This ornate silver Cross was hand forged during the Middle Ages in the cradle of Christianity, the Byzantine Empire. It was surely worn by a Byzantine citizen during this amazing age of early Christendom and it is still ready to wear as a necklace. With the eventual decline of Rome, the Church of Constantinople became the richest and most influential center of the Christian world. The reign of Justinian the Great in 527-565 marked a blossoming of Byzantine culture with a building program that yielded such masterpieces as the cathedral church of the Holy Wisdom of God, Hagia Sophia. Justinian who is considered a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church, created the authority of this Church which firmly established Christianity throughout the Empire. This Byzantine Empire would exist for more than a thousand years until 1453 and was one of the most powerful economic, cultural, and military forces in Europe and Asia Minor.