Biweekly, Friday, 12-2, Week 2 Room 5 Space Available
Despite the move from Rome to Constantinople, they called themselves Roman, spoke Latin and followed the Roman legal system. Their borders fluctuated, flowing from the Nile to the Danube to the Tigris, and at times included Cordoba, Milan, and the Balkans. They fought off Rus, Slavs, Arabs, Vandals, and Goths, not to mention for and against the Crusades. This lesser-known Christian empire lasted more than 1,000 years until overrun by the Ottomans in 1453. In that time Constantinople saw over 80 Emperors, including Justinian and Heraclitus along with a few Empresses, including Theodora. Participants are expected to prepare one 20-minute presentation and to do some reading from the sources mentioned.
Brian O’Leary (email@example.com) has facilitated a range of workshops, including The Spanish Civil War, World Theatre, Television, History of Spain, Shakespeare Live, and About Rome.
Most intriguing is how little we know. This semi-ignorance may be a result of the 4th crusade or it might be the work of the Holy Roman Church, I’m not sure. But though there are hundreds of books available at the Reference Library, this slice of our world is rarely part of our history.
This leads to some interesting presentation choices, and yes, you must make a presentation.
You may choose a safe topic such as Byzantine Art, though you could challenge yourself – the reason we join this Academy – and explore unknown territory such as Empress Theodora or even deeper, one of the religious disputes – which seem unending over these 1000 years. After all, unlike Republican Rome with its myriad shrines, within the changing borders of Byzantium most were of one faith – Orthodox Catholic – though the Emperor still called the shots.
Some of the topics below deal with a specific person or period of time, while others survey the full spectrum. The first (Constantine) and last (the Aftermath) are unavailable, but you could still bravely choose Monophysitism.(??)
As is the habit, First come, First Gets – decided by the time on your e-mail.
And when you get around to it, please stay within the 20 to 30 minute range, as we do like to discuss. One other advice, if using A/V equipment, get your material on a USB stick.
See ya soon!
Topics (topics in bold are available)
|Sept 21||Emperor Constantine||324 – 337||Adele|
|Sept 21||Religion 101 – Monophysitism?||451 on||Bob|
|Oct 5||The Roman Empire lives on||Joe|
|Oct 5||Emperor Justinian||527 – 565||Nancy|
|Oct 19||Initial Arab Offensives||674 – 718||Raj|
|Oct 19||Tajid Emperor Constantine V||741 – 775||Jenny|
|Nov 2||Abbasid V, Umayyads, Coroba v, Baghdad||Oliver|
|Nov 2||Religion 202 – Iconophiles v Iconoclasts||754 – 843||Michael|
|Nov 16||Empress Theodora & Empress Irene||Janet|
|Nov 16||Macedonian Dynasty||Peter|
|Nov 30||Venice – Friend & Foe||992 +||Claire|
|Nov 30||Empresses Zoe & Theodora||1028 – 1056||Judith|
|Jan 18||Religion 303 – R.C. v Orthodox – unite||Harvey|
|Jan 18||Byzantium Defences – fire, walls, Cable, etc.||Matthew|
|Feb 1||Crusades 1,2, & 3||1096 – 1192||Kate|
|Feb 1||More Crises – Normans, Turks, etc||Liz|
|Feb 15||Eunuchs||Sheila J.|
|Feb 15||Religion 404 – Mt Athos – hermits, monasteries||Linda S.|
|Mar 1||Byzantium architecture, medicine, astrology||Lynda L.|
|Mar 1||Fourth Crusade||Gillian|
|Mar 15||Ottomans approach, quake, Tamburlaine||1354 ++||Andre|
|Mar 15||Byzantine Art||Bill|
|Mar 29||The end – history||1453||Susan L.|
|Mar 29||The end – aftermath||2019||All|
Books I’ve read
- The Byzantine Empire – D Stathakopoulos – A short 190 pp. history replete with infrastructure, environmental changes, and a look at the aftermath and overview of historical opponents.
- The Lost World of Byzantium – Jonathan Harris – 242 pp. concise, easily digested history of the 1000 years with a chronology
- Byzantium – Judith Herrin – 336 pp. easy to read, less a history, each chapter deals completely with a subject ‘Greek Fire’, ‘Mount Athos”, ‘Eunuchs’. Includes a chronology and a list of the Emperors or most of the 90.
N.B. All three have further reading lists
Books I’ve skimmed
- History of the Byzantine State – George Ostrogorsky
- Byzantium – John Julius Norwich (3 heavy fact-filled volumes)
- Biz’m Church, Society and Civilization – F K Geanakapolos (title tells all)
- Justinian and Theodoro – Robert Browning. (one interesting emperor)
- Rome and Byzantium – Clive Foss (short, lots of pictures)
- Oxford History of Byzantium – edited by Cyril Mango (not terribly deep)
Books I’ve noted
- Daily Life in the Byz’m Empire – Marcus Rautman
- Encyclopedia of the Byzantine Empire – Jennifer Lawlor
- The Byzantine Wars – John Haldon
The Emperor Maurice – Theophylact Simocatta