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From Rome to Byzantium: the transition from classical to early Byzantine world from 200 to 500 AD

Did the Roman Empire really collapse? Was the transition from Classical civilisation to late antiquity the end of an era? Was this decline caused by migrations and the advent of Christianity? In this course we will address these questions and more to explore the period between the third to the seventh century AD, which marked one of history's great turning points and the transition from the ancient to the modern world, from pagan polytheism to Christianity, from Roman Empire to Medieval States. This dynamic world was populated by diverse people (the “barbarians”) who deeply influenced the culture, literature and art of the time. In our studies, we will travel to Constantinople and Ravenna to appreciate the artistic continuity with classical tradition and the new inspirations coming from the East, and we will meet fascinating personalities such as Empress Theodora, Justinian, and Julian ‘the Apostate’, as well as reading exciting sources such as Procopius, Ammianus Marcellinus, and Nonnus, to understand how much of the empire's legacy lived on through the institutions of the church.

How to apply

Please note this course will run subject to sufficient numbers enrolling – there will be a limited number of places available.

The closing date for online and postal applications is Friday 16th September for the Michaelmas term. You may register and pay by credit/Visa debit card online at after 16th August or you can download an application form and send it with a cheque/money order made payable to Trinity College Dublin number 1 account to: Dr Patricia Stapleton, Evening and Short Courses administrator, School of Histories and Humanities, Room 3141, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, Dublin 2. Applications may be made in person in Room 3141, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin between 16th and 27th August from 2.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. or by appointment.


EUR 150 / Concession EUR 75. The concession rate is available to second and third level students and people whose primary source of income is social welfare, health board or a government-sponsored employment scheme.

Time and place

Time and venue to be confirmed, please check our website after 16th August 2015 for update or text INFO followed by your name and address to 087 257 2016.


This lecture-only module comprises one lecture per week over one twelve-week term commencing Monday 26 September 2016. There is a one week break (7 - 11 November 2016) when no lectures will take place.