Justin II

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Justin II (Latin: Flavius Justinus Junior Augustus;[1] Greek: Φλάβιος Ἰουστίνος ὁ νεότερος) (c. 520 – 5 October 578) was Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Emperor from 565 to 578. He was the husband of Sophia, nephew of Justinian I and the late Empress Theodora, and was therefore a member of the Justinian Dynasty. His reign is marked by war with Persia and the loss of the greater part of Italy. He presented the Cross of Justin II to Saint Peter's, Rome.

Contents

Family

He was a son of Vigilantia and Dulcidio (or Dulcissimus), respectively the sister and brother-in-law of Justinian. His siblings included Marcellus and Praejecta. There are brief mentions of a nephew called Marcianus and a niece called Helena. Which sibling of Justin was their parent is unknown. [2]

Reign

Accession

Justinian I died on the night of 14 to 15 November 565. Callinicus, the praepositus sacri cubiculi, seems to have been the only witness to his dying moments, and later claimed that Justinian had designated "Justin, Vigilantia's son" as his heir in a deathbed decision. The disambiguation was needed because there was another nephew and candidate for the throne, Justin, son of Germanus. Modern historians suspect Callinicus may have fabricated the last words of Justinian to secure the succession for his political ally.[3] As Robert Browning observed: "Did Justinian really bring himself in the end to make a choice, or did Callinicus make it for him? Only Callinicus knew."[4]

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