Dioíkīsī kai thesmoí tou Vyzantíou

Course Information
TitleΔιοίκηση και θεσμοί του Βυζαντίου / Dioíkīsī kai thesmoí tou Vyzantíou
CodeΙΒΥ 704
SchoolHistory and Archaeology
Cycle / Level2nd / Postgraduate
Teaching PeriodWinter/Spring
Course ID600015990

Programme of Study: Historical Research

Registered students: 0
OrientationAttendance TypeSemesterYearECTS
Vyzantinīs kai Mesaiōnikīs IstoríasElective CoursesWinter/Spring-15

Class Information
Academic Year2018 – 2019
Class PeriodWinter
Faculty Instructors
Class ID
Course Type 2011-2015
Knowledge Deepening / Consolidation
Mode of Delivery
  • Face to face
Digital Course Content
Language of Instruction
  • Greek (Instruction, Examination)
Learning Outcomes
Students attending the course are expected to: •learn the structure and the function of the justice system in Byzantium •comprehend the different perception of the law by the Byzantine judges compared to today's legal thought. • understand how the Byzantines could resolve their legal disputes in provinces and the capital through concrete examples and in connection with the administrative organization of the empire. • become aware of methodological and practical issues related to their field of study • practice their skills in analysing and interpreting the primary sources concerning the administration of justice.
General Competences
  • Work autonomously
  • Appreciate diversity and multiculturality
  • Be critical and self-critical
  • Advance free, creative and causative thinking
Course Content (Syllabus)
The course focuses on the administration of justice in Byzantium (324-1453) and, in particular, the courts and the judicial officers of the capital and provinces. The relevant testimonies of legal and narrative sources, documents and seals will be studied and the controversial views of modern research concerning the courts and the judges will be critically approached. The special features of the Byzantine judicial system in each period will be underlined and the changes introduced by the emperors will be analysed. Specific examples of legal disputes will be examined and the different perception of law by Byzantine judges and Byzantine jurisprudence will be presented.  Week #1. Presentation of primary sources and current trends in the field of research regarding the administration of justice in Byzantium  Week #2. The transition from the Roman to the Byzantine judicial system - The main features of the administration of justice in Byzantium  Week #3. The Imperial Court (sacrum auditorium, examination of appeals and crimen majestatis)  Week #4 The first professional judges at the time of Justinian I (Novel 82)  Week #5. Administration of justice in the provinces during the early period and the examination of appellationes in the capital. The example of the inhabitants of the province of Cyprus  Week #6. The Kritai in the middle Byzantine period (Eparch of the City, Koiaistor, epi ton deeseon)  Week #7. The Drougarios of the vigla and the Hippodrome Court (the judges of the velum and the judges of the hippodrome)  Week #8. Administration of justice in the provinces during the middle Byzantine period - The sekreton ton dikon  Week #9. The perception of law by Byzantine judges. The evidence of the Peira of Eustathios Romaios  Week #10. Reforms, higher and lower judicial officers in the 11th century. The law school of Konstantinos IX Monomachos  Week #11. Reforms and judicial officers under the Komnnenoi and the Angeloi (protoasecretis, dikaiodotes, logothetes of the sekreta, prokathemenos of the demosiaka dikasteria). An example of a trial between the state and the monastery of Lavra  Week #12. The administration of justice during the Palaeologan period (Basilikon sekreton, the 12-member court of Andronikos II, the katholikoi kritai, provincial and ecclesiastical courts)  Week #13. Recapitulation - General conclusions
Educational Material Types
  • Book
  • Selected bibliography
Use of Information and Communication Technologies
Use of ICT
  • Use of ICT in Communication with Students
Course Organization
Reading Assigment1655.5
Written assigments1655.5
Student Assessment
Students will have to study weekly specific book chapters and articles (in Greek and in other languages) and present, orally or in written, brief reports of their critical reading. They will also have to study and comment on specific legal and narrative sources, documents and lead seals. Students' evaluation will depend on their weekly presentations, their ability to argue and to answer complicated questions based on bibliography and the relevant sources, as well as on the final paper they will deliver at the end of the semester.
Student Assessment methods
  • Written Assignment (Formative, Summative)
  • Oral Exams (Formative)
Additional bibliography for study
 Burgmann, L., “Zur Organisation der Rechtsprechung in Byzanz (Mittelbyzantinische Epoche)”, La giustizia nell’Alto Medioevo (secoli IX-XI). Settimane di studio del Centro Italiano di Studi sull’Alto Medioevo, XLIV, 11-17 aprile 1996, Spoleto, 1997, pp. 905-930.  Αικατερίνη Χριστοφιλοπούλου, Τ`α βυζαντιν`α δικαστήρια κατ`α το`υς α[ι~ωνες Ι΄-ΙΑ΄, Δίπτυχα 4 (1986-87) 163-177.  Γκουτζιουκώστας Α., Η απονομή δικαιοσύνης στο Βυζάντιο (9ος-12ος αι.). Τα κοσμικά δικαιοδοτικά όργανα και δικαστήρια της πρωτεύουσας (Βυζαντινά Κείμενα και Μελέται 37), Θεσσαλονίκη 2004.  Guilland, R., “L’Hippodrome couvert. Ὁ σκεπαστός Ἱππόδρομος”, Byzantinoslavica 19 (1958), 26-72 (=Idem, Études de Topographie, vol. 1, pp. 165-210).  Guilland, R., Recherches sur les institutions byzantines, 2vols. (Berliner Byzantinische Arbeiten 35), Berlin – Amsterdam 1967.  Laiou, A.E. – Simon, D., (eds.), Law and Society in Byzantium: Ninth-Twelfth Centuries, Washington D.C. 1994.  Laurent, V., Le corpus des sceaux de l’empire byzantin, vol. 2, L’administration centrale, Paris 1981.  Macrides, R.J., Kinship and Justice in Byzantium, 11th-15th Centuries (Variorum Collected Studies Series), Aldershot, Brookfield, Singapore, Sydney 1999.  Oikonomides, N., Byzantium from the Ninth Century to the Fourth Crusade. Studies, Texts, Monuments (Variorum Collected Studies Series), Aldershot 1992.  Oikonomides, N., “The «Peira» of Eustathios Romaios: an Abortive Attempt to Innovate in Byzantine Law”, Fontes Minores 7 (1986), 162-192 (=Idem, Byzantium, XII).  Simon, D., Rechtsfindung am byzantinischen Reichsgericht (Wissenschaft und Gegenwart. Juristische Reihe, Heft 4), Frankfurt a.M. 1973.  Τρωιάνος Σ., Οι πηγές του Βυζαντινού Δικαίου3 , Αθήνα-Κομοτηνής 2011.  Weiss G., Hohe Richter in Konstantinopel, JÖB 22 (1973) 117-143.
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