Department of History

The Mediterranean Studies Concentration

The new regional concentration in the field of history focuses on the peoples and cultures of the Mediterranean Basin from ancient to modern times, including the societies of Greece and Rome, Islamic North Africa, Muslim and Christian Spain, the Middle East, France, and Italy.

The history of the Mediterranean world is one of unity and diversity, but the theme that has most often prevailed is diversity.  Peoples of the Mediterranean have often divided themselves into well-defined, competing, even hostile cultures.  Yet the sea has also linked these diverse societies and so promoted unity.  Despite their differences, the peoples inhabiting the islands of and lands bordering this inland sea share cultural traits.  They have a distinctive attitude toward honor, common foods, and a similar pattern of daily life.  The course offered in our program, therefore, will examine not only particular peoples and civilizations of the Mediterranean, but also their patterns of interaction across a wide swath of recorded history.


A cross-cultural approach centered upon the Mediterranean offers distinct advantages.  It affords an opportunity to study the area as a whole without losing sight of the distinctiveness of peoples and cultures.  It challenges students to raise new questions and explore important and difficult issues, such as the grand “clash of destiny” between Christianity and Islam.  And it engages students intellectually by fostering understanding of the links (e.g. immigration, religion, trade) that bind different cultures.  This new concentration will not only expand students’ horizons, but also lead to a variety of careers that include education, journalism, international business, diplomacy, and tourism.

Students are encouraged to undertake the study of appropriate languages (e.g. Spanish, French) and to spend at least one semester of study in the Mediterranean region.  Indiana State University has programs in Italy and Spain, and the History Department offers students a unique opportunity to study at the University of Malta.  For more information about these study-abroad programs please visit the International Affairs Center.


A student majoring in history will take two 300 or 400 level courses in the European Area and two from the Wider World Area that deal with topics directly related to the Mediterranean.  Completion of an application and relevant course work will result in a student being designated as having completed a “History major with a Mediterranean Concentration.”  This will be acknowledged by presentation of a Certificate.



HIST 351     The Ancient World

HIST 455     The Renaissance, 1300-1520

HIST 456     The Reformation, 1500-1650

HIST 467     Modern France

The Wider World

HIST 422     Rise and Fall of the Spanish World Empire*

HIST 442     War, Religion, and Culture: Christians and Muslims in the Mediterranean World, 1000-1600*

HIST 478     History of Islam

HIST 484     History of the Modern Middle East

*HIST 422 and 442 may also be counted as part of the European Area.

For Further Information Contact:

Dr. Timothy Hawkins


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