2. Compare and contrast the Medieval West from 1000 to 1500 with Islamic civilization during the same period. The medieval West was flourishing while the Islamic core was fragmenting. The lack of a concept of empire in the West differs from the imperial ideal of Islam, although in reality government in Islam demonstrated similar localization (as in the case of the Seljuk Turks). Both civilizations developed active commercial systems with a merchant class. The Islamic commercial empire was much more extensive and significant than that of the West. Both utilized religion as a means of carrying civilization to new territories. Islam expanded into Africa, India, and southeastern Asia, and the actual territory under Islam was much more extensive than that of the West. Islamic civilization was more technologically sophisticated than the West. Both societies showed similar tensions between religion and the adaptation of classical rationalism to theology, although both developed syntheses largely based on Aristotle's works.