BYZANTINE LITERATURE AND CULTURE

Academic year 2018/2019 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title CIVILTA' E LETTERATURA BIZANTINA
Course code FT0416 (AF:284929 AR:161834)
Modality Frontal Lesson
ECTS credits 6
Degree level Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code L-FIL-LET/07
Period 3rd Term
Where VENEZIA
Contribution of the course to the overall degree programme goals
The module on Byzantine History is a course of Medieval History and focuses on the history of the Eastern Roman Empire from 330 to 1453, the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantine History is the history of the other half of the medieval world and includes not only the Greek world but also the entire eastern part of the Mediterranean (from Balkans to Persia): this is a part of history that is not taught at school and that remains, even today, a mysterious and charming world.
The course of Byzantine History is the natural development of the courses of Greek and Roman History and the twin of the courses of Medieval History. It allows students to reach a complete knowledge of the history of the Middle Ages, the problems of the periodization of the late antique and middle ages, the historiographical debates in progress of a discipline that is still, partially, an unexplored field of research.
Expected learning outcomes
- To acquire a basic knowledge of the History of the Byzantine Empire and to be able to interpret its fundamental events in the wider context of Medieval History.
- Understand the influences and the cultural heritage of the Byzantine Empire.
- To develop a critical and independent approach to a diverse range of sources, both primary and secondary, and develop analytical skills in critically evaluating this material in an autonomous way.
Pre-requirements
It is of great help to have a sound knowledge of Roman History.
Contents
Bisanzio è forse solo un simbolo insondabile,
segreto e ambiguo come questa vita,
Bisanzio è un mito che non mi è consueto,
Bisanzio è un sogno che si fa incompleto,
Bisanzio forse non è mai esistita...
(F. Guccini, Bisanzio, 1981)
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The module on Byzantine History (I and II) introduces the students to the History of Byzantium covering the entire millennium of its development (330-1453). In particular, the course of Byzantine History I focuses on the period between 330 and 1204. Among the topics discussed during the course students will be introduced to the passage from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages, the development of Latin and Greek Europe, the safeguard of the classical heritage, the role of the Church.


1. Introduction to the Byzantine History. Empire - Orthodoxy - Hellenism: analysis and discussion.
2. Late antiquity and periodization of Byzantine history: transition from the Roman Empire to the Eastern Roman Empire: from Constantine (330) to Justinian (527)
3. Ruling the Mediterranean: Justinian (527-602)
4. The broken empire of the Mediterranean (602-717) sea: the rise of Islam and the new Mediterranean powers
5. The role of Christianity in the late ancient period: from the Council of Nicea I (325) to Constantinople III (680-681)
6. From the iconoclastic crisis to the Macedonian splendor (717-867)
7. Expansion and splendor (867-1056)
8. The crisis of the eleventh century, the rise of the papacy (1054-1081)
9. The dynasty of the Comnenoi and the first four Crusades through Byzantine eyes (1081-1204)
10. Latin domination (1204-1261) and the reconquest of Constantinople
11. From civil wars to the fall of the Empire (1341-1453)
12. Byzantium and the Renaissance
13. Sources for the Byzantine History
14. The Byzantine studies
15. Final Revision

Referral texts
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Introductions to Byzantine History, one of the following volumes:

Ducellier, A. - Kaplan, M., Bisanzio, 4.-15. secolo (Cinisello Balsamo, 2005)
Gregory, T. E., A history of Byzantium (Malden, MA, 2005)
Haldon, J., Byzantium: A history, (Stroud, 2005)
Kaplan, M., Pourquoi Byzance? Un empire de onze siècles (Paris, 2016)
Stathakopoulos, D., A Short History of the Byzantine Empire (London, 2014)

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Further readings:
“The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium” ed. by A. P. Kazhdan, 3 voll. (Oxford, 1991)
“The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies”, ed. by E. Jeffreys, J.F. Haldon and R. Cormack (Oxford, 2008)
“A Companion to Byzantium”, ed. by L. James (Chichester, 2010)
“The Byzantine World”, ed. by P. Stephenson (London, 2010)

“Le monde byzantin” published by Presses Universitaires de France (PUF): I, L’Empire romain d’Orient (330-641), ed. by C. Morrisson (Paris, 2004); II, L’Empire byzantin (641-1204), ed. by J.-C. Cheynet (Paris, 2006); III, L’empire grec et ses voisins XIIIe-XVe siècle, ed. by A. Laiou e C. Morrisson (Paris, 2011).

“The Cambridge Ancient History”, Vol. 13, The Late Empire, AD 337–425, ed. by A. Cameron and P. Garnsey (1998) and Vol. 14, Late Antiquity: Empire and Successors, AD 425–600, ed. by A. Cameron, B. Ward-Perkins e M. Whitby (2001)
“The Cambridge History of the Byzantine Empire c. 500–1492”, ed. by J. Shepard (2009).
“The New Cambridge Medieval History”, Vols 1-7, covers the period 500–1500 (1998-2005).
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Other suggestions:
Abulafia, D., Il Grande Mare. Storia del Mediterraneo, trad. it. Milano 2013
Cameron, A., Byzantine matters (Princeton, 2014)
Cameron, A., The Byzantines (Oxford, 2007); traduzione italiana: Cameron, A., I Bizantini (Bologna, 2008)
Herrin, J., Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire (London, 2007); tr. italiana: Herrin, J., Bisanzio: Storia straordinaria di un impero millenario (Milano, 2008)
Patlagean, É., Un Medioevo greco. Bisanzio tra IX e XV secolo (Bari, 2009)
Cavallo, G. (a cura), L'uomo bizantino, Roma-Bari 1992
Frankopan, P., Le vie della seta. Una nuova storia del mondo (Milano, 2017)

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FOR FURTHER MATERIAL REGISTER YOURSELF on MOODLE:
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https://moodle.unive.it/
Assessment methods
**15 days before the exam** every student must submit a review of 3.000 words (font 11, line spacing 1) including footnotes, excluding bibliography of an article or a chapter suggested/approved by the teacher. Students who do not follow the lectures must fix an appointment with the teacher in order to agree upon bibliography and title of the essay.
Oral examination 70% + Essay 30%. These are the "Marking Criteria":

30 cum laude
Overall
Outstanding answer: exceptionally well structured and informed, showing striking personal insight and originality.
Understanding
Authoritative; full understanding of relevant material; highly original analysis; highly independent and critical judgment; high degree of precision.
Selection & Coverage
Unusually extensive range of sources, applied with outstanding insight; exceptionally effective use of evidence to support argument.
Structure of the essay
Excellent structure, focus, presentation and writing style, contributing to a highly compelling argument.

29-30/30
Overall
Highly thoughtful answer informed by wider reading, showing clarity of thought, personal insight and originality.
Understanding
Thorough understanding of relevant material; insightful discussion; evidence of independent and critical judgment.
Selection & Coverage
Extensive range of sources applied insightfully; very effective use of evidence to support argument.
Structure of the essay
Very good structure and focus; clear and fluent writing style; compelling argument.

28-29/30
Overall
Thoughtful answer informed by wider reading, showing clarity of thought and personal insight.
Understanding
Thorough understanding of relevant material; insightful discussion and analysis.
Selection & Coverage
Extensive range of sources applied insightfully. Effective use of evidence to support argument
Structure
Well structured and focused; clear and fluent writing style; persuasive argument.

27-28
Overall
Good understanding of relevant material; coherent and logical argument.
Understanding
Good understanding of important facts and concepts; substantive analysis of key issues.
Selection & Coverage
Good use of relevant sources/literature; employment of a range of evidence to support argument.
Structure
Coherent and logical presentation.

26-27
Overall
Sound understanding; limited analysis.
Understanding
Generally sound understanding of relevant material but limited range or depth; more descriptive that analytical.
Selection & Coverage
Appropriate but limited use of sources/literature; attempts to support argument, but these are awkward and/or unconvincing.
Structure
Generally clear presentation but awkward structure and/or limited development of argument.

23-25
Overall
Basic understanding and analysis.
Understanding
Some general knowledge but little detail; minimal demonstration of analytical thought.
Selection & Coverage
Sparse coverage of basic material; generally unsuccessful in using evidence to support argument.
Structure
Adequate structure and presentation, but unclear or disorganized in places.

18-23
Overall
Unsystematic, incomplete and/or inaccurate.
Understanding
Some knowledge but poor understanding; numerous inaccuracies; meaning often unclear; poor analysis.
Selection & Coverage
Inappropriate and/or very minimal use of sources/literature; poor use of evidence to support argument.
Structure
Disorganised and unclear presentation; consistently poor spelling and grammar; incoherent argument; unacceptably brief.
Teaching methods
Lectures and discussions about various articles, scientific publications, primary sources.
Review of 3.000 words (font 11, line spacing 1) including footnotes, excluding bibliography of an article or a chapter suggested/approved by the teacher. Students who do not follow the lectures must fix an appointment with the teacher in order to agree upon bibliography and title of the essay.
Teaching language
Italian
Further information
Some journals:

• Bollettino Badia Greca di Grottaferrata
• Byzantina
• Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies
• Byzantinische Forschungen
• Byzantinische Zeitschrift
• Byzantinisch-neugriechische Jahrbücher
• Byzantinoslavica
• Byzantion
• Classica et Medievalia
• Dumbarton Oaks Papers
• Epeteris Hetaireias Byzantion Spoudon
• Greek Roman and Byzantine Studies
• Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Byzantinistik
• Medioevo Greco
• Orientalia Christiana Periodica
• Revue des Études Byzantines
• Rivista di Studi Bizantini e Neollenici
• Rivista di Studi Bizantini e Slavi
• Travaux et Mémoires
• Vizantijskij Vremennik

Some links:
http://www.jstor.org/
www.academia.edu
https://archive.org/
https://stephanus.tlg.uci.edu/indiv/weblogin
http://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/byzantium/
http://www.porphyra.it/
http://www.byzantium1200.com/
http://www.doaks.org/
http://pinakes.irht.cnrs.fr/
http://www.studibizantini.it/
http://www.paleografi-diplomatisti.org/
http://paleografia-greca.blogspot.co.uk/
https://www.zotero.org/
http://www.unive.it/nqcontent.cfm?a_id=181439


Byzantinische Zeitschrift, rivista che pubblica articoli e recensioni sugli aspetti legati alla letteratura, la storia, la società e la cultura bizantina. Ogni numero contiene un'ampia sezione bibliografica
http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/byzs

Dictionnaire d’histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques (DHGE), una risorsa d’informazioni sulla storia della Chiesa attraverso i cinque continenti e un vasto arco temporale che va dall’antichità all’epoca contemporanea
http://apps.brepolis.net/LTool/Entrance.aspx?w=3&a=%2fDHGE%2ftest%2fDefault2.aspx

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Type of exam
oral
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme
10/04/2018