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Articles on Emperor Justinian

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People pray inside the Byzantine-era Hagia Sophia, with sail-like drapes covering mosaic figures of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. AP Photo/Yasin Akgul

Hagia Sophia has been converted back into a mosque, but the veiling of its figural icons is not a Muslim tradition

In reconverting Hagia Sophia to a mosque, Turkish officials have emphasized veiling of Christian icons to create a Muslim prayer space. Experts explain why the veiling is in fact a Byzantine practice.
Margareta, head of the women’s community at Lippoldsberg (in modern-day Germany) clasps hands with an Augustinian monk as he hands her a book. Lippoldsberg Evangeliary. Kassel, Landesbibliothek, MS theol. 2o 59, f. 73v.

Nuns were secluded to avoid scandals in early Christian monastic communities

Pope Francis recently confirmed that clergy members abused nuns. Since the early days of monasticism, the presence of nuns led to restrictions that limited contact between men and women.

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