Balkan und Naher Osten (2011)
Einführung in eine gemeinsame Geschichte
The Balkans and the Near East share millennia of a shared history, which stretches from sedentarization in early history to the 20th century. In the Neolithic period, in Mesopotamia and in the Balkans basic techniques and skills were developed on which Europe and the Islamic world could be based later on. Thus, for example, in the centres of "Ancient Europe" - in the middle basin of the Danube River - already in the 5th millennium people experimented with early script systems, long before the first cuneiform texts in Mesopotamia and the hieroglyph texts in ancient Egypt became in use.
The "division of labour" between the various scholarly disciplines in the fields of Balkan studies and Near (Middle) East studies resulted in the separation of a shared history into a Southeast European or Balkan history on the one hand and a history of the Near (Middle) East on the other hand. It is therefore the aim of the monograph to unite the separated histories to a joint one. Since this cannot be done by the simple operation of adding up two histories, the volume opens new perspectives.
A comparable historiographical piece of work does not yet exist. The geographical space covered by the text extends between Bosnia in the west, the Iraq in the east and the Arabic Peninsula and Egypt in the south. The composition of the material is based on regional and temporal comparison. Specifically, temporal comparison constitutes a great challenge, because approximately 10,000 years are covered.
The book is organized by topics and comprises 17 chapters, 455 manuscript pages and approximately 120 graphs and photographs. Conceptualized as an introductory text, the book may also interest a wider public. The style of writing is generally intelligible and addresses for instance the burning contemporary tensions between Islam and Europe. In addition, topics such as history of religion, historical-anthropological, economic, cultural as well as questions of gender relations are addressed on a principal basis.