the Digesta (or Pandectae), a compilation of older legal texts, in 533, and by the Institutiones, a textbook explaining the principles of law. The Novellae, a collection of new laws issued during Justinian's reign, supplements the Corpus. As opposed to the rest of the corpus, the Novellae appeared in Greek, the common language of the Eastern Empire.

The Corpus forms the basis of Latin jurisprudence (including ecclesiastical Canon Law) and, for historians, provides a valuable insight into the concerns and activities of the later Roman Empire. As a collection it gathers together the many sources in which the leges (laws) and the other rules were expressed or published: proper laws, senatorial consults (senatusconsulta), imperial decrees, case law, and jurists' opinions and interpretations (responsa prudentum). Tribonian's code ensured the survival of Roman law. It formed the basis of later Byzantine law, as expressed in the Basilika of Basil I and Leo VI the Wise. The only western province where the Justinian code was introduced was Italy (after the conquest by the so-called Pragmatic Sanction of 554), from where it was to pass to Western Europe in the 12th century and become the basis of much European law code. It eventually passed to Eastern Europe where it appeared in Slavic editions, and it also passed on to Russia. It remains influential to this day.

He passed laws to protect prostitutes from exploitation and women from being forced into prostitution. Rapists were treated severely. Further, by his policies: women charged with major crimes should be guarded by other women to prevent sexual abuse; if a woman was widowed, her dowry should be returned; and a husband could not take on a major debt without his wife giving her consent twice.


Nika riots
Hippodrome of Constantinople — Fidem et Circenses (Faith and Circuses).

Nika riots

Nika riots (W)


With room for 100,000 people, Chariot races practically made the rest of the capital city a ghost town.

Justinian's habit of choosing efficient, but unpopular advisers nearly cost him his throne early in his reign. In January 532, partisans of the chariot racing factions in Constantinople, normally rivals, united against Justinian in a revolt that has become known as the Nika riots. They forced him to dismiss Tribonian and two of his other ministers, and then attempted to overthrow Justinian himself and replace him with the senator Hypatius, who was a nephew of the late emperor Anastasius. While the crowd was rioting in the streets, Justinian considered fleeing the capital by sea, but eventually decided to stay, apparently on the prompting of Theodora, who refused to leave. In the next two days, he ordered the brutal suppression of the riots by his generals Belisarius and Mundus. Procopius relates that 30,000 unarmed civilians were killed in the Hippodrome. On Theodora's insistence, and apparently against his own judgment, Justinian had Anastasius' nephews executed.

The destruction that took place during the revolt provided Justinian with an opportunity to tie his name to a series of splendid new buildings, most notably the architectural innovation of the domed Hagia Sophia.



Military activities

Military activities

Military activities (W)


One of the most spectacular features of Justinian's reign was the recovery of large stretches of land around the Western Mediterranean basin that had slipped out of Imperial control in the 5th century. As a Christian Roman emperor, Justinian considered it his divine duty to restore the Roman Empire to its ancient boundaries. Although he never personally took part in military campaigns, he boasted of his successes in the prefaces to his laws and had them commemorated in art. The re-conquests were in large part carried out by his general Belisarius.

War with the Sassanid Empire, 527-532

From his uncle, Justinian inherited ongoing hostilities with the Sassanid Empire. In 530 the Persian forces suffered a double defeat at Dara and Satala, but the next year saw the defeat of Roman forces under Belisarius near Callinicum. Justinian then tried to make alliance with the Axumites of Ethiopia and the Himyarites of Yemen against the Persians, but this failed. When king Kavadh I of Persia died (September 531), Justinian concluded an "Eternal Peace" (which cost him 11,000 pounds of gold) with his successor Khosrau I (532). Having thus secured his eastern frontier, Justinian turned his attention to the West, where Germanic kingdoms had been established in the territories of the former Western Roman Empire.

Conquest of North Africa, 533-534

The first of the western kingdoms Justinian attacked was that of the Vandals in North Africa. King Hilderic, who had maintained good relations with Justinian and the North African Catholic clergy, had been overthrown by his cousin Gelimer in 530 A.D. Imprisoned, the deposed king appealed to Justinian.

In 533, Belisarius sailed to Africa with a fleet of 92 dromons, escorting 500 transports carrying an army of about 15,000 men, as well as a number of barbarian troops. They landed at Caput Vada (modern Ras Kaboudia) in modern Tunisia. They defeated the Vandals, who were caught completely off guard, at Ad Decimum on 14 September 533 and Tricamarum in December; Belisarius took Carthage. King Gelimer fled to Mount Pappua in Numidia, but surrendered the next spring. He was taken to Constantinople, where he was paraded in a triumph. Sardinia and Corsica, the Balearic Islands, and the stronghold Septem Fratres near Gibraltar were recovered in the same campaign.

In this war, the contemporary Procopius remarks that Africa was so entirely dispeopled, that a person might travel several days without meeting a human being, and he adds, "it is no exaggeration to say, that in the course of the war 5,000,000 perished by the sword, and famine, and pestilence.”

An African prefecture, centered in Carthage, was established in April 534, but it would teeter on the brink of collapse during the next 15 years, amidst warfare with the Moors and military mutinies. The area was not completely pacified until 548, but remained peaceful thereafter and enjoyed a measure of prosperity. The recovery of Africa cost the empire about 100,000 pounds of gold.


War in Italy, first phase, 535-540

As in Africa, dynastic struggles in Ostrogothic Italy provided an opportunity for intervention. The young king Athalaric had died on 2 October 534, and a usurper, Theodahad, had imprisoned queen Amalasuntha, Theodoric's daughter and mother of Athalaric, on the island of Martana in Lake Bolsena, where he had her assassinated in 535. Thereupon Belisarius, with 7,500 men, invaded Sicily (535) and advanced into Italy, sacking Naples and capturing Rome on 9 December 536. By that time Theodahad had been deposed by the Ostrogothic army, who had elected Vitigis as their new king. He gathered a large army and besieged Rome from February 537 to March 538 without being able to retake the city.

Justinian sent another general, Narses, to Italy, but tensions between Narses and Belisarius hampered the progress of the campaign. Milan was taken, but was soon recaptured and razed by the Ostrogoths. Justinian recalled Narses in 539. By then the military situation had turned in favour of the Romans, and in 540 Belisarius reached the Ostrogothic capital Ravenna. There he was offered the title of Western Roman Emperor by the Ostrogoths at the same time that envoys of Justinian were arriving to negotiate a peace that would leave the region north of the Po River in Gothic hands. Belisarius feigned acceptance of the offer, entered the city in May 540, and reclaimed it for the Empire. Then, having been recalled by Justinian, Belisarius returned to Constantinople, taking the captured Vitigis and his wife Matasuntha with him.

War with the Sassanid Empire, 540-562

Belisarius had been recalled in the face of renewed hostilities by the Persians. Following a revolt against the Empire in Armenia in the late 530s and possibly motivated by the pleas of Ostrogothic ambassadors, King Khosrau I broke the "Eternal Peace" and invaded Roman territory in the spring of 540. He first sacked Beroea and then Antioch (allowing the garrison of 6,000 men to leave the city), besieged Daras, and then went on to attack the small but strategically significant satellite kingdom of Lazica near the Black Sea, exacting tribute from the towns he passed along his way. He forced Justinian I to pay him 5,000 pounds of gold, plus 500 pounds of gold more each year.

Belisarius arrived in the East in 541, but after some success, was again recalled to Constantinople in 542. The reasons for his withdrawal are not known, but it may have been instigated by rumours of his disloyalty reaching the court. The outbreak of the plague caused a lull in the fighting during the year 543. The following year Khosrau defeated a Byzantine army of 30,000 men, but unsuccessfully besieged the major city of Edessa. Both parties made little headway, and in 545 a truce was agreed upon for the southern part of the Roman-Persian frontier. After that the Lazic War in the North continued for several years, until a second truce in 557, followed by a Fifty Years' Peace in 562. Under its terms, the Persians agreed to abandon Lazica in exchange for an annual tribute of 400 or 500 pounds of gold (30,000 solidi) to be paid by the Romans.

War in Italy, second phase, 541-554

While military efforts were directed to the East, the situation in Italy took a turn for the worse. Under their respective kings Ildibad and Eraric (both murdered in 541) and especially Totila, the Ostrogoths made quick gains. After a victory at Faenza in 542, they reconquered the major cities of Southern Italy and soon held almost the entire Italian peninsula. Belisarius was sent back to Italy late in 544 but lacked sufficient troops and supplies. Making no headway, he was relieved of his command in 548. Belisarius succeeded in defeating a Gothic fleet of 200 ships. During this period the city of Rome changed hands three more times, first taken and depopulated by the Ostrogoths in December 546, then reconquered by the Byzantines in 547, and then again by the Goths in January 550. Totila also plundered Sicily and attacked Greek coastlines.

Finally, Justinian dispatched a force of approximately 35,000 men (2,000 men were detached and sent to invade southern Visigothic Hispania) under the command of Narses. The army reached Ravenna in June 552 and defeated the Ostrogoths decisively within a month at the battle of Busta Gallorum in the Apennines, where Totila was slain. After a second battle at Mons Lactarius in October that year, the resistance of the Ostrogoths was finally broken. In 554, a large-scale Frankish invasion was defeated at Casilinum, and Italy was secured for the Empire, though it would take Narses several years to reduce the remaining Gothic strongholds. At the end of the war, Italy was garrisoned with an army of 16,000 men. The recovery of Italy cost the empire about 300,000 pounds of gold. Procopius estimated "the loss of the Goths at 15,000,000."


Other campaigns

In addition to the other conquests, the Empire established a presence in Visigothic Hispania, when the usurper Athanagild requested assistance in his rebellion against King Agila I. In 552, Justinian dispatched a force of 2,000 men; according to the historian Jordanes, this army was led by the octogenarian Liberius. The Byzantines took Cartagena and other cities on the southeastern coast and founded the new province of Spania before being checked by their former ally Athanagild, who had by now become king. This campaign marked the apogee of Byzantine expansion.

During Justinian's reign, the Balkans suffered from several incursions by the Turkic and Slavic peoples who lived north of the Danube. Here, Justinian resorted mainly to a combination of diplomacy and a system of defensive works. In 559 a particularly dangerous invasion of Sklavinoi and Kutrigurs under their khan Zabergan threatened Constantinople, but they were repulsed by the aged general Belisarius.



Justinian's ambition to restore the Roman Empire to its former glory was only partly realized. In the West, the brilliant early military successes of the 530s were followed by years of stagnation. The dragging war with the Goths was a disaster for Italy, even though its long-lasting effects may have been less severe than is sometimes thought. The heavy taxes that the administration imposed upon its population were deeply resented. The final victory in Italy and the conquest of Africa and the coast of southern Hispania significantly enlarged the area over which the Empire could project its power and eliminated all naval threats to the empire. Despite losing much of Italy soon after Justinian's death, the empire retained several important cities, including Rome, Naples, and Ravenna, leaving the Lombards as a regional threat. The newly founded province of Spania kept the Visigoths as a threat to Hispania alone and not to the western Mediterranean and Africa. Events of the later years of the reign showed that Constantinople itself was not safe from barbarian incursions from the north, and even the relatively benevolent historian Menander Protector felt the need to attribute the Emperor's failure to protect the capital to the weakness of his body in his old age. In his efforts to renew the Roman Empire, Justinian dangerously stretched its resources while failing to take into account the changed realities of 6th-century Europe.



Religious activities

Religious activities

Religious activities (W)


Justinian saw the orthodoxy of his empire threatened by diverging religious currents, especially Monophysitism, which had many adherents in the eastern provinces of Syria and Egypt. Monophysite doctrine, which maintains that Jesus Christ had one divine nature or a synthesis of a divine and human nature, had been condemned as a heresy by the Council of Chalcedon in 451, and the tolerant policies towards Monophysitism of Zeno and Anastasius I had been a source of tension in the relationship with the bishops of Rome. Justin reversed this trend and confirmed the Chalcedonian doctrine, openly condemning the Monophysites. Justinian, who continued this policy, tried to impose religious unity on his subjects by forcing them to accept doctrinal compromises that might appeal to all parties, a policy that proved unsuccessful as he satisfied none of them.

Near the end of his life, Justinian became ever more inclined towards the Monophysite doctrine, especially in the form of Aphthartodocetism, but he died before being able to issue any legislation. The empress Theodora sympathized with the Monophysites and is said to have been a constant source of pro-Monophysite intrigues at the court in Constantinople in the earlier years. In the course of his reign, Justinian, who had a genuine interest in matters of theology, authored a small number of theological treatises.


Religious policy

As in his secular administration, despotism appeared also in the Emperor's ecclesiastical policy. He regulated everything, both in religion and in law.

At the very beginning of his reign, he deemed it proper to promulgate by law the Church’s belief in the Trinity and the Incarnation, and to threaten all heretics with the appropriate penalties, whereas he subsequently declared that he intended to deprive all disturbers of orthodoxy of the opportunity for such offense by due process of law. He made the Nicaeno-Constantinopolitan creed the sole symbol of the Church and accorded legal force to the canons of the four ecumenical councils. The bishops in attendance at the Second Council of Constantinople in 553 recognized that nothing could be done in the Church contrary to the emperor’s will and command, while, on his side, the emperor, in the case of the Patriarch Anthimus, reinforced the ban of the Church with temporal proscription. Justinian protected the purity of the church by suppressing heretics. He neglected no opportunity to secure the rights of the Church and clergy, and to protect and extend monasticism. He granted the monks the right to inherit property from private citizens and the right to receive solemnia, or annual gifts, from the Imperial treasury or from the taxes of certain provinces and he prohibited lay confiscation of monastic estates.

Although the despotic character of his measures is contrary to modern sensibilities, he was indeed a "nursing father" of the Church. Both the Codex and the Novellae contain many enactments regarding donations, foundations, and the administration of ecclesiastical property; election and rights of bishops, priests and abbots; monastic life, residential obligations of the clergy, conduct of divine service, episcopal jurisdiction, etc.

Justinian also rebuilt the Church of Hagia Sophia (which cost 20,000 pounds of gold), the original site having been destroyed during the Nika riots. The new Hagia Sophia, with its numerous chapels and shrines, gilded octagonal dome, and mosaics, became the centre and most visible monument of Eastern Orthodoxy in Constantinople.



Religious relations with Rome

From the middle of the 5th century onward, increasingly arduous tasks confronted the emperors of the East in ecclesiastical matters. Justinian entered the arena of ecclesiastical statecraft shortly after his uncle's accession in 518, and put an end to the Acacian schism. Previous Emperors had tried to alleviate theological conflicts by declarations that deemphasized the Council of Chalcedon, which had condemned Monophysitism, which had strongholds in Egypt and Syria, and by tolerating the appointment of Monophysites to church offices. The Popes reacted by severing ties with the Patriarch of Constantinople who supported these policies. Emperors Justin I (and later Justinian himself) rescinded these policies and reestablished the union between Constantinople and Rome. After this, Justinian also felt entitled to settle disputes in papal elections, as he did when he favoured Vigilius and had his rival Silverius deported.

This new-found unity between East and West did not, however, solve the ongoing disputes in the east. Justinian's policies switched between attempts to force Monophysites to accept the Chalcedonian creed by persecuting their bishops and monks – thereby embittering their sympathizers in Egypt and other provinces – and attempts at a compromise that would win over the Monophysites without surrendering the Chalcedonian faith. Such an approach was supported by the Empress Theodora, who favoured the Monophysites unreservedly. In the condemnation of the Three Chapters, three theologians that had opposed Monophysitism before and after the Council of Chalcedon, Justinian tried to win over the opposition. At the Fifth Ecumenical Council, most of the Eastern church yielded to the Emperor's demands, and Pope Vigilius, who was forcibly brought to Constantinople and besieged at a chapel, finally also gave his assent. However, the condemnation was received unfavourably in the west, where it led to new (albeit temporal) schism, and failed to reach its goal in the east, as the Monophysites remained unsatisfied – all the more bitter for him because during his last years he took an even greater interest in theological matters.



Authoritarian rule

Justinian's religious policy reflected the Imperial conviction that the unity of the Empire presupposed unity of faith, and it appeared to him obvious that this faith could only be the orthodox (Nicaean). Those of a different belief were subjected to persecution, which imperial legislation had effected from the time of Constantius II and which would now vigorously continue. The Codex contained two statutes that decreed the total destruction of paganism, even in private life; these provisions were zealously enforced. Contemporary sources (John Malalas, Theophanes, and John of Ephesus) tell of severe persecutions, even of men in high position.

The original Academy of Plato had been destroyed by the Roman dictator Sulla in 86 BC. Several centuries later, in 410 AD, a Neoplatonic Academy was established that had no institutional continuity with Plato's Academy, and which served as a center for Neoplatonism and mysticism. It persisted until 529 AD when it was finally closed by Justinian I. Other schools in Constantinople, Antioch, and Alexandria, which were the centers of Justinian's empire, continued.

In Asia Minor alone, John of Ephesus was reported to have converted 70,000 pagans. Other peoples also accepted Christianity: the Heruli, the Huns dwelling near the Don, the Abasgi, and the Tzanni in Caucasia.

The worship of Amun at the oasis of Awjila in the Libyan desert was abolished, and so were the remnants of the worship of Isis on the island of Philae, at the first cataract of the Nile. The Presbyter Julian and the Bishop Longinus conducted a mission among the Nabataeans, and Justinian attempted to strengthen Christianity in Yemen by dispatching a bishop from Egypt.

The civil rights of Jews were restricted and their religious privileges threatened. Justinian also interfered in the internal affairs of the synagogue and encouraged the Jews to use the Greek Septuagint in their synagogues in Constantinople.

The Emperor faced significant opposition from the Samaritans, who resisted conversion to Christianity and were repeatedly in insurrection. He persecuted them with rigorous edicts, but could not prevent reprisals towards Christians from taking place in Samaria toward the close of his reign. The consistency of Justinian's policy meant that the Manicheans too suffered persecution, experiencing both exile and threat of capital punishment. At Constantinople, on one occasion, not a few Manicheans, after strict inquisition, were executed in the emperor's very presence: some by burning, others by drowning.


Architecture, learning, art and literature

Architecture, learning, art and literature

Architecture, learning, art and literature (W)

Justinian was a prolific builder; the historian Procopius bears witness to his activities in this area. Under Justinian's patronage the San Vitale in Ravenna, which features two famous mosaics representing Justinian and Theodora, was completed. Most notably, he had the Hagia Sophia, originally a basilica-style church that had been burnt down during the Nika riots, splendidly rebuilt according to a completely different ground plan, under the architectural supervision of Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles. According to Pseudo-Codinus, Justinian stated at the completion of this edifice, “Solomon, I have outdone thee” (in reference to the first Jewish temple). This new cathedral, with its magnificent dome filled with mosaics, remained the centre of eastern Christianity for centuries.

Another prominent church in the capital, the Church of the Holy Apostles, which had been in a very poor state near the end of the 5th century, was likewise rebuilt. Works of embellishment were not confined to churches alone: excavations at the site of the Great Palace of Constantinople have yielded several high-quality mosaics dating from Justinian's reign, and a column topped by a bronze statue of Justinian on horseback and dressed in a military costume was erected in the Augustaeum in Constantinople in 543. Rivalry with other, more established patrons from the Constantinopolitan and exiled Roman aristocracy (like Anicia Juliana) might have enforced Justinian's building activities in the capital as a means of strengthening his dynasty’s prestige.

Justinian also strengthened the borders of the Empire from Africa to the East through the construction of fortifications and ensured Constantinople of its water supply through construction of underground cisterns (see Basilica Cistern). To prevent floods from damaging the strategically important border town Dara, an advanced arch dam was built. During his reign the large Sangarius Bridge was built in Bithynia, securing a major military supply route to the east. Furthermore, Justinian restored cities damaged by earthquake or war and built a new city near his place of birth called Justiniana Prima, which was intended to replace Thessalonica as the political and religious centre of Illyricum.

In Justinian's reign, and partly under his patronage, Byzantine culture produced noteworthy historians, including Procopius and Agathias, and poets such as Paul the Silentiary and Romanus the Melodist flourished. On the other hand, centres of learning such as the Neoplatonic Academy in Athens and the famous Law School of Beirut lost their importance during his reign. Despite Justinian's passion for the glorious Roman past, the practice of choosing consuls was allowed to lapse after 541.


Economy and administration

Economy and administration

Economy and administration (W)


As was the case under Justinian's predecessors, the Empire's economic health rested primarily on agriculture. In addition, long-distance trade flourished, reaching as far north as Cornwall where tin was exchanged for Roman wheat. Within the Empire, convoys sailing from Alexandria provided Constantinople with wheat and grains. Justinian made the traffic more efficient by building a large granary on the island of Tenedos for storage and further transport to Constantinople. Justinian also tried to find new routes for the eastern trade, which was suffering badly from the wars with the Persians.

One important luxury product was silk, which was imported and then processed in the Empire. In order to protect the manufacture of silk products, Justinian granted a monopoly to the imperial factories in 541. In order to bypass the Persian landroute, Justinian established friendly relations with the Abyssinians, whom he wanted to act as trade mediators by transporting Indian silk to the Empire; the Abyssinians, however, were unable to compete with the Persian merchants in India. Then, in the early 550s, two monks succeeded in smuggling eggs of silk worms from Central Asia back to Constantinople, and silk became an indigenous product.

Gold and silver were mined in the Balkans, Anatolia, Armenia, Cyprus, Egypt and Nubia.

At the start of Justinian I's reign he had inherited a surplus 28,800,000 solidi (400,000 pounds of gold) in the imperial treasury from Anastasius I and Justin I. Under Justinian's rule, measures were taken to counter corruption in the provinces and to make tax collection more efficient. Greater administrative power was given to both the leaders of the prefectures and of the provinces, while power was taken away from the vicariates of the dioceses, of which a number were abolished. The overall trend was towards a simplification of administrative infrastructure. According to Brown (1971), the increased professionalization of tax collection did much to destroy the traditional structures of provincial life, as it weakened the autonomy of the town councils in the Greek towns. It has been estimated that before Justinian I's reconquests the state had an annual revenue of 5,000,000 solidi in AD 530, but after his reconquests, the annual revenue was increased to 6,000,000 solidi in AD 550.

Throughout Justinian’s reign, the cities and villages of the East prospered, although Antioch was struck by two earthquakes (526, 528) and sacked and evacuated by the Persians (540). Justinian had the city rebuilt, but on a slightly smaller scale.

Despite all these measures, the Empire suffered several major setbacks in the course of the 6th century. The first one was the plague, which lasted from 541 to 543 and, by decimating the Empire's population, probably created a scarcity of labor and a rising of wages. The lack of manpower also led to a significant increase in the number of "barbarians" in the Byzantine armies after the early 540s. The protracted war in Italy and the wars with the Persians themselves laid a heavy burden on the Empire's resources, and Justinian was criticized for curtailing the government-run post service, which he limited to only one eastern route of military importance.




Theodora (W)

Theodora (W)

Byzantine mosaic depicting Empress Theodora (6th century) flanked by a chaplain and a court lady believed to be her confidant Antonina, wife of general Belisarius.
Theodora (Greek: Θεοδώρα; c. 500 – 28 June 548) was empress of the Eastern Roman Empire by marriage to Emperor Justinian I. She was one of the most influential and powerful of the Eastern Roman empresses, albeit from a humble background. Some sources mention her as empress regnant with Justinian I as her co-regent. Along with her spouse, she is a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church, commemorated on November 14.



📹 Justinian and the Byzantine Empire — Khan Academy (VİDEO)

Justinian and the Byzantine Empire — Khan Academy (LINK)

Overview of the Byzantine Empire under its greatest strength under Justinian and then eventual slow decline over the next 900 years. Code of Justinian. Hagia Sophia. Empress Theodora's role in putting down the Nika Riots.


📹 Justinian’s Restoration of the Empire (VİDEO)

📹 Justinian’s Restoration of the Empire (LINK)

Eastern Roman / Byzantine Empire attacks the Vandal Kingdom in their attempt to restore the Roman Empire to its former borders. Vandalic war: Battle of Ad Decimum, Battle of Tricamarum.


📹 Justinian’s Restoration — Battles of Taginae (552) and Volturnus (554) (VİDEO)

📹 Justinian’s Restoration — Battles of Taginae (552) and Volturnus (554) (LINK)

The Restoration of Justinian led by Justinian and his general Belisarius began in the early 530s and was very successful early on: Eternal Peace with the Sassanid shah Khosrow was signed after the battle of Dara and the conclusion of the Iberian War, the Vandals were defeated at Ad Decimum and Tricamarum in 533, and then Belisarius landed in Italy and took Rome. The Ostrogoths besieged the city in 537, but Belisarius survived a year-long siege. With new forces in the area, the things were looking bright for the Roman Empire, but soon Belisarius lost the confidence of Justinian and entered into a conflict with another commander - Narses. All that, the Sassanid attack in the East, the start of the Justinian's Plague and invasion of Italy by the Franks prolonged the Gothic War. The conflict would culminate at the battles of Taginae and Volturnus.


📹 Justinian I, 527-565 — Wars (VİDEO)

📹 Justinian I, 527-565 — Wars (LINK)

In this video, I look at the wars of conquest waged by the emperor Justinian and explore whether or not these conflicts advanced the long-term interests of the Byzantine state.


📹 Battle of Dara, 530 — Roman-Sassanid Iberian War (VİDEO)

📹 Battle of Dara, 530 — Roman-Sassanid Iberian War (LINK)

The fall of the Western Roman Empire prompted a response from the Eastern Empire. Emperor Justinian was eager to restore Rome to its former glory, but he first needed to deal with the Sassanid Empire to the East. Iberian War of 526-532 gave him this chance, ashis new commander Belisarius showed his mettle and talent in the battle of Dara and other engagements. This series will continue, if it gets enough support, so don't hesitate to suggest this video to your friends.




  Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia



Location Istanbul (historically Constantinople), Turkey
Designer Isidore of Miletus
Anthemius of Tralles
Material Ashlar, brick
Length 82 m (269 ft)
Width 73 m (240 ft)
Height 55 m (180 ft)
Beginning date 360
Completion date 537; 1483 years ago
Website https://muze.gen.tr/
Part of Historic Areas of Istanbul
Criteria Cultural: i, ii, iii, iv
Reference 356
Inscription 1985 (9th session)


📜 Timeline of Hagia Sophia

Timeline of Hagia Sophia

  • 360 – Inauguration of Hagia Sophia, under the rule of Constantine
  • 404 – The original roof was destroyed in a fire.
  • 415 – Hagia Sophia was restored and rededicated by Theodosius II.
  • 532 – Hagia Sophia was burned down once again. The structure was completely destroyed alongside various other churches. After a mere 93 days, construction of the Hagia Sophia began.
  • 537 – The reconstruction was completed with the lavish decorations and ornaments
  • 553 – An earthquake shook Hagia Sophia, weakening the crown of Eastern arch.
  • 558 – Another earthquake hit, causing a break between the two-halves. A few months after, the main dome collapsed alongside the eastern semidome. This caused the destruction of the ambo, ciborium, and the Holy Table.
  • 562 – Reconstruction was completed.
  • 726 – Hagia Sophia was stripped of religious illustrations and sculptural work.
  • 842 – St Sophia was finally re-installed. Commencing the redecoration of Hagia Sophia.
  • 859 – A great fire damaged the Hagia Sophia.
  • 869 – An earthquake caused a half dome to collapse.
  • 989 – Another massive earthquake caused the collapse of the western dome.
  • 994 – Hagia Sophia was reopened after reconstruction took place.
  • 1204 – Hagia Sophia became a Roman Catholic Cathedral.
  • 1261 – Hagia Sophia was converted to an Eastern Orthodox Church again.
  • 1344 – An earthquake caused severe damage throughout the striation
  • 1346 – Various parts of the building collapsed and the church was closed.
  • 1354 – Hagia Sophia reopened after construction.
  • 1453 – Following the fall of Constantinople, Mehmed the Conqueror orders the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque. The Divine Service in Hagia Sophia at the time of the Salvation was interrupted.
  • 1573 – The exterior was significantly strengthened and altered to follow the customary mosque appearance.
  • 1717 – Renovations on the interior began.
  • 1734 – Hagia Sophia had additions to restorations, such as the building of a library and a Quranic School.
  • 1847 – The structure underwent another restoration.
  • 1849 – The mosque was reopened.
  • 1919 – The Divine Service in Hagia Sophia, which had been interrupted after the Salvation in 1453, was continued and completed by a Greek military priest.
  • 1935 – The building was transformed into a museum on the order of the first President of Turkey Atatürk.
  • 2019 – Turkish President Erdogan again suggests converting Hagia Sophia into a mosque.


Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia (W)

Hagia Sophia ('Αγία Σοφία, "Holy Wisdom"; Latin: Sancta Sophia or Sancta Sapientia; Turkish: Ayasofya) is the former Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal cathedral, later an Ottoman imperial mosque and now a museum (Ayasofya Müzesi) in Istanbul, Turkey. Built in AD 537 during the reign of Justinian. It is famous for its large dome. It was the world’s largest building and an engineering marvel of its time. It is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and is said to have "changed the history of architecture".

The Hagia Sophia is of masonry construction. The structure has brick and mortar joints that are 1.5 times the width of the bricks. The mortar joints are composed of a combination of sand and minute ceramic pieces distributed evenly throughout the mortar joints. This combination of sand and ceramic pieces could be considered the contemporaneous equivalent of modern concrete.

From the date of its completion in 537 until 1453, it served as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral and the seat of the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted by the Fourth Crusaders to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire. The building was later converted into an Ottoman mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931. It was then secularized and opened as a museum on 1 February 1935. It remained the world's largest cathedral for nearly a thousand years, until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520.

The building was constructed between 532 and 537 on the orders of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I as the third Church of the Holy Wisdom to occupy the site, the prior one having been destroyed by rioters in the Nika riots. It was designed by the Greek geometers Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles. The church was dedicated to the Wisdom of God, the Logos, the second person of the Trinity, its patronal feast taking place on 25 December, the commemoration of the birth of the incarnation of the Logos in Christ. Although sometimes referred to as Sancta Sophia (as though it were named after Sophia the Martyr), sophia is the phonetic spelling in Latin of the Greek word for wisdom. Its full name in Greek is Ναός της Αγίας του Θεού Σοφίας, Naos tēs Hagias tou Theou Sophias, "Shrine of the Holy Wisdom of God". The church housed a large collection of relics and featured a 15-metre (49 ft) silver iconostasis. The focal point of the Eastern Orthodox Church for nearly one thousand years, the building witnessed the excommunication of Patriarch Michael I Cerularius officially communicated by Humbert of Silva Candida, the papal envoy of Pope Leo IX in 1054, an act that is commonly considered the start of the East–West Schism.

In 1453, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Empire under Mehmed the Conqueror, who ordered this main church of Eastern Orthodox Christianity converted into a mosque. Although some parts of the city of Constantinople had fallen into disrepair, the cathedral had been maintained with funds set aside for this purpose, and the Christian cathedral made a strong impression on the new Ottoman rulers who conceived its conversion. The bells, altar, iconostasis, and other relics were destroyed and the mosaics depicting Jesus, his mother Mary, Christian saints, and angels were eventually destroyed or plastered over. Islamic features – such as the mihrab (a niche in the wall indicating the direction toward Mecca, for prayer), minbar (pulpit), and four minarets – were added. It remained a mosque until 1931 when it was closed to the public for four years. It was re-opened in 1935 as a museum by the Republic of Turkey. Hagia Sophia was, as of 2014, the second-most visited museum in Turkey, attracting almost 3.3 million visitors annually. According to data released by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, Hagia Sophia was Turkey's most visited tourist attraction in 2015 and 2019.

From its initial conversion until the construction of the nearby Sultan Ahmed Mosque, aka the Blue Mosque of Istanbul, in 1616, it was the principal mosque of Istanbul. The Byzantine architecture of the Hagia Sophia served as inspiration for many other Ottoman mosques, including the Blue Mosque, the Şehzade Mosque, the Süleymaniye Mosque, the Rüstem Pasha Mosque and the Kılıç Ali Pasha Complex.



Church of Constantius II

Church of Constantius II (W)


The first church on the site was known as the Μεγάλη Ἐκκλησία (Megálē Ekklēsíā, "Great Church"), or in Latin Magna Ecclesia, because of its larger dimensions in comparison to the contemporary churches in the City. Inaugurated on 15 February 360 (during the reign of Constantius II) by the Arian bishop Eudoxius of Antioch, it was built next to the area where the imperial palace was being developed. The nearby Hagia Eirene ("Holy Peace") church was completed earlier and served as cathedral until the Great Church was completed. Both churches acted together as the principal churches of the Byzantine {!?} Empire.

Writing in 440, Socrates of Constantinople claimed that the church was built by Constantius II, who was working on it in 346. A tradition which is not older than the 7th or 8th century, reports that the edifice was built by Constantine the Great. Zonaras reconciles the two opinions, writing that Constantius had repaired the edifice consecrated by Eusebius of Nicomedia, after it had collapsed. Since Eusebius was bishop of Constantinople from 339 to 341, and Constantine died in 337, it seems possible that the first church was erected by the latter. The edifice was built as a traditional Latin colonnaded basilica with galleries and a wooden roof. It was preceded by an atrium. It was claimed to be one of the world's most outstanding monuments at the time.

The Patriarch of Constantinople John Chrysostom came into a conflict with Empress Aelia Eudoxia, wife of the emperor Arcadius, and was sent into exile on 20 June 404. During the subsequent riots, this first church was largely burned down. Nothing remains of the first church today.


Church of Theodosius II

Church of Theodosius II (W)


A second church on the site was ordered by Theodosius II, who inaugurated it on 10 October 415. The basilica with a wooden roof was built by architect Rufinus. A fire started during the tumult of the Nika Revolt and burned the second Hagia Sophia to the ground on 13-14 January 532.

Several marble blocks from the second church survive to the present; among them are reliefs depicting 12 lambs representing the 12 apostles. Originally part of a monumental front entrance, they now reside in an excavation pit adjacent to the museum's entrance after they were discovered in 1935 beneath the western courtyard by A.M. Schneider. Further digging was forsaken for fear of impinging on the integrity of the building.




Architecture (W)


Hagia Sophia is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. Its interior is decorated with mosaics and marble pillars and coverings of great artistic value. The temple itself was so richly and artistically decorated that Justinian proclaimed, "Solomon, I have outdone thee!" (Νενίκηκά σε Σολομών). Justinian himself had overseen the completion of the greatest cathedral ever built up to that time, and it was to remain the largest cathedral for 1,000 years up until the completion of the cathedral in Seville in Spain.

Justinian's basilica was at once the culminating architectural achievement of late antiquity and the first masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. Its influence, both architecturally and liturgically, was widespread and enduring in the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Muslim worlds alike.

The vast interior has a complex structure. The nave is covered by a central dome which at its maximum is 55.6 m (182 ft 5 in) from floor level and rests on an arcade of 40 arched windows. Repairs to its structure have left the dome somewhat elliptical, with the diameter varying between 31.24 and 30.86 m (102 ft 6 in and 101 ft 3 in).

At the western entrance side and eastern liturgical side, there are arched openings extended by half domes of identical diameter to the central dome, carried on smaller semi-domed exedras; a hierarchy of dome-headed elements built up to create a vast oblong interior crowned by the central dome, with a clear span of 76.2 m (250 ft).

Interior surfaces are sheathed with polychrome marbles, green and white with purple porphyry, and gold mosaics. The exterior, clad in stucco, was tinted yellow and red during restorations in the 19th century at the direction of the Fossati architects.

Section of a "restored" design.

a) Plan of the gallery (upper half) b) Plan of the ground floor (lower half).



Dome (W)


The dome of Hagia Sophia has spurred particular interest for many art historians, architects and engineers because of the innovative way the original architects envisioned it. The dome is carried on four spherical triangular pendentives, one of the first large-scale uses of them. The pendentives are the corners of the square base of the dome, which curve upwards into the dome to support it, restraining the lateral forces of the dome and allowing its weight to flow downwards. It was the largest pendentive dome in the world until the completion of St. Peter's Basilica, and has a much lower height than any other dome of such a large diameter.

The great dome at the Hagia Sophia is one hundred and seven feet in diameter and is only two feet thick. The main building material for the Hagia Sophia composed of brick and mortar. Brick aggregate was used to make roofs easier to construct. The aggregate weighs one hundred and fifty pounds per cubic foot, an average weight of masonry construction at the time. Due to the materials plasticity it was chosen over cut stone due to the fact that aggregate can be used over a longer distance.

The weight of the dome remained a problem for most of the building's existence. The original cupola collapsed entirely after the earthquake of 558; in 563 a new dome was built by Isidore the younger, a nephew of Isidore of Miletus. Unlike the original, this included 40 ribs and was raised 20 feet, in order to lower the lateral forces on the church walls. A larger section of the second dome collapsed as well, in two episodes, so that today only two sections of the present dome, in the north and south side, still date from the 562 reconstructions. Of the whole dome's 40 ribs, the surviving north section contains eight ribs, while the south section includes six ribs.

Although this design stabilizes the dome and the surrounding walls and arches, the actual construction of the walls of Hagia Sophia weakened the overall structure. The bricklayers used more mortar than brick, which is more effective if the mortar was allowed to settle as the building would have been more flexible; however, the builders raced to complete the building and left no time for the mortar to cure before they began the next layer. When the dome was erected, its weight caused the walls to lean outward because of the wet mortar underneath. When Isidore the Younger rebuilt the fallen cupola, he had first to build up the interior of the walls to make them vertical again. Additionally, the architect raised the height of the rebuilt dome by approximately six m (20 feet) so that the lateral forces would not be as strong and its weight would be transmitted more effectively down into the walls. Moreover, he shaped the new cupola like a scalloped shell or the inside of an umbrella, with ribs that extend from the top down to the base. These ribs allow the weight of the dome to flow between the windows, down the pendentives, and ultimately to the foundation.

Hagia Sophia is famous for the light that reflects everywhere in the interior of the nave, giving the dome the appearance of hovering above. This effect was achieved by inserting forty windows around the base of the original structure. Moreover, the insertion of the windows in the dome structure lowers its weight.



Minarets (W)


The minarets were an Ottoman addition and not part of the original church's Byzantine design. They were built for notification of invitations for prayers (Adhan: أَذَان) and announcements. Mehmed had built a minaret made from wood over one of the half domes soon after Hagia Sophia's conversion from a cathedral to a mosque. This minaret does not exist today. One of the minarets (at southeast) was built from red brick and can be dated back from the Fatih Sultan Mehmed period or Beyazıd II period. The other three were built from white limestone and sandstone, of which the slender northeast column was erected by Sultan Bayezid II during the Selim II period, while the two identical larger minarets to the west were erected by Sultan Selim II and designed by the famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan. Both are 60 metres in height, and with their thick and massif patterns, complete Hagia Sophia's main structure. Many ornaments and details were added to these minarets on repairs during the 15th, 16th, and 19th centuries, which reflect each period's characteristics and ideals.



Buttresses (W)


Numerous buttresses have been added throughout the centuries. The flying buttresses to the west of the building, although thought to have been constructed by the Crusaders upon their visit to Constantinople, are actually built during the Byzantine era. This shows that the Byzantines had prior knowledge of flying buttresses which can also be seen at Hosios Loukas in Central Greece, the Rotunda of Galerius in Thessaloniki, and San Vitale in Ravenna. Other buttresses were constructed during the Ottoman times under the guidance of the architect Sinan. A total of 24 buttresses were added.



  • Justinian Roma’nın bu en dikkate değer mimari başarımını Hıristiyan Tanrıya değil, o güne dek hiç kimseye kendini bildirmemiş olan Hagia Sophia’ya adadı. Ἁγία Σοφία ya da Sancta Sophia ya da Kutsal Bilgelik bir “Tanrıça” idi. Hıristiyan bilgeler onu Logos olarak da anladıklarına inandılar. Logos konusunda bilgileri yoktu.

İlk kez imparator Büyük Konstantin (306-337) tarafından yaptırılan Hagia Sofia iki yüzyıl sonra Nika ayaklanmaları sırasında yıkılınca Justinian tarafından yeniden yaptırıldı.


Yeni tapınak yine Konstantin tarafından yaptırılan ve Barış Tanrısına adanan Hagia İrene (Ἁγία Εἰρήνη ya da Kutsal Barış) ve Güç Tanrıçasına adanan Hagia Dynamis ile birlikte İmparatorun Tanrıya yüklediği üç yüklemden birini temsil ediyordu.


📥 Hagia Sophia / Running Reality

Running Reality (L)


  Roman Law
  Roma Tüzesi 753’ten 1453’e dek yürürlükte kaldı. Britannica Roma Tüzesinin "5'inci yüzyılda Batı İmparatorluğunun çöküşü" ile sona erdiğini ve yalnızca ‘Doğu’ ya da ‘Bizans’ İmparatorluğunda yürürlükte kaldığını belirtir. Bu formülasyon ayrıksıdır ve Britannica tarih yazarları (ve ayrıca genellikle çok daha aşırı olmak üzere Wikipedia tarih yazarları) Roma İmparatorluğu durumunda sık sık etnik duyguların ve bakış açılarının etkisi altında uygunsuz anlatımlar kullanmaya eğilimlidir ve “Bizans İmparatorluğu” terimini kullanmakta ve bağlamın gerektirmediği yerde bile “Doğu Roma” anlatımını yeğlemektedirler. Roma tüzesi bir imparatorluk tüzesi olarak evrensel idi, daha sonra Germanik dünyada olduğu gibi parçalı değil. Tüm tarihsel Roma yasaları altıncı yüzyılda Roma İmparatoru Justinian tarafından yeniden toparlandı. Roma yasaları Osmanlı İmparatorluğunun tüzel yapısının temelini oluşturdu.





The Emperor Justinian to the Senate of the City of Constantinople. Those things which seem to many former Emperors to require correction, but which none of them ventured to carry into effect, We have decided to accomplish at the present time with the assistance of Almighty God; and to diminish litigation by the revision of the multitude of constitutions which are contained in the Three Codes; namely, the Gregorian, the Hermogenian, and the Theodosian, as well as in those other Codes promulgated after them by Theodosius of Divine Memory, and by other Emperors, who succeeded him, in addition to those which We Ourselves have promulgated, and to combine them in a single Code, under Our auspicious name, in which compilation should be included not only the constitutions of the three above-mentioned Codes, but also such new ones as subsequently have been promulgated.

(1) Therefore, having in view the accomplishment of this extensive work, as well as the maintenance of the public welfare, We have chosen, as being competent for a task involving such labor and care, John, a most eminent man, Ex-Quęstor of our Sacred Palace, and of consular, as well as patrician dignity; Leontius, a man of the highest standing, an officer in the army, an Ex-Prętorian Prefect, of consular and patrician dignity; Phocas, a most illustrious man, an officer of the army, also of consular and patrician dignity; Basilis, a most excellent man, Ex-Prętorian Prefect of the East, and of patrician rank; Thomas, a most glorious man, Quęstor of our Sacred Palace, and Ex-Consul; Tribonian, a distinguished man of great authority, and invested with magisterial dignity; Constantine, an illustrious man, one of the Stewards of Our bounty, Master of Requests, and of Our Judicial Inquiries; Theophilus, a most eminent man, and one of the members of our Sacred Consistory, a Doctor of Laws in this Fair City; and Dioscorous and Pręsentinus, most learned jurists of the Prętorian Tribunal.

(2) To these We have especially entrusted the suppression of superfluous preambles, so far as this can be done without affecting the efficacy of the laws, as well as of such enactments as are similar or contradictory, and, in addition to this, the division of the laws; and it will be to the advantage to omit such as have fallen into desuetude, to give expression in concise terms to those which are included in the said three Codes, and in the New Constitutions, and to place them under suitable titles, adding and omitting portions of the same, and, indeed, changing their phraseology where convenience requires it.

bringing under one head enactments which are scattered through various constitutions, and rendering their meaning clearer; so that the order of the said constitutions may appear not only from the days and the consulate when they were enacted, but also from their composition itself, by placing those primarily published in the first place, and those which follow in the second. And if any laws should be found in the three ancient codes without the date and the name of the consul, or if any new constitutions have been inserted among them, they should be so arranged that no doubt may arise with reference to their general application, in such a way that rescripts addressed to certain individuals, or originally issued by pragmatic sanction, may obtain the effect of general constitutions, where, for the public welfare, they have been included in a new code.

(3) Hence We have hastened to bring these matters to your notice, in order that you may be informed to what an extent Our daily care is occupied with matters having reference to the common welfare, by collecting such laws as are certain and clear, and incorporating them into a single code, so that, by means of this code, designated by Our auspicious name, the citation of the various constitutions may cause decisions to be more readily rendered in all litigation.

Given at Constantinople, on the Ides of February, during the reign and second Consulship of the Emperor Justinian.



The maintenance of the integrity of the government depends upon two things, namely, the force of arms and the observance of the laws: and, for this reason, the fortunate race of the Romans obtained power and precedence over all other nations in former times, and will do so forever, if God should be propitious; since each of these has ever required the aid of the other, for, as military affairs are rendered secure by the laws, so also are the laws preserved by force of arms. Therefore, We have, with reason, directed Our attention, Our aims, and Our labors, in the first place, to the maintenance of the public welfare, and have corrected matters relating to the army in many ways, and thus provided for everything; as We have by means of old laws not only brought matters into a better condition, but We also have promulgated new laws, and by Our just administration, or with additional expense, We have preserved those already enacted, and afterwards by publishing new ones, have established them most firmly for the obedience of Our subjects.

(1) But as it was necessary to reduce the vast number of the constitutions contained in the three old codes, as well in the others compiled in former times, and to clear up their obscurity by means of proper definitions, We have applied Ourselves with willing mind to the accomplishment of this work for the common good; and, after having

selected men conspicuous for their legal learning and ability, as well as for their experience in business, and tireless zeal for the interests of the State, We have committed this great task to them under certain limitations, and have directed them to collect into a single code, to be designated by Our auspicious name, the constitutions of the three ancient codes, namely the Gregorian, Hermogenian, and Theodosian compilations, as well as all those subsequently promulgated by Theodosius of Divine Memory, and the other princes who have succeeded him; together with such constitutions as have been issued during Our reign; and to see that any preambles which are not confirmed by subsequent decrees, and any constitutions which are contradictory, or should be suppressed, as well as such as have been repealed by others of later date, or which are of the same character — except those which, by conferring upon them Our sanction to a certain extent, We have considered to be susceptible of division, and by such division of these ancient laws some new principle may appear to arise.

In addition to all this, many other matters relative to the composition of this Code have been placed by Our authority in the hands of these most wise men; and Almighty God has afforded this protection through Our zeal for the welfare of the State.

(2) The following persons have been chosen for this work, and the completion of a task of such importance, namely: that most excellent man, John, Ex-Quęstor of Our Palace, and of consular and patrician dignity; as well as that most eminent man, Leontius, Ex-Prętorian Prefect, of consular and patrician dignity; and also the most distinguished Phocas, officer of the army, also of consular and patrician dignity; and that most accomplished man of patrician dignity, Basilis, Ex-Prętorian Prefect of the East, now Prętorian Prefect of Illyria; also, the most illustrious Thomas, Quęstor of our Sacred Palace and Ex-Consul; and the eminent Tribonian, of exalted magisterial dignity; the distinguished Constantine, Steward of Our Imperial Largesses, Master of Requests, and of Judicial Inquiries; Theophilus, former magistrate and Doctor of Laws in this Fair City; as well as those most learned jurists, Dioscorus and Pręsentinus, members of your bar; and all that We have directed them to do, they with God's assistance have, through assiduous and untiring industry, brought to a successful conclusion, and offered to Us this new, systematically arranged Justinian Code, compiled in such a manner as to contribute to the common benefit, and meet the requirements of Our Empire.

(3) Therefore We have had in view the perpetual validity of this Code in your tribunal, in order that all litigants, as well as the most accomplished advocates, may know that it is lawful for them, under no circumstances, to cite constitutions from the three ancient codes, of which mention has just been made, or from those which at the present time are styled the New Constitutions, in any judicial inquiry or contest; but that they are required to use only the constitutions which are included in this Our Code, and that those who venture to act otherwise will be liable to the crime of forgery; as the citation

of the said constitutions of Our Code, with the opinions of the ancient interpreters of the law, will be sufficient for the disposal of all cases. No doubt as to their validity should arise where any of them appears without a date and without the name of the consul, or because they may have been addressed to certain private individuals; as there can be no question whatever that all have the force of general constitutions; and even if there should be some of them from which anything has been taken, or to which anything has been added, or which have been changed in certain respects (which We have specially permitted the most excellent men aforesaid to do), We grant to no one the right to cite the said constitutions, as they are stated in the books of the ancient authorities, but merely to mention the opinions of the latter, as being of legal effect when they are not opposed to the constitutions of this Our Code.

(4) Moreover, the pragmatic sanctions that are not included in Our Code, and which have been granted to cities, corporate bodies, bureaus, offices, or private individuals, shall remain in every respect valid, if they concede any privilege as a special favor; but where they have been promulgated for the settlement of some legal point We direct that they shall only hold when not opposed to the provisions of Our Code. But in any matter which comes before your tribunal, or in any other civil or military proceeding, or in one which has reference to accounts forming part of the public expenses, or in such as have any relation to the public welfare, We decree that they shall remain valid as far as public convenience may require this to be done.

(5) Therefore let your illustrious and sublime authority, actuated by a desire for the common good, and with zeal for the execution of Our orders, cause information of this Code to be communicated to all peoples, by the promulgation of an edict in the customary way, and by sending into each province, subject to Our Empire, a copy bearing Our signature, so that in this manner the constitutions of this Our Code may be brought to the knowledge of all persons; and that during festival days, that is to say, from the sixteenth day of the Kalends of May of the seventh current indiction, and during the consulate of that most illustrious man Decius, citations of the constitutions shall be made from this Our Code.

Given at Constantinople, on the sixth of the Ides of April, during the Consulate of the illustrious Decius.




Our heart, Conscript Fathers, always induces Us to pay the strictest attention to matters concerning the public welfare, so that nothing which has been begun by Us may be left imperfect. Therefore, in the beginning of Our reign, we formed the design of collecting in a single

body the Imperial Constitutions which were scattered through several volumes, and the most of which were either repetitions or conflicting, and free them from every defect. This work has now been perfected by certain most distinguished and learned men, and has been subsequently confirmed by Us, as is shown by Our two Constitutions prefixed hereto.

(1) But after We decreed that the ancient law should be observed, We rendered fifty decisions, and promulgated several constitutions relative to the advantages to be derived from the proposed work, by means of which the majority of the former enactments were amended and abridged; and We divested all the ancient law of superfluous prolixity, and then inserted the same in Our Institutes and Digest.

(2) But, as Our new decisions and constitutions, which were promulgated after the completion of Our Code, were distinct from the body of the same, and seemed to demand our care and attention, and as some of them, which were afterwards inserted, appeared to require alteration or correction, it seemed to Us necessary to have the said constitutions revised by that eminent man Tribonian, Ex-Quęstor and Ex-Consul, the authorized minister of our work; and also by the illustrious Dorotheus, Quęstor and Doctor of Laws of Berytus; and, in addition to these Menna, Constantine, and John, most eloquent men, and distinguished advocates of the bar of this City, who were ordered to divide said constitutions into separate chapters for the purpose of rendering them more available; to place them under proper titles; and to add them to those constitutions which had preceded them.

(3) We permitted the aforesaid distinguished and most learned jurists to do all these things, and when there was need of any correction, allowed them to make it without hesitation, relying upon Our authority; and where any of the constitutions were superfluous, or had been annulled by any of Our subsequent decrees; or where they were found to be similar or conflicting, to remove and separate them from the compilation of the Code itself; as well as to complete such as were imperfect, and to bring to light those that were shrouded in obscurity, so that not only the way of the Institutes and the Digest might appear clear and open, but also that the splendor of the Constitutions of Our Code might be manifest to all, and no constitution which resembled another, or was contradictory or useless, should be retained, and no one should have any doubt that what was confirmed by the revision was both valid and sufficiently perspicuous. For, in the ancient Books, the authorities of former times not only called the first, but also the second editions, revisions; which can be readily ascertained from the works of that eminent jurist Ulpianus, on Sabinus, by those who desire to know.

(4) These things having been accomplished according to Our intention, and the Justinian Code having been purified and elucidated by the aforesaid most illustrious and learned men (all of this having been done in compliance with Our order, and the work offered to Us with its amplifications, and changes), We ordered that it should be copied in accordance with the second edition, and not in accordance

with the first, but as it was revised; and, by Our authority, We directed that it alone should be used in all tribunals, whenever the Divine Constitutions were applicable, from the fourth day of the Kalends of January of the most auspicious Consulate of Ourself and that illustrious man Paulinus; and that no constitution not contained in this Our Code should be cited, unless in the course of events some new question may arise which requires Our decision. For, if something better should be found hereafter, and it becomes necessary to revise a constitution, no one will doubt that We should do so, and incorporate into another compilation those laws which are designated by the name New Constitutions.

(5) Therefore, having repeated Our order that We shall permit none hereafter to quote anything from Our decisions, or from other constitutions, which We have previously promulgated, or from the first edition of the Justinian Code; but that only what may be found written in this Our present purified and amended Code shall be regarded as authority, and cited in all tribunals, We have ordered it to be transcribed without any ambiguity, as was done in the case of Our Institutes and Digest, so that everything which has been compiled by Us shall be clear and intelligible, not only in the chirography, but also in the laws themselves, although on this account the matter contained in this Code has been considerably extended.

(6) Therefore, Most Reverend and Illustrious Fathers, in order that Our labors may become manifest to you and obtain authority through all time, We have presented this collection of laws to your most distinguished Order.

Given at Constantinople, on the seventeenth day of the Kalends of December, during the Consulate of Our Lord Justinian, for the fourth time Consul, and of Paulus.

Translated from the original Latin, edited, and compared with all accessible systems of jurisprudence ancient and modern.





1. The Emperors Gratian, Valentinian, and Theodosius to the people of the City of Constantinople.

We desire that all peoples subject to Our benign Empire shall live under the same religion that the Divine Peter, the Apostle, gave to the Romans, and which the said religion declares was introduced by himself, and which it is well known that the Pontiff Damasus, and Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, a man of apostolic sanctity, embraced; that is to say, in accordance with the rules of apostolic discipline and the evangelical doctrine, we should believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit constitute a single Deity, endowed with equal majesty, and united in the Holy Trinity.

(1) We order all those who follow this law to assume the name of Catholic Christians, and considering others as demented and insane, We order that they shall bear the infamy of heresy; and when the Divine vengeance which they merit has been appeased, they shall afterwards be punished in accordance with Our resentment, which we have acquired from the judgment of Heaven.

Dated at Thessalonica, on the third of the Kalends of March, during the Consulate of Gratian, Consul for the fifth time, and Theodosius.

2. The Same Emperors to Eutropius, Prętorian Prefect.

Let no place be afforded to heretics for the conduct of their ceremonies, and let no occasion be offered for them to display the insanity of their obstinate minds. Let all persons know that if any privilege has been fraudulently obtained by means of any rescript whatsoever, by persons of this kind, it will not be valid. Let all bodies of heretics be prevented from holding unlawful assemblies, and let the name of the only and the greatest God be celebrated everywhere, and let the observance of the Nicene Creed, recently transmitted by Our ancestors, and firmly established by the testimony and practice of Divine Religion, always remain secure.

(1) Moreover, he who is an adherent of the Nicene Faith, and a true believer in the Catholic religion, should be understood to be one

who believes that Almighty God and Christ, the Son of God, are one person, God of God, Light of Light; and let no one, by rejection, dishonor the Holy Spirit, whom we expect, and have received from the Supreme Parent of all things, in whom the sentiment of a pure and undefiled faith flourishes, as well as the belief in the undivided substance of a Holy Trinity, which true believers indicate by the Greek word o9moo/usiov. These things, indeed, do not require further proof, and should be respected.

(2) Let those who do not accept these doctrines cease to apply the name of true religion to their fraudulent belief; and let them be branded with their open crimes, and, having been removed from the threshhold of all churches, be utterly excluded from them, as We forbid all heretics to hold unlawful assemblies within cities. If, however, any seditious outbreak should be attempted, We order them to be driven outside the walls of the City, with relentless violence, and We direct that all Catholic churches, throughout the entire world, shall be placed under the control of the orthodox bishops who have embraced the Nicene Creed.

Given at Constantinople, on the fourth of the Ides of January, under the Consulate of Flavius Eucharius and Flavius Syagrius.


Translated from the original Latin, edited, and compared with all accessible systems of jurisprudence ancient and modern.


Roman law (B)

Roman law (B)

Roman law, the law of ancient Rome from the time of the founding of the city in 753 BCE until the fall of the Western Empire in the 5th century CE. It remained in use in the Eastern, or Byzantine, Empire until 1453. As a legal system, Roman law has affected the development of law in most of Western civilization as well as in parts of the East. It forms the basis for the law codes of most countries of continental Europe (see civil law) and derivative systems elsewhere.

The term Roman law today often refers to more than the laws of Roman society. The legal institutions evolved by the Romans had influence on the laws of other peoples in times long after the disappearance of the Roman Empire and in countries that were never subject to Roman rule. To take the most striking example, in a large part of Germany, until the adoption of a common code for the whole empire in 1900, the Roman law was in force as “subsidiary law”; that is, it was applied unless excluded by contrary local provisions. This law, however, which was in force in parts of Europe long after the fall of the Roman Empire, was not the Roman law in its original form. Although its basis was indeed the Corpus Juris Civilis — the codifying legislation of the emperor Justinian I — this legislation had been interpreted, developed, and adapted to later conditions by generations of jurists from the 11th century onward and had received additions from non-Roman sources.

The law of Justinian (B)

When the Byzantine emperor Justinian I assumed rule in 527 CE, he found the law of the Roman Empire in a state of great confusion. It consisted of two masses that were usually distinguished as old law and new law.

The old law comprised (1) all of the statutes passed under the republic and early empire that had not become obsolete; (2) the decrees of the Senate passed at the end of the republic and during the first two centuries of the empire; and (3) the writings of jurists and, more particularly, of those jurists to whom the emperors had given the right of declaring the law with their authority. These jurists, in their commentaries, had incorporated practically all that was of importance. Of these numerous records and writings of old law, many had become scarce or had been lost altogether, and some were of doubtful authenticity. The entire mass of work was so costly to produce that even the public libraries did not contain complete collections. Moreover, these writings contained many inconsistencies.

The new law, which consisted of the ordinances of the emperors promulgated during the middle and later stages of the empire, was in a similarly disorganized condition. These ordinances or constitutions were extremely numerous and contradictory. Because no complete collection existed (earlier codices were not comprehensive), other ordinances had to be obtained separately. It was thus necessary to collect into a reasonable corpus as much of the law, both new and old, as was regarded as binding and to purge its contradictions and inconsistencies.

Immediately after his accession, Justinian appointed a commission to deal with the imperial constitutions. The 10 commissioners went through all of the constitutions of which copies existed, selected those that had practical value, cut all unnecessary matter, eliminated contradictions by omitting one or the other of the conflicting passages, and adapted all the provisions to the circumstances of Justinian’s own time. The resulting Codex Constitutionum was formally promulgated in 529, and all imperial ordinances not included in it were repealed. This Codex has been lost, but a revised edition of 534 exists as part of the so-called Corpus Juris Civilis.

The success of this first experiment encouraged the emperor to attempt the more difficult enterprise of simplifying and digesting the writings of the jurists. Thus, beginning in 530, a new commission of 16 eminent lawyers set about this task of compiling, clarifying, simplifying, and ordering; the results were published in 533 in 50 books that became known as the Digest (Digesta) or Pandects (Pandectae). After enacting the Digest as a lawbook, Justinian repealed all of the other law contained in the treatises of the jurists and directed that those treatises should never be cited in the future, even by way of illustration; at the same time, he abrogated all of the statutes that had formed a part of the old law. An outline of the elements of Roman law called the Institutes of Justinian (or simply Institutiones) was published at about the same time.

Between 534 and his death in 565, Justinian himself issued a great number of ordinances that dealt with many subjects and seriously altered the law on many points. These ordinances are called, by way of distinction, new constitutions (Novellae Constitutiones Post Codicem); in English they are referred to as the Novels.

All of these books — the revised Codex Constitutionum (the original work was revised four and a half years later), the Digest, the Institutes, and the Novels — are collectively known as the Corpus Juris Civilis. This Corpus Juris of Justinian, with a few additions from the ordinances of succeeding emperors, continued to be the chief lawbook in what remained of the Roman world. In the 9th century a new system known as the Basilica was prepared by the emperor Leo VI the Wise. It was written in Greek and consisted of parts of the Codex and parts of the Digest, joined and often altered in expression, together with some material from the Novels and imperial ordinances subsequent to those of Justinian. In the western provinces, the law as settled by Justinian held its ground.

Code of Justinian (B)

Code of Justinian, Latin Codex Justinianus, formally Corpus Juris Civilis (“Body of Civil Law”), the collections of laws and legal interpretations developed under the sponsorship of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I from 529 to 565 CE. Strictly speaking, the works did not constitute a new legal code. Rather, Justinian’s committees of jurists provided basically two reference works containing collections of past laws and extracts of the opinions of the great Roman jurists. Also included were an elementary outline of the law and a collection of Justinian’s own new laws.

The Justinian code consists of four books:

  • (1) Codex Constitutionum,
  • (2) Digesta, or Pandectae,
  • (3) Institutiones, and
  • (4) Novellae Constitutiones Post Codicem.

Work on the Codex Constitutionum began soon after Justinian’s accession in 527, when he appointed a 10-man commission to go through all the known ordinances, or “constitutions,” issued by the emperors, weed out the contradictory and obsolescent material, and adapt all provisions to the circumstances of that time. The resultant 10-book Codex Constitutionum was promulgated in 529, all imperial ordinances not included in it being repealed. In 534 a new commission issued a revised Codex (Codex Repetitae Praelectionis) containing 12 books; the revisions were based partly on Justinian’s own new legislation.

The Digesta was drawn up between 530 and 533 by a commission of 16 lawyers, under the presidency of the jurist Tribonian. They collected and examined all the known writings of all the authorized jurists; extracted from them whatever was deemed valuable, generally selecting only one extract on any given legal point; and rephrased the originals whenever necessary for clarity and conciseness. The results were published in 50 books, each book subdivided into titles. All juridical statements not selected for the Digesta were declared invalid and were thenceforth never to be cited at law.

The Institutiones, compiled and published in 533 under Tribonian’s supervision and relying on such earlier texts as those of Gaius, was an elementary textbook, or outline, of legal institutions for the use of first-year law students.

The Novellae Constitutiones Post Codicem (or simply, in English, the Novels) comprised several collections of new ordinances issued by Justinian himself between 534 and 565, after publication of the revised Codex.

Latin was the language of all the works except the Novels, which were almost all published in Greek, though official Latin translations existed for the western Roman provinces.


Corpus Juris Civilis (W)

Corpus Juris Civilis (W)

The Corpus Juris (or Iuris) Civilis ("Body of Civil Law") is the modern name for a collection of fundamental works in jurisprudence, issued from 529 to 534 by order of Justinian I, Eastern Roman Emperor. It is also sometimes referred to as the Code of Justinian, although this name belongs more properly to the part titled Codex Justinianus.

The work as planned had three parts:

  • the Code (Codex) is a compilation, by selection and extraction, of imperial enactments to date;
  • the Digest or Pandects (the Latin title contains both Digesta and Pandectae) is an encyclopedia composed of mostly brief extracts from the writings of Roman jurists; and
  • the Institutes (Institutiones) is a student textbook, mainly introducing the Code, although it has important conceptual elements that are less developed in the Code or the Digest.

All three parts, even the textbook, were given force of law. They were intended to be, together, the sole source of law; reference to any other source, including the original texts from which the Code and the Digest had been taken, was forbidden. Nonetheless, Justinian found himself having to enact further laws and today these are counted as a fourth part of the Corpus, the Novellae Constitutiones (Novels, literally New Laws).

The work was directed by Tribonian, an official in Justinian's court in Constantinople. His team was authorized to edit what they included. How far they made amendments is not recorded and, in the main, cannot be known because most of the originals have not survived. The text was composed and distributed almost entirely in Latin, which was still the official language of the government of the Byzantine Empire in 529-534, whereas the prevalent language of merchants, farmers, seamen, and other citizens was Greek. By the early 7th century, the official government language had become Greek during the lengthy reign of Heraclius (610–641).

The Corpus Juris Civilis was revised into Greek, when that became the predominant language of the Eastern Roman Empire, and continued to form the basis of the empire's laws, the Basilika (Greek: τὰ βασιλικά, ‘imperial laws’), through the 15th century. The Basilika in turn served as the basis for local legal codes in the Balkans during the following Ottoman period and later formed the basis of the legal code of Modern Greece. In Western Europe the Corpus Juris Civilis was revived in the Middle Ages and was "received" or imitated as private law. Its public law content was quarried for arguments by both secular and ecclesiastical authorities. This revived Roman law, in turn, became the foundation of law in all civil law jurisdictions. The provisions of the Corpus Juris Civilis also influenced the canon law of the Catholic Church: it was said that ecclesia vivit lege romana — the church lives by Roman law. Its influence on common law legal systems has been much smaller, although some basic concepts from the Corpus have survived through Norman law — such as the contrast, especially in the Institutes, between "law" (statute) and custom. The Corpus continues to have a major influence on public international law. Its four parts thus constitute the foundation documents of the Western legal tradition.

Legislation about religion

Numerous provisions served to secure the status of Christianity as the state religion of the empire, uniting Church and state, and making anyone who was not connected to the Christian church a non-citizen. Note that in this regard the Christianity referred to is Chalcedonian Christianity as defined by the state church, which excluded a variety of other major Christian sects in existence at the time such as the Church of the East and Oriental Orthodoxy.

Laws against heresy

The very first law in the Codex requires all persons under the jurisdiction of the Empire to hold the Christian faith. This was primarily aimed at heresies such as Nestorianism. This text later became the springboard for discussions of international law, especially the question of just what persons are under the jurisdiction of a given state or legal system.

Laws against paganism

Other laws, while not aimed at pagan belief as such, forbid particular pagan practices. For example, it is provided that all persons present at a pagan sacrifice may be indicted as if for murder.

Continuation in the East

The term Byzantine Empire is used today to refer to what remained of the Roman Empire in the Eastern Mediterranean following the collapse of the Empire in the West. This Eastern empire continued to practice Roman Law, and it was as the ruler of this empire that Justinian formalized Roman law in his Corpus Juris Civilis. To account for the language shift of the empire's administration from Latin to Greek legal codes based on the Corpus Juris Civilis were enacted in Greek. The most well known are:

The Basilika was a complete adaptation of Justinian's codification. At 60 volumes it proved to be difficult for judges and lawyers to use. There was need for a short and handy version. This was finally made by Constantine Harmenopoulos, a Byzantine judge from Thessaloniki, in 1345. He made a short version of Basilika in six books, called Hexabiblos. This was widely used throughout the Balkans during the following Ottoman period, and along with the Basilika was used as the first legal code for the newly independent Greek state in the 1820s. Serbian state, law and culture was built on the foundations of Rome and Byzantium. Therefore, the most important Serbian legal codes: Zakonopravilo (1219) and Dušan's Code (1349 and 1354), transplanted Roman-Byzantine Law included in Corpus Juris Civilis, Prohiron and Basilika. These Serbian codes were practised until the Serbian Despotate fell to the Turkish Ottoman Empire in 1459. After the liberation from the Turks in the Serbian Revolution, Serbs continued to practise Roman Law by enacting Serbian civil code in 1844. It was a short version of Austrian civil code (called Allgemeines bürgerliches Gesetzbuch), which was made on the basis of Corpus Juris Civilis.

Recovery in the West

Justinian's Corpus Juris Civilis was distributed in the West and went into effect in those areas regained under Justinian's wars of reconquest (Pragmatic Sanction of 554), including the Exarchate of Ravenna. Accordingly, the Institutes were made the textbook at the law school in Rome, and later in Ravenna when the school relocated there. However, after the loss of most of these areas, only the Catepanate (southern Italy) maintained a Byzantine legal tradition, but there the Corpus was superseded by the Ecloga and Basilika. Only the Corpus’s provisions regulating the church still had any effect, but the Catholic church’s de facto autonomy and the Great Schism made even that irrelevant. In Western Europe, the Corpus may have spurred a slew of Romano-Germanic law codes in the successor Germanic kingdoms, but these were heavily based on the Theodosian Code, not the Corpus.

Historians disagree on the precise way the Corpus was recovered in Northern Italy about 1070: legal studies were undertaken on behalf of papal authority central to the Gregorian Reform of Pope Gregory VII, which may have led to its accidental rediscovery. Aside from the Littera Florentina (a complete 6th-century copy of the Digest preserved in Amalfi and later moved to Pisa) and the Epitome Codicis (c. 1050; incomplete manuscript preserving most of the Codex), there may have been other manuscript sources for the text that began to be taught at Bologna, by Pepo and then by Irnerius. Irnerius' technique was to read a passage aloud, which permitted his students to copy it, then to deliver an excursus explaining and illuminating Justinian's text, in the form of glosses. Irnerius' pupils, the so-called Four Doctors of Bologna, were among the first of the "glossators" who established the curriculum of medieval Roman law. The tradition was carried on by French lawyers, known as the Ultramontani, in the 13th century.

The merchant classes of Italian communes required law with a concept of equity, and law that covered situations inherent in urban life better than the primitive Germanic oral traditions. The provenance of the Code appealed to scholars who saw in the Holy Roman Empire a revival of venerable precedents from the classical heritage. The new class of lawyers staffed the bureaucracies that were beginning to be required by the princes of Europe. The University of Bologna, where Justinian's Code was first taught, remained the dominant centre for the study of law through the High Middle Ages.

A two-volume edition of the Digest was published in Paris in 1549 and 1550, translated by Antonio Agustín, Bishop of Tarragona, who was well known for other legal works. The full title of the Digest was Digestorum Seu Pandectarum tomus alter, and it was published by "Apud Carolam Guillards". Vol. 1 of the Digest has 2934 pages, while Vol. 2 has 2754 pages. Referring to Justinian's Code as Corpus Juris Civilis was only adopted in the 16th century, when it was printed in 1583 by Dionysius Gothofredus under this title. The legal thinking behind the Corpus Juris Civilis served as the backbone of the single largest legal reform of the modern age, the Napoleonic Code, which marked the abolition of feudalism. Napoleon wanted to see these principles introduced to the whole of Europe because he saw them as an effective form of rule that created a more equal society and thus creating a more friendly relationship between the ruling class and the rest of the peoples of Europe.

The Corpus Juris Civilis was translated into French, German, Italian, and Spanish in the 19th century. However, no English translation of the entire Corpus Juris Civilis existed until 1932 when Samuel Parsons Scott published his version The Civil Law. Scott did not base his translation on the best available Latin versions, and his work was severely criticized. Fred. H. Blume used the best-regarded Latin editions for his translations of the Code and of the Novels. A new English translation of the Code, based on Blume's, was published in October 2016. In 2018, the Cambridge University Press also published a new English translation of the Novels, based primarily on the Greek text.


Byzantine law (W)

Byzantine {!} law (W)

Byzantine law was essentially a continuation of Roman law with increased Christian influence. Most sources define Byzantine law as the Roman legal traditions starting after the reign of Justinian I in the 6th century and ending with the Fall of Constantinople in the 15th century.

Though during and after the European Renaissance Western legal practices were heavily influenced by Justinian's Code (the Corpus Juris Civilis) and Roman law during classical times, Byzantine law nevertheless had substantial influence on Western traditions during the Middle Ages and after.

The most important work of Byzantine law was the Ecloga, issued by Leo III, the first major Roman-Byzantine legal code issued in Greek rather than Latin. Soon after the Farmer's Law was established regulating legal standards outside the cities. While the Ecloga was influential throughout the Mediterranean (and Europe) because of the importance of Constantinople as a trading center, the Farmer's Law was a seminal influence on Slavic legal traditions including those of Russia.


  📹 Justinian and Theodora (Extra History — VİDEO)

📹 Justinian and Theodora

📹 Justinian and Theodora (1) From Swineherd to Emperor (VİDEO)

Justinian and Theodora (1)
From Swineherd to Emperor (LINK)

Justinian arose from humble roots, the nephew of an illiterate pig farmer named Justin. Justin joined the army and rose to become leader of the palace guard, then took his nephew under his wing and made sure that he was well educated. When Emperor Anastasius died, Justin used his position (and his standing army inside Constantinople) to claim the crown for himself. His nephew guided the early years of his reign, helping Justin secure support both in the capitol and abroad. When Justin died, rule of the Byzantine Empire passed to the young Justinian, who had grand ambitions to restore its waning glory. It also freed him to marry Theodora, a famous actress who was far beneath his social station, and who would also rise from her humble beginnings to become a revered empress.


📹 Justinian and Theodora (2) The Reforms of Justinian (VİDEO)

Justinian and Theodora (2)
The Reforms of Justinian (LINK)

Justinian wanted to restore the glory of Rome, but many obstacles stood in his way. He brought on talented advisors to help him reform the tax system, the law code, and the military might of the empire. With them he made great strides, but these advisors had very human flaws. His tax collector, John the Cappadocian, centralized tax collection and crushed corruption in his agents, greatly increasing the revenue to the empire - but he also skimmed money off the top to feed his private corruption. Meanwhile, a lawyer named Tribonian took centuries of confusing and even conflicting legal precedents and resolved them into a single code, the Corpis Juris Civilis, which remains the foundation of modern law today. He even made a textbook for students to learn from. But he was also a practicing pagan during an era when Justinian was trying to crack down on pagan rituals. And last, Justinian's chief military commander Belisarius helped the Empire recover its military glory. He defeated the Sassanid Persians in the Battle of Dara, crushing a force of 50,000 men with only 25,000 of his own through clever strategy: he dug a trench to halt their infantry's advance, then baited the Persian cavalry into overextending and sprang a surprise attack on them with Hun mercenaries. Although Belisarius seems to have been an upstanding person, his personal historian Procopius tainted even his clean record. Procopius wrote glowing official histories of the reign of Justinian, but his long lost secret history depicted Justinian as a literal headless demon and Theodora as a debauched monster.


📹 Justinian and Theodora (3) Purple is the Noblest Shroud (VİDEO)

Justinian and Theodora (3)
Purple is the Noblest Shroud (LINK)

A group of monks declared sanctuary for two hooligans from the demes (Constantinople's fanatical chariot racing factions) who had miraculously survived a hanging. The public wanted them pardoned for their crimes, so when Justinian made his public appearance at the next chariot race, they begged him to have mercy. When Justinian refused, the crowd turned on him and became a rioting mob that tore through the streets of Constantinople. During the Nika Riots, they burned down neighborhoods and even the Hagia Sophia cathedral, rampaging until Justinian agreed to pardon the two men from the demes. Now, however, the mob would not accept that. They demanded that he fire his advisors. Then they decided to appoint their own emperor, a man named Hypatius who was related to the previous emperor Anastasius. Assaulted on all sides, Justinian made plans to flee, only to be confronted by Theodora. She gave a now famous speech asking whether he would rather live a failure or die an emperor, announcing that she would choose the latter. Justinian followed her lead and made new plans to retake his city. He called Belisarius and Mundus, his best generals, to marshal a force. He also sent the eunuch Narses to bribe one faction of the demes and begin dismantling their leadership. Then he ordered his forces to invade the Hippodrome, where they cut down some thirty thousand civilians and executed the false emperor Hypatius. Justinian's reign was once again secure.


📹 Justinian and Theodora (4) Vanquishing the Vandals (VİDEO)

Justinian and Theodora (4)
Vanquishing the Vandals (LINK)

Thirty-nine days after the disastrous Nika Riots ended with the slaughter of 30,000 civilians, Justinian directed the city to rebuild the Hagia Sophia. Together, they built an even greater cathedral - but Justinian was not satisfied. He was called a Roman emperor, but he did not rule Rome itself. He resolved to reconquer the west, starting with Carthage in Africa, which had been conquered by Vandal tribes and turned into the seat of their budding empire. When the cousin of the Vandal king overthrew him for being pro-Roman and a follower of Rome's orthodox Christianity, Justinian had his excuse for war. He stirred up rebellion in the Vandal colonies, creating a distraction while he sent his general Belisarius to Carthage with a small army of men. Belisarius landed successfully and moved on Carthage, winning the support of the local people on his way. Gelimer teamed up with his brothers in two separate attempts to crush Belisarius and drive him out of Carthage, but after both of his brothers died, Gelimer lost his will to fight. He broke, and the Vandal resistance broke with him. Justinian awarded Belisarius a triumph, the greatest honor a Roman general could receive, but it would turn out to be the last formal triumph Rome would ever see.


📹 Justinian and Theodora (5) Impossible Burden of Fate (VİDEO)

Justinian and Theodora (5)
Impossible Burden of Fate (LINK)

The conquest of Carthage and the North African provinces was just the beginning for Justinian's ambition. He must have Rome. But like Carthage, he must find a reason to attack the Ostrogoths who now hold it. And like Carthage, this reason is given to him when the Ostrogothic Queen Amalsuntha, his ally, is murdered. But unlike Carthage, Belisarius now has only 7500 men, barely half of what he had for North Africa. He sails out anyway, making his first stop at the island of Sicily. All the cities except Panormus surrender to him, and Panormus he takes quickly by seizing their harbor with his ships. Meanwhile, Justinian has bribed the Franks to invade Italy from the north while another his generals marches from the east. But just when the Ostrogothic king is on the verge of surrender, disaster strikes. The other Byzantine general dies, and Belisarius is forced to return to Carthage to quell a revolt. The conquest loses its momentum and the Ostrogothic king imprisons the Roman ambassador. Justinian will not be stopped, and orders Belisarius to return to Italy once North Africa is secure. Alone, Belisarius marches up the coast of Italy until he meets resistance at Neapolis. With his forces too thinned to mount a siege, he engineers a sneak attack by invading through the pipe of a dried, broken aqueduct. Neapolis falls and the way now lies open to Rome.


📹 Justinian and Theodora (6) Fighting for Rome (VİDEO)

Justinian and Theodora (6)
Fighting for Rome (LINK)

Belisarius has only just taken Neapolis when the king of the Ostrogoths is overthrown. The new king, Vitiges, withdraws from Rome entirely to consolidate his power, allowing Belisarius to take Rome without a fight. But after Vitiges gathers his troops, he marches to retake Rome. He springs a surprise attack on Belisarius at the Salarian Bridge, which the Roman general barely escapes. Now he must survive in a city under siege, invening ship mills to continue producing the grain that feeds the city and training the civilians as soldiers. He holds off the Ostrogoths until reinforcements from Justinian arrive. After an indecisive battle, he agrees to a truce with Vitiges, which gives him time to position his troops. When the Ostrogoths break the truce, Belisarius is ready for them and crushes their force to drive them finally out of Rome.


📹 Justinian & Theodora (7) The Cracks Begin to Spread (VİDEO)

Justinian & Theodora (7)
The Cracks Begin to Spread (LINK)

Belisarius had broken the siege around Rome. Now he wanted to push on to the Ostrogothic capital in Ravenna, so Justinian sent fresh troops with new commanders: Narses and John. Belisarius ordered John to take his cavalry north and secure the route the Ravenna, but John bypassed several cities that seemed too difficult until he was offered a willing surrender by the people of Ariminum. When Belisarius ordered him to return to the main army, John refused, and soon found himself surrounded by the same forces he'd declined to fight earlier. Narses insisted that they rescue him, so Belisarius devised a plan and tricked the Ostrogoths into thinking his force was larger than it really was, so they fled without joining battle. John gave all the credit for his rescue to Narses, and a divide grew between the old guard loyal to Belisarius and the new troops loyal to Narses. Even though Belisarius had a letter from Justinian giving him sole control of the army, Narses argued over the semantics of the order and continued to do as he liked. He roped Belisarius into besieging Urbinus, then decided to abandon his own plan and return to Ariminum. Belisarius took Urbinus by a stroke of luck and wanted to send reinforcements to the Ostrogoth-besieged city of Mediolanum, supposedly under Roman protection, but John would only accept orders from Narses and stalled until after the city fell. When Roman troops finally arrived in Mediolanum, they found the entire city butchered and burned to the ground.


📹 Justinian & Theodora (8) Bad Faith (VİDEO)

Justinian & Theodora (8)
Bad Faith (LINK)

Mediolanum had fallen. Belisarius wrote a furious letter to Justinian explaining what happened, and the emperor immediately recalled Narses and reaffirmed Belisarius's leadership. His army tore through the Ostrogothic territory and soon laid siege to Ravenna, which they brought to the brink of surrender. But the Ostrogothic King Vitiges had written to the Persian Empire urging them to take advantage of Rome's distraction. Sure enough, Justinian found himself faced with a Persian army in the East, and he sent orders to Belisarius to leave Ravenna and return to defend Constantinople. Belisarius hated seeing his victory snatched from him, however, and almost refused to do it. Hearing of his displeasure, the Ostrogoths reached out to him and offered to make him their new king - no surrender necessary. Belisarius accepted their proposal, then immediately turned on them and declared the city for Justinian. Still, his greed cost the empire time. Justinian was furious that Belisarius had disobeyed his orders to return and wasted precious months solidifying control over the Ostrogoths while Persia threatened to overrun the heart of the empire. He could no longer trust his most valued general.


📹 Justinian & Theodora (9) Justinian’s Rival (VİDEO)

Justinian & Theodora (9)
Justinian’s Rival (LINK)

A comet flew over the empire for forty days, heralding bad news to come. Raiders struck from the west, coming within mere miles of Constantinople. But the biggest threat lay in the south, where a border dispute threatened to reignite the war between the Romans and the Persians. Since Belisarius was still in Italy, Justinian had to send other generals to attempt to resolve the matter peacefully. Both failed spectacularly. The Persian king Khosrau seized on this as a pretext for invasion. But instead of laying expensive sieges to the cities, he simply extorted them for tribute in exchange for being left alone by his army. As he advanced north, he took advantage of every opportunity to mock Justinian and remind him how little power he had to push the Persians back. Finally, the city of Antioch refused to surrender to Khosrau and he made quick work of it, convincing Justinian at last of the need to pay his own tribute to the Persians to make them go away. This bought him enough time for Belisarius to return, but even his great general was unable to make much progress. At last, he found himself pinned down in an un-winnable fight... which the Persians mysteriously decided not to engage against him. They did not want to risk contact with the Romans, whom they feared were rife with disease.


📹 Theodora (10) This is My Empire (VİDEO)

Theodora (10)
This is My Empire (LINK)

The first recorded outbreak of the Bubonic Plague occurred in Pelusium, an isolated town in the Egyptian province, but soon it moved on to Alexandria. Alexandria was the breadbasket of the Empire, and ships carrying grain (and plague-bearing rats) spread across the Empire. The Plague reached Constantinople to disastrous effect: 25% of the population died. Justinian set up a burial office but even they couldnt keep up with the demand. When they ran out of burial land, they started piling corpses into ships and setting them afloat; they even packed them into the guard towers along the wall. So few people survived that when word got out that Justinian had contracted the plague, hope seemed lost... until Theodora stepped up. She had always been a force within the Empire, Justinian's co-regent, and now she used that power to fight off the plots against him and keep the Empire together. She dealt ruthlessly with anyone who threatened them, and since many people wanted Belisarius installed on the throne as Justinian's heir, she recalled him and pushed him out of power. She managed to keep the Empire from disintegrating into Civil War and became the symbol of hope and perserverance for a sorely demoralized city. And then, miraculously, Justinian pulled through.


📹 Justinian & Theodora (11) The Emperor Who Never Sleeps (VİDEO)

Justinian & Theodora (11)
The Emperor Who Never Sleeps (LINK)

Theodora had kept the empire together, but it was deeply scarred. The Plague had killed a quarter of the citizens and imperial revenues were in dire straits. In Italy, the Gothic tribes had rebelled again under the united leadership of Totila, while the disorganized Romans failed to mount an effective defense. Italy quickly fell back into Gothic hands, and even when Justinian sent back Belisarius, he could barely raise an army and didn't have the money to support his few conquests. Eventually he had to be recalled to defend Constantinople, and Rome was lost forever. A similar rebellion occurred in Africa, but was mercifully quelled. And then Theodora died. Justinian wept at her casket. He refused to remarry and designated a nephew-in-law as his successor. Even in mourning, he managed to organize a defense against Persian aggression and reorganize the Empire's tax system to bring revenue back into the coffers he'd drained for grand monuments and expensive wars. As his final tribute to Theodora, he attempted to heal the divide between Monophysite and Orthodox Christians, which had been one of her life goals. He went about it by pressuring the Pope to join him in condemning the Nestorian religious leaders who'd championed monophysite beliefs at the Council of Chalcedon. The Pope reluctantly agreed, but as he feared, it did not heal the divide in the east and only created new controversy in the west.


📹 Justinian (12) Caesar I was, and am Justinian (VİDEO)

Justinian (12)
Caesar I was, and am Justinian (LINK)

Faced with a crumbling empire, Justinian remained determined to realize the dreams of his youth - even though he was now over 65 years old and without Theodora by his side. He worked tirelessly to bring revenue back to the empire, and with money in hand he could finally deal with the forces that threatened it. He assembled his last company, an odd selection of leaders for his army, made up of men who were either old, or inexperienced, or even known for failure - yet they succeeded. His instinct for choosing the right person for the job did not fail him, as one by one his last company made peace with Persia, tamed the Balkan threat, and reclaimed Italy from the Ostrogoths. But fate was not yet done with him. A wave of natural disasters and the return of the plague shook the empire while its foundations were still being rebuilt, and left it vulnerable to an invasion by the Bulgars. Justinian turned to his old friend Belisarius, calling him out of retirement for one final campaign. As always, Belisarius succeeded against the odds, but it would be his last fight. One by one, all of Justinian's close friends and advisors died of old age. Increasingly alone, he spent his last years trying to consolidate his empire and struggling to reconcile the Christian church. Finally, after one of the longest reigns in Roman history, Justinian died in 565 CE. His reign was a great "What If:" What if all those disasters hadn't struck? Would his grand amibtions have succeeded? He accomplished so much with the expansion of empire, the construction of the Hagia Sophia, and his overhaul of the legal code. But in the process, he risked - and perhaps lost - everything. He emptied the treasury, overextended the borders, and left the empire vulnerable to the Ottomans years later. Good or bad, his legacy reaches through the centuries to touch our lives today.




İdea Yayınevi Site Haritası | İdea Yayınevi Tüm Yayınlar
© Aziz Yardımlı 2018-2019 | aziz@ideayayinevi.com