We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.


Buy Now:

Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781529365429

Price: £24.99

ON SALE: 12th October 2023

Genre: Humanities / Religion & Beliefs / Christianity

Disclosure: If you buy products using the retailer buttons above, we may earn a commission from the retailers you visit.

The definitive life story of the Roman Emperor who shaped modern times.

In this groundbreaking new biography of Justinian, Peter Sarris gives us an intimate insight into both the Emperor and the man. 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 a soldier. 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.

(P)2023 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

What's Inside

Read More Read Less


Magnificent. A vivid and authoritative biography of one of Rome's most fascinating rulers, Justinian is also a vibrant portrait of an entire world - a resurgent Roman Empire suddenly devastated by tragedy
Kyle Harper, author of THE FATE OF ROME
Justinian's long life mirrored that of ancient Rome itself: both rose from lowly origins to supreme power, survived revolt and conquered rivals, crafted laws and erected mighty monuments, only to be worn down by insurgents, invaders, and plagues. In a stunning tour de force, Sarris brings one of history's most momentous dramas back to life
Walter Scheidel, author of THE GREAT LEVELER
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
Spectacularly good: a wonderfully colourful biography of the man who remade the Roman Empire. Peter Sarris plunges us deep into a world of imperial conflict, religious paranoia, pandemics and climate change, while never losing sight of the extraordinary character at its heart. Based on decades of scholarship, this is the definitive history of the emperor and his times, and a thrilling testament to the glories of Byzantium
Dominic Sandbrook
A majestic, sparkling account of one of the most important rulers in history. Meticulously researched, beautifully written, filled with insights, this is modern history writing at its finest
Peter Frankopan, author of THE SILK ROADS
Justinian looms so large in the landscape of the ancient Mediterranean that it is almost impossible to take his measure. Yet Peter Sarris has done so convincingly, offering a lucid and persuasive account of a ruler as invested in the mechanics of government as in waging wars of conquest. A remarkable achievement
Kate Cooper, Professor of History at Royal Holloway and author of QUEENS OF A FALLEN WORLD
Superb and gripping. Epic historical biography that brings the emperor to life with analysis and empathy and a work of scholarship filled with new ideas and revelations
Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of THE WORLD: A FAMILY HISTORY OF HUMANITY