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Syllabus

Autumn Term 2011

Week 1: Introduction: what is late antiquity?

Political History

Week 2: The Fourth Century from Diocletian to Theodosius: An Empire on the Brink of Collapse.
reading: Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, ix. 9–11 (click here to download)

Week 3: Fifth Century: The Fall of Rome

Seminar: Narratives of Decline and Fall: Bowersock vs Ward-Perkins

Week 4: Sixth Century: The Time of Consolidation

Week 5: Seventh Century: The Emergence of a New Force
Sources: Translated Texts for Historians

Reading Week

Religion and Society

Week 7: Constantine’s conversion and Theodosius’ edict: the abolition of pagan religion

Week 8: Charity as Politics: Holy Bishops and their Flocks

Seminar: The Rise of the Christian Hospitals: Between Myth and Reality

Week 9: Christological Controversies and Their Consequence: from Nicaea to Chalcedon

Week 10: The death of Hypatia: Christians and Pagans in Alexandria

Spring Term 2012

Philosophy

Week 1: Jews and Christians on the Createdness of the World and God’s Divine Attributes

Week 2: The School of Athens, its Closure and the Exodus to Alexandria

Week 3: The Philosophy of the Commentators

Seminar: John Philoponus: A Christian among Pagans

Week 4: A Universe Filled with Magic and the Occult: Iamblichus and the Neo-Pythagorean tradition

Medicine and the Sciences

Week 5: One School of Alexandria or Many? In the Amphitheatres of the Iatrosophists (Aileen Das)

Reading Week

Week 7: The Rise of Alchemy: Zosimus and His Friends (Aileen Das)

Endings and Beginnings

Week 8: The Muslim Conquests and Their Aftermaths (Dr Jamie Wood)

Week 9: From Apocalypse to Acceptance and Accommodation: Religious Responses to the Muslim Conquests (Dr Jamie Wood)

Seminar: Hagarism, Hagiography and History-writing: Early Islam in Cultural Context (Dr Jamie Wood)

Week 10: Holy War in East and West: From the Battle of the Milvian Bridge to the Second Siege of Consantinople (312-717/718) (Dr Jamie Wood)

Summer Term 2012

Week 1: The fall of the Roman Empire on film (Dr Jamie Wood)

Week 2: Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’: Gibbon revisited (Dr Jamie Wood)

Week 3: No class - bank holiday

Week 4: revision