MSt/ MPhil in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies
Late Antiquity (c.250-c.750) was a period of remarkable political change and cultural efflorescence. It witnessed the transformation of the ancient Roman and Iranian empires into their more centralised, more bureaucratic late Roman and Sassanian successors. This was a time of the consolidation of ancient philosophy, Judaism, and Christianity, as well as the emergence of Islam. By the end of the period, the ancient world order had dissolved into a series of Western kingdoms, the Islamic caliphate, and the Byzantine state focused on Constantinople.
Over more than a millennium of history, Byzantium (c.330-c.1453) was central to political, economic, and cultural networks across the Eurasian continent, and played a crucial part in the formation of Eastern Christendom, the Crusades, and the Renaissance. This course introduces you to this rich heritage, while also allowing for a high level of specialisation in various periods, regions, and source types; as well as languages (incl. Greek, Latin, Syriac, Arabic, Armenian, Coptic, and Persian) and approaches (incl. History, Archaeology, Visual Culture, Literature, and Religion). Uniquely, the course is taught through a team of scholars based in several different Oxford faculties: History, Classics, Archaeology, Theology and Religion, Oriental Studies, and Modern and Medieval Languages.
Oxford scholars have been vital to the formation of Late Antiquity and Byzantium as modern academic disciplines. As a postgraduate in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies you will join a thriving and active community of over one hundred scholars and students, represented in the Oxford Centre for Late Antiquity (ocla.ox.ac.uk) and the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research (ocbr.ox.ac.uk). These centres help to organise a regular programme of seminars and conferences, while the Oxford University Byzantine Society (oxfordbyzantinesociety.wordpress.com) runs an annual postgraduate research trip to different parts of the former late antique and Byzantine worlds, and a conference which gathers postgraduates from across the globe.
- Virtue and Violence: The Death of Hypatia and Literary Constructions of Late Antique Womanhood
- “The Fleet is the Glory of Romania”: Reflections on the usage and organisation of Byzantine naval forces, 950-1078
- Rural Christian Elites and Taxation Dynamics in the Chronicle of Zuqnin
- Bridging the Old Laws and the News: a New Reading of Isaurian iconoclasm and legislation
- A reconsideration of the efficacy of Justinian II’s eastern policy, from his first reign to the end of the seventh century.
- A Consideration of the Importance of the City of Constantinople as a Locus of Power in Tenth-Century Byzantium
- Career Progression and the Eunuch through a Statistical Analysis of Skylitzes
- Conceiving the ideal Roman soldier: An analysis of masculine values in Maurice's Strategikon
- Emotions in Christophoros Mitylenaios' mourning poems 44, 57, and 75-77
- Daughters, Wives and Mothers in Digenis Akritis: The Grottaferrata version as a source for societal roles performed by elite Byzantine provincial women across the life course (ca. 1050-1200).