Propylaeum offers several search options for subject information on Byzantine studies: Catalogue entries are searchable for printed monographs, article titles and manuscripts from Germany and abroad. In addition, an electronic document delivery service (copies of articles by e-mail / delivery of books) and lists of recently published literature are available.
The user is furthermore given access to different types of electronic media, such as subject databases, e-journals, freely accessible internet sources on Byzantine Studies, a document server with the option of publishing monographs and articles free of charge, as well as direct access to digitized historical literature.
Definition of the Subject
Byzantine studies (Byzantinology) addresses all aspects of the history and culture of Byzantium – the medieval state that formed from the Eastern part of the Roman Empire –, of which Constantinople, the present-day Istanbul, was the capital.
It is a discipline that encompasses a great number of subjects and approaches.
While the beginning of the Romaioi’s Empire – as the Byzantines called themselves – is controversially discussed (especially the years 284, 330, 565 and 641), the end of the East Roman Empire, marked by the final conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans in May 1453, is easily determined.
In the history of Byzantium its boundaries have undergone some dramatic alterations: During the time of its greatest expansion the territory extended from the Pillars of Hercules (Gibraltar) to the Euphrates, while in the very end it remained confined to Constantinople and its hinterland as well as some areas of present-day Greece.
The Byzantines’ culture was shaped not only by the Greek and Roman roots but also by Christianity, developing into a state religion.
The beginnings of this comparably recent discipline fall into the time of Karl Krumbacher (1856-1909) who launched the Byzantinische Zeitschrift, an internationally renowned periodical; furthermore Krumbacher founded the Institute for Byzantine Studies at the University of Munich and thereby established the subject as an independent discipline.
Byzantine Studies as a Special Subject Collection of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Munich
The resources for the subject area of Byzantine Studies in Propylaeum are supplied by the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Munich (BSB). The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Munich (BSB) has been responsible for the special subject collection "Byzantine Studies, within Classical Studies" since 1949, commissioned by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Its main focus is on acquiring, cataloguing and supplying the information resources relevant from a scholarly perspective as comprehensively as possible, as well as integrating them in a central subject portal.