Fall 2011: "The Premodern Mediterranean: Comparative Studies"

In premodern times the Mediterranean was either a frontier zone between competing states and competing religions or the core of a single state, facilitating links among different cultures, religions, and economies within the Roman Empire and the Islamic caliphate. 

Thinking about wider distinctions and connections across the Mediterranean and surrounding regions allows us to think in addition about the longer historical trends and problematize the very concept of "the Mediterranean."

This seminar will focus on the Roman and medieval periods. Most of our readings will be modern books, articles, and chapters on various topics such as cities and countryside; environment and climate change; economies and the movement of commodities; ideas, languages and the circulation of books; and representations of power.