HIST 215

Connecting the Mediterranean and the World (1453-1702)

This course explores the connections between waterways and cross-cultural interaction in early modern world history. It focuses on encounters between the peoples of the Mediterranean and the wider world from the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries. This encompasses the division of the Mediterranean between Spanish Catholic and Islamic Ottoman spheres to the end of the Spanish Hapsburg's global dynasty. The first part of the course explores cases of tolerance and intolerance among the peoples of the Mediterranean Sea from Antiquity to the Renaissance by using interdisciplinary perspectives to understand relations between the region's Christian, Muslim, and Jewish inhabitants. Over the rest of the semester, the course considers how this history shaped subsequent European attitudes toward other peoples of the world in Africa, the Americas, and South and East Asia by examining evidence from material culture, literature, and the arts from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.