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Byzantine Empire /
Justin 1
Full name: Flavius Iustinus

(Around 450-527) Byzantine emperor 518-527.
It appears that Justin was chosen emperor mainly for his lack of qualifications; intended to be a puppet ruler for a small fraction of the elite at the court. He was illiterate, having to sign documents using a stencil. He had no experience in both politics and religion, very important in those days. To a great degree he had to rely on his nephew, Petrus Sabbatius, later Emperor Justinian 1.
During his reign, laws reducing the power of the Byzantine elite were introduced and alliances forged with the Pope in Rome.
Conflicts with Persia continued all along the broder between the two empires, but no dramatic changes occured in this balance. In the northwest, the Byzantines were unable to withstand the continued Slavic invasion.
Among the more interesting political choices of the period was an alliance between the Byzantine Empire and Ethiopia, in order to prevent Persian penetration into Arabia. Had the Persians taken Arabia, conditions that made the emergence of Islam possible, could have been very different.

Around 450: Born in Illyria, as the son of a peasant.
Around 470: Enters the palace guard in Constantinople.
490's: Is appointed commander of the imperial guard under Emperor Anastasius 1.
518: Using his central position as well as bribery, Justin manages to be chosen emperor upon the death of Emperor Anastasius 1.
— Begins persecutions of Monophysite Christians, following the Synod of Tyre this year.
519: Reconciliation with the Pope in Rome, ending a 35 year long schism between eastern and western Christianity (see Emperor Zeno and Monothelitism).
523: An edict is issued against Arian Christianity, causing tension in Italy, which is ruled by Arian kings. The content of the edict is therefore altered to avoid a new schism.
525: Opens up for a member of the senatorial class to marry a women from a lower class of society; allowing his nephew, Justinian, to marry the actress Theodora.
527 April 1: Justinian 1 is appointed co-emperor; Justin falling seriously ill.
August 1: Dies, and is succeeded by Justinian 1.

By Tore Kjeilen