Master of Philosophy in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies

  • 1. Each candidate will be required to:

    • (a) follow for at least six terms a course of instruction in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies. Candidates will, when they enter for the examination, be required to produce from their society a certificate that they are following such a course.

    • (b) present a thesis of not more than 30,000 words on a subject approved by his/her supervisor; the thesis[For students starting before MT 2016: (three copies) must be typewritten and delivered to the Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford, by Monday of seventh week] [For students starting from MT 2016: must be uploaded to the Assignments section of the Late Antique and Byzantine Studies WebLearn site by Monday of sixth week ]of Trinity Term of the candidate’s second year at the latest. [For students starting from MT 2016: Each submission will require the candidate to make a declaration indicating that it is their own work.]

    • (c) present himself/herself for a viva voce examination when required to do so by the examiners.

  • 2. Candidates must take four of the following six papers. All candidates take the core paper on History, Art and Archaeology, or, if they already have the required linguistic competence, History and Byzantine Literature. For the remainder of their course they choose either the two Language and Literature papers and one other paper (which may be a second single language paper), or, if they already have considerable competence in their chosen language or languages, and their principal interests lie in History, Art and Archaeology, or Religion, they choose Auxiliary Disciplines and two Special Subjects.

  • I. Compulsory core paper on History, Art, and Archaeology, or History and Byzantine Literature:

  • Either

    • (a) Late Antiquity (covering the Roman Empire and adjoining regions)

  • or

    • (b) Byzantium

  • The core paper will be taught in classes in Michaelmas and Hilary Terms.[For students starting before MT 2016: Examination will be by two 5,000-word essays, to be submitted by Monday of seventh week of Trinity Term of the candidate’s first year.] [For students starting from MT 2016: Examination will be by two 5,000-word essays, to be uploaded to the Assignments section of the Late Antique and Byzantine Studies WebLearn site by Monday of sixth week of Trinity Term of the candidate’s first year. Candidates will be required to make a declaration indicating that it is their own work.]

  • II. and III. Language and Literature (teaching in Greek, Latin, Slavonic, Armenian, Syriac, and Arabic will normally be available)

  • These papers are taught over three terms in classes, with reference to a selection of texts and/or extracts from texts which may vary from year to year according to the interests of candidates. Examination is by two three-hour papers: (candidates are permitted the use of relevant bilingual dictionaries, which will be provided by the faculty)

    • (a) translation, and

    • (b) set texts (with passages for translation and comment).

  • Candidates who are embarking on the study of one of the above languages will normally be expected to take both examinations in that language, but the Committee for Byzantine Studies may in special circumstances permit them to substitute another paper for one of these examination papers, taken at the end of the candidate’s first year. Candidates taking a second language in their second year are only required to enter for examination in a single paper.

  • IV. Auxiliary Discipline(s):

  • Either

    • (a) any two of the following: epigraphy, palaeography, numismatics, sigillography

  • or

    • (b) papyrology: Greek, Coptic or Arabic

  • or

    • (c) artefact studies: one of ceramics, metalware, ivories, codices, carved marbles.

  • Paper IV will be taught by lectures/classes/tutorials. Examination will be by a three-hour paper, except for papyrology which is assessed by two 5,000-word essays on distinct aspects of the subject.

  • V. A Special Subject selected from the subject areas listed under 3. below.

    Special Subjects will be taught by lectures/classes/tutorials. Examination will be either by two 5,000-word essays or by a 10,000-word dissertation[For students starting before MT 2016: (to be submitted by Monday of seventh week of Trinity Term of the candidate’s first year)]. [For students starting from MT 2016: (to be uploaded to the Assignments section of the Late Antique and Byzantine Studies WebLearn site by Monday of sixth week of Trinity Term of the candidate’s first year). Candidates will be required to make a declaration that the work is their own.]

  • VI. A second Special Subject selected from the subject areas listed under 3. below.

    Special Subjects will be taught by lectures/classes/tutorials. Examination will be either by two 5,000-word essays or by a 10,000-word dissertation[For students starting before MT 2016: (to be submitted by Monday of seventh week of Trinity Term of the candidate’s second year).] [For students starting from MT 2016: (to be uploaded to the Assignments section of the Late Antique and Byzantine Studies WebLearn site by Monday of sixth week of Trinity Term of the candidate’s first year). Candidates will be required to make a declaration that the work is their own.]

    Note: both Special Subjects may be taken from the same section of the list below.[For students starting from MT 2016: Candidates wishing to take an option paper/advanced paper (language varying by programme) from another programme offered by the History Faculty, and exceptionally, by other Faculties, may do so with the permission of the Programme Convenor, the person responsible for the delivery of the requested option/advanced paper, the candidate’s supervisor, and the Director of Graduate Studies. Such candidates will be assessed according to the regulations with respect to the form of assessment and deadlines governing that option (i.e. the regulations of the programme under which the option/advanced paper is offered), but the modes of assessment and deadlines for the other course elements of the programme for which the candidate is registered will remain in force.]

  • 3. Overview of Special Subjects (for details, please consult the Course Handbook)

    • (a) History: Special Subjects on offer deal either with specific periods or with certain aspects of late Roman and Byzantine history (including military, diplomatic, political, social, economic and religious history) between the fourth and fifteenth centuries, as well as important developments in neighbouring regions.

    • (b) Art and Archaeology: Special Subjects on offer cover sculpture, portraiture, minor arts, monumental art and architecture of the late Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic spheres of influence as well as the archaeology of town and country throughout the Mediterranean and Near Eastern worlds.

    • (c) Literature (texts prescribed in translation): Special Subjects on offer range through historiography, hagiography, poetry and popular literature, and scholarship in the languages available for the degree programme.

    • (d) Religion: Special Subjects on offer cover theological debates and practical spirituality in the fields of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

    • (e) Such other subjects as may be approved on application to the Committee for Byzantine Studies.

  • Note: The list of Special Subjects detailed in the Course Handbook reflects the expertises and interests of current postholders. The list may be altered from time to time with developments of expertise and changes of interest on the part of the postholders.

  • 4. Teaching in all the options may not be available each year, and applicants for admission will be advised whether teaching will be available in the options of their choice.

  • 5. The examiners may award a distinction for excellence in the whole examination.

  • 6. If it is the opinion of the examiners that the work done by a candidate, while not of sufficient merit to qualify for the degree of Master of Philosophy, is nevertheless of sufficient merit to qualify for the degree of M.St. in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies, the candidate shall be given the option of resitting the M.Phil. (as provided by the appropriate regulation) or of being granted leave to supplicate for the degree of Master of Studies.