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Early Medieval Cultures

Compare the development of one specific Islamic and one specific Christian location between 632-1000 C.E.
When discussing each location, provide a more specific timeline, and consider adding examples of significant
leaders, political and social structures, beliefs, and cultural products (stories, philosophies, theologies, artifacts,
art, and architecture). Your comparison should identify similarities and differences in the two religious-based
cultures, and also indicate influences they share. Be careful not to compare the religions as a whole but
instead focus on a range of cultural elements in your two specific locations because cultures may vary even
within one religion depending on time and place. What insight about the historical development of these two
cultures did you gain from the comparison?
Resources from outside of the library should be credible and peer-reviewed by historians and cannot include
Wikipedia,,, or any other .com site; resources should also not be taken from any
type of message board or other encyclopedia-type sites
Complete your research. Choose one interesting comparison that illustrates the main point that you want to
make about these cultures during this period. Gather details about your choice.
Compare similar features (known as “comparing like terms”). For example, compare cities to cities, education
systems to education systems, technologies to technologies, stories to stories, ideas about the nature of God
to ideas about the nature of God, and other features. Make sure you complete the comparison for all features
or note why you think there is not a like term for some features.
Comparison includes consideration of both similarities and differences.
Here are some examples to consider:
the promotion and use of learning by leading figures;
the relationship between religious and political authority;
the shaping of artifacts (leader, idea, practice, or structure) by time period and environment;
the shaping of societies by artifacts and whether different people were affected differently; and
the way that different elements of culture reflect power arrangements, goals, hierarchies, and/or challenges.