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Interactive video lesson plan for: Byzantine Empire: Justinian and Theodora - III: Purple is the Noblest Shroud - Extra History

Activity overview:

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A group of monks declared sanctuary for two hooligans from the demes (Constantinople's fanatical chariot racing factions) who had miraculously survived a hanging. The public wanted them pardoned for their crimes, so when Justinian made his public appearance at the next chariot race, they begged him to have mercy. When Justinian refused, the crowd turned on him and became a rioting mob that tore through the streets of Constantinople. During the Nika Riots, they burned down neighborhoods and even the Hagia Sophia cathedral, rampaging until Justinian agreed to pardon the two men from the demes. Now, however, the mob would not accept that. They demanded that he fire his advisors. Then they decided to appoint their own emperor, a man named Hypatius who was related to the previous emperor Anastasius. Assaulted on all sides, Justinian made plans to flee, only to be confronted by Theodora. She gave a now famous speech asking whether he would rather live a failure or die an emperor, announcing that she would choose the latter. Justinian followed her lead and made new plans to retake his city. He called Belisarius and Mundus, his best generals, to marshal a force. He also sent the eunuch Narses to bribe one faction of the demes and begin dismantling their leadership. Then he ordered his forces to invade the Hippodrome, where they cut down some thirty thousand civilians and executed the false emperor Hypatius. Justinian's reign was once again secure.
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Get the intro music here!
http://bit.ly/1EQA5N7
*Music by Demetori: http://bit.ly/1AaJG4H

Get the outro music here!
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Tagged under: History,Documentary,Justinian,Emperor Justinian,Theodora,Empress Theodora,Nika Riot,Nika Revolt,Hippodrome,Hagia Sophia,Byzantine Empire,Eastern Roman Empire,Justinian I,famous speech,Educational,Chariot Race,Nika,mob,deme,Blues,Greens,Extra History,James Portnow,Daniel Floyd

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