Thursday, December 29, 2016


*Maria Rosa Menocal's  Ornament Of The World:  How Muslims, Jews, And Christians`Created A Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain may not be on everybody's reading list, but.........

     I just audited a course at my alma mater.  The course, History 102 - Late Antiquity, covered the time period 200 CE - 1000 CE.  800 years is a lot to cover in one semester:  the end of the Roman Empire, the formalizing of Christianity, the rise of the Byzantine Empire, Beowulf, Mohammad and the birth and spread of Islam, the Goths, the Visigoths, the Carolingians, Charlemagne, Al-Andalus, the Vikings - you get the idea.
     Al-Andalus caught my attention, so after class I asked the professor what additional reading he might recommend.  With the side note that it wasn't the whole story, he suggested Ornament Of The World.

      Just as 800 years is a bit much to cover in one semester, 700 years is a bit much to cover in one book.   A long-running happy, healthy, and prosperous civilization is not all that common in the history of mankind, so the glory years of Al-Andalus are worth celebrating and studying.   If you saw the subtitle to the book and picked up the book looking for the "how to", you might be disappointed.  Having said that, this is a worthy book with lessons to teach.   Consider it recommended.

No comments:

Post a Comment