The Silk and the Blood

Power and patronage in the Byzantine world

Byzantine civilisation was a potent blend of ancient Greek, Roman and Christian culture that flourished for ten centuries (330-1453 CE) in the eastern Roman Empire. It spanned diverse lands and peoples, from Armenia to Persia, and from the Coptics to the Islamic world.

Divinity and authority were central to the structures of Byzantine society, and this exhibition examines how powerful figures sought to enhance their status by linking themselves with God in artistic works across the Byzantine world. We’ll travel outward from Byzantium’s epicentre in Constantinople to emergent sites in Ravenna, Crete and Mount Athos.