HAA 138m: From Byzantium to the British Isles. The Materiality of Late Antiquity






Course Description: This course explores the extraordinary cultural transformation of Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East underwent from Diocletian's reorganization of the Roman Empire in the late third century to the Islamic conquest of the Iberian Peninsula in...

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HAA 73: Money Matters





money changer, national gallery     

Course Description: Money is everywhere. As both an abstract construct and a material entity, money makes the world go around. Since before the invention of writing, money has been a common facet of everyday life, informing how we think and how we...

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Richard and Saladin; Combat Series Chertsey tiles, Britsh Museum

Course description: The crusading movement that started with Pope Urban II's call to arms in 1095 redrew the political, socioeconomic and cultural map of Europe and the Middle East. The course explores the materiality of the Crusades in the late Middle Ages and their imprint on early modern and modern culture. Among the themes discussed are:

*The impact of the Crusades on cities and the countryside in Europe and the Middle East; communities, markets, money, and the archaeology of destruction.

*Art and cross-cultural encounters in the Eastern Mediterranean: patrons, artists, works of art, and their intended audiences.

*Religious and secular architecture and new religious topographies in Western Europe and the Holy Land.

*From Constantinople to Venice: relics, treasures, and the Renaissance.

*Commemoration, remembrance and the Crusades as a metaphor; representations of the East through the lyric lens; antiquarianism and the archaeology of the Crusades; Sir Walter Scott, 19th-century crusading literature, and the Pre-Raphaelites; the Crusades in modern visual culture.

*The course is available for Harvard cross-registration and open to undergraduate and graduate students. No prerequisites required.  


THE CRUSADES IN MATERIAL CULTURE in the students' own words (Course Evaluations, Spring 2017, Spring 2018)

"I never before realized the cross-cultural exchanges that were occurring on so many different levels. I only saw the war and strife side that is commonly found in the history books but if you look deeper there is an interaction of very rich cultural traditions and some of the art pieces that emerged as a result of these new connections are truly beautiful. This course taught me that there was more to the Crusades than the battles. This was a monumental collision of cultures that had truly remarkable results both in the Holy Land and in Europe."

"Fantastic class. But even more so, a fantastic professor. Professor Georganteli is truly one of the kindest, most wonderful, intelligent, and inspiring professors I have ever had the pleasure to encounter. Take this class for the fascinating material culture, but even more so to have the opportunity to learn under the guidance of Professor Georganteli."

"The close-up inspections of works of art in the Harvard art museums, MFA and Dumbarton Oaks benefitted my learning journey by providing me with the unparalleled opportunity to see texts, seals, artworks and many other pieces of artwork that I might not have the chance to see anywhere else. Therefore, I am exceptionally grateful for the ability to visit these institutions."

"This course has deepened my awareness of the extent to which the world was interconnected in the late Middle Ages both economically as well as culturally and how the interactions established in the crusades impacted the development of both Europe as well as the near East."

"I loved the course! The split between lecturing, presentations, and discussion was well done, and never resulted in the class feeling stagnant. I think that Professor Georganteli has such a command of the subject, as well as an enthusiasm for it, that it was infectious, and as a result, we all strove to match her. I think the discussions were some of the most fruitful that I have had in courses here."