Presenter: Roger Scott
The long reign (527-565) of the emperor Justinian is usually presented as one of great success with the recovery of the western part of the empire, the building of Hagia Sophia and the Codification of Roman Law.
Hence a book published in 1967 by a distinguished French scholar has the title The Golden Age of Justinian, though another distinguished Oxford scholar compares Justinian to Hitler. His colourful wife Theodora also has a mixed reputation.
A contemporary source attributes to her alone Justinian’s survival from a major revolt early in his reign (the Nika riot, January 532), but that same source in another work also describes Theodora as a prostitute and likens both Justinian and Theodora to demons. The paper will look at Justinian and Theodora and the treatment of their reign in two contemporary sources, Prokopios and Malalas.
Roger Scott is a Principal Fellow in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at Melbourne University after retiring as Associate Professor and Reader in Classical Studies.
He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and a former President of the Australian Association for Byzantine Studies and of the Classical Association of Victoria. His most recent book is Byzantine Chronicles and the Sixth Century (2012).
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In October 1916, the Ithacan migrants of Melbourne established the ITHACAN PHILANTHROPIC SOCIETY "The Ulysses", with an inaugural membership of some 153 members. This was in response to pleas for aid from their loved ones in Ithaca who were suffering deprivation during the First World War.
Over the years, however, the Society has been much more than just a philanthropic institution. It has been a constant in the lives of the early Ithacan migrants replacing the homeland which they had left.
The Society takes an active role in the cultural, social, educational and quality of life interests of the Ithacan Community. The Society, as part of its philanthropic role, also makes many monetary contributions to worthy causes, including those outside the immediate Ithacan community. The Society celebrated its 90th Anniversary in 2006.