Procopius of Caesarea was a prominent late antique Byzantine Greek scholar from Palaestina Prima. Accompanying the Byzantine general Belisarius in Emperor Justinian's wars, Procopius became the principal Byzantine historian of the 6th century, writing the History of the Wars, the Buildings, the Secret History, he is classified as the last major historian of the ancient Western world. Apart from his own writings, the main source for Procopius's life is an entry in the Suda, a Greek encyclopaedia written sometime after 975, which discusses his early life, he was a native of Caesarea in the province of Palaestina Prima. He would have received a conventional elite education in the Greek classics and rhetoric at the famous school at Gaza, he may have attended law school at Berytus or Constantinople, became a lawyer. He evidently knew Latin. In 527, the first year of the reign of the emperor Justinian I, he became the legal adviser for Belisarius, a general whom Justinian made his chief military commander in a great attempt to restore control over the lost western provinces of the empire.
Procopius was with Belisarius on the eastern front until the latter was defeated at the Battle of Callinicum in 531 and recalled to Constantinople. Procopius witnessed the Nika riots of January, 532, which Belisarius and his fellow general Mundus repressed with a massacre in the Hippodrome. In 533, he accompanied Belisarius on his victorious expedition against the Vandal kingdom in North Africa, took part in the capture of Carthage, remained in Africa with Belisarius's successor Solomon the Eunuch when Belisarius returned east to the capital. Procopius recorded a few of the extreme weather events of 535–536, although these were presented as a backdrop to Byzantine military activities, such as a mutiny in and around Carthage, he rejoined Belisarius for his campaign against the Ostrogothic kingdom in Italy and experienced the Gothic siege of Rome that lasted a year and nine days, ending in mid-March 538. He witnessed Belisarius's entry into the Gothic capital, Ravenna, in 540. Both the Wars and the Secret History suggest that his relationship with Belisarius cooled thereafter.
When Belisarius was sent back to Italy in 544 to cope with a renewal of the war with the Goths, now led by the able king Totila, Procopius appears to have no longer been on Belisarius's staff. As magister militum, Belisarius was an "illustrious man", he thus belonged to the mid-ranking group of the senatorial order. However, the Suda, well informed in such matters describes Procopius himself as one of the illustres. Should this information be correct, Procopius would have had a seat in the Constantinople's senate, restricted to the illustres under Justinian, it is not certain. Many historians—including Howard-Johnson and Greatrex—date his death to 554, but there was an urban prefect of Constantinople called Procopius in 562. In that year, Belisarius was brought before this urban prefect; the writings of Procopius are the primary source of information for the rule of the emperor Justinian I. Procopius was the author of a history in eight books on the wars prosecuted by Justinian, a panegyric on the emperor's public works projects throughout the empire, a book known as the Secret History that claims to report the scandals that Procopius could not include in his sanctioned history.
Procopius's Wars or History of the Wars is his most important work, although less well known than the Secret History. The first seven books seem to have been completed by 545 and may have been published as a unit, they were, updated to mid-century before publication, with the latest mentioned event occurring in early 551. The eighth and final book brings the history to 553; the first two books—often known as The Persian War —deal with the conflict between the Romans and Sassanid Persia in Mesopotamia, Armenia and Iberia. It details the campaigns of the Sassaniad shah Kavadh I, the 532'Nika' revolt, the war by Kavadh's successor Khosrau I in 540, his destruction of Antioch and deportation of its inhabitants to Mesopotamia, the great plague that devastated the empire from 542; the Persian War covers the early career of Procopius's patron Belisarius in some detail. The Wars’ next two books—known as The Vandal or Vandalic War —cover Belisarius's successful campaign against the Vandal kingdom that had occupied Rome's provinces in northwest Africa for the last century.
The final four books—known as The Gothic War —cover the Italian campaigns by Belisarius and others against the Ostrogoths. It includes accounts of the 1st and 2nd sieges of Naples and the 1st, 2nd, 3rd sieges of Rome; the last book describes the eunuch Narses's successful conclusion of the Italian campaign and includes some coverage of campaigns along the empire's eastern borders as well. The Wars was influential on Byzantine historiography. Histories, a continuation of Procopius's work in a similar style, was undertaken by Agathias in the 570s. Procopius's now famous Anecdota known as Secret History was discovered
Hagia Sophia is the former Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal cathedral an Ottoman imperial mosque and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. Built in 537 AD at the beginning of the Middle Ages, it was famous in particular for its massive dome, it was an engineering marvel of its time. It is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and is said to have "changed the history of architecture"; the Hagia Sophia construction consists of masonry. The structure is composed of mortar joints that are 1.5 times the width of the bricks. The mortar joints are composed of a combination of sand and minute ceramic pieces displaced evenly throughout the mortar joints; this combination of sand and ceramic pieces could be considered to be the equivalent of modern concrete at the time. From the date of its construction's completion in 537 until 1453, it served as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral and the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted by the Fourth Crusaders to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire.
The building was converted into an Ottoman mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931. It was secularized and opened as a museum on 1 February 1935, it remained the world's largest cathedral for nearly a thousand years, until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520. The current building was constructed as a church between 532 and 537 on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I and was the third Church of the Holy Wisdom to occupy the site, the prior one having been destroyed by rioters in the Nika Revolt, it was designed by the Greek geometers Isidore of Anthemius of Tralles. The church was dedicated to the Wisdom of God, the Logos, the second person of the Trinity, its patronal feast taking place on 25 December, the commemoration of the birth of the incarnation of the Logos in Christ. Although sometimes referred to as Sancta Sophia, sophia being the phonetic spelling in Latin of the Greek word for wisdom, its full name in Greek is Ναός της Αγίας του Θεού Σοφίας, Naos tēs Hagias tou Theou Sophias, "Shrine of the Holy Wisdom of God".
The church contained a large collection of relics and featured, among other things, a 15-metre silver iconostasis. The focal point of the Eastern Orthodox Church for nearly one thousand years, the building witnessed the excommunication of Patriarch Michael I Cerularius communicated by Humbert of Silva Candida, the papal envoy of Pope Leo IX in 1054, an act, considered the start of the East–West Schism. In 1453, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Empire under Mehmed the Conqueror, who ordered this main church of Orthodox Christianity converted into a mosque. Although some parts of the city of Constantinople were falling into disrepair, the cathedral was maintained with an amount of money set aside for this purpose; the Christian cathedral made a strong impression on the new Ottoman rulers and they decided to convert it into a mosque. The bells, altar and other relics were destroyed and the mosaics depicting Jesus, his Mother Mary, Christian saints, angels were destroyed or plastered over.
Islamic features – such as the mihrab and four minarets – were added. It remained a mosque until 1931, it was re-opened in 1935 as a museum by the Republic of Turkey. Hagia Sophia was, as of 2014, the second-most visited museum in Turkey, attracting 3.3 million visitors annually. According to data released by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, Hagia Sophia was Turkey's most visited tourist attraction in 2015. From its initial conversion until the construction of the nearby Sultan Ahmed Mosque in 1616, it was the principal mosque of Istanbul; the Byzantine architecture of the Hagia Sophia served as inspiration for many other Ottoman mosques, such as the aforementioned mosque, the Şehzade Mosque, the Süleymaniye Mosque, the Rüstem Pasha Mosque and the Kılıç Ali Pasha Complex. On 24 March 2019, the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that the Hagia Sophia is to be reverted to a mosque; the first church on the site was known as the Μεγάλη Ἐκκλησία, or in Latin Magna Ecclesia, because of its larger dimensions in comparison to the contemporary churches in the City.
Inaugurated on 15 February 360 by the Arian bishop Eudoxius of Antioch, it was built next to the area where the imperial palace was being developed. The nearby Hagia Eirene church was completed earlier and served as cathedral until the Great Church was completed. Both churches acted together as the principal churches of the Byzantine Empire. Writing in 440, Socrates of Constantinople claimed that the church was built by Constantius II, working on it in 346. A tradition, not older than the 7th or 8th century, reports that the edifice was built by Constantine the Great. Zonaras reconciles the two opinions, writing that Constantius had repaired the edifice consecrated by Eusebius of Nicomedia, after it had collapsed. Since Eusebius was bishop of Constantinople from 339 to 341, Constantine died in 337, it seems possible that the first church was erected by the latter; the edifice was built as a traditional Latin colonnaded basilica with a wooden roof. It was preceded by an atrium, it was claimed to be one of the world's most outstanding monuments at the time.
The Patriarch of Constantinople John
Quaestor sacri palatii
The quaestor sacri palatii, in English: Quaestor of the Sacred Palace, was the senior legal authority in the late Roman Empire and early Byzantium, responsible for drafting laws. In the Byzantine Empire, the office of the quaestor was altered and it became a senior judicial official for the imperial capital, Constantinople; the post survived until the 14th century, albeit only as an honorary title. The office was created by Emperor Constantine I, with the duties of drafting of laws and the answering of petitions addressed to the emperor. Although he functioned as the chief legal advisor of the emperor and hence came to exercise great influence, his actual judicial rights were limited, thus from 440 he presided, jointly with the praetorian prefect of the East, over the supreme tribunal in Constantinople which heard appeals from the courts of the diocesan vicarii and the senior provincial governors of spectabilis rank. According to the Notitia Dignitatum, the quaestor held the rank of vir illustris and did not have a staff of his own, but was attached a number of aides from the departments of the sacra scrinia.
In the mid-6th century, by law their number was fixed at 26 adiutores: twelve from the scrinium memoriae and seven each from the scrinium epistolarum and the scrinium libellorum, although in practice these numbers were exceeded. The most notable quaestor was Tribonian, who contributed decisively to the codification of Roman law under Emperor Justinian I; the office continued in Italy after the dissolution of the Western Roman Empire, as first Odoacer and the Ostrogothic kings retained the position, occupied by members of the Roman senatorial aristocracy like Cassiodorus. As part of his reforms, in 539 Emperor Justinian I created another office named quaestor or alternatively quaesitor, given police and judicial powers in Constantinople, tasked with the supervision of new arrivals to the imperial capital. By the turn of the 9th century, the original quaestor had lost most of his former duties to other officials, chiefly the logothetēs tou dromou and the epi tōn deēseōn; the functions of the middle Byzantine quaestor were those of the quaesitor: he was one of the kritai of Constantinople.
However, as John B. Bury notes, an examination of his subordinate staff, the fact that it could be held by a eunuch, shows that the office was the direct continuation of the quaestor sacri palatii, his duties involved: the supervision of travellers and men from the Byzantine provinces who visited Constantinople. He had an extensive jurisdiction over wills: wills were sealed with the quaestor's seal, opened in his presence, their execution supervised by him; the 9th-century quaestor ranked after the logothetēs tou genikou in the lists of precedence. The post survived into the late Byzantine period, although by the 14th century, nothing had remained of the office save the title, conferred as an honorary dignity, ranking 45th in the imperial hierarchy. Unlike the late Roman official, the middle Byzantine quaestor had an extensive staff: The antigrapheis, the successors of the old magistri scriniorum, the heads of the sacra scrinia under the magister officiorum; the term antigrapheus was used for these officials in Late Antiquity, they are explicitly associated with the quaestor in the preparation of legislation in the Ecloga.
Otherwise, their functions in the quaestor's office are unknown. John B. Bury suggests that the magister memoriae, who inter alia had the task of replying to petitions to the Byzantine emperor, evolved into the epi tōn deēseōn, while the magister libellorum and the magister epistolarum became the antigrapheis; the skribas, the direct successor of the scriba, a notary attached to the late antique official known as magister census, responsible for wills. When the quaestor absorbed the latter office, the skribas came under his control, it is known from legislation that the skribas represented the quaestor in supervising the provisions of wills as regards minors. The skeptōr, evidently a corruption of the Latin term exceptor, hence the direct continuation of the exceptores, a class of officials of the sacra scrinia; the libelisios, again deriving from the libellenses of the sacra scrinia. A number of kankellarioi under a prōtokankellarios. Bury, John Bagnell; the Imperial Administrative System of the Ninth Century - With a Revised Text of the Kletorologion of Philotheos.
London: Oxford University Press. Kazhdan, Alexander, ed.. The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-504652-6. Kelly, Christopher. Ruling the Later Roman Empire. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-01564-9
Chariot racing was one of the most popular Iranian, ancient Greek and Byzantine sports. Chariot racing was dangerous to both drivers and horses as they suffered serious injury and death, but these dangers added to the excitement and interest for spectators. Chariot races could be watched by women. In the Roman form of chariot racing, teams represented different groups of financial backers and sometimes competed for the services of skilled drivers; as in modern sports like football, spectators chose to support a single team, identifying themselves with its fortunes, violence sometimes broke out between rival factions. The rivalries were sometimes politicized, when teams became associated with competing social or religious ideas; this helps explain why Roman and Byzantine emperors took control of the teams and appointed many officials to oversee them. The sport faded in importance in the West after the fall of Rome, it survived for a time in the Byzantine Empire, where the traditional Roman factions continued to play a prominent role for several centuries, gaining influence in political matters.
Their rivalry culminated in the Nika riots. It is unknown when chariot racing began, but It may have been as old as chariots themselves, it is known from artistic evidence on pottery that the sport existed in the Mycenaean world, but the first literary reference to a chariot race is one described by Homer, at the funeral games of Patroclus. The participants in this race were Diomedes, Antilochus and Meriones; the race, one lap around the stump of a tree, was won by Diomedes, who received a slave woman and a cauldron as his prize. A chariot race was said to be the event that founded the Olympic Games. In the ancient Olympic Games, as well as the other Panhellenic Games, there were both four-horse and two-horse chariot races, which were the same aside from the number of horses; the chariot racing event was first added to the Olympics in 680 BC with the games expanding from a one-day to a two-day event to accommodate the new event. The chariot race was not so prestigious as the foot race of 195 meters, but it was more important than other equestrian events such as racing on horseback, which were dropped from the Olympic Games early on.
The races themselves were held in the hippodrome. The single horse race was known as the "keles"; the hippodrome was situated at the south-east corner of the sanctuary of Olympia, on the large flat area south of the stadium and ran parallel to the latter. Until its exact location was unknown, since it is buried by several meters of sedimentary material from the Alfeios River. In 2008, Annie Muller and staff of the German Archeological Institute used radar to locate a large, rectangular structure similar to Pausanias's description. Pausanias, who visited Olympia in the second century AD, describes the monument as a large, flat space 780 meters long and 320 meters wide; the elongated racecourse was divided longitudinally into two tracks by a stone or wooden barrier, the embolon. All the horses or chariots ran on one track toward the east turned around the embolon and headed back west. Distances varied according to the event; the racecourse was surrounded by artificial banks for the spectators. The race was begun by a procession into the hippodrome, while a herald announced the names of the drivers and owners.
The tethrippon consisted of twelve laps around the hippodrome, with sharp turns around the posts at either end. Various mechanical devices were used, including the starting gates which were lowered to start the race. According to Pausanias, these were invented by the architect Cleoitas, staggered so that the chariots on the outside began the race earlier than those on the inside; the race did not begin properly until the final gate was opened, at which point each chariot would be more or less lined up alongside each other, although the ones that had started on the outside would have been traveling faster than the ones in the middle. Other mechanical devices known as the "eagle" and the "dolphin" were raised to signify that the race had begun, were lowered as the race went on to signify the number of laps remaining; these were bronze carvings of those animals, set up on posts at the starting line. In most cases, the owner and the driver of the chariot were different persons. In 416 BC, the Athenian general Alcibiades had seven chariots in the race, came in first and fourth.
Philip II of Macedon won an Olympic chariot race in an attempt to prove he was not a barbarian, although if he had driven the chariot himself he would have been considered lower than a barbarian. The poet Pindar did praise the courage of Herodotes of Thebes, for driving his own chariot; this rule meant that women could win the race through ownership, despite the fact that women were not allowed to participa
Anastasius I Dicorus
Anastasius I was Byzantine Emperor from 491 to 518. He made his career as a government administrator, he came to the throne in his sixties after being chosen by the wife of Zeno. His religious tendencies caused tensions throughout his reign, his reign was characterised by improvements in the government and bureaucracy in the Eastern Roman empire. He is noted for leaving the imperial government with a sizeable budget surplus due to minimisation of government corruption, reforms to the tax code, the introduction of a new form of currency. Anastasius was born at Dyrrachium, he was born into an Illyrian family, the son of Pompeius, a nobleman of Dyrrachium, Anastasia Constantina. His mother was a believer in Arianism. Anastasius had one eye black and one eye blue, for that reason he was nicknamed Dicorus. Before becoming emperor, Anastasius was a successful administrator in the department of finance. Following the death of Zeno, there is strong evidence that many Roman citizens wanted an emperor, both a Roman and an Orthodox Christian.
In the weeks following Zeno's death, crowds gathered in Constantinople chanting "Give the Empire an Orthodox Emperor!" Under such pressure, Zeno's widow, turned to Anastasius. Anastasius was in his sixties at the time of his ascension to the throne, it is noteworthy that Ariadne chose Anastasius over Zeno's brother Longinus, arguably the more logical choice. It was not appreciated by the circus factions, the Blues and the Greens; these groups combined aspects of street gangs and political parties and had been patronised by Longinus. The Blues and Greens subsequently rioted, causing serious loss of life and damage. Religiously, Anastasius' sympathies were with the Monophysites; as a condition of his rule, the Patriarch of Constantinople required that he pledge not to repudiate the Council of Chalcedon. Ariadne married Anastasius on 20 May 491, shortly after his accession, he gained popular favour by a judicious remission of taxation, in particular by abolishing the hated tax on receipts, paid by the poor.
He displayed great energy in administering the affairs of the Empire. Under Anastasius the Eastern Roman Empire engaged in the Isaurian War against the usurper Longinus and the Anastasian War against Sassanid Persia; the Isaurian War was stirred up by the Isaurian supporters of Longinus, the brother of Zeno, passed over for the throne in favour of Anastasius. The battle of Cotyaeum in 492 broke the back of the revolt, but guerrilla warfare continued in the Isaurian mountains for several years; the resistance in the mountains hinged upon the Isaurians' retention of Papirius Castle. The war lasted five years, but Anastasius passed legislation related to the economy in the mid-490s, suggesting that the Isaurian War did not absorb all of the energy and resources of the government. After five years, the Isaurian resistance was broken. During the Anastasian War of 502–505 with the Sassanid Persians, the Sassanids captured the cities of Theodosiopolis and Amida, although the Romans received Amida in exchange for gold.
The Persian provinces suffered and a peace was concluded in 506. Anastasius afterward built the strong fortress of Daras, named Anastasiopolis, to hold the Persians at Nisibis in check; the Balkan provinces were denuded of troops and were devastated by invasions of Slavs and Bulgars. He converted his home city, into one of the most fortified cities on the Adriatic with the construction of Durrës Castle; the Emperor was a convinced Miaphysite, following the teachings of Cyril of Alexandria and Severus of Antioch who taught "One Incarnate Nature of Christ" in an undivided union of the Divine and human natures. However, his ecclesiastical policy was moderate, he endeavoured to maintain the principle of the peace of the church. Yet, in 512 emboldened after his military success against the Persians, Anastasius I deposed the Patriarch of Chalcedon and replaced him with a Monophysite; this violated his agreement with the Patriarch of Constantinople and precipitated riots in Chalcedon. The following year the general Vitalian started a rebellion defeating an imperial army and marching on Constantinople.
With the army closing in, Anastasius gave Vitalian the title of Commander of the Army of Thrace and began communicating with the Pope regarding a potential end to the Acacian schism. Two years General Marinus attacked Vitalian and forced him and his troops to the northern part of Thrace. Following the conclusion of this conflict, Anastasius had undisputed control of the Empire until his death in 518; the Anonymous Valesianus gives an account of Anastasius attempting to predict his successor: Anastasius did not know which of his three nephews would succeed him, so he put a message under one of three couches and had his nephews take seats in the room. He believed. However, two of his nephews sat on the same couch, the one with the concealed message remained empty. After putting the matter to God in prayer, he de
Great Palace of Constantinople
The Great Palace of Constantinople known as the Sacred Palace, was the large Imperial Byzantine palace complex located in the south-eastern end of the peninsula now known as Old Istanbul, in modern Turkey. It served as the main royal residence of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine emperors from 330 to 1081 and was the center of imperial administration for over 690 years. Only a few remnants and fragments of its foundations have survived into the present day; when Constantine I moved the Roman capital to Constantinople in 330, he planned out a palace for himself and his heirs. The palace was located between the Hagia Sophia, it was expanded several times during its history. Much of the complex was destroyed during the Nika riots of 532 and was rebuilt lavishly by the emperor Justinian I. Further extensions and alterations were commissioned by Justinian II and Basil I. However, it had fallen into disrepair by the time of Constantine VII. From the early 11th century onwards the Byzantine emperors favored the Palace of Blachernae as an imperial residence, though they continued to use the Great Palace as the primary administrative and ceremonial center of the city.
It declined during the following century when parts of the complex were demolished or filled with rubble. During the sack of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade, the Palace was plundered by the soldiers of Boniface of Montferrat. Although the subsequent Latin emperors continued to use the Palace complex, they lacked money for its maintenance; the last Latin emperor, Baldwin II, went as far as removing the lead roofs of the Palace and selling them. When the city was retaken by the forces of Michael VIII Palaiologos in 1261, the Great Palace was in disrepair; the Palaiologos emperors abandoned it, ruling from Blachernae and using the vaults as a prison. When Mehmed II entered the city in 1453, he found the palace abandoned; as he wandered its empty halls and pavilions, he whispered a quote from the Persian poet, Saadi: The spider is curtain-bearer in the palace of Chosroes, The owl sounds the relief in the castle of Afrasiyab. Much of the palace was demolished in the general rebuilding of Constantinople in the early years of the Ottoman era.
The area was turned into housing with a number of small mosques before Sultan Ahmet I demolished the remnants of the Daphne and Kathisma Palaces to build the Sultan Ahmed Mosque and its adjoining buildings. The site of the Great Palace began to be investigated in the late 19th century and an early 20th-century fire uncovered a section of the Great Palace. On this site prison cells, many large rooms, tombs were found. Initial excavations were carried out by French archaeologists at the Palace of Manganae between 1921-23. A much larger excavation was carried out by the University of St Andrews in 1935 to 1938. Further excavations took place under the directorship of David Talbot Rice from 1952 to 1954, which uncovered a section of one of the south-western buildings at the Arasta Bazaar; the archaeologists discovered a spectacular series of wall and floor mosaics which have been conserved in the Great Palace Mosaic Museum. Excavations are continuing elsewhere, but so far, less than one quarter of the total area covered by the palace has been excavated.
The Palace was located in the southeastern corner of the peninsula where Constantinople is situated, behind the Hippodrome and the Hagia Sophia. The Palace is considered by scholars to have been a series of pavilions, much like the Ottoman-era Topkapı Palace that succeeded it; the total surface area of the Great Palace exceeded 200,000 square feet. It stood on a steeply sloping hillside that descends nearly 33 metres from the Hippodrome to the shoreline, which necessitated the construction of large substructures and vaults; the palace complex occupied six distinct terraces descending to the shore. The main entrance to the Palace quarter was the Chalke gate at the Augustaion; the Augustaion was located on the south side of the Hagia Sophia, it was there that the city's main street, the Mese, began. To the east of the square lay the Senate house or Palace of Magnaura, where the University was housed, to the west the Milion, the old Baths of Zeuxippus. Behind the Chalke Gate, facing southwards, were the barracks of the palace guards, the Scholae Palatinae.
After the barracks stood the reception hall of the 19 Accubita, followed by the Palace of Daphne, in early Byzantine times the main imperial residence. It included the emperor's bedchamber. From the Daphne, a passage led directly to the imperial box in the Hippodrome; the main throne room was the Chrysotriklinos, built by Justin II, expanded and renovated by Basil I, with the palatine chapel of the Theotokos of the Pharos nearby. To its north lay the Triconchos palace, built by the emperor Theophilos and accessible through a semicircular antechamber known as the Sigma. To the east of the Triconchos lay the lavishly decorated Nea Ekklesia, built by Basil I, with five gilded domes; the church survived until after the Ottoman conquest. It was used as a gunpowder magazine and exploded when it was struck by lightning in 1490. Between the church and the sea walls lay the polo field of the Tzykanisterion. Further to the south, detached from the main complex lay
Byzantine dress changed over the thousand years of the Empire, but was conservative. The Byzantines liked color and pattern, made and exported richly patterned cloth Byzantine silk and embroidered for the upper classes, resist-dyed and printed for the lower. A different border or trimming round the edges was common, many single stripes down the body or around the upper arm are seen denoting class or rank. Taste for the middle and upper classes followed the latest fashions at the Imperial Court; as in the West during the Middle Ages, clothing was expensive for the poor, who wore the same well-worn clothes nearly all the time. In the early stages of the Byzantine Empire the traditional Roman toga was still used as formal or official dress. By Justinian's time this had been replaced by the tunica, or long chiton, for both sexes, over which the upper classes wore other garments, like a dalmatica, a heavier and shorter type of tunica, again worn by both sexes, but by men; the hems curve down to a sharp point.
The scaramangion was a riding-coat of Persian origin, opening down the front and coming to the mid-thigh, although these are recorded as being worn by Emperors, when they seem to become much longer. In general, except for military and riding-dress, men of higher status, all women, had clothes that came down to the ankles, or nearly so. Women wore a top layer of the stola, for the rich in brocade. All of these, except the stola, might be belted or not; the terms for dress are confusing, certain identification of the name a particular pictured item had, or the design that relates to a particular documentary reference, is rare outside the Court. The chlamys, a semicircular cloak fastened to the right shoulder continued throughout the period; the length fell sometimes only to the hips or as far as the ankles, much longer than the version worn in Ancient Greece. As well as his courtiers, Emperor Justinian wears one, with a huge brooch, in the Ravenna mosaics. On each straight edge men of the senatorial class had a tablion, a lozenge shaped coloured panel across the chest or midriff, used to show the further rank of the wearer by the colour or type of embroidery and jewels used.
Theodosius I and his co-emperors were shown in 388 with theirs at knee level in the Missorium of Theodosius I of 387, but over the next decades the tablion can be seen to move higher on the Chlamys, for example in ivories of 413-414. A paragauda or border of thick cloth including gold, was an indicator of rank. Sometimes an oblong cloak would be worn by the military and ordinary people. Cloaks were pinned on the right shoulder for ease of movement, access to a sword. Leggings and hose were worn, but are not prominent in depictions of the wealthy. Basic clothes appear to have been expensive for the poor; some manual workers slaves, are shown continuing to wear, at least in summer, the basic Roman slip costume, two rectangles sewn together at the shoulders and below the arm. Others, when engaged in activity, are shown with the sides of their tunic tied up to the waist for ease of movement; the most common images surviving from the Byzantine period are not relevant as references for actual dress worn in the period.
Christ, the Apostles, Saint Joseph, Saint John the Baptist and some others are nearly always shown wearing formulaic dress of a large himation, a large rectangular mantle wrapped round the body, over a chiton, or loose sleeved tunic, reaching to the ankles. Sandals are worn on the feet; this costume is not seen in secular contexts, although this is deliberate, to avoid confusing secular with divine subjects. The Theotokos is shown wearing a maphorion, a more shaped mantle with a hood and sometimes a hole at the neck; this is close to actual typical dress for widows, for married women when in public. The Virgin's underdress may be visible at the sleeves. There are conventions for Old Testament prophets and other Biblical figures. Apart from Christ and the Virgin, much iconographic dress is white or muted in colour when on walls and in manuscripts, but more brightly coloured in icons. Many other figures in Biblical scenes if unnamed, are depicted wearing "contemporary" Byzantine clothing. Modesty was important for all except the rich, most women appear entirely covered by rather shapeless clothes, which needed to be able to accommodate a full pregnancy.
The basic garment in the early Empire comes down to the ankles, with a high round collar and tight sleeves to the wrist. The fringes and cuffs might be decorated with a band around the upper arm as well. In the 10th and 11th century a dress with flared sleeves very full indeed at the wrist, becomes popular, before disappearing. In court ladies this may come with a V-collar. Belts were worn with belt-hooks to support the skirt. Neck openings were often buttoned, hard to see in art, not described in texts, but must have been needed if only for breast-feeding. Straight down