What brought the Roman Empire to decline

Fall of Rome: Climate and plague destroyed the Roman Empire

Emperor Justinian I wanted to make the Roman Empire great again. Emperor Justinian ruled that Christian, Greek-speaking empire in the eastern Mediterranean that we now call the Byzantine. During his lifetime he was both idolized and hated, today he is considered a saint by the Orthodox churches.

He was married to a former courtesan, Theodora, a beautiful and clever woman who loved him. With reforms that were supposed to dry up the corruption swamp in the capital Constantinople, he had made enemies of a good part of the nobility. In 532 his enemies rose against him - Justinian had already boarded the ship with which he wanted to flee the capital when Theodora implored him to fight against the putschists. Justinian got off the ship, fought, and won.

In the same year he made peace with the archenemy of the Byzantine Empire: the Persians. Now he had his hands free to fulfill an old dream - the Reconquista Western Rome, i.e. Italy and further parts of the west, which was ruled by barbarians. The emperor sent his general Belisarius, who first conquered Africa from the Vandals and then Italy from the Ostrogoths in a kind of ancient lightning war. Everything seemed to be going fine. Then in 540 the Persians attacked the Byzantine Empire. They captured Antioch and set it on fire.