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Medieval Greece

Line drawing of a medieval Greek Castle: Karitaina
Line drawing of a medieval Greek Castle: Karitaina

Whether ‘Greece’ conjures up Classical glory, recent economic disaster, or simply holiday sunshine, this course will make you think again! The seminar considers the history, society and culture of a very different Greece, that of the Middle Ages. Geographically it looks at the region we associate today with the country, along with its peripheries in Anatolia and the Balkans, and it covers the period from the emergence of the East Roman (Byzantine) empire out of Late Antiquity in the early 4th century CE down to the emergence of Ottoman domination in the later 15th century CE. Although this is the history of a clearly defined region on the modern map, in the medieval period it is, essentially, the history of nowhere. As such it provides fascinating and important lessons in historiography; these will be related to the part it plays in later imagination of the ‘orient’ and the construction of a Modern Greek national identity, as well as academic inventions of the ancient world. The course will outline the often kaleidoscopic patterns of political control in the region as well as the complex interaction between the different ethnic and religious groups who occupied these areas or impinged on them. Classes will cover patterns of administration and government as well as urban and rural settlement, economic activity, daily life, religious practice and belief, literature, art, and architecture. May be offered jointly with HIST 441.

Department of History, Queen's University

49 Bader Lane, Watson Hall 212
Kingston ON K7L 3N6




Queen's University is situated on traditional Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.