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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

Postgraduate Course: The Umayyad Empire: the Islamic World in its Late Antique Context (IMES11041)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaIslamic and Middle Eastern Studies Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThe Prophet Muhammad began preaching the message of Islam in the remote highlands of west Arabia shortly after 600 AD. By 750 AD, his successors ruled the largest empire in history thus far$űstretching from Spain and the Atlantic Ocean in the West to Pakistan and the Indian Ocean in the East.

This course seeks to examine this pivotal 150 years in its wider historical context and in new the light of new evidence and new perspectives. It situates the $¨formation of Islam&ę in the imperial world of 6th-and 7th-century Rome and Sasanian Iran. It also seeks to understand how and why the vast early Muslim Empire, ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, took the shape it did$űboth in terms of its political structures and its ideology. This is the period before Sunni and Shi$¨i Islam took their classical form: how and why these sectarian positions eventually developed as they did is rooted in these early centuries of Islamic history.

The course is taught in English, and will engage directly with many primary texts in translation, as well as the art, architecture and material culture of Rome, Iran and the Arab-Islamic world.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesNone
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2011/12 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1) WebCT enabled:  No Quota:  None
Location Activity Description Weeks Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
No Classes have been defined for this Course
First Class First class information not currently available
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
1. 1. Be familiar with the history of West Eurasia in the 6th, 7th and early 8th centuries.
2. Understand current debates about monotheism, ethnic identity and $¨state formation&ę in late antiquity, with particular reference to the early Islamic world.
2. 3. Have a detailed understanding of the first 150 years of Islamic history and the debates surrounding $¨empire&ę and $¨state formation&ę in this period.
4. Be acquainted with a wide range of primary literary evidence for this period in translation and understand current debates about its interpretation.

3. 5. Be able to research 1-4 in both secondary literature and primary sources in translation.
6. Be able to present ideas and arguments about 1-4 orally and in written form (especially as essays); be able to debate and discuss these questions with others.
Assessment Information
Essay (3000 words) (65%);
Four presentational and writing assignments (35%)
Special Arrangements
None
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Contacts
Course organiserDr Andrew Marsham
Tel: (0131 6)50 9872
Email: andrew.marsham@ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMs Rhona Cullen
Tel: (0131 6)50 4182
Email: Rhona.Cullen@ed.ac.uk
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