Course Syllabus for "HIST231: Empire and States in the Middle East and Southwest Asia"
This course will introduce you to the history of the Middle East and Southwest Asia from the pre-Islamic period to the end of World War I. You will learn about the major political, economic, and social changes that took place. The course will be structured chronologically. Most units will include representative primary-source documents that illustrate important overarching political, economic, and social themes, such as the formation of ancient empires in the second and first millennia BCE, the political and social influence of Islam on the region in the first millennium CE, the growth and expansion of Muslim states in the second millennium CE, and the impact of European imperialism on the region in the 18th and 19th centuries. By the end of the course, you will understand how the Middle East and Southwest Asia developed politically, economically, and socially prior to World War One and recognize the critical role that the region played in the broader development of European and Asian societies.
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Discuss the history of East Asia from the pre-Islamic period through the beginning of the 20th century.
- Analyze the interactions between ancient civilizations of the Middle East and Southwest Asia in the pre-Islamic period.
- Identify the origins of Islam, and assess the political and cultural impact of the Muslim faith on the peoples of the Middle East and the Mediterranean Basin.
- Identify the origins of the Umayyad and Abbasid Empires, and assess how these dynasties reshaped political and economic life throughout the Middle East and Southwest Asia.
- Describe and assess the social and cultural impact of Islam on the peoples of the Middle East and the Mediterranean Basin.
- Identify external threats to the Muslim world during the Middle Ages, and analyze how Muslim leaders responded to these threats.
- Identify the origins of the Ottoman Empire, and assess how the Ottomans established political and economic control over the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.
- Analyze the political, economic, and military interactions between the Ottoman Empire and the nations of Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries.
- Explain how European imperialism destabilized the Middle East and Southwest Asia in the 19th and early 20th centuries and allowed European nations to establish political control over many Middle Eastern nations.
- Analyze the political impact of World War I on the peoples and nations of the Middle East.
- Analyze and interpret primary source documents from the per-Islamic period through the beginning of the 20th century using historical research methods.
In order to take this course, you must:
√ Have access to a computer.
√ Have continuous broadband Internet access.
√ Have the ability/permission to install plug-ins (e.g. Adobe Reader or Flash) and software.
√ Have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer.
√ Have the ability to open Microsoft Office files and documents (.doc, .ppt, .xls, etc.)
√ Have competency in the English language.
√ Have read the Saylor Student Handbook.
Welcome to HIST231: Empires and States in the Middle East and Southwest
Asia. Below, please find some general information on the course and its
Primary Resources: This course is comprised of a range of different free, online materials. However, the course makes primary use of the following materials:
- Fordham University’s Ancient History Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of Herodotus’ Selections from The History of the Persian Wars, 450 BCE
- Fordham University’s Internet Medieval Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of Ibn Ishaq’s Selections from The Life of Muhammad
- Fordham University’s Internet Medieval Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of Ibn al-Athir’s “On the Tartars, ca. 1220-1221 CE”
- Fordham University’s Internet Medieval Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of Ibn Sina’s “On Medicine, ca. 1020 CE”
- Fordham University’s Internet Medieval Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of Yakut’s “Baghdad under the Abbasids, ca. 1000 CE”
- Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of “A Visit to the Wife of Suleiman the Magnificent”
- Hellenic Electronic Center’s Professor Dionysios Hatzopoulos’ version of Nicolo Barbaro’s “The Fall of Constantinople, 1453”
- Web Site of the Turkish Constitutional Law: Kemal Gozler’s version of Islahat Fermani’s “Rescript of Reform”
- Michigan State University’s Electronic Middle East Sourcebook: “Redefining Tradition”
- BBC: “The Sykes-Picot Agreement”
Requirements for Completion: In order to complete this course, you will need to work through each unit and all of its assigned materials. Pay special attention to Unit 1 as this lays the groundwork for understanding the more advanced, exploratory material presented in later units. You will also need to complete:
- Final Exam
Note that you will only receive an official grade on your Final Exam.
However, in order to adequately prepare for this exam, you will need to
work through the readings, lectures, and web media in each unit.
In order to “pass” this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the Final Exam. Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam, you may take it again.
Time Commitment: This course should take you a total of 130.25 hours to complete. Each unit includes a “time advisory” that lists the amount of time you are expected to spend on each subunit. These should help you plan your time accordingly. It may be useful to take a look at these time advisories and to determine how much time you have over the next few weeks to complete each unit, and then to set goals for yourself. For example, Unit 1 should take you 10 hours. Perhaps you can sit down with your calendar and decide to complete the subunit 1.1 introduction through Subunit s 1.1.3 (a total of 3 hours) on Monday night; Subunit s 1.1.4 through 1.1.8 (a total of 3 hours) on Tuesday; subunits 1.2 and 1.3 (a total of 4 hours) on Wednesday night; etc.
Table of Contents: You can find the course's units at the links below.