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18th Annual Riggsby Lecture: “The India Trade, the Global Middle Ages, and the Cairo Geniza”

The Marco Institute for Medieval & Renaissance Studies is pleased to announce its 18th annual Riggsby Lecture on Medieval Mediterranean History and Culture. This year's featured speaker is Marina Rustow, Khedouri A. Zilkha Professor of Jewish Civilization in the Near East; Professor of Near Eastern Studies and History; Director, Program in Near Eastern Studies; and Director of the Geniza Lab, Princeton University.

Hundreds of letters, legal deeds, and financial documents survived in the Ben Ezra Geniza chamber attesting to a burgeoning trade across the Spain-to-Sumatra zone in the eleventh through thirteenth centuries. Together with earlier archeological evidence linking the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean basins, Geniza documents suggest that Egypt served as the hinge of vast but segmented trade network that connected the Islamic world with China. This lecture will consider the implications of these documents and objects, and some of the pioneering discussions of them in scholarship, for how medieval history is (and should be) taught.

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Thursday, October 14, 2021 at 5:00pm

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