The Medieval Middle East: Crusaders, Turks, and Mongols (GLOBAL 133, GLOBAL 233, HISTORY 383C)
This course surveys the history of the Middle East from c.950 A.D. to c.1517 A.D., placing particular emphasis on the following questions: What were the social, cultural, and political contexts for conversion to Islam in the Middle Ages? How did the interplay of nomadic and sedentary peoples shape Middle Eastern history? What were the nature of Christian-Muslim relations and the fate of religious minorities in an age of Crusade and Jihad? What were the conditions for the rise, flourishing, and eventual collapse of a ¿world-system¿ in this period (with the lands of the Middle East serving as its nexus)? Chronological topics include: the arrival in the Middle East of the Seljuk Turks, new adopters of Islam and recent nomads; the western European crusades to the Holy Land and the establishment of so-called ¿Crusader States¿ in Syria; the subjugation of Iran to pagan Mongols¿and the Mongols¿ eventual conversion to Islam; the rise to power of a dynasty of Turkish slave-soldiers (mamluks) in Cairo and the political reunification of Syria and Egypt under their rule. Readings will consist of both primary sources and works of modern scholarship.