False idols and other gods is what this question addresses more than anything. Byzantine art tried to adhere to more strict rules and a lot of art was banned and/or destroyed. There was another mention by another student of Afghanistan about the Taliban, I could not agree more: art was suppressed and regulated. The destruction of art throughout history seems to be a reoccurring theme and it makes me wonder what the next attack on art will be.
The byzantine art is focused primarily on Saints, Christ, and The Virgin as well as scenes such as the Baptism or the Crucifixion. I have very strong feelings that religion was invented as a way to control the population and supplements governmental types of power. I feel this is evidenced through the persecution of artists and destruction of art throughout history.
I notice that icons from the Byzantine era were more closely related to the bible and Christianity, this differs from earlier eras where many gods were portrayed.