Justin I - Encyclopedia


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JUSTIN I. (450-527),East Roman emperor (518-527), was born in 450 as a peasant in Asia, but enlisting under Leo I. he rose to be commander of the imperial guards of Anastasius. On the latter's death in 518 Justin used for his own election to the throne money that he had received for the support of another candidate. Being ignorant even of the rudiments of letters, Justin entrusted the administration of state to his wise and faithful quaestor Proclus and to his nephew Justinian, though his own experience dictated several improvements in military affairs. An orthodox churchman himself, he effected in 519 a reconciliation of the Eastern and Western Churches, after a schism of thirty-five years (see HoRMISDAS). In 522 he entered upon a desultory war with Persia, in which he co-operated with the Arabs. In 522 also Justin ceded to Theodoric, the Gothic king of Italy, the right of naming the consuls. On the 1st of April 527 Justin, enfeebled by an incurable wound, yielded to the request of the senate and assumed Justinian at his colleague; on the 1st of August he died. Justin bestowed much care on the repairing of public buildings throughout his empire, and contributed large sums to repair the damage caused by a destructive earthquake at Antioch.

See E. Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (ed. Bury, 1896), iv. 206-209.

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