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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Constantinople, the creation of 'the city of a world's desire' (330-565) (PGHC11333)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryIn the sixth century AD Constantinople was the largest and most powerful city in the Mediterranean world. The course aims to study its unique material and literary culture and to unravel its fascinating urban history.
Course description With the foundation of Constantine's New Rome in 330 many of the patterns of urban life were transformed and new civic institutions and structures emerged; Christianity flourished and the old pagan ways were suppressed. There will be particular attention to the evidence surviving from modern Istanbul together with an appreciation of the textual and literary evidence and the history of research from the 16th century onwards. The course provides the opportunity to consider the problems of combining archaeological, visual sources and text within the topographical setting of a thriving modern city.

Lectures and seminars will include:
Historical and topographical sources for the foundation of Constantinople.
Written sources for the late antique city and later antiquarian rediscovery.
The material evidence for the fourth to sixth century city will include themes of:
Display and propaganda; Routes and passageways; Infrastructures; Palaces, Great Churches; and Defence.
Writing the City, ekphrasis and description
The emergence of court culture
How to write an urban history of late antique Constantinople
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. an understanding of the material and written sources relating to the creation and transformation of urban life and institutions of Constantinople
  2. an understanding of the geographical and topographical evidence for Constantinople
  3. a critical knowledge of the literary, hagiographic and legal sources for late antique urbanism, with special reference to Constantinople
  4. an appreciation of Constantinople in the context late antique urbanism in the Mediterranean
  5. a critical knowledge of the visual culture of the New Rome
Reading List
Sample Bibliography

Khazdan A The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium 1991
Mango C The Art of the Byzantine Empire (Sources and documents) 1972.
Mango C Byzantium, the Empire of New Rome 1980.
Khazdan A and Cutler A "Continuity and Discontinuity in Byzantine History" Byzantion 52(1982),429f.
Bardill, J. 2004 Brickstamps of Byzantium (OUP)
Bassett, S. 2004. The urban image of Late Antique Constantinople. Cambridge.
Cormack, R. 2000. Byzantine Art. Oxford.
Crow, J., Bardill, J., and Bayliss, R. 2008. The Water Supply of Byzantine Constantinople.London.
Dark, K. 2004. Houses, streets and shops in Byzantine Constantinople from the fifth to the twelfth centuries. Journal of Medieval History 30: 83-107.
Mathew, T. Mathews, T. 1971. The early churches of Constantinople: architecture and liturgy. University Park.
Mathews, T. 1999. The clash of gods. A reinterpretation of early Christian art. Princeton
Magdalino, P. 2007. Studies on the history and topography of Constantinople. Aldershot.
Mango C Le development urbain de Constantinople (IV-VIIe siecles). 2004
Mango, C. 1997. Byzantine Architecture. London.
Mango, C. 2000. The triumphal way of Constantinople and the Golden Gate. DOP 54:
Mango, C. (ed.). 2002. The Oxford History of Byzantium. Oxford.
Mango, C. and Dagron, G. (eds). 1995. Constantinople and its Hinterland. Aldershot.
Mango, M. M. 2000. The commercial map of Constantinople. DOP 54: 189-20
Striker, C. 1981. The Myrelaion (Bodrum Camii). Princeton.
Striker, C. and Kuban, Y. D. (eds). 1997. Kalenderhane in Istanbul. Mainz.
Talbot Rice, D. 1930. Excavations at Bodrum Camii 1930. Byzantion 8: 151-76.
Talbot Rice, D. (ed.). 1958. The Great palace of the Byzantine emperors, second report. Edinburgh.
Weitzmann, K. (ed.). 1977. Age of Spirituality: Late Antique and Early Christian Art, Third to Seventh Century. New York.

Caseau, B. 1999. "Sacred Landscapes". In G. W. Bowersock, et al (eds) Late Antiquity: a Guide to the Postclassical World. Cambridge, Mass., 21-59.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills At the end of this course the student will be able, through tutorials, coursework and class discussion, demonstrate:
- his/her written skills and oral communication skills
- his/her analytical skills
- his/her ability to recognise and focus on important aspects of a wide-ranging subject and to select specific examples
- his/her ability to undertake independent study

Additional Class Delivery Information There weekly classes, which combine lectures with student led seminars
KeywordsConstantinople Byzantium
Course organiserProf Jim Crow
Course secretaryMr Gordon Littlejohn
Tel: (0131 6)50 3782
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