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====Overextending of the Empire====
Many historians have criticized Justinian for his efforts to re-conquer the old western provinces of Rome. It has been widely argued that he placed an intolerable strain on the military and financial resources of the Byzantine Empire. He imposed very heavy taxation on his realm at a time when it was suffering from depopulation due to plague and natural disasters, such as earthquakes. This undoubtedly weakened the rulers who followed him because Justinian’s wars exhausted the state and its people. His successors such as Justin II were not able to hold onto his conquests.
The conquests of Justinian left a paradoxically legacy in that they gravely undermined the Byzantine Empire. Yet the conquests of Justinian helped his heirs to fight off a multitude of enemies and allowed the Eastern Roman Empire, to enjoy a renaissance in the 9th and 10th centuries A.D.
====Justinian and the end of the World of Late Antiquity====
Justinian wanted to revive the Roman Empire, which he saw as essential for the future of Christianity. He stamped out any practices deemed to be pagan, for example in his reign the last pagan communities were suppressed or converted. However, his policy of Christianization meant that classical learning and philosophy all but disappeared and that education came increasingly under the purview of the Church.