Course Code
HIST 0165
Course Type
Subject Credit
Course Availability

The capture of Constantinople by the forces of the Fourth Crusade in 1204 initiated one of the most fascinating periods of Byzantine history.  A Western Catholic (‘Latin’) emperor ruled in Constantinople for 57 years, while smaller Greek polities struggled and thrived in equal measure. In 1261 the Latins were driven out of the capital by Michael VIII Palaiologos, whose dynasty then reigned until Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II in 1453. In some ways the Empire never recovered from the fragmentation of 1204 and it also faced new challenges from East and West. Nevertheless, the cultural, intellectual and religious pursuits of the period contradict the image of political decline, and offer extraordinary insight into the changing landscape of Byzantium society.

Sample Topics

·     The Latin Conquest of Constantinople, 1261

·     Successor states and reclamation

·     Economy – decadence and survival

·     Religion in the Palaiologan Period and the rise of hesychasm

·     Internal fragmentation

·     Byzantine Foreign Policy

·     A Cultural ‘Renaissance’?

·     The Final Collapse, 1453