By Tamara Talbot Rice
Covers origin and progress of the capital, the day-by-day ritual of the imperial courtroom and the church. Black & white illustrations all through.
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Additional info for Everyday Life in Byzantium
The floor there was raised above the level of that in the body of the hall and was covered with a cloth of gold; the steps leading to the platform were of porphyry; the throne, like all the others used by the emperors, resembled a couch with a double head-board surmounted by a canopy; it was provided with a footstool. The conch of the apse above it was adorned with a glass mosaic representation of Christ, inscribed `King of Kings'. This throne-room remained the principal and most holy of all till the tenth century, and it housed the imperial regalia.
On reaching the late sovereign's final resting place it fell to the master of ceremonies to step forward and again proclaim, `Enter Emperor: the King of Kings, Lord of Lords calls you'; then he would cry `Remove your crown'. At these words the crown of state was lifted from the dead man's brow and in its place a purple circlet was laid on it. Then the coffin was closed and the burial performed. A similar ritual was observed in the case of an empress. 56 3 THE CHURCH AND CHURCHMEN Emperor Justinian wrote the preface to the collection of legal codes issued under the title of The Sixth Novel.
Byzantium's royal residences did not, as in the West, consist of a large residential block situated in pleasure grounds and flanked by stables and domestic dependencies, but, as in the Orient, took the form of walled enclosures containing a large number of separate buildings dispersed amidst gardens and walks. Emperor Theophilus (829-42) was so passionate an admirer of Arabian culture that he laid out much of the western quarter of the Great Palace enclosure in the eastern style; a part of it was thereafter called the Persian House.
Everyday Life in Byzantium by Tamara Talbot Rice