The Age of Justinian: The Circumstances of Imperial Power

The Age of Justinian: The Circumstances of Imperial Power

The Age of Justinian: The Circumstances of Imperial Power

The Age of Justinian: The Circumstances of Imperial Power

Synopsis

The Age of Justinian examines the reign of the great emperor Justinian (527-565) and his wife Theodora, who advanced from the theatre to the throne. Here we find chronicled the origins of the split between East and West, the results of which are still with us. The book looks at the social structure of sixth-century Byzantium, and the neighbours that surrounded the empire. It also deals with Justinian's wars, which restored Italy, Africa and a part of Spain to the empire.

Excerpt

Over the long gestation period that produced this book, I enjoyed the assistance of a number of institutions and granting agencies, which I want gratefully to acknowledge. I started work on the Syriac sources in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, supported by a grant from the Social Sciences and Research Council of Canada. From there I migrated to the Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies in Washington D.C., where I encountered the gracious hospitality of Giles Constable, who was director at that time. My university gave me a year’s administrative leave in 1993-94 when I retired as head of the Department of Classics, and a portion of it was spent at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, N.J. I want to acknowledge the kindness of old and new friends there, particularly Homer Thompson, Glen Bowersock and the late Alison Frantz, who introduced me to the architecture of the Byzantine world many years ago at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. I must acknowledge, too, the patient help of the Interlibrary Loan section of the University of British Columbia Library. The librarians there have done much to smooth out the rocky path of my research. I owe thanks, too, to my successor as head of the University of British Columbia Department of Classics, Anthony Barrett, whose yoke has been very easy. Last but by no means least, I acknowledge a debt of gratitude to Richard Stoneman, senior editor at Routledge, who has waited out this book’s gestation period with patience.

My son, Andrew, has given me invaluable assistance with the maps shown on pp. xi-xiii. The map on p. xi is taken from C. Mango and R. Dagron, Constantinople and its Hinterlands (Ashgate Publishing Co., 1955), and the map on pp. xii-xiii is derived from A.H.M. Jones, The Decline of the Ancient World (Longman, Green & Co., 1966), both with permission.

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