Justinian I (pron.: //) (Latin: Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Justinianus Augustus, Greek: Φλάβιος Πέτρος Σαββάτιος Ἰουστινιανός) (c. 482 – 14 November 565), commonly known as Justinian the Great, was Byzantine Emperor from 527 to 565. During his reign, Justinian sought to revive the Empire's greatness and reconquer the lost western half of the classical Roman Empire.
The Barberini ivory is a Byzantine ivory leaf from an imperial diptych dating from Late Antiquity, now in the Louvre in Paris. It represents the emperor as triumphant victor. It is generally dated from the first half of the 6th century and is attributed to an imperial workshop in Constantinople, while the emperor is usually identified as Justinian, or possibly Anastasius I or Zeno. It is a notable historical document because it is linked to queen Brunhilda of Austrasia. On the back there is a list of names of Frankish kings, all relatives of Brunhilda, indicating the important position of queens within Frankish royal families. Brunhilda ordered the list to be inscribed and offered it to the church as a votive image.
Although it is not a consular diptych, it shares many features of their decorative schemes. The emperor is accompanied in the main panel by a conquered barbarian in trousers at left, a crouching allegorical figure, probably representing territory conquered or reconquered, who holds his foot in thanks or submission, and an angel or victory, crowning the emperor with the traditional palm of victory (which is now lost). Although the barbarian is partly hidden by the emperor's huge spear, this does not pierce him, and he seems more astonished and over-awed than combative. Above, Christ, with a fashionable curled hair-style, is flanked by two more angels in the style of pagan victory figures; he reigns above, while the emperor represents him below on earth. In the bottom panel barbarians from West (left, in trousers) and East (right, with ivory tusks, a tiger and a small elephant) bring tribute, which includes wild animals. The figure in the left panel, apparently not a saint but representing a soldier, carries a statuette of Victory; his counterpart on the right is lost.