The Byzantines followed after the Roman Empire. Despite the fact that they originated from the Roman Empire, the Byzantines considered themselves different from their counterpart Romans. However, historians say there are no major differences between the two. To bring out their differences best, two art works from each time will be compared to see how they compare politically, religiously and geographically. The two arts will be the Pantheon (representing the Roman Empire) and the Hagai Sophia (representing the Byzantines).
Religiously the Pantheon is a representation of how the Romans switched from being a pagan society to a Christian society. Likewise, the Hagai Sofia also represents the shift of the Byzantines from Christians to muslims. It was later turned into a museum.
Politically, both empires had the church as the main opposition. The Roman Empire Was also faced with tax issues while the Byzantine’s challenge was the absolute rule of Justinian. The Roman era also had a dictator as its ruler similar to the Byzantine.
Geographically, the Roman era reigned in the city of Rome while the Byzantine era reigned in the city of Istanbul.
The arts show that both temples are huge. This tells us that the two eras had similar traits in terms of taste. This confirms that Byzantines are not different from the Roman Empire. The style and shape of some features of the church like the dome shapes portray similar characteristics. The pagan images on the Pantheon show the difference between the two eras. This is because the Byzantines were first Christians and then conformed to join the muslim religion.
The similarities and differences, tell us that in the Pantheon era, people believed in material faith because they were Pagans. On the other hand, the Hagai Sophia era portray a religious society. They believed in Christianity and later muslim. Their believe was immaterial and symbolic represented by symbols such as positioning of light to represent heaven.
Both churches have the same style- they are both characterised by dome shapes, they are both huge, and they both allow a lot of light in to the temple. Also, they were both used for religious purposes. This was their main function. The Hagai Sofia has symbolic Christian messages while the Pantheon has pagan messages inscribed on the wall. They communicate the two religions types of religions during the said eras. The Christian messages that were inscribed on the walls of Hagai were covered with muslim Quran verses.
Lastly, in the Roman Empire, there was the introduction of the pope. Though he was a religious leader, the pope had a lot of influence on the political scene. He could challenge the government and propose challenges to political figures.