Justinian: The Last Roman Emperor

Overview

Justinian (482-565 A.D.), who ruled the Roman Empire from his capital in Constantinople, was, along with his wife Empress Theodora, one of the most scandalous monarchs in history. During his reign, Justinian oversaw the construction of the Hagia Sophia, one of the wonders of the ancient world, and he strove to maintain Rome's territories. Yet despite the heights reached under his rule, the time was one of revolts, intrigues, and brutality to his subjects. Baker's biography takes a redemptive view of Justinian and...
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Justinian: The Last Roman Emporer

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Overview

Justinian (482-565 A.D.), who ruled the Roman Empire from his capital in Constantinople, was, along with his wife Empress Theodora, one of the most scandalous monarchs in history. During his reign, Justinian oversaw the construction of the Hagia Sophia, one of the wonders of the ancient world, and he strove to maintain Rome's territories. Yet despite the heights reached under his rule, the time was one of revolts, intrigues, and brutality to his subjects. Baker's biography takes a redemptive view of Justinian and his wife, both of whom were vilified by the chronicler Procopius, he for his despotism and she for her endless sexual escapades. Baker points out that Justinian also codified Roman law and brought other modern solutions to the problems that had plagued his empire for years. Baker also describes the battles of Justinian's famous general Belisarius, who waged successful wars against the Vandals, Goths, and Persians on behalf of his emperor.
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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
Mr. Baker writes with a light and graceful touch. He does not hesitate to slip into slang and to use modern imagery to enforce his conviction that there is nothing so modern as the problems of the ancient world…. It is this that lifts Justinian out of the ordinary run of biography.
New Statesman and Nation
A vigorous and lively translation of scholarship into the vernacular.
Library Journal
Justinian and wife Theodora jointly helmed the Roman empire in its waning days, successfully quashing invasions from the Goths, the Vandals, and other assorted battle-ready challengers. Ultimately, their efforts to restore the empire's earlier grandeur failed, and the whole show collapsed around them. Baker adroitly chronicles it all in this 1931 biography. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
In this lucid history of Justinian's 6th-century reign, Baker (d.1951), who also wrote on other Empire figures, argues that the last Roman emperor's legacy went beyond his contributions to the law and that Empress Theodora was a feminist. Includes a genealogy and period maps of Europe. This is a reprint of the 1931 edition. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815412175
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/2002
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 8.44 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author

Historian G. P. Baker (1879-1951) is the author of Hannibal, Augustus, Sulla the Fortunate, Constantine the Great, and Tiberius Caesar.
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Table of Contents

I Choosing Partners 1
II The Plan of Campaign 27
III The Forging of the Instrument: The Work of Belisarius 53
IV Nika: The Revolt of the Blues and Greens 78
V The Beginning of the Reconquest of the World State 103
VI The Hoodwinking of King Theodahad 130
VII The Siege of Rome 157
VIII The Fall of the Gothic Monarchy 183
IX The Destruction of the Instrument: (I) The Work of Antonina 208
X The Destruction of the Instrument: (II) The Work of Theodora 232
XI Totila, and the Second Struggle with the Goths 259
XII Dissolution of Partnership 285
XIII Epilogue: The End of the Reign of Justinian 310
Index 337
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