History of the Byzantine Empire II




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V57.0283 Topics

Spring 2008


MW 11-12.15 pm

Instructor: Kostis Smyrlis

Office: KJCC 715



email: ks113@nyu.edu



History of the Byzantine Empire II

10th - 15th Centuries
A survey of Byzantine history from the end of the 9th century to the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. It traces the recovery and decline of the Byzantine empire examining the major political, social, economic, and cultural developments. It focuses on topics such as the Byzantine church and monasticism, the evolution of the economy, the cultural and artistic revivals of the middle and late periods, the Western presence and influence in late Byzantium, and the rise of the Ottomans.

1) Jan. 22: Introduction; The Beginnings of the Macedonian Dynasty

Reading: Gregory, A history of Byzantium, Ch. 10 (pp. 217-236).
2) Jan. 28, 30: The Apogee of Byzantine Power: Basil II; The Revival of Learning

Readings: Gregory, A history of Byzantium, Ch. 11 (pp. 237-246); P. Magdalino, ‘The Medieval Empire (780-1204)’, in Mango, OHB, pp. 175-181; C. Mango, ‘The Revival of Learning’, in Mango, OHB, pp. 214-229.

Sources: Liudprand of Cremona, The embassy to Constantinople, pp. 152-156; Constantine Porphyrogenitus, De adminstrando imperio, pp. 7-14, 64-77 (ch. 13).
3) Feb. 4, 6: Crisis and Transformation in the 11th Century (1025-1081)

Readings: Angold, The Byzantine Empire, pp. 24-55; Gregory, A history of Byzantium, Ch. 11 (pp. 246-256).

Source: Michael Psellos, Fourteen Byzantine rulers, pp. 238-254 (Constantine Monomachos), 302-314 (Isaac Komnenos), 350-366 (Romanos IV Diogenes).
4) Feb. 11, 13: The Byzantine Church and Monasticism

Readings: Hussey, The Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire, pp. 297-349; Mango, Byzantium, pp. 115-124.

Sources: Foundation charter (typikon) of Evergetis monastery: Thomas and Hero, Byzantine Monastic Foundation Documents, no. 22 (454-506; you may skim pp. 454-471).
Feb. 18: Holiday (Presidents’ Day)
5) Feb. 20, 25: The Dynasty of the Komnenoi (1081-1203)

Readings: Angold, The Byzantine Empire, pp. 115-135, 181-225, 295-315; Gregory, A history of Byzantium, Ch. 12 (pp. 257-279); P. Magdalino, ‘The Medieval Empire (780-1204)’, in Mango, OHB, pp. 182-196.
6) Feb. 27, Mar. 3: Byzantium and the West, 11th-12th Centuries

Readings: Angold, The Byzantine Empire, pp. 157-170, 226-240; Runciman, The Eastern Schism, pp. 124-144.

Sources: Anna Comnena, The Alexiad, pp. 27 (Robert Guiscard), 247-286 (the First Crusade); Niketas Choniates, O city of Byzantium, pp. 35-39 (2nd Crusade), 113-116 (Manuel and the Latins).

7) Mar. 5, 10: The Fourth Crusade and the Fragmentation of the Empire; The Byzantine Successor States (1204-1261)

Readings: Angold, The Byzantine Empire, pp. 316-328; idem, ‘Byzantium in exile’, in Abulafia, NCMH V, pp. 543-563; Gregory, A history of Byzantium, Chs. 12 (pp. 279-281) and 13 (pp. 282-292).

Source: Niketas Choniates, O city of Byzantium, pp. 294-327.
Midterm exam: March 12
Mar. 17, 19: Spring Recess
8) Mar. 24, 26: The Palaiologoi: from Reconquest to Civil War (1261-1355)

Readings: Angold, ‘Byzantium in exile’, in Abulafia, NCMH V, pp. 563-568; Gregory, A history of Byzantium, Chs. 13 (pp. 292-297) and 14 (pp. 298-308); Ostrogorsky, History, pp. 450-465, 478-533.

Sources: Foundation charters of St Michael and St Demetrius monasteries: Thomas and Hero, Byzantine Monastic Foundation Documents, nos. 37 (pp. 1207-8, 1215-7), 38 (pp. 1237-9, 1241-9).
9) Mar. 31: Culture in the Komnenian and Palaiologan Periods

Readings: Browning, The Byzantine Empire, pp. 190-219, 254-292; Ševčenko, ‘Palaiologan Learning’, in Mango, OHB, pp. 284-293.

Apr. 2: Art in the Komnenian and Palaiologan Periods

Reading: Lowden, Early Christian and Byzantine Art, pp. 348-424.
10) Apr. 7, 9: Western Presence and Influence in Late Byzantium; The Rise of the Ottomans

Readings: M. Balard, ‘Latins in the Aegean and the Balkans in the fourteenth century’, in Jones, NCMH VI, pp. 825-838; D. Jacoby, ‘The Latin empire of Constantinople and the Frankish States in Greece’, in Abulafia, NCMH V, pp. 525-542; E. Jeffreys and C. Mango, ‘Towards a Franco-Greek Culture’, in Mango, OHB, pp. 294-305; I. M. Kunt, ‘The Rise of the Ottomans’, in Jones, NCMH VI, pp. 839-863.
11) Apr. 14, 16: The Byzantine Economy, 10th-15th Centuries

Readings: Laiou, ‘The Byzantine Economy’, pp. 1145-1164; Mango, Byzantium, pp. 50-59, 81-87.

Sources: McGeer, The Land Legislation of the Macedonian Emperors, pp. 37-60.

12) Apr. 21, 23: The Final Decline and Fall of the Byzantine Empire (1355-1453)

Readings: Gregory, A history of Byzantium, Chs. 14 (pp. 308-324) and 15 (pp. 325-339).

Source: Doukas, Decline and fall of Byzantium, pp. 203-241.
13) Apr. 28, 30: The Legacy of Byzantium

Readings: Gregory, A history of Byzantium, Ch. 16 (pp. 340-358).
Final exam: May 5
Course requirements
Class attendance

Participation in the discussion of the sources (25%)

Midterm Exam (35%)

Final Exam (40%)


Required book (available at the bookstore): Gregory, A history of Byzantium

Course pack, available at the “Advanced Copy Center”, 552 La Guardia Pl



BIBLIOGRAPHY
Reference

A. Kazhdan et al., The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium (New York, Oxford, 1991); also available at: www.oxford-byzantium.com



internet: en.wikipedia.org
Sources (in translation)

Niketas Choniates, O city of Byzantium, trans. H. J. Magoulias (Detroit, 1984)

Anna Comnena, The Alexiad, trans. E. Dawes (London, 1928)

Constantine Porphyrogenitus, De adminstrando imperio, ed. G. Moravcsik, trans. R. J. H. Jenkins (Budapest, 1949; 2nd ed. Washington, 1967)



Doukas, Decline and fall of Byzantium to the Ottoman Turks, trans. H. J. Magoulias (Detroit, 1975)

Liudprand of Cremona, The embassy to Constantinople and other writings, trans. F. A. Wright (London, 1993)



E. McGeer, The Land Legislation of the Macedonian Emperors (Toronto, 2000)

Michael Psellos, Fourteen Byzantine rulers: the Chronographia, trans. E. R. A. Sewter (Baltimore, 1966)

J. Thomas and A. Constantinides Hero, eds., Byzantine Monastic Foundation Documents, 5 vol. (Washington, 2000; also available at www.doaks.org/etexts.html)
Secondary Literature

D. Abulafia, ed., The New Cambridge Medieval History (NCMH), V: c.1198-c.1300, (Cambridge, 1999)

M. Angold, The Byzantine Empire 1025-1204: A Political History (London, New York, 2nd ed. 1997)

R. Browning, The Byzantine Empire (New York, 1980)

T. E. Gregory, A history of Byzantium (Malden, 2005)

J. M. Hussey, The Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire (Oxford, 1986)

M. Jones, ed., The New Cambridge Medieval History (NCMH), VI: c.1300-c.1415, (Cambridge, 2000)

A. Laiou, ‘The Byzantine Economy: An Overview’, in The Economic History of Byzantium, 3 vols., A. Laiou, ed. (Washington, 2002; also available at www.doaks.org/etexts.html), pp. 1145-1164

J. Lowden, Early Christian and Byzantine Art (London, 1997)

C. Mango, Byzantium. The Empire of the New Rome (London, 1980)

C. Mango, ed., The Oxford History of Byzantium (Oxford, 2002): OHB

G. Ostrogorsky, History of the Byzantine State (New Brunswick, 1969)



S. Runciman, The Eastern Schism (Oxford, 1955)





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