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BYZANTINE STUDIES

CODE 106799
ACADEMIC YEAR 2021/2022
CREDITS 6 credits during the 1st year of 11268 PHILOLOGY AND HISTORY OF ANTIQUITY (LM-15) GENOVA
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR L-FIL-LET/07
TEACHING LOCATION GENOVA (PHILOLOGY AND HISTORY OF ANTIQUITY)
SEMESTER 2° Semester
MODULES This unit is a module of:
TEACHING MATERIALS AULAWEB

OVERVIEW

The course offers an overview of some crucial aspects in the Byzantine world (330-1453 AD), as regards history, literature and art. Students start by choosing one aspect from these three available starting-points and progress to an in-depth study by following significant links between their initial choice and the other two perspectives. For example, a possible trajectory could start from the history of the Hagia Sophia church (today Haya Sophia grand mosque, Istanbul) and progress to its mosaics and their interpretations, and end in their literary descriptions. This is why every BA student can take the course, even with no prerequisites in ancient Greek.

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

The educational objectives aim at the acquisition of the following knowledges, skills and abilities: - to explain the main turning points in Byzantine history - to discuss relevant Byzantine texts in English translation - to classify the main Byzantine literary genres - to describe the role of artistic production in the frame of Byzantine culture.

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

For the aims, see the previous item.

Learning outcomes (detail)

It is expected that, at the end of teaching attendance and the study of the related program, students will be able:

  1. to make connections between timeline and events, texts, artifacts;
  2. to analyze the Byzantine ideas of power and culture/education (basileia & paideia).
  3. to classify the texts according to their literary genre(s);
  4. to contextualise artistic productions and rituals;

to debate the relevant texts (in English translation), as regards both their literal and figurative meanings, appraising Byzantine polysemy.

TEACHING METHODS

Depending on the guidelines of the University of Genoa, classes will be in person and lessons will be broadcasted via streaming as well. Please use the code 71jwl4r to access the Microsoft Teams channel, namely "Byzantine Studies 2022".

Classes will be complemented with Power Point/pdf presentations, various interactive platforms and a laboratory about the selected texts.

Attending the lessons is strongly recommended.

It is requested to subscribe on Aulaweb <www.aulaweb.unige.it> as well, in order to get information, didactic material, notices, bibliography and so on.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

Beautiful & Dangerous: History, Literature and Art in Byzantium.

Sections: (1) history (2) literature (3) visual arts.

  1. the timeline and the main turning points in Byzantine history
  2. selected masterpieces in Byzantine literature (in English translation)
  3. the tension among statues, icons and crosses in Byzantium.

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

Students may ask for a tailor-made bibliography, depending on their career path/field of study.

General bibliography:

E. Jeffreys, J. Haldon, R. Cormack (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies, Oxford 2008 (selected pages).

  1. Byzantine History

J. Shepard (ed.), The Cambridge History of the Byzantine Empire c. 500-1492, Cambridge 2008 (selected pages).

P. Magdalino, Basileia: the Idea of Monarchy in Byzantium, 600-1200, in A. Kaldellis-N. Siniossoglou (eds.), The Cambridge Intellectual History of Byzantium, Cambridge 2017, pp. 575-598.

  1. Byzantine Literature

A.P. Každan, Chr. Angelidi, L.Fr. Sherry, A History of Byzantine Literature (650-850), Athens 1999 (selected pages).

A.Kaldellis, Procopius of Caesarea. Tyranny, History, and Philosophy at the End of Antiquity, Philadelphia 2004 (selected pages).

Av. Cameron, Procopius and the Sixth Century, London 1985 (selected pages).

(3) Byzantine Art and Architecture

L. Brubaker & J. Haldon, Byzantium in the Iconoclast Era c. 680-850: A History, Cambridge, University Press, 2011 (selected pages).

N. Necipoğlu (ed.), Byzantine Constantinople: Monuments, Topography and Every Day Life, Leiden, Boston, Cologne 2001 (selected pages).

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Exam Board

PIA CAROLLA (President)

FRANCESCA GAZZANO

CLARA FOSSATI (President Substitute)

LIA RAFFAELLA CRESCI (Substitute)

AGNESE FONTANA (Substitute)

ARIANNA MAGNOLO (Substitute)

LUCA VILLANI (Substitute)

LESSONS

LESSONS START

14th February 2022

Class schedule

BYZANTINE STUDIES

EXAMS

EXAM DESCRIPTION

Oral exam.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

In order to assess their knowledge of Byzantine history, literature and visual arts/architecture, students will be asked

  1. to contextualise relevant events,
  2. to connect them with the Byzantine timeline
  3. to read, classify and comment on relevant texts/artifacts
  4. to link cultural productions to Byzantine ideas of power and education (basileia & paideia).

Minimum 'pass' requirements for the oral exam are: (i) being able to contextualise the main turning points in Byzantine history, (ii) being able to understand the most important texts/artifacts and (iii) to comment on the texts/artifacts by outlining their major features (for the texts: genre, rhetoric; for the artifacts: age, background).

'Excellence' requirements are: (i) being able to confidently connect most of the relevant events with the timeline, (ii) ability to understand and to accurately comment on texts/artifacts by making connections with Byzantine literary/artistic context (for the texts: genre, rhetoric, classical sources; for the artifacts: age, background, meanings); (iii) being able to detect textual polysemy and to debate Byzantine ideas of culture.

Exam schedule

Date Time Location Type Notes
13/12/2021 14:00 GENOVA Orale
17/01/2022 14:00 GENOVA Orale
07/02/2022 14:00 GENOVA Orale
11/05/2022 14:00 GENOVA Orale solo per laureandi
24/05/2022 14:00 GENOVA Orale
21/06/2022 14:00 GENOVA Orale
13/07/2022 10:00 GENOVA Orale
16/09/2022 14:00 GENOVA Orale

FURTHER INFORMATION

Please contact the professor for any further information in English.