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The Steppe Frontier in Eurasian and Islamic History

NMC2345Y (= NMC274H1 & NMC275H1)


The Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations (History)
St. George
Victor Ostapchuk

Explores the roles of Turks, Mongols and other primarily pastoral nomadic peoples as raiders, migrants, slave-soldiers, and empire-builders in the ancient and medieval history of Eurasia (Inner and Central Asia, Middle East, Eastern Europe) including the formation of the Islamic world, as well in the configuration of the modern world in general. Topics covered include long-distance economic and cultural contacts (“silk roads”) facilitated by so-called “steppe empires,” Islamization of the Turks in Central Asia, and their gradual takeover of Iranian, Arab, and other lands, the partnership of Turks and Mongols in conquests in Eurasia from China to Ukraine and beyond, and from Siberia to the Middle East. In addition, lifeways (especially pastoral nomadism), economic and cultural interplay between nomadic and sedentary societies, political structures, steppe warfare, and the roles of physical geography and environment. The chronological coverage is from prehistoric (ca. 1000 BC) to early modern times.