Early Christian and Islamic Cultures

Throughout medieval Europe and Asia, regional development thrived as clustered areas banded together politically and culturally. In 330 CE, the Roman Emperor Constantine placed the new seat of the Eastern Roman Empire at Constantinople. With the new govern­ing center, a developing Christian culture emerged throughout eastern Europe and Asia

Minor. Christian culture flourished, leading to the building of new churches and cathedrals and monastic interiors throughout Byzantium (Figure 10.16).

The stone that was used in the architecture around the area of Constantinople was superbly carved and revealed the desire to build permanent buildings. Ivory was commonly used in furniture, usually in the form of thick veneers. Carved ivory chairs from the sixth century were built like a box with the arms and back attached. Four-poster beds designed for drapery canopies were created at this time because of the need and desire for privacy and warmth. Generally, these furnishings were fabricated for the wealthy and the ruling class.