Late antiquity is a periodization used by historians to describe the time of transition from classical antiquity to the Middle Ages in mainland Europe, the Mediterranean world, the Near East. The popularization of this periodization in English has been accredited to historian Peter Brown, after the publication of his seminal work The World of Late Antiquity. Precise boundaries for the period are a continuing matter of debate, but Brown proposes a period between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD, it can be thought of as from the end of the Roman Empire's Crisis of the Third Century to, in the East, the early Muslim conquests in the mid-7th century. In the West the end was earlier, with the start of the Early Middle Ages placed in the 6th century, or earlier on the edges of the Western Roman Empire; the Roman Empire underwent considerable social and organizational changes starting with the reign of Diocletian, who began the custom of splitting the Empire into Eastern and Western halves ruled by multiple emperors.
Beginning with Constantine the Great, Christianity was made legal in the Empire, a new capital was founded at Constantinople. Migrations of Germanic tribes disrupted Roman rule from the late 4th century onwards, culminating in the eventual collapse of the Empire in the West in 476, replaced by the so-called barbarian kingdoms; the resultant cultural fusion of Greco-Roman and Christian traditions formed the foundations of the subsequent culture of Europe. The term Spätantike "late antiquity", has been used by German-speaking historians since its popularization by Alois Riegl in the early 20th century, it was given currency in English by the writings of Peter Brown, whose survey The World of Late Antiquity revised the post-Gibbon view of a stale and ossified Classical culture, in favour of a vibrant time of renewals and beginnings, whose The Making of Late Antiquity offered a new paradigm of understanding the changes in Western culture of the time in order to confront Sir Richard Southern's The Making of the Middle Ages.
The continuities between the Roman Empire, as it was reorganized by Diocletian, the Early Middle Ages are stressed by writers who wish to emphasize that the seeds of medieval culture were developing in the Christianized empire, that they continued to do so in the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantine Empire at least until the coming of Islam. Concurrently, some migrating Germanic tribes such as the Ostrogoths and Visigoths saw themselves as perpetuating the "Roman" tradition. While the usage "Late Antiquity" suggests that the social and cultural priorities of Classical Antiquity endured throughout Europe into the Middle Ages, the usage of "Early Middle Ages" or "Early Byzantine" emphasizes a break with the classical past, the term "Migration Period" tends to de-emphasize the disruptions in the former Western Roman Empire caused by the creation of Germanic kingdoms within her borders beginning with the foedus with the Goths in Aquitania in 418; the general decline of population, technological knowledge and standards of living in Europe during this period became the archetypal example of societal collapse for writers from the Renaissance.
As a result of this decline, the relative scarcity of historical records from Europe in particular, the period from the early fifth century until the Carolingian Renaissance was referred to as the "Dark Ages". This term has been abandoned as a name for a historiographical epoch, being replaced by "Late Antiquity" in the periodization of the late West Roman Empire, the early Byzantine empire and the Early Middle Ages. One of the most important transformations in Late Antiquity was the formation and evolution of the Abrahamic religions: Christianity, Rabbinic Judaism and Islam. A milestone in the rise of Christianity was the conversion of Emperor Constantine the Great in 312, as claimed by his Christian panegyrist Eusebius of Caesarea, although the sincerity of his conversion is debated. Constantine confirmed the legalization of the religion through the so-called Edict of Milan in 313, jointly issued with his rival in the East, Licinius. By the late 4th century, Emperor Theodosius the Great had made Christianity the State religion, thereby transforming the Classical Roman world, which Peter Brown characterized as "rustling with the presence of many divine spirits."Constantine I was a key figure in many important events in Christian history, as he convened and attended the first ecumenical council of bishops at Nicaea in 325, subsidized the building of churches and sanctuaries such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, involved himself in questions such as the timing of Christ's resurrection and its relation to the Passover.
The birth of Christian monasticism in the deserts of Egypt in the 3rd century, which operated outside the episcopal authority of the Church, would become so successful that by the 8th century it penetrated the Church and became the primary Christian practice. Monasticism was not the only new Christian movement to appear in late antiquity, although it had the greatest influence. Other movements notable for their unconventional practices include the Grazers, holy men who ate only grass and chained themselves up. Late Antiquity marks the decline of Roman state religion, circumscribed in degrees by edicts inspired by Christian advisors such as Eusebius to 4th century emperors, a period of dynamic religious experimentation and spirituality with many syncretic sects, some formed centuries earl
University of Warwick
The University of Warwick is a public research university on the outskirts of Coventry, England. It was founded in 1965 as part of a government initiative to expand higher education. Within the University, Warwick Business School was established in 1967, Warwick Law School was established in 1968, Warwick Manufacturing Group was established in 1980 and Warwick Medical School was opened in 2000. Warwick merged with Coventry College of Education in 1979 and Horticulture Research International in 2004. Warwick is cited as amongst the world's most targeted university institutions by employers. Warwick is based on a 290 ha campus on the outskirts of Coventry, with a satellite campus in Wellesbourne and a central London base at the Shard, it is organised into three faculties — Arts, Science Technology Engineering and Medicine, Social Sciences — within which there are 32 departments. As of 2018, Warwick has 2,492 academic and research staff, it had a consolidated income of £631.5 million in 2017/18, of which £126.5 million was from research grants and contracts.
Warwick Arts Centre, a multi-venue arts complex in the university's main campus, is the largest venue of its kind in the UK outside London. Warwick ranks in the top ten of all major domestic rankings of British universities. Warwick is ranked 7th in the UK for its research, according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014 by GPA. A selective institution, Warwick has an average intake of 4,950 undergraduates out of 38,071 applicants yielding 7.6 applicants per place. In 2017, Warwick was named as the university with the joint second highest graduate employment rate of any UK university, with 97.7 per cent of its graduates in work or further study three and a half years after graduation. Warwick is a member of AACSB, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Association of MBAs, EQUIS, the European University Association, the Midlands Innovation group, the Russell Group and Universities UK, it is the only European member of the Center for Urban Science and Progress, a collaboration with New York University.
The university has extensive commercial activities, including the University of Warwick Science Park and Warwick Manufacturing Group. The idea for a university in Warwickshire was first mooted shortly after World War II, although it was not founded for a further two decades. A partnership of the city and county councils provided the impetus for the university to be established on a 400-acre site jointly granted by the two authorities. There was some discussion between local sponsors from both the city and county over whether it should be named after Coventry or Warwickshire; the name "University of Warwick" was adopted though the County Town of Warwick itself lies some 8 miles to its southwest and Coventry's city centre is only 3.5 miles northeast of the campus. The establishment of the University of Warwick was given approval by the government in 1961 and received its Royal Charter of Incorporation in 1965. Since the university has incorporated the former Coventry College of Education in 1979 and has extended its land holdings by the continuing purchase of adjoining farm land.
The university benefited from a substantial donation from the family of Jack Martin, which enabled the construction of the Warwick Arts Centre. The university admitted a small intake of graduate students in 1964 and took its first 450 undergraduates in October 1965. Since its establishment Warwick has expanded its grounds to 721 acres with many modern buildings and academic facilities and woodlands. In the 1960s and 1970s, Warwick had a reputation as a politically radical institution. Under Vice-Chancellor, Lord Butterworth, Warwick was one of the first UK universities to adopt a business approach to higher education, develop close links with the business community and exploit the commercial value of its research; these tendencies were critiqued by British historian and then-Warwick lecturer, E. P. Thompson, in his 1970 edited book Warwick University Ltd.. More the university was seen as a favoured institution of the Labour government, it was academic partner for a number of flagship Government schemes including the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth and the NHS University.
Tony Blair described Warwick as "a beacon among British universities for its dynamism and entrepreneurial zeal". In a 2012 study by Virgin Media Business, Warwick was described as the most "digitally-savvy" UK university; the Leicester Warwick Medical School, a new medical school based jointly at Warwick and Leicester University, opened in September 2000. On the recommendation of Tony Blair, Bill Clinton chose Warwick as the venue for his last major foreign policy address as US President in December 2000. Sandy Berger, Clinton’s National Security Advisor, explaining the decision in his Press Briefing on 7 December 2000, said that: "Warwick is one of Britain's newest and finest research universities, singled out by Prime Minister Blair as a model both of academic excellence and independence from the government." In February 2001, IBM donated a new S/390 computer and software worth £2 million to Warwick, to form part of a "Grid" enabling users to remotely share computing power. In April 2004 Warwick merged with the Wellesbourne and Kirton sites of Horticulture Research International.
In July 2004 Warwick was the location for an important agreement between the Labour Party and the Trade Unions on Labour policy and trade union law, which has subsequently become known as the "Warwick Agreement". In June 2006 the new University Hospital Coventry opened, inc
An honorary degree is an academic degree for which a university has waived the usual requirements, such as matriculation, residence, a dissertation, the passing of comprehensive examinations. It is known by the Latin phrases honoris causa or ad honorem; the degree is a doctorate or, less a master's degree, may be awarded to someone who has no prior connection with the academic institution or no previous postsecondary education. An example of identifying a recipient of this award is as follows: Doctorate in Business Administration; the degree is conferred as a way of honouring a distinguished visitor's contributions to a specific field or to society in general. It is sometimes recommended that such degrees be listed in one's curriculum vitae as an award, not in the education section. With regard to the use of this honorific, the policies of institutions of higher education ask that recipients "refrain from adopting the misleading title" and that a recipient of an honorary doctorate should restrict the use of the title "Dr" before their name to any engagement with the institution of higher education in question and not within the broader community.
Rev. Theodore Hesburgh held the record for most honorary degrees, having been awarded 150 during his lifetime; the practice dates back to the Middle Ages, when for various reasons a university might be persuaded, or otherwise see fit, to grant exemption from some or all of the usual statutory requirements for the awarding of a degree. The earliest honorary degree on record was awarded to Lionel Woodville in the late 1470s by the University of Oxford, he became Bishop of Salisbury. In the latter part of the 16th century, the granting of honorary degrees became quite common on the occasion of royal visits to Oxford or Cambridge. On the visit of James I to Oxford in 1605, for example, forty-three members of his retinue received the degree of Master of Arts, the Register of Convocation explicitly states that these were full degrees, carrying the usual privileges. Honorary degrees are awarded at regular graduation ceremonies, at which the recipients are invited to make a speech of acceptance before the assembled faculty and graduates – an event which forms the highlight of the ceremony.
Universities nominate several persons each year for honorary degrees. Those who are nominated are not told until a formal approval and invitation are made; the term honorary degree is a slight misnomer: honoris causa degrees are not considered of the same standing as substantive degrees earned by the standard academic processes of courses and original research, except where the recipient has demonstrated an appropriate level of academic scholarship that would ordinarily qualify him or her for the award of a substantive degree. Recipients of honorary degrees wear the same academic dress as recipients of substantive degrees, although there are a few exceptions: honorary graduands at the University of Cambridge wear the appropriate full-dress gown but not the hood, those at the University of St Andrews wear a black cassock instead of the usual full-dress gown. An ad eundem or jure officii degree is sometimes considered honorary, although they are only conferred on an individual who has achieved a comparable qualification at another university or by attaining an office requiring the appropriate level of scholarship.
Under certain circumstances, a degree may be conferred on an individual for both the nature of the office they hold and the completion of a dissertation. The "dissertation et jure dignitatis" is considered to be a full academic degree. See below. Although higher doctorates such as DSc, DLitt, etc. are awarded honoris causa, in many countries it is possible formally to earn such a degree. This involves the submission of a portfolio of peer-refereed research undertaken over a number of years, which has made a substantial contribution to the academic field in question; the university will appoint a panel of examiners who will consider the case and prepare a report recommending whether or not the degree be awarded. The applicant must have some strong formal connection with the university in question, for example full-time academic staff, or graduates of several years' standing; some universities, seeking to differentiate between substantive and honorary doctorates, have a degree, used for these purposes, with the other higher doctorates reserved for formally examined academic scholarship.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has the authority to award degrees. These "Lambeth degrees" are sometimes, thought to be honorary. Between the two extremes of honoring celebrities and formally assessing a portfolio of research, some universities use honorary degrees to recognize achievements of intellectual rigor; some institutes of higher education do not confer honorary degrees as a matter of policy — see below. Some learned societies award honorary fellowships in the same way as
Keble College, Oxford
Keble College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. Its main buildings are opposite the University Museum and the University Parks; the college is bordered to the north by Keble Road, to the south by Museum Road, to the west by Blackhall Road. It is the largest college by rooms at Oxford. Keble was established in 1870, having been built as a monument to John Keble, a leading member of the Oxford Movement which sought to stress the Catholic nature of the Church of England; the college's original teaching focus was theological, although the college now offers a broad range of subjects, reflecting the diversity of degrees offered across the wider university. In the period after the Second World War the trends were towards scientific courses; as constituted, it was for men only and the fellows were bachelors resident in the college. Like many of Oxford's men's colleges, Keble admitted its first mixed-sex cohort in 1979, it remains distinctive for its still-controversial neo-gothic red-brick buildings designed by William Butterfield.
The buildings are notable for breaking from Oxbridge tradition by arranging rooms along corridors rather than around staircases, in order that the scouts could supervise the comings and goings of visitors. Keble is one of the larger colleges of the University of Oxford, with 433 undergraduates and 245 graduate students in 2011/12. Keble's sister college at the University of Cambridge is Selwyn College; the best-known of Keble's Victorian founders was Edward Pusey, after whom the Pusey quad and Pusey room are named. The college itself is named after John Keble, one of Pusey's colleagues in the Oxford Movement, who died four years before the college's foundation in 1870, it was decided after Keble's funeral that his memorial would be a new Oxford college bearing his name. Two years in 1868, the foundation stone was laid by the Archbishop of Canterbury on St Mark's Day; the college first opened in 1870, taking in thirty students, whilst the Chapel was opened on St Mark's Day 1876. Accordingly, the college continues to celebrate St Mark's Day each year.
William Butterfield, the original architect, a high churchman himself, produced a notable example of Victorian Gothic architecture, among his few secular buildings, which Pevsner characterised as "actively ugly", which, Charles Eastlake asserted, defied criticism. The social historian G. M. Trevelyan expressed the commonly held, dismissive, view. Sir Kenneth Clark recalled that during his Oxford years it was believed in Oxford not only that Keble College was "the ugliest building in the world" but that its architect was John Ruskin, author of The Stones of Venice; the college is built of red and white bricks. The builders were Son of Rugby. On its construction, Keble was not admired within the university by the undergraduate population of nearby St John's College. A secret society was founded, entrance to which depended upon removing one brick from the college and presenting it to the society's elders; some accounts specify that one of the commonest red bricks was necessary for ordinary membership, a rarer white brick for higher-level membership, one of the rarest blue bricks for chairmanship.
The hope was that Keble would be demolished. As a result, there remains a healthy rivalry between Keble to this day. An apocryphal story claims that a French visitor, on first sight of the college exclaimed C'est magnifique mais ce n'est pas la gare?. This is a play on Field Marshal Pierre Bosquet's memorable line, referring to the Charge of the Light Brigade, C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas la guerre; this story may have been borrowed from Arthur Wing Pinero's identical quip said to have been made at the opening ceremony for the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Keble is mentioned in John Betjeman's poem "Myfanwy at Oxford", as well as in the writings of John Ruskin and in Monty Python's "Travel Agent" sketch. Horace Rumpole, the barrister in John Mortimer's books, was a Law graduate of Keble. In 2005, Keble College featured in the national UK press when its bursar, Roger Boden, was found guilty of racial discrimination by an employment tribunal. An appeal was launched by the college and Boden against the tribunal's judgement, resulting in a financial out-of-court settlement with the aggrieved employee.
In Christmas of 2017, a team of alumni from Keble College won the University Challenge Alumni Christmas Special, a seasonal programme on BBC2. They beat the University of Reading by 240 points to 0 in the final; the main site of Keble contains five quads: Liddon, Hayward, De Breyne and Newman. The best-known portion of Keble's buildings is the distinctive main brick complex, designed by Butterfield; the design remained incomplete due to shortage of funds. The Chapel and Hall were built than the accommodation blocks to the east and west of the two original quadrangles and the warden's house at the south-east corner; the Chapel
HarperCollins Publishers L. L. C. is one of the world's largest publishing companies and is one of the Big Five English-language publishing companies, alongside Hachette, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster. The company is a subsidiary of News Corp.. The name is a combination of several publishing firm names: Harper & Row, an American publishing company acquired in 1987, together with UK publishing company William Collins, acquired in 1990; the worldwide CEO of HarperCollins is Brian Murray. HarperCollins has publishing groups in the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and China; the company publishes many different imprints, both former independent publishing houses and new imprints. In 1989, Collins was bought by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, the publisher was combined with Harper & Row, which NewsCorp had acquired two years earlier. In addition to the simplified and merged name, the logo for HarperCollins was derived from the torch logo for Harper and Row, the fountain logo for Collins, which were combined into a stylized set of flames atop waves.
In 1999, News Corporation purchased the Hearst Book Group, consisting of William Morrow & Company and Avon Books. These imprints are now published under the rubric of HarperCollins. HarperCollins bought educational publisher Letts and Lonsdale in March 2010. In 2011, HarperCollins announced; the purchase was completed on July 11, 2012, with an announcement that Thomas Nelson would operate independently given the position it has in Christian book publishing. Both Thomas Nelson and Zondervan were organized as imprints, or "keystone publishing programs," under a new division, HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Key roles in the reorganization were awarded to former Thomas Nelson executives. In 2012, HarperCollins acquired part of the trade operations of John Son in Canada. In 2014, HarperCollins acquired Canadian romance publisher Harlequin Enterprises for C$455 million. Brian Murray, the current CEO of HarperCollins, succeeded Jane Friedman, CEO from 1997 to 2008. Notable management figures include Lisa Sharkey, current senior vice president and director of creative development and Barry Winkleman from 1989 to 1994.
In April 2012, the United States Department of Justice filed United States v. Apple Inc. naming Apple, HarperCollins, four other major publishers as defendants. The suit alleged that they conspired to fix prices for e-books, weaken Amazon.com's position in the market, in violation of antitrust law. In December 2013, a federal judge approved a settlement of the antitrust claims, in which HarperCollins and the other publishers paid into a fund that provided credits to customers who had overpaid for books due to the price-fixing, it was announced to employees and later in the day on November 5, 2012, that HarperCollins was closing its remaining two U. S. warehouses, in order to merge shipping and warehousing operations with R. R. Donnelley in Indiana; the Scranton, PA warehouse closed in September 2013 and a Nashville, TN warehouse, under the name Thomas Nelson, in the winter of 2013. Several office positions and departments continued to work for HarperCollins in Scranton, but in a new location.
The Scranton warehouse closing eliminated 200 jobs, the Nashville warehouse closing eliminated up to 500 jobs. HarperCollins closed 2 U. S. warehouses, one in Williamsport, PA in 2011 and another in Grand Rapids, MI in 2012. “We have taken a long-term, global view of our print distribution and are committed to offering the broadest possible reach for our authors," said HarperCollins Chief Executive Brian Murray, according to Publishers Weekly."We are retooling the traditional distribution model to ensure we can competitively offer the entire HarperCollins catalog to customers regardless of location.” Company officials attribute the closings and mergers to the growing demand for e-book formats and the decline in print purchasing. HarperCollins maintains the backlist of many of the books published by their many merged imprints, in addition to having picked up new authors since the merger. Authors published by Harper include Mark Twain, the Brontë sisters and William Makepeace Thackeray. Authors published by Collins include H. G. Wells and Agatha Christie.
HarperCollins acquired the publishing rights to J. R. R. Tolkien's work in 1990 when Unwin Hymen was bought; this is a list of some of the more noted books, series, published by HarperCollins and their various imprints and merged publishing houses. The Hobbit, J. R. R. Tolkien The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien The Art of Loving, Erich Fromm Master and Commander, Patrick O'Brian the Leaphorn and Chee books, Tony Hillerman The Silmarillion, J. R. R. Tolkien Collins English Dictionary, a major dictionary Sharpe series, Bernard Cornwell Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo, Hayden Herrera, adapted into the 2002 film Frida The History of Middle-earth series, J. R. R. Tolkien Weaveworld, Clive Barker the Paladin Poetry Series Of Gravity & Angels, Jane Hirshfield The
Alma mater is an allegorical Latin phrase for a university, school, or college that one attended. In US usage it can mean the school from which one graduated; the phrase is variously translated as "nourishing mother", "nursing mother", or "fostering mother", suggesting that a school provides intellectual nourishment to its students. Fine arts will depict educational institutions using a robed woman as a visual metaphor. Before its current usage, alma mater was an honorific title for various Latin mother goddesses Ceres or Cybele, in Catholicism for the Virgin Mary, it entered academic usage when the University of Bologna adopted the motto Alma Mater Studiorum, which describes its heritage as the oldest operating university in the Western world. It is related to alumnus, a term used for a university graduate that means a "nursling" or "one, nourished". Although alma was a common epithet for Ceres, Cybele and other mother goddesses, it was not used in conjunction with mater in classical Latin. In the Oxford Latin Dictionary, the phrase is attributed to Lucretius' De rerum natura, where it is used as an epithet to describe an earth goddess: After the fall of Rome, the term came into Christian liturgical usage in association with the Virgin Mary.
"Alma Redemptoris Mater" is a well-known 11th century antiphon devoted to Mary. The earliest documented use of the term to refer to a university in an English-speaking country is in 1600, when the University of Cambridge printer, John Legate, began using an emblem for the university's press; the device's first-known appearance is on the title-page of William Perkins' A Golden Chain, where the Latin phrase Alma Mater Cantabrigia is inscribed on a pedestal bearing a nude, lactating woman wearing a mural crown. In English etymological reference works, the first university-related usage is cited in 1710, when an academic mother figure is mentioned in a remembrance of Henry More by Richard Ward. Many historic European universities have adopted Alma Mater as part of the Latin translation of their official name; the University of Bologna Latin name, Alma Mater Studiorum, refers to its status as the oldest continuously operating university in the world. Other European universities, such as the Alma Mater Lipsiensis in Leipzig, Germany, or Alma Mater Jagiellonica, have used the expression in conjunction with geographical or foundational characteristics.
At least one, the Alma Mater Europaea in Salzburg, Austria, an international university founded by the European Academy of Sciences and Arts in 2010, uses the term as its official name. In the United States, the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, has been called the "Alma Mater of the Nation" because of its ties to the country's founding. At Queen's University in Kingston and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia, the main student government is known as the Alma Mater Society; the ancient Roman world had many statues of the Alma Mater, some still extant. Modern sculptures are found in prominent locations on several American university campuses. For example, in the United States: there is a well-known bronze statue of Alma Mater by Daniel Chester French situated on the steps of Columbia University's Low Library. An altarpiece mural in Yale University's Sterling Memorial Library, painted in 1932 by Eugene Savage, depicts the Alma Mater as a bearer of light and truth, standing in the midst of the personified arts and sciences.
Outside the United States, there is an Alma Mater sculpture on the steps of the monumental entrance to the Universidad de La Habana, in Havana, Cuba. The statue was cast in 1919 by Mario Korbel, with Feliciana Villalón Wilson as the inspiration for Alma Mater, it was installed in its current location in 1927, at the direction of architect Raul Otero. Media related to Alma mater at Wikimedia Commons The dictionary definition of alma mater at Wiktionary Alma Mater Europaea website
Byzantine studies is an interdisciplinary branch of the humanities that addresses the history, demography, religion/theology, literature/epigraphy, science, economy and politics of the Eastern Roman Empire. The discipline's founder in Germany is considered to be the philologist Hieronymus Wolf, a Renaissance Humanist, he gave the name "Byzantine" to the Eastern Roman Empire that continued after the Western Roman Empire collapsed in 476 AD. About 100 years after the final conquest of Byzantium by the Ottomans, Wolf began to collect and translate the writings of Byzantine philosophers. Other 16th-century humanists introduced Byzantine studies to Italy; the subject may be called Byzantinology or Byzantology, although these terms are found in English translations of original non-English sources. A scholar of Byzantine studies is called a Byzantinist. Byzantine studies is the discipline that addresses the culture of Byzantium, thus the unity of the object of investigation stands in contrast to the diversity of approaches that may be applied to it.
– There were "Byzantine" studies in the high medieval Byzantine Empire. In the Middle Ages, the interest in Byzantium was carried on by Italian humanism, it expanded in the 17th century throughout Europe and Russia; the late 19th and early 20th centuries brought the formation of Byzantine studies as an independent discipline. Greek-Hellenistic culture, Roman state traditions, Oriental influence and Christian faith, together with a relative unity of language and culture, constitute medieval Byzantium; the starting point of Byzantine history is taken to be the reign of Constantine the Great and the foundation of Constantinople. The "East Roman" era of Byzantium begins at the latest with the division of the Roman Empire into a Western Roman Empire and an Eastern Roman Empire; this "Early Byzantine" period lasts until 641 AD. Emperor Justinian I reconquered Italy, north Africa, southern Spain, but after the expansion of Islam a reorganized Byzantium, now based on administration by Themes, was limited to the Greek-speaking regions of the Balkan peninsula, Asia Minor, southern Italy.
This may be perceived as the "end of antiquity," and the beginning of the "Middle Byzantine" era. This was the era of Iconoclasm and of the origin of the Holy Roman Empire. Under the Macedonian Dynasty Byzantium regained power against the Islamic and Bulgarian states, but the death of Emperor Basil II marked a turning point, with Byzantine power in Asia Minor and southern Italy suffering from the Battle of Manzikert and the rise of the Normans, respectively. A certain stability was achieved under the Comnenian Dynasty, at least until the Battle of Myriokephalon. Internal conflicts facilitated the sack of Constantinople by the Crusaders and the establishment of Latin states in the south Balkans; the late period of the Byzantine Empire as a small state begins with the Palaiologos dynasty, threatened by the advances of the Ottoman Empire and the economic influence of Venice and Genoa. An empire weakened in part through civil war suffered a severe blow when Thessalonica was captured in 1430, fell to the Ottomans.
The Empire of Trebizond, founded in the wake of the Fourth Crusade forms a part of Byzantine history. It is possible to distinguish between three levels of speech: Atticism and Demotic, thus a certain diglossia between spoken Greek and written, classical Greek may be discerned. Major genres of Byzantine literature include hagiography. From the Byzantine administration, broadly construed, we have works such as description of peoples and cities, accounts of court ceremonies, lists of precedence. Technical literature is represented, by texts on military strategy. Collections of civil and canon law are preserved, as well as documents and acta; some texts in the demotic are preserved. There are three main schools of thought on medieval eastern Roman identity in modern Byzantine scholarship: 1) a preponderant view that considers "Romanity" the mode of self-identification of the subjects of a multi-ethnic empire, in which the elite did not self-identify as Greek and the average subject considered him/herself as "Roman", 2) a school of thought that developed under the influence of modern Greek nationalism, treating Romanness as the medieval manifestation of a perennial Greek national identity, 3) a line of thought promulgated by Anthony Kaldellis arguing that Eastern Roman identity was a pre-modern national identity.
Modes of transmission entails the study of texts that are preserved on papyrus, parchment or paper, in addition to inscriptions and medals. The papyrus rolls of antiquity are replaced by the parchment codices of the Middle Ages, while paper arrives in the 9th century via the Arabs and Chinese. Diplomatics entails the stud