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Essays

First Assessed Essay:

deadline Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The bibliographical information indications provide a starting point; for further help with locating the pertinent literature, please contact the module convener.

  1. “The new Islamic polity was only able to conquer the Byzantine and Sassanid Empires, because they had been exhausted by decades of military conflict.” Discuss.
    • Howard-Johnston, James D., Witnesses to a World Crisis: Historians and Histories of the Middle East in the Seventh Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010)
  2. “The sack of Rome and its aftermath had only a limited effect on the inhabitants of the Roman Empire.” Discuss.
    • Ward-Perkins, Bryan, The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilization (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006)
  3. “Bishops rivalled emperors in their power over the people.” Discuss.
    • Rapp, Claudia, Holy Bishops in Late Antiquity: the Nature of Christian Leadership in an Age of Transition, Transformation of the classical heritage 37 (Berkeley, Calif. ; London: University of California Press, 2005)
  4. “The rise of Christianity brought irreparable damage to pagan religion and philosophy.” Discuss.
    • Sorabji, Richard, The Philosophy of the Commentators, 200–600 AD: a Sourcebook, 3 vols (London: Duckworth, 2004)

Second Assessed Essay:

deadline Monday, 30 Januart 2012

  1. “How did Christian and Jewish philosophers in Alexandria disagree with their pagan counterparts?”
    • Sorabji, Richard, The Philosophy of the Commentators, 200–600 AD: a Sourcebook, 3 vols (London: Duckworth, 2004)
  2. “How did Cyril of Alexandria managed to have Nestorius anathematised at Ephesus?” Discuss.
    • Susan Wessel, Cyril of Alexandria and the Nestorian Controversy: The Making of a Saint and of a Heretic, Oxford Early Christian Studies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004)
  3. “From Athens to Alexandria, and hence to Baghdad—a myth?”
    • Dimitri Gutas, “The ‘Alexandria to Baghdad’ Complex of Narratives. A contribution to the study of philosophical and medical historiography among the Arabs,” Documenti e Studi sulla Tradizione Filosofica Medievale 10 (1999), 155–93
  4. “Hagasim is a useful concept when describing the early history of Islam.” Discuss.
    • M. Cook, P. Crone, Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1977)