The aim of the course is to provide essential and precise diachronic and geographical coordinates and clear introductory elements of eventual history on the long, coherent and multifaceted civil and cultural history of Byzantium."
teacher profile | teaching materials

Mutuazione: 20710261 CIVILTA' BIZANTINA I in Lettere L-10 RONCHEY SILVIA


Sailing to Byzantium. Introduction to the Byzantine civilisation (“And therefore I have sailed the seas and come / To the holy city of Byzantium”, William Butler Yeats)

Byzantine Civilisation for the Bachelor of Arts degree is intended for students of Literature, Archaeology, Art History and History, Territory, and Global Society, and aims first and foremost to answer the question, "what is Byzantium?"? What is the importance of studying Byzantium? why Is it pertinent not only for those interested in Byzantium itself, but also to those pursuing courses in classical philology, Christianity, archaeology, art history - ancient, medieval, modern - and of course history tout court - ancient, medieval, modern, contemporary - as well as the history of religion and philosophical thought?
Following a few lectures that provide the essential geographic and diachronic coordinates of the Byzantine world, the course will focus on the main cornerstones of the eventual history of the Eastern Empire. Specifically, two fundamental elements will be highlighted: (1) the role by which Byzantium perpetuated the forms of literature, art, study, and thought that now constitute the Western European civilisation in which we live; (2) the city of Constantinople, situated at the boundary of Europe and Asia, between the "warm seas" and the "cold seas", served as a center of irradiation, convergence, encounter, and exchange between civilisations.
There will also be a number of lectures of a monographic nature, focusing on the most recent research themes developed by the chair of Byzantine Studies at Roma Tre. As part of this course, some lectures will focus on a framing of Platonism's role within the Byzantine paideia, emphasizing the personages of Hypatia of Alexandria and Synesius of Cyrene, as well as their Nachleben, as traceable through very heterogeneous sources, ranging from hagiographic works composed in the first centuries (6th-7th centuries) to exegesis and scholarly miscellany dating back to the Palaeologan period (14th century). Several lectures will focus on the phenomenon of iconoclasm, the role of images in Byzantium, and the philosophical underpinnings of the theology of the Byzantine icon and its dissemination into other cultures, particularly in Slavic cultures. A few lectures will be devoted to the Turkish conquest of Constantinople in 1453, the culminating event in the history of the millennial empire.
For the conclusion of the course, students will have the opportunity to attend an educational trip to Patmos (May 1-6, 2024), organized in collaboration with the Byzantine Chair of the Saras Department at the Sapienza University of Rome. The main purpose of the event will be to present on site to the participants various elements illustrated during the course of the lectures, with special emphasis on the celebration of the Orthodox Easter (η Μεγάλη Εβδομάδα).

Some reviews (in alphabetical order):
• Bizantinistica (Rivista di Studi Bizantini e Slavi)
• Bollettino della Badia Greca di Grottaferrata
• Byzantina Symmeikta
• Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies
• Byzantine Review
• Byzantinische Zeitschrift
• Byzantinoslavica
• Byzantion
• Byzantion Nea Hellás
• Dumbarton Oaks Papers
• Estudios Bizantinos
• Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies
• Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Byzantinistik
• Journal of Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies
• Medioevo Greco
• Nea Rhome
• Orientalia Christiana Periodica
• Parekbolai
• Revue des Études Byzantines
• Rivista di Letteratura Comparata Italiana, Bizantina e Neoellenica
• Rivista di Studi Bizantini e Neollenici
• Scandinavian Journal of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies
• Vizantijskij Vremennik
• Zbornik radova Vizantološkog instituta

Some links:
• www.academia.edu
• https://aiebnet.gr/fr/page-daccueil/
• https://biblioteca.orientale.it/
• http://www.byzantium1200.com/
• http://www.doaks.org/
• https://istanbulcitywalls.ku.edu.tr/en/
• http://pinakes.irht.cnrs.fr/
• http://www.scuolavaticanapaleografia.va/content/scuolavaticanapaleografia/it/didattica/corso-annuale-di-paleografia-greca-.html
• http://www.studibizantini.it/

Core Documentation


- S. Ronchey, Lo Stato Bizantino, Torino, Einaudi Tascabili, 2002
- S. Ronchey, Bisanzio fino alla quarta crociata, in A. Barbero e S. Carocci (a cura di), Storia d'Europa e del Mediterraneo, vol. VIII, Roma, Salerno, 2006, pp. 215-255

Type of delivery of the course

In person



Type of evaluation

Oral exam