When Art was Ornamental
From the first page of this article:
Pagan classicism – mamoreal, monumental, certain of the primacy of earthly life – yielded to Christian abstraction and introspection. Art was now the ornamentation and the not celebration of a transitory world; the physical world would never again be heroic.
This article has much artwork which you can see in the online version. The important point, for someone like me, used to realistic art, was how it showed mental imagery, not visual imagery (as the Greek statuary had done). This is what mamoreal means (I had to look it up myself).
One more quote:
In 628 the emperor Heraclius summoned Mohammed’s cousin Abu Sufyaan, messenger of the messenger of God, and put to him many questions by which he hoped to weigh the authority of the Prophet. He asked: “Has any among your people claimed to be a prophet before him?” He was told: “No.” He asked “Was any among his ancestors a king?” He was told: “No.” He asked “It is the noble among the people or the weak who follow him?” He was told: “The weak.” He asked: “Are his followers increasing or decreasing in number?” He was told: “They are increasing.” He asked: “Does he break his promises?” He was told: “No.” Heraclius concluded: “Verily, what what you say is true, he will rule the ground beneath my feet.”