Justin I

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Justin I (Latin: Flavius Justinus; Greek: Ἰουστίνος; c. 450 – 1 August 527) was Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Emperor from 518 to 527. He rose through the ranks of the Byzantine army and ultimately became its emperor, in spite of the fact he was illiterate[1] and almost 70 years old at the time of accession. His reign is significant for the founding of the Justinian Dynasty that included his eminent nephew Justinian I and for the enactment of laws that de-emphasized the influence of the old Byzantine nobility. His consort was Empress Euphemia.


Early career

Justin was a peasant and a swineherd by occupation[2] from the Latinophone region of Dardania, which is part of the Diocese of Illyricum.[3] He was born in a hamlet near Bederiana [4] in Naissus (modern Niš, South Serbia).[4][5] He was of Thraco-Roman stock[6][7][8][9][10], and bore, like his companions and members of his family (Zimarchus, Dityvistus, Boraides, Bigleniza, Sabatius, etc.) a Thracian name,[6][11] and who never learned to speak more than rudimentary Greek. His sister Vigilantia (b. ca 455) married Sabbatius and had two children: Vigilantia (b. ca 490), married to Dulcissimus and had Praejecta (b. ca 520), married to the senator Areobindus and Justin II (b. ca 520); Justinian I.

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