HST 372 Spring Semester 2005
Final Exam

Due by the time of the scheduled final exam, Monday May 2, 12:45-2:45.  Please submit to me "in hard copy" in person.
  • Answer 1 question from each group (50% each)
Group A:  Answer 1 of the following:

    1.  What were the strengths and weakness of the Umayyad state in Andalusia?  How does Professor Menocal explain its failure?

    2.  What does Amin Maalouf mean by his statement:  "During the years prior to the Crusades, the Arabs suffered from weakness that the Frankish presence exposed, perhaps aggravated, but no means created."  What does he mean by this/?  Although Hugh Keenedy's book ends before the years of the crusades, he did write a lot about Arab "strengths" and "weaknesses."  How would he respond to Maalouf?

Group B:  Answer 1 of the following:

    1.  How did the original Arab invasions, the Crusades, and the Mongol invasions change the demography of the Middle East?  Compare and offer plausible explanations of differences and/or similarities.

    2.  Assume the place of a "fundamentalist" critic of any Islamic government in the Middle East in the 10th-13th centuries.  What would be the main elements of your critique?  How would a spokesperson for the government in question respond?

    3.  Ibn Khaldun was convinced that he was living near the "end of time," yet he also was a beleiver in the "cyclical"nature of time and history.  Although he actually lived in the 14th century, please assume for this question that he was writing in the period between 1250-1270.  What might have persuaded him of the idea that the end of time was near, and what might have persuaded him that the world was reliving earlier patterns?