The Byzantine Empire in the Age of Justinian
A document-based teaching unit
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The reign of the Emperor Justinian was a turning point in the history of the Mediterranean region. The source documents in this unit draw students into the sixth century Byzantine world to examine a variety of important topics: Justinian’s law code, the Nika Revolt, the Vandal Wars, the building of Hagia Sophia the growth of Christianity, and the contributions of Empress Theodora. Critical reading of the historian Procopius’ unfriendly commentary on the Emperor and Empress will invite discussion of bias in an ancient text.
Lesson 1: Geography of the Empire
Lesson 2: The Nika Revolt
Lesson 3: The Vandal War in Africa
Lesson 4: Justinian as a Law Reformer
Lesson 5: Byzantine Architecture
Lesson 6: Justinian and Theodora
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