Special Topics in History; Constructing the Past in the First Millennium: Comparisons East and West

The famous French medievalist Marc Bloch argued that all history is in a sense comparative history. This course seeks to fulfill Bloch's insistence on comparison by examining together the key changes that occurred in the mid-eighth century, both East and West. The class will analyze the consequential transition from Umayyad to Abassid power in the East and the transition from Merovingian to Carolingian power in the West, placing special emphasis on how each 'winning' dynasty shaped the memory of their predecessors, advancing a new construction of the Frankish and Islamic pasts. If we take seriously Bloch's insight that comparative history is essential, then comparative historiography is too. This course, the first of its kind, is offered under the auspices of the First Millennium Network, an organization that seeks to bring the complex traditions of the first millennium of the common era into dialogue with each other. It will be jointly offered by CUA and UMD, alternating each week between campuses, and will be co-taught by a specialist in early Islamic history and a specialist in early Medieval western history.

Sister Courses: HIST639B, HIST639C, HIST639D, HIST639F, HIST639I, HIST639J, HIST639K, HIST639L, HIST639M, HIST639O, HIST639P, HIST639Q, HIST639R, HIST639T, HIST639V, HIST639X, HIST639Y, HIST639Z

Past Semesters

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