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The Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean in the Middle Ages

The course aims at offering the students with an overview of the medieval history of these two regions while presenting to them the necessary, translated into English, sources. This extended area, stretching from the frozen steppes to the north of the Black Sea down to the scorching deserts of Egypt and from Italy to Caucasus, was home not only to the greatest of sedentary civilizations (Byzantium, Caliphate, Ottoman Empire) but also to some of the mightiest nomadic empires that roamed the steppes reaching as far as the Balkan peninsula. Every nation that inhabits this area today is a direct result of an ethnogenesis that streams from that period of its History.

The student will become familiar with the Byzantine state and civilization, the rise of Islam and the Caliphate, and with the nomadic empires whose culture, prowess and position affected the former two and which, in the end, brought about the formation of the Ottoman Empire.    

 

Where Civilizations meet. Thessaloniki, Multiculturalism and Port-Cities in the Black Sea and the Εastern Mediterranean