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

Postgraduate Course: Approaches to the Long Late Antiquity (PGHC11360)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course introduces students to the chronology, key themes, and of sources of the 'Long Late Antiquity' (ca. 285-800). The course will take students through key developments and themes that define the Mediterranean world in this period, and characterize the 'late antique', 'early Islamic' and 'Byzantine' worlds. In this way students will be able to grasp both continuity and change across this period, and across political, religious and geographical boundaries. The course also introduces students to the key sources (literary and material) from the period.

In this way this course will serve as the core course for the new cross-school degree programme in Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies, providing an all-important basis for the more-specialised studies offered by the course options and the dissertation. However, it will also serve as an excellent stand-alone class for students on other programmes with an interest in the 'Long Late Antiquity'.
Course description This module, the 'core course' for the MSc in Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies introduces students to the key developments and themes that define the period as well as introducing them to the key sources, both literary and material and major scholarly debates. This team-taught course draws on the expertise of colleagues across the schools of History, Classics and Archaeology, Divinity, History of Art and Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. In this way this course is interdisciplinary, involving approaches that could be defined as historical, literary, art historical, archaeology and theological. Sessions focus on both key themes (e.g. 'the holy', Christianisation of material culture, Rome and Byzantium) and key sources or literary genres (e.g. panegyric, Islamic hagiography, Procopius: text and material culture).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Two pieces of work:
1. (due at end of sem. 1) A short essay on a literary source or example of material culture (e.g. a palace, a panegyric, an ecphrasis, a papyrus, a coin), accompanied by a class presentation and discussion. The presentation is not assessed, the essay is (50%) (recommended maximum length 2,500 words)

2. (due at end of sem. 2) Students will design a research proposal (which potentially could contribute to their dissertation), laying out aims and objectives of the project, and including an annotated bibliography. (50%) (2,500 words in total)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a detailed and critical command of the chronology and characteristic aspects of the Long Late Antiquity, including an understanding of what both unites and defines the 'late antique', 'early Islamic' and 'early Byzantine' periods which make up Long Late Antiquity
  2. Analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship concerning the Long Late Antiquity, the major debates and theoretical and methodological issues involved
  3. Interpret and analyse critically a range of late antique source material of various types, both literary and material
  4. Demonstrate the ability to develop and sustain original scholarly arguments in oral and written form by independently formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence considered in the course
  5. Demonstrate originality and independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers; and a considerable degree of autonomy
Reading List
Berkey, J. (2002) The Formation of Islam. Cambridge

Bowersock, G., Brown, P. and Grabar, O. (eds) (1998) Late Antiquity. A Guide to the Post-classical World. London

Brown, P. (1981) The Cult of the Saints: Its Rise and Function in Latin Christianity. London

Cormack, R. (2000) Byzantine Art. Oxford

Donner, F. (1981) The Early Islamic Conquests. Princeton

Fowden, G. (1993) Empire to Commonwealth: Consequences of monotheism in late antiquity. Princeton

Grig, L. and Kelly, G. (2012) Two Romes: Rome and Constantinople in Late Antiquity. New York

Hillenbrand, R. (1999) Islamic Art and Architecture. London

Jones, A.H.M. (1964) The Later Roman Empire 284-602: A Social, Economic, and Administrative Survey. Oxford

Kennedy, H. (2004) The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates: the Islamic Near East from the sixth century to the eleventh century. London

Krautheimer, R. (1983)Three Christian Capitals: Topography and Politics. London

Weitzmann, K. (1979) Age of Spirituality: Catalogue of the Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Yannis Stouraitis
Tel: (0131 6)50 9110
Course secretaryMiss Mel Baker
Tel: (0131 6)50 4030
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