Compare Justinian, Charlemagne

Length: 4 Pages 1023 Words

Justinian’s Reign Emperor Justinian ruled from 527-565. He was born in an Illyrian village to a peasant family and joined the army at an early age. He quickly rose in rank, as his uncle Justin was the emperor at that time. He married an actress named Theodora and shortly before his uncle died he claimed the throne. He is noted for various achievements throughout his unusually long reign (there were a whole string of short-lived emperors between Theodosius and him). These included the recapture of many of the western provinces of the empire, the collection of all Roman law, and the building of the Hagia Sophia. These achievements were not however, universally admired, one of his biographers, Procopius, gives us an entirely different view of events and when his accomplishments are mentioned are it is only in a spiteful manner. So there are distinctly different views of his success. It is not doubted that Justinian did achieve a few important things throughout his thirty-eight year reign. He collected together all of the Roman law codes into three parts. Such a feat had not been attempted for over a hundred years, “Tribonian and a commission were assigned the task of producing the first comprehensive collection of Roman law Continue...


This connection helped Justinian to establish a hold over his empire as the people viewed him with some awe. This too may have caused him loss of control of his empire. The main virtue that Charlemagne possessed was his ability to intimidate people, to cause others to fear him. Charlemagne's Reign: Charlemagne was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire between 768 and 814. They were both charismatic and both new the value of appearing regal so that there were no real challengers to their throne. He was what many considered to be the greatest ruler of Europe for many centuries. This caused an upheaval of the previous system because it was necessary for the ruler to be a man of immense power and charisma in order that it be upheld. He engaged in multiple wars so as to expand his empire, and as a consequence caused much suffering. He drafted in some of the best architects and engineers of the time to complete this monument to God. But, in Procopius' view he was nothing more than a murderous villain who savagely destroyed established cultures. He was a brutal and cunning leader that used his military prowess to strike fear into the hearts of those around him. To conclude, I would say that these two men had many virtues that saw them hold their position as emperor, and keep their empires safe from invasion and disintegration. Thus in admitting that war was not the only way forward, but in fact internal political affairs were also of consequence Justinian shows us one of his virtues. There was more than one plot to depose him, including one by his own son Pepin, but fortunately he was able to catch these plots before they flowered so ensure his position as emperor.