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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
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe 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 - stretching 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' 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 - both 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.

This course is jointly taught with undergraduate students.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  8
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Essay (3000 words) (65%);
Four presentational and writing assignments (35%)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. 1. Explain, evaluate and critique scholarship on the broad West Eurasian context for the rise of Islam in the 6th, 7th and 8th centuries CE.
  2. 2. Explain, evaluate and critique current debates about monotheism, ethnic identity and 'state formation' in late antiquity, with particular reference to the early Islamic world.
  3. 3. Explain, evaluate and critique a wide range of primary evidence, literary and documentary (in translation), as well as archaeological, for this period as well as current debates about its interpretation.
  4. Express arguments about all of the above in effective academic prose.
  5. Express arguments about 13 in effective oral presentations.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements PG Version of IMES10079
Course organiserDr Marie Legendre
Tel: (01316)51 7112
Course secretaryMrs Alisa Wilkinson
Tel: (0131 6)50 4465
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