HISTORY 328 - Humanities Topics in History
Section: 001 Medieval Egypt
Term: FA 2013
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May be elected five times for credit.
Primary Instructor:

The Arab conquest of Egypt (639-641) spun Egypt out of the orbit of Constantinople and the Byzantine empire. With the Ottoman seizure of power in 1517, Egypt was once more the appanage of Constantinople (henceforth Istanbul). “Medieval Egypt” therefore covers the period of Egypt’s rise to political preeminence in its own right, with Cairo being for two centuries the seat of the third Islamic caliphate. No longer imperial province, Egypt became a center and crossroads for commerce, for the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish ‘Peoples of the Book’, for scholarship and learning, for nomadic Bedouin, Nile villagers, and cosmopolitan Cairenes, as well as for Arabs, Kurds, Armenians, Turks, and Sudanese.

This course will proceed chronologically, addressing the achievements and challenges of the major dynasties, with special focus on how persons and communities found their place in the cultural and religious mosaic of the region. Topics for investigation and discussion will include:

  • the communicative intent of the arts and architecture in a society of different faiths and cultures,
  • craft production and commerce,
  • popular and state religious practices,
  • education and learning, and
  • the negotiation of distinct legal jurisdictions and traditions.

Cairo, medieval Egypt’s most celebrated legacy, will be a locus point throughout the term, but we will also be studying the rural settings in which the majority of the people lived. Readings will include both secondary texts and primary sources (literary, historical, and documentary).

Course Requirements:

A midterm and final exam, three essays (4-5 pages), and short assignments on the readings.

Intended Audience:

All are welcome, thought students should have a familiarity with the reading and analysis of historical sources. Prior coursework in African or Middle Eastern history is not a requisite.

Class Format:

A combination of lecture and discussion, based on close readings of assigned sources.

HISTORY 328 - Humanities Topics in History
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
002 (LEC)
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
003 (LEC)
W 2:00PM - 5:00PM
Note: This course has been moved from HISTORY 392.002. For a course description please see HISTORY 392.002 in the LSA Course Guide.
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 0691099464
The Muqaddimah : an introduction to history, Author: Ibn Khaldun ; translated from the Arabic by Franz Rosenthal ; abridged and edited by N.J. Dawood., Publisher: Princeton University Press Abridged e 1967
ISBN: 9780674003163
Cairo, Author: Raymond, Andre?., Publisher: Harvard University Press 2000
ISBN: 0140449981
Chronicles of the Crusades., Author: De Joinville, Jean/ De Villehardouin, Geffroy/ Smith, Caroline (TRN), Publisher: Penguin Group USA 2009
ISBN: 0809123312
The bezels of wisdom, Author: Ibn al?Arab?. Translation and introduction by R.W.J. Austin ; preface by Titus Burckhardt., Publisher: Paulist Press 1980
ISBN: 0791421406
Protectors or praetorians? : the last maml?k sultans and Egypt's waning as great power, Author: Carl F. Petry., Publisher: State Univ. of New York Press 1994
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