Notes.doc - 10.24.2011 The Umayyad Caliphate: the high...

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The Umayyad Caliphate: the high point in the middle ages Caliph: ruler with secular and religious authority The Umayyad dynasty: ethnic Arabs pinnacle of society The huge empire allowed for a mingling of cultures In theory, all Muslims were equal. But Non-Arab Muslims could not get involved with Arabs; soon they became a substantial power, which eventually became the Shi’a opposition. The Shi’ites had various problems with the Umayyad Caliphate. The history: The 4 th Caliph, Ali, was murdered in 661. His foremost rival established the Umayyad Dynasty. Ali’s supporters were Shiites, Umayyad supporters were Sunnis. The Umayyad Dynasty posed a big threat. UD was a wesward looking empire. They faced Byzantine opposition in the east. Abu’l-‘Abbas becomes the leader of the Shia faction. The military force mainly came from Persia, who defeated the Umayyads in 722. They form the Abbasid Caliphate in 750: They Abbasids maintained the Persian connection (modeled the dynasty after the Persian Sassanid Dyasty) they moved the capital to Baghdad (towards the east). The Abbasids moved the caliphate toward look east, particularly interested in trading with China. The era of light, highly mobile warriors was over replaced with more stable bureaucratic government. Soldiers started to feel more out of place. Life under the early Abbasids was good: rise of the middle class and professionals- significant prosperity. But Abbasid power was in decay before the century was over. There were domestic tensions. Their power decreased in the Western Mediterranean. They had less influence on Western Europe (not Islamic influence, just the Abbasids). Muslim Iberia remained: The Umayyads of Spain, who conquered in 711. Muslim inhabitants of Spain were called Andaluces. Al-Andalus was an Umayyad province in 711. The Northwest region of the Iberian Peninsula was Asutrias- Christian territory. The Pyrenees Mountains protected the Christians there. Andaluces did not bother with Christians. 756: Abd’ al Rahman fled to Al Andalus and seized power there- Abd’ al Rahman I emir. He established the capital city, Córdoba. The Great Mosque of Córdoba: emirs themselves worshipped there. Christians in Al-Andalus were seen as the fifth column for the east: worried the Muslims. Direct trade between Al-Andalus and the Mediterranean was improving; The Byzantines wanted to ally with the Umayyads; Al-Andalus prospered under Rahman II. The basis of Andalucian economy was agriculture/they were a linguistic/literary culture. Arabic evolved into languages that could sustain small, scientific, poetic nuances. The Jewish and Christian communities benefited from Arabs as well
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This note was uploaded on 02/18/2012 for the course HIST 330 taught by Professor Jannabianchini during the Fall '11 term at Maryland.

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Notes.doc - 10.24.2011 The Umayyad Caliphate: the high...

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