Peace and War in Medieval Islam: From the Arab Conquests to the Crusades (GLOBAL 190, GLOBAL 232, HISTORY 318C)
This course interrogates the theory and reality of war-making and peacemaking across the first millennium of Islamic history (c.600-c.1600 CE). We will examine major historical events (e.g. the struggle of the early community of Muslims against the pagan tribes of Arabia; Arab expansion and conquest during the seventh and eighth centuries; a sequence of civil wars, dynastic struggles, and schisms within Islam; and external invasions of the Islamic world by crusaders and steppe nomads, etc.). We will also investigate the development of major normative concepts across the Islamic tradition concerning peace and war (e.g. holy war; treaty- and truce-making; treatment of conquered enemies and prisoner; diplomacy with Muslims and non-Muslims, etc.). With respect to these concepts, we will attend especially to change over time and diversity across various sects. Mix of lecture and discussion. Readings will consist of both primary sources (in English translation) and modern scholarship. No previous experience with pre-modern or Islamic history required.
Letter or Credit/No Credit