Cleveland Notes

Cleveland Notes - Cleveland Notes Part One: The Development...

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Cleveland Notes Part One: The Development of Islamic Civilization to the Eighteenth Century A-Introduction -It was in the Arabian city of Mecca that Islam was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad in the years AD. 610 to AD 632. - During the century following Muhammad’s death, the Arabs expanded out of the peninsula and conquered a world empire stretching from Spain to present-day Pakistan. - The first great Arab capitals were not in Arabia (Damascus and Baghdad), but in lands of antiquity. -Islam expanded into an area that was rich intellectually, had massive religious experiences and administrative practices. Islamic society built upon these existing foundations and was shaped by them. -Ancient near east civilizations began to develop in southern Iraq around 3500 BC. By about 2400 BC larger political entities began to emerge in the form of regional empires which were made up of multiple cities with a single monarch. -The two culminations of near east civilizations were in Egypt which was controlled by the pharaohs. Then the Iranian-based Acheminid Empire (550 BC-331 BC) which had everything from Egypt to the Oxus River under a single imperial framework. (Note-The Oxus River is the Amu Darya which runs from the Aral sea to cover the northern Afghan border.) -The Greeks came next with Alexander, and Antioch and Alexandria became centers for Greek learning. Greek became the language for the urban elite. -Romans came next and the culture stayed more Hellenic than Latin. Near East Asia was solidified when the Roman capital got moved to Constantinople under the Byzantine Empire. -Even though the Jews had been dispersed from Palestine by the Romans they still had flourishing communities in the Middle East. I: The Rise and Expansion of Islam A-Introduction -On the eve of the rise of Islam, the settled lands of the Middle East were ruled by two competing imperial states, the Roman-Byzantine Empire in the west and the Sasanian Empire of Iran in the east. -Byzantium had challenges to its military, religious and administrative authority in the late 6 th and early 7th centuries. Starting in 540, the imperial rivalry between the Byzantines and Sasanians broke out into open warfare and kept going almost uninterrupted until 629.
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-Both empires were exhausted militarily and financially. The Byzantine emperors raised taxes which angered subjects that were already burdened with armies coming in and out of their lands. -Religious division came when the Byzantine Empire adopted Greek Orthodox Christianity as the state religion in the late 4 th century, the emperors then tried to impose it on the entire empire. But people in the empire continued with their own religions and the empire started to persecute Jews and Christians and this left the door open for the religiously tolerable Muslims to come. -The Sasanian Empire of Iran had its capital at Ctesiphon on the Tigris and contested
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Cleveland Notes - Cleveland Notes Part One: The Development...

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