In 527, Justinian became ruler of the Byzantine Empire and left a legacy that still exists today. One remaining aspect of this legacy is the Hagia Sophia. The greatness of this structure lies not only in its grandeur, but also its representation of the Byzantine Empire and the value it placed on art and religion. The transformation that the building has undergone over the centuries represents the shifts in the Byzantine Empire both culturally and religiously. As a culture, Byzantium managed to align itself with Western Europe, while at the same time having strong enough ties with the East to set it apart into its own separate empire.
Saunders, Jessica, "Material Object Project: The Hagia Sophia" (2015). History Class Publications. 17.