Byzantine bronze weighing scale, 500 A.D.

This piece is an old scale, possibly used to weigh food or exchange products. This type of object of daily use informs about the practices and ways of living of the ancient civilizations. The mechanism of operation is simple, following the same procedure that was used until the twentieth century: at one end the object to be weighed was placed and at the other it was weighed until the scale was balanced. The fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century resulted in the ruin of the ancient world. However, Christianity was the driving force behind the continuity and evolution of the West in the Middle Ages, albeit slowly. Paleochristian art served as a bridge between classical and Christian culture to create a new art. It is an art that lives in its beginnings hidden, in many occasions persecuted. The followers of the new religion stimulated the appearance and extension of another iconography. Although to represent the beliefs and stories of their faith they often resorted to pre-existing visual prototypes, there is no doubt that the spirit that animated the visual creations of Christianity was beginning to be very different from the old polytheism.


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