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Photo of San Vitale Basilica

Emperor Justinian

Detail of mosaic on the left wall of the apse (526-47 AD) depicting Emperor Justinian (r. 527-65) and his entourage. Justinian was one of the most powerful Byzantine emperors and a great church-builder. He stands in the center of the mosaic, wearing imperial purple and holding a large gold paten, the plate on which the bread is placed for Mass. To his left is Maximian, Archbishop of Ravenna, holding a jeweled cross.

Photo © Holly Hayes.