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Middle Ages
Byzantine Architecture



Byzantine Architecture
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.19

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    earth-shaking, heavenly, innovation, inspiration, marble-carvers, trend, well-educated, artistic, historian, concrete, lasted, basilica, emperor, building, design, dome
     content words:    Dark Ages, Hagia Sophia, Divine Wisdom, Justinian I., Then Rome, Emperor Justinian, Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Baskin Robbins, Greek Parthenon


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Byzantine Architecture
By Colleen Messina
  

1     In the Dark Ages, one building was so stunning that it was said to be "suspended by a golden chain from heaven." What kind of building would seem so divine?
 
2     The heavenly building was the church of Hagia Sophia. The historian Procopius said that it seemed suspended from heaven. He was specifically talking about its big concrete dome that seemed to float in space. This church's name meant Divine Wisdom. It was built from 532 to 537 A.D. under the emperor Justinian I. This church was a great example of Byzantine architecture.
 
3     Roman builders created many great structures. Then Rome fell. The empire split into western and eastern halves. Emperor Justinian I ruled the eastern section of the old Roman Empire. He revolutionized architecture, and he loved to build churches. His empire was called the Byzantine Empire, and its center was Byzantium. This eastern empire lasted for more than 1,000 years.

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