Byzantine Diplomatics

Teaching Staff: Metallinos Dimitrios
Course Code: ARC407
Field: Archives
Course Category: Specific Background
Course Type: Elective
Course Level: Undergraduate
Course Language: Greek
Delivery method: Face to face
Semester: 6th
Total Hours: 3
E Class Page:
Short Description:

The course examines the diplomaticss science that deals with the critical study and evaluation of documents as sources of information, as well as with the identification and formulation of formal rules applicable to written acts in connection with their production mechanisms. The type of documents makes it possible to scientifically arrange and investigate them. Byzantine Diplomatics has expanded its scope beyond issuing documents, on issues related to the structure of the secretariat of states that have been affected by Byzantium, on the comparison of byzantine and western documents as well as the operation of the imperial document as a means of projecting byzantine political theory.

Objectives - Learning Outcomes:

The training of students of archive, librarianship and museology in this subject is necessary, on the one hand, because there is need to distinguish and analyze different types of sources to find the appropriate criteria of their conservation, classification and cataloging, so that it can be correctly used and sufficient critical appraisal and on the other hand about the stimuli provided by this science, stimuli that lead to creative exploration of the application, development and adaptation of criteria in many other areas where authenticity is needed.

The archivist, librarian and museologist balance between the past and the present, is a conservator of the past and an expert in the organization and transmission of modern documentation to the next generations. Therefore, one of its responsibilities should be that of evaluating documentation material.


Week #1: Introduction to Diplomatics Theory.

Week #2: Analysis of the terms "Act" and "Diploma".

Week #3: Precursors diplomatics concerns, birth and development of diplomatics.

Week #4: History of the Byzantine diplomatics.

Week #5: Publishing of Byzantine Documents (Directories- Indexes).

Week #6: A brief overview of the Byzantine administration

Week #7: Imperial secretariat, mode of operation and categories of Byzantine imperial documents.

Week #8: Analysis of internal and external features of documents.

Week #9: Ways of document dating.

Week #10: Categories of redundant documents: laws, documents emperor decisions on specific legal cases, foreign policy documents.

Week #11: Categories of redundant documents: administrative documents, privileged documents.

Week #12: The delivery of imperial documents.

Week #13: The issue of Byzantine documents.

Suggested Bibliography:
  • Βρανούση Ε., Έγγραφα Πάτμου. 1. Αυτοκρατορικά ΚΒΕ/ΕΙΕ, Athens 1980 –
  • Brèhier L., Les institutions de l’ empire byzantin. Le monde byzantine II (L’ evolution de l’ humanitè 32 bis), Paris 1948 -
  • Bury J. B., The Imperial Administrative System in the Ninth Century, London 1911 (Rist. New York 1958) –
  • Γκουτζιουκώστας Α., Ο θεσμός του κοιαίστωρα του ιερού παλατίου: Η γένεση, οι αρμοδιότητες και η εξέλιξη του, Thessaloniki 2001 – Dölger F., Facsimiles byzantinischer Kaiserurkunden, München 1931 –
  • Dölger F., Regesten der Kaiserurkunden des oströmischen Reiches von 565 bis 1453 (Corpus der griechischen Urkunden des Mittelalters und der neueren Zeit). Teil: Regesten der 565-1025, München – Berlin 1924 –
  • Guilland R., Titres et fonctions de l’ empire byzantine, Variorum Reprints, London 1976 –
  • Καραγιαννόπουλος Ι.Ε., Βυζαντινή Διπλωματική (Β΄ greek edition of Dölger F.-
  • Karayannopoulos J., Byzantinische Urkundenlehre. 1. Die Kaiserurkunden, München 1968), Thessaloniki 1972 –
  • Καραγιαννόπουλος Ι.Ε., Βυζαντινή Διπλωματική Βιβλιογραφία, Διερευνητική Έκθεση 1949-1974, Athens 1995 –
  • Καραγιαννόπουλος Ι.Ε., Το Βυζαντινό Κράτος, τ.Α. Κρατική οργάνωση και κρατική δομή, Athens 1985 –
  • Oikonomidès N., Les listes de prèsèance byzantines des Ixe et Xe siècles, Paris 1972 –
  • Tessier G., Διπλωματική. Στο έργο Ιστορία και μέθοδοί της (Encyclopèdie de la Plèiade), τ. Β΄, 2, Athens 1981, 219-276 –
  • Τωμαδάκης Ν.Β., Βυζαντινή Επιστολογραφία [rist. Of 3rd edition (1969-1970)], Thessaloniki 1993 –
  • Ζάχου Β., Η γεωπολιτική σημασία του χώρου της Αδριατικής και του Ιονίου (11ος-12ος αιώνας). Διπλωματική τεκμηρίωση, Athens 2016.
Teaching Methods:

Lectures using new technologies.

New Technologies:


Evaluation Methods:

Written exams.


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