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AN03a2_Islamic Civilization Expands

AN03a2_Islamic Civilization Expands

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Published by Anthony Valentin

In spite of internal conflicts, the Muslims created a huge empire that included lands on three continents. After the collapse of Rome, one would have to turn their gaze eastward to find civilization thriving and advancing. Byzantium (though in Asia Minor, they continued to refer to themselves as Roman) was a shining beacon of all that civilized societies can achieve. But, just to its south, in the Middle Eastern deserts of the Arabian Peninsula, there was a stir among the traditional tribal customs of the Bedouin. Outwardly, the rising cultural turbulence appeared to be exclusively religious. In less than two-hundred years, it became clear that what was being born in the desert was more than a faith. It was the start of a civilization that would challenge its bigger ‘brother’ to the north and the great Tang dynasty to the east. Europe would fear it and become partially conquered by it. This Islamic empire would become a ‘bridge’ between eastern and western cultures as well as the pre-classic and post-classic world. Their impact transcends time and place. Once Islam crossed into the continents of Africa, Asia, and Europe the civilization bloomed with all the splendor one would expect from a diverse culture.

In spite of internal conflicts, the Muslims created a huge empire that included lands on three continents. After the collapse of Rome, one would have to turn their gaze eastward to find civilization thriving and advancing. Byzantium (though in Asia Minor, they continued to refer to themselves as Roman) was a shining beacon of all that civilized societies can achieve. But, just to its south, in the Middle Eastern deserts of the Arabian Peninsula, there was a stir among the traditional tribal customs of the Bedouin. Outwardly, the rising cultural turbulence appeared to be exclusively religious. In less than two-hundred years, it became clear that what was being born in the desert was more than a faith. It was the start of a civilization that would challenge its bigger ‘brother’ to the north and the great Tang dynasty to the east. Europe would fear it and become partially conquered by it. This Islamic empire would become a ‘bridge’ between eastern and western cultures as well as the pre-classic and post-classic world. Their impact transcends time and place. Once Islam crossed into the continents of Africa, Asia, and Europe the civilization bloomed with all the splendor one would expect from a diverse culture.

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Published by: Anthony Valentin on Jan 10, 2011
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AN03a2 Unit03: The Muslim World Ch.10
Timeline:
 8th C AD - 13th C AD
 
FS:
 There is no ‘Dark Age’ in the Islamic world.
Main Idea:
 Byzantium (though in Asia Minor, they continued to refer to themselves as Roman) was a shining beacon of civilized life. But to its south, in the Middle Eastern deserts of the Arabian peninsula, there was a stir within tribal customs of the Bedouin. In less than 200 years, it became clear that what was developing in the desert was more than a faith. It was the start of a civilization that would challenge its bigger ‘brother’ to the north and the great Tang dynasty to the east. Europe would fear it and become partially conquered by it. This Islamic empire would become a ‘bridge’ between eastern and western cultures as well as the Classic and Medieval world. Once Islam crossed into the continents of Africa, Asia, and Europe the civilization bloomed with the splendor of the classical civilizations of the past.
CCSS…I. The Spread of Islam
 
Islam spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa from 632-750 CE. This was a contributing factor to the present dominance of Islam and Arab culture in this area.A. Very Fast. Three directions & three continentsB. Military Conquests
*
C. Tolerant Rule
*
D. Increasing Conflict with Byzantine Empire
*
The trans-Saharan caravan trade, in addition to these, spread Islam into the rest of the Arabian Peninsula, Africa, Asia, and Europe. These activities encouraged cultural diffusion. Since tolerance was a religious requirement, the conquest and rule over non-Muslims was less problematic.
 
II. The Caliphate
The Islamic civilization existed for a period of ~600 years. In that time, the center of religious/ secular leadership went from Mecca (the home of The Prophet- PBUH) to Damascus and then to Baghdad. As time passed, the governmental form of this rising civilization evolved from a religious and tribal base to the secular and institutional base of empires. Central to it, however, remained the question as to who would be the successor to The Prophet.A. Orthodox Caliphate (632 – 661)
1
1. Caliph: “Successor” to the Prophet Muhammad. This carried political significance. It did not bestow the title of 'prophet' on any individual who became Caliph.2. The faith extends beyond the boundary of the Arabian peninsula.3. The mixing of politics with religion leads to intrigue and assassinations.B. Umayyad Caliphate (Damascus, 7th - 8th C.)1. Assassination of Husayn
2
2. Extend Islam to Europe (Iberian Peninsula)C. Abbasid Caliphate (Baghdad, 8th - 13th C.)1. Dominated East – West Caravan Trade2. Preservation and Support for 'learning'. (The Golden Age)
 The 'companions' and relatives of The Prophet were the first Caliphs during the Orthodox Caliphate.
1
 Husayn was the grandson of The Prophet. He claimed the right to the title of Caliph after the assassination of Ali, the last Orthodox
2
Caliph. It was Husayn's assassination that resulted in the rift within Islam of Shia (supporters of Husayn's claim) and Sunni (supporters of the right of any 'good' Muslim to lead the Islamic community). That rift still exists today.
 
AN03a2 Unit03: The Muslim World Ch.10
III. The Golden Age
A. Arts
 
Islamic artists became famous in their own right by comprising some of the world's most expressive poetry. But to Muslims, the greatest literary work then and now is the Qur-an.1. Preservation of 'Classical' culture via recording of texts and visual arts.2. Poetry: The Rubaiyat by Omar Khayyam3. Literature
!
The Qur-an
!
Arabian NightsB. Sciences1. Mathematics
!
al-Khwarizmi (9th C.) => Algebra
!
Arabic Numerals
4
and Concept of 'zero'
4
2. Chemistry
!
 
Alchemy
3
3. Medicine
!
'Viral' nature of disease
 
and development of Vaccines
4
4
!
Anesthesia
4
!
Compilation of medical texts:
!
al-Rhazes (850 – 923)
!
Ibn-Sina/ aka 'Avicenna' in Europe (980 - 1037)
5
4. Astronomy
6
!
Religious Significance
!
Sea Charts and maps with Latitude Lines
!
Astrolabe
7
5. Architecture
!
Domes, Arches, & Towers (Mosque Design)6. Cultural/ Material Diffusion
!
Spices and other luxury items from Far East, South, & S-E Asia (Pepper, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg). Direct competition with Chinese and Byzantine commerce.
!
Silk and Paper from Far East.
!
Lateen Sail
Materials/Sources:
 Refer to the course calendar for additional materials, assignments and pertinent due dates.
!
Perspectives on the Past The pseudo-science focused on the conversion of base metals into gold. The value of alchemy to the development of chemistry
3
could be better appreciated with a quote from Thomas Edison: I didn't fail 2000 times, I learned 2000 ways how not to make a light bulb.” Developed by the Hindus of the Gupta Empire (India’s Golden Age) or influenced by them.
4
 Wrote medical books while European medical science was still dominated by Medieval superstition. His medical texts were sought
5
after by Europeans and used for centuries. Since the Islamic religious and secular calendars are based on the phases of the moon, the science of astronomy was pivotally
6
important for reasons beyond practicality. A device adopted from the ancient Greeks. Used to determine the latitude by observing a specific celestial body. It was most widely
7
used for maritime navigation. The open sea offers few, if any, terrestrial landmarks for sailors to use in determining their location.

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