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OIKOS course Byzantine Cultural History - second session

When:Fr 01-12-2023 09:00 - 18:00
Where:Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (IN-3B59)

The bi-annual OIKOS-course Byzantine Culture will take place on Thursday 30/11/2023 and Friday 1/12/2023 at Amsterdam. The workshops will be taught by colleagues from Belgium and from the Netherlands. The language will be English. Deadline enrollment: October 15th, with a maximum of 12 students (3 ECTS, without paper 1 ECTS).

Venue: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

30 November 2023, 9.00-18.00: NU-5A65

1 December 2023, 9.00-18.00: IN-3B59

Contact Persons: Emilie van Opstall, (organization in situ) and (student assistant organization in situ) and P. Van Nuffelen,

Purpose of the course: This course aims to offer ReMa students and PhD students an introduction to the cultural history of the Byzantine Empire (sixth to fifteenth centuries). Starting from various subdisciplines, students will be introduced to general features of Byzantine culture, to the various sources that allow us to write the history of the Byzantine Empire, and to the methodological and conceptual questions raised in research today. By the end of the course, students are able to orient themselves in the major source categories and debates, have a broad knowledge of Byzantine cultural history, and are able to deepen that knowledge using a research question of their own choosing and address it in an essay. The course does not cover Byzantine Greek and the emphasis is on extensive reading of sources in translation.

Because of its interdisciplinary nature, the course is suitable both as an introduction for ReMA students and for PhD students who wish to look outside their own disciplinary field.



11.00-13.00: Daniëlle Slootjes and Ewan Short (UvA, history).

14.00-15.30: Andrea Cuomo (UGent, linguistics)

16.00-18.00: Floris Bernard (UGent, poetry)


9.00-11.00: Reinhart Ceulemans (KU Leuven, theological literature)

11.30-13.00: Daphne Penna and Frits Brandsma (RUG, law)

14.00-15.30 Mariette Verhoeven (Radboud University, art history)

Per block there is a reader of two articles or chapters (approx. 60 pages) and a selection of sources in function of the theme. Each student reads these carefully and prepares one question per article. These questions are delivered to the teachers a week in advance so that they can address them during the seminar. Thus, there is a total reader of 300 pages.

Assessment is based on an essay on a self-selected topic that relates to the themes covered in the lessons. That essay will be between five and six thousand words, not including footnotes or bibliography. The topic of the essay is determined at the latest during the seminar and submitted one month after the end of the seminar. The paper will be evaluated by two professors. With paper: 3 ECT, without: 1 ECT.

On both days we will provide lunch for all teachers and students involved with funds from OIKOS. Belgian students can apply for an allowance for travel expenses. The amount will depend on the number of participants. We also provide assistance in finding places to stay with fellow students for those who wish.