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You are here: Home Courses Middlebury-CMRS Course List HIST 0163 Byzantine World, 1071-1204

HIST 0163 Byzantine World, 1071-1204

This course covers what some have seen as the beginning of Byzantium’s steady decline. From the Battle of Manzikert and the subsequent civil wars, it moves on to the rise of the Komnenoi and the dynasty they formed, ending with the devastating sack of Constantinople. However, the period was in reality one of great successes as well as serious problems. The political world was reshaped by the new dynasty, the Crusades and their aftermath dramatically altered Byzantium’s relationship with its neighbours, and the famed wealth and cultural importance of the Empire is visible in the vast array of literary and artistic sources available to students of this period.
Sample Syllabus
•     Manzikert and After
•     Alexios I and the ‘restoration’
•     The Latins and the Crusades from the Byzantine perspective
•     John II and Manuel I
•     Byzantium and its Neighbours: A Byzantine Commonwealth?
•     Minorities in the Empire; Jews, Muslims, Women and Eunuchs
•     Fabulous wealth? Economy of Empire
•     The Fall of 1204
Introductory Reading
•     Angold, M., “The Byzantine State on the Eve of the Battle of Manzikert,”Byzantinishe Forschungen 16, 1991
•     Angold, M., The Byzantine Empire, 1025-1204: A Political History. New York: Longman, 2nd edn, 1997
•     Magdalino, P., The Empire of Manuel I Komnenos. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1993
•     Shepard, J. (ed.), The Cambridge History of the Byzantine Empire, c. 500-1492. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008
•     Anna Comnena, The Alexiad  P.R.A. Sewter trans., and P Frankopan ed., London: Penguin, 2009
•     Magoulias, H. J., ed. & trans., O City of Byzantium! Annals of Niketas Choniates, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1984

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CMRS was one of the most challenging options I could have chosen for my study abroad experience, but was also without a doubt the most rewarding. It c...
Ross McIntire, Autumn Semester 2009, Carleton College