Preface
The Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies and the Department of History and Archaeology offer a joint specialised postgraduate programme in Byzantine Studies and the Latin East at the MA and PhD levels. There are two options for the MA degree, with or without a thesis (see Academic Requirements).

History of the Programme

The Interdepartmental Postgraduate Programme (IPP) in Byzantine Studies and the Latin East was established as the first interdepartmental postgraduate programme of the University of Cyprus (UCy) in September 2007 (originally as the IPP in Byzantine Studies). The creation of the IPP became possible due to the felicitous circumstance that several high-calibre philologists, historians, art-historians and archaeologists were employed in the Departments of History and Archaeology and Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies and willing to work together (the original team consisted of P. Agapitos, A. Beihammer, S. Constantinou, A. Giannouli, M. Hinterberger, M. Parani, C. Schabel). This collaboration between the various disciplines of Byzantine and Medieval Studies in the form of an IPP was and still remains unique and presents a path-breaking opportunity to explore the Byzantine and, more generally, the Medieval world from various perspectives. This holistic approach is dynamically reinforced by Cyprus’ own cultural heritage, thanks to which UCy is ideally situated for Byzantine and Medieval Studies. It was precisely in recognition of this particular aspect of Cypriot history that led to the change in the name of the programme to the IPP in Byzantine Studies and the Latin East. From the very establishment of the IPP, a special emphasis has been placed on the balanced representation of all disciplines and a variety of methodological approaches. Initially, the programme envisaged that the students would select courses from all three disciplines and from five different thematic units, a structure that proved excessively demanding for the students and was thus replaced by the current, simpler and more manageable form. 


Aim

The goal of the programme is to promote interdisciplinary approaches in the various fields of Byzantine Studies and the Medieval Eastern Mediterranean. More specifically, the programme aims at a multilevel and multifaceted study of Byzantine culture that combines the various theoretical and practical methodological tools of Philology, History, History of Art and Archaeology. The programme also provides an opportunity to study the Latin East and Greeks under Latin Rule with a combination of methods and themes.

Eleven members of the academic staff of the two Departments participate in the programme, in the following fields of specialisation: Byzantine Language and Literature, Byzantine History, Medieval History, the History of Greeks under Latin Rule, Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Art and Archaeology, and Medieval Art and Archaeology. Each semester at least three seminars are taught, one in each of the following areas: (A) Byzantine Language and Literature, (B) Byzantine/Medieval History, (C) Byzantine/Medieval Art and Archaeology.

In order to ensure that the students become acquainted with the full range of the fields and the various methodological approaches involved, the seminars offered in the programme are organised on the basis of the three areas and deal with the following themes:

      a) Political, social, economic, and ecclesiastical history,
      b) Ideology and identity, cultural traditions, and intercultural contacts,
      c) Intellectual production and artistic creation,
      d) Daily life and material culture, and
      e) Cyprus within the wider social, historical, and cultural context of the Eastern Mediterranean.

More specifically, the courses offered within the framework of this interdepartmental postgraduate programme of studies aim to further the students’ acquaintance with

  • the principles and tools of the scientific fields of Byzantine Philology, Byzantine and Medieval History, Archaeology and Art History
  • issues and reflections on the gradual transformation of the ancient world into the medieval world
  • phenomena of social stratification in Byzantium, such as the concept of a social class, the self-perception of various social groups, as well as their relation to imperial authority
  • various aspects of Byzantine relations with the Islamic World, on the one hand, and with the Latin World, on the other
  • the history, literary production, art and material culture of Byzantium and the Latin East from the 4th to the 16th century and the transition from Byzantine to Post-Byzantine culture


Learning outcomes

At the completion of the programme of studies, the students will

  • be acquainted with and in a position to appreciate characteristic facets of the literary production, history, material culture and artistic output of Byzantium and the Latin East
  • be in a position to appreciate and discuss how the literary genres, texts, events, institutions, practices, monumental constructions, artefacts and works of art that are the products of Byzantine and Medieval culture are integrated into and shaped and invested with meaning by their context, historical, political, social, economic and ideological
  • be familiar with the theoretical framework of and the current methodological approaches to the analysis of various aspects of Byzantine and Medieval culture
  • appreciate the need (a) to adopt a critical stance towards traditional views and interpretations of Byzantine culture and (b) to re-evaluate them in the light of the results of current research and using the appropriate methodological tools
  • be familiar with the nature of scholarly dialogue as well as the methodology and the research tools of the Humanities (e.g. the use of manuscript sources and printed written sources, visual testimonies and archaeological evidence, as well as digital technologies), and be in a position to present their views and to compose written research papers in a well-structured and rationally articulated manner, supported by the appropriate documentation

The seminars are enriched by visits to the archaeological sites, museums, monuments, and monastic libraries of Cyprus. At the same time, the students are able to become acquainted with the research of local and visiting scholars through the lectures organised within the framework of the Colloquium of Byzantine and Medieval Studies. Furthermore, the students have the opportunity to participate in research projects coordinated by the faculty members of the programme.