Caliphate – political institution of the early Islamic state. Signified both the political and spiritual head of the Islamic community. Rose as the successor to Muhammad’s leadership.
Muhammad – former trader. Went to Mecca where God gave him revelations. Preachings ad messages from God became central to Islamic faith.
Quran – 114 chapters (suras). Word of God that flowed through Muhammad. Teachings/foundational text of Islam.
Sharia – Islamic law. Crucial foundation of Islam. Covers all legal aspects of practical and spiritual life including legal principles for marriage contracts, trade regulations, prayer, pilgrimage rites, and ritual fasting. Reflects work of generations of religious scholars rather than soldiers/bureaucrats/courtiers.
Shiites – “members of the party of Ali”. Dissidents of Sunni. Felt Ali should have been proper successors. Believed his descendants (imams) have religious and prophetic power and political authority.
Empress Wu – only female ruler in Chinese history. exploited the examination system to check the power of aristocratic families. Consolidated courtly authority by creating groups of loyal bureaucrats. Challenged Confucian beliefs that subordinated women.
Eunuchs – castrated males who protected the royal family. Wielded much court power in Baghdad and Tang Empire. Worked alongside official bureaucracy and imperial court. Eunuch bureaucracy mediated between the emperor and provincial governments.
Silla – one of the “Three Kingdoms” in Korea. Gained control over the entire peninsula and unified it. Dispatched annual embassies to the Chinese capital, regularly sent students and monks → literary Chinese became the written language of Korean elites, not vernacular.
Prince Shotoku – introduced Buddhism to Japan. Promoted both Buddhism and Confucianism, which led Japan (like China) to be accommodating to numerous religions.
Shinto – native religious culture of Japan. Prince Shotoku was credited for introducing the above faiths to them.
Charlemagne – king of the Franks in northern Europe. Controlled much of western Europe. Ruled for 40 years. Often travelled 2,000 miles a year on campaigns of plunder and conquest. Heir to Rome.
Karim – loose confederations of shippers banding together to protect conveys. Armed convoys of ships escorted commercial fleets in this system. Aided in trade and made shipping less dangerous.
Genghis Khan – Mongol waunched series of conquests southward across Great Wall of China. Ultimately built a permanent empire by incorporating peoples and some of their ways. Now, Afro-Eurasia regions were connected by land and sea.
Jacquerie – 1358 French revolt. Peasantry that went on killing rampage of nobles and clergy. Insisted that they should no longer be tied to the land or have to pay for the tools they used in farming.
Sufism – highly mystical and communal