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Word Count: 1,175
The greatest of medieval civilizations was the Eastern Roman Empire The Roman Empire was divided in 395 The Western half ruled from Rome was ruled by the barbarians in the 5th century The Eastern half known as the Byzantine Empire lasted for more than over 1000 years The Byzantine Empire was one of the leading civilizations in the world Some of the reasons for the success of the Byzantine Empire was because of their strength is art and architecture One kind of metal that the Byzantines really liked to use was gold They got the gold form a place called Armenia and from mines and streams in Greece Byzantines described gold as condensed light from the sun and they made it the symbol of incorruptibility truth and glory It was sometimes mixed with silver or copper Gold was worked to create coins medallions enamel plaques jewelry elegant dishes for the home and containers for the church Gold foil was used in mosaic cubes book illumination and icon painting Gold wires were even woven into textiles and used in embroideries Another type of metal that they liked using lots was Silver The got most of their silver from mines in Armenia and Cyprus It was used to create works of art for the church including decorative pavements and icon frames Not very much personal jewelry was ever made of silver except for amulets Some of the techniques that they used to work the silver included carving it hammering it as a sheet from the reverse side or over a wooden form to make a raised image engraving and chasing they then filled the grooves with a black compound of silver and other elements then decorated it with cords made by melting together metal grains or beads to create raised patterns on a metal surface Silver works of art might be made to imitate the look of gold especially if they were to be set with gold
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