In 285 CE, the Roman Empire was divided in two by the Emperor Diocletian leading to the creation of the Eastern and Western Roman Empires. Although, in the coming centuries, the Western Empire would struggle, before ultimately falling into barbarian hands, the Eastern empire (today referred to as the Byzantine Empire) would continue to exist, and thrive until its ultimate fall in 1453 CE. The success of the Eastern Empire was due to the highly desirable trade location of the capital, Constantinople, and a powerful sense of nationalism within the empire. Between the historic reign of Justinian and the Great Schism of 1054 CE, more specific contributions in areas such as art, writing, and scholarship were achieved in the Empire. The
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One of the finest achievements of Byzantine art, and an example of these caskets is the tenth century plaque in the Cabinet of Medals, in Paris, where Christ is shown crowning Romanus II and Eudocia. Ivory carvings with religious symbols include the Harbaville triptych in the Louvre, the Sens casket, the Virgin, and others that combined the lessons of classical tradition with an Eastern inspiration and an observation of nature.ii The throne of Bishop Maximian preserved at Ravenna, made with masterful technical skill and delicate craftsmanship, has scenes from Christ's life, events from the life of Joseph, and figures of Evangelists placed in a richly decorated setting. These scenes brought about a combination of harmony, truth, and elegance.
Ravenna Church Mosaics
Important Byzantine mosaics can still be found today in the three historical churches in Ravenna: Sant' Apollinare Nuovo, Sant' Apollinare in Classe, and San Vitale. Sant' Apollinare Nuovo has three zones representing the life of Christ, the figures of saints and prophets, and two processions, the one of male saints, and the other of female saints who are advancing towards Christ and the Virgin.iii The second, Sant' Apollinare, holds mosaics that deal with the Transfiguration of the symbolism of former days. Both(last you said 3 churches or I’m confused??) of these churches are an important achievement