The Glory of Byzantium’s Jewelry Riches

A recent exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City celebrated the arts of the second golden age of the Byzantine era. Among the treasures were examples of jewelry spanning every region of the Byzantine empire To students of jewelry history, the Byzantine era is, well, byzantine. But a recent exhibit at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art succeeded at the daunting task of finding jewelry from the second of two golden eras of that 1,000-year empire. What made the task of compiling “The Glory of Byzantium” exhibit so challenging was the time period and geography involved. The Byzantine empire stretched from 324 A.D., when the capital of the Roman empire moved from Rome to Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul), to 1453, when the Ottoman Turks conquered the capital. During the first few centuries, the empire’s arts and culture reflected earlier classical Rom

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