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HST 231: History of the Middle East to 1453

Course Prefix

Course Number

Course Title


Credit Hours



History of the Middle East to 1453



Course Description

Surveys the Ancient Near East and Middle East from its origins in Ancient Sumer up to 1453. Emphasis will be placed on social, political, economic, religious, and military institutions. The process of change and broad continuities will be examined in relationship to the historical evolution and growth of the region. IAI S2-918-N

Topical Outline

  1. Prehistory
  2. Agricultural Revolution
  3. Old Canaanites
  4. Elamites
  5. Sumerians
  6. Akkadians 
  7. Israelites
  8. Babylonians
  9. Hurrians
  10. Hittites
  11. Mitanni
  12. Assyrians 
  13. Phygrians
  14. Neo-Assyrians
  15. Medes
  16. Neo-Babylonians
  17. Egyptians
  18. Persians
  19. Persian Empire
  20. Greeks in the Near East 
  21. Alexander
  22. Rome in the Near East
  23. Roman Empire 
  24. Decline of Rome
  25. Rise of Christianity 
  26. Rise of Islam 
  27. Byzantines/ Byzantine Empire
  28. Seljuk Civilization
  29. Mongol Period
  30. Crusades/Church 
  31. Mamluks

Method of Presentation

  1. Lecture
  2. Discussion
  3. Designated readings
  4. Cooperative learning
  5. Oral reports 
  6. Simulations 
  7. Debates
  8. Appropriate media and selected films

Student Outcomes (The student should…)

  1. explain the origins of Ancient Near and Middle Eastern civilizations.
  2. explain the contributions of early year and Middle Eastern civilizations.
  3. explain how early civilizations spread and interacted in the Near and Middle East.
  4. explain the origin of the state and regional economic systems.
  5. explain the origins and spread of settled agricultural communities and the impact of domestication.
  6. explain the political expansion in the Ancient Near and Middle East to the time of the Mamluks.
  7. evaluate the conflict between power and culture.
  8. explain the rise of Islam.
  9. outline the influences of Greece and Rome in the Near and Middle East.
  10. trace the rise of the Byzantines.
  11. explain the rise of the Seljuk Civilization.
  12. explain the rise of the Mongols.
  13. understand the influence of the Church and Crusades in the Middle East. 
  14. trace the rise of the Mamluks

Method of Evaluation

  1. Three (3) essay examinations
  2. Three (3) document-based case studies
  3. One oral presentation
  4. One 15-page primary source research paper


Goldschmidt, Arthur, Jr., A Concise History of the Middle East, Westview, 8th ed., 2006.

Lewis, Middle East, 2003.

Prepared by: Michael Harkins, Fall, 2008