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17. The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000: The Crucial Seventh Century

The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210)

In the first half of this lecture, Professor Freedman continues the previous lecture's discussion of the Abbasids. He highlights their ability to assimilate other cultures, before turning to their decline in the tenth century. In the second half of the lecture, Professor Freedman considers the seventh century, the crucial turning point in the history of early medieval Europe. The seventh century shaped medieval Europe; the period saw the rise of Islam and Northern Europe, fundamental changes in Byzantium, the reorientation of Persia, and the end of the secular elite in the west. Professor Freedman concludes with a few remarks on the Pirenne thesis, which states that the rise of Islam broke up the Mediterranean and paved the way for the rise of northern Europe.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Geography and Medicine under the Abbasids
15:05 - Chapter 2. The Collapse of the Abbasid Caliphate
22:49 - Chapter 3. The Importance of the Seventh Century
30:18 - Chapter 4. The Seventh Century as a Turning Point
44:30 - Chapter 5. Pirenne Thesis and Conclusion

Complete course materials are available at the Yale Online website: online.yale.edu

This course was recorded in Fall 2011.

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