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beginning when Roman civilization was overwhelmed by the northern barbarians. Glass was largely used by the Romans in pavements and in thin plates as a coating for walls. It was used to some extent in windows, but mica, alabaster and shells were more widely employed.
    Such glass as was used for windows was very thick and was available only in small pieces. The ruins of Pompeii reveal that glass half an inch thick was used in the windows of the famous baths. Other traces of Roman glass have been found in Roman ruins at London. Most of the pieces had evidently been made by casting, and the discovery of sheet glass at Silchester shows that this process of making glass was known at that time.
    When Justinian built the church of St. Sophia at Constantinople in the fifth century, there were provided great window openings filled with pierced marble screens or frames fitted with small pieces of semi-opaque flat glass, probably produced by casting.