Justinian with Theodora

Thanks to Emily for suggesting Justinian!

Meaning: “Righteous, just, fair”
Gender: Male
Pronunciation: just-EHN-ee-ehn
Origin: Latin
Other forms of the name: Justinius, Justin, Justinas.

Justinian I or more as he’s more commonly known, Justinian the Great, was a Byzantine Emperor that reigned from 527 to 565. Justinian was the last Emperor to speak Latin and an important Roman figure. He had the Roman law rewritten which is still the basis of civil law in many states and built the church of Hagia Sophia, which was the center of Eastern Orthodox Christianity for many centuries afterwards. Justinian is considered a Saint by Orthodox Christians and is even commemorated by some Lutheran churches. His wife, Empress Theodora, was fifteen years his junior when he had her crowned co-regent. She was the daughter of a bear trainer who worked at the Hippodrome which was a large stadium similar to a circus. She worked as a mime and then as a full-time actress, which was frowned upon at that time. “Actress” was synonymous with “prostitute”. Theodora and Justinian were complete opposites and spent most of their lives transforming the city of Constantinople, building it into one of the most wonderful cities in the world for centuries.