Justinian's Byzantium - key readings

Issue 8 of Medieval World: Culture & Conflict features the early history of the Byzantine Empire with a focus on the greatest military and artistic accomplishments, as well as moments of struggle and turmoil, that characterize the reign of Emperor Justinian I (r. 527–565). From wars of expansion and the Nika Revolt, to impressive acts of patronage and the rebuilding of the Great Church of Constantinople - Hagia Sophia - Justinian's reign grew and enhanced the Byzantine Empire, leaving a lasting legacy. 

Justinian's reign and accomplishments have fascinated scholars for generations, yielding numerous publications and resources, especially in the last decades. Below are several key recent texts and primary sources to check out, if you would like to learn more about this noteworthy historical figure and his impressive reign. 

Here are a few additional secondary sources: 


Evans, James Allan. The Emperor Justinian and the Byzantine Empire. Connecticut, 2005. 


Kaegi, Walter Emil. Byzantium and the Early Islamic Conquests. Cambridge, 2008.


Kruse, Marion. The Politics of Roman Memory: From the Fall of the Western Empire to the Age of Justinian. Philadelphia, 2019.


Maas, Michael. The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Justinian. Cambridge, 2005.


Sarris, Peter. Economy and Society in the Age of Justinian. Cambridge, 2006.


Stewart, Michael Edward. The Soldier’s Life: Martial Virtues and Manly Romanitas in the Early Byzantine Empire. Leeds, 2017.


Turlej, Stanisław. Justiniana Prima: An Underestimated Aspect of Justinian’s Church Policy. Krakow, 2016.


And some primary texts: 


Greatrex, Geoffrey, ed. Averil Cameron, contributor. Procopius of Caesarea: The Persian Wars. Translation, with Introduction and Notes.Cambridge, 2022.


Procopius. History of the Wars, Books I and II, trans. H. B. Dewing. Project Gutenberg, 2005.


Procopius. The Secret History, trans. Richard Atwater. Chicago and New York, 1927.


Procopius. Of the Buildings of Justinian, trans. Aubrey Stewart. Project Gutenberg, 2021. 

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