Justinian I

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Justinian I

Roman Emperor (527-65)

Flavius Anicius Julianus Justinianus was born about 483 at Tauresium (Taor) in Illyricum (near Uskup); d. 565. The theory that he was a Slav by race is now abandoned (Krumbacher, “Byz. Litt.”, 237). He was the nephew of Justin I (518-27), being the son of Justin’s sister Vigilantia and a certain Sabatius. Already during his uncle’s reign he became the chief power in the state. Justin was an old man, weak in body and mind; he gradually handed over all power to his nephew. In 521 Justinian was proclaimed consul, then general-in-chief, and in April, 527, Augustus; in August of the same year Justin died, and Justinian was left sole ruler.

The thirty-eight years of Justinian’s reign are the most brilliant period of the later empire. Full of enthusiasm for the memories of Rome, he set himself, and achieved, the task of reviving their glory. The many-sided activity of this wonderful man may be summed up under the headings: military triumphs, legal work, ecclesiastical polity, and architectural activity. Dominating all is the policy of restoring the empire, great, powerful, and united. Of these many features of his reign — each of them epoch-making — it is impossible to give more than the merest outline here. Continue reading

St. Albert the Great

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St. Albert the Great

Saint Albert the Great was born in the region of Ausgbourg, of parents rich in the goods of fortune. From the time he was a child, he manifested in his studies an unusual aptitude for the exact sciences. While he was still a boy, he had himself let down the side of a cliff to examine at close range an eagle’s nest which interested him. At the age of fifteen he was already a student of the natural sciences and the humanities at Bologna; Saint Dominic had died in that city the preceding year, 1221, and was buried in the Dominican Convent. Their house, in a suburban area of Bologna, was closely associated with the activities at the University, and students in large numbers were requesting admission to the Order. Continue reading