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Maggie May

Art produced during the Byzantine time was often highly spiritually significant, such as relics which connected believers to the divine in a very tangible way, or iconography which demonstrated the significance of certain individuals or events to early Christians. However, iconoclasm occurred at a time of crisis for the Byzantine empire, and the empire was split into two groups. Those who believed in the use of images and those who did not. Those who did often believed that the icons took on their own special powers. From what I’ve read, it was even occasionally believed that the icons could defend themselves or bleed when attacked. It certainly seems to tie into what we discussed in regards to graven images last week– that sometimes those who were for the use of iconography in the Byzantine empire assigned special powers and significance to the objects themselves, focusing on them rather than the larger spiritual beliefs at play.