Facing this, he declared that a chariot race would be held on January 13 and commuted the sentences to imprisonment.
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The Blues and Greens responded by demanding that the two men be pardoned entirely. On January 13, , a tense and angry populace arrived at the Hippodrome for the races.
The Hippodrome was next to the palace complex , and thus Justinian could watch from the safety of his box in the palace and preside over the races. From the start, the crowd had been hurling insults at Justinian. For the next five days, the palace was under siege.
The fires that started during the tumult resulted in the destruction of much of the city, including the city's foremost church, the Hagia Sophia which Justinian would later rebuild. Some of the senators saw this as an opportunity to overthrow Justinian, as they were opposed to his new taxes and his lack of support for the nobility. The rioters, now armed and probably controlled by their allies in the Senate, also demanded that Justinian dismiss the prefect John the Cappadocian , who was responsible for tax collecting, and the quaestor Tribonian , who was responsible for rewriting the legal code.
They then declared a new emperor, Hypatius , who was a nephew of former Emperor Anastasius I. Justinian, in despair, considered fleeing, but his wife Theodora is said to have dissuaded him, saying, "Those who have worn the crown should never survive its loss.
Thinking about color
Never will I see the day when I am not saluted as empress. As Justinian rallied himself, he created a plan that involved Narses , a popular eunuch , as well as the generals Belisarius and Mundus. Carrying a bag of gold given to him by Justinian, the slightly built eunuch entered the Hippodrome alone and unarmed against a murderous mob that had already killed hundreds.
Narses went directly to the Blues' section, where he approached the important Blues and reminded them that Emperor Justinian supported them over the Greens. He also reminded them that Hypatius, the man they were crowning, was a Green. Then, he distributed the gold.
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The Blue leaders spoke quietly with each other and then they spoke to their followers. Then, in the middle of Hypatius's coronation, the Blues stormed out of the Hippodrome.
The Greens sat, stunned. Then, Imperial troops led by Belisarius and Mundus stormed into the Hippodrome, killing any remaining rebels indiscriminately be they Blues or Greens. About thirty thousand rioters were reportedly killed.
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He then rebuilt Constantinople and the Hagia Sophia, and was free to establish his rule. He was also free to pursue his ultimate dream of a united Roman Empire. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Justinian Theodora Belisarius Mundus Narses. Thus, although the word faction, with various connotations, is in current use in modern languages, it was neither translated nor transliterated into Byzantine Greek, becoming, indeed, obsolete by the fifth century.
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In Roman parlance it signified the performers, not the spectators, while the dominus factionis was a sort of impresario. On the other hand, there is continuity between the games of Rome and Constantinople. In both cities the performers had their fans, to whom the names of their colours were extended.
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However rioting is only associated with a circus faction when the organisation of the theatre, whose audiences were more prone to unruly conduct, was combined with that of the circus. The colours do not correspond to political parties ; they lend themselves to interpretation in terms neither of a class struggle nor of rivalry between Orthodox and Monophysites.
To suppose that demes, the usual word for a circus faction, implies a relationship between the Colours and urban districts is an unwarranted anachronism. Finally, the Colours did not serve as a police force avant la lettre.
The second part of this study p. French academic tradition would have recommended that this study concluded with a developed third part instead of a rapid epilogue p.