Working Title: The House of Wisdom:
I. Descriptive Summary
Write one or more paragraphs on each of the following:
· The question or issue your final document will address.
The “House of Wisdom” (Bayt al-Hikma) as it pertains to the intellectual history of the
· Background about how you came to consider your question.
It was difficult coming up with one topic to address in the Final Document as there are many different areas of Middle Eastern history that interests me. Originally, I wanted to do some kind of a cumulative document of the writing I have already done adding one or two additional major papers to the set. From there, I began looking at different parts of Middle Eastern culture and history to determine what interests me the most right now. I kept looking at the early caliphates at the dawn of Islam. While I didn’t want to focus solely on Islam, the religion, I found that it was one of the dominate themes in my studies thus far. I narrowed down my ideas to the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates. This led me to look at the culture of these dynasties and what they contributed to the world (as they knew it). After several emails between myself and Dr. Daniel Metraux, we agreed upon looking at the “House of Wisdom”. This particular subject is extremely exciting to research because of what it represents: the intellectual history of the
· Historical context of the subject.
The House of Wisdom came about during the rule of al-Mamun in 8th and 9th century
· Major theoretical schools you will draw upon.
For my research, I will draw upon various theoretical schools including hisotrical, philosophical, and religious. I will also try to look into previous scholarship from other areas of the world such as
· Key research studies or critical works bearing on your study.
One of the key studies I intend to look at deals with the preservation of these institutions. With the current conflicts in the
· Discussion of research method(s) you will employ.
The research method for this document will primarily be the historical research method. I will make use of current wisdom from scholarly journals and other secondary sources. I will also attempt to research the types of documents stored within such repositories. I do not intend to use human subjects in my research, therefore I will not be making application to the IRB at this time.
· What your document will include (for example, review of the literature, presentation and analysis of original research, case studies etc.)
For much of the document, I will look to include presentation and analysis of original research. I will also include a review of the current wisdom/literature on the “House of Wisdom” and look to include illustrations where possible (whether from my own personal photographs/illustrations or from the public domain).
· Discussion of the social relevance of your study.
Study of the “House of Wisdom” is currently relevant in many social circles primarily because of the wars in the