Justinian Code and the Crusades

Jacob Self, Carson McGurk, Griffin Campbell

-Justinian code-

Justinian became Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire in 527. He was determined to reestablish the Roman Empire in the entire Mediterranean world. He later accomplished his goals. Justinian’s most important contribution was his codification of Roman law. The Eastern roman empire had inherited a vast quantity of legal materials, which Justinian wished to simplify.
The result was the Body of Civil Law. This code was the basis of imperial law in the Eastern Roman Empire until its end in 1453. It was also used in the West and became the basis for much of the legal system of Europe.


The crusades were a series of holy wars fought between the Christians and Muslims for the holy land of Jerusalem. The crusades lasted from the 11th to the 13th centuries.

-Early crusades-

The first crusade began as three organized bands of warriors, most of them French, made their way to the east. This army captured Antioch in 1098. the crusaders proceeded down the Palestinian coast, and reached Jerusalem in June 1099. The Holy City was taken amid a horrible massacre of the inhabitants. The crusaders set up kingdoms near Jerusalem. By the 1140’s, the Muslims began to strike back. Another crusade was called for after the fall of one of the crusader kingdoms. In 1187, Jerusalem fell to the Muslims under Saladin. Three leaders (Emperor Frederick Barbosa of Germany, Richard I (Richard the Lionhearted) of England, and Philip II Augustus, King of France) agreed to lead a third crusade.

-Later Crusades-

The fourth crusade was initiated by Pope Innocent III after the death of Saladin in 1193. Pope Innocent III initiated the fourth crusade. The Byzantine Empire had been re-established but was no longer in great power. There was also a childrens crusade later on.

-Effect of the Crusades-

The crusades were said to have benefited Italian port cities. There were some unfortunate effects on society. Widespread murders and attacks on Jewish societies were negative affects. But the greatest impact was the breakdown of feudalism. As kings levied taxes and raised armies.
The Crusades: The Crescent and the Cross1/2 (Ep1)

-Essential questions-

1. How did the immediate advantages of the Muslims contribute to the effect of the early crusades?

2. What role did Justinian play in the legal development of the Eastern Roman Empire?