Near East

mind maps of history: early Islamic science and technology

Digital History of the Near East

a key to global education: Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci

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Perspective


The Ancient Near East is not one civilization, but many. There are the lesser known civilizations of Armenia, the Hittites, the Lydians, and Phrygia. There was Phoenicia, a nation of traders that would bring the beginnings of our alphabet to Greece, and Sumer, which gave us writing. Where Assyria gave the Near East a legacy of brutality, Babylonia’s King Hammurabi gave it a comprehensive and enlightened body of law that anticipated many of the precepts of Western law.

While Babylon answered to law, Islam answered to the call of the Prophet Muhammed, and it grew to become an empire that stretched from Spain to Samarkand. Nowhere is the glory of Islam more evident than in its mosques (though the iconic Hagia Sophia in Istanbul was actually a creation of the Roman emperor Justinian). Islam’s scientific genius enabled great advances in medicine and optics, and its literary and philosophical ethos kept alive the giants of Western philosophy while Europe slumbered through its Dark Ages. The empire of Islam would give rise to the even more ponderous Ottoman Empire that would bring Suleiman the Great to the gates of Vienna, and endure until the end of World War I.

Judea gave us Jerusalem, the nexus of each of the region’s main religions of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity (whose adherents once shared the city in relative peace and harmony). As a province of the Roman Empire, Judea became troublesome and it rebelled, leading to the destruction of Jerusalem’s magnificent Temple; Jesus of Nazareth would prove no less nettlesome to Rome.

That said, here’s our assortment… enjoy! When you’re done perusing a map, just close it, and you’ll be back here.

Index

Near East: Index | Society | Culture | Economy | Armenia | Akkad |
Assyria: SocietyCitiesClassCultureReligionPowerBureaucracyGovernanceLawMilitaryEconomyAgricultureIndustryTrade | Babylonia: SocietyCultureArchitectureArtLanguageLiteratureMusicScience and TechnologyReligionDeitiesFunerary CustomsMagicMagic and the Evil EyeMythCreation MythEvil EyePersonal ReligionTemplesTemple WealthPowerInvasionCode of Hammurabi: JusticeLawsCommerceMarriage and FamilyEconomyAgricultureBusiness DocumentsConstructionFinanceLaborMiningTradeTransport | Hittite Empire: SocietyCulturePower | Islam: CulturePhilosophyScience and TechnologyPre-Islamic ReligionPower: RiseGovernanceAbbasid CaliphateDeclineUmayyad Caliphate | Judea: SocietyOriginsPeople of AbrahamWomenSexualityMarriageFamilyHellenistic Judea: CultureLiteratureReligionJudaism: People of the Book GenesisProphetsJeremiahIsaiahMosaic CodeJerusalemTemple of JerusalemTextsHebrew BiblePowerBabylonian CaptivityReformEconomy | Lydia: CulturePower | Mesopotamia: Society: AdornmentFamilyFoodMoralsWomenCulture: Architecture: Temples | EducationAstronomyMathematicsMedicineEconomyNations | Palestine: Society | Phoenicia: SocietyCommunitiesCultureReligionEconomyIndustryTrade | Phrygia: Religion | Scythia | Sumer: SocietyCities: FeaturesFirst CitiesDressPeopleClassCulture: ArchitectureLearningLiteratureScience and TechnologySpreadWritingLegacyReligion: BeliefsDeitiesTemplesPowerGovernanceEconomy: AgricultureTradeWealth | Syria



Armenia


Akkad


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Assyria


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Babylonia


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Hittite Empire

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Islam


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Judea


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Lydia



Mesopotamia


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Palestine


Phoenicia


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Phrygia


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Scythia


Sumer



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Syria


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