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By Leopold Claremont

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Extra resources for The Gem-Cutter’s Craft

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Stained glass was not uncommon in secular buildings -the records of the Queen's Chamber glass figures of a Virgin at Clarendon refer to stainedand Child in a window overlook- Wooden Colle ing the park 'well barred with iron'. in were often painted both inside and out, or pierced and fretted, and covered only the lower part of the window while the upper part was permanently glazed. This had the dual advantage of security and of allowing the passage of fresh air; hinged windows were rare. At Northampton, the King's castle had a window with one of Henry Ill's favourite themes - 'the figures of Lazarus and Dives painted in the same, opposite the King's dais, which may be opened and closed'.

Emperor Charlemagne (800-814), 'the new Constantine' in the who established an Empire Byzantine Eastern Empire, in the West as a made Aachen pendant to the his chief place of 'Roma SecunCappella Palatina, still stands, a domed octagonal basilica supported by marble columns taken from the Palace of the Exarchs in Ravenna. Charlemagne fondly imagined that his palace reflected the splendours of the Roman Empire he was recreating: its Aula Regia was a basilican hall with apses, two storeys of windows and a residence.

The Byzantine aristocracy disliked living in the provinces, which resulted in a further concentration of wealthy patronage in the city. Constantinople was also the trading centre for the entire eastern Mediterranean, and merchants thronged there from China, Russia, Palestine, Asia Minor, India, Italy, Spain and North Africa. The is typified by the Varangian Guard, successors to the Roman Praetorian Guard, which were composed of Scandinavian adventurers. Court's cosmopolitan nature Constantinople was the largest in the medieval world, with nearly one million inhabitants at its greatest whom city complex of where to be orthodox in religion and to speak Greek were the only qualifications for citizenship, the immense wealth of the emperors, aristocracy and clergy was openly displayed with the utmost lavishness at every opportunity.

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