Byzantine Emperor Justin I : Flavius Iustinus Augustus, was Byzantine Emperor from 518 to 527. He rose through the ranks of the army and ultimately became its emperor, in spite of the fact he was illiterate and near 70 years old at the time he became emperor. His reign is notable for the founding of the Justinian Dynasty, which included his nephew Justinan I. He was also notable for the enactment of laws that deemphasized the influence of the old Roman nobility. His Empress was Euphemis. Justin was a poor peasant from the region of Dardania. He was born in the small village of Bederiana which located near Scupi : modernday Skopje, Macedonia). He was of Thraco-Roman stock and spoke rudimentary Greek, and bore a Thracian name. As a teenager, he and two friends fled from a barbaric invasion, finding themselves in Constantinople with nothing but the clothes on their backs and some bread. Justin quickly joined the army and, due to his ability, rose through the ranks to become a general under the Emperor Anastasius I. By the time of Anastasius I die in 518, he was the influential commander of the palace guard. Due to his position of commanding the only troops in the city and making gifts of money, Justin was able to win election as emperor in 518.