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The Silk Road II: The Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal Empires (1500-1700)


Value half unit


Dr. Evrim Binbaş


Taught through weekly lectures and weekly follow-up seminars 


Best one of two coursework essays (50%), oral presentation (10%), museum/exhibition report (20%), quiz (20%) 

This course examines the early modern history of Western Asia from 1500 to 1789. In terms of political history, this crucial period witnessed the formation of the regional empires, i.e. the Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal empires in the Central Islamic lands. Each one of these three empires developed a distinct bureaucratic and/or clerical machinery legitimized by a peculiar absolutist ideology. In the mean time, Sunnism and Shiʻism emerged as the “state religions” in the Ottoman and Safavid empires respectively. This course examines the formation and transformation of these three empires through the prism of the social, religious, and intellectual changes in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.


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