Early Byzantine art
(including Iconoclasm)

The Early Byzantine period was a time of growth and experimentation, producing some of the greatest monuments of the Byzantine era.

c. 330 - 843

Beginner's guide

The Early Byzantine period spans from the founding of Constantinople in 330 to the Iconoclastic Controversy in the eighth and ninth centuries.

videos + essays

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Cross-cultural artistic interaction in the Early Byzantine period
Cross-cultural artistic interaction in the Early Byzantine period

Global networks are not just a modern phenomenon—art, architecture, and material culture illustrate the many intercultural connections of the Early Byzantine period

Empress Theodora, rhetoric, and Byzantine primary sources
Empress Theodora, rhetoric, and Byzantine primary sources

Byzantine texts praise and slander the empress Theodora, who appears in this famous mosaic in Ravenna.

Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna
Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna

Mosaics in Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, Italy, and the religious conflict between the Ostrogoths and the Byzantines

The Byzantine Fieschi Morgan cross reliquary
The Byzantine Fieschi Morgan cross reliquary

Decorated with gold and enamel, this sumptuous Byzantine box once contained a relic of the True Cross

The Vienna Dioscurides
The Vienna Dioscurides

A beautifully illustrated compendium of texts made for a Byzantine princess

Byzantine Iconoclasm and the Triumph of Orthodoxy
Byzantine Iconoclasm and the Triumph of Orthodoxy

Learn why the Byzantines argued about images for over a century.

Ivory Panel with Archangel
Ivory Panel with Archangel

His body swells beneath the cloth, but his feet hardly touch the ground. This awkward angel is part pagan, part Christian.

Art and architecture of Saint Catherine’s Monastery at Mount Sinai
Art and architecture of Saint Catherine’s Monastery at Mount Sinai

Travel to the Sinai desert and discover the treasures of one of the world's oldest Christian monasteries

Byzantine architecture during Iconoclasm
Byzantine architecture during Iconoclasm

Learn how territorial losses and the Iconoclastic Controversy impacted Byzantine architecture.

Innovative architecture in the age of Justinian
Innovative architecture in the age of Justinian

The reign of emperor Justinian (527 - 565) saw dramatic new developments in Byzantine architecture.

Early Byzantine architecture after Constantine
Early Byzantine architecture after Constantine

Basilicas and new architectural forms appeared following the reign of emperor Constantine.

The origins of Byzantine architecture
The origins of Byzantine architecture

House churches, catacombs, basilicas - explore the origins of Byzantine architecture

Selected Contributors