Before taking this course, I viewed premodern Baghdad as one of the few metropolitan regions in the Middle East. I have encountered Baghdad in my past readings whereby its typically tied to the endowed Mesopotamia region. Due to this, I pictured it as a center for wealthy traders and a commercial center where people from different regions interacted. On that account, I believed that Baghdad was a wealthy region and a cultural melting point.
The Mesopotamia region is renowned for its agricultural productivity as well as its contributions to education and innovation during those ancient ages. As a strategic place in that region, I assumed that Baghdad was the biggest beneficiary of Mesopotamia’s success in regards to trade and cultural interaction. I saw it as a center of power in the Middle East and any person who had control or ruled it had a big say in the region as well as many followers. It means that I held premodern Baghdad in high esteem.
My ideology of Baghdad was reinforced after taking the course since I have learnt that it was not just a metropolis, but a large complex urban environment. The city is also credited for providing a foundation for Islam plus it is key in the advancement of Christianity. Further, Baghdad enabled the advancement of education in regards to medicine, science, and mathematics. I did not think that Baghdad had such a profound impact on world history before taking this course. Whereas I knew it was important, I could not possibly think that its scale was so large that it provided the basis of development of the modern world as we know it.