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Educational Programme
Final Grade
Year of Graduation
Anna Kuznetsova
The Image of the Late Roman and Early Byzantine City in the Letters of the Saints
(Bachelor’s programme)
The purpose of the graduation qualification work is finding the answer to the following research question: how the church, through the eyes of people, who later were declared as saints, perceived the late Roman and early Byzantine cities. What image of the city can be recreated from their letters.

To achieve this goal, the following tasks were set and solved:

- find out which saints' letters can be used as historical sources;

- know the biographies of these persons;

- describe the historical conditions of the Roman or Byzantine society in the period when the life of these saints passed;

- determine how the city was reflected in the letters of the saints of the specified period, which of its elements were reflected in the letters and why;

- find out how these elements were judged by the saints and why;

- determine if the point of view about the continuity of Byzantine cities, about their origin from the Roman cities, is correct.

It is important to define chronological and geographical frames. The lower boundary of the chronological framework is the beginning of the late Roman period, which historians associate with the reign of Emperor Diocletian, who ruled in 284-305. The upper boundary is the end of the early Byzantine period which is the first half of the seventh century.

The geographical framework is the borders of the states in these centuries. More precisely, these are the borders of one state - the Roman Empire because the Byzantine was the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.

The work consists of an introduction, where the relevance of the work is presented, the research question and tasks of the work are set.

The content of the first chapter is a general description of the time when the saints lived as well as saints’ biographies, which is necessary for understanding the context of their letters.

Ihe first chapter the methods of macro-history are used.

The second chapter is devoted to the reflection of the late Roman and early Byzantine cities in the epistolary heritage of Christian saints. Thus, this chapter is the main one. In this chapter the methods of microhistory are used. It also requires careful work with sources.

In conclusion, the results are provided.

The main sources of the work are letters of Late Roman and Early Byzantine saints. I draw letters from Basil of Caesaria (c. 330-379), Gregory of Nazianzus (c. 325-389), Gregory of Nyssa (c. 335-after 394), Saint Jerome (c. 347-419), John Chrysostom (c.349 -407), Theodoret of Kyrus (ca. 393-ca.485), Nilus of Sinai (? -450), and Maximus the Confessor (580-662).

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