World

The medieval world takes us to Byzantium to explore the continuities with the ancient world and the multi-ethnic and multi-lingual empire that endured throughout the period. Or you can discover the many reasons and arguments for the rise and spread of Islam in the sixth and seventh centuries and the formation of the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates. Read more

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  • History Abridged: Libraries

    Article

    History Abridged: This feature seeks to take a person, event or period and abridge, or focus on, an important event or detail that can get lost in the big picture. See all History Abridged articles The collecting of stories through written record is one of the most important methods societies...

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  • The Christian Kingdoms of Nubia and Ethiopia

    Article

    Adam Simmons draws our attention to the need for further research into the relationship between the medieval Kingdoms of Ethiopia and Nubia – a fascinating time and place in African history which is neglected in the historical archive and about which, so far, there are only limited sources. The kingdoms of Ethiopia...

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  • Out and About in Cairo

    Article

    Nicolas Kinloch guides us round the fascinating city of Cairo. Cairo has always been a traveller’s destination. That indefatigable explorer, ibn Battuta, arrived there in 1326, and declared that it was ‘boundless in its multitude of buildings, peerless in beauty and splendour...extending a friendly welcome to strangers’. Most of this is...

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  • A (non-Western) history of versatility

    Article

    Waqās Ahmed broadens our perspective on where in history we might find polymaths, those who embody versatility of thought and action. While Western scholars might identify the likes of Leonardo da Vinci or Benjamin Franklin as the archetype of the polymath, they have in reality existed throughout history and across...

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  • Enduring Civilisation: cities and citizens in the ‘Aztec Empire’

    Article

    Katherine Bellamy explores the cities and citizens at the heart of the so-called ‘Aztec Empire’, a vast and complex network of distinct indigenous communities who endured despite Spanish colonisation. The term ‘civilisation’ is derived from the Latin, civilis (civil), and closely connected to civitas (city) and civis (citizen). The cities...

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  • Film: Writing history - The Life & Legend of the Sultan Saladin

    Article

    In this first film from our new ‘meet the author’ series Professor Jonathan Phillips explores the memory of Sultan Saladin not just in the West but also in the Middle East, and how he researched this information in preparation for his new book. In this interview we ask questions about...

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  • My Favourite History Place: Erbil Citadel, Iraq

    Article

    Andy Reid reveals that enthusiasm for a particular historic site can develop over a number of years with more familiarity with the setting. Erbil Citadel is claimed to be the oldest continuously occupied human settlement in the world. The site is roughly circular, occupying a plateau about a quarter of...

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  • King James’s Book of Sports, 1617

    Article

    Forty years after his higher degree research into the history of sport, Trevor James explores the much wider context in which that research now stands. Four hundred years ago, in 1617, James I made a decisive intervention into the simmering debate which had existed since the puritanical upsurge in Queen...

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  • Out and about in Zanzibar

    Article

    Joe Wilkinson takes us on a tour of the island of Zanzibar, where the slave trade continued long after the British abolished it. Mention Zanzibar and most people will think of an Indian Ocean paradise, perfect for honeymooners, relaxing on the popular pristine white north-eastern beaches of Bwejuu and Paje,...

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  • Podcast Series: The Crusades

    Multipage Article

    An HA Podcasted History of the Crusades featuring Professor Jonathan Riley-Smith, Professor Jonathan Phillips of Royal Holloway, University of London and Dr Tom Asbridge of Queen Mary, University of London.

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  • Podcast Series: The Vikings

    Multipage Article

    An HA Podcasted History of the Vikings featuring Professor Rosamond McKitterick, Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge.

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  • Podcast Series: The Rise of an Islamic Civilisation

    Multipage Article

    An HA Podcasted History of the Rise of an Islamic Civilisation featuring Dr Caroline Goodson of Birkbeck, University of London.

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  • Medieval Trade Routes

    Article

    The subject of Medieval Trade Routes presents certain difficulties at the outset. There is no clear definition of the word ‘medieval' and, whatever period is chosen, it is obvious that trade routes within that period would be unlikely always to follow the same direction or to be of the same...

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  • Podcast Series: The Byzantine Empire

    Multipage Article

    In this podcast Dr Dionysios Stathakopoulos of King's College London looks at the history of the Byzantine Empire from its origins in the Roman Empire to the fall of Constantinople.

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  • The First Crusade

    Article

    Nine centuries after enthusiasm for pope Urban's expedition to Jerusalem swept western Europe the phenomenon of the first crusade continues to fascinate. This pamphlet examines the nature of the crusades and the motives of those who joined it, describes the hardships of the long journey to the Holy Land and...

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  • Ideas on the Shape, Size and Movements of the Earth - Pamphlet

    Article

    This classic pamphlet takes you through some of the key ideas on the shape, size and movements of the Earth as they changed over time from classical cosmology to the work of Galileo and Isaac Newton.

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  • Podcast Series: The Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates

    Multipage Article

    In this set of podcasts Emeritus Professor Gerald Hawting of SOAS, University of London provides an introduction to the Umayyad (661-750) and Abbasid (750-1258) Caliphates.

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  • The Early Mediaeval State

    Article

    In order to define the constitution of a state, theorists and historians still apply Aristotle's categories; monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy. This method has obvious limitations; there can be no doubt that the formal sovereignty either of an individual or of a minority or a majority does not of itself suffice...

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  • The Medieval Empire

    Article

    The subject of this pamphlet is one that, by general consent, takes a central place in European history in the middle ages. The history of the Empire, it has often been said, is co-terminous with the history of western Christendom; and Lord Bryce long ago described it as a ‘universal...

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  • The Byzantine Empire on the Eve of the Crusades

    Article

    It is not strange that there should in recent years have been a notable revival of interest in the Crusades. The origins of the Crusading movement in the west during the latter part of the eleventh century have long been studied, and traced to the operation of social and spiritual...

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