These "select people" are the people who by virtue of their educational curriculum learn more about the Byzantines than other parts of the world. If being more iconic among the Greeks isn't qualification enough for Constantine, what is? The title "the last Roman" is an extremely common title given to many figures from many different periods. Belisarius is also called "the last Roman", so is general Aetius of the western empire. It barely means anything really. The de facto last Roman was Constantine XI or David Megas Komnenos, the rest function like the modern term "leader of the free world"; it barely means anything, it just adds prestige while alluding to some specific viewpoint of the world. I have already posted several reasons that make Justinian seem a lot worse than what many people make him out to be, so I'm not sure what you mean. If you have read what I wrote initially about him, there are only 2 possible explanations: a) You don't think those bad things his rule caused are particularly bad or b) you don't think they are all that genuine, in which case I highly encourage you to look them up as well. Again, he's not bad, but him being hailed as this sort of exceptional ruler is completely uncalled for. This is by definition overrating him. I did not dispute the Roman law's importance or influence at all, I think you are misunderstanding what I'm saying. What I said is that Justinian didn't come up with the body of that legal code, he had people write it down officially since it wasn't organized properly before. There is a claim he had laws changed, but as I've said, there is no conclusive evidence that he did and even if there was and he did change it, we have no idea what he could have possibly changed, hence there's no reason to believe that he didn't change it negatively instead. Most of the work that is referenced is clearly alluding to previous legislation, so there's no actual point of comparison to claim it was somehow Justinian's doing. The Novellae much like all pieces of new legislation were primarily edicts first proposed and approved by designated government officials, mainly quaestors and consuls. Before Basil II's reforms, all Roman emperor had limited legislative authority because of the concept of the sanctity of the law as something above all men. While most emperors would use their influence to pass their laws anyway, there were more often than not alterations or complete scrapping of laws due to their possibly unfavourable impact on the Dynatoi (Anatolian aristocracy). There is strong evidence to suggest that the Novellae were mostly the work of Tribonian himself. One reason this is heavily speculated is because the Novellae are the only part of Justinian's overall legal code that is entirely in Greek which was a very abrupt and strange change. But that's a debatable topic, so I won't claim anything conclusively here. As for the other reforms such as the removal of the death sentence as a valid punishment for adultery by women, which, they were introduced by Theodora, not Justinian. As official co-regent of the Roman empire, Theodora had the power and influence to propose and even partially enforce her own reforms, assuming the Senate was also in on it. Justinian was very compliant to Theodora's ideas, hence he wasn't a barrier towards many of those reforms actually taking place. So if anything, the credit for those social reforms belongs to Theodora. The fact Moses is up there should make it rather obvious that it's not really a matter of historicity here, but rather sentimentalism and the general notions people have about these figures. After all, seeing all the figures that are mentioned in their website I can conclude that they are missing a large amount of other influential lawgivers, the most notable being Cyrus the great, but also many others from various parts of the world (though I understand why they wouldn't mention Chinese ones, for example). That was no the point of my argument. The point is that you (and others) attribute the entire body of work to Justinian whereas what he did was have existing law written down. Keeping old laws is indeed important and no one expects emperors to randomly innovate in legal matters, but trying to make Justinian look as some sort of legislative innovator or genius by giving credit for things he most likely didn't do (at least not in the manner or scale suggested by his hordes of fans) is not serving the discussion well. Justinian did a good thing to standardize Roman law, that doesn't make him on par with Napoleon or Cyrus in terms of revolutionizing existing law. Because "his" code is mostly standard Roman law which much of Europe followed for centuries due to its lingering influence. First of all, from the late Roman armies to the very last armies of the Palaiologoi, mercenaries (and especially Germanic foederati) were some of the most crucial and consistently used parts of the army. If you think that mercenaries are untypical for Romans to the point of tainting "Byzantineness", then you have a mistaken notion of what the Roman army was and what its basis was. Vardariotai, Scythian cavalry, Hunnic cavalry, German foederati, Varangians, Colchian (Georgian) footmen etc were all crucial units throughout Byzantine history. Second, the Varangians weren't just Vikings. In fact, they were mostly not Vikings. a) Because Viking simply means raider and not all mercenaries were raiders and b) because there were many other Germanic soldiers that made up the Varangians, namely Anglo-Saxons and Saxons proper. Third, they weren't just palace guards, they were the elite military unit of Byzantine armies in general. Varangians would be used as the last resort in big battles where the rest of the army had it rough. They were often the ones fighting to the last man when most of the Byzantine army was routed e.g. the first battle of Dyrrhachium. Demoting them to just palace guards is not only historically inaccurate, but also underplays their importance to the Roman army. And fourth, they were a unique Byzantine unit. No other state had a military regiment that was consisted of that type of infantry, with that exact equipment and tactics and with the exact same responsibilities. Of course you'll find parallels if you look vague similarities such as "mercenary units" or "imperial guard units" or even just "Vikings". If you take generic elements of the regiment and try to find similar ones, you'll definitely find them. The point is finding an exact equivalent. One simple example is winged hussars. Hussars are not Polish unique units, they were a light cavalry unit first introduced by the Magyars and other nomads who brought them to the Pannonian plane. But do you dispute the significant differences and uniqueness of the Polish winged hussar? Do you discard them as "not Polish enough" because Hungarians also had hussars? Byzantine cataphracts on the other hand are almost identical to their Iranian precursors in nearly every sense: Tactics, gear, formations, army proportions, purpose in combat, appearance etc. It's not just a vague parallel or similarity, it's literally the exact same unit in another state. Except that the Varangian Guard served the empire for nearly 500 years, whereas Hunnic mercenaries didn't even last 2 centuries. Not to mention the massive difference in importance on the battlefield. As I've mentioned, the Varangians were the absolute creme de la creme of the army, not some run-of-the-mill mercenaries. I cannot overstate how crucial they were. No, because the impi and the samurai are native units completely unique to the Zulu and Japan respectively. Cataphracts are not. Even if I agreed with you that cataphracts deserved to be included instead of Varangians, your comparison here would still be off because you are committing to a false equivalency fallacy. Whether cataphracts are more important to Varangians is disputed, but them being originally Iranian and therefore not native to the Roman empire is an undeniable fact, hence the comparison with the impi and the samurai is invalid. I highly doubt that. I'm not saying it's not a valid reason, but when has cruelty ever stopped a leader from entering Civ? Justinian as I've said before facilitated the genocide of the Samaritans, Genghis Khan is responsible for the slaughter of millions of innocents and destruction of entire cities, Ashurbanipal in typical Assyrian fashion committed atrocities to keep disloyal subjects docile and the list goes on. I agree that having a leader who is known for atrocities is not that great, but Basil is really tame compared to much of the roster of all Civ games thus far. I'm not sure what kind of letter you are referencing here. Heraclius fought on the war that was incited during Phokas' rule (precisely because the former overthrew the latter) and continued to do so until Khosrow was overthrown and the Byzantines were more or less victorious (to the point of stalemate that is). Calling Heraclius weak after usurping the throne from a tyrant to have the empire restored to its original borders, destroying the empire's enemies against unfavourable odds and likening him to a traitor is nothing short of hyperbole. No letter could ever incite such a picture of Heraclius, especially given what he did to protect the empire and his extraordinary courage. He didn't win after giving battle in desperation, he began a campaign inside Persian territory and reached the capital Ctesiphon. He was clearly on the offensive when the war was won and that is owed to his military genius, persistence and courage. The famous Christian (not just Orthodox) hymn "Troparion of the Holy Cross" is a testament to Heraclius massive achievement of taking back the Holy Cross and restoring it to Jerusalem from the Persians. His triumph there is commemorated as a major Christian feast day. Not sure about iconic and all that, but calling Heraclius less accomplished than Justinian is utterly unfair. He was a far better general (by virtue of also actually being one), a man of courage who had to take the throne to save the empire from the brink of destruction. I find people often underrate leaders who manage crises under tumultuous circumstances simply because their reign isn't necessarily filled with "glory" (or a notion of it which people tend to have) despite the immense pressure and inexorably high demands of keeping an empire together and surviving. Alexios Komnenos is pretty much just like that, albeit at least he gets a lot more respect for his fantastic aversion from danger than Heraclius. Excuse me, but what? Ethnic wiping? Basil didn't murder civilians nor did he slaughter Bulgarians indiscriminately, this is utter misinformation and ahistorical. In fact, following Bulgaria's annexation, Basil granted them local autonomy, gave Bulgarian nobles palace titles and honours to keep them docile and allowed them to collect the taxes from their own people. He installed the brand new theme of "Bulgaria" which ran identically to the previous Bulgarian state with the same capital. I'm not sure what you have been reading about Basil, but I can assure you it has nothing to do with reality whatsoever. I'm not sure how some habit being trite is a relevant factor to choosing a leader for a Civ game, but regardless, it was definitely not trite for the Byzantines, that I can tell you. The absolute majority of emperors used their imperial garments for ceremonies so if anything, Basil was the exception here.