Byzantium - The Power and The Glory

Ref: C2343732

This course will chart the rise of the Macedonian dynasty under Basil and his immediate successors, beginning with a brief survey of the medieval Roman state by the middle of the 9th century AD, looking atr its key social, political and religious institutions and how these contrasted with western Europe at the time. . We will go on to look at the various conflicts between the medieval Roman state and its neighbours, paying particular attention to relations between the Byzantine world and its Islamic rivals, as well as the Christianisation of the major Slavonic states. Careful consideration will be made of the reign of Leo VI and his political and spiritual crises as they developed at the end of the ninth century, and the difficulties they posed for Byzantine society at the time. We will conclude with a thorough analysis of the Byzantine state and its imperial ambitions as it grew under the Lekapenoi and finally Konstantine VII.

Course aim

This course aims to provide an awareness of what is sometimes known as the "golden Age" of Byzantine history, and provide a general awareness of the key issues of Byzantine studies for those with either some or little appreciation of the period.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need your own personal email address so that you’re able to login to the WEA’s digital learning platform: WEA Canvas. You will need to be able to understand how to follow URL links to pages on the internet. If you want to understand more about Canvas please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • You will need to be able to follow links to join our WEA live video learning platform: WEA Zoom. If you’d like to understand more about our video learning platform, Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline and http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • This course is for a group of around 15 students studying in a live video-learning platform conference and an online digital learning environment platform from the comfort of your own home.
  • This is a live lecture delivered by a subject specialist in an online webinar video learning platform. You will need to be able to access the internet on a device with speakers or earphones. There will be opportunities to take part in discussions and chats. If you’d like to know how to use Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is for improvers
  • Some familiarity with early medieval European history is advisable but not a necessity.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Provide a broad outline of the circumstances of the rise to power of Basil I in 867 AD.
  • Give at least three reasons for the difficulties faced by Emperor Leo VI 896-905 AD, and their impact on Byzantine society.
  • Provide an outline of at least three key social institutions at Constantinople at the end of the 9th century AD.
  • Give a brief outline of the career of Tsar Simeon of Bulgaria and its significance.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas will be used to provide resources or to support lessons, enable assessment, provide learner feedback and for other activities for individuals away from the course. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • Your tutor will provide written, text and audio feedback recorded in WEA Canvas, WEA’s digital learning platform.
  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • What you need: You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use our video learning platform, Zoom. If you’d like to understand more Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • You will also need access to the internet outside of your sessions. You could do this using a smart phone, tablet, laptop or a desktop computer (at home or through a library etc.).
  • You will need a personal email address to join the WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas so that you can receive resources, record your progress and achievement and to work with others and share ideas. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • The Byzantines: Averil Cameron, Blackwell Press 2004 A Short History of the Byzantine Empire: Dionysios Stathakopoulos, Tauris Books 2014

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course information sheet

Byzantium - The Power and The Glory

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2020
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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