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Lecture | LUCIS What's New?! series

The Globalization of Baghdad

Thursday 21 October 2021
Please register below
What's New?! Fall Lecture Series 2021
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden
*Room changed to 0.03, lecture will also be streamed online

Please note that, due to popular demand, the room of this lecture has been changed to Lipsius 0.03.

The lecture will also be streamed online. Please register below to receive the link to the online lecture. If you have already registered you will also receive an email with the link.

In the ninth and tenth centuries, Baghdad was the largest city in the Middle East, populated by an unprecedented 250,000 to half a million residents. In this lecture, I will discuss the impact this vast metropolis had on the economy of the Islamic world and wider Eurasia, from China to the Mediterranean. I will show firstly how the economic demand generated by the feeding of this city developed economic networks in the Middle East. I will then go on to explain how this demand affected economies in Central China, Indonesia, and areas of the Indian ocean where few Muslim merchants penetrated and the Islamic caliphate was entirely absent. The demand for luxuries like ceramics, spices, and paper created one of the widest economic networks ever developed on planet earth up to this time.

About Hugh Kennedy

Hugh Kennedy has been Professor of Arabic at SOAS University of London since 2017. After completing a PhD at Cambridge, he taught as lecturer and then professor of Middle Eastern History in the University of St Andrews from 1972 to 2017. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and also of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He is the author of numerous books and articles on the history and archaeology of the early Islamic world. His books have been translated into ten languages. He is presently working on a new translation of al-Balādhurī's Futūḥ al-Buldān and an economic history of the Muslim Middle East in the early Middle Ages.

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