Byzantine Jewelry

Posted on: 10/31/2017, by :

In ancient Rome, the Roman Empire spread its civilization in practical terms to all parts of the world that were known at the time, but subsequently, they began to lose this vitality during the early Christian period.

By the end of the 4th century, the Roman Empire was in free-fall decline. Despite it losing many of its powers, Roman culture made its mark on Western civilizations. This is partly due to the fact that the Roman Empire embraced Christianity.

The aim of the Byzantium court was to try and maintain the supremacy of Romans in the fields of art and style and fuse these with Middle Eastern symbols for religious reasons.

Iconoclasm spread, and so did the controversy in the 8th and 9th centuries involving the depiction of images in a religious art. This led to more elaborate decoration of jewelry and ornaments involving techniques that were largely filigree, opus interassile, and enameling.

Moreover, the copious application of precious stones and pearls was also in full flow. This involves complex decorations and arabesque designs made using filigree, and enameling was used for representing birds and flowers.

It wasn’t unusual to see Byzantine half-moon shaped earrings, especially through the 12th century.

Pierced decorations and filigree basketwork along with figures featured in enameled birds facing each other on golden half-moons became common. The official jewels of the court featured mosaics in the church of San Vitale at Ravenna, and these were nothing short of spectacular in design terms.

The mosaics depicted sketchy ideas of famous figures including Theodora and Justinian, and precious ornaments were distinguishable in accordance with a person’s rank.