Postgraduate Course: Byzantine Archaeology: The archaeology of the Byzantine empire and its neighbours AD 500-850. (PGHC11260)
|School||School of History, Classics and Archaeology
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course aims to understand the transformation of the Classical world and the emergence of new and diverse material cultures, institutions and ideologies in the Byzantine empire and its neighbours, including the Islamic world. An important theme is the relationship of text and material culture for understanding past societies.
Constantinople the transition from late antiquity
Rome-Constantinople-Jerusalem in the eighth century
Seaways and trade
Amorium, a Byzantine city in Anatolia?
Iconoclasm in Byzantium and the Islamic world
Early medieval Urbanism Polis or Kastro?
Setting the scene: Byzantium's neighbours, Islamic Greater Syria and the new Bulgar polity in the Balkans
Hagiography and Archaeology, engaging text and material culture
Uncovering Byzantium in the 20th and 21st century
The early medieval period saw a radical realignment in the economic, social and political structures of Europe, the Mediterranean and western Asia which remain fundamental for understanding many of the tensions in the modern world. Byzantium was a unique state located between the new, dynamic Islamic world and the early medieval kingdoms of continental Europe. The course examines the material culture and structures of Byzantium and its neighbours from the Justinian's reign in the 6th century to AD 850. The study will begin by considering Justinian's empire and in particular by reviewing the recent debate on the end of urbanism in late antiquity. The empire faced new challenges including invasions by the Slavs, Bulgars and other barbarians in the Balkans and Greece and we will consider aspects of state-formation of Bulgaria. We will look at the rise of Islam and the impact the Arab invasions had on the Byzantine world as well on urbanism, religion and transport in the eastern Mediterranean. Orthodox Christianity was crucial for the survival of the Byzantine state and the crisis concerning the worship of religious images known as Iconoclasm, raises issues relevant for understanding the significance of images and belief in the medieval and the modern worlds.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
|Additional Costs|| None.
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 22,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Coursework equivalent to a 4000 word essay 100%
||Students are encouraged to discuss their essay with the course tutor and there is the opportunity for feedback following assessment.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- A knowledge and understanding of the main elements of Byzantine and Islamic archaeology in the early middle ages ?
- An understanding of the key issues concerning the relationship of art historical evidence with archaeological and textual sources
- An awareness of current historical and archaeological debates concerning the early medieval world in the eastern Mediterranean.
- An understanding of the contemporary 'national' interpretations and challenges facing the study of Byzantine archaeology
- A recognition of the contribution of material and textual evidence for an understanding of past societies
|Whittow, M. 1996 The Making of Orthodox Byzantium 600-1025. London: Macmillan. Provides a historical overview of the period from a Byzantine perspective |
Whickham, C. 2009 Inheritance of Rome a history of Europe 400-1000 (Penguin) HUB this takes a wider view
Mango, C. ed. 2002 The Oxford History of Byzantium (Oxford)
Mango C.1980 The empire of New Rome (London)
Jeffreys, E., et al. 2008 The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies, Oxford
Brubaker, L. and Haldon, J. 2001 Byzantium in the Iconoclast Era (ca 680-850): The Sources. Ashgate: Aldershot.
Cormack R. 1985 Writing in Gold Byzantine Society and its Icons (London)
Cormack R. 2000 Byzantine Art (Oxford).
Curcic S. 2010 Architecture in the Balkans from Diocletian to Süleyman the Magnificant (New Haven 2010).
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||At the end of this course the student will be able, through coursework and class discussion, to demonstrate his/her:
written skills and oral communication skills
analytical skills to understand the strengths and weaknesses of textual and material evidence from the past
ability to recognise and focus on important aspects of a wide-ranging subject and understand different viewpoints and perspectives
ability and confidence to undertake independent research
|Additional Class Delivery Information
||N.B. Timetable is arranged annually
|Course organiser||Prof Jim Crow
|Course secretary||Mr Jonathan Donnelly
Tel: (0131 6)50 3782