HS 366 World in Turmoil: The Mediterranean World, from the Fall of Rome to the First Crusade
The period from the fall of Rome and triumph of Christianity through the rise of the Arabs and Islam and thence the collision of the two faiths inthe first crusade is of momentous historical significance. It saw: the shattering of a 600 year old empire that had embraced the entire Mediterranean world; the replacement of a classical pagan civilization by a new otherworldly religious vision; a time of troubles plagued by mass migrations, wars and invasions; the rise of yet another monotheistic religion which, with the Arab invasions, would come to dominate huge swathes of the Mediterranean world; and the paradigmatic collision of the two rival exclusivist monotheisms in the era of the crusades.
By the end of the 11th century, the world that Rome had unified for six centuries had fragmented into Latin/Germanic kingdoms in the West, the Greek/Byzantine empire in the east, and the Arab empire in Iberia, north Africa, and the Middle East. Thus was set the fundamental juxtaposition of civilization in the Mediterranean world that endures through to the present. We will discuss this era of profound transformation through key episodes and turning points that illuminate the essence of the transformations that took place.