Post-Classical Survey a tour of the world from 600 C. E. to 1450 C. E. From roman empire to byzantine empire

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Post-Classical Survey

  • A tour of the world from 600 C.E. to 1450 C.E.


  • The later Roman empire
    • Western half crumbled, eastern half remained intact
    • The Byzantine emperors faced different challenges
  • The early Byzantine State
    • Caesaropapism: Emperor is both Caesar and pope
  • 476 to late 6th Century CE
  • Justinian: Justinian Code
    • Issued Corpus iuris civilis (The Body of the Civil Law)
    • The code influenced civil law codes of western Europe
  • Imperial organization
    • Government run by trained bureaucracy, professional army
    • The theme system strengthened Byzantine society
      • -Under rule of general, who ran army, civil bureaucracy
      • -Responsible for protecting peasants
      • -Themes were provinces organized on a military basis
      • -Local officials recruited troops from within theme
    • Aristocrats limited by army, emperor, bureaucracy





  • The Agricultural Economy
    • The peasantry
      • The backbone of the Byzantine army and economy
      • Landless peasants worked as share-croppers
      • Since 11th century, free peasants declined
    • Consequences of the peasantry's decline
  • Industry and Trade
    • Manufacturing enterprises
      • Byzantine craftsmen had high reputation in various industries
      • High-quality silk became important industry; imperial monopoly
    • Trade
      • Constantinople, important for Eurasian, Mediterranean trade
      • Solidus was the standard currency of the Mediterranean basin
      • Byzantium drew enormous wealth from foreign trade
    • Banks and partnerships supported commercial economy


  • Church and state
    • Church's close relationship with the imperial government
    • Under emperors, church was department of state
  • Iconoclasm
    • Controversy over use of icons in religious services
      • Old Testament prohibition on false images, Islamic influences
      • Iconoclasts wanted to purge all churches of icons
    • The iconoclasts abandoned their effort in 843 C.E.
      • Much protest, excommunications from pope
      • Emperors worried
  • Greek Philosophy and Byzantine theology
    • Examine theology from philosophical point of view
    • Debate about Jesus's nature, a philosophical issue


  • Constantinople and Rome
    • Iconoclastic movement in the east criticized by the west
      • Emperors vs. Popes
      • Who is head of the church – pope or an emperor
    • Ritual, doctrinal differences
      • Leavened vs. unleavened bread
      • Marriage of priests
      • Liturgy in the vernacular
      • Council rule versus the monarchical style of the pope
      • Filoque controversy: Holy Spirit – from who does it proceed?
  • Schism
    • Power struggle led to mutual excommunication, 1054
      • Rivalry between pope, patriarch
      • Papal ambassador excommunicated patriarch; vise versa
    • Origins of Eastern Orthodox & Roman Catholic churches
    • It was really post-1054 actions were made split permanent


  • Social problems
    • Free peasants were declining in number and prosperity
    • Imperial government had fewer recruits, many fiscal problems
  • Challenges from the east
    • Muslim Seljuk Turks invaded Anatolia, defeat Byzantines, 1071
    • Also took control of Abbasid Caliphate, Holy places in Jerusalem
    • The loss of Anatolia sealed the fate of the Byzantine empire
  • Challenges from the west
    • The fourth crusade sacked Constantinople
    • Byzantine forces recaptured the capital in 1261
    • Byzantines never recovered
  • Turks gradually push Byzantines out of Asia; into Europe






  • The Quran
    • Followers compiled Muhammad's actual revelations after his death
    • Quran ("recitation"), became the holy book of Islam
    • Suras are chapters; organized from longest to shortest
    • A work of magnificent poetry
  • The Hadith
    • Sayings attributed to Muhammad; not included in Quran
    • Three levels from most accurate/likely to highly suspect


  • The hijra
    • Under persecution, Muhammad, followers fled to Medina, 622 C.E.
    • The move, known as hijra, was starting point of Islamic calendar
  • The umma
    • Organized a cohesive community called umma in Medina
    • Led commercial adventure
    • Sometimes launched raids against Mecca caravans
    • Helped the poor and needy
  • The "seal of the prophets"
    • Referred himself as "seal of the prophets," - final prophet of Allah
    • Held Hebrew scriptures and New Testament in high esteem
      • Referred to followers as “Peoples of the Book”
      • If they did not threaten umma, were to be protected
    • Determined to spread Allah's wish to all humankind


    • Conquered Mecca, 630
  • The Kaa'ba
    • In 632, Muhammad led the first Islamic pilgrimage to the Ka'ba
  • The Five Pillars of Islam
    • Obligations taught by Muhammad
    • The Five Pillars bound the umma into a cohesive community of faith
    • Profession of faith, prayer, tithing, pilgrimage, fasting at Ramadan
  • Islamic law: the sharia
    • Emerged during the centuries after Muhammad
    • Detailed guidance on proper behavior in almost every aspect of life
    • Drew laws, precepts from the Quran
    • Drew traditions from Arabic culture, Hadith
    • Through the sharia, Islam became a religion and a way of life


  • The caliph
    • Abu Bakr served as caliph ("deputy")
    • Became head of state, chief judge, religious leader, military commander
  • The expansion of Islam
    • 633-637, seized Byzantine Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia
    • 640's, conquered Egypt and north Africa
    • 651, toppled Sassanid dynasty
    • 711-718, conquered the Hindu kingdom of Sind, Iberia, NW Africa
    • Success due to weakness of enemies, vigor of Islam
  • Dar al Islam
    • The Islamic world where the Sharia is in force, Islam dominates
    • Dar el Harb is the land of the unbelievers, or non-Muslims
  • The Shia and Sunnis
    • The Sunnis ("traditionalists") accepted legitimacy of early caliphs
      • Were Arab as opposed to Islamic
      • Did not feel caliphs had to be related to Muhammad
    • The Shia sect supported Ali (last caliph and son in law of Muhammad)
      • A refuge for non-Arab converts, poor; followers in Irag, Iran
      • Felt caliphs should be directly related to Muhammad
    • Two sects struggled over succession; produced a civil war, murder



  • The Umayyad dynasty (661-750 C.E.)
    • New caliph won civil war; murdered Ali; established dynasty
    • Established capital city at Damascus in Syria
    • Ruled for the interests of Arabian military aristocracy
  • Policy toward conquered peoples
    • Dhimmis were the conquered Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians
    • Levied jizya (head tax) on those who did not convert to Islam
    • Even the converts did not enjoy wealth, position of authority
  • Umayyad decline
    • Caliphs became alienated from Arabs by early 8th century
    • By the mid-century, faced strong resistance of the Shia faction
    • The discontent of conquered peoples also increased
    • Umayyad family slaughtered; only one son escaped to Spain
    • Formed breakaway Umayyad Dynasty in Spain


  • Abu al-Abbas
    • A descendant of Muhammad's uncle; allied with Shias and non-Arab Muslims
    • Shattered Umayyad forces at a battle in 750; annihilated the Umayyad clan
  • The Abbasid dynasty (750-1258 C.E.)
    • Showed no special favor to Arab military aristocracy
    • Empire still growing, but not initiated by the central government
  • Abbasid administration
    • Relied heavily on Persians, Persian techniques of statecraft
    • Central authority ruled from the court at Baghdad, newly built city
    • Governors ruled provinces; Ulama, qadis (judges) ruled local areas
  • Abbasid decline
    • Struggle for succession led to civil war
    • Governors built their own power bases, regional dynasties
    • Local military commanders took title of Sultan
    • Popular uprisings and peasant rebellions weakened the dynasty
    • A Persian noble seized control of Baghdad in 945
    • Later, the Seljuk Turks controlled the imperial family


  • Arab Urban History
    • Pre-Islamic Arabs were both urban, bedouin
      • Nomads came to city to trade, city often settled by whole tribes
      • Arabs had settled in cities in Syria, Iraq, Jordan
    • Arabic cities linked to wider world through merchants, trade
  • Arabic Empire and Urban Growth
    • Islam as a culture requires mosque, merchant: very urban in outlook
      • Arabs founded military cities on edges of desert to rule empire
    • Increasing agricultural production contributed to growth of cities
      • Cities: centers for administration, industry, trade, education, faith
      • Many different ethnic minorities settled in Muslim cities (quarters)
      • Mosque at center surrounded by suk, square, in decreasing social order


  • Merchants, pilgrims, travelers exchanged foods across empire
  • The exchange and spread of food and industrial crops
    • Indian plants traveled to other lands of the empire
    • Staple crops: sugarcane, rice, new varieties of sorghum and wheat
    • Vegetables: spinach, artichokes, eggplants
    • Fruits: oranges, lemons, limes, bananas, coconuts, watermelons, mangoes
    • Industrial crops: cotton, indigo, henna
  • Effects of new crops
    • Increased varieties and quantities of food
    • Industrial crops became the basis for a thriving textile industry
    • Foodstuffs increased health, populations of cities
  • Agricultural experimentation
    • Numerous agricultural manuals
    • Agricultural methods and techniques improved
    • Improved irrigation


  • Camels and caravans
    • Overland desert trade traveled mostly by camel caravan
    • Caravanserais (motel, corrals) in Islamic cities
    • Trading goods usually luxury in nature
  • Maritime trade based on technological borrowing
    • Arab, Persian mariners borrowed
      • Compass from the Chinese
      • Lateen sail from southeast Asian, Indian mariners
      • Astrolabe from the Hellenistic mariners
    • Organization and dominance of trade
      • In North Africa across Sahara, down Nile, SW Asia, to India
      • Eastern Mediterranean, Red Sea, Persian Gulf, Arabia Gulf down coasts
      • Many cities grew rich from trade
      • Entrepreneurs often pooled their resources in group investments
      • Different kinds of joint endeavors
  • Banks
    • Operated on large scale and provided extensive services
    • Letters of credit, or sakk, functioned as bank checks
  • Exchange of Ideas included Islam, technology, culture



  • Al-Andalus
    • Islamic Spain, conquered by Muslim Berbers
    • Claimed independence from the Abbasid dynasty
    • Participated in commercial life of the larger Islamic world
    • Products of al-Andalus enjoyed a reputation for excellence
    • Cordoba was a center of learning, commerce, architecture
    • After death of Abd al Rahman III broke up into petty kingdoms
    • A unique blended culture
      • Arab, Latin, German, Islamic, Christian, Jewish
      • Very tolerant and integrated society
    • Warred for 700 years with Christian kingdoms in north
  • North Africa
    • Strong followers of Shia, broke with Abbassids
    • Berbers followed many puritanical Shia like movements
    • Eventually Fatimids conquered Egypt, formed rival caliphate
  • Central Asia
    • Largely Turkish, Persian and Islamic but not Arabic
    • Tended to be distant from Baghdad and more tolerant
    • Integrated into trans-Eurasian trade network



  • Pre-Islamic Arab Women
    • Arabs as nomads allowed women many rights
    • Women often poets, tribe leaders
    • Some evidence of matrilineal tribes
  • The Quran and women
    • Quran enhanced rights, security of women
    • Forced husbands to honor contracts, love women
    • Allowed women to own property, protected from exploitation
  • What produced the change
    • Foreign Contacts changed the perspective
      • Adopted veiling from Mesopotamia, Persia
      • Isolation from India through purdah, harem
    • Muslim rights for women
      • Often weaken through Hadith, traditions
      • Often reduced, ignored
      • Patriarch beliefs reinforced by conquest
      • Yet Quran, sharia also reinforced male domination
      • Role of Hadith, Arab traditions reinforced male domination



  • Persian influence on Islam
    • After Arabs most prominent of Muslims, resisted Arabization
      • Cultural traditions often borrowed heavily by Islam
      • Became early followers of Shia
    • Government and regionalism
      • Many advisors (vizer is Persian word) to Caliphs were Persian
      • Cultured, diplomatic language of Abbassid court became Persian
    • Literary achievements
      • Omar Khayyam was greatest of Medieval Muslim poets
      • The Arabian Nights largely in a Persian style
  • Turkish influences
    • Central Asian nomads converted to Islam, developed literary culture
    • Invaded SW Asia and made caliphate dependent on Turkish nomads
    • Formed military might, leadership of late Abbassid state
  • Indian Influences
    • Purdah and harem borrowed from Hindus
    • "Hindi numerals," which Europeans called "Arabic numerals"
  • Greek Influences
    • Muslims philosophers especially liked Plato and Aristotle; Greek math
    • Effort of harmonizing two traditions met resistance from Sufis

Directory: cms -> lib -> tx21000245 -> centricity -> Domain -> 907
907 -> Basic essay techniques
Domain -> Pattern Name Written and Graphic Example of the Pattern
907 -> Take Home Test Southwest Asia, Central Asia/ Russia, South Asia
907 -> This essay asks students to access how larger global issues and themes such as gender, trade, technology, and environment have changed and remained the same. If any one essay will give students difficulties
907 -> Writing the dbq – teaching point of view
907 -> Comparative Essay Thesis
907 -> Compare and contrast american colonial experiences
907 -> Monarchy, aristocracy, oligarchy
907 -> Use a separate sheet of paper to describe the significance of the following items
907 -> Ancient and classical period in world history: from the dawn of time to 600 C. E. Content historical geography to know

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