• Offered by School of History
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject History
  • Areas of interest Arab and Islamic Studies, Art History, Classics and Ancient History, History, European Studies

Emperors, Pilgrims and Crusaders explores the world of Byzantium, highlighting its vibrance, sophistication and centrality to our understanding of the medieval world. This was the world which witnessed the foundation of the city of the Constantinople in the fourth century AD and its gradual establishment as the capital of the eastern Roman empire, surviving the disintegration of the west. This period also saw the emergence of Christianity as a state religion, prompting major new ecclesiastical building projects, the rise of charismatic religious figures and the development of the medieval cult of relics. The Byzantine empire engaged actively with its neighbours to the West in Europe including the Carolingians and the papacy, and with Persia and the Islamic Caliphate to the East, with our sources revealing intricate diplomatic negotiations and fierce military engagements. And, in 1204 the Crusader sack of Constantinople sent shockwaves across the Christian world, changing forever relations between Byzantium and the West. This course will investigate Byzantine history through the activities of emperors and empresses, the roles of holy men and women, the spectacular art and architecture of the era, and the accounts of the ultimate fall of Constantinople, after a millennium of Byzantine rule, to the Ottomans in 1453.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. read sources from Byzantine history critically;
  2. research and write about Byzantium and Europe during Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, evaluating and using primary historical sources and modern scholarship;
  3. conduct scholarly research and construct logical arguments based on that research, presenting material effectively in oral and written forms;
  4. reflect upon the ways in which Roman and Byzantine practices passed into European culture; and
  5. think critically about and understand the ways in which other societies differ from our own.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Pictorial Progress Quiz (5) [LO 1,4,5]
  2. Tutorial Participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  3. Tutorial Presentation (8 Minutes) (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  4. Tutorial Paper (2000 words) (35) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  5. Final Examination (2 hours) (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

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130 hours of total student learning time made up from (a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials, and (b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

12 units of HIST courses (which may include ECHI1006 and EURO1004) or CLAS courses, or 24 units of ANU courses or with permission of the convenor.

Prescribed Texts

No prescribed texts are required - weekly readings will be made available via Wattle or the ANU library.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8505 27 Jul 2026 03 Aug 2026 31 Aug 2026 30 Oct 2026 In Person N/A

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