Basilica of San Vitale

May 15, 2018 156

Theodora was the wife of Roman Emperor Justinian I, who ruled the Roman Empire from Istanbul between 527 and 565. She was one of the most powerful and influential Roman empresses. Earlier in life, she may have worked on stage as an entertainer, and up until Justinian’s time, an emperor couldn’t marry an actress as their reputations were considered unsavory.

But strings were pulled for Theodora, and the law was changed. Theodora was a strong influence on Justinian and his decisions, and her personality was in many ways the polar opposite of his. The best time to visit the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna is when the sun is shining, and you can see the light reflecting off the mosaics.

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