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Screenshot of the site's map feature showing the Indian Ocean in the Industrial and Imperial era with markers for different objects, goods, and places highlighted on the site

Indian Ocean History

Review
It is easily the most comprehensive website for studying and teaching Indian Ocean history currently available.
Red-brown textile with a looping tendril pattern

Indian textile fragment, 14th-15th century

Source

This block-printed, cotton textile fragment, found in Old Cairo, Egypt, was made in Gujarat, India. It features a repeated stylized tendril pattern made by stamping red-brown dye on the cloth in vertical sections. Vibrantly dyed and decorated Gujarati textiles were an important part of the maritime trade between North Africa and Western India, in great demand because their colors lasted longer... Read More »

Logo and name for the International Dunhuang Project

International Dunhuang Project

Review
The IDP, based at the British Library in London, is an international collaborative effort to catalog, conserve, and encourage research of Silk Road artifacts. This website, which currently displays around 20,000 digitized images of these artifacts, is one product of this larger effort.
The ruins of Great Zimbabwe's elliptical building

Internet African History Sourcebook

Review
The site provides broad chronological and geographic coverage, with a particularly impressive list of sources for ancient Egypt and Greek and Roman Africa. It is a gateway to an abundance of information.
Painting of a crowded medieval scene centering on a battle

Internet Medieval Sourcebook

Review
The great advantage of this site is that primary sources have been assembled and categorized by a trained medievalist and active teacher, so that they are appropriate for a wide range of introductory history courses.
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Islamic Empire: Miracle Story, Rabi’a al-‘Adawiyya

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Rabi’a al-‘Adawiyya from Basra was one of the most important founders of the mystical element of Islam, known as Sufism. The stories about her life and teachings illustrate a woman free from many of the traditional constraints placed on women’s lives. In miracle stories such as this one, we see an essential element of Sufi thought: do not expect anything from God, but rather, recognize the... Read More »

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Islamic Empire: Official Document, Jewish Marriage Contract

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Within the context of patriarchal societies, women are dependent upon their male relatives to look out for their best interests. In both Jewish and Muslim marriages, contracts have traditionally been drawn up, illustrating that a marriage is as much a familial contract as a union between two people. In Fatimid Cairo, Jewish families took great pains to draw up ketubbot, or marriage contracts,... Read More »

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Islamic Empire: Poem, Abbasid-era

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The Abbasid period is known as a time during which women’s public roles became more restricted in the Muslim population (umma). With the conquest of Sasanian and Byzantine lands, Arabs incorporated ideals of cloistering females and eliminating them from political life, with many ramifications in women’s daily lives. Moreover, strong patriarchal urges already ran through Arabian society, as the... Read More »

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Islamic Empire: Poem, Rabi’a al-‘Adawiyya

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In these poetic lines by Rabi’a al-‘Adawiyya, one of the most important founders of the mystical element of Islam, known as Sufism, we see an essential element of Sufi thought, the creation of which is often attributed to her: the ideal of divine love. Using the language of romance, Rabi’a’s verses elevate the divinity of God, all the while evoking the most intense elements of human love.... Read More »

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Islamic Empire: Religious Text, Confederation Sura

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This Sura (or chapter) of the Qur’an, known as al-Ahzab, or the “Confederation,” is known for its many verses extolling modesty in women, as well as detailing aspects of ideal marriage. Because of its references directly to the wives of the Prophet Muhammad, there has been controversy over whether or not the restrictions it places on women’s movement in the public sphere are to be universally... Read More »

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