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The reign of Justinian (r. 527–565) opened the first golden age of Byzantine art

The reign of Justinian (r. 527–565) opened the first golden age of Byzantine art (527–726). Justinian was a great patron of the arts, and in Constantinople alone he built or restored more than 30 churches, including Hagia Sophia (Church of Holy Wisdom). A brilliant fusion of central and longitudinal plans, the church featured a 180-foot-high dome resting on pendentives, rivaling the architectural wonders of Rome. Please describe the characteristics of the great church , and explain why we say that the ambitious scale of imperial Rome and the religious mysticism of the Eastern Christian Empire combined to create a monument that is at once a summation of antiquity and a positive assertion of the triumph of Christian faith

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