Islam and the Middle Ages (610–1258 CE) | National Humanities Center

Humanities in Class Online Courses

Islam and the Middle Ages (610–1258 CE)

Dome of the Rock Islamic monument
Bernard Bialorucki, “Mosaic decoration and main entrance of Dome of the Rock Islamic monument,” 2017.

This course explores the rise of Islam in the context of Late Antiquity, the emergence of the caliphate, the expansion of Islam and spread to Afro-Eurasia, the Crusades, holy war, and the coexistence that resulted from these events. Participants will examine the legacies of the classical world, including the Graeco-Arabic translation movement.

Throughout the course, participants will analyze medieval art, maps, and primary sources in order to learn more about Islam and the Middle Ages. For example, participants will review medieval Islamic coins, read portions of Princess Anna Komnene’s Alexiad, and even make an astrolabe. In the final module, participants will develop classroom-ready teaching resources based on the material presented in this course.

This course was developed with generous support from the Medieval Academy of America.

Sample Topics
  • Historians of the Medieval Islamic World
  • Crusades, Holy Wars, and Coexistence
  • The Caliphate and the Graeco-Arabic Translation Movement