From Mike Aquilina’s The Way of the Fathers blog, the Which Byzantie Ruler Are You? quiz.
Which am I? Why, Saint Justinian, of course! (He was in mind as I giggled my way through answering the questions!) Here’s Mike’s blurb on this undeniably great emperor:
In the sixth century, Justinian accomplished the brief recovery of the empire’s old territory in the east, in Africa, and in the west. His victories, however, were hard won over the course of decades, and they came at a great cost in human life, not to mention taxation. Paradoxically, Justinian’s military successes probably contributed to the empire’s subsequent decline. The conquered lands were hardly secure, and many were lost in the years after his death. During his reign there was a great flowering of Byzantine culture, whose monuments remain in Istanbul (e.g., Hagia Sophia) and Ravenna. His reconstitution of Roman law, the so-called Justinian Code, is still the basis of civil law in some modern states. Justinian is venerated as a saint in the Orthodox Church.
Next to Justinian’s law code, we have several important different works on this period from a man very close to the Emperor, the consiliarius of the great general Belisarius, Procopius of Caesarea, who wrote the extraordinary Wars in eight books (Loeb edition: Books 1-2, Books 3-4, Books 5-6.15, Books 6.16-7.35, Books 7.36-8) chronicling Justinian’s reign and Belisarius’ remarkably successful campaigns, and the Buildings (in a volume with a general index to all the Loeb Procopius volumes), describing Justinian’s magnificent building program which included the Great Church, the Hagia Sophia. He also wrote the unfortunate Anekdota, often called The Secret History (Loeb volume), an embittered attack on Justinian, Theodora, the Church, the State and apparently anything else that entered Procopius’ sight. Ostensibly a continuation or supplement to the Wars, the work is marred by the bitterness of its invective, and sometimes outright viciousness. This makes it, owing to the delight in gossipy trash so reflective of popular culture, the most well-known of his works. Of course.