CLS-STDY 140: Stories from Byzantium: Medieval Greek Literature in Translation




This course offers an introduction to Medieval Greek literature, from the foundation of Constantinople by Emperor Constantine the Great in 330 to the city’s conquest by Sultan Mehmed II in 1453, on the basis of selected readings in English translation. The focus will be on narrative texts (for instance, historical accounts, saints' lives, and novels), and particularly on wondrous, humorous, and juicy stories and tales, which enjoyed great popularity in Byzantium. Each thematic unit will be introduced by a lecture on the general historical and literary contexts of the assigned texts, followed by a close reading of extracts and discussions of genre, literary traditions, and narrative techniques.