Propedeuse (first year) Archaeology obtained.
This course will explore various aspects of the transformation of Late Antiquity into Byzantium (ca. 300-900 AD) based on archaeological evidence. How did the Late Roman world survive in the East? And what was ‘Byzantium’?
There will be a focus on the transformation of both town and countryside, from the empire’s new capital Constantinople to rural settlements in Jordan, Syria and the Mediterranean.
Apart from famous buildings and landmarks such as the Hippodrome in Istanbul, attention will be paid to trade and economy, belief systems and everyday life conditions. Furthermore, the rise of new religions (Christianity and Islam) will be treated, as well as their impact on the cultural transformation and interaction of people in the Near East and the Mediterranean, based on archaeological evidence.
Introduction to Byzantine archaeology: Constantinople
Transformation of the Late Antique city
Architecture, art and power
Trade and economy
Daily life, food habits and consumption
Late Antique religious landscape
The ‘Dark Ages’
The objective of this course is to examine the political, religious and cultural changes that took place in the Near East and in the Mediterranean between 300-900 AD.
The course load will be distributed as follows:
Seminar (1 ects);
Essay (2 ects);
Literature (2 ects).
Course schedule details can be found in the bachelor 3 time schedule.
Mode of instruction
Seminar with short presentations by students.
Participation in the discussions held during the seminar;
Essay (3,000-4,000 words).
The essay is due 2 weeks after the last meeting.
L. Lavan & W. Bowden, Theory and Practice in Late Antique Archaeology. Leiden/Boston: Brill (2003);
J. Herrin, Byzantium. The surprising Life of a Medieval Empire. London: Penguin Books (2007). Translated into Dutch in 2009: Byzantium. Het Verrassende Leven van een Middeleeuws Rijk. Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Bulaaq.
Selective chapters from:
L. Lavan, Recent Research in Late Antique Urbanism. Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplementary Series_ 42 (2001);
C. Wickham, Framing the Early Middle Ages: Europe and the Mediterranean, 400-800. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2005).
Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to apply.
For more information about this course, please contact mw dr J.A.C. Vroom.