Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. David M. Olster

Second Advisor

Dr. David Hunter


This dissertation analyzes the struggle between the imperial court and the periphery in the context of Justinian’s reforms in the early A.D. 530s. The reforms targeting select Roman provinces sought to reduce the size of the imperial bureaucracy while simultaneously attempting to maintain imperial vertical authority. The reforms epitomize the imperial court’s struggle to rein in the imperial bureaucracy in the provinces of the Roman Empire. The analysis is framed within the cultural, social, political and economic evolution occurring in Late Antiquity. It shall be proposed that the reforms are one example of the imperial court’s attempt to limit the distance between itself and its provincial resources, particularly with regard to fiscality. The reforms also embody the political dynamics between the emperor and his bureaucracy, which is composed of the Roman elite. Roughly two centuries earlier, the Tetrarchic reforms fundamentally changed the relationship between both parties. Specifically, the upper stratum of the aristocracy saw the balance of power tilt in its favor substantially.