This Corinthian-style capital is a form that was common throughout the Byzantine world. Based on Roman prototypes, its naturalistic ornamentation consists of superimposed rows of scrolling acanthus leaves that bend to support a flat tablet. The capital is carved on all four sides, indicating that it rested on a freestanding column. Arranged in a colonnade, a succession of these columns would have supported architectural elements such as springing arches or a horizontal architrave. During the Middle Ages, the leafy decoration of the Corinthian capital was transformed by the introduction of figures, animals, and geometric designs, as can be seen in the Romanesque capital at left, and in the capitals of the portal on the center of the wall.