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When Byzantine changed the official religion to Christianity I think that culture as a whole struggled with how to create art that told the story of the religion rather that depicting a false icon. For example, while Byzantine was part of the Roman Empire you often saw those in power wearing the guise of the one the gods. We saw this in Gemma Augusta where Augustus is shown to look like Jupiter and in the statue of Commodus as Hercules. As the times and religions changed this became a blatant defiance of the second commandment but artists and others were still struggling with this concept.