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Really good new course!

Did you know that Arabic was for centuries the lingua franca in an area stretching from the south of Spain to the Chinese border? Did you know that the Middle East under Muslim rule in those days was the world’s beating heart of trade, but also of science and scholarship?

Did you know that Islam in its formative period was heavily influenced by existing cultures in the region, like Indian, Greek, Persian and Byzantine culture? Did you know that for many centuries after the establishment of the Muslim Empire the majority of the population remained largely Christian and Jewish?

Did you know that they held a protected status in Islamic law? Did you know that this generally open-minded, curious and open society stimulated many great innovations and inventions?

Did you know that European scholarship in the Renaissance leaned heavily on the texts and inventions from the Middle East which were the outcome of this sophisticated advanced society?

In this course we will focus on the fascinating history of the Arabic Medieval World. We will take you on a journey through the Middle Ages starting off in eighth-century Baghdad. Along the old pilgrim trails we will go to places like Mecca, Jerusalem and Najaf. We will show you the impressive markets of places like Cairo and Samarkand. However we will not hide the dark sides of society either, by introducing you to the flourishing widespread slave trade. We will visit the Abbasid court, the Harem of the caliph, and the palace of the Mamluk Sultan. We will show you some beautiful medieval manuscripts, that live on as the silent witnesses of the impressive achievements of scientists and medical doctors of this forgotten era. All along we will present you with historiographical debates and dilemma’s. Reflecting on the way we look at and interpret history. And while taking you on this journey, we will travel back and forth in time explaining to you how events of the past affected and shaped the world as we know it today.

Welcome to the Cosmopolitan Medieval Arabic World! Enroll now and follow this course for free.

5 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +12
Sounds really interesting. Are you taking the course, @Lochcarron?
It is good, Laura. I beta-tested it, competed it, and now help out with welcoming our 2000+ students as we try to say a few words to every new student, taking turns.
Userlevel 7
Badge +12
That's awesome. Thank you for your hard work!

I really need more time in my day to fit in all these courses I want to take ... 🙂
So do I, Laura, between mentoring so many courses on different platforms, learning on others, preparing our house to be sold, trying to leave an extremely bureaucratic country, having a dream shattered and dealing with it
As someone who has just finished the second week of this course, I highly recommend it. There is a virtual walking tour in the Honors section of week two that takes you around and through a Mosque in Jerusalem that is absolutely amazing. The whole course is informative and full of fascinating information. I would definitely recommend this class.


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