Notes on Justinian and the Byzantine Golden Age

Do Now
Answer the following questions on your Do Now sheet.
___1. The great leader of Persia was named:
A. Cyrus
B. Nebuchadnezzar
C. Ashurbanipal
D. Huey
___2. The Chaldeans can also be called:
A. Persian
B. Assyrian
C. Babylonian
D. Hebrew
___3. This religion involved the belief in both a good and evil god
fighting for influence on earth.
A. Islam
B. Zoroastrianism
C. Judaism
D. Hinduism
___4. The most religiously tolerant civilization was:
A. Persia
B. Chaldean
C. Hebrew
D. Assyria
Differences between the Empires
Constantinople blessed as Christian city,
many in Rome still Pagans.
Mix of cultures = multiculturalism.
Byzantines spoke Greek, Romans – Latin.
Constantinople serves as capital of
Byzantine Empire for 1000+ years.
The Golden Age of the Empire
Justinian’s reign
Empire reaches height in culture and
prosperity under Emperor Justinian.
Rules from 527 to 565.
What’s he do?
Preserves Roman law
o Extends empire
o Expands trade
Code of Laws
Probably most important legacy.
He sets up a team of scholars to gather and organize
ancient Roman laws.
This team creates what will be known as a “body of
civil law”.
Later Emperors continue to build the code.
Code includes Roman laws, legal writings, and even a
student handbook.
By the 1100’s, it reaches Western Europe and
becomes the basis for both Medieval rulers and the
Roman Catholic Church
It still influences International Treaties today.
Extends Empire
Empire reaches its
greatest size
Led by the brilliant
general Belisarius.
He will conquer parts of
North Africa, Italy, and
southern Spain.
Awesome Wife!
Tough, aggressive politician, would
challenge the emperor’s orders.
Diplomat-negotiated for the Byzantine
Champions women’s rights and sets up
hospitals for the poor.
She dies in 548, which shatters
Justinian. It was during her reign that
the empire had the most glorious days.
Write down and answer the following
questions on your reflection log:
Where was Justinian from?
What structure was the center of
Constantinople’s public life?
How long after the Nika riots did the
construction of the Hagia Sophia begin?
Justinian’s Cultural Influence
Greek and Roman styles still have influence,
but Christianity and Emperor are strong.
Hagia Sophia = Holy Wisdom
Church designed by Justinian
o Largest dome in world at the time
o Decorated with gold, marble, and mosaics
o Mosaics = art using a series of small ceramic or
glass pieces
Still in Istanbul, Turkey