In the 6th century AD, the Byzantine Empire reached its peak under the rule of Justin I and became one of the most powerful countries in the world. In particular, Justin I's abolition of official slavery, the "abolitionist policy", the support of the common people, and the creation of the Abolitionist College, a higher education institution, led to the Byzantine Empire's great achievements in education, culture, and knowledge transmission.
After the death of Justin I, his successor, Tihodos, although distinguished by military excellence, appeared weak in governing other areas, and many policies still depended on the administrators of Eustin I.
One: The reign and achievements of Eustin I
Justin I's personal experience and statecraft
Justin I was an important emperor of the Byzantine Empire. He was born in Macedonia about 450 to an ordinary family and was a soldier. He later became magister and became emperor of the Byzantine Empire in 518, reigning for nearly a decade.
As a newly appointed emperor, he inherited a troubled country with a sluggish economy and threatened borders. He actively took measures to stabilize the situation and implemented a series of reforms. He paid attention to reforms such as reducing excessive taxes and miscellaneous taxes, expanding cultivated land area, and improving the tax system, which gradually revitalized the national economy.
In addition to this, Justin I attached great importance to religious affairs. He actively promoted the spread and preservation of Christianity, protected the interests of Christians, and built many churches and monasteries. Defensively, he strengthened the defense of the frontiers, seeking alliances with neighboring countries, while also conducting numerous foreign wars and defending the territory and territory of the country.
During his reign, he advocated a sound and pragmatic philosophy of governance, committed to restoring the country's economic and military power, and preserving the spread and preservation of Christianity. A series of reforms and policies implemented during his reign played a positive role in promoting the development of the Byzantine Empire and consolidating the status of the state.
Administrative and military policy of Eustin I
In 518, after Justin I succeeded to the throne, he took a series of measures to establish his authority and overcome the embarrassing situation of his successors bullying him. He ordered the closure of the palace of the previous emperor, the release of political prisoners and prisoners, and the granting of clemency to criminals.
He also emphasized the discipline of officials, reformed the judicial system, and imposed a meritocratic selection system, established a national army dominated by peasants and citizens, and eased the contradictions between the nobility and the commoners.
Justin I focused on economic construction in his philosophy of statecraft, and he implemented a series of economic policies to improve the country's economy, all of which were based on liberal business policies and alleviated the burden of improper taxation. He also built a huge public building, including a port, palace, and road, laying the foundation for rapid economic growth.
At the same time, getting rid of the predicament of the empire, he pursued a series of military policies, including recruiting militias from the troops, building facilities such as large castles, beacon towers, and villages, which could be used for rapid response in the event of an invasion of the empire. He also focused on the empire's maritime defenses, preventing invasions, especially protecting the peninsula from the Huns.
During his reign he led a large number of foreign wars. He fought a number of wars with the Persians and Arabs and personally led the war against the Anglo-Saxons. Justin I also united his army and monks to defend against the invasion of the Teutonic Knights, stabilizing the dangerous situation at the time.
The influence of Justin I on Byzantine culture and religion
In terms of culture and religion, Justin I left a profound influence on Byzantium. He worked to improve the culture and art of the Byzantine Empire, encouraged educational and academic development, and founded the famous Academy of Abolitionists in 529 AD.
At the same time, as a devout Christian, Justin I devoted himself to spreading Christianity and furthered the development and spread of the faith by building new churches and supporting the clergy. But at the same time, Justin also severely suppressed those who were dissidents and unorthodox sects, which contributed to the expansion of orthodoxy in Byzantium.
Two: Governance after the succession of Tihodos
Tihedos (c. 537–582, reigned 565–582) was a nephew of Justin I, who fought in a number of battles and was appointed a general by Justin I. During the reign of Justin I, he showed great military talent, especially in the course of the Persian Wars, defeating his opponents twice and becoming an important commander of the Byzantine Empire in the Middle East campaign.
During the reign of Tihados, he promoted political centralization and the increase of military power. As a prominent general, he fought many battles and led the Byzantine army to conquer several cities, such as Castle Tohey in southern Italy, Gafi and Palmyra in Syria.
In 565, Tihedos successfully defeated the Persians and signed a peace treaty with the Persians, which ended the Romano-Persian War. He also held peace talks with the Goths and Slavs and sought diplomatic negotiations to advance imperial affairs.
Despite his outstanding political and military performance, Tihodos was relatively weak in other areas. In the economic and administrative spheres, Tihodos lacks specific policies and programmes to effectively control the country's finances and education system. He also supported some unjust taxes and was accustomed to corruption and unhealthy practices.
In addition, in terms of culture and religion, Tihodos appeared more conservative, exerting heavy pressure and suppression on some new ideas and schools of thought and trying to weaken heresy in Christianity. These policies and practices were opposed and criticized by many people, and he missed many opportunities to promote Byzantine cultural reforms.
In general, Tihedos was relatively weak in governing Byzantium, unable to have concrete and innovative thinking and policies like Eustatin I, but relying on the institutions and personnel left behind, failing to advance the development and change of the empire.
III. Comparison of Eustin I and Tihados
Eustin I and Tihodos differed in terms of statecraft and administrative policy. Advocating political centralization and increased taxation, Justin I worked to advance the economic and administrative reforms of the empire, effectively increasing the state's revenue by strengthening the centralization of power and formulating a new tax system. Tihados, on the other hand, focused on foreign policy and war decision-making, and his governing philosophy focused on ensuring national security and exercising strong military power, developing the Byzantine navy, and strengthening the country's military management.
In terms of culture and religion, Eustin I and Tihedos are also markedly different. Justin I advocated the study and development of Byzantine literary and religious traditions, combined with his own religious beliefs, and promoted educational and cultural reforms. Tihodos, on the other hand, adhered to established religious beliefs and traditions, took a hard line against heretics and pagans, and tried to protect the stability and domination of Christianism through policies and propaganda.
In terms of foreign policy and achievements, Justin I and Tihodos also differed. In the late 560s and early 570s, Justin I reached a settlement agreement with the Persians, as well as the Goths and Slavs, while at the same time protecting trade and cultural exchanges through diplomatic channels while ensuring national security.
Tihedos focused more on expanding Byzantine influence in the maritime domain, strengthening the Byzantine navy and conquering Fort Tohey in Italy, establishing Byzantine control over southern Italy.
In general, although both Eustin I and Tihodos excelled in governing the empire, they faced different challenges and problems, and made different decisions and advances on the issues they faced. This also fully illustrates that at one time in history, different empires required different governance strategies and methods.
Fourth, the situation and challenges after the succession of Tihodos
Both Eustin I and Tihodos left a deep imprint on both political and social terms, laying the foundation for the future of the Byzantine Empire. By reforming the tax system and administrative structure, Justin I promoted the centralization of the state, the military, education, and culture, and expanded the territory and influence of the empire. Tihodos consolidated its national security strategy, strengthened the Byzantine army and navy, and made certain achievements in the political and military spheres.
When Tihedos came to the throne, the Byzantine Empire faced many challenges and difficulties, including financial and social problems, political instability, cultural and religious differences, and external threats. Among the challenges he needs to face are to stop the fiscal deficit, alleviate the poor living conditions of the people, calm religious and political strife, strengthen border security and expand abroad.
In 565, Tihodos succeeded him as Byzantine emperor and faced various challenges during his reign. He achieved certain political and military achievements, such as a peace agreement with the Persians and Goths, the establishment of the Byzantine infantry, and certain diplomatic and economic successes, but at the same time he faced many setbacks, including a lack of financial management capacity, cumbersome tax systems, and religious and cultural divisions.
In addition, he did not leave behind an heir who could inherit his achievements, making the prosperity of the Byzantine Empire under his rule seem relatively short-lived, and the period of hardship soon came, especially under the constant attacks and invasions of Turks and Slavs, and the Byzantine Empire began to decline.
Both Eustin I and Tihodos were outstanding emperors in the history of the Byzantine Empire, and both made significant contributions politically, militarily, culturally, and religiously. Through his various reforms during his reign, Justin I laid a solid foundation for the development and prosperity of the Byzantine Empire, while Tihodos, with his outstanding military skills, strengthened the Byzantine army and navy and ensured the security of the country.
During his reign, Tihodos faced various political, economic, and cultural challenges, but he also had certain achievements and contributions. He strengthened the Byzantine army and navy, guaranteed the security of the country, and conducted diplomatic negotiations with the Persians, Goths and Slavs. However, his shortcomings in governing the empire are also obvious, and his lack of effective management capacity and specific policy measures has exacerbated the country's difficulties and challenges in other areas.
Tihodos' influence and legacy on the Byzantine Empire is not only reflected in the period of his reign, but also an important resource for future generations. His contributions to national defense security and military strength made the Byzantine Empire a highly respected power in the international arena, and his military ideas and strategies became important resources for many countries to refer to.
At the same time, his religious, cultural and political strategies and policies also laid an important foundation for the development and prosperity of the empire, although there were some problems and challenges in the development and practice of this aspect, but it also provided valuable empirical materials for later generations of imperial governance and cultural exchanges.