Richard M. Tada
Each seminar examines a different subject or problem. A quarterly list of the seminars and their instructors is available in the Department of History undergraduate advising office.
ANNA COMNENA'S BYZANTIUM
See the Byzantine Empire of the late 11th and early 12th centuries through the eyes of Anna Comnena, daughter of the emperor Alexius I Comnenus (ruled 1081-1118). We will read and analyze the Alexiad, Anna's colorful and heartfelt account of her father's reign. She combines the story of Byzantium's struggle for survival with her own story, and her distinctive personality is evident on every page. We will also read other works of the period (such as the chronicle of Zonaras, who views the same events from a very different perspective) and consider issues raised by the Alexiad, including her account of the First Crusade and the role of women in medieval Byzantium.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Weekly discussion of readings for the first half of the quarter. For the second half, students will give presentations based on the seminar papers they are writing.
Some familiarity with Late Antique or medieval history. HSTAM 315 (The Byzantine Empire) is helpful, though not required.
Class assignments and grading
Weekly reading of roughly 200 pages. Participation in discussions. A 15-20 page seminar paper.