Justinian I, called ”the Great,“ was indeed the greatest of the Byzantine Emperors. Reigning from 527 to 565 in tandem with his wife Theodora, he sought an ambitious renovation imperii—restoration of the Empire. His brilliant generals reclaimed lands lost to the barbarians, and were it not for the Plague of Justinian, which wiped out most of his army, he likely would have succeeded. He had Roman law rewritten, and his Corpus Juris Civilis is the basis of civil law in the West. During his reign, Byzantine culture flourished, and Constantinople became Christendom’s greatest city. He died at age 83.