Academic year
2022/2023 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
FM0174 (AF:360827 AR:199440)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
4th Term
Course year
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The course of History of Byzantine Christianity is a teaching of the master's degree of "Sciences of Religions" and the master's degree in "Sciences of antiquity: literatures, history and archaeology". Teaching is also offered for the master's degree course in "History from the Middle Ages to the Contemporary Age" and "History of the arts and conservation of artistic heritage".

The course of History of Byzantine Christianity offers students the training they need to learn how to identify the central themes in the millenary history of Byzantine Christianity, their cultural, literary and artistic stacks and the links with nearby historical realities, the Islamic world and the Latin West.

At the end of the course the students:
will know how to orient themselves in Byzantine religious and ecclesiastical history;
will know the religious and cultural relations between Byzantium and the surrounding worlds;
will be able to identify the central issues in the history of Byzantine Christianity;
know the fundamental terms and concepts of Byzantine Christianity.
Basic knowledge of Byzantine history.
The course is devoted to sacred mountains in the Byzantine world and has two parts.
1. After a historical-religious introduction on sacred mountains in different environments and cultures, sacred mountains in the Bible and Gospels, their significance and related exegetical tradition are presented.
2. Sacred mountains as dwelling places and as monastic centers: religious valorization and historical realities. This section presents some cases of sacred mountains in the Byzantine world: Mount Sinai, Mount Athos and some other mountains in the Balkans (Serbia. Bulgaria).

The following bibliography should be used for a general introduction to the course topic.
Bernbaum E., Sacred Mountains of the World. Berkeley: University of California Press 1997.
Bernbaum E., Sacred Mountains: Themes and Teachings. Mountain Research and Development, 26 (4), 2006, pp. 304–309. Available at http://www.bioone.org/doi/pdf/10.1659/0276-4741%282006%2926 %
Roux J.-P., Montagnes sacrées, montagnes mythiques. Paris: Fayard 1999.
Cooper A., Sacred Mountains: Ancient Wisdom and Modern Meanings. Edinburgh: Floris Books 1997.
Talbot A.-M., Les saintes montagnes à Byzance, in Michel Kaplan (dir.), Le sacré et son inscription dans l'espace à Byzance et en Occident. Paris: Éditions de la Sorbonne 2001, pp. 263-265. Available at https://books.openedition.org/psorbonne/2192
Soustal P. (Hg.), Heilige Berge und Wüsten. Byzanz und sein Umfeld. Referate auf dem 21. Internationalen Kongress für Byzantinistik London, 21.–26. August 2006. Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften 2009.
Texts and papers on the case studies examined will be provided during class.

General overview: the chapters by Gilbert Dagron in Storia del Cristianesimo, tomo IV, ed. Jean-Marie Mayeur, Charles e Luce Pietri, André Vauchez, Marc Venard.

Oral examination, or 70 % Oral examination; 30 % Presentation or short essay (in the form of a book review) agreed with the professor.
Lessons and short presentations by the students.
The presence is strongly recommended. Students who do not attend classes should prepare an alternative programme agreed with the professor.
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 19/05/2022