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Tracing back Europe - From Thessaloniki to Istanbul  

General theme in the Tracing back Europe course will be the Aegean area as the cultural interface between the Middle East (Asia) and Europe. In a period of (1) confrontation between ´Christian´ and ´Islamic´ values and (2) discussions about the Turkish relation with Europe, this intercultural dialogue should be a topical issue in education. A number of sub-themes will be, more or less explicitly, prevalent:

  • Spread of the early agrarian civilisations from Turkey to Europe, Greek heritage on both sides of the Aegean (Troy, Greek colonies, Persian Wars),
  • Hellenistic (Alexander) and Roman (Constantine) influences,
  • The spread of (Asian/Middle East) Jewish/Christian monotheism to develop into the dominant European religion (letters of the Apostle Paul, Nicaea Council, Arianism, Iconoclasm),
  • Arab conquest and the Crusades, Islamic and ´Western´ (Byzantine) art,
  • The Ottoman Empire (Soleiman the Magnificent) as the counterforce against the Habsburg empire(s),
  • Westernising (Kemalism) and 're-Ottomanisation in' Turkey  - is Turkey part of Europe?
  • Cultural influence, modern labour migration and the ´Islamisation´ of Europe.


Detailed course programme.

Project introduction

Project book