Early Byzantine History

This unit examines the historical, cultural and theological factors of the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, generally from the age of Constantine the Great until the period of the ‘Triumph of Orthodoxy’, the 4th to 9th centuries, as well as the empire’s relations with its neighbours. It studies the Byzantine Empire in context: methodology and historiography; Constantinople, the imperial cult, and the ecumenical councils; Byzantine historians and historiography; religious, cultural and social aspects of the Byzantine state; Byzantium and its neighbours; aspects of an emerging Byzantine worldview: landmarks and threats, and the ‘triumph of Orthodoxy’ and its implications.

Study Level



Humanities in the Christian Tradition

Sub Discipline

Church History

Credit Points



H7110 History of the Early Church

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this unit students will be able to:

  1. distinguish the various social, cultural and religious factors both within the Byzantine empire and its immediate cultural context from the 4th to 9th
  2. demonstrate an understanding of historical and historiographical trends relating to this period.
  3. illustrate the capacity to critically interpret primary sources from this period.
  4. exhibit the capacity to critically interpret the secondary sources relating to this period.
  5. apply the key contributions of leading figures and significant events in this period to the Church’s present mission.
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