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Mosaics Of San Vitale
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The church of San Vitale in Ravenna was dedicated to St. Vitalis. After the discovery of the bones of the reputed martyrs Agricola and his slave Vitalis at Bologna in the fourth century, Vitalis was widely venerated in the west. The church of which he is the patron saint in Ravenna was begun by Bishop Ecclesius in the second quarter of the sixth century, when the Goths still ruled there. Funds for its construction were supplied by Julianus Argentarius. The church was completed and consecrated by Bishop Maximian in 547/8, after control had passed to the Byzantines . San Vitale...
age - of bestowing the wreath of glory to the winner in the agon .

If texts can be misread, art is even more susceptible to misinterpretation. Today, some scholars seem to want to believe in a Byzantium that idealized its rulers and cared above all for politics. The sources seem rather to show a society that valued the rulers, if it valued them at all, mostly for the practical benefits they could present . The reality behind an idealized image of power was often weakness; attempts to glorify figures in authority often masked their actual insecurity and unpopularity.

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