Latest Issue

A rich new history of Ravenna

Long overshadowed by Venice, Ravenna was the meeting point of Byzantium and the west

By Philip Wood   October 2020
Mosaic of Theodora in the Basilica of San Vitale Credit: Petar Milošević

Mosaic of Theodora in the Basilica of San Vitale Credit: Petar Milošević

Ravenna tends to be overshadowed by Venice—with its canals and gondoliers—in the popular imagination of Italy. The cathedral of San Marco and the Doge’s palace are the flagship examples of the meeting point of Byzantium and western Europe, where the loot seized in Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade is paraded.

But Ravenna shows us an earlier stage in the relationship between Byzantium and the west. It…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect