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Justinian I
(482 - 565)


Emperor I was and am Justinian, who, by choice of the primal love I feel, rid the laws of what was useless and excessive...

Portrait of Emperor Justinian I.
Justinian. 12" x 12". 2000. Collection of Munley Law. Scranton, PA.

The Justinian Epoch

From 527 to 565 A.D., an extraordinary couple ruled Byzantium: Justinian I "The Great," the most famous emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, and his remarkable wife Theodora, empress in her own right. It was under this imperial partnership that the highly gifted general Belisarius, the brilliant architect of Sancta Sophia Anthemius of Tralles, and the expert jurist Tribunian all achieved greatness.

The Justinian period was one of marked progress in jurisprudence. Four major legal works were compiled and promulgated: The Codex, an edited and revised edition of the imperial edicts; the Digest, an exhaustive reference manual of statements by famous jurists; the Institutes, a legal textbook; and the Novellae, Justinian's own legislation, gathered at the end of his reign. Together they became known as the Corpus Juris Civilis or Justinian Code. They spread the influence of Roman legislation throughout western civilization.

Impartiality is the life of justice as justice is of all good government

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"The credit belongs to the one who is actually in the arena."

Theodore Roosevelt

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