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"Images"  
Asimovs March1987
Author Harry Turtledove
First Appearance Asimov's
Collected Agent of Byzantium
Series Agent of Byzantium
Publication date March, 1987
Preceded by "Archetypes"
Followed by "Superwine"

"Images" (also known as "Etos Kosmou 6826") is a short story by Harry Turtledove, first published in Asimov's, March, 1987. It is a story set in the Agent of Byzantium series, and was reprinted in the fix-up novel of the same name in 1987.

It is 1317 and a number of Egyptian monks have begun preaching that icons are blasphemous, leading to rioting between their advocates and supporters of icons. Discord was spreading throughout the Roman Empire, leading the Emperor to convene an ecumenical council.

Editorial CommentEdit

In OTL, Byzantine Iconoclasm was the dominant religious doctrine, and the prohibition on images was strictly enforced for much of the 8th and 9th centuries. Turtledove's own "Farmers' Law" is set against this backdrop. 

Traditional historical theory has argued that Byzantine Iconoclasm was partly due to people in the eastern provinces picking up word of Islam's strict prohibitions against graven images. In a timeline where Islam never existed, Byzantine Iconoclasm would have been weaker than in OTL.

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