n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - Justinian and the tribulations of transformation

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Justinian was responsible for a major transformation of the Roman Empire in Late Antiquity. This paper looks at some of the problems which Justinian faced, and some which he created, in his bid to transform the empire, its legal system and its administration. Problems arose from the tension between devolution and centralisation, from the blurring of lines of authority when horizontal structures were favoured over pyramidic, and from Justinian's mixed messages. Procopius and John the Lydian shed light on the impact on the lives of ordinary people in the city, rural areas, bureaucracy and army, of policies such as cost-cutting, rationalisation, revenue enhancement, influx control, strict law enforcement, and the imposition of orthodoxy.


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