Greece Justinian and the Empire of the East
Source: The Library of Congress Country Studies
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Justinian (r. A.D. 527-65) laid the foundation on which the Byzantine Empire would rest for nearly a century. An ambitious and dynamic leader, he greatly expanded the empire's territory by conquering the southern Levant, northern Africa, and Italy, in an effort to recreate the domain of the old Roman Empire. Justinian's administrative reforms created a centralized bureaucracy, a new fiscal system, and a provincial administration. The codes of Roman law were revised and unified in the Justinianic Code, which remains to this day a cornerstone of European jurisprudence. These reforms greatly advanced the unification of the diverse peoples of the empire in a Hellenic context. In the end, Justinian's institutional reforms proved far more lasting than his military conquests.
Data as of December 1994
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