The Emperor Justinian (A.D. 485-565) and his wife, the Empress Theodora, are well-known sovereigns of the eastern Roman Empire. The absolute power which centered around the throne at this period in history encouraged palace intrigues of all sorts, and their reign was no exception. One of the more interesting stories of betrayal and revenge during their rule is that of John the Cappadocian, the Praetorian Prefect of the East. He was a native of Caesarea in Cappadocia, and was of obscure background. He came to the attention of the emperor somehow during the scope of his duties as a magister militum (master of soldiers). By his own schemes he rose up through the ranks to become Praetorian Prefect around A.D. 531.