Art in Byzantium: Grandeur and Symbolism

Overview

The Byzantine empire has been the longest-living empire in the history of Western civilization. Using visual and documentary sources as well as archaeological findings, we will examine the artistic life and material culture in the empire (architecture, mosaics, icons, illustrated manuscripts, daily objects, jewellery) from the 4th to the c.15th centuries, analyse its symbolism, assess the institutions that supported the flourishing of that culture, and survey the political and religious ideologies that influenced it. 

On the last day of the course, we will visit the Christ Church Library to view and discuss its collection of Byzantine manuscripts.

This course is part of The Oxford Experience summer school.

Programme details

Seminars meet each weekday morning, with afternoons free for course-related field trips, individual study, or exploring the many places of interest in and around the city.

Monday
Overview of the development of the Byzantine Empire, its topography and institutions.

Tuesday
Religious and secular architecture; art and faith.

Wednesday
Mosaic decoration both in public and religious buildings; wall-paintings; religious symbolism.

Thursday
Icons; the period of iconoclasm.

Friday
The significant, both from an intellectual and an artistic point of view, production of Manuscripts in Monastic Scriptoria; Visit to the Christ Church Library to view and discuss their Collection of Byzantine Manuscripts. 

Field Trip
Destination: Christ Church Library

Website: www.chch.ox.ac.uk/library-and-archives/byzantine-manuscripts

Excursion Rating: Easy - up to an hour’s walk on even ground or less than half an hour’s walk on uneven/unpaved ground.

Certification

Fees

Description Costs
Fee option 1 (single en suite accom and meals per person) £2175.00
Fee option 2 (single standard accom and meals per person) £2050.00
Fee option 3 (double en suite accom and meals per person) £2000.00
Fee option 4 (twin en suite accom and meals per person) £2000.00
Fee option 5 (twin set standard accom and meals per person) £2000.00
Fee option 6 (no accom; incl lunch and dinner per person) £1500.00

Funding

Please note there are no sources of funding (scholarships, bursaries, etc) available for applicants.

Payment

All fees are charged on a per week, per person basis.

Please be aware that all payments made via non-UK credit/debit cards and bank accounts are subject to the exchange rate on the day they are processed.

Payment terms

  • If enrolling online: full payment by credit/debit card at the time of booking.
  • If submitting an enrolment form: full payment online by credit/debit card or via bank transfer within 30 days of invoice date.

Supplementary costs

  • Extended stay fee: Participants staying multiple, consecutive weeks are offered bed and breakfast accommodation for the Saturday night between their courses. The extended stay rates are charged on a per person basis, depending on your enrolment accommodation. An invoice will be emailed alongside your confirmation of enrolment. 
  • Excursion fee where applicable: £5-130. This fee is built into the above course fees and will not require a separate payment. If your course includes a day-long excursion, you may need to make your own lunch arrangements.
  • Course transfer fee: Please note that course transfers may be permitted in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the programme administrator, up to the 1 May 2024. In accordance with our Terms and Conditions, an administration fee of £50 will be charged.
  • Any ticketed activities, as outlined in the Social Programme.

Cancellations and refunds

1. Cancellation by you

Participants who wish to cancel must inform the Programme Administrator in writing: by email to oxfordexperience@conted.ox.ac.uk, or by post to The Oxford Experience, OUDCE, 1 Wellington Square, OXFORD, OX1 2JA, UK.

The following cancellation and refund policy applies in all cases:

  • Cancellation within 14 days of online enrolment / payment of fees – full refund of all fees paid. 

  • Cancellations received up to and including 30 April 2024 – OUDCE will retain an administration fee of £100 per week booked; all other fees paid will be refunded.
  • Cancellations received between 1-31 May 2024 – OUDCE will retain 60% of the fees paid; the remaining 40% of fees paid will be refunded.
  • Cancellations received on and after 1 June 2024 - no refunds will be made under any circumstances.

Where course fees have been paid in currencies other than pounds sterling, refunds will be subject to the exchange rate on the day they are processed.

2. Cancellation by us

Where there is good reason, OUDCE reserves the right to cancel a course by giving you notice in writing at any time before the course is due to start. In these cases, we will endeavour to offer a transfer to another available course if practical and acceptable to you, subject to payment or refund of any difference in course fees. Alternatively, we will refund the course fees that you have already paid. If we cancel a course, our liability is limited to the fees that we have received from you; this means that we will not compensate you for any pre-booked travel costs or any other expenses incurred. The status of this course will be reviewed on 1 May 2024. If it is likely that the course may be cancelled, anyone affected will be notified by email within 7 days; if you have not heard from OUDCE by 8 May 2024, you should assume that your course will be running. You may wish to delay finalising your travel arrangements until after this date.

OUDCE reserves the right to cancel a course at short notice in exceptional circumstances that would prevent the course from being delivered e.g. tutor illness. In these rare instances, and if we are unable to find a replacement tutor, we will notify you as soon as possible and arrange a transfer to another available Oxford Experience course. If we cancel a course, our liability is limited to the fees that we have received from you; this means that we will not compensate you for any pre-booked travel costs or any other expenses incurred.

Where course fees have been paid in currencies other than pounds sterling, refunds will be subject to the exchange rate on the day they are processed.

3. Travel insurance

All participants must purchase travel insurance to cover the programme fee, travel costs, and any other expenses incurred. OUDCE cannot be held responsible for any costs you may incur in relation to travel or accommodation bookings as a result of a course cancellation, or if you are unable to attend the course for any other reason. 

Tutor

Dr Aphrodite Papayianni

Tutor

Dr Aphrodite Papayianni holds a PhD in Byzantine History and teaches at the University of London and the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education. Through the years she has developed a wide teaching portfolio, from Greek Prehistory to the end of Byzantium, and has published articles in various topics of Byzantine and Crusade History.

Teaching methods

Participants will be taught in seminar groups of up to 12 people. The teaching methods used during this course may include:

  • Short lectures/Presentations
  • Physical handouts
  • Seminars/group discussions
  • Video recordings
  • Tutor-led field trip

Assessment methods

There are no assessments for this course.

Application

Registration closes on 1 May 2024. Most courses fill up fast so early registration is recommended.

Single accommodation and non-residential places may be booked online by clicking on the “Book now” button in the “Course details” box at the top right-hand side of the course page.

Those requiring twin or double accommodation should complete an enrolment form as these rooms cannot be booked online. Completed forms should be sent:

Level and demands

The Oxford Experience is aimed at non-specialists: no prior knowledge is required, and classes are pitched at an introductory level. The courses are designed for an international audience aged 18 and over.

Accommodation

During your course you will stay in typical Oxford student accommodation at Christ Church, in buildings which range from the 18th to the 20th century. Please note that bedrooms are modestly-furnished and do not have air-conditioning.

The course fee includes breakfasts Monday-Saturday, lunches Sunday-Friday, and 3-course dinners Sunday-Thursday. On Friday, there will be a special 4-course Gala Dinner to celebrate the closing of the week. All meals are taken in Christ Church’s spectacular dining hall.

Single bedrooms

  • Single en suite;
  • Single standard.

En suite rooms include private bathroom facilities (shower, washbasin and toilet). Standard rooms include a washbasin and shaver point only, with bathroom facilities shared with other rooms.

Shared bedrooms

Shared rooms can only be booked by two people attending the programme together, and are charged on a per person basis.

  • Double en suite;
  • Twin en suite;
  • 'Twin Set' standard.

En suite rooms include private bathroom facilities (shower, washbasin and toilet). 'Twin set’ standard rooms comprise two separate single standard rooms, each with a washbasin and shaver point only, opening onto a private sitting room, with bathroom facilities shared with other rooms.

Those requiring twin or double accommodation must complete an enrolment form (see ‘Application’), as these rooms cannot be booked online.

Christ Church rooms do not have lift access, and the higher rooms can be located up a few flights of stairs. If you need a room on a ground or lower floor please indicate this on your enrolment form, or contact the programme administrator directly at oxfordexperience@conted.ox.ac.uk as soon as possible before 1 June.

We regret that we are unable to arrange accommodation at Christ Church prior to or following your course. Additionally, family or friends who are not enrolled in the programme cannot be accommodated in college. Please contact Christ Church directly if you require additional nights of bed and breakfast accommodation.

Participants Attending Multiple Weeks

The Oxford Experience welcomes participants who want to attend multiple courses over the summer. Resident participants staying in Christ Church for consecutive weeks are offered bed and breakfast accommodation for the Saturday night between their courses. The extended stay rates are charged on a per person basis, depending on your enrolment accommodation. An invoice will be emailed alongside your confirmation of enrolment.