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Unit Weighting          

9 credit points

Type of Unit              



H8510A The Early Church

Academic Staff          

Rev. Anastasios Bozikis, BCom (UQ 1990), BTh (SCD 1995), MTh (Sydney 1997) 

Curriculum Objectives

This course unit critically examines the imperial, ecclesial, and cultural factors of the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, generally from the age of Constantine the Great until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, as well as the empire’s relations with its neighbouring cultures. It is organised thematically, and addresses topics such as Byzantine Imperialism, Church, Literature, Hagiography, and Art and Architecture, to name a few.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Distinguish and assess the various social, cultural, literary, and religious factors in the history of Byzantium.
  2. Critically expound the key contributions of leading figures and significant events in Byzantium.
  3. Give a thorough analysis of the literary representation of imperial and ecclesial figures and events within the history of Byzantium.
  4. Reconstruct and assess the symbolic mentality of the Byzantines.
  5. Apply the findings of a study of primary sources and secondary studies on Byzantium to the Orthodox Church’s current experience and mission.


  1. The status quaestionis in Byzantine studies
  2. The making of the Christian oikoumene
  3. The self-representation of Byzantium: chronography, historiography and imperial ritual
  4. Byzantium and its neighbours
  5. Art, architecture and public symbols
  6. Humanities and the ‘hard’ sciences
  7. Official devotion, popular religion and the everyday life
  8. Theological themes, hagiography and the spiritual life

Assessment Profile

  1. Critically engage with, interpret, and explain primary and secondary sources e.g. by way of reviews or summaries
  2. Contextualise and assess key social, cultural, religious aspects and/or mentalities relevant to the history of Byzantium, e.g. by way of writing an essay
  3. Interpret and appraise key events and personalities in the early Church from the available literary sources, e.g. by way of take-home exam


3hr lecture per week on campus, or via distance education