During his long and eventful reign, the Roman emperor Justinian I (527–565) encouraged reform projects and achieved brilliant victories.
In only six years (528–34) his lawyers managed to condense the existing imperial laws into the so-called Corpus Iuris Civilis. Furthermore, he initiated a tax reform and handed important positions to young and capable men, often from outside the traditional imperial elite. In 533, his military achieved a grand success by thoroughly defeating the Vandal empire. Two years later he even attempted to regain Italy from the Goths. History remembers the emperor as a leader who cared for his people and looked after them. Even today, spectacular buildings such as the Hagia Sophia confirm this image.