85522 - Byzantine Civilization

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is: to provide a basic knowledge of the history and institutions of the Eastern-Roman, or Byzantine, Empire (IV-XV Century), useful for a better comprehension of the process of formation of the political realities of the modern and contemporary Eastern Europe and of its actual reality.

Course contents

1) A General View.

Lines of study and materials useful for the comprehension of the Eastern Roman Empire and Byzantine Civilisation ( IV-XV Century ).

Periodization, territorial changements, sources, political ideology, with particular attention to the heredity for the study of modern Eastern Europe ( XV-XVI Century )

2) A Monographic Part.

The theory of Moscow Third Rome as base for the ideology of "translatio imperii" from the Eastern Roman Empire to the Russian Empire (XV-XVI Century).


Part 1)

A manual of Byzantine Civilisation in the Language the student prefere.

For example, in english, The Cambridge History of the Byzantine Empire, c. 500-1492, eited. by J. Shepard, Cambridge, 2008. In italian: Bisanzio, a cura di A. Carile, A. Ducellier, M. Balard et Alii, Torino, Einaudi, 1988,

Part 2)

Texts translated from: L’idea di Roma a Mosca (Secoli XV-XVI). Fonti per la storia del pensiero sociale russo, a cura di P. Siniscalco e P. Catalano, Roma, 1993 (Da Roma alla Terza Roma, Documenti, 1)

materials distribuited and discussed during the lessons.

Teaching methods

Themes, texts and bibliography are discussed during the Course.


Assessment methods

Assessment methods consists in an oral verify 1) about basic knowledge of the institutional programme and of the themes developed during lessons; 2) about capacities of connecting severals arguments developed during the lessons; 3) about knowledge of all thousand years of Byzantine civilization in their connections with an historical development; 4) about discussing capacities and critical methods of the student; 5) and, finally, about oral capacity of argumenting logically and methodologically of the student.

Final assessment depend by following notes: 1) negative valuation: low knoledge and capacity of understanding problems and their connections; 2) sufficient evaluation: sufficient basic knoledge, but low capacity of connecting each others the historical problems; 3) good evaluation: good capacity to understand historical problmes and knoledge of institutional program; 4) excelent evaluation: complete knowledge of the institutional program, capacity od connecting historical problems properly and methodology of using several matherial received during lessons.

Teaching tools

During the course shall be shown images and fournished working material and bibliography

Office hours

See the website of Giorgio Vespignani