Justin II

Justin II (Latin: Iustinus Iunior;[3] Greek: Ἰουστῖνος ὁ νεώτερος; c. 520 – 5 October 578) was Eastern Roman Emperor from 565 to 574. He was the husband of Sophia, nephew of Justinian I and the Empress Theodora, and was therefore a member of the Justinian Dynasty. His reign was marked by war with the Sassanid Empire, and the loss of the greater part of Italy. He presented the Cross of Justin II to Saint Peter's, Rome.

Justin II
Justin II
Solidus of Justin II
Emperor of the Byzantine Empire
Reign15 November 565 – 574
PredecessorJustinian I
SuccessorTiberius II Constantine
Died5 October 578 (aged 58)
Full name
Flavius Iustinus Iunior
Regnal name
Imperator Caesar Flavius Iustinus Augustus[a]
DynastyJustinian Dynasty
FatherDulcidio (or Dulcissimus)


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.



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 clarification 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.[4] As Robert Browning (a modern historian, not the poet) observed: "Did Justinian really bring himself in the end to make a choice, or did Callinicus make it for him? Only Callinicus knew."[5]

In any case, Callinicus started alerting those most interested in the succession, originally various members of the Byzantine Senate. Then they jointly informed Justin and Vigilantia, offering the throne. Justin accepted after the traditional token show of reluctance, and with his wife Sophia, he was escorted to the Great Palace of Constantinople. The Excubitors blocked the palace entrances during the night, and early in the morning, John Scholasticus, Patriarch of Constantinople, crowned the new Augustus. Only then was the death of Justinian and the succession of Justin publicly announced in the Hippodrome of Constantinople.[6]

Both the Patriarch and Tiberius, commander of the Excubitors, had been recently appointed, with Justin having played a part in their respective appointments, in his role as Justinian's curopalates. Their willingness to elevate their patron and ally to the throne was hardly surprising.[6]

In the first few days of his reign Justin paid his uncle's debts, administered justice in person, and proclaimed universal religious toleration. Contrary to his uncle, Justin relied completely on the support of the aristocratic party.

Foreign policy

100 Nummi - Justin II - Carthage
100 nummi coin of Justin II minted in Carthage. Helmeted and cuirass-wearing facing bust, holding shield Monogram; cross above, 100 below.

Proud of character, and faced with an empty treasury, he discontinued Justinian's practice of buying off potential enemies. Immediately after his accession, Justin halted the payment of subsidies to the Avars, ending a truce that had existed since 558. After the Avars and the neighbouring tribe of the Lombards had combined to destroy the Gepids, from whom Justin had obtained the Danube fortress of Sirmium, Avar pressure caused the Lombards to migrate West, and in 568 they invaded Italy under their king Alboin. They quickly overran the Po valley, and within a few years they had made themselves masters of nearly the entire country. The Avars themselves crossed the Danube in 573 or 574, when the Empire's attention was distracted by troubles on the Persian frontier. They were only placated by the payment of a subsidy of 60,000 silver pieces by Justin's successor Tiberius.[7]

The North and East frontiers were the main focus of Justin's attention. In 572 his refusal to pay tribute to the Persians in combination with overtures to the Turks led to a war with the Sassanid Empire. After two disastrous campaigns, in which the Persians under Khosrow I overran Syria and captured the strategically important fortress of Dara, Justin reportedly lost his mind.

Shortly after the smuggling of silkworm eggs into the Byzantine Empire from China by Nestorian Christian monks, the 6th-century Byzantine historian Menander Protector writes of how the Sogdians attempted to establish a direct trade of Chinese silk with the Byzantine Empire. After forming an alliance with the Sassanid ruler Khosrow I to defeat the Hephthalite Empire, Istämi, the Göktürk ruler of the Western Turkic Khaganate, was approached by Sogdian merchants requesting permission to seek an audience with the Sassanid king of kings for the privilege of traveling through Persian territories in order to trade with the Byzantines.[8] Istämi refused the first request, but when he sanctioned the second one and had the Sogdian embassy sent to the Sassanid king, the latter had the members of the embassy poisoned to death.[8] Maniah, a Sogdian diplomat, convinced Istämi to send an embassy directly to Constantinople, which arrived in 568 and offered not only silk as a gift to Justin, but also proposed an alliance against Sassanid Persia. Justin agreed and sent an embassy to the Turkic Khaganate, ensuring the direct silk trade desired by the Sogdians.[8][9]

Personal traits

The historian Previte-Orton describes Justin as "a rigid man, dazzled by his predecessor's glories, to whom fell the task of guiding an exhausted, ill-defended Empire through a crisis of the first magnitude and a new movement of peoples". Previte-Orton continues,

In foreign affairs he took the attitude of the invincible, unbending Roman, and in the disasters which his lack of realism occasioned, his reason ultimately gave way. It was foreign powers which he underrated and hoped to bluff by a lofty inflexibility, for he was well aware of the desperate state of the finances and the army and of the need to reconcile the Monophysites."[10]

Succession and abdication

Byzantine 40 Nummi Coin Justin II & Sophia 572AD
Justin II and Sophia depicted on 40 Nummi coin (572 AD)

After 572 Justin was reported to have fits of insanity. John of Ephesus, whose Monophysite sect suffered persecutions under Justin, offered a vivid description of Justin's madness, in which he behaved like a wild animal, was wheeled about on a mobile throne and required organ music to be played day and night.[11] In 574, at Sophia's suggestion, he adopted the general Tiberius as his son and heir, and then retired in his favor.[12] According to Theophylact Simocatta, Justin remained sufficiently clear-minded to make an eloquent speech as he passed the crown:

You behold the ensigns of supreme power. You are about to receive them, not from my hand, but from the hand of God. Honor them, and from them you will derive honor. Respect the empress your mother: you are now her son; before, you were her servant. Delight not in blood; abstain from revenge; avoid those actions by which I have incurred the public hatred; and consult the experience, rather than the example, of your predecessor. As a man, I have sinned; as a sinner, even in this life, I have been severely punished: but these servants (and he pointed to his ministers), who have abused my confidence, and inflamed my passions, will appear with me before the tribunal of Christ. I have been dazzled by the splendor of the diadem: be thou wise and modest; remember what you have been, remember what you are. You see around us your slaves, and your children: with the authority, assume the tenderness, of a parent. Love your people like yourself; cultivate the affections, maintain the discipline, of the army; protect the fortunes of the rich, relieve the necessities of the poor.[12]

Sophia and Tiberius ruled together as joint regents for four years. When Justin died in 578, Tiberius succeeded him as Tiberius II Constantine.


  1. ^ The full imperial titelature of Justin II in Latin is attested in a novel of 570: Imperator Caesar Flavius Iustinus fidelis in Christo mansuetus maximus benefactor Alamannicus Gothicus Francicus Germanicus Anticus Vandalicus Africanus pius felix inclitus victor ac triumphator semper Augustus ("Emperor Caesar Flavius Justin, faithful in Christ, mild, majestic, greatest benefactor; victor over the Alamanni, Goths, Franks, Germans, Antae, Vandals, in Africa; pious, fortunate, renowned, victorious and triumphant, ever august").[1][2]


  1. ^ Rösch 1978, p. 168.
  2. ^ Sodini 1973, pp. 378, 383.
  3. ^ Called Iunior, "the Younger", to distinguish him from Justin I
  4. ^ Evans (1999), pp. 263–264
  5. ^ Browning (2003), p. 165
  6. ^ a b Evans (1999), p. 264
  7. ^ Norwich, John J. Byzantium: the Early Centuries (London:Penguin 1988) p.571 gives this subsidy to Avars as 80,000 silver pieces.
  8. ^ a b c Howard, Michael C., Transnationalism in Ancient and Medieval Societies, the Role of Cross Border Trade and Travel, McFarland & Company, 2012, p. 133.
  9. ^ Liu, Xinru, "The Silk Road: Overland Trade and Cultural Interactions in Eurasia", in Agricultural and Pastoral Societies in Ancient and Classical History, ed. Michael Adas, American Historical Association, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2001, p. 168.
  10. ^ Previte-Orton, Charles William, The shorter Cambridge medieval history (Cambridge: University Press, 1952), p. 201.
  11. ^ John of Ephesus, Ecclesiastical History, Part 3, Book 3
  12. ^ a b Gibbon, Edward, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter XLV, Part II


Primary sources

  • Edward Walford, translator (1846) The Ecclesiastical History of Evagrius: A History of the Church from AD 431 to AD 594, Reprinted 2008. Evolution Publishing, ISBN 978-1-889758-88-6. [1]

Secondary sources

  • Browning, Robert (2003), Justinian and Theodora, Gorgias Press LLC, ISBN 1-59333-053-7
  • Evans, James Allan Stewart (2000), The age of Justinian: the circumstances of imperial power, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-23726-2
  • Garland, Lynda (1999), Byzantine empresses: women and power in Byzantium, AD 527–1204, CRC Press, ISBN 0-203-02481-8
  • Martindale, John R., ed. (1980). The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire: Volume II, AD 395–527. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-20159-4.
  • Martindale, John R., ed. (1992). The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire: Volume III, AD 527–641. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-20160-8.
  • Meyendorff, John (1989). Imperial unity and Christian divisions: The Church 450–680 A.D. The Church in history. 2. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press. ISBN 978-0-88-141056-3.
  • Ostrogorsky, George (1956). History of the Byzantine State. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
  • Rösch, Gerhard (1978). Onoma Basileias: Studien zum offiziellen Gebrauch der Kaisertitel in spätantiker und frühbyzantinischer Zeit. Byzantina et Neograeca Vindobonensia (in German). Verlag der österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. ISBN 978-3-7001-0260-1.
  • Sodini, Jean-Pierre (1973). "Une titulature faussement attribuée à Justinien Ier. Remarque sur une inscription trouvée à Kythrea, Chypre". Travaux et Mémoires du Centre de Recherche d'Histoire et Civilisation de Byzance (in French). 5. pp. 373–384.

External links

Media related to Justin II at Wikimedia Commons

Justin II
Born: c. 520 Died: 578
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Justinian I
Byzantine Emperor
with Tiberius II Constantine (574–578)
Succeeded by
Tiberius II Constantine
Political offices
Preceded by
Anicius Faustus Albinus Basilius in 541, then lapsed
Consul of the Roman Empire
Succeeded by
Lapsed, Imp. Caesar Flavius Tiberius Constantinus Augustus in 579

The 560s decade ran from January 1, 560, to December 31, 569.

== Events ==

=== 560 ===

==== By place ====

====== Europe ======

Alboin succeeds his father Audoin after his death, as king of the Lombards.

====== Britain ======

Adda succeeds his brother Glappa as king of Bernicia (approximate date).

Ælla becomes king of Deira (this according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle).

Ceawlin succeeds his father Cynric as king of Wessex (approximate date).

Custennin ap Cado abdicates as king of Dumnonia (South West England).

Elidyr of Strathclyde invades Gwynedd (Wales) and tries to expel his brother-in-law, king Rhun Hir ap Maelgwn.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Columba quarrels with Finnian of Moville over authorship of a psalter, leading to a pitched battle the next year.

=== 561 ===

==== By place ====

====== Europe ======

November 29 – King Chlothar I ("the Old") dies at Compiègne at age 64. The Merovingian Dynasty is continued by his four sons (Charibert I, Guntram, Sigebert I and Chilperic I), who divide the Frankish Kingdom and rule from the capitals at Paris, Orléans, Reims and Soissons, respectively.

====== Britain ======

The Battle of Cúl Drebene (modern Ireland) is fought between the Northern and Southern Uí Néill (approximate date).

====== Asia ======

Winter – Wu Cheng Di succeeds his brother Xiao Zhao Di, who dies from injuries suffered while hunting, as Chinese emperor of Northern Qi.

====== Americas ======

Sky Witness is crowned as leader of Calakmul.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

March 4 – Pope Pelagius I dies in Rome after a five-year reign, and is succeeded by John III as the 61st pope.

Jnanagupta, a Buddhist monk from Gandhara (Pakistan), begins translating Buddhist texts into Chinese.

The First Council of Braga is held. The council condemns the doctrine of Priscillianism.

=== 562 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

Emperor Justinian I signs a peace treaty with the Persian Empire. The status quo ante is restored, with Lazica (modern Georgia) in Byzantine hands.

Belisarius stands trial for corruption in Constantinople, possibly with Procopius acting as praefectus urbi. He is found guilty and sent to prison.

End of the Lazic War: In the Fifty-Year Peace Treaty, King Khosrau I recognises Lazica as a Byzantine vassal state for an annual payment of 5,000 pounds of gold each year.

December 23 – Justinian I re-consecrates Hagia Sophia after its dome is rebuilt. Paul the Silentiary, Byzantine poet, writes an epic poem (Ekphrasis).

====== Europe ======

King Sigebert I repels an attack on Austrasia by the Avars at Regensburg (Germany). He moves his capital from Reims to Metz (approximate date).

====== Asia ======

Spring – Xiao Ming Di, age 20, succeeds his father Xuan Di as emperor of the Chinese Liang Dynasty.

Silla, by order of king Jinheung, wages war upon Gaya (Three Kingdoms of Korea) and conquers it.

The secondary capital Taiyuan in Northern Qi is rebuilt and becomes a center of Buddhism.

====== Mesoamerica ======

The Maya state of Caracol (Belize) defeats King Wak Chan K'awiil (Double Bird) of Tikal in battle during the First Tikal-Calakmul War, ending his dynasty.

=== 563 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

Emperor Justinian I pardons Belisarius; he orders his release from prison, and restores his properties and honours. He permits the general to live in obscurity, and gives him a veterans' pension.

The new Hagia Sophia (cost: 20,000 pounds of gold), with its numerous chapels and shrines, octagonal dome and mosaics, becomes the centre and most visible monument of Eastern Orthodoxy.

====== Europe ======

The Tauredunum event: A mountain landslide into the Rhone river destroys a fort and two villages, and creates a tsunami in Lake Geneva. The wave which reaches Lausanne is thirteen metres high, and eight metres high by the time it hits Geneva. Describing the event, Marius Aventicensis writes that the tsunami "devastated very old villages with their men and cattle, it even destroyed many sacred places", and swept away "the bridge in Geneva, windmills and men".

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Columba, Irish missionary monk, travels to Scotland with twelve companions. He lands on the Kintyre Peninsula, near Southend, and begins his evangelising mission to the Picts. On the island of Iona, he founds a monastery (Iona Abbey) on the west coast in the Inner Hebrides.

=== 564 ===

==== By place ====

====== Britain ======

Cadoc, abbot of Llancarfan (Wales), settles in Weedon and is made bishop (approximate date).

August 22 – Columba reports seeing the Loch Ness Monster at the River Ness (according to the "Life of St. Columba").

====== Mesoamerica ======

Tulum, Maya walled city, on the Yucatán Peninsula (modern Mexico) is first mentioned on a stele inscription.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Samson of Dol, one of seven founder saints of Brittany, attends a council in Paris and witnesses several royal decrees (approximate date).

=== 565 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

November 15 – Justin II succeeds his uncle Justinian I as emperor of the Byzantine Empire. He begins his reign by refusing subsidies to the Avars, who conduct several large-scale raids through the Balkan Peninsula.

Justin II recalls his cousin Justin (pretender to the throne) to Constantinople; after accusations against him he is placed under house arrest.

Justin II sends his son-in-law Baduarius (magister militum) with a Byzantine army, to support the Gepids in their war against the Lombards.

The Madaba Map is made in the Byzantine church of Saint George. The floor mosaic contains the depiction of the Holy Land (approximate date).

====== Britain ======

Columba, Irish missionary, spots the Loch Ness Monster on the River Ness present day Scotland and saves the life of a Pict (approximate date).

====== Europe ======

Summer – Alboin succeeds his father Audoin as king of the Lombards. A war erupts with the Gepids, led by King Cunimund (approximate date).

====== Asia ======

Gao Wei succeeds his father Wu Cheng Di as ruler of the Chinese Northern Qi Dynasty. Wu Cheng Di becomes a regent and Grand Emperor.

The Uyghurs are defeated by the Göktürks, who expand their territory in Central Asia (approximate date).

==== By topic ====

====== Arts and sciences ======

Agathias begins to write a history, beginning where Procopius finished his work.

====== Religion ======

January 22 – Patriarch Eutychius of Constantinople is deposed as Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople by Justinian I after he refuses the Byzantine Emperor's order to adopt the tenets of the Aphthartodocetae, a sect of Monophysites. From April 12 he is replaced by John Scholasticus.

Columba begins preaching in the Orkney Islands (approximate date).

=== 566 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

A Byzantine army, under command of Baduarius, assists the Gepids in their war against the Lombards. The Byzantines win the first battle in the lower Danube (Moesia), but the Gepid king Cunimund refuses to hand back the fortress city of Sirmium (modern Serbia) as he had promised.

Emperor Justin II, facing an empty treasury, breaks the treaty with the Gepids that has existed since 565. King Alboin of the Lombards makes an alliance with the Avars under Bayan I, at the expense of tough conditions. They demand a tenth of the Lombards' cattle and half of the war booty.

Justin II sends his cousin Justin to exile in Alexandria, where he is installed as Augustal prefect of Egypt. There he is murdered in his sleep, and his head is cut off and brought to Constantinople. Probably by assignment of empress Sophia.

====== Europe ======

Ainmuire mac Sétnai becomes High King of Ireland and rules from 566–569 (this according to the Book of Leinster).

====== Asia ======

Fei Di, age 12, succeeds his father Wen Di as emperor of the Chinese Chen Dynasty. He honors his grand-aunt Zhang Yao'er with the title of Grand Empress and she becomes his regent.

Kirtivarman I succeeds his father Pulakeshin I as king of the Chalukya Dynasty (India). During his rule he completes the subjugation of the Kadambas and annexes the port of Goa.

====== Unidentified ======

A major volcanic eruption occurs in the Antarctic.

=== 567 ===

==== By place ====

====== Europe ======

The Lombard–Gepid War (567) ends with a Lombard-Avar victory, and the annihilation of the Gepids.

Sigebert I, king of Austrasia, marries Brunhilda, and his half brother Chilperic I marries Galswintha, both daughters of the Visigothic king Athanagild.

King Charibert I dies without an heir; his realm (region Neustria and Aquitaine) is divided between his brothers Guntram, Sigebert I and Chilperic I.

Liuva I succeeds his predecessor Athanagild after an interregnum of five months and becomes king of the Visigoths.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

The Second Council of Tours is held. It decrees that any cleric found in bed with his wife will be excommunicated.

John III, patriarch of Constantinople, organizes a compromise between the Chalcedonians and Monophysites.

=== 568 ===

==== By place ====

====== Europe ======

Spring – The Lombards, led by King Alboin, cross the Julian Alps. Their invasion of Northern Italy is almost unopposed; withered Byzantine forces, that remain in the Po Valley and are based at Ravenna, are no match for the overwhelming Lombard incursion. Residents of the Italian countryside flee at the Lombards' approach. Some retreat to the barrier islands along the shore of the Northern Adriatic Sea, where they establish permanent settlements: the nascent city of Venice.

The Byzantines abandon present-day Lombardy and Tuscany, to establish a frontier march in the hills south of Ravenna (still known as Il Marche). Bavarians, Sarmatians, Saxons and Taifali, join the invasion en route. As they advance, the vacuum left behind them on the Balkan Peninsula is filled by Avars, Bulgars and Slavs.

Sigebert I, king of Austrasia, repels a second attack from the Avars. His half brother Chilperic I strangles his wife Galswintha at the instigation of his mistress Fredegund.

Liuvigild is declared co-king and heir after the second year of reign of his brother Liuva I. He becomes ruler over the Visigoths in Hispania Citerior (Eastern Spain).

Mummolus, Gallo-Roman prefect, defeats the Lombards at Embrun and expels them from Provence (Southern Gaul).

Avar Khaganate attempts to expel Kutrigurs who had fled the Göktürks, ordering them to go south of the Sava River; those who leave generally fall under rule of the Turks.

====== Britain ======

Æthelric succeeds his brother Adda as king of Bernicia (modern Scotland). He rules from 568–572 (approximate date).

Battle of Wibbandun: Ceawlin of Wessex defeats Æthelberht of Kent (according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle).

====== Asia ======

The Turks and Sassanids succeed in destroying the Hepthalites on the eastern frontier (approximate date).

A Turkish khan sends emissaries to the Byzantine Empire (approximate date).

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Emperor Justin II and his wife Sophia send the Cross of Justin II ("Vatican Cross") to Rome, to improve the relations with the Byzantine Empire.

Paulinus I, patriarch of Aquileia, flees with the treasures of his church and transfers them to the island of Grado.

=== 569 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

Emperor Justin II and his wife Sophia send a relic of the "True Cross" to the Frankish princess Radegund, who has founded a monastery at Poitiers.

The Garamantian Kingdom (modern Libya) signs a peace treaty with the Byzantine Empire. The capital city of Garama is converted to Christianity.

====== Europe ======

September – The Lombards conquer Milan, Pavia (which king Alboin chooses as his new capital) and other cities in the Po Valley (Northern Italy).

Gisulf I, nephew of Alboin, is appointed as the first duke of Friuli (approximate date).

====== Arabia ======

Al-Mundhir III succeeds his father Al-Harith V and becomes king of the Ghassanids.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

The Nubian kingdom of Alodia is converted to Christianity by Byzantine missionaries (according to John of Ephesus).

John of Ephesus completes his "Biographies of Eastern Saints" (approximate date).

November 19 – In Poitiers the "Vexilla Regis" is first sung during the Procession.


Year 565 (DLXV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. The denomination 565 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Arabia (daughter of Justin II)

Arabia (Greek: Ἀραβία; fl. 565) was the only recorded daughter of Byzantine emperor Justin II (r. 565–578) and his empress Sophia.

Byzantine Empire under the Justinian dynasty

The Byzantine Empire had its first golden age under the Justinian Dynasty, which began in 518 AD with the Accession of Justin I. Under the Justinian Dynasty, particularly the reign of Justinian I, the Empire reached its largest territorial point, reincorporating North Africa, southern Illyria, southern Spain, and Italy into the Empire. The Justinian Dynasty ended in 602 with the deposition of Maurice and the ascension of his successor, Phocas.


Flavius Cresconius Corippus was a late Roman epic poet of the 6th century, who flourished under East Roman Emperors Justinian I and Justin II. His major works are the epic poem Iohannis and the panegyric In laudem Iustini minoris. Corippus was probably the last important Latin author of Late Antiquity.

Cross of Justin II

The Cross of Justin II (also known as Crux Vaticana, Latin for "Vatican Cross") is a processional cross dating from the sixth century that is kept in the Treasury in St. Peter's Basilica, in Vatican City. It is also a one of the oldest surviving claimed reliquaries of the True Cross, if not the oldest. It is a crux gemmata or jewelled cross, silver-gilt and adorned with jewels in gold settings, given to the people of Rome by the Roman Emperor Justin II, who reigned from 565 to 578, and his co-ruler and wife, the Empress Sophia.

The cross bears a Latin inscription reading: ligno quo Christus humanum subdidit hostem dat Romae Iustinus opem et socia decorem which is commonly mistranslated as "For the wood [of the cross] with which human Christ was overcome by the enemy, Justin [and his consort?] give Rome this wealth and decoration" A more accurate reading is: "With the wood with which Christ conquered man's enemy, Justin gives his help to Rome and his wife offers the ornamentation." To mark the end of restoration and conservation work on the cross, it was placed on display in the main Basilica of Saint Peter's from November 2009 to April 12, 2010.

Crux gemmata

A crux gemmata (Latin for: jewelled cross) is a form of cross typical of Early Christian and Early Medieval art, where the cross, or at least its front side, is principally decorated with jewels. In an actual cross, rather than a painted image of one, the reverse side often has engraved images of the Crucifixion of Jesus or other subjects.Examples in metalwork are the Cross of Justin II (6th century, in the Vatican Museums), the 'crumpled cross' in the Staffordshire Hoard (8th century), the Cross of Lothair (10th century, Aachen Cathedral Treasury), the Iberian Cross of the Angels and Victory Cross, and the Cross of Cong (1120s?, National Museum of Ireland).

John of Epiphania

John of Epiphania (Greek: Ιωάννης Επιφανεύς) was a late sixth century Byzantine historian.

John was born in Epiphania (modern Hama, Syria). He was a Christian and served as a legal counselor to the Patriarch of Antioch, Gregory (ca. 590). John was also a cousin of the church historian Evagrius Scholasticus.

John obviously received good training. In his role as legal adviser, he was a witness to the Persian king, Khosrau Parvez's retreat into Roman territory, and may have even met the king. Khosrau was restored to the Persian throne by the Roman emperor Maurice. John may have also visited Persia (cf. Fragment 1)

John wrote a history of the Byzantine-Persian wars; from the campaigns of Khosrau I against Justin II, to the flight of his grandson Khosrau II to the Byzantines. The work is lost, but a fragment is preserved. The history was used by Evagrius and Theophylact Simocatta. As with many other Byzantine works, it is written in an archaic form of Greek, meant to imitate the classical style (e.g. Thucidydes).


Justin may refer to:

Justin (name), including a list of persons with the given name Justin

Justin (historian), a Latin historian who lived under the Roman Empire

Justin I (c. 450–527), or Flavius Iustinius Augustus, Eastern Roman Emperor who ruled from 518 to 527

Justin II (c. 520–578), or Flavius Iustinius Iunior Augustus, Eastern Roman emperor who ruled from 565 to 578

Justin (general under Justinian I) (fl. 538-552), a Byzantine general

Justin (Moesia), a Byzantine general killed in battle in 528

Justin (consul 540) (c. 525–566), a Byzantine general

Justin Martyr (103–165), a Christian martyr

Justin (gnostic), 2nd-century Gnostic Christian; sometimes confused with Justin Martyr

Justin the Confessor (d 269)

Justin of Chieti, venerated as an early bishop of Chieti, Italy

Justin of Siponto (c. 4th century), venerated as Christian martyrs by the Catholic Church

Justin de Jacobis (1800–1860), an Italian Lazarist missionary who became Vicar Apostolic of Abyssinia and titular Bishop of Nilopolis

Justin (robot), a humanoid robot developed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Justin.tv, a network of diverse channels providing a platform for lifecasting and live video streaming of events online

Justin, Texas, a city in the United States

Justin (2005 album), by Justin Lo

Justin (2008 album), by Justin Lo

"Justin", a song by Korn from the 1998 album Follow the Leader

Justin, the main character of Grandia, a 1997 role-playing game

Justin (consul 540)

Flavius Mar Petrus Theodorus Valentinus Rusticius Boraides Germanus Iustinus, simply and commonly known as Justin (Latin: Iustinus, Greek: Ἰουστίνος; c. 525–566), was an East Roman (Byzantine) aristocrat and general. A member of the Justinian Dynasty and nephew of Emperor Justinian I (r. 527–565), he was appointed as one of the last Roman consuls in 540, before going on to assume senior military commands in the Balkans and in Lazica. He fought against the Slavs, the Sassanid Persians and supervised the Byzantine Empire's first contacts with the Avars. At the time of Justinian's death, he was seen as a probable successor, but was beaten to the throne by his cousin, Justin II (r. 565–578), who exiled him to Egypt, where he was murdered.


Kouropalatēs, Latinized as curopalates or curopalata (Greek: κουροπαλάτης, from Latin: cura palatii "[the one in] charge of the palace") and Anglicized as curopalate, was a Byzantine court title, one of the highest from the time of Emperor Justinian I (r. 527–565) to that of the Komnenoi in the 12th century. The female variant, held by the spouses of the kouropalatai, was kouropalatissa.

Marcellus (brother of Justin II)

Marcellus (Greek: Μάρκελλος) was a brother of Byzantine emperor Justin II (r. 565–578) and general under his uncle, Emperor Justinian I (r. 527–565).

Marcian (cousin of Justin II)

Marcian (Latin: Marcianus, Greek: Μαρκιανός) was a Byzantine general and a kinsman of Emperor Justin II.

According to John Malalas, he was Justin's cousin, and a nephew of Justinian I, while Michael the Syrian reports that his mother was Justin's maternal aunt.He was involved in the Roman–Persian War of 572–591:

Marcian, cousin of the emperor Justin, who had been appointed commander in the East, was sent against Chosroes in the eighth year of Justin's reign [573]. John, the general of Armenia, and Miranes, the Persian leader (who was also called Baramaanes), collected an army to oppose them. The Armenians were joined by the Colchians, the Abasgi, and Saroes, king of the Alani; Miranes by the Sabiri, Daganes, and the tribe of the Dilmaini.

Marcian defeated Miranes at the Battle of Sargathon near Nisibis and put him to flight; 1200 Persians were killed and seventy taken prisoners, while the Roman loss was only seven. Marcian then laid siege to Nisibis and Theobothon. Chosroes, when he heard of this got together 40,000 cavalry and more than 100,000 infantry, and hastened to its assistance to attack the Romans. In the meantime Marcian was accused to the emperor of aiming at the throne. Justin, persuaded of the truth of the charge, dismissed him from the command and appointed Theodore, the son of Justinian surnamed Tzirus, in his stead. This led to disturbances, the Romans raised the siege, and Chosroes besieged and reduced Daras.

Processional cross

A processional cross is a crucifix or cross which is carried in Christian processions. Such crosses have a long history: the Gregorian mission of Saint Augustine of Canterbury to England carried one before them "like a standard", according to Bede. Other sources suggest that all churches were expected to possess one. They became detachable from their staffs, so that the earliest altar crosses were processional crosses placed on a stand at the end of the procession. In large churches the "crux gemmata", or richly jewelled cross in precious metal, was the preferred style. Notable early examples include the Cross of Justin II (possibly a hanging votive cross originally), Cross of Lothair, and Cross of Cong.

Prothesis (altar)

The Prothesis is the place in the sanctuary in which the Liturgy of Preparation takes place in the Eastern Orthodox and Greek-Catholic Churches.

The Prothesis is located behind the Iconostasis and consists of a small table, also known as the Table of Oblation, on which the bread and wine are prepared for the Divine Liturgy. It is most often placed on the north side of the Altar, or in a separate chamber (itself referred to as the Prothesis) on the north side of the central apse.

Originally, the Prothesis was located in the same room as the Holy Table, being simply a smaller table placed against the eastern wall to the north of the Holy Table. During the reign of the Emperor Justin II (565–574), it came to occupy its own separate chamber to the north of the sanctuary, having a separate apse, and joined to the Altar by an arched opening. Another apsed chamber was added on the south side for the Diaconicon. So that from this time forward, large Orthodox churches were triapsidal (having three apses on the eastern side). Smaller churches still have only one chamber containing the Altar, the Prothesis and the Diaconicon.

In the Syriac Churches, the ritual is different, as both Prothesis and Diaconicon are generally rectangular, and the former constitutes a chamber for the deposit of offerings by the faithful. Consequently, it is sometimes placed on the south side, if by doing so it is more accessible to the laity.

In the Coptic Church, the men will enter the Prothesis to receive holy Communion (the women receive in front of the Holy Doors), and must remove their shoes before entering.

Sophia (empress)

Aelia Sophia (c. 530 – c./aft. 601) was the Empress consort of Justin II of the Byzantine Empire, and regent during the incapacity of her spouse from 573 until 578. She was specifically interested in economic matters and was involved in financial matters during Justin's reign.

Theophanes of Byzantium

Theophanes of Byzantium (Greek: Θεόφανης ὁ Βυζάντιος; fl. 6th century) was a Byzantine historian.

He wrote, in ten books, the history of the Eastern Empire during the Persian war under Justin II, beginning from the second year of Justin (567), in which the truce made by Justinian I with Khosrau I was broken, and going down to last year of the war. The work has not survived, but Patriarch Photius gives an account of the work of Theophanes, and he repeats the author's statement that, besides adding other books to the ten which formed the original work, he had written another work on the history of Justinian. Among the historical statements preserved by Photius from Theophanes is the discovery, in the reign of Justinian, of the fact that silk was the product of a worm, which had not been before known to the people of the Roman Empire. A certain Persian, he tells us, coming from the land of the Seres, brought to Constantinople "the seed" (i.e. the eggs) of the silk-worm, and these "seeds" being hatched in the spring, and the worms fed with mulberry leaves, they spun their silk, and went through their transformations.

Tiberius II Constantine

Tiberius II Constantine (Latin: Tiberius Constantinus; Greek: Τιβέριος Κωνσταντῖνος; 520 – 14 August 582) was Eastern Roman Emperor from 574 to 582.


Vigilantia (b. a. 490) was a sister of Byzantine emperor Justinian I (r. 527–565), and mother to his successor Justin II (r. 565–578, b. a. 520).

Roman and Byzantine emperors
27 BC – 235 AD
Western Empire
Byzantine Empire

Empire of Nicaea
Byzantine Empire


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