Eastern Roman Empire and its successors, with Simon Tomson

Ref: C3680371

This ten week course will examine the division of the Roman Empire into two parts and follow developments in the Eastern Greek speaking portion. We shall look at religious centers, Provincial capitals, desert oases and settlements, examining the surviving architecture, art and town planning. Aided by computer derived reconstructions recent deliberate destruction will also be reviewed with 'before and after' imagery. Subject will include Diocletian's imperial division, his retirement palace at Split, the re-foundation of Constantinople, Jerash (Jordan), Baalbek (Lebanon), Palmyra (Syria) and Petra Jordan). The course will give students the opportunity to 'experience' the sites, some of which are presently inaccessible, without leaving home.

Course aim

This ten week course will introduce students to some of the major surviving cities of the Eastern Roman Empire as well as looking at their later development under the succeeding Byzantine Empire. The course will be Illustrated throughout.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

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

  • Describe how and why the Roman Empire was divided into two.
  • Define and locate the Decapolis.
  • List the primary function of the ancient city of Baalbek.
  • Show how the desert settlements were able to thrive and function in such harsh environments.
  • Which major eastern Roman towns survived and thrived into the Byzantine period and which did not?

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

You will need internet access to be able access the course which will be hosted on 'Zoom' as well as to access 'Canvas' the WEAs educational management program which will host the course support material.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Eastern Roman Empire and its successors, with Simon Tomson

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course has started and there are no online enrolment places available.


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 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • 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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