3453 Final exam

Friday May 11, 8:00am-10:00am, PHYSICAL SCIENCES 402
Instructions: In the booklet provided, write essay answers to any TWO questions.
You may consult class notes and assigned readings in writing your answer, and you
are encouraged to prepare an outline, but you may not transcribe a prepared answer.
Transcription from print or electronic sources is prohibited, except for brief quotations (less than one per page),
which should include a complete citation. Use of electronic devices is prohibited unless they are in airplane mode.
NOTE THAT QUESTIONS HAVE SEVERAL PARTS. MAKE SURE YOU ANSWER THEM ALL.
In these questions I frequently use the phrase "early modern period". For our purposes this is
the period from roughly 1450-1750.


1. What is the "rise and decline" thesis? Evaluate the historical accuracy of the thesis with brief examples from at least two scientific disciplines.
2. On balance, is it historically defensible to claim that all Islamic art was aniconic before the early modern period? Discuss both evidence and counter evidence.
3. How did Islamicate science contribute to the development of Renaissance art in Italy?
4. Is it historically defensible to regard Portugal and Spain as "maritime powers" but the Ottoman Empire as an entirely land-based empire?
5. "The Sultan's harem was a place of slavery, seclusion and sex." Is this an accurate historical depiction of the harem's place in Ottoman society during the early modern period?
6. Describe the similarities and differences between modern Western hospitals and traditional Islamicate hospitals (bimaristans). How many of the common features originated in the Islamicate tradition?
7. How did scientific practice in Mughal India continue and extend earlier Islamicate science? Give at least two examples of continuities in theory (scientific knowledge) and institutions (places where science was practiced).
8. Briefly describe the major figures in Islamic astronomy from the fall of the Abbasid caliphate to the beginning of the Western 'Scientific Revolution' (1258-c1543 CE). How many of these figures, and the issues they addressed, appear in the work of Nicholas Copernicus?
9. Suggest at least three ways in which the work of Galileo Galilei builds on Islamic foundations.