Faculty of History  
 
 

Late Antique and Byzantine Studies - The Faculty offers two programmes in this area of study, a one-year M.St. and a two-year M.Phil.

MSt in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies

The Master of Studies in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies has been devised as a multi-purpose introduction to the Roman world in Late Antiquity, to Byzantium, the medieval successor of the East Roman Empire, and to neighbouring peoples and their cultures. It is a 9-month taught programme that can be taken as a free-standing degree, or as the first step towards doctoral research. Students have the option of selecting a focus of study dependent on their knowledge of languages or on their primary interests in the field.  Two basic pathways lead into each field of study, and graduate students are expected, in consutlation with their supervisor or the programme convenor,  to choose between them at the beginning of the course.

The programme comprises
- A core paper on History, Art and Archaeology, or History and Byzantine Literature during the first two terms of the academic year (comprising two sets of weekly classes), examined on the basis of two 5,000-word essays on topics of their choosing (subject to the approval of their supervisor), submitted at the end of the summer term (Trinity Term).
- Two courses on Advanced Options selected by the students.  These subjects may include topics in ancient and medieval languages and literatures, the auxiliary disciplines of papyrology, epigraphy, palaeography, numismatics, sigillography (usually studies in pairs), or artefact studies, or advanced study in the literature, history and religion of the area.

 

MPhil in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies

This two-year course has been devised as a multi-purpose introduction to the Roman world in Late Antiquity, to Byzantium, the medieval successor of the East Roman Empire, and to neighbouring peoples and their cultures.  It can be taken as a free-standing degree, or as the first step towards doctoral research. The course includes the completion of a 30,000 word individually researched dissertation. Students have the option of selecting a focus of study dependent on their knowledge of languages or on their primary interests in the field.  Two basic pathways lead into each field of study, and graduate students are expected, in consutlation with their supervisor or the programme convenor,  to choose between them at the beginning of the course.

The programme comprises:

- A core paper on History, Art and Archaeology, or History and Byzantine Literature during the first two terms of the academic year (comprising two sets of weekly classes), examined on the basis of two 5,000-word essays on topics of their choosing (subject to the approval of their supervisor), submitted at the end of the summer term (Trinity Term).
- Three courses on Advanced Options selected by the students.  These subjects may include topics in ancient and medieval languages and literatures, the auxiliary disciplines of papyrology, epigraphy, palaeography, numismatics, sigillography (usually studies in pairs), or artefact studies, or advanced study in the literature, history and religion of the area. Candidates are usually expected to take two of these options in their first year, and the third in their second year (some students decide to take a language paper in their second year in order to acquire additional language competence in the field).
- A thesis of not more than 30,000 words, written during the second year on a subject approved by the student's supervisor

 

Overview of papers for both programmes

There are no detailed descriptions for these papers, as much of the teaching will be tailored to the individual training needs and interests of students on the programme. The programme convenor and a candidate's individual supervisor will agree with the student a suitable programme of work at the start of the academic year.

CORE COURSES:

(one of the following, all taught over Michaelmas and Hilary Terms):

AUXILIARY DISCIPLINES:

Except for Papyrology and Artefact Studies, which are usually examined by two 5,000-word essays, the Auxiliary Discipline papers are taken in pairs, and examined by 90-minute unseen examination, together counting as one Advanced Option.

ADVANCED OPTIONS:

There is a broad range of relevant language and literature and special subject papers available; please consult your supervisor or the programme convenor for advice on the choices which would be most suitable to your academic development. The fields of study listed below illustrate the general range of expert teaching available at Oxford, but not all topics can be covered in any particular year.