Aezanis, Temple of Zeus, 117-138 AD 
History/Medieval Studies 303
Early Medieval and Byzantine Civilization: Constantine to Crusades



 Book List 
 Discussion Topics

 Imperial Crisis 
 Later Roman Emperors, 306-395 
 Fall of Western Empire 
 Age of Justinian 
 Islamic Caliphs 
 Byzantine Dark Age 
 Triumph of Christianity 
 Macedonian Resurgence 
 Restoration and Ottoman Advance 

 Finances under Justinian
 Byzantium c.850A.D.

Currency charts: 
   Diocletian and Constantine 
   Justinian and Heraclius 
   Isaurian, Amorian, and Macedonian Ages 
   Comnenian and Palaeogian Ages 


I. Class Structure
II. Schedule of Lectures


    Brown, P., Authority and the Sacred 
    Brown, P., The Making of Late Antiquity 
    Anna Comnena, The Alexiad 
    Jones, A. H. M., Constantine and the Conversion of Europe 
    Moorhead, J., Justinian 
    Procopius, The Secret History 
    Michael Psellus, Fourteen Byzantine Emperors 
    Vasiliev, A. A., History of the Byzantine Empire, 2 vols. 
    Villehardouin and Joinville, Chronicles of the Crusades

The FINAL GRADE is based on a midterm examination, two short historical essays, and a final examination, each of which counts one-third (1/3) towards the final grade.  The midterm examination will be held on MONDAY MARCH 9, 1998.  The final examination will be held on FRIDAY, MAY 8, 1998.  The final examination will cover ONLY the second half of the course, i.e. the period from the accession of Heraclius (610-641). 

REPORTS AND DISCUSSION SESSIONS.  Each student is required to select two topics from the four listed on the syllabus under “Reports and Discussion.”  Students should select one topic out of the first two sessions (before the midterm), and one out of the second two sessions (after the midterm).  Approximately 25% of the class for each of these sessions will present their essays in class on the appropriate day.  The papers are essays based on the assigned readings and lectures (5 pages) rather than research papers.  For each of the four topics, memos will be issued explaining the readings and questions.  Each student writing a paper will choose a PRO or CON position on each topic.  The topics are as follows: The Late Roman Monarchy, The Cost of Recovery, Imperial Decline, and Byzantium Confronts the West, scheduled respectively on FRIDAY, February 13, March 6, April 3, and April 24.  Students should follow the style sheet distributed with the first discussion topic, and those students who need improvement in their writing should purchase W. Strunk Jr. and F. White, Elements of Style (third edition). 

 SPECIAL LECTURE.  Class on Wednesday, February 25, 1998, will be cancelled, and in its place a special lecture will be scheduled in mid-March entitled “The Emperor, the Coinage, and the Orthodox Faith” (time and place to be determined). 


1/14/16 Jones, pp. 7-33; Vasiliev, pp. 12-41
  The Third Century Crisis and Diocletian’s Reforms
1/21/23 Vasiliev, pp. 42-65; Jones, pp. 34-117; Brown, WLA, pp. 1-48
  Constantine (306-337)
  Administration and Law under the Dominate
1/26/30 Vasiliev, pp. 65-128; Brown, WLA pp. 49-69 & 115-136
  City and Colonate
  The Struggle against the Barbarians, 337-378
  The Triumph of Christianity
2/2/06 Jones, pp. 118-208; Brown, WLA, pp. 70-114; Brown, A & S, pp. 3-78
  Determining Dogma in the Era of the Councils, 325-451
  The Emergence of the Christian Hierarchy
  Asceticism and Monasticism
2/9/13 Vasiliev, pp. 142-169; Brown, WLA, pp. 137-150; Procopius, Secret History
  The Fall of the Western Empire, 395-476
  The Age of Justinian
  **Reports & Discussion 1: The Late Roman Monarchy: Its Power & Ideology
2/16/20 Vasiliev, pp. 169-192; Brown, WLA, pp. 150-159; Moorhead, Justinian
  The Reconquest of the West, 533-554
  Law and the Reordering of Society
  The Quest for Religious Unity, 451-553
27-Feb Vasiliev, pp. 179-192 & 230-233; Brown, WLA, pp. 172-188
  The Birth of Christian Aesthetics and Art, 325-600
3/2/06 Vasiliev, pp. 192-230; Brown, WLA, pp. 189-203
  Heraclius (610-641)
  Muhammed and the Rise of Islam
  **Reports & Discussion 2: The Cost of Recovery
3/11/13 Vasiliev, pp. 226-251 & 269-283 
  The Christian Citadel: Heraclian Emperors and the Caliphs, 641-717
  Isaurians and Amorians, 717-867
3/16/20 Vasiliev, pp. 251-269
  Themes, Resettlement Programs, and State Monopolies
  Ships, Commerce, and Coinage, 600-1100 
  The First Iconoclastic Controversy, 726-787
3/23/27 Vasiliev, pp. 283-330; start Michael Psellus, Fourteen Byzantine Emperors
  The Restoration of Icons and Christianization of the Slavs
  Macedonian Resurgence, 867-976
  Macedonian Zenith: Basil II (976-1025)
3/30-4/3 Vasiliev, pp. 330-374; finish Michael Psellus, Fourteen Byzantine Emperors
  Economic Change and Social Crisis in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries
  1071: The Empire at the Crossroads
  **Reports and Discussion 3: Imperial Decline, 1025-1071
4/13/17 Vasiliev, pp. 375-438; Anna Comnena, Alexiad, books 1-6 & 8-11
  Triumph of the Image: Byzantine Aesthetics, Arts, and Architecture, 850-1450
  Comnenians and Crusaders: The Twelfth Century
4/20/24 Vasiliev, pp. 438-579; Villehardouin, Chronicles of the Crusades, pp. 29-162
  The Sack of 1204
  Imperial Exile and Restoration, 1204-1337
  **Reports and Discussion 4: Byzantium Confronts the West, 1095-1204
4/27/30 Vasiliev, pp. 580-724
  Ottoman Advance
  The Fall of Constantinople
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Dr. Kenneth W. Harl 
Office: History 211 (504)862-8621 
Fax: (504) 862-8739 
Home: (504)866-5392 
 Tulane University
Last updated 03/19/98
by Annette Lindblom