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the fall of the Roman Empire

the fall of the Roman Empire
Paper details:
You must hand in your Topic and Bibliography of four or more titles by January 20th or 23rd . Mark the title of your first book. The last section in von Siver under Further Resources lists recommended bibliographies. This is a good place to start, although not necessarily comprehensive. Other survey World or Medieval History texts also have excellent (and complementary) bibliographies and in some cases, I can suggest relevant texts (but you must do your own search first). You may develop your own variation of each topic or choose your own original topic. All topics and changes must be approved by me. You cannot change your topic after the précis deadline unless you see me in person and provide a good reason. Some topics are very popular, such as the fall of the Roman Empire, the Crusades or Japanese Samurai, so there may be for competition for sources. Sample research papers are on the Blackboard site. Did Christianity have any role in causing the decline of the Roman Empire (Gibbon’s thesis) or was it the most enduring and beneficial result of the Late Roman Empire? What impact did the Germanic invasions have on the development of Europe from 400 – 750 A.D.? Were there any positive contributions? Did it mark a drastic change in Classical civilization or not? (The topic could also mean discussing the problem of ‘continuity’ or the validity of the “Pirenne thesis” – why the European northwest became the centre of medieval European civilization and not the Mediterranean world). Why did the Byzantine Empire survive for so long? OR Why did it eventually fail? Pick the appropriate period. Discuss the causes of dissension in early Islamic history (Sunni-Shi’ite split and others). Avoid just focusing on doctrinal differences. Why can Islamic civilization be considered superior to Western European civilization during the ninth and tenth centuries? OR Discuss how Islamic civilization influenced Europe during the medieval period. Discuss the reasons for the decline of Abbasid/Islamic Empire. OR why did a conservative interpretation gain dominance in Islam in late medieval times (if that is the case – the origins of “the clash of civilizations”?). Explain the origins of the samurai in medieval Japan. Related topic: Discuss the suitability of using the concept “feudal” in describing medieval Japan. Why was medieval China the world’s most sophisticated and advanced civilization? What were the preconditions for its success? Related topics: Discuss the impact of Chinese civilization on the outside world (from Asia to Europe) OR Why did China stagnate by the time of the Ming dynasty and was unable to take final step to modernization. Buddhism was known for its “pernicious, corrupt and/or warlike influence” in several Asian countries during the medieval period (your choice of India, China, Japan or SE Asia). Discuss its political influence


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