The glass items produced since the late Roman times till the conquer of Constantinople (Istanbul) by the Ottomans (5th century AD - 15th century AD), along the coast of the east Mediterranean region, is called the Byzantian glass. The glass production in Byzantine represents a transition from Hellenistic-Roman traditions to more modern European styles. Until the 8th century it carried a more Roman signature on it but since then it reflected predominantly Islamic traditions, styles and colors.
Byzantian artists and craftsmen used all the advanced techniques of the time. 'Free blowing', 'blowing into the mold' and 'pressing' techniques were all utilized very effectively. Other than glass household materials and ornamental items, flat glass and mosaic glass were produced widely.
As the successor of the Roman empire in the Mediterranean region, Ravenna continued to produce flat glass after 5th century with a technique known as 'crown'.
The small mosaic glasses, covered with gold and usually colorful, were widely used in religious and civil structures' walls, domes and columns. You can still see millions of these mosaics on Byzantian era buildings. This is solid proof of how successful they were in producing flat glass materials in large quantities.
They produced small glass items for everyday use in large quantities. There are many items in the museums today with Greek words, monograms and busts on them.
The glass items for luxury and elegant purposes were widely produced in the Byzantian Empire. Since the 12th century we see an obvious Islamic influence on them.
The common feature of the 13th century glass tradition is the use of glass mixture, called 'Venedico-Byzantian' in small medallion type ornamental items. Cutting, carving and enamelling of the small ornaments were mastered by the Byzantian artists. We see a great interest in rings, necklaces, ear-rings, bracelets and similiar jewellery in Byzantian and closely related Slavic countries, during this period. Glass was usually the important part of these jewellery items.
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