4) Mediterranean Civs

Beaumaris Castle in Wales

Beaumaris Castle in Wales. (From my personal files)

ThisĀ is a large chapter in terms of the amount of well-known history it covers. I chose to connect all of the cultures surrounding the Mediterranean into this one chapter due to the amount of inter-connectivity that was occurring during this time period. This starts with the rise of Islamic Empires in the Middle East and the height of power for the Arab people. This is continued with the rise of powerful and rich trading empires in West Africa. These empires would eventually connect with both the Islamic Empires and Western Europe. Finally we cover the "Dark Ages" in Europe including the rise of Russia as a power. The students obviously come to class with a decent amount of knowledge about the European Middle Ages, due to the amount of times it is shown in popular culture, but the interplay between these cultures allows the students to understand even this society on a much more deep level than

before. As always, this information also helps in the understanding of later history in these areas also.

This chapter is one that I am still in the process of developing from the content I have in other formats. Until I am able to make this a Web-based content structure (like that of Ch. 11) I have provided a link below to my class notes. This is only accessible to students in my course, but this will change soon.

Essential Question

  1. What were the reasons for the schism in either the Catholic faith or Islam during this era and how do the two sides differ currently?
  2. What made West Africa and the Middle East so much more advanced than Europe during this era despite being so close to the continent? How did they differ culturally or intellectually that created this difference? (hint: think about the Caliphate of Cordoba)
  3. What were the causes and effects of the Crusades for both Europe and the Middle East?
  4. What were the causes of the investiture controversy and how was it eventually finished?
  5. How would you compare and contrast the Umayyad and Abbasid Dynasties? Be sure to include the rise and fall as well as how they were constructed.

Chapter Resources

Chapter Notes

Review Assignment

Review Material