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Lead book review

City of dazzling mosaics: the golden age of Ravenna

Ian Thomson describes Ravenna’s golden age, when classical Rome, Byzantium and Christianity met

19 September 2020

9:00 AM

19 September 2020

9:00 AM

Ravenna: Capital of Empire, Crucible of Europe Judith Herrin

Allen Lane, pp.537, 30

When we refer to someone as ‘Byzantine’ we usually mean guileful or too complicated and labyrinthine in manner or speech. Perhaps the term is ill-applied: Byzantium, the medieval Greek city on the Bosporus which the Roman Emperor Constantine I renamed Constantinople, was not in essence an unfathomable, over-hierarchical or manipulative sort of place.

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