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Justinian died in 565. His long and vigilant reign had proved on the one hand that a council in the East had no more power than the throne was ready to put behind it, and on the other that the emperor himself could not enforce his will in the teeth of a resolute clergy. Rome had learned in the meantime that she must either become a satellite of Byzantium or seek another patron. The matter was decided in the last quarter of the sixth century, when Byzantium once again relinquished Italy to the barbarians, who attached themselves to Rome at her own behest because they saw in her the one unfallen pillar of the empire.

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