3.3.3: The Medieval Islamicate World

As noted in Section 2.3, the medieval Islamicate world was a global engine for the development of knowledge-making, advancing mathematics, history, engineering, and astrology, among other disciplines. This Crash Course video takes a quick tour through the most renowned efforts of Islamicate scholars from the Iberian Peninsula to North Africa to Southwest Asia. Use the gear setting at the bottom right of the video to turn on subtitles and slow the speed of the video audio if needed.
Guiding Questions:

  1. What characterized the cosmopolitanism of the early Abbasids?
  2. Why was this cosmopolitanism important, according to the video?
  3. Why did contemporary rulers consider knowledge production and translation important?
  4. What was the role of the madrasa in knowledge production during this period?

Video Credit: Crash Course. https://www.youtube.com/user/crashcourse/featured

Thumbnail: Depiction of students in a library in the Maqamat of Hariri, “Les Makamat de Hariri ; exemplaire orné de peintures exécutées par Yahya ibn Mahmoud ibn Yahya ibn Aboul-Hasan ibn Kouvarriha al-Wasiti,” ca. 1236/7. Photo credit: Abou Mohammad al-Qāsim ibn ʿAli ibn Mohammad ibn ʿAli al-Hariri al-Basri. Auteur du texte, Bibliotheque Nationale de France. Public domain.