Monday, August 19, 2013

Byzantine Scriptures

And so it came to pass in the sixth century after our Lord Jesus Christ was martyred that Theodora, daughter of a bear tamer, whilst dancing in the Hippodrome arena clad in a long, tight tunic of lightest linen and large gold earrings, with ropes of pears twirling around her arms, with eyes dark with kohl and long hair unbraided, did so dance nearest the most revered and just Emperor Justinian and his heart didst stop in its tracks.

 Benjamin Constant - The Empress Theodora at the Colisseum.

Theodora, the most beautiful of women, wouldst dress in large gold collars, filled with emeralds and green as the eye of a cat and pearls as creamy white as goose down, and upon her head she wouldst set a gold and diamond-studded tiara.

Reliquiary Crosses, early Byzantine 5-11th century A.D.

 Byzantine pendant, Egypt, 600 A.D.

And so it came to pass that Justinian and Theodora would beget a legacy of beauty and style that would encompass glittering mosaics, jeweled brocaded gowns, and opulent Oriental pearls, in a court known for its levitating thrones and its political intrigues.

Left: Byzantine inspired jewelry, Chanel 2011.
Right: Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2013

Left: Gold, sapphire and pearl earrings, Byzantine, 6-7th century A.D.
Right: Gold basket earrings, Byzantine, 6th century A.D.

Pair of gold, lapis lazuli, glass and pearl bracelets, Byzantine, circa 5-7th century A.D.

And though they might walk through the valley of death, Justinian and Theodora will fear no evil, for their soft leather shoes shall comfort them. They have given the world opulence, grandeur, a love of pearls, exquisite embroidery, and the secret of silk, and they will stay in the house of mosaics forever. Amen.

Images from Pinterest. Text courtesy of Let There Be Clothes by Lynn Schnurnberger.


  1. Absolutely gorgeous!!! I wish we could wear stuff like that now (and afford it, LOL).