Byzantine Empire: Justinian and Theodora - IV: Vanquishing the Vandals - Extra History Thirty-nine days after the disastrous Nika Riots ended with the slaughter of 30,000 civilians, Justinian directed the city to rebuild the Hagia Sophia. Together, they built an even greater cathedral - but Justinian was not satisfied. He was called a Roman emperor, but he did not rule Rome itself. He resolved to reconquer the west, starting with Carthage in Afri
War on the Terraces: The Nika Riots. First the stewards and then the riot squad had been unable to deal with the supporters when trouble flared on the stands, and eventually, after they had occupied the entire stadium in their tens of thousands, the decision was made to send in troops and declare martial law. Order was to be restored, and anyone still disobeying the command to vacate did so at their own risk.
The Emperor Justinian, who expanded the boundaries of Byzantine Empire to a double amount, had Hagia Sophia built and reigned for 38 years, could have lost his throne because of the riots on the fifth year of his reign. If the riots had been successful in its aim, Hagia Sophia would not have ever existed.
The Emperor Justinian and the Empress Theodora after the Nika riot (18 January 532 AD)
Those who have worn the crown should never survive its loss. Never will I see the day when I am not saluted as empress. — Empress Theodora to Emperor Justinian I when he considered fleeing from Constantinople during the Nika Riots
The Nika riots (Greek: Στάσις τοῦ Νίκα), or Nika revolt, took place over the course of a week in Constantinople in AD 532. It was the most violent riot in the history of Constantinople, with nearly half the city being burned or destroyed & tens of thousands of people killed. It remains today one of the world's deadliest ever riots