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Summer course: "Romanization and Islamization in the Western Mediterranean"

From March 23, 2020 until May 03, 2020The course will take place during the fourth week of July, from Monday 23 to Saturday 28
Casa Árabe headquarters (at Calle Samuel de los Santos Gener, 9). The course will take place during the fourth week of July, from Monday 23 to Saturday 28 Prior registration required.
In English.

POSTPONED UNTIL 2021. Specialists from different academic institutions will guide a select group of students in a series of seminar-style intensive classes throughout a week-long course.

The image above speaks for itself: in the background, built as the Friday Mosque of Cordoba, an extraordinary example of medieval Arab architecture and a popular tourist destination, which is at the same time the embodiment of the civilization of al-Andalus itself; in the foreground, the Roman bridge crossing the Guadalquivir since 2000 years reminds that Cordoba was the capital of one of the richest provinces of the Roman Empire.

This IV Intensive Summer Course held in Casa Árabe Cordoba will introduce English speakers to the fascinating history of two empires: the Roman and the Islamic one. Specialists from different academic institutions will guide a select group of students in a series of seminar-style intensive classes throughout a week-long course.

This year, the course will focus on the processes of Romanization and Islamization that led to the formation of the Western Mediterranean first as a Roman and later on as an Islamic society. Together we will explore issues related to the sources at our disposal to reconstruct such processes (including literary sources and archaeological evidence) as well as the debates regarding their interpretation.

The choice of the Casa Árabe in Córdoba as the venue for the course hardly needs any explanation. It is housed in the beautiful Casa Mudéjar, a 14-16th century building whose restoration received the World Heritage City Award 2011 from the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports. The Casa is located at a three-minute walk from the Mosque-Cathedral.

The course is directed at university students and scholars who – regardless of their specialization - want to become familiar with the most relevant issues related to the history of al-Andalus. Taught in English, it aims at guiding the participants to the wide range of scholarly research on al-Andalus. Thirty students will be selected from among the applicants (for the application procedure see below).

Students are not required to have knowledge of Arabic or any other language except English; for those who are proficient in Arabic, guidance in the Arabic sources will be provided as a complement.

A basic bibliography of studies in English will be provided once the selection of students has been made and registration has been finalized. The students selected are expected to become familiar with that bibliography before the beginning of the course. A more comprehensive bibliography, including the most relevant studies in a variety of languages, will be provided during the course.

As the course is intensive and text-oriented, students are required to be present at each class. An attendance certificate will correspondingly be provided. For those interested in producing a research paper, assignments will be given and upon submission (within six months) an examination certificate can be obtained.

The course will take place during the fourth week of July 2021, with a total of 34 hours. On Friday, class will be held in the Umayyad palatine town of Madinat al-Zahra’. The course will be completed with two Archeological Workshops on Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Coffee will be provided in the morning breaks and the fee includes as well a welcome reception and a dinner on Thursday. Students should arrange for the rest of their meals and lodging. Córdoba has many hotels and restaurants. A selection of the different options available around Casa Árabe will be provided upon registration.

Those interested are requested to send an e-mail message to, indicating in the message subject line: Intensive Summer Course Al-Andalus IV. They need to provide a brief introduction about the candidate’s profile, including first and last names (maximum 300 words), and a letter expressing their interest in the course. The deadline is July 1th 2020. Those 30 selected will be contacted by July 3rd 2020. 

Once confirmation of admittance is received, registration must be completed using the application form that will be sent. The fee for the course is 300 €.

Further information: Calle Samuel de los Santos Gener, 9.
From Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 14:00 p.m. (

Summer course: "Romanization and Islamization in the Western Mediterranean"
Cover photo: Photo: 45 de Qurtuba al C4 - Manuel Gutierrez Guerrero

Monday 20 Casa Árabe, Córdoba

9:00-11:00    Sabine Panzram, University of Hamburg
“…was the only one of the provinces that discovered its strength only after it had been defeated…” – Romanization in the Iberian Peninsula

11:30-13:30    Richard Hingley, Durham University
Language and Roman identity: de-coupling Latin from Roman identity through some case studies

17:00-19:00     Francisco Beltrán Lloris, University of Zaragoza
Latinization and Romanization in the Western Mediterranean: an epigraphical perspective

Tuesday 21 Casa Árabe, Córdoba

8:30-11:00    Antonio Monterroso Checa y Manuel Moreno Alcaide, Archaeological Workshop: Romanization: the urban point of view

11:30-13:30    Juan Manuel Bermúdez Lorenzo, Roman Economy in Imperial Times: the olive oil of the Baetica, a case study

17:00-19:00    Ursula Rothe, Being Roman (?) in the Western Provinces

Wednesday 22 Casa Árabe, Córdoba

9:00-11:00    Pablo Poveda Arias, Before al-Andalus: the historical evolution of the Iberian Peninsula from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages (4th-8th centuries)

11:30-13:30     Alejandro García-Sanjuán, The origins of al-Andalus: sources and scholarly debate

17:00-19:00    Marcos García, Islamisation and foodways: (zoo)archaeological insights from al-Andalus

Thursday 23 Casa Árabe, Córdoba

8:30-11:00    Rafael Blanco Guzman, Archaeological Workshop: The urban process of Islamization in Córdoba

11:30-13:30    Stefan Heidemann, Umar ibn Hafsun and the nativist rebellions in the Islamic Empire

17:00-19:00     Maribel Fierro, Can Islamization take place without religious scholars? The case of al-Andalus

Friday 24 Casa Árabe, Córdoba

9:00-13:00    Antonio Vallejo, Archaeological Workshop: Archaeology of Antiquity in the Caliphal city of Madinat al-Zahra’

15:00-17:00    José C. Carvajal López, The debate on Islamisation in the Archaeology of al-Andalus: an overview and some reflections

17:30-19:30    Timothy Insoll, Comparative archaeological perspectives on Islamisation in the Horn of Africa and the Western Sahel

Francisco BELTRÁN LLORIS, University of Zaragoza
Juan Manuel BERMÚDEZ LORENZO, University Rey Juan Carlos of Madrid
Rafael BLANCO GUZMAN, University of Cordoba.
José C. CARVAJAL LÓPEZ, University of Leicester
Maribel FIERRO, CSIC (Madrid)
Marcos GARCÍA, University of York
Alejandro GARCÍA-SANJUÁN, University of Huelva
Stefan HEIDEMANN, University of Hamburg
Richard HINGLEY, Durham University
Timothy INSOLL, University of Exeter
Antonio MONTERROSO CHECA, University of Córdoba
Manuel MORENO ALCAIDE, University of Córdoba
Sabine PANZRAM, University of Hamburg
Pablo POVEDA ARIAS, University of Hamburg
Ursula ROTHE, The Open University, Milton Keynes
Antonio VALLEJO, Head of the Archaeological site of Medina Azahara

Casa Árabe,
RomanIslam, Center for Comparative Empire and Transcultural Studies
Universität Hamburg

Junta de Andalucía, Consejería de Cultura y Patrimonio Histórico
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Caliphate City of Medina Azahara.