In this assignment, you will write an essay about the various major centers of learning in the latter half of the first millennium. These centers had tremendous influence on civilizations past and present. Writing this essay will give you an opportunity to see how the events of the age came to be and how they still have an impact in your life today.
1. Read the following article. Note that Istanbul is now the capital of Turkey. Formerly called Constantinople, it was the capital of the Byzantine Empire during the latter half of the first millennium. As you read the article, find in the example of Istanbul indications of the divisions between Eastern and Western cultures and the historical sources of these divisions.
2. Write an essay to compare the Byzantine and Muslim centers of learning with the Western and Eastern cultural traditions of Rome and Asia during the first millennium. Consider these questions to guide your writing (Do not simply write a short answer to each question; you are writing a well-developed, coherent essay.):
- Given that the Byzantine and Muslim worlds had so much more in common with Western culture than with Asian cultures, why are they currently considered Eastern?
- How does the article illustrate the historical sources of the modern divisions between Western and Eastern cultural traditions?
- How were Byzantium and Muslim centers of learning influential in the past?
- How are those influences evident today culturally, politically, and in other ways? Provide specific examples.
- Why do these influences matter? How do they affect your life?
3. Be sure to adhere to the following writing guidelines:
- Your essay must be between 3-4 pages in length.
- Your essay must be double-spaced using 12-point font, with 1-inch margins.
- Include your name at the top of the first page.
- Proofread your essay to eliminate mechanical and grammatical errors.
- For citations, follow APA format.