Patrick and Justinian

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Not related at all, but they’re combined in one section of my forthcoming e-book about obtaining an historical perspective.This is an excerpt:

Two Men You Should Know

This next section will deviate a bit from the book’s approach, but I believe it’s important to mention two men from this period who didn’t fit into the above narrative: St. Patrick and Justinian.

St. Patrick was a Romano-Britain. He was kidnapped in an Irish raid (something that occurred more often as the last of the legions withdrew from Britain in 410). He escaped years later, then went back to Christianize Ireland, which he did successfully.

When the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes later took control of Britain, the place became pagan. Christianity was all but eliminated.

But then, shortly after 600, Irish monks crossed the Irish Sea to re-convert Britain. They had great success.

This is one of those neat incidents in history: one culture evangelizing the other, then the other returning the favor many years later. Here, Britain sent St. Patrick, Britain subsequently became pagan, St. Patrick’s spiritual descendants then reconverted Britain.


During this time period, the 500s, Justinian was the main player.

He ruled the Roman Empire. Now, we refer to it as the “Byzantine Empire,” but no one back then did. Heck, Gibbon’s (of Decline and Fall fame) even referred to it as the “Roman Empire.” The term “Byzantine Empire” wasn’t used by anyone until well after it had fallen in 1453.

Anyway, Justinian ruled the Roman Empire and dang near returned the Roman Empire to its former glory by re-taking northern Africa and parts of western Europe, but troubles with the Persians and a plague derailed his efforts.

He was a fascinating man. As was his wife, Theodora, who was one of the most cunning and maybe cruel women in history.