ΙΣΤ 550 Byzantium and Islam: Conflicts and Exchanges
This seminar examines certain aspects of relations between Byzantine culture, and the neighbouring Islamic world, from the emergence of the Arabic caliphate in the seventh century until the final struggle of the Empire with the Ottoman Sultanate. Special emphasis is placed on the ambivalent character of these relations, which on a political-ideological level present harsh conflicts, whereas on a cultural level they are inspired by a true interest in the other side, and, in turn, lead to fruitful mutual influences.
 
ΙΣΤ 551 Oriens et Occidens
This seminar examines the image of the Other that Western authors formed about the Byzantines in the Middle Ages and vice-versa. The seminar focuses on the question how this image varies according to the social position of the author, the genre of the text, and the historical period in which it was written.
 
ΙΣΤ 552 Imperial Ideology
After the Chrisianisation of the Roman Empire the emperor, who used to be considered as a god, became a ruler chosen by God, and embodied the idea of oecumenicity, and the Living Law. However, the emperor never ceased to flirt with the idea of his divine identity. In this seminar we examine these and other aspects of imperial ideology through ceremonial texts, arengas of imperial documents and laws, literary texts, and Byzantine works of art.
 
BNE 553 The Rhetor and His Audience
Rhetoric was an indispensable part of education in antiquity and, in spite of various transformations, it maintained its essential role until the end of Byzantium. The influence of rhetoric on the development of Byzantine literature was broad and deep. Based on rhetorical texts of religious and secular content, we examine the relation of the author with his public, the rhetorical rules, and the practices he followed, as well as the level of the language, and the style employed in connection with his education, his aims, and the public that he was addressing.
 
BNE 554 Emotions and Mentalities
This seminar examines the Byzantine emotional and intellectual world, and investigates what kind of emotions the Byzantines had, and how they conceived both these emotions and themselves. The variability of apparent constants of human life and problems of interpretation connected to this variability are emphasised.
 
ΑΡΧ 555 Personal Piety
The need for the expression of personal piety constituted one of the most vital motive forces behind the creation of Byzantine art. The objective of this seminar is the investigation of the ways in which the Byzantines expressed their religiosity and faith through the adoption of certain, socially acceptable, modes of behaviour and the commission and usage of works of art.
 
BNE 556 Representations of the Body
The meaning of the human body changes across cultures and periods. Different societies and cultures understand and treat the body in dissimilar ways. The relation that Byzantines had with their bodies, and the meanings they attributed to them are subjects that have not been studied at all. In the framework of this seminar, the meanings that the body had in Byzantium and its representations in art and literature are examined.
 
BNE 557 Representations of Death
This seminar looks at the ways of representing death in Byzantine literature, and at the various ideological parameters of such representation in different periods of Byzantine history. In connection with the religious beliefs of the Byzantines, theology, liturgical practice, but also the depiction of death in Byzantine art, a series of texts from a broad spectrum of genres are read, for example, works of funerary literature (funeral orations, tombstone epigrams, laments), hymnographic works, historiographical and hagiographical texts, testaments, novelistic and epic-like narratives.
 
APX 558 From Paganism to Christianity
This seminar aims to explore the gradual 'transition' from the ancient world and paganism to Byzantium and Christianity through the study of archaeological remains and works of art. Emphasis is given to the identification of this procedure through the symbolism of early Christian art and architecture: the transformation of ancient temples to Christian churches, the building of new basilicas, sculpture and monumental art, the transformation of Late Antique urban space, items facilitating Christian worship and burial practices.

APX 559 The Archaeology of Death in Byzantium
Peoples' reactions to the idea of death and afterlife, the preparation of the dead and burial practices are aspects that belong to the sphere of byzantine ideology. This seminar examines issues related to death and burial in the Byzantine world (5th-15th c.), on the basis of archaeological remains and the visual arts, and the aid of written sources. More specifically, the seminar examines the typological development of cemeteries and graves, the decoration of grave monuments and its meaning, items accompanying graves and their symbolism, as well as the evaluation of conclusions regarding byzantine living standards and conditions through the study of skeletal remains.
 
APX 560 Byzantine Material Culture and Identity
This seminar aims to study the various "identities" of the Byzantine people, as these are expressed in the material remains of the period. Emphasis is given to the "identification" of identity in aspects of the material culture (e.g. the built environment, the byzantine house, the costume, items of domestic comfort), in other words, the expression of religious, political, cultural, social, "ethnic" or other identity. Moreover, the seminar examines the role of the Byzantine civilisation in the formation of socio-political and/or cultural ideology of contemporary states, such as Greece, Cyprus and Turkey.
 
BNE 561 The Image of Women in Byzantine Literature
Byzantine literature could be described as androcentric, since it was written by men and is mainly about men. As a result, the women depicted in Byzantine literature constitute literary constructions of male fantasy, which is often misogynistic. In this seminar, the literary constructions of various women in texts belonging to many genres and different centuries are approached.
 
ΑΡΧ 562 Portraits of Women in Byzantine Art
From the Virgin Mary to Eve, from holy women to female sinners in the composition of the Last Judgment, and from empresses to simple women working in the fields, Byzantine art offers a wide spectrum of female portrayals. Their examination reveals Byzantine attitudes and views concerning the position and the role of women in Byzantine society.
 
BNE 563 The Ruler in Byzantine Literature
The figure of the emperor plays a rather important role in Byzantium's political ideology. Yet, in most cases, this figure is presented through literary representations that idealise or denigrate the ruler. This seminar examines the literary mechanisms, and the ideological framework of this construction of the ideal ruler through rhetorical, historiographical, and legal texts, but also through works of "political theory" (e.g. the Imperial Statue of Nikephoros Blemmydes or the "De administrando Imperio" of Constantine Porphyrogennetos).
 
ΑΡΧ 564 The Art of Propaganda and Diplomacy
It is often claimed that the survival of the Byzantine Empire for over a millennium is due, to a great extent, to the efficiency of Byzantine diplomacy. This seminar explores the use of art by the State and the Church as a powerful means of self-promotion, and as an effective vehicle for the dissemination of political and religious messages both within the borders of the Empire and abroad.
 
BNE 565 Education in Byzantium
Intellectual flourishing in Byzantium depended on the learning of certain scholars and on the organisation of education. In order to evaluate Byzantine culture, it is necessary to understand its literary tradition, and, therefore, to study the role of education. This seminar focuses on the coexistence of the ancient Greek tradition and Christian doctrine in education, as well as on the institutions of education in various periods of Byzantine history.
 
ΙΣΤ 566 Contra errores Graecorum
The Latin image of the theological 'errors' of the Greeks from Charlemagne to the Fall of Constantinople has not been fully investigated. This seminar examines various texts that were written Contra errores Graecorum, for example, in the context of the coronation of Charlemagne (800), the Photian Schism (860), the mutual excommunications of 1054, the Crusades, and the Councils of Lyons II (1274) and Florence (1438-39).
 
BNE 567 Conquests of Cities
This seminar focuses on the subject of the conquest of Byzantine cities as presented in various literary genres. Characteristic examples are studied, beginning with historical accounts of the events and continuing with texts of rhetoric or poetry (monodies, Threnoi, etc.). Special emphasis is placed on works concerning the captures of Thessalonike and Constantinople.
 
ΙΣΤ 568 Historiography in the Latin-Ruled Greek World: Historicity and Ideology
The seminar aims at the comparative study of historical texts of a varied nature (chronicles, annals, narratives in prose, narrative poems, manuscript historical notes, memoranda and relazioni) from the Latin-ruled Greek world (Cyprus, Morea, Ionian Sea, Crete, the Agean) during the Byzantine and post-Byzantine period. Various aspects of the process of history writing will be investigated, such as historiographical genres, language and style, historicity and reliability of the texts, and the projected ideology in connection with each text's socio-political context and authorial subjectivity. A comparison with texts of the Byzantine and western historiographical traditions as well as with texts from the Latin East will allow us to trace relationships and influences and will reveal those factors that favoured a historiographical production on Cyprus that surpasses significantly that in other areas in volume, span of time and variety.