Movies
Justinian - The Last of the Romans.
Mark Merlino - Home page

Justinian - The Last of the Romans is a very scholarly and professional
biography of the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian, produced in 1997 by A&E
and the BBC. The production includes commentary from several leading
contemporary historians of the era, including Avril Cameron and Michael
Whitby. The biography traces his life from his humble beginnings, being born
Petrus from a peasant family in the north Balkans, until his death in 565 AD.

Justinian, after establishing himself as a member of the palace guard in
Constantinople, became an advisor to his uncle Justin, who had become
emperor. He then married a circus performer, named Theodora, in spite of the
controversy it caused. Justinian, who was renamed in honour of his uncle,
became imperial heir and was crowed in 527 AD. This documentary provides a
fairly detailed survey of the history of the Empire at the time of Justinian's
reign. In doing so, the stories of the social upheaval, wars, legal codification,
plagues, and building projects are told. Beyond this, this biography attempts to
capture something of the essence of this man, who is described as being the
last hope for a united Rome.

If you would like to watch a fairly engaging yet scholarly biography of one of
Byzantium's foremost emperors, watch this documentary.