CLCIV 250 - Topics in the Ancient World
Winter 2023, Section 001 - On the Edges of the Roman Empire: Armenians and Syrians in the Medieval Middle East
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Classical Civilization (CLCIV)
Department: LSA Classical Studies
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 1/4/23 - 4/18/23 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


This course traces the transformations of the eastern Mediterranean from Classical Antiquity into the Medieval Middle East. It explores the rise and fall of the Roman empire, the legacy of Rome in Byzantium, and the encounters between Christians and Muslims in the Islamic worlds of the Medieval Middle East, from the 1st century CE to the fall of Constantinople in 1453 CE. To do so, in this course we will follow the history of two people groups - Armenians and the Syrians - who lived on the fringes of the Roman empire, in the deserts, mountains, and frontiers of its far eastern borders. Often relegated to the fringes of history, Armenians and the Syrians lived at the center of the Medieval world, where the empires of Rome and Persia, Byzantium and Islam, the Mongols and the Ottomans vied for control of the Mediterranean, Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Silk Routes. Their experiences at the crossroads of the world shaped not only their identities, cultures, and their particular forms of Christianity, but also the history of the Roman empire at its limits and the formation of the Medieval world.

In this course, we will learn about their history and the history of the Medieval Middle East from their perspectives: we will read about their experiences as subjects of the great empires of Europe, Asia, and the Indian subcontinent; we will be confronted with their views on the divine, mysticism, orthodoxy, and heresy; we will reflect on their artistic expressions; we will uncover the history of Rome after Rome; and we will examine how they navigated their place at the edges of the Roman world and at the center of world history.

Course Requirements:

Quizzes, short essays, final project (analytical paper or other media)

Intended Audience:

Majors and non-majors, or anyone interested in the history of empires, Rome, Persia, Islam, and the transformation of ancient world into the world of the medieval Middle East.

Class Format:

Seminar combined with lecture


CLCIV 250 - Topics in the Ancient World
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
1/4/23 - 4/18/23

Textbooks/Other Materials

The partner U-M / Barnes & Noble Education textbook website is the official way for U-M students to view their upcoming textbook or course material needs, whether they choose to buy from Barnes & Noble Education or not. Students also can view a customized list of their specific textbook needs by clicking a "View/Buy Textbooks" link in their course schedule in Wolverine Access.

Click the button below to view and buy textbooks for CLCIV 250.001

View/Buy Textbooks


Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for CLCIV 250 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi

CourseProfile (Atlas)

The Atlas system, developed by the Center for Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (Atlas)