Course Code
HIST 0160
Course Type
Subject Credit
Course Availability

This period of Byzantine is sometimes seen as a golden age after which the Empire began to decline. It was by no means an era of constant peace and prosperity, but it was one in which territorial gains, military and cultural advancements were achieved. Much of the period is characterised by the rule of one dynasty, the Macedonians, and by the projection of Byzantine imperial ideology outward to the Empire’s neighbours. The source material for this course is rich and complex, ranging from encyclopaedic works on diplomacy, homilies and chronicles to spectacular buildings, icons and enamels.

Sample Topics


·     Iconoclasm

·     Basil I and the creation of the Macedonian Dynasty

·     Imperial ideology under the Macedonians

·     Byzantine Orthodoxy and Papal Italy

·     The Macedonian ‘Renaissance’

·     Women in Byzantium

·     Byzantium and its Neighbours: The Rus, the Bulgars and Armenia

·     Byzantium and the Arabs

·     Basil II

Introductory Reading

Whittow, M., The Making of Orthodox Byzantium, 600-1025. London: Macmillan, 1996


James, L. (ed.), A Companion to Byzantium. Malden, Mass. : Wiley-Blackwell, 2010


Maguire, H. (ed.), Byzantine Court Culture from 829 to 1204 Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks, 1997

Constantine Porphyrogenitus, R.J.H. Jenkins(trans). De Administrando Imperio. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks, 1967