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School of History

HST6106 - Islam and the West in the Middle Ages

Module code: HST6106

Credits: 15

Module Convenor: Dr Tom Asbridge

In the course of the Middle Ages, Islam and the West came into closer contact through the agencies of frontier societies, trade and cultural interchange, and crusade and holy war. This advanced module explores the forms, representations and outcomes of these interactions in Iberia, southern Italy and the Levantine Crusader States, encouraging students to consider issues of commonality and difference across space and time. Interactions on these frontiers were complicated. Prior to the Reconquista, Iberia saw a flourishing of trade and expansion of knowledge which turned Cordoba into a major cultural centre, a huge city on the border of the Islamic and Christian world. This wealth and cultural interaction, led to the transfer of knowledge which made the renaissance both in the twelfth and fourteenth century possible. However, this was followed by conquest, and the expulsion of the Islamic and Jewish communities which had previously made the southern Iberian peninsula their home. It is these interactions, both violent and educational and enriching that this module shall focus upon. Students explore the multi-cultural environment of the Crusader Levant, Iberia, and Sicily from the perspectives of Christians, Muslims, and Jews, and gain an appreciation of the culture and attitudes of societies other than our own.

Assessment: Learning Log 35%, Essay 65%
Level: 6

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