When fiery Roman Emperor Justinian ordered the rebuilding of the great church of Hagia Sophia in modern-day Turkey, he was aiming for nothing less than eternal glory, both to God and for himself. He commissions two men – Anthemius of Tralles and the Elder Isidore of Miletus – to build a church greater than any of its predecessors. Parallax Film Productions peels back the layers of this ancient megastructure to reveal its incredible history of engineering.

Anthemius and Isidore are known as “mechanikoi” - masters of the science of mechanics. Haiga Sophia is testament to their greatness. Exactly how these Romans conceive of the vast golden dome floating high above the ground has astounded architects for centuries, and modern science has only recently revealed its history of architecture. The structure has survived almost 1500 years of violence and earthquakes.

This documentary profiles the details of Haiga Sophia’s construction, which starts shortly after the Nika Revolt. Materials for this ambitious project are shipped from all over the Roman Empire: yellow stone from Syria, porphyry fro Egypt and Hellenic columns from Ephesus. More than ten thousand people toil to build the church. The manifestation of Roman Emperor Justinian’s vision is inaugurated in 537 AD.

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