Reading: Architecture, chapter four, pp. 169--178
Byzantine Empire (eastern): Eastern Roman Empire dominant from fifth century, reaching its highest point under Justinian (527-565). Extremely centralized and despotic personal rule. Brilliance and magnificence of court and court ritual.
Byzantine Architecture: Strong emphasis on vaulted central type as a result of variants in ritual. Structure: Basilicas with open timber roofs; central type with domes on pendentives or squinches and groin vaults supported by piers; walls have no structural function, become decorative screens. Free-flowing interior space, light continuous wall surfaces straight and curved. Coloristic treatment of surfaces, with all-over decoration: mosaic, marble veneer, lacy carved capitals, spandrels, and balustrades. Solidity of wall dissolved by shimmering light, frequently from hidden sources.