Mrs Clara Staffa Geoghegan
Not Offered in 2020

This unit will cover Byzantine history commencing with Constantine’s establishment of the city of Constantinople, until the fall of Constantinople in 1453. The unit will consider the evolution of Byzantium from the Roman Empire and the ambition of Justinian to revitalize the empire. It will identify and evaluate internal conflicts within Byzantium and the continuing conflict on its borders with particular focus on the implications of the growth of Islam for Byzantium. It will examine the growing estrangement between East and West including theological misinterpretations and the further mistrust brought about by the western crusades particularly the capture of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade. It will evaluate later developments at reconciliation and the difficulties in implementing the Council of Florence. The unit will also enable students to evaluate the contribution of Byzantium to the emerging Renaissance and the continuing legacy to Orthodoxy.


  • second level: 36 points in Church History at first level, or equivalent
  • third level: 36 points in Church History at second level, or equivalent 


face-to-face 3-hour weekly classes in semester


second level
  • two 1,000-word tutorial papers 2 x 25%
  • one 2,500-word essay 50%
third level
  • two 1,000-word tutorial papers 2 x 20%
  • one 3,000-word essay 60%


  • Angold, Michael. Church and Society in Byzantium under the Comneni, 1081–1261. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
  • Bauer, Susan W. The History of the Medieval World: From the Conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade. New York: W. W. Norton, 2010.
  • Chadwick, Henry. East and West: The Making of a Rift in the Church: From Apostolic Times until the Council of Florence. Oxford History of the Christian Church. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.
  • Cormack, Robin, and Maria Vassiliki, eds. Byzantium, 330–1453. London: Royal Academy of Arts Publications, 2008. 
  • Herrin, Judith. Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008. 
  • Meyendorff, John. Rome, Constantinople, Moscow: Historical and Theological Studies. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1996.
  • Nichols, Aidan. Rome and the Eastern Churches: A Study in Schism. 2nd ed. San Francisco: Ignatius, 2010.
  • Riley-Smith, Jonathan. The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades. Oxford Illustrated Histories. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
  • Treadgold, Warren T. A History of the Byzantine State and Society. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1997.
  • Whittow, Mark. The Making of Byzantium: 600-1025. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.