Create an account
Most famous of the Abbasid caliphs (786-809); renowned for sumptuous and costly living recounted in The Thousand and One Nights.
Persian invaders of the 10th century; captured Baghdad and acted as sultans through Abbasid figureheads.
Nomadic invaders from central Asia; staunch Sunni; ruled from the 11th century in the name of the Abbasids.
Invasions of western Christians into Muslim lands, especially Palestine; captured Jerusalem in the First Crusade and established Christian kingdoms enduring until 1291.
12th-century Muslim ruler; reconquered most of the crusader kingdoms. Famous in the Third Crusade along with Richard the Lionhearted of England
Great Muslim historian; author of The Muqaddimah; sought to
uncover persisting patterns in Muslim dynastic history.
Epic poem of Omar Khayyam; seeks to find meaning in life and a path to union with the divine.
Islamic religious scholars; pressed for a more conservative and restrictive theology; opposed to non-Islamic thinking.
Hindu religious groups who stressed the importance of strong emotional bonds between devotees and the gods or goddesses—especially Shiva, Vishnu, and Kali.
Trading empire based on the Malacca Strait; its Buddhist government resisted Muslim missionaries; when it fell, southeastern Asia was opened to Islam.
Flourishing trading city in Malaya; established a trading empire after the fall of Shrivijaya.
Most powerful of the trading states on the north Java coast; converted to Islam and served as a dissemination point to other regions.
Large triangular sails that are attached to the masts by long booms or yard arms which extend diagonally high across both the fore and aft portions of the ship.
The region of present-day Israel; includes the city of Jerusalem, which is a holy city to Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
Born in 1170s in decades following death of Kabul Khan; elected khagan of all Mongol tribes in 1206; responsible for conquest of northern kingdoms of China, territories as far west as the Abbasid regions; died in 1227, prior to the conquest of most of the Islamic world.
(1217 - 1265) Ruler of the Ilkhan khanate; grandson of Chinggis Khan; responsible for capture and destruction of Baghdad in 1257.
Turkic slave-warriors who ruled Egypt and defeated the Mongols to prevent their entry into northern Africa.
Sultans of Delhi
Title of the Islamic imperial houses of India, which literally means princes of the heartland.
Societies of varying sizes organized through kinship and lacking the concentration of power found in centralized states.
Almoravids & Almohads
Puritanical Islamic reform movements among the Berbers of northwest Africa; built an empire reaching from the African savanna into Spain.
The extensive grassland belt at the southern edge of the Sahara; an exchange region between the forests to the south and north Africa.
Mansa Kankan Musa
Made a pilgrimage to Mecca during the 14th century that became legendary because of the wealth distributed along the way.
States, such as Kano, among the Hausa of northern Nigeria; combined Islamic and indigenous beliefs.
East African trading ports
Urbanized commercial centers mixing African and Arab cultures; included Mogadishu, Mombasa, Malindi, Kilwa, Pate, Zanzibar.
Muslim traveler who described African societies and cultures. A sort of Muslim "Marco Polo" (Mall in Dubai)
The change from slow to rapid population growth; often associated with industrialization; occurred first in Europe and is more characteristic of the "developed world.".
Nigerian city-state formed by the Edo people during the 14th century; famous for its bronze art work.
With massive stone buildings and walls, incorporates the greatest earlybuildings in sub-Saharan Africa.
The spread of the Islamic faith across the Middle East, southwestern Asia, and northern Africa.
(100 C.E. - 900 C.E.) Group of people and associated language which originated in Nigeria; migrated south over much of the African continent and made up a majority of the African language groups.
(1st-6th centuries C.E.) Developing in the Ethiopian highlands and traded with India and the Mediterranean areas to gain Greek and Arabian cultural influences; conversion of the king to Christianity in 350 C.E. laid the basis for Ethiopian Christian culture.
Territory in east African north of the Senegal and Niger rivers; inhabited by the Soninke people in the 5th century C.E.; Sonike called their ruler "Ghana," thus was created the name of the kingdom.
6th-century Byzantine emperor; failed to reconquer the western portions of the empire; rebuilt Constantinople; codified Roman law.
Body of Civil Law
Justinian's codification of Roman law; made Roman law a coherent basis for political and economic life.
Slavic kingdom in the Balkans; put constant pressure on the Byzantine Empire; defeated by Basil II in 1014.
The breaking of images; a religious controversy of the 8th century; Byzantine emperor attempted, but failed, to suppress icon veneration.
Battle of Manzikert
Seljuk Turk victory in 1071 over Byzantium; resulted in loss of the empire's rich Anatolian territory.
Cyril and Methodius
Byzantine missionaries sent to convert eastern Europe and the Balkans; responsible for creating the Slavic written script called Cyrillic.
Commercial city in Ukraine established by Scandinavians in 9th century; became the center for a kingdom that flourished until the 12th century.
Russian landholding aristocrats; possessed less political power than their western European counterparts.
Mongols who conquered Russian cities during the 13th century; left Russian church and aristocracy intact.
(500 C.E. - 1453 C.E.) The eastern portion of the Roman Empire which survived beyond the collapse of the Roman Empire with its capital at Constantinople; retained Mediterranean culture, particularly Greek; later lost Palestine, Syria, and Egypt to Islam.
Capital of the Byzantine Empire; constructed on the site of Byzantium, an old Greek city on the Bosporus. (today's Istanbul)
Orthodox Christian Church
Eastern church which was created in 1053 after the schism from the western Roman church; its head is the patriarch of Constantinople. (also called the Byzantine Church)
(312 - 337) Strong emperor toward the end of the Roman Empire who tried with some success to reverse the tide of its ultimate fall. Constantine moved the capital away from Rome to Constantinople and allowed freedom of worship for Christians with the Edict of Milan.
Group of nomadic tribes that pushed through central Europe in the 4th and 5th centuries C.E., instigating the migration of the Germanic tribes into the Roman Empire.
(227 - 651) Persian Empire which continued Persian traditions but instituted the Zoroastrian religion as the state religion.
Historian of the Byzantine Empire who in his Secret History revealed the cruelty of the autocratic system in which the emperor ruled by divine providence.
After Alexander's death, Greek art, education, and culture merged with those in the Middle East. Trade and important scientific centers were established, such as Alexandria, Egypt.
Term used for the emperors of the Russia; literally means Caesar. (also commonly spelled "czar")
Alphabet named after Saint Cyril who used it to help convert the Slavs to Orthodox Christianity.
Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.
Having trouble? Click here for help.
We can’t access your microphone!
Click the icon above to update your browser permissions and try again
Reload the page to try again!Reload
Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom
Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom
It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.
Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.
For more help, see our troubleshooting page.
Your microphone is muted
For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.
Star this term
You can study starred terms together