Undergraduate Course: Religion and War in Byzantium and in Comparative Perspective (ANHI10083)
|School||School of History, Classics and Archaeology
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||The one thousand years history of the Byzantine Empire was marked by continuous warfare against various enemies on various fronts. If war was a necessity for the survival and prosperity of the Eastern Roman imperial state, the question arising is how did a society imbued with Christian ideals of peace and non-violence legitimize the use of military violence as a political means and justified the conduct of war in ideological terms. The course will trace the development of eastern Roman attitudes toward war and peace from the period of the empire's Christianization up until the eve of early modernity in comparison with other medieval societies.
In this course we will explore the development of the dialectic relationship between the Christian religion and war in East Roman imperial culture. This will be approached from a comparative view-point by discussing the development of war ethics in the Christian post-Roman West and the Islamic Near East. Furthermore, we will undertake a comparison with cultures in which the relationship between religion and war was not informed by the biblical tradition. Our main goal will be to position the Byzantine war ethic within the broader discussion about a western just war tradition and to explore the differences between Eurocentric and non-Eurocentric approaches to the relationship between religion and military violence.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| Ancient History 2a or Ancient History 2b or 40 credits of second level historical courses.
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Visiting students should usually have at least 3 courses in Classics related subject matter (at least 2 of which should be in Ancient History) at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this), or 3 courses in History, or a mixture of 3 History and Classics courses, for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2021/22, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22,
Summative Assessment Hours 2,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
4,000 word essay (80%)
One oral presentation (20%)
||Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment.
||Hours & Minutes
|Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)||2:00|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate command of sources on the war ethic of the late antique and medieval Byzantine society;
- read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
- understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
- develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
- demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others.
|Bachrach D.S., Religion and the Conduct of War, 300-1215, London 2003|
Bonner M., Jihad in Islamic History, Princeton 2006
Cadoux C. John, The Early Christian Attitude to War. A Contribution to the History of Christian Ethics, London 1919 (repr. New York 1982)
Kelsay J. & Turner Johnson J. (eds.), Just War and Jihad: Historical and Theoretical Perspectives on War and Peace in Western and Islamic Traditions, Westport, CT 1991
Koder J. & Stouraitis I. (eds.), Byzantine War Ideology between Roman Imperial Concept and Christian Religion, Vienna 2012
Miller T.S. & Nesbitt J. (eds.), Peace and war in Byzantium. Essays in honor of George T. Dennis, S. J., Washington, DC 1995
Popovski V./Reichberg G.M./Turner N. (eds.), World religions and norms of war, New York 2009
Riley-Smith J., The First Crusade and the idea of crusading, London 1985
Russell F. R., The Just War Idea in the Middle Ages, Cambridge 1975
Shean, J.F., Soldiering for God: Christianity and the Roman army, Leiden 2010
Sorabji R. & Rodin D. (eds.), The Ethics of War. Shared Problems in Different Traditions, Oxford 2006
Turner Johnson J., The Holy War Tradition in Western and Islamic Traditions, Univ. Park, PA1997
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Dr Yannis Stouraitis
Tel: (0131 6)50 9110
|Course secretary||Ms Jenni Vento
Tel: (0131 6)50 3781