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Justinian: Emperor, Soldier, Saint

Peter Sarris

'A majestic, sparkling account of one of the most important rulers in history . . . this is modern history writing at its finest' Peter Frankopan

'Superb and gripping. Epic historical biography that brings the emperor to life . . . filled with new ideas and revelations' Simon Sebag Montefiore


'Effortlessly erudite, lucidly written, with a sharp eye for the telling detail, Sarris has written the great biography of the greatest of the Byzantine emperors' Rory Stewart

In this groundbreaking new biography of Justinian, Peter Sarris gives us an intimate insight into both the Emperor and his times. We meet a man who from the humblest beginnings, rose to become ruler of much of the known world achieving an almost god-like status.

An emperor who infused even the most mundane tasks with spiritual and religious significance. A gifted administrator obsessed with detail. A middle aged lover who fell for a dancing girl and changed the law so he could marry her, ruling with Empress Theodora  by his side for over twenty years. A brilliant military strategist who was never on the frontline.

The challenges he  faced  - climate change, battles over culture and identity, the first recorded global pandemic -and many of the solutions he found to address them still  resonate with us today. And his legacy remains all around us, in the massive building programme of which the most beautiful manifestation is surely Hagia Sophia; in our legal systems through the codification of the Corpus juris civilis; and in our culture and history by making a fundamental contribution to both the formation of Christendom and the emergence of Islam.

In this tour de force Peter Sarris shows us that in all his complexity and contradictions Justinian was, in many ways, a very modern Emperor.

  • Classification : HISTORY
  • Pub Date : OCT 12, 2023
  • Imprint : Basic Books Uk
  • Page Extent : 544
  • Binding : TPB
  • ISBN : 9781529365399
  • Price : INR 999
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Peter Sarris

Peter Sarris is Professor of Late Antique, Medieval and Byzantine Studies in the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He has published numerous books and articles on Justinian and his other publications include Byzantium - A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2015), which has been translated into Chinese, Greek and Polish. In addition to academic journals, he has written for The Times, Literary Review, and History Today.

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