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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Ancient History

Undergraduate Course: The formation of the medieval Roman Empire, 602-867 (ANHI10088)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe Roman imperial state that continued to exist in the East after the end of Late Antiquity is usually considered as something very different from the Late Roman Empire and the label Byzantine Empire is employed to emphasize this difference. This course will trace the major cultural, social, and geopolitical changes that shaped the image of the Roman Empire of Constantinople in the early medieval period.
Course description In this course we will study the transformation of the East Roman Empire into a medieval imperial state which managed to overcome the crisis of the long seventh century that threatened its very existence. Our focus will be on the extensive ideological, cultural, and social changes that formed the basis on which the so-called Byzantine Empire was able to reclaim its position as the most powerful state of the Eastern Mediterranean by the end of the early Middle Ages. Moreover, we will pay particular attention to the mutual political and cultural influence between East Rome and Islam as well as to the impact of the Empire on the configuration of the Slavic world of the medieval Balkans.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Ancient History 2a: Past and Present in the Ancient World (ANHI08014) OR Ancient History 2b: Themes and Theories in Ancient History (ANHI08013)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students who have not passed Ancient History 2A or Ancient History 2B may be permitted entry to the course providing they have passed 40 credits of second level historical courses.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting 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? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Brown T.S., Gentlemen and Officers. Imperial Administration and Aristocratic Power in Byzantine Italy, A.D. 554-800, Rome 1984
Brubaker L. and Haldon J., Byzantium in the Iconoclast Era, c. 680-850: A history, Cambridge 2010
Gregory T., A history of Byzantium, Malden, MA.-Oxford 2005
Haldon J., The Empire that would not die. The Paradox of Eastern Roman Survival, 640-740, Cambridge 2016
Haldon J.F. (ed.), Towards a social history of Byzantium, Oxford 2009
Kaegi W., Heraclius, Emperor of Byzantium, Cambridge 2003
Kennedy H., The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates: The Islamic Near East from the Sixth to the Eleventh Century, London, 1986
Laiou A. et al. (eds.), The economic history of Byzantium from the seventh through the fifteenth century, Washington D.C. 2002
(online at:
Shepard J. (ed.), The Cambridge history of the Byzantine Empire: c. 500 - 1492, Cambridge 2008
Treadgold W., The Byzantine Revival, 780-842, Stanford 1988
Whittow M., The making of Orthodox Byzantium, 600-1025, Basingstoke 1996
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Yannis Stouraitis
Tel: (0131 6)50 9110
Course secretaryMiss Katherine Shaw
Tel: (0131 6)50 8349
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