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Level 7

7AACM875 Living in Byzantium I: Material Culture and Built Environment in Late Antiquity

Credit value: 20 credits
Module convenor/tutor: Dr Tassos Papacostas 
Teaching pattern: 10 x 2-hour class (weekly)
Availability: Please see module list for relevant year
Assessment: 1 x essay of 5,000 words (100%)

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

Places on this module will be capped at 16 and will be allocated in the first instance to those students from any College who are following the MA Late Antique & Byzantine degree programme and secondly to those following the MA Classical Art & Archaeology degree programme. Any remaining places up the maximum size of the class will then be distributed proportionally between Colleges.

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.

This module provides an introduction to the varied physical remains left behind by Late Antiquity, primarily in the eastern Mediterranean (4th to 7th century). 

The selection of material and issues examined range from the urban and rural landscapes, fortifications, palaces, houses, monasteries and churches, to monumental decoration and small scale objects. This wide range of topics will be investigated thematically from a primarily functional and practical point of view, in order to trace and highlight the significant changes that occurred in this period, signalling different stages in the transformation of the Roman heritage. 

Each subject will be approached on the basis of case studies that exemplify the nature and problems of the evidence.

Core reading

Purchase of books is not mandatory.

  • R. Cormack, Byzantine art, OUP (Oxford 2000).

  • R. Krautheimer, Early Christian and Byzantine architecture, Penguin (Harmondsworth 1986).

  • R. Loverance, Byzantium, British Museum Press (London 2004). 

  • J. Lowden, Early Christian and Byzantine art, Phaidon Press (London 1997).

  • C. Mango, The art of the Byzantine empire, 312-1453: sources and documents, University of Toronto Press (Englewood Cliffs NJ 1972).

  • C. Mango, Byzantine architecture, Faber / Electa (London 1978).

  • T.F. Mathews, The art of Byzantium, Everyman Art Library (London 1998).

  • L. Rodley, Byzantine art and architecture. An introduction, CUP (Cambridge 1994).

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