Abbasid Society and Empire

In the past weeks of this course, we have looked at a variety of primary and secondary sources that relate to the Abbasid dynasty in the ninth and tenth centuries C.E. While historians have noted that this period witnessed significant devolution in the power of the centralized state, it was nonetheless a period in which certain features of Abbasid imperial power were articulated across a broad variety of fields. Across disparate fields from religion, law, politics, science, economics, literature and visual arts, there was a certain consolidation of style that would have profound effects for many centuries to come.

Drawing on the primary and secondary readings that have been assigned, write an essay of five-seven pages that considers how a text might reveal features of Abbasid state and society, and connect your study of this text to the larger historical context mentioned above. You are free to choose any text/topic from the course in any field. The only requirement is that you consider it in the broader political context of state-empire described above.

A short thesis statement will be due on Monday April 23rd. The final paper should be submitted by May 10th. Footnotes and references should be consistent and follow the practices of the Chicago Manual of Style 17th editiondetails