Byzantine Greek

Doctor of Philosophy in Byzantine Greek

Prerequisites. Competence in both Greek and Latin sufficient to allow the student to take courses numbered above 100 upon entering graduate school.

Academic Residence. Minimum of two years of full-time study (a combination of 16 courses, 301s or units of 303). Students are not normally permitted to take more than two courses numbered 301 before sitting for their General Examinations, and only after taking Byzantine Greek 201 (for a 301 in Byzantine Greek), Greek 201 (for a 301 in Greek) or Latin 201 (for a 301 in Latin), or equivalent.

Program of Study

  1. Within the department: It is expected that before General Examinations all candidates will take courses in the department in order to improve their knowledge of Greek (classical and Byzantine) and Latin (classical and medieval), acquire familiarity with those ancient Greek authors who were widely read or imitated in Byzantium, and learn the Hellenistic and Roman backgrounds of Byzantine civilization. In choosing the relevant courses for the degree program and thereafter, candidates should consult their supervisor in Byzantine Greek. Between the beginning of the second year and the time of the General Examinations, candidates should become familiar with the history of Byzantine literature and the history of Greek in the Byzantine period. Before taking Special Examinations, each candidate must have specialized in one period of Byzantine literature, have become acquainted with one other aspect of Byzantine civilization (such as art, theology, law, philosophy, or another related medieval literature, including Latin), and have acquired familiarity with one auxiliary discipline (such as Greek palaeography, codicology, epigraphy, or numismatics).
  2. Outside the department: Before taking the Special Examinations, all candidates must have taken one course in Byzantine history and one in Byzantine art.

Modern Languages. Candidates must demonstrate a reading knowledge of German and one of the following: French, Italian, Russian, or Modern Greek, to be tested by the department. This requirement must be fulfilled before the Special Examinations are taken. Tests are normally administered in October and April.

Pedagogy. Students take a practicum course (Classic 360) in the craft of teaching, normally in their third year. Strategies will be applicable to courses taught in translation as well as language courses.

General Examinations. All students shall, normally by the end of the April of their second year, take General Examinations comprising:

  1. Two written examinations of three hours each in the translation of ancient Greek and Byzantine Greek authors; each examination will consist of six passages (four in prose and two in verse) of which two will be at sight.
  2. An oral examination of one-and-one-half hours on the history of ancient Greek and Byzantine literature, and on the history of Greek in the Byzantine period.

The examinations will be based on two reading lists in Byzantine and ancient Greek literature. The ancient Greek reading list will be approximately the same in length as that in classical Greek required for the PhD in Classical Philology. These examinations may be repeated only once in the event of failure. If a student fails only one part of the examination, then he or she need only repeat that part.

Special Examinations. By the end of the third or, at the latest, the fourth year the candidate must take a two-hour oral examination devoted to

  1. A Byzantine author or text corpus (ca. 300–1500), including the manuscript tradition of the works and historical background.
  2. An ancient Greek author, with particular focus on the transmission and on the reception of his/her works in Byzantium; or a Modern Greek author, normally of the early period; or another Byzantine author/text corpus or special subject as defined under 1 and 3.
  3. A special subject to be selected by the candidate from the following fields: Byzantine art or archaeology, history, law, philosophy, theology, another related late antique or medieval literature (including Latin), an auxiliary discipline (Greek palaeography/codicology, diplomatics, epigraphy, numismatics, or sigillography), textual criticism, grammar or linguistics, metrics, the special problems of a literary genre, or the modern reception of Byzantium.

The choice of author(s) and subject(s) should be submitted for approval at the time of the General Examinations or as soon thereafter as possible. These examinations may be repeated only once in the event of failure.

Dissertation Regulations. See the Dissertation Regulations page.

Special Graduate Program in Byzantine Studies

The Standing Committee on Medieval Studies administers an interdepartmental program called the Special Graduate Program in Byzantine Studies in conjunction with HistoryClassics, and History of Art & Architecture. Interested students in those departments should see the website for the Special Program for more information.