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Ravenna: from Roman powerhouse to artistic hub

Professor Judith Herrin discusses the storied history of Ravenna, once capital of the western Roman empire

Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy (Photo by Alamy)

Once the capital of the western Roman Empire, the Italian city of Ravenna was claimed in turn by Ostrogoths, Byzantines, Lombards and Franks, turning into both a hub of early Christian art and a prototypical European city. Professor Judith Herrin discusses its long and storied history.

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Judith Herrin is the author of Ravenna: Capital of Empire, Crucible of Europe (Allen Lane, 2021)