Eastern Influences


Many of the styles current in late antiquity looked beyond the core traditions from Rome. The textiles shown here reflect influences from the East, especially the capital Constantinople, from Syria, and from beyond the borders of the empire, in Persia:


The most lavish of Byzantine imperial silks were imitated in less expensive wool and linen;

Syrian weaving techniques and designs are found even in smaller Egyptian towns;

Some of these styles and motifs look ahead to continued cultural cross-fertilization throughout the medieval Middle East.


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