Ancient Mediterranean
IH: OWE IH: Old World Encounters
 O L D   W O R L D   E N C O U N T E R S
 Civilizations in Dialogue before the Modern Era

E X T E N D E D   O U T L I N E

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UNIT 1.1-3 • HERODOTUS (& Megasthenes)

full texts
  • Herodotus of Halicarnassus History
    author: Herodotus of Halicarnassus
    when: ca.484-420 BCE
    where: Halicarnassus > Athens > Thurii
    context/summary: born in a Dorian city under the Persian yoke; composed for an Ionian (Athenian) elite, retired to Athens colony Thurii in Italy; “Father of History” / “Father of Lies”; organized earlier written sources and oral traditions into the first Greek ‘istoria ("inquiry") at time of Peloponnesian War and the height of the Athenian Empire

    title: History (Gk. ‘istoria “Inquiry”)
    when: ca.480 BCE
    who: Croesus, Cyrus, Cambyses, Darius, Xerxes, etc.; varied ethnic groups
    where: ecumene (i.e. the "inhabited world" as known by the Greeks)
    context/summary: opposion of Hellenes ("Greeks") vs barbaroi ("oogah-boogahs") in diametrical opposition and symmetrical balance; cultural relativism (changeable nomos vs unchanging physis); violent men overstepping boundaries (hybris) will get their comeuppance (nemesis); remembrance of Hellenic unity amid wartime division
    ("Inquiry"), ca.420 BCE
  • Megasthenes Indica
    author: Megasthenes
    when: ca.350-290 BCE
    where: Asia Minor (mod. Turkey)
    context/summary: born in Late Classical Period; served as ambassador to India for Seleucus I Nicator, the immediate successor (diadochus) of Alexander III Megas ("the Great"), within one generation after the conquest of the Persian Empire

    title: Indica (Gk. Indika, “On India”)
    when: ca.300 BCE
    who: Chandragupta (reigned ca.321-297 BCE) founder of the Mauryan (“peacock”) Dynasty and grandfather of Aśoka (reigned ca.268-232 BCE); various ethnic groups and castes; various customs and animals
    where: river basins of the Indus and Ganges
    context/summary: opposion of Hellenes ("Greeks") vs barbaroi ("oogah-boogahs") in diametrical opposition and symmetrical balance; cultural relativism (changeable nomos vs unchanging physis)
    (On India, ca.300 BCE)
ancient texts
  • Hdt.1.0-5
    structure of the historia
    • 0. great & marvelous deeds of both Hellenes (Greeks) & barbaroi (non-Greeks)
    • 1. conflict > Persians say Phoenicians started it, “stole” (i.e. raped) Io from Argos to Egypt
    • 2. then Hellenes “stole” double: Europa from Tyre to Crete, Medea from Colchis
    • 3. then they say Alexander (aka Paris) “stole” Helen to Troy
    • 4. Phoenicians say Io went willingly
    • 5. H. will not say these stories are true, but will himself start with the first man whom he knows wronged the Greeks (i.e. Croesus)
  • 1.6-13, 93-94
    Croesus and Lydia – Lydian logos
    • 6.
  • 1.131-40
    Cyrus the Great and Persia – Persian logos
  • 1.192-200, 214-16
    Babylonians & Massegetae – Babylonian logos
  • Hdt.2.1-34
    Egyptian geography – Egyptian logos, pt.1
  • 2.35-37, 44-50
    Egyptian customs – logos, pt.2
  • 2.110-120; Hdt.3.11-12
    Egyptian history – Egyptian logos, pt.3
  • Hdt.3.16-43
    Cambyses conquers – Egyptian logos, pt.4
  • 3.79-89 (skim 90-97)
    Revolt of the magi & Darius – Revolt of the magi
  • 3.98-117
    eschatoi ("edge-dwellers") – logos
  • Hdt.4.1-82
    Scythians – Scythian logos, pt.1
  • 4.83-144
    Darius vs Scythians – Scythian logos, pt.2
  • 4.145-205
    Libyans – Libyan logos
  • Hdt.5.1-22
    Thracians & Macedonians – Thracian logos
  • Hdt.7.32-35
    Xerxes Invasion – hubris of Xerxes
  • 7.144-174, 202-232
    the 300 – Battle of Thermopylae
  • Hdt.8.136-144
    embassy to the Athenians & Spartans – Greekness (to Hellenikon)

  • Megasthenes – commentary

 lectures & videos
meet Dr.G :: ambassadors (sample active notes)
lectures L01 :: L02.1L02.2 :: L03
Up2DrG? E1 Muiderpoortstation
      E2 Raw & Uncooked (how to: ossenworst)
recipe (20 DC-Xp) aglio oglio e peperoncino (with garum)
    Iron Chef: Ambassador
active reading
CR01 :: CR02 :: CR03
map project
M03 resources > megamap :: inspiration :: Hdt.IV

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UNIT 2.4-6 • XUANZANG (& Egeria)

full texts
  • Xuanzang Xiyu ji
    author: Xuanzang
    when: ca.602-664 CE
    where: Chang'an (mod. Xi'an)
    context significance: born near Luoyang (Henan) at the end of the Sui dynasty; ordained as a Buddhist priest in Chengdu (Sichuan); enjoyed the patronage of the Tang dynasty emperor Taizong (upon his return)
    title: Da Tang xiyu ji (“Records of Regions to the West of the Tang Dynasty”)
    when: ca.630-645 CE
    who: met by Harsha of Kanauj (aka Kumara-raja, aka Shiladitya-raja), of the Vardhana dynasty, and Bhaskaravarma of Kamarupa (also Kumara-raja “king's son”), a vassal of Harsha, ca.660-650 CE; also supported by Avalokiteshvara-bodhisattva his divine guardian
    where: various South Asian Buddist reliquaries (stupas) and monasteries (sangaramas), particularly the Nalanda Monastery (Mahavihara), primary center of Mahayana Buddhist learning
    context/summary: opposion of raw vs cooked, Buddhist cosmology with Lake Anavatapta at the center of the ecumene (Jambudvipa), with four rivers leading in the four cardinal directions to the Land of Men (China), Land of Horses (Suli - Eurasian steppe), the Land of Gems (Tukhara - Afghanistan) and the Land of Elephants (Five Indies, or India); folktale & fable (jataka); examples of Buddhist piety, or lack thereof
    (“Records of Regions to the West”), ca.640 CE
  • Egeria Itinerarium
    author: Egeria (Etheria, or Aetheria)
    when: ca.380 CE
    where: Iberia (Spain)? Gaul (France)?
    context/summary: rare instance of a letter written by a woman (a nun?), for women (a convent?), about pilgrimage to Jerusalem; composed during the reign of Theodosius I

    title: Perigrinatio (“pilgrimage”), or Itinerarium (“itinerary”)
    when: ca.380 CE
    who: Jesus of Nazareth
    where: Jerusalem, or Holy Lands (Mt. Sinai to Constantinople); liturgical worship; Lent, Palm Sunday, Easter holy days
    ("Pilgrimage"), ca.400 CE
ancient texts
  • preface
  • introduction
  • XZ 1.2
    • i.20 king called Gold Flower drives naga (dragon) chariot
      violent breed of dragon-men detroyed
        etiology: fine dragon horses
    • i.22* king's brother mutilates self to protect against false allegations (Potiphar's Wife motif); mutilated member grows back due to merit (kindness to cows)
        etiology: Extraordinary Monastery
    • i.26* Suli from the Chu River to Kesh (XZ 1.16), all vassals of the Turks
      the land, people and language called Suli; script uses ca.30 characters
      outer garments of animal skin, inner garment linen
      shave the tops of their heads,
      sometimes use silk headbands
      tall but weak and pusillanimous;crafty and deceitful; greedy cheapskates
      strong cultivate the land, rest do commerce
          ethnography: Suli (Land of Horses)
  • XZ 1.16
    • i.37* Tukhara; bounded on north by Iron Gates, east Congling Mountains,
      south Great Snowy Mountains, west Persia; Amu Darya flows west through country; naturally divided into twenty-seven states; all vassals of the Turks
      climate warm and damp, and epidemics prevail; priests take seasonal “rain-rest“
      character of people, mean and cowardly; appear low and rustic; good faith and rectitude only when dealing with each other
      language differs somewhat — twenty-five letters to express everything,
      writing goes left to right; more literature than Suli; most use fine cotton clothes, some use wool; gold and silver in commerce, coins of different type
          ethnography: Tukhara (Land of Treasure)
  • XZ 1.28
    • i.45 Siuehu-khan, son of Yehu-khan of the Turks, rebels and attacks monastery
      dreams of lance through heart, calls off attack
        etiology: Vaisravana-deva statue & sangharama
    • i.47* Buddha first attained enlightenment, preach to first disciples (householders/merchants); gives them relics (hair, nail clippings)
      shows how to build shrine
        etiology: first stupa
  • XZ 1.33
    • i.53 disciple of Ananda has priestly garments made of the shanaka plant
          etiology: imperishable monastic sanghati-robe of Shanakavasa
  • XZ 1.34
    • i.56 Little Vehicle sangharama, founded by Kanishka-raja for Chinese hostages
        etiology: seasonal sangharama (monastery)
    • i.59greedy frontie) king driven away by parrot-form spirit
        etiology: statue of spirit (deva?)
    • i.60 Rahula builds stupa without a relic, has a dream to take day's first offering
      lifts stone top, puts relics inside, hem of garment caught when stone replaced
        etiology: oily sangharama
    • i.62 heavenly spirit (deva) Shuna came from afar to this mountain to rest
        etiology: annual earthquakes
    • i.63* arhat (saint) preaches to naga (dragon)
      his sramanera (attendant-novice) hitches ride on their flying carpet
      naga-raja gives arhat immortal food, not novice, who becomes jealous/angry
      novice uses religious merit, becomes naga, kills naga-raja, causes lake storms
      Kanishka-raja learns, builds sangharama and stupa near naga, destroyed 6x
      starts to fill in lake, naga transforms into old Hindu holy man (brahman)
      naga powers: “rides on the clouds, drives the winds, passes through space,
        glides over the waters”
      if K. wins, little renown; if he loses, suffers humiliation of defeat
      K. hesitates, naga raises storm, K. reverent and uses accumulated merit
      flame from shoulers, storm scattered, men start to fill lake
      naga again takes brahman form, reveals self as naga-raja, asks for mercy
      both will do evil–K. killing, naga holding anger: “deeds and their consequences will be plainly manifested when the good and evil are brought to light”
      seventh time rebuilds–sounds drum to drive off storms
        etiology: sangharama & stupa; drum ritual
    • i.66 white relic floats up and circles monastery
    • i.67 in the time of the Buddha (Tathagata), a spirit (deva?) offers hospitality,
      builds on mountain crag
        etymology/etiology: Pilusara (elephant strength) Stupa
    • i.68 the Buddha (Tathagata), shared rice from the spirit (deva) with the arhats
      uses toothpick
        etymology/etiology: Willow-Twig Sangharama
  • XZ 2 Indica
    a. names of India
    i.69 India, Shendu, Yindu, “Country of the Brahmans”
    b. country, extent and climate
    i.70 technically Five Indies; sea on three sides, Snowy Mountains to the north, shaped like half-moon; seventy countries; north foothills, east cultivated, south wooded; west barren
    c. measures of length
    yojana** (“day's march”) = 8 krosha (“lowing of a of a cow”) = 4000 dhanu (“bow”)
        = 8000 hasta (“cubit”), etc. until anu (“grain of dust” i.e. atom)
    **30-40 li / 17-23 km / 10-14 miles
    d. astronomy, the calendar, etc.
    e. towns and buildings
    f. seating, clothing, etc.
    g. dress, habits, etc.
    h. cleanliness, ablutions, etc.
    i. writing, language, books, etc.
    j. Buddhist schools, books, discussions, discipline
    k. castes & marriage
    l. royal family, troops, weapons
    m. manners, administration of law, ordeals
    n. forms of politeness
    o. medicines, funeral customs, etc.
    p. civil administration, revenues, etc.
    q. plants and trees, agriculture, food, drink, cookery
    r. commercial transaction
  • XZ 1-2 outline
  • XZ 3-4 outline
      corrigenda: 3.6 i.149 Kashmir dragon-lake, i.158 Buddha's tooth, i.161 arhat's garment
  • XZ 5-6 outline
  • XZ 7-8 outline
 lectures & videos
lectures L04 :: L05 :: L06
webinar W04 :: W05
Up2DrG? E2 Raw & Uncooked (how to: ossenworst)
recipe (20 DC-Xp) ghee
active reading
CR04 :: CR05 :: CR06
xuanzang :: megamap
how to
how to map :: how to read
guidelines :: self & peer edit

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UNIT 3.7-9 • AL-BIRUNI (& Ibn Munqidh)

full texts
  • Abu Rayhan al-Biruni
    author: Abū Rayḥān Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad al-Bīrūnī
    when: ca.973-1050 CE
    where: Khwarizm (or Kiva) > Ghazna (mod. Ġaznī)
    context/summary: native Persian speaking scholar, fluent in Arabic, Greek and Hebrew literature; learned Sanskrit; impressed into the service of Ghaznavid ruler Maḥmūd

    title: Kitab al-Hind (“On India”), or Taḥqīq mā li-l-hind min maqūlah maqbūlah fī al-ʿaql aw mardhūlah (“Verifying All That the Indians Recount, the Reasonable and the Unreasonable”)
    when: ca.1040 CE
    who: supported by Maḥmūd of Ghazna (ca.970-1030 CE), then his son and successor, Mas'ud (ca.1030-1040 CE)
    where: upper Indus and upper Ganges river basins centers of Hindu learning
    context/summary: opposition of Hinduism and Islam; cosmology and cosmogony; science
    of Khwarizm Kitab al-Hind (“On India”), ca.1040 CE
  • Usama Ibn Munqidh
    author: Majd al-Dīn Usāma ibn Murshid ibn ʿAlī ibn Munqidh al-Kināni al-Kalbi
    when: 1095-1188 CE
    where: Shaizar (Gk. Larissa, mod. Saijar or Šaizar) > Mosul > Damascus > Cairo
    context/summary: born at the time of the First Crusade (1095-1099 CE); served as a faris (“knight”) under the rulers of Mosul, Damascus and Cairo, through the Second Crusade (1147-1150 CE) and later back to Damascus under Sala al-Din (reigned 1174-1193 CE), who eventually retook Jerusalem.

    title: Kitab al-I‘tbar (“Contemplations”)
    when: ca.1183 CE
    who: dedicated to Sala al-Din
    where: Levant, or al-Šam (i.e. Syria, including Lebanon, Israel, Palestine)
    context/summary: diametrical opposition of Arabs vs Franks (i.e. Europeans); cultural relativism
    of Shaizar Kitab al-I‘tbar (“Contemplations“), 1183 CE
ancient texts
 lectures & videos
W07 :: lecture • 07.2 | discussion • 07.1 • 07.3
W08 :: lecture • 08.2 | discussion • 08.1 • 08.3
W09 :: lecture • 09.2 | discussion • 09.1 • 09.3
Up2DrG? E3 • Lange IJ
active reading
CR07 || CR08 || CR09
how to
how to map || how to GoogleEarth || how to read
essay 02
guidelines || self & peer edit

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UNIT 4.10-12 • IBN BATTUTA (& Ibn Fadlan)

full texts
  • Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Battuta
    author: Ibn Battuta, or ʾAbū ʿAbd al-Lāh Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Lāh al-Lawātī al-Ṭanǧī ibn Baṭūṭah
    when: ca.1304-1369 CE
    where: Tangier (mod. Ṭanǧa), Morocco (al-Maghrib)
    context/summary: Arabic speaking Berber, legal scholar (qadi) of the Maliki school of jurisprudence; took advantage of the pax Mogolica to travel much of the known (Islamic) world

    title: Riḥlat (“Travels”), subtitled Tuḥfat an-Nuẓẓār fī Gharāʾib al-Amṣār wa ʿAjāʾib al-Asfār (“A Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling”), as dictated to Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi al-Gharnati
    when: ca.1355 CE
    who: numerous rulers and territories, including those he called the "seven mighty" rulers: Abu Inan Faris, the Marinid sultan of Morocco; Al-Malik al-Nasir, Mamluk sultan of Egypt and Syria; Abu Sa“id, khan of the Two Iraqs (Il-khanate); Ozbeg-khan of the Qipchaq khanate (the steppe); Tarmashirin-khan of Chagatai khanate (Turkestan); Muhammad bin Tughluq, sultan of Dehli (India); and Toghon Temür of the Yuan khanate (China).
    where: the entire known Islamic world
    context/summary: opposition of the community of Islam (ummah) vs other peoples of the Book (dhimmah); orthodox Sunni vs other sects (e.g. Shia, Nusayri/Alawi); the Malaki school vs other legal schools; etc.
    of Tangier Rihla ("Travels"), 1355 CE
  • Ahmad Ibn Fadlan
    author: Aḥmad ibn Faḍlān ibn al-ʿAbbās ibn Rāšid ibn Ḥammād
    when: ca.880-960 CE
    where: uncertain origins > Baghdad > Volga River > Baghdad
    context/summary: legal scholar (qadi) in the court of the Abbasid caliph Al-Muqtadir (908-932 CE)

    title: Risala (“Journal”)
    when: 921 CE
    who: iltabar (vassal) of Khazars; Bulgars; Rus
    where: Volga River basin (mod. Ukraine & Russia)
    context/summary: diametrical opposition of Arabs vs Rus (i.e. Vikings); cultural relativism
    Risala ("Journals"), 921 CE
ancient texts
Ibn Battuta Travels
OWE text
UC Berkeley Office of Resources for International and Area Studies
Introduction [i.1-7]
  Ibn Juzayy
Introduction [i.1-40]
  H.A.R. Gibb
Writing the Rihla: 1355
ORIAS Introduction
ch.I [i.8-70]
North Africa (al-Maghreb) and Egypt
ch.I [i.41, 43-77]
Across North Africa to Cairo: 1325
ch.II [i.71-156]
Syria (al-Sham)

Cairo to Jerusalem, Damascus, Medina, and Mecca: 1326
ch.III [i.158-187]
Damascus to the Hijaz

The hajj – from Medina to Mecca: 1326
ch.IV [i.188-248]
ch.V [i.249-264]
From the Hijaz to Kufa
ch.II [i.78-105]
ch.VI [ii.271-359]
Il-Khanate (Iraq and Persia)

Iraq and Persia: 1326-1327
ch.VII [ii.360-412]
Southern Arabia (al-Yaman),
East Africa, and Persian Gulf
ch.III [i.106-121]
Red Sea to East Africa and
the Arabian Sea: 1328-1330
ch.VIII [ii.413-517]
Asia Minor (al-Rum) and South Russia (Qipchaq Khanate, or “Golden Horde”)
ch.IV [i.123-166]
Anatolia: 1330-1331
ch.IX [iii.539-592]
Turkestan and Khurasan (Chagatai Khanate)
ch.V [i.167-181]
Lands of the Golden Horde & The Chagatai: 1332-1333
ch.X [iii.593-618]
Sind and Northwest India
ch.XI [iii.619-656]
Delhi and its Sultans

Delhi, the Capital of Muslim India: 1334-1341
ch.XII [iii.657-708] & XIII [iii.709-734]
Sultan Muhammad ibn Tughluq, pt.1-2

ch.XIV [iii.735-767]
Ibn Battuta in Delhi
ch.XV [iv.773-796]
From Delhi to Cambay (Khambat)
ch.VI [ii.183-213]
ch.XVI [iv.797-821]
South India
ch.VII [ii.214-240]
ch.XVII [iv.822-846]
The Maldives
ch.VIII [ii.241-260]
Escape from Delhi to the Maldive Islands and Sri Lanka: 1341-1344
ch.XVIII [iv.847-856]
Ceylon (Sri Lanka)
ch.XIX [iv.857-866]
Coromandel, Malabar and the Maldives
ch.XX [iv.867-873]
Bengal and Assam
ch.IX [ii.261-271]
ch.XXI [iv.874-887]
South-East Asia
ch.X [ii.272-281]
Through the Strait of Malacca to China: 1345-1346
ch.XXII [iv.888-910]
ch.XI [ii.282-300]
ch.XXIII [iv.911-933]
From China to Morocco
ch.XII [ii.301-310]
Return Home: 1346-1349
ch.XXIV [iv.934-945]
Spain (al-Andalus)
ch.XIII [ii.311-316]
To al-Andalus and Morocco: 1349-1350
ch.XXV [iv.946-978]
The Country of the Blacks (al-Sudan)
ch.XIV [ii.317-340]
Journey to Mali: 1350-1351
 lectures & videos
W10 :: lecture • 10.2 | discussion • 10.1 • 10.3
W11 :: lecture • 11.2 | discussion • 11.1 • 11.3
Up2DrG? E4 • Indische Buurt & Tropenmuseum
term list || active reading
CR10 || CR11
megamap || arab world
how to
how to map || how to GoogleEarth
how to read || how to essay & (fold the cheese)

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UNIT 5.13-14 • ÁLVARES

full texts
  • Francisco Álvares
    author: Francisco Álvares, S.J.
    when: ca.1465-1541 CE
    where: Coimbra (Portugal) > Lisboa
    context/summary: priest of the Society of Jesus (or Jesuit order); member of embassy sent by Manuel I of Portugal to Abyssinia, specializing in canon law (legal scholar); joined by Armenian Matheus, ambassador from Eleni of Abyssinia to Manuel; witness to tensions between the ambassador, Dom Rodrigo, and his second, Jorge d'Abreu; opening of sea-route to India in age of exploration

    title: Verdadeira Informação das Terras do Preste João das Indias ("A True Relation of the Lands of Prester John of the Indies")
    when: ca.1520-27 CE
    who: Álvares, Dom Rodrigo, Matheus, Eleni, Lebna Degnal (Prester John)
    where: Abyssinia (mod. Eritrea and Ethiopia); Massawa, Axum/Adua, Lalibela
    context/summary: opposition of Roman Catholic and Ethiopian Orthodox (Coptic Christian); language, religion and customs of Abyssinians; political organization
    S.J. Prester John of the Indies, ca.1525 CE
ancient texts
 lectures & videos
W12 :: lecture • 12.2 | discussion • 12.1 • 12.3
W13 :: lecture • 13.2 | discussion • 13.1 • 12.3
term list || active reading
CR12 || CR13
M13megamap || arab world || indies
how to
how to gradescorecardworksheet
how to maphow to GoogleEarth
how to read || how to essay || how to finish
guidelines || self edit

final exam guide || quote bank || maps Amaps B || terms Aterms B
how to finish || how to essayessay conference sign-up