In 482, Justinian was born in Tauresium, Dardania.

Emperor Anastasius died in 518, without having any heir, Justin was made the emperor.

Justinian was appointed consul in 521 and later commander of the army of the east. Upon Justin's death on 1 August 527, Justinian became the sole sovereign.

In 552, Justinian dispatched a force of 2,000 men, this army was led by the octogenarian Liberius.The Byzantines took Cartagena and other cities on the southeastern coast and founded the new province of Spania before being checked by their former ally Athanagild, who had by now become king. This campaign marked the apogee of Byzantine expansion.

Around 525, Justin married his mistress, Theodora, in Constantinople. She was by profession an actress and some twenty years his junior.

In 528, Justinian began his military campaigns to strengthen the weakening Roman Empire and by then, his tax ministers had applied some great tax reforms, which provided the king with enough finances to fund his military expeditions.

In 530 the Persian forces suffered a double defeat at Dara and Satala, but the next year saw the defeat of Roman forces under Belisarius near Callinicum.

Justinian attacked the Vandals in North Africa. King Hilderic, who had maintained good relations with Justinian and the North African Catholic clergy, had been overthrown by his cousin Gelimer in 530 A.D.

In January 532, partisans of the chariot racing factions in Constantinople, normally rivals, united against Justinian in a revolt that has become known as the Nika riots.

In 533, Belisarius sailed to Africa with a fleet of 92 dromons, escorting 500 transports carrying an army of about 15,000 men, as well as a number of barbarian troops. They landed at Caput Vada (modern Ras Kaboudia) in modern Tunisia.

Justinian founded Justiniana Prima not far from his birthplace.

In 535, Justinian focussed towards Italy, which was under a very weak rule and a usurper was sitting on the throne while kidnapping the royal queen.

Justinian sent another general, Narses, to Italy, but tensions between Narses and Belisarius hampered the progress of the campaign. Milan was taken, but was soon recaptured and razed by the Ostrogoths. Justinian recalled Narses.

Finally, Justinian dispatched a force of approximately 35,000 men (2,000 men were detached and sent to invade southern Visigothic Hispania) under the command of Narses.

In 559, a particularly dangerous invasion of Sklavinoi and Kutrigurs under their khan Zabergan threatened Constantinople, but they were repulsed by the aged general Belisarius.

Justinian died in November 565