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During the 11th and 12th centuries, secular and religious authority really combined, and rulers used buildings embellished with religious depictions to further their reputations and commemorate their reign. Understandably, in this time of poverty, being literate was a symbol of the upper class. The huge depictions of religious scenes were probably very useful during prayer, reflection, and religious ceremony; much the way power point is useful during an academic presentation. Those unable to read along during a service would have a reference point, or even a reminder of aspects of the religion that would otherwise be kept fresh through repeated reading. The beauty and lasting splendor would have been a blessing to all levels of society, a place where the rich and poor alike could marvel as equals.