Chapter 10 Cultural Blending and Isolation

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Chapter 10

Cultural Blending and Isolation

Chapter Preview: People, Places, and Events

Mecca Why is this shrine considered Islam's holiest place? Lesson 1, Page 256

Islam Today What are the "Five Pillars of Islam," the duties that all Muslims must ful­fill? Lesson 1, Page 258

Spain's Alhambra Palace Islamic culture spread throughout the world. Lesson 2, Page 262


The Rise of Islam

Main Idea In the 600s, the religion of Islam arose in the Arabian Peninsula; today it is one of the world's major religions.

Key Vocabulary






Sometime around the year A.D. 579, a trading caravan was traveling through the desert of the Arabian Peninsula. The sun beat down on the men as they moved forward. When they finally reached an oasis, a fertile area surrounding a spring, a Christian monk who lived there invited the weary group to stop and share his food. They accepted the monk's offer and left their camels in the care of the youngest member of the group. The monk asked, "Is there not someone else in your party?" The nine-year-old boy who was tending the camels was called. According to Islamic teachings, the monk then revealed that the boy was to become a prophet. (Prophets are religious leaders. Their followers believe they proclaim the wishes of their god.) The boy was Muhammad Ibn Abd Allah (moo HAHM mihd ehb n AB du LAH), who was to become the prophet of the religion of Islam.

---Hagia Sophia in Istanbul was once a Christian cathedral, and is now a Muslim mosque.

Key Events

c. 570 Birth of Muhammad

622 Muhammad and his followers move to Medina

632 Death of Muhammad

Muslims in Africa 700s How did Islam help to build and unite the kingdoms of West Africa? Lesson 3, Page 269

An Asian Power 600 — 1200s Why did the culture of China influence Japan? Lesson 4, Page 276

The Korean Peninsula Once controlled by China, Korean kingdoms were modeled after their neighbor. Lesson 4, Page 277


---The Ka'bah (above) in Mecca is Islam's holiest shrine. Muslims come from all over the world to worship there. Map Skill: Find the site of the Ka'bah on the map below.

Prophet of Islam

Focus How did Islam develop?

Muhammad was born about 570 in Mecca, a city in the western part of the Arabian Peninsula. Mecca was a bustling town on the trade route that linked southern Arabia with the Mediterranean Sea. People passed through with cargoes of spices and silk from the east. Mecca was also home to an ancient religious shrine called the Ka'bah (KA bah), a stone building. In its wall is a sacred black rock. Around the Ka'bah were 360 altars to different gods, many represented by idols or images of gods. The shrine attracted pilgrims from around the peninsula.

The people of Mecca were Arabs, and many were traders. They organized themselves into extended family groups called tribes, which were supposed to protect and support their members.

According to Muslim historians, Muhammad was successful as a trader. As he grew older he became concerned about what was happening in Mecca. Many merchants ignored their responsibilities to weaker mem­bers of their tribes. While the city appeared to be prospering, many individuals were not. Muhammad regularly went to a cave outside of the city to think about the problems around him.

One day when Muhammad was about 40, he was alone in the cave when a voice suddenly filled the silence. "Recite," the voice said, "Recite in the name of thy Lord."

Muhammad came to believe that he had been visited by the angel Gabriel and that what the angel said were revelations, or mes­sages, from God. Trembling, he returned home to his wife, Khadijah (ka DEE jah), who reassured him. She was the first of mil­lions of people to believe that Muhammad was a prophet. (Most of these details and other facts about Muhammad's life come from books called the Sirah. )

According to Islamic teachings, Muham­mad received revelations from God for 23 years. These revelations were collected into a book known as the Qur'an (kur AHN), which in Arabic means "recitation." The Qur'an is the holy book of Islam. Muslims look to it for guidance in all aspects of their lives.


Muhammad began preaching his revelations to the people of Mecca. He urged them to worship only one God, called Allah (ahl LAH) in Arabic, and not to worship idols. He promised rewards in heaven, but only for those who followed God and led a good life. (The word Islam means "to achieve peace through submission to God.") Muhammad taught that people who disobeyed God and his prophet would suffer. He also criticized the behavior of wealthy people of Mecca who did not take care of the less fortunate people around them.

Muhammad's message to the people of Mecca was not welcomed at first. They feared that Muhammad's teachings might end their profitable trade with the people who came to Mecca to sell goods and worship the idols at the Ka'bah. The Meccans began to persecute Muhammad and his followers, who were called Muslims.

In 622, the prophet escaped from the Meccans, who were plotting his death. He accepted an invitation to move to the nearby city of Medina. The move from Mecca to Medina by Muhammad and his fol­lowers is called the Hijrah (HIHJ ruh), or emigration. Muslims begin their calendar on the date the Hijrah occurred. The year A.D. 622 is the year 1 A.H. — the first year of the Hijrah.

In Medina, Muhammad founded and ruled over the first Muslim state. The Qur'an and the Sunnah, a record of Muhammad's words and deeds, laid out principles and laws for society. At this time, Muhammad also built a simple place of worship, called a mosque (MOSK).

While he was in Medina, Muhammad succeeded in winning over many of the tribes of the Arabian Peninsula to his religion. Other tribes, however, sided with the Meccans, whose forces continued to clash with the Medinans. The Meccans and the tribes that supported them, however, were unable to defeat the Medinans. Finally, a treaty was signed. In 630, the Muslims returned peacefully to Mecca. Muhammad went to the Ka'bah, where he destroyed all the idols, and dedicated it to the worship of the one God. He also forgave the Meccans who had persecuted the Muslims. Mecca became the center of the Islamic religion. Muhammad died in 632. By then, many of the tribes in the Arabian Peninsula had become Muslims.

---The Qur'an is believed to be the actual word of God revealed to Muhammad. The book deals with issues such as the creation of the world and the role of the prophet. It also contains rules for preferred behavior for believers. The Qur'an helped spread the Arabic lan­guage throughout the Muslim world. Language Arts: How are languages spread around the world today?


Islam Today

Focus Who are the Muslims, and what do they believe?

All Muslims share a belief in one God and follow the teachings of Muhammad. They also believe that Muhammad was the last of a long line of prophets who revealed God's will to the world. These prophets include Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. (Muslims do not believe Jesus was the son of God, but they honor him as one of the most important prophets.)

The Five Pillars of Islam

All Muslims also share a belief in the "Five Pillars of Islam." These are considered the duties of all Muslims, both men and women. They are: 1) The Profession of Faith. By proclaiming "there is no god but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God," a Muslim accepts the Qur'an as

Tell Me More

Inside a Mosque

All mosques have certain features in common:

1. a courtyard, where the faithful gather to pray;

2. a minaret, or tower from which a muezzin (moo EZZ ihn), or crier, calls Muslims to prayer five times a day;

3. a prayer hall where people pray and listen to a sermon by the prayer leader.

4.  a mihrab (MIHR eb), a niche that indicates the direction of Mecca.

Mosques are quiet, thoughtful places. People often use them to sit and read or simply meditate in peace.


God's final message to mankind. 2) Daily Prayer. Five times a day, Muslims stop what­ever they are doing and pray while facing in the direction of Mecca. 3) Giving of Charity. Muslims believe that they have a responsibility to help the poor. 4) Fasting. During the holy month of Ramadan (ram uh DAHN), Muslims do not eat or drink between dawn and sunset. 5) Hajj, or Pilgrimage. Once in their lives, Muslims who have the means must journey to Mecca to visit the Ka'bah.

The practices of Islam today are centuries old. For example, Muslims daily break the fast of the month of Ramadan just as their ancestors did. They often gather at the homes of friends for an evening of visiting and sharing food. Children are not required to fast, but they may if they wish to. The month closes with the Feast of Breaking the Fast, a major family event, with members sometimes traveling long distances to share festive foods.

Today, the majority of Muslims live in the Middle East, in Asian countries such as Indonesia, Pakistan, and India, and in African countries such as Nigeria. About four million Americans are Muslim. There are also many European Muslims, in countries like France, Italy, England, and Bosnia. Whatever a Muslim's race or nationality, Muslims consider themselves members of the worldwide community of believers.

---During Ramadan in Egypt, chil­dren walk through the streets car­rying lanterns and singing songs. Cultures: In which holidays in the United States do children take an active part?

Lesson Review

c. A.D. 570 Birth of Muhammad

622 Muhammad and his followers move from Mecca to Medina

632 Death of Muhammad

1. Key Vocabulary: Write a description of early Islam using these terms: prophet, revelation, Qur'an, Hijrah, mosque.

2. Focus: How did Islam develop?

3. Focus: Who are the Muslims, and what do they believe?

4. Critical Thinking: Conclude Why might it have been important for Muhammad to return to Mecca after the Hijrah?

5. Theme: Growth and Change How might daily life have changed for Arabs who chose to follow Muhammad's teachings after the founding of Islam?

6. Geography/Art Activity: Make a relief map of the Arabian Peninsula showing sites that were important to the spread of Islam.


Lesson 2

The Spread of Islam

Main Idea The spread of Islam produced a large and diverse civilization.

O men, if you worship Muhammad, Muhammad is dead. If you worship God, God is alive.”

Key Vocabulary





Key Events

632 Abu Bakr chosen as first caliph

661 Beginning of Umayyad dynasty

750 Abbassid caliphs take power

1258 Mongols invade Muslim empire

---The fifth caliph of the Umayyad dynasty issued gold and silver coins for the Islamic empire in 696 and 698. The coin shown here includes a picture of the caliph, which is unusual since most Muslim leaders decorated coins with Arabic lettering. Economics: How might the use of a single type of money have united the large Muslim empire?

These were the words that one of Muhammad's closest friends, Abu Bakr (AH boo BAH kuhr), offered Muslims after the prophet's death in 632. Muhammad had died without answering a very important question: Who would lead and guide the Muslims in his place? Abu Bakr reminded Muslims of the power of their faith.

Muslims knew that they could never replace Muhammad as a prophet, but they still needed a leader. So a group of Muhammad's earli­est followers chose Abu Bakr to be caliph (KAH lihf), which means "suc­cessor" in Arabic. In his new role, he was considered the protector of the Islamic faith and the ruler of the lands that the Muslims controlled. Abu Bakr was the first of four leaders known as the Rightly Guided Caliphs. All of these men had known Muhammad, and later Muslims believed that they ruled the community as Muhammad would have done. The Rightly Guided Caliphs created a Muslim state, which they ruled from 632 to 661. The kind of rule that they started became known as a caliphate, or a period of rule by a caliph. The caliphate system lasted for some 600 years and had a pro­found effect on the world.

Building an Empire

Focus How did the early Muslims build an empire?

Under the rule of the Rightly Guided Caliphs, Muslims moved to fulfill one of Muhammad's wishes: that Islam be carried to other peoples and areas beyond the Arabian Peninsula. Muslim armies fought many battles


in the belief that they were strengthening Islam, removing its enemies, and bringing justice to other peoples. As you can see from the map above, Muslims took control of vast territories between 632 and 661.

In 661, a new dynasty called the Umayyads (oo MY ads) came to power. They added to the vast empire, which they ruled from the city of Damascus (in Syria today). Advancing east and west, their armies con­quered all of North Africa and continued into Christian Spain. They pushed into France until Christian forces under a leader named Charles Martel turned them back in 732. By 850, Islam had followers — farmers, city dwellers, and people in villages — from Spain to India.

The Umayyad caliphs became very wealthy and powerful, but they also aroused much opposition. They had come to power in conflict with the fourth of the Rightly Guided Caliphs, Ali (AA lee), Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law. The first Umayyad ruler had put down All's sup­porters and had even caused the death of Ali's son, Hussayn (hoo SEHN). All's supporters became a distinct group of Muslims known as the Shi'a (SHEE uh). The majority of Muslims are called the Sunni (SOON ee).

In 750, the Umayyad dynasty was overthrown by a number of dissat­isfied groups. A new dynasty, the Abbassids (AHB eh sihds), came to power and ruled the Muslims from the city of Baghdad, which today is in Iraq. Abbassid caliphs found it increasingly difficult to govern such a large empire. In Morocco, Iran, Syria, and elsewhere, local rulers seized power. In 1258, the Abbassids were overthrown by the invading Mongols from Central Asia. The Mongol victory brought to an end the period of caliph rule, which has since been called the Golden Age of Islam.

---By 850, Islam had followers from Spain to India. Map Skill: During which time period did the greatest expansion of Muslim-controlled territories occur?


The Achievements of Islam

Focus What were some of the notable achievements of Islamic civilization during its Golden Age?

During the 600 years after the death of Muhammad, Islamic civilization reached great heights. Islam developed its own religious law, literature, art, and architecture, all of which made tremendous contributions to world culture and continue to be important today.

Scholarship and Art

During the Umayyad caliphate, Islamic mysticism and scholarship devel­oped and spread through the Muslim world. Mysticism, also called Sufism (SOO fiz ehm) when it relates to Islam, is the belief that deep meditation can lead to a direct relationship with God. Many Muslims began to study the Qur'an intensely, devoting themselves at the same time to prayer. Other Muslims worked on a legal system based on the Qur'an.

In this same period, many mosques were built. Muslim artists began to use Arabic script for decoration. Many avoided using human figures in their religious art in order not to create idols. Complex and colorful designs were made from stone and tile — stars, circles, triangles, and spi­rals in interlocking patterns. Muslim artists also created beautiful leather bound illustrated books and objects from glass, bronze, and ivory.

---The Alhambra Palace

Built between 1238 and 1358 by Muslims in Granada, Spain, the Alhambra Palace is one of the jewels of Muslim architecture. Although from the outside it looks like a plain but strong fortress, inside are fountains, arches, and columns, all beautifully decorated with colored tiles and patterns of stone, wood, and plaster. The tower below encloses the "Hall of Two Sisters," which is thought to be one of the most beautiful parts of the palace. You can read about the palace's Court of the Lions on the next page.


---See chart on early Islam on page 263

The Muslim empire flourished over many centuries. Timeline Skill: How many years went by between the start of the rule of the Rightly Guided Caliphs and the birth of Ibn Sina?

Science, Mathematics, and Medicine

The Umayyads supported scientific work. Muslims needed to have some knowledge of astronomy, the study of the stars and planets, because the times of prayer and the direction of Mecca could be figured out only with such knowledge. Muslims set up astronomical observatories in their lands. Later Muslims prepared astronomical tables based on observations at Baghdad and Damascus. Many stars are still called by names of Arabic origin.

Muslims also made important contributions to mathematics. They introduced a number system from India to Southwest Asia and Europe. People stopped using Roman numerals and began using Arabic numbers, which you use every day. The Muslims also did important work in alge­bra and geometry. The word algebra comes from the Arabic language.

Medicine was another area in which Muslims made great advances. By the 800s, Baghdad had its first hospital, which was divided into wards, separate areas for the treatment of specific diseases. Soon after, records say, 34 hospitals were established throughout the Muslim world.

A Muslim physician, Ibn Sina (ihb ahn SEE nah), wrote The Canon of Medicine, one of the most famous books in the history of medicine. It gave some of the most complete descriptions of medical treatments ever written. The book was used in Europe as a medical reference for centuries.

Trade and the Spread of Knowledge

Islamic civilization played an important role in the spread of goods and knowledge from one part of the world to another. Muslim traders developed an extensive network of trade routes linking Africa, Asia, and Europe. Paper, spices, dyes, glass manufacturing, and technologies for mak­ing textiles came through or from Muslim lands from the 700s to the 1400s.

In addition, Muslims helped transmit the

---Court of the Lions

One of the Alhambra's most beau­tiful courtyards is filled with columns. It is named after the 12 lion statues at the base of the central fountain. The photograph above looks out from beneath the columns facing toward the foun­tain. Find the fountain in the illus­tration on the previous page.


learning of early cultures. Under the Abbassid caliphs, scholars translated famous works of science and philosophy into Arabic from their original languages, which included Sanskrit (the early language of India), Greek, and Persian. When the Arabic copies reached Spain, they were retranslated into Spanish and Latin. European scholars could then study ancient thought as interpreted by Islamic thinkers.

An inscription on a building built in Spain under Muslim rule sums up some of the ideals of Islamic culture:

---The map above shows how the learning of the ancient Greeks spread through Muslim-controlled territories. Map Skill: In which areas did Muslim scholars first learn of Greek ideas?

The world is supported by four things only: the learning of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the righteous, and the valor of the brave.”

These ideals have endured through the centuries and continue to shape our world today.

Lesson Review

1. Key Vocabulary: Use the following words in a paragraph about the rise of Islam: caliph, Shi'a, Sunni, mysticism.

2. Focus: How did the early Muslims build an empire?

3. Focus: What were some of the notable achievements of Islamic civilization dur­ing its Golden Age?

4. Critical Thinking: Conclude Why is a large empire like the Umayyad's difficult to govern?

5. Citizenship: How was a caliph's role in governing the Muslim world different from Muhammad's role?

6. Theme: Growth and Change/Art Activity: Using library resources, write a short paragraph about why Islamic art devel­oped as it did. Then design and draw a floral or geometric pattern that could be used to decorate a piece of Islamic pottery.



Prince of Travelers

by Thomas J. Abercrombie

Almost two centuries before Columbus, a young Moroccan named Ibn Battuta set off for Mecca; he returned home three decades later as one of history's great travelers. Driven by curiosity and sustained by the Qur'an, he journeyed to the far corners of the Islamic world — from North Africa, where caravans still dare the Sahara, to China and back.

---Ibn Battuta (right ) traveled for 29 years, through many regions of the world.

---Painting by Burt Silverman


Little celebrated in the West save in scholarly footnotes, his achieve­ments are familiar among Arabs. In 29 years of relentless roaming, Ibn Battuta crossed two continents, logging some 75,000 miles (tripling Marco Polo's travels) through 44 countries in today's atlas.

---Ibn Battuta entered Mecca (above) with a caravan from Damascus 16 months after leaving the city of Tangier.

His memoirs brim with the flavor of his time, documenting a journey of hazard and hardship, opulence and adventure. It began in Morocco when he was only 21.

"I left Tangier, my birthplace, the 13th of June 1325 with the inten­tion of making the Pilgrimage to [Mecca] ... to leave all my friends both male and female, to abandon my home as birds abandon their nests."


In Delhi, Ibn Battuta met the sto­ried Indian sultan Muhammad ibn Tughluq at his palace in Jahanpanah, in the Hall of a Thousand Pillars. The ruler was attended by his vizier, dozens of chamberlains, officials, and slaves - including the "keeper of the fly whisk," who stood behind him — all against the background of 200 soldiers in armor, 60 horses in royal harness, and 50 elephants in silk and gold.

---Ibn Battuta greets Indian sultan Muhammad ibn Tughluq in his richly deco­rated palace.

---Painting by Burt Silverman

---Ibn Battuta’s memoirs left only one clue to his appearance: As a recent portrait shows (above), he wore a beard.

Response Activities

1. Conclude What might have driven Ibn Battuta to travel for 29 years?

2. Narrative: Write a Journal Suppose you are Ibn Battuta in the court of Indian sultan Muhammad ibn Tughluq. Write a journal entry recording the days you spend with him.

3. Geography: Draw a Map Using research materials at your library, make a list of the regions of the world and kingdoms that Ibn Battuta visited. Then draw a world map with those regions and kingdoms marked.


Lesson 3

Cultural Change in Africa

Main Idea The introduction of Islam to Africa brought political and cultural change to the region, and two powerful kingdoms with ties to Islam emerged.

Key Vocabulary



The centuries following the introduction of Islam to Africa were times of change. Muslim traders moved throughout the Sahara region, bringing trade and wealth to kings and kingdoms. Kingdoms rose and fell, conquered and were conquered. One of the most important West African kingdoms, Mali (MAH lee), emerged in the 1200s. According to African tradition, Mali's first king, Sundiata (suhn dee AH tuh), over­came many difficulties to reach his position of power.

Key Events

1235 Sundiata begins building the empire of Mali

1324 Mansa Musa's pilgrimage to Mecca

1464 Sonni Ali comes to power in Songhai

1493 Askia Muhammad takes control of Songhai

Looking at Sundiata as a young man, no one would have believed that his name meant "Hungering Lion." He was paralyzed and unable to walk. He was also totally alone. His father, once the king of the West African kingdom of Kangaba (kan GAH bah), was dead. A cruel neigh­boring ruler had murdered all 11 of Sundiata's brothers, claiming Kangaba as his own.

Sundiata was determined to live up to his name. He struggled to overcome his paralysis, first learning to stand and then to walk. Meanwhile, the neighboring king ruled Kangaba and taxed the people heavily while subjecting them to harsh laws.

One day in 1235, a brave warrior appeared with his own army behind him. It was Sundiata, who had returned to take back what was rightfully his. After a long battle, Sundiata and his people, the Mandinka, emerged victorious. To this day, West Africans tell stories celebrating the courage of the "Hungering Lion" who, against all odds, expanded Kangaba into the great empire of Mali.

Islam Helps Unite West Africa

Focus What factors contributed to the growth of Mali and Songhai as empires?

Mali had originally been a part of the empire of Ghana (see Chapter 7). Sundiata led his army to a series of victories, taking control over much of Ghana's former territory and resources. The lands to the south supplied


valuable products such as gold. Mali also began to govern the trading centers of Gao (GOW) and Djenne (jen AY). Traders from across the Sahara brought salt from desert mines to exchange for gold. The king­dom grew rich by taxing traded goods.

Centuries before the Umayyad dynasty had conquered North Africa in the 700s, the valuable Saharan trade routes had come under Muslim control. A Muslim himself, Sundiata valued the bond he shared with fel­low Muslim trading partners to the north. These religious links encour­aged growth and prosperity.

---A muezzin calls the faithful to prayer at the Great Mosque in Djenne, Mali. The mosque is cov­ered in mud plaster that must be repaired each year after Mali's rainy season. Geography: What does the construction of the mosque tell you about the vege­tation and terrain of Mali? What building materials are used?

A Powerful Muslim Emperor

Sundiata's grandnephew, Mansa Musa (MAHN sah MOO sah) ruled Mali from 1312 to 1337. (Mansa means "emperor.") One of the most famous African rulers of all time, he expanded the empire of Mali west to the Atlantic coast, north to the Sahara, and east beyond Gao and another major trading city, Timbuktu (tihm buhk TOO).

According to the Egyptian al-Umari (al uh MAR ee), who lived at the same time as Mansa Musa, Mali was "square in shape, being four months of travel in length and at least as much in breadth." Al-Umari they have exaggerated, but the kingdom was certainly extremely large. To maintain order throughout his lands, Mansa Musa appointed rep­resentatives to oversee rulers in outlying regions. To keep peace with his



Ibn Battuta

Ibn Battuta is the best known of Muslim travel­ers. Born in Morocco, he visited many regions of the world during the course of his life: Africa, Persia, Syria, India, Indonesia, and China, to name just a few. He wrote detailed accounts of his adventures.

Ibn Battuta journeyed to Mali in 1352. Traveling with a camel caravan, he took the difficult route across the western Sahara. He spent months in Mali as a guest of the emperor. When he returned to Morocco, he reported to the king on the habits and customs of the people of Mali.

neighbors, he established relations with the Muslim rulers of Morocco and Egypt.

Mansa Musa was a devout Muslim. To express his faith, and to obey the requirements of his religion, he made a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in 1324. (See the story map below.) Accompanying the emperor on one of the most famous trips in history was an enormous group that included family, friends, local rulers, and enslaved people, as well as hun­dreds of elephants and camels.

Returning to Mali, Mansa Musa brought with him an important Spanish architect to design new mosques for Timbuktu and Gao. Timbuktu was transformed into a center for Islamic study, as well as a center of commerce. During Mansa Musa's reign, the mosque of Sankore (san kor AY) in Timbuktu became a school for studying the Qur'an, Islamic history, and law. Eventually, the University of Sankore would develop from these beginnings.

According to al-Umari, Mansa Musa was "the most powerful, the richest, the most fortunate, the most feared by his enemies, and the most able to do good to those around him." By the time of his death in 1337, he had built Mali into a powerful empire.

Songhai Continues the Trading Tradition

Under Mansa Musa, the empire of Mali had included the lands along the Niger River of the Songhai (SONG hy) people. By the late 1300s, with Mali weakening after Mansa Musa's death, Songhai was resisting outside control. In the mid-1400s, the kingdom of Songhai separated from Mali, expanding upstream along the Niger River into Timbuktu. Djenne was added to the Songhai empire by the fierce ruler Sonni Ali (SOH nee AHL ee)

---Mansa Musa's Journey to Mecca

In 1324, Mansa Musa, accompanied by hundreds of family members, friends, and enslaved people, left his home in Mali to make the hajj, a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca. The enormous group traveled about 3,500 miles across desert and grasslands, stopping at various cities along the way. Enslaved people carried food and water for the pilgrims. One hundred pack camels were each loaded with 300 pounds of gold. Mansa Musa's arrival in Cairo, the Egyptian capital, made a huge impression on the Egyptians. "This man spread upon Cairo the flood of his generosity: there was no person, officer of the court, or holder of any office ... who did not receive a sum of gold from him," wrote al-Umari. Mansa Musa's pilgrimage caught the attention of the Muslim world. Map Skill: Before arriving in Cairo, what cities did Mansa Musa visit?


at the end of a seven-year siege, a battle in which a city is surrounded and blockaded in order to make it surrender. Sonni Ali maintained law and order by appointing officials to govern affairs in regions called provinces. He also created an army, and a navy that was based on the Niger River.

By the 1300s, many West African kings were Muslims. Sonni Ali was attached to the traditional African beliefs of the Songhai people. These beliefs had existed for many hundreds of years before Islam and were still present in Songhai. In 1493, only a year after Sonni All's death, Songhai was taken over by an army official named Askia Muhammad (AHSK ee ah moo HAHM ihd), who was a devout Muslim. After making his own pilgrimage to Mecca, Askia Muhammad returned with the authority to act as caliph of Islam in Songhai.

One of Askia Muhammad's greatest accomplishments was his system

---This scroll from the 1 400s is a souvenir of a pilgrim's journey to Mecca. The Ka'bah is shown in the middle of the picture.



---The Niger River flowed through Songhai. Both Sonni Ali and Askia Muhammad had navies that were based on the river. Economics: What other ways might the resi­dents of Songhai have used the river?

of government. Regional administrators and government ministers con­trolled local areas. A system of taxation, and a permanent army, which included a fleet of war canoes, were established. Running smoothly under Askia Muhammad's government, Songhai prospered.

In 1528, Askia Muhammad was overthrown by his son and banished to an island in the Niger River where he died. The end of the Songhai empire followed in 1591, when it was invaded by the Moroccans. Still, long after its collapse, the Islamic empire of Songhai was seen as a model for the successful development of growing African states.

Lesson Review

1. Key Vocabulary: Write a sentence about Songhai using the words province and siege.

2. Focus: What factors contributed to the growth of Mali and Songhai as empires?

3. Critical Thinking: Conclude Mansa Musa's empire was depicted in many European maps from the late 1300s on. What does this tell us about the effect of Mansa Musa's pilgrimage?

4. Theme: Growth and Change How did ties to the larger Muslim world help the development of West African kingdoms?

5. Citizenship/Writing Activity: Write a dia­logue between Sundiata and an author who is writing his biography. Sundiata should describe his struggles to become a leader of his people. The biographer should ask about Sundiata's achieve­ments.


Lesson 4

Cultural Change in East Asia

Main Idea As a political and cultural power in East Asia, China influenced its neighbors in the region.

Key Vocabulary


magnetic compass

Far to the east of the Muslim empire was a city humming with activity and culture, the capital of another great empire. It was the desti­nation of Arab traders seeking silk and of the representatives of Muslim caliphates asking to meet with the powerful rulers who governed there. This city was Changan (CHAHN ahn), the capital of China during the Tang (TAHNG) dynasty (618-907).

Changan was a carefully planned city with tree-lined avenues, canals, grand palaces in landscaped parks, Buddhist and Taoist monasteries, and large, busy marketplaces. At its height, it was the largest city in the world, with about a million people living within its walls. Its residents included monks and nuns, government officials, poets, scholars, and many foreigners — Arabs, Tibetans, Turks, Persians, and Koreans, to name a few.

New ideas and styles flowed into China through these foreigners. Tang women wore foreign hairstyles; Central Asian music was the rage; and foreign acrobats performed for enthusiastic audiences. Ideas and styles also flowed out of China. Foreigners visiting Changan studied religion, arts, language, and forms of government, all of which were carried to other regions. Chinese culture shaped East Asia just as Islamic culture influenced the lands in the Muslim empire.

Key Events

618 Beginning of the Tang dynasty

960 Beginning of the Song dynasty

---Artisans under the Tang dynasty were famous for the beautiful ceramics they created.



Empress Wu

As the wife of an ailing emperor, Empress Wu was the power behind her husband's throne for 23 years. She transformed China into a country run by educated officials, cre­ating an atmosphere of peace. She spurred the country's military leaders on to conquer the Korean Peninsula.

In 690, several years after the the death of her hus­band, Empress Wu took the throne for herself. She ruled China for 15 years.

Cultural Splendor: The Tang and Song Dynasties

Focus What were some of the main achievements of the Tang and Song dynasties?

When the Han dynasty, which you read about in Chapter 5, fell in 220, the strong central government and the highly organized bureaucracy col­lapsed with it. China fell into disarray, splitting into three kingdoms. Later, the north was invaded by nomads and was governed for several centuries by non-Chinese rulers. It was a period of unrest and terror. In the south, six dynasties rose and fell. Despite the political turmoil, this was an important time — Buddhism was spreading across the region.

The Rise of the Tang Dynasty

China was not united again until 589, under the Sui (SWAY) dynasty. Sui rulers were only able to maintain their power for a little more than 30 years; military defeat and peasant revolts brought their collapse. A new powerful emperor, Tai Zong (ty ZUHN), soon controlled China. In the 300 years that followed — the period of the Tang dynasty — a strong government bureaucracy once more emerged, culture flowered, and the Chinese empire became one of the largest and most advanced of its day.

Tang emperors set up departments to run the affairs of this huge empire. Each department had its own responsibility: foreign affairs, edu­cation, transportation, the army, and so on. To find talented officials to staff these departments, the system of examinations first established dur­ing the Han dynasty was redeveloped and widely used. Young men hop­ing to become bureaucrats prepared for these exams by obtaining a seri­ous education. Just as under the Han, the top scorers on the exams were selected for government jobs. Because a good education often brought success, great emphasis was placed on schooling during the Tang period.

The arts — poetry, pottery, painting — were also very important under the Tang emperors. Some of China's greatest poets lived and worked during this time. Many wrote about the beauty of nature. Poet Li Po (LEE poh) (701-762) captured this moment:

"Gently I stir a white feather fan, With open shirt sitting in a green wood. I take off my cap and hang it on a jutting stone; A wind from the pine-trees trickles on my bare head.”


---Under the Tang and Song dynas­ties, China controlled large territo­ries on the Asian continent. Map Skill: Did the Song dynasty control more or less territory than the Tang dynasty?

Artists of the time were known for their beautiful, colorfully glazed ceramics. Painting also flourished, influenced by Buddhism and Taoism.

The Song Dynasty

Even with all these successes, the Tang emperors had problems. Local rulers rejected their central authority. Rebellions in the provinces finally brought about the fall of the Tang in 907.

After a period of turmoil, the Song dynasty (960-1279) took control. This was a time of invention. One of the earliest calcu­lators, called an abacus, was developed, as were gun­powder, movable type for printing, and the magnetic compass, an instrument that determines direction. Sturdy ships were built to carry Chinese goods throughout Asia. Paper money was introduced for the first time in history to support trade.

---Under the Song dynasty, Confucianism grew again in popularity, now blending traditional beliefs with Buddhism and Taoism. Teaching that the role of edu­cated people was to serve the state and try to maintain peace and order, Confucianism helped keep the govern­ment strong and stable. The Chinese population grew rapidly, exceeding 100 million people for the first time.

---The Song dynasty is famed for its innovations in painting. Many subjects were considered worthy of art, but landscapes and scenes such as the one below were par­ticular favorites.


China Influences Its Neighbors

Focus How did Chinese culture shape Japanese and Korean culture?

As a political and cultural power in East Asia, China had great influence over its neighbors, especially Japan and Korea. In 108 B.C., the Chinese conquered parts of the Korean Peninsula and controlled territory there until A.D. 313. They carried Buddhism to the region. Japan, a group of islands separated from China by water, was not easily invaded by the Chinese. The Chinese did introduce Confucianism there, and it later spread across the island kingdom. Buddhism was brought to Japan from China and Korea. Both Korea and Japan developed unique cultures that borrowed heavily from China.

---Mount Fuji (above) was a favorite subject of Japanese painters for centuries. Chinese influence touched many aspects of Japanese and Korean culture. Map Skill: Why was Korea easi­er for China to control than Japan?


After Buddhism took hold in Japan in about 552, the Japanese began to look to China as a model. They worked to build a strong, centralized government. Soon, Chinese law codes were introduced as well.

The Japanese tried to re-create the Tang capital of Changan in their capitals of Nara (NAHR uh) and Heian (HAY ahn). They used Chinese architecture as their inspiration for developing these cities. Tang dynasty music and dances were adopted in the court of the Japanese emperor.

Japanese writing and litera­ture also showed signs of China's influence. For example, the Japanese began writing their own language using the Chinese system of characters, though the two languages were completely different. Educated Japanese learned to compose Chinese poetry, and scholars wrote his­tories of Japan, modeled after similar records from China.

Although the Japanese eventually changed Chinese practices and customs to fit their own society, China played an important role in shaping Japanese culture.



After 313, China no longer controlled territory on the Korean Peninsula, but Chinese influence continued for centuries. From the early 300s to the late 600s, the Korean Peninsula was divided into three kingdoms. Silla, one of these kingdoms, conquered the two others by 670 and modeled itself closely after Tang China.

Silla was divided into provinces, which were governed the way Chinese provinces were. Eventually, China's examination system for bureaucrats was adopted. Buildings in the Korean capital were built in the style of Chinese architecture. Chinese charac­ters were adopted for writing the Korean language, although the Koreans later developed their own alphabet. A university was established for the study of Confucianism, and Korean monks traveled to China to study Buddhism. Just as in Japan, China's influence shaped Korean cul­ture for centuries to come.

---Korean buildings, like the one shown here, were often styled after Chinese architecture.

Lesson Review

618 Beginning of the Tang dynasty

960 Beginning of the Song dynasty

1.  Key Vocabulary: Write a paragraph about Chinese inventions using the fol­lowing terms: abacus, magnetic compass.

2. Focus: What were some of the main achievements of the Tang and Song dynas­ties?

3. Focus: How did Chinese culture shape Japanese and Korean culture?

4. Critical Thinking: Cause and Effect How might geography have affected the influ­ence China had on Japan?

5. Citizenship: What political conditions might be necessary to support the kind of cultural flowering that occurred during the Tang and the Song dynasties?

6. Geography/Writing Activity: If you were traveling through Tang China, you might visit the capital city of Changan. Write a description of the streets, buildings, and events in the city.




Using Specialized Atlases

Wonders of the World

How can you grasp in your own hands the wonders of the world's cultures and religions? Grab a specialized atlas off the bookshelf. Specialized atlases are books of maps focused on particular topics. For example, historical atlases offer maps of places and events from the past. Religious atlases include maps that show the distribution of the world's religions. Specialized atlases may also include graphs, tables, and pictures that tell you more about places you're researching.

1. Here's How

Follow these steps to get the most information from specialized atlases:

• Decide what subject you are trying to find out about. Do you think this information would appear in a specialized atlas? If so, decide what type of specialized atlas you should use.

• Use the atlas table of contents and index to look up the place you are interested in. Note the page numbers on which your map appears.

• Study the map and identify its main idea, or purpose. Note any details. If you are using a historical map, notice anything that differs from what you know about that country today.

• Look for any related information, such as graphs or tables, that may be helpful.

• Use a different specialized atlas to find another map of the same place. Compare the two to find similarities and differences. If you are using a historical map, compare it to a map from a modern atlas. What changes have occurred over time?

Here are just a few of the many types of specialized atlases you may find in your school or public library:

Atlas of world wildlife

Atlas of archaeology

Climatic atlas

Atlas of world history

Atlas of astronomy

Economic atlas

Environmental atlas

Atlas of Native Americans

Atlas of the medieval world

Astronomy atlas

Atlas of early humans

Atlas of World War "


2. Think It Through

Why is it helpful to look at a specialized atlas instead of a regular atlas when you're trying to get in-depth information about a subject?

3. Use It

The map above is from the Historical Atlas of the Religions of the World. It shows the spread of Buddhism in Asia. Compare it with a current map of Asia, which you can find in the back of this book.

1. Make a list of similarities and differences between the two maps.

2. What information is given on one map but not the other? What information is the same on both maps?


Chapter 10

Chapter Review

---See Chapter Review Timeline on page 280

Summarizing the Main Idea

1.  Copy these two lists below and fill in more facts about how Islamic and Chinese influence spread:

Islamic Influence                                                                              Chinese Influence

Muhammad and followers move to Medina                               Foreigners visit Changan


2.  Divide these words into four or five categories and explain how they are related. For example, one group could be "People." (You can create an "Other" group if you want.)

prophet (p. 255)     

Hijrah (p. 257)        

Shi'a (p. 261)

revelation (p. 256)  

mosque (p. 257)      

Sunni (p. 261)

Qur'an (p. 256)       

caliph (p. 260)         

mysticism (p. 262)

Reviewing the Facts

3.  Who was Muhammad, and what did he do?

4.  What is the Hajj, and why is it important?

5. What do the Rightly Guided Caliphs, the Umayyads, the Abbassids have in common?

6.  List three achievements of the Islamic Golden Age.

7. Describe Mansa Musa's empire.

8.  How was the Tang government set up?

9. In what ways did Chinese culture influence Japanese and Korean architecture, writing, and education?


Skill Review: Using Specialized Atlases

10.  Look at the map on page 261. In what kind of atlas might this appear? According to this map, where did Islam begin and how did it spread?

11.  The story map on pages 270-271 shows Mansa Musa's pilgrimage. What kind of atlas would show his pilgrimage? Where would you find a map showing these countries today?

Geography Skills

12.  Look at the map on page 256. Plan the journey you might take if you lived in Alexandria and were going on a pilgrimage to Mecca. What route would you take?

13.  The map on page 276 shows the location of Korea and Japan. Why might it have been difficult for any country other than China to have much influence over these two countries?

Critical Thinking

14. Sequence List three events in Muhammad's life in the order in which they happened.

15.  Problem Solving You are an advisor during the rule of the Abbassid dynasty. What advice would you give to the caliph to help run this large empire?

16.  Conclude Who do you think did the most for Islam: Sundiata, Mansa Musa, or Askia Muhammad? Explain your answer.

17.  Compare Then and Now Which of the inventions of the Song dynasty are still important today?

Writing: Citizenship and History

18. Citizenship Write a paragraph that begins: "The achievement of the Umayyad dynasty that has the most influence on the world today is ..." Explain the reason for your choice.

19. History Write a short personal narrative as if you were a Japanese or Korean scholar visiting China in the 700s. What would you do during your visit?



Create a bar graph showing how long rule of the Rightly Guided Caliphs, the Umayyads, the Abbassids, the Tang, and the Song lasted. List 3 facts that your graph shows.

National Heritage/Arts

Places such as the Alhambra Palace in Spain and the Great Mosque in Mali have great significance for Muslims who live in those countries. Create a model or draw a picture of a place in the U.S. that has similar importance.

To decide which ancient civilization you would like to choose, use the information about Islam and ancient Asia. Think about these questions:

• What important achievements were made by Islamic and ancient Asian peoples?

• How did the Islamic and ancient Asian empires grow?

• What role did these civilizations play internationally?

Internet Option

Check the Internet Social Studies Center for ideas on how to extend your theme project beyond your classroom.




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