The Byzantine Empire lasted from the days of ancient Rome and Constantine the Great (330 AD) to the age of exploration with Constantine Palaeologus who died in 1453 AD. Although it has been gone for centuries the heritage of its art remains from Constantinople (Istanbul) to Venice and Ravenna. This presentation illustrates its history of military achievement, religious triumph, courts of intrigue, and bloody betrayals of this great empire through its art and architecture. See the spectacular paintings and mosaics created in the midst of vicious politics, warfare, bloodshed, heroism and faith. Five periods will be described and illustrated: the founding; the age of Justinian and Theodora; the grisly triumph of Basil the Bulgar Slayer and the Fourth Crusade treachery; and, finally, the Fall of Constantinople.