Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna
For a brief, dazzling moment, Ravenna was an unlikely refuge for a world falling apart. The city's history, enshrined in superb Byzantine mosaics, reflects the twilight of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the Middle Ages. While age-old monuments were crumbling everywhere, Ravenna was filled with magnificent new palaces and churches. As the capital of the western outpost of the Roman Empire in its last days, then of the occidental provinces of the Byzantine Empire, it offered a refuge of luxury and splendor, a return to antique civilization rising above relentless seas of barbarism.
Join art historian Elaine Ruffolofor a virtual exploration of Ravenna's extraordinary early Christian-era structures, which UNESCO has recognized for their magnificent displays of mosaic art, and what they reveal of artistic and religious relationships and contacts at an important period of European cultural history.
World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit*
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*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1/2 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.