Gold and the Byzantine Empire

Different customs and body decoration accessories of Byzantines people were quite similar to those customs, and accessories that could be seen in the Rome at that time (476-1453 CE). As the capital city of Constantinople, there were public baths that were also quite similar to those, which could be seen in Rome. They used to wear different types of jewellery in ears, fingers, toes, neck, ankles, and fibulae.

Most of these jewellery items were made of gold, or silver, as they were two most favourite items of Byzantines. These people also coated other metals with a thin plate of gold that were developed in that very empire. It indicates that gold was quite an adorable object in that empire, and they had developed some other ways to satiate their insatiable thirst for gold.

As their empire further developed, it began to absorb many different types of elements in its jewellery and costume traditions, and most of these elements came from the Orient, and the Middle East. The Byzantines did not use heavy cosmetics and other make-ups like the Roman. Contrarily, they were inclined towards developing some fabulous perfumes, and they used those ingredients in their make, which they got from Persia, India, and China. Perfume making soon became a popular trade in that region.

They had also developed some unique forms of manufacturing jewellery, and they were utilising various techniques for making their jewellery. Enamelling was one of the most popular techniques, and it was widely used on various types of jewellery. These people were quite fond of rings, and had great dexterity in developing different types of rings, which were often devised in lots of styles, and shapes.

Women alone did not wear jewellery, as it was also equally popular among men. Just like today, even then wearing lots of jewellery was considered a sign of affluence, and well-being. Those who had lots of gold jewellery were considered affluent and well off, while less privileged people often wore silver, or gold coated jewellery.

The Byzantines often tried to develop some ways to convert other metals into gold, and many of them used to migrate from one place to another in search of gold. It will not be wrong, if it is said that gold was just like their only object of worship, and they were often willing to do everything to get even a minute quantity of it.

Apart from jewellery, they also made some other objects from it that also included small idols and utensils. These idols and utensils were widely used in their shrines, as most of them have been found in the ruins of these shrines.

The technique they used at that time for gold coating are still in use even after thousands of years. They were also quite well known for their patterns, and they had also developed quite an impressive ways to use these patterns on almost all types of clothing. These people also developed samite, which was a special sort of silk, they used on their special occasions.

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Author: Uzumaki Naruto

"I want to see this market as a sharing market. Where merchants and customers sincerely support one another."

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