Chapter 07 - Abbasid Decline and the Spread of Islamic Civilization to South and Southeast Asia

Chapter 07 - Abbasid Decline and the Spread of Islamic Civilization to South and Southeast Asia

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Chapter 7 Part II Chapter 7 Abbasid Decline and the Spread of Islamic Civilization to South and Southeast Asia I. Introduction A. Mid 9 th century losing control 1. Rebellious governors 2. new challenging dynasties B. …but still creative – ironically – a golden age without political stability 1. architecture 2. fine arts 3. literature 4. philosophy 5. mathematics and science C. Territorial growth – warriors, traders, wandering mystics 1. political conquest 2. peaceful conversion D. Conduit for exchange – between urban/agrarian centers and between nomadic peoples 1. ideas 2. plants and medicines 3. commercial goods 4. inventions II. The Islamic Heartlands in the Middle and Late Abbasid Eras A. Introduction – 3 rd Abbasid caliph – al-Mahdi a. Courtly excesses > financial drain i. taste for luxury/monumental buildings ii. surrounded self with wives, concubines, courtiers b. Political divisions i. continued Shi’a revolts and assassinations c. Problem of succession i. Son/successor poisoned 1. Harun al-Rashid (786-809) a. most famous b. enduring B. Imperial Extravagance and Succession Disputes a. Extravagance amazed visitors i. Charlemagne impressed by mosques, palaces, treasures ii. The Thousand and One Nights 1. Luxury and palace intrigue/manipulations b. Throne at 23 – growing power of royal advisors i. signaled shift in power – court advisors now more important ii. Now also power struggles between court factions c. Death of Harun al-Rashid led to civil war i. winning son had huge army 1. started precedent of having “bodyguards” 2. mercenary forces could reach 70,000 d. Power shift now to military i. Between military and court, assassinations quite common C. Imperial Breakdown and Agrarian Disorder a. Caliphs try to move capitals away from Baghdad – kind of like Versailles i. Very expensive ii. Cost of new palaces/capitals plus mercenary force = high taxes
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iii. iv. Peasant revolts caused from 1. taxation 2. pillaging 3. Shi’a “encouragement” D. The Declining Position of Women in the Family and Society a. Remember Islamic world initially quite open to egalitarian treatment of women b. Harem – women kept in seclusion i. creation of Abbasid court ii. win their freedom/gain power by bearing healthy sons iii. some women became slaves 1. But…slaves captured, purchased from non-Muslim regions a. prized for beauty and intelligence b. best educated men and women c. officials more attracted to slaves then wives sometimes d. more freedom than free women – no veils/robes c. Veil i. slaves – no veil/robes ii. Upper class no career outlets beyond homes 1. focused on interests of sons iii. lower class women could actually farm, weave clothing, raise silkworms E. Nomadic Incursions and the Eclipse of Caliphal Power a. Kingdoms try to take over power i. 945 Buyids of Persia invade empire and captured Baghdad 1. Took names of sultan – victorious ii. 1055 Seljuk Turks – replaced Buyids 1. Turks were Sunnis – purged Shi’a officials
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Chapter 07 - Abbasid Decline and the Spread of Islamic Civilization to South and Southeast Asia

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