- Oct 2018
Again, nobody is faulting Justinian for being pro-active in all of his non-military projects. Many of them are unarguably positive things. But being "pro-active" in war generally means being the aggressor, and with only a few exceptions that is not a wholly good thing. It was arguably good in North Africa, but terrible with Italy.
And to clarify for all readers, while I have expressed and explained my appreciation for proactivity among Roman emperors, I certainly do not think that proactivity is always a good thing. That would of course be a silly proposition. Take the example of Diocletian. A notoriously proactive ruler who accomplished much good for the empire, his desire to serve the empire's interests also led him to persecute the Christians and Manicheans, and to institute the ambitious failure that was the maximum prices edict.