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Middle East Terms

Ap World History - Summerville High School

TermDefinition
Çatal Hüyük early urban culture based on sedentary agriculture; located in modern southern Turkey; larger in population than Jericho, had greater degree of social stratification
Nomads cattle- and sheep-herding societies normally found on the fringes of civilized societies; commonly referred to as “barbarian” by civilized societies.
Civilization societies with reliance on sedentary agriculture, ability to produce food surpluses, and existence of nonfarming elites, along with merchant and manufacturing groups.
Mesopotamia literally “between the rivers”; the civilizations that arose in the alluvial plain of the Tigris Euphrates river valleys.
Sumerians people who migrated into Mesopotamia circa 4000 B.C.E.; created the first civilization within the region; organized area into city states.
Cuneiform a form of writing developed by the Sumerians using a wedge shaped stylus and clay tablets.
Ziggurats massive towers usually associated with Mesopotamian temple connections.
City-state a form of political organization typical of Mesopotamian civilization; consisted of agricultural hinterlands ruled by an urban based king.
Babylonians unified all of Mesopotamia circa 1800 B.C.E.; collapsed due to foreign invasion circa 1600 B.C.E.
Hammurabi the most important Babylonian ruler; responsible for codification of the law.
Alexander the Great successor of Philip II; successfully conquered the Persian empire prior to his death in 323 B.C.E.; attempted to combine Greek and Persian cultures.
Monotheism the exclusive worship of one god; introduced by Jews into Middle Eastern civilization.
Cyrus the Great (c. 576 or 590–529 B.C.E.); founded Persian Empire by 550 B.C.E.; successor state to Mesopotamian empires.
Zoroastrianism Persian religion that saw material existence as a battle between the forces of good and evil; stressed the importance of moral choice; a last judgment decided the eternal fate of each person.
Islam major world religion having its origins in 610 C.E. in the Arabian peninsula; meaning literally “submission”; based on prophecy of Muhammad.
Jesus of Nazareth prophet and teacher among the Jews; believed by Christians to be the Messiah; executed c. 30 C.E.
bedouin nomadic pastoralists of the Arabian peninsula with a culture based on herding camels and goats.
shaykhs leaders of tribes and clans within bedouin society; usually possessed large herds, several wives, and many children.
Mecca Arabian commercial center; dominated by the Quraysh; the home of Muhammad and the future center of Islam.
Umayyad clan of the Quraysh that dominated Mecca; later an Islamic dynasty.
Quaraysh tribe of bedouins that controlled Mecca in the 7th century C.E.
Ka’ba revered pre-Islamic shrine in Mecca; incorporated into Muslim worship.
Medina town northeast of Mecca; asked Muhammad to resolve its intergroup differences; Muhammad’s flight to Medina, the hijra, in 622 began the Muslim calendar.
Muhammad (570–632); prophet of Allah; originally a merchant of the Quraysh.
Khadijah the wife of Muhammad.
Qur’an the word of god as revealed through Muhammad; made into the holy book of Islam.
Ali cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad; one of the orthodox caliphs; focus for the development of shi’ism.
umma community of the faithful within Islam.
zakat tax for charity obligatory for all Muslims.
five pillars the obligatory religious duties for all Muslims
Ramadan Islamic month of religious observance requiring fasting from dawn to sunset.
hajj a Muslim’s pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca to worship Allah at the Ka’ba.
caliph the successor to Muhammad as head of the Islamic community.
Ridda wars wars following Muhammad’s death; the defeat of rival prophets and opponents restored the unity of Islam.
jihads Islamic holy war.
Copts, Nestorians Christian sects of Syria and Egypt; gave their support to the Arabic Muslims.
Uthman third caliph; his assassination set off a civil war within Islam between the Umayyads and Ali.
Battle of Siffin battle fought in 657 between Ali and the Umayyads; led to negotiations that fragmented Ali’s party.
Mu’awiya first Umayyad caliph; his capital was Damascus.
Sunnis followers of the majority interpretation within Islam; included the Umayyads.
Shi’a followers of Ali’s interpretation of Islam.
Karbala site of the defeat and death of Husayn, the son of Ali.
Damascus Syrian city that was capital of Umayyad caliphate.
mawali non-Arab converts to Islam.
jizya head tax paid by all non-Muslims in Islamic lands.
dhimmis “the people of the book,” Jews, Christians; later extended to Zoroastrians and Hindus.
hadiths “traditions” of the prophet Muhammad; added to the Qur’an; form the essential writings of Islam.
Abbasid dynasty that succeeded the Umayyads in 750; their capital was at Baghdad.
Battle of the River Zab 750; Abbasid victory over the Umayyads, near the Tigris. Led to Abbasid ascendancy.
Baghdad Abbasid capital, close to the old Persian capital of Ctesiphon.
wazir chief administrative official under the Abbasids.
dhows Arab sailing vessels; equipped with lateen sails; used by Arab merchants.
ayan the wealthy, landed elite that emerged under the Abbasids.
lateen triangular sails attached to the masts of dhows by long booms or yard arms; which extended diagonally high across the fore and aft of the ship.
al-Mahdi third Abbasid caliph (775–785); failed to reconcile Shi’a moderates to his dynasty and to resolve the succession problem.
Ormuz Portuguese establishment at the southern end of the Persian Gulf; a major trading base.
ayan the wealthy landed elite that emerged in the early decades of Abbasid rule.
Selim III Ottoman sultan (1789–1807); attempted to improve administrative efficiency and build a new army and navy; assassinated by Janissaries.
Mahmud II 19th-century Ottoman sultan who built a private, professional army; crushed the Janissaries and initiated reforms on Western precedents.
Tanzimat reforms Western-style reforms within the Ottoman empire between 1839 and 1876; included a European-influenced constitution in 1876.
Abdul Hamid Ottoman sultan (1878–1908) who tried to return to despotic absolutism; nullified constitution and restricted civil liberties.
Ottoman Society for Union and Progress Young Turks; intellectuals and political agitators seeking the return of the 1876 constitution; gained power through a coup in 1908.
Gallipoli World War I battle, 1915; unsuccessful attempt in defense of the Dardanelles.
Armenian genocide launched by Young Turk leaders in 1915; claimed up to one million lives.
Ataturk also known as Mustafa Kemal; president of Turkey, (r. 1923–1938); responsible for Westernization of Turkey.
Hussein sherif of Mecca; supports British in World War I for promise of independence following the war.
mandates governments entrusted to victorious European World War I nations over the colonies of the defeated powers.
Zionism European Jewish movement of the 1860s and 1870s that argued that Jews return to their Holy Land; eventually identified with settlement in Palestine.
Balfour Declaration (1917) British promise of support for the establishment of Jewish settlement in Palestine.
Leon Pinsker European Zionist who believed that Jewish acceptance in Christian nations was impossible; argued for a return to the Jewish Holy Land.
Theodor Hertzl Austrian Zionist; formed World Zionist Organization in 1897; was unsympathetic to Arabs and promoted Jewish immigration into Palestine to form a Jewish state.
Alfred Dreyfus (1859–1935); French Jew, falsely accused of treason in 1894; acquitted 1906; his false conviction fueled Zionism.
religious revivalism an approach to religious belief and practice that stresses the literal interpretation of texts sacred to the religion in question and the application of their precepts to all aspects of social life.
primary products food or industrial crops with a high demand in industrialized economies; their prices tend to fluctuate widely.
neocolonial economy industrialized nation’s continued dominance of the world economy, despite the absence of direct political control over the non-industrialized world.
Ayatollah Khomeini religious leader of Iran following the 1979 revolution; worked for fundamentalist Islamic religious reform and elimination of Western influences.
Persian Gulf War 1991 war between Iraq and a coalition of Western and some Arab states; Iraq defeated, Saddam Hussein left in power.
Harun al-Rashid most famous of the Abbasid caliphs (786–809); renowned for sumptuous and costly living recounted in The Thousand and One Nights.
Buyids Persian invaders of the 10th century; captured Baghdad; and as sultans, through Abbasid figureheads.
Seljuk Turks nomadic invaders from central Asia; staunch Sunnis; ruled from the 11th century in the name of the Abbasids.
Crusades invasions of western Christians into Muslim lands, especially Palestine; captured Jerusalem and established Christian kingdoms enduring until 1291.
Saadin (1137–1193); Muslim ruler of Egypt and Syria; reconquered most of the crusader kingdoms.
Ibn Khaldun great Muslim historian; author of The Muqaddimah; sought to uncover persisting patterns in Muslim dynastic history.
Shah-Nama epic poem written by Firdawsi in the late 10th and early 11th centuries; recounts the history of Persia to the era of Islamic conquests.
ulama Islamic religious scholars; pressed for a more conservative and restrictive theology; opposed to non-Islamic thinking.
al-Ghazali brilliant Islamic theologian; attempted to fuse Greek and Qur’anic traditions.
Mongols central Asian nomadic peoples; captured Baghdad in 1258 and killed the last Abbasid caliph.
Chinggis Khan (1162–1227); Mongol ruler; defeated the Turkish Persian kingdoms.
Hulegu grandson of Chinggis Khan; continued his work, taking Baghdad in 1258.
Mamluks Rulers of Egypt, descended from Turkish slaves.
Muhammad ibn Qasim Arab general who conquered Sind and made it part of the Umayyad Empire.
Mahmud of Ghazni ruler of an Afghan dynasty; invaded northern India during the 11th century.
Muhammad of Ghur Persian ruler of a small Afghan kingdom; invaded and conquered much of northern India.
Qutb-ud-din Aibak lieutenant of Muhammad of Ghur; established kingdom in India with the capital at Delhi.
bhaktic cults Hindu religious groups who stressed the importance of strong emotional bonds between devotees and the gods or goddesses—especially Shiva, Vishnu, and Kali.
Mir Bai low-caste woman poet and songwriter in bhaktic cults.
Kabir 15th-century Muslim mystic who played down the differences between Hinduism and Islam.
Shrivijaya trading empire based on the Malacca straits; its Buddhist government resisted Muslim missionaries; when it fell, southeastern Asia was opened to Islam.
Malacca flourishing trading city in Malaya; established a trading empire after the fall of Shrivijaya.
Demak most powerful of the trading states on the north Java coast; converted to Islam and served as a dissemination point to other regions.
Timur-i Lang last major nomad leader; 14th, known to the West as Tamerlane; century Turkic ruler of Samarkand; launched attacks in Persia, Fertile Crescent, India, southern Russia; empire disintegrated after his death in 1405.
Ottoman dynasty dynasty founded by Turkic-speaking people who advanced into Asia Minor during the 14th century; the most powerful Islamic empire in history; lasted until the early twentieth century.
Safavid dynasty founded by a Turkic nomad family with Shi’a Islamic beliefs; established a kingdom in Iran and ruled until 1722.
Mughal empire established by Turkic invaders in 1526; endured until the mid-19th century.
Ottomans Turkic-speaking people who advanced into Asia Minor during the 14th century; established an empire in the Middle East, north Africa, and eastern Europe that lasted until after Word War I.
Mehmed II “the Conqueror”; Ottoman sultan; captured Constantinople, 1453, and destroyed the Byzantine Empire.
Janissaries conscripted youths from conquered regions who were trained as Ottoman infantry divisions; became an important political influence after the 15th century.
vizier head of the Ottoman bureaucracy; after the 15th century often more powerful than the sultan.
Sail al-Din eponymous founder of the Safavids, Sufi mystic; leader of the Red Heads.
Red Heads name given to Safavid followers because of their distinctive red headgear.
Ismâ’il Safavid leader; conquered the city of Tabriz in 1501 and was proclaimed shah.
Chaldiran an important battle between the Safavids and Ottomans in 1514; Ottoman victory demonstrated the importance of firearms and checked the western advance of the Safavid Shi’a state.
Abbas I, the Great Safavid shah (1587–1629); extended the empire to its greatest extent; used Western military technology.
imams Shi’a religious leaders who traced their descent to Ali’s successors.
mullahs religious leaders under the Safavids; worked to convert all subjects to Shi’ism.
Isfahan Safavid capital under Abbas the Great; planned city exemplifying Safavid architecture.
Nadir Khan Afshar emerged following fall of Safavids; proclaims himself shah, 1736.
Babur Turkic leader who founded the Mughal dynasty; died in 1530.
Humayn son and successor of Babur; expelled from India in 1540 but returned to restore the dynasty in 1556.
Akbar son and successor of Humayn; built up the military and administrative structure of the dynasty; followed policies of cooperation and toleration with the Hindu majority.
Din-i-Ilahi religion initiated by Akbar that blended elements of Islam and Hinduism; did not survive his death.
Aurangzeb son and successor of Shah Jahan; pushed extent of Mughal control in India; reversed previous policies to purify Islam of Hindu influences; incessant warfare depleted the empire’s resources; died in 1707.
Taj Mahal mausoleum for Mumtaz Mahal, built by her husband Shah Jahan; most famous architectural achievement of Mughal India.
Nur Jahan wife of ruler Jahangir who amassed power at the Mughal court and created a faction ruling the empire during the later years of his reign.
Mumtaz Mahal wife of Shah Jahan; took an active political role in Mughal court; entombed in Taj Mahal.
Marattas people of western India; challenged Mughal rule under Aurangzeb.
Sikhs Indian sect, beginning as a synthesis of Hindu and Muslim faiths; pushed to opposition to Muslim and Mughul rule.
Created by: amygilstrap7