School: Social Sciences
Academic Unit: Social Anthropology and History
Level of studies: Undergraduate
Course code: H-214 Semester: 4st
Course Title: Introduction to the Social and Cultural History of Byzantium
Independent teaching activities Weekly teaching hours Credits
Lectures 3 5
Course type: General Background
Prerequisite courses: None
Language of instruction and examinations: Greek
Is the course offered to erasmus students: No
Course website (Url):


    Learning outcomes: The course deals with aspects of the Byzantine civilization in a broader European historical context. The students not only enrich their knowledge on the Byzantine history but they also familiarize themselves with comparative approaches to the history of the Middle Ages. Moreover they become familiar with methodological tools of social and cultural history thus developing their analytical skills.

    General Competences: Search for, analysis and synthesis of data and information, with the use of the necessary technology.
    Criticism and self-criticism.
    Production of free, creative and inductive thinking.

    (3) SYLLABUS

    The course is an introduction to the social and cultural history of the Byzantine Empire. The political history of Byzantium, the imperial ideology and the organization of the state are examined during the first lectures of the course. A second section is devoted to issues of social and cultural history in a broader Mediterranean context. Questions about the evolution of economic life, the relationships between urban centers and rural hinterlands, the cultural interaction with the Medieval West and the Islamic world, the composition of the ruling elite and the political behavior of its members are examined in this section. The last three lectures are devoted to special questions of Byzantine history such as the iconoclasm of the 8th and 9th centuries, the perception of the past by Byzantine historians and chroniclers and issues of “orthodoxy” and “heterodoxy” in the Byzantine world.


    Delivery: Face-to face
    Use of information and communications technology : Use of ICT in teaching and communication with students.
    Student have access on EClass.
    Teaching methods:  Activity Semester workload
    Lectures 39
    Study and analysis of bibliography 86
    Course total: 125
    Student performance evaluation: Open-ended questions


    Suggested bibliography:

    G.Ostrogorsky, History of the Byzantine State, v.1-3, Athens: Vassilopoulos 1978-1981 (translated in Greek).
    History of the Greek Nation, ed., Ekdotiki Athinon, v. 7-9, Athens: Ekdotiki Athinon 1980 (in Greek).
    R.Browning, The Byzantine Empire, Athens: Papadimas 1992 (translated in Greek).
    A.Laiou, ed., Economic History of Byzantium, v. 1-3, Athens: MIET 2006 (translated in Greek).
    C.Mango, ed., The Oxford History of Byzantium, Athens: Nefeli 2006 (translated in Greek).
    J.Haldon, Byzantium: A History, Athens: Ellinika Grammata 2007 (translated in Greek).
    C.Mango, Byzantium. The Empire of New Rome, Athens: MIET 2007 (translated in Greek).
    H.G.Beck, The Byzantine Millennium, Athens: MIET 2009 (translated in Greek).
    C.Morrisson – J.C.Cheynet, ed., The Byzantine World, v. 1-2, Athens: Polis 2007-2012 (translated in Greek).

    – Related academic journals:

    Βυζαντινά Σύμμεικτα
    Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies
    Byzantinische Zeitschrift
    Dumbarton Oaks Papers
    Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Byzantinistik
    Revue des Études Byzantines