An Analysis of Janet L. Abu-Lughod's Before European Hegemony : The World System A.D. 1250-1350 book cover
1st Edition

An Analysis of Janet L. Abu-Lughod's Before European Hegemony
The World System A.D. 1250-1350

ISBN 9781912128761
Published August 16, 2017 by Macat Library
108 Pages

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Book Description

The modern vision of the world as one dominated by one or more superpowers begs the question of how best to understand the world-system that existed before the rise of the first modern powers.

Janet Abu-Lughod's solution to this problem, in this highly influential work, is that Before European Hegemony, a predominantly insular, agrarian world was dominated by groups of mercantile city-states that traded with one another on equal terms across a series of interlocking areas of influence. In this reading of history, China and Japan, the kingdoms of India, Muslim caliphates, the Byzantine Empire and European maritime republics alike enjoyed no absolute dominance over their neighbours and commercial partners – and the egalitarian international trading network that they built endured until European advances in weaponry and ship types introduced radical instability to the system.

Abu-Lughod's portrait of a more balanced world is a masterpiece of synthesis driven by one highly creative idea: her world system of interlocking spheres of influence quite literally connected masses of evidence together in new ways. A triumph of fine critical thinking.

Table of Contents

Ways In to the Text 

Who was Janet L. Abu-Lughod? 

What does Before European Hegemony Say? 

Why does Before European Hegemony Matter? 

Section 1: Influences

Module 1: The Author and the Historical Context 

Module 2: Academic Context 

Module 3: The Problem 

Module 4: The Author's Contribution 

Section 2: Ideas 

Module 5: Main Ideas 

Module 6: Secondary Ideas 

Module 7: Achievement 

Module 8: Place in the Author's Work 

Section 3: Impact 

Module 9: The First Responses 

Module 10: The Evolving Debate 

Module 11: Impact and Influence Today  

Module 12: Where Next? 

Glossary of Terms 

People Mentioned in the Text 

Works Cited

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Dr. William R. Day holds a PhD in Medieval Economic History from the University of Cambridge. He is currently a researcher at the Fitzwilliam Museum at the University of Cambridge, where he works on the Medieval European Coinage Project.