Chapter 7- Outline
IntroductionA. Mid 9th century losing control1. Rebellious governors2. New challenging dynastiesB. …but still creative – ironically – a golden age without political stability1. architecture2. fine arts3. literature4. philosophy5. mathematics and scienceC. Territorial growth – warriors, traders, wandering mystics1. political conquest2. peaceful conversionD. Conduit for exchange – between urban/agrarian centers and between nomadic peoples1. ideas2. plants and medicines3. commercial goods4. inventions The Islamic Heartlands in the Middle and Late Abbasid ErasA. 3rd Abbasid caliph = al-Mahdia. Courtly excesses > financial drain I. taste for luxury/monumental buildingsii. surrounded self with wives, concubines, courtiersb. Political divisionsI. continued Shi’a revolts and assassinationsc. Problem of successionI. Son/successor poisoned1. Harun al-Rashid (786-809)a. most famousb. enduringB. Imperial Extravagance and Succession Disputes a. Extravagance amazed visitorsI. Charlemagne impressed by mosques, palaces, treasuresii. The Thousand and One Nightsb. Luxury and palace intrigue/manipulationsI. Throne at 23 – growing power of royal advisorsii. signaled shift in power – court advisors now more importantc. Now also power struggles between court factionsI. Death of Harun al-Rashid led to civil warii. winning son had huge army1. started precedent of having “bodyguards”2. mercenary forces could reach 70,000d. Power shift now to militaryI. Between military and court, assassinations quite commonC. Imperial Breakdown and Agrarian Disordera.Caliphs try to move capitals away from Baghdad – kind of like VersaillesI. Very expensiveii. Cost of new palaces/capitals plus mercenary force = high taxesiii. Peasant revolts caused fromiv. taxation1. pillaging2. Shi’a “encouragement”3. The Declining Position of Women in the Family and Societya. Remember Islamic world initially quite open to egalitarian treatment of womenb. Harem – women kept in seclusionI. creation...
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