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Level 5

5AACAR41 Art & Empire: The Legacy of Byzantium

Credit value: 15
Module convenor/tutor 2018/19: Dr Tassos Papacostas
Assessment: 1 essay x 2,500 words (60%), 2 commentaries x 750 words (40%, each commentary 20%)
Teaching Pattern: 10 x 2-hour seminar (weekly)
Availability: Please see module list for relevant year

Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.

**NB this module is not open to students who have previously taken 4AACAB01 or 4AABA112**

The modules offered in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand: there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary between years.

The aim of the module is to introduce students with little or no previous knowledge of the world of Byzantium to its rich artistic heritage. Among the subject matter presented and discussed will be important excavated archaeological sites, surviving structures which often preserve their sculptural and/or monumental decoration (churches with frescoes/mosaics, monasteries, etc.) and artefacts used in devotional practices and everyday life (ivory and painted panels, enamels...). The chronological coverage spans the entire long millennium of Byzantium, stretching from the foundation of the new capital city of Constantinople in the 4th century to its fall to the Ottomans in the 15th. The geographical coverage is equally broad, encompassing the Italian, Balkan and Anatolian peninsulas, the islands of the Eastern Mediterranean and parts of the Levant.

Suggested introductory reading

This is suggested reading and purchase of these books is not mandatory.

  • R. Cormack, Byzantine art, OUP (Oxford 2000).
  • E. Jeffreys, J. Haldon & R. Cormack, The Oxford handbook of Byzantine studies, OUP (Oxford 2008).
  • R. Loverance, Byzantium, British Museum Press (London 2004).
  • J. Lowden, Early Christian and Byzantine art, Phaidon Press (London 1997).
  • T.F. Mathews, The art of Byzantium, Everyman Art Library (London 1998).
  • L. Rodley, Byzantine art and architecture. An introduction, CUP (Cambridge 1994).
  • The Glory of Byzantium. Art and culture of the middle Byzantine era, A.D.867-1261, eds. H.C. Evans & W.D. Wixom, Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York 1997).
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