Ravenna, Italy -- Beautiful Byzantine mosaics. Portrait of Empress Theodora by San Vitale.

Ravenna, Italy -- Beautiful Byzantine mosaics. Portrait of Empress Theodora by San Vitale.

Real Constantine with St. helen. 27 February c. 272 AD – 22 May 337 AD, also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine, Roman Emperor from 306 to 337 AD. Constantine enacted many administrative, financial, social, and military reforms to strengthen the empire. Saint Helen (c. 250 – c. 330) mother of Constantine, an important figure in the history of Christianity and the world due to her influence on her son and her own contributions in placing Christianity at the heart of Western…

Real Constantine with St. helen. 27 February c. 272 AD – 22 May 337 AD, also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine, Roman Emperor from 306 to 337 AD. Constantine enacted many administrative, financial, social, and military reforms to strengthen the empire. Saint Helen (c. 250 – c. 330) mother of Constantine, an important figure in the history of Christianity and the world due to her influence on her son and her own contributions in placing Christianity at the heart of Western…

Empress Irene of Bizantium (752 – 803) mother of Constantine IV. Empress, elaboraste jeweled garment. wearing a Pallium/lorum ("heavily jeweled scarf... official insignia of the emperor.") The hair isn't covered yet.

Empress Irene of Bizantium (752 – 803) mother of Constantine IV. Empress, elaboraste jeweled garment. wearing a Pallium/lorum ("heavily jeweled scarf... official insignia of the emperor.") The hair isn't covered yet.

Ravenna, Italy - Mausoleum of Galla Placidia (5th Century Mosaics - Small Doves Detail)

Ravenna, Italy - Mausoleum of Galla Placidia (5th Century Mosaics - Small Doves Detail)

We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee, for by the holy cross, you have redeemed the world.

We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee, for by the holy cross, you have redeemed the world.

The Ladder of Divine Ascent of St. John Climacus, Museum of Russian Icons, ca. 1650

The Ladder of Divine Ascent of St. John Climacus, Museum of Russian Icons, ca. 1650

The cross from the Basilica of St. Clemente, Rome is truly unique.

The cross from the Basilica of St. Clemente, Rome is truly unique.

Eight hundred years ago, Byzantine monks painting the walls of a monastery in Cyprus made the aesthetic choice to use asbestos—heat-resistant mineral fibers now known to be highly carcinogenic—to give their work an extra sheen. University of California, Los Angeles,

Eight hundred years ago, Byzantine monks painting the walls of a monastery in Cyprus made the aesthetic choice to use asbestos—heat-resistant mineral fibers now known to be highly carcinogenic—to give their work an extra sheen. University of California, Los Angeles,

Barrel vault mosaic (detail), Basilica di San Marco, Venice, c.1200

Barrel vault mosaic (detail), Basilica di San Marco, Venice, c.1200

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