I am a historian of the pre-modern Mediterranean world, specializing in the political, intellectual and cultural history of medieval Spain and North Africa. I received my PhD in History at the University of Chicago in 2019, focusing on the history of the late medieval Mediterranean. I am currently an Assistant Professor of Medieval History at Stony Brook University in New York, where I teach courses on late antique, medieval and early modern history.

Among other topics, I am particularly interested in historiography; the medieval Mediterranean; borderlands and frontier history; political thought; Islamic history; medieval Iberia; sectarianism and intercommunal relations; early modern Europe; intellectual networks; philosophy; the Ottoman Empire; and late antiquity. The purpose of this blog is to share interesting facts, provide critical reflections and present a collection of my own musings on history, theology, philosophy, travels, politics and religion. It seeks to serve as a resource for all students and scholars of medieval history.

All original content on this blog is copyright and cannot be reproduced or copied without my express written permission.


Copyright © Mohamad Ballan 2012-2020. All rights reserved.

21 thoughts on “About

  1. Enjoyed your pieces. Have read two so far: one on the Safawids and the other on the envoy to the Vikings. Well-researched and equally absorbing. In my Pluto volume, Islam and Modernity, the first two chapters are on Muslim Spain. Do read them, if you get a chance.

  2. Have you researched on the science and islam in during the ‘golden period’ of islam – how far islam was responsible for famous scientists? Most of the famous scientists were persians and they were skeptical towards islam – is it correct?

    Kindly comment.

  3. Ramam Sehgal: la mayoría de científicos no eran persas en absoluto. Eran árabes y otros diversos orígenes (la mayoría en Irak). Eran científicos, lo que supone ser algo escépticos, como en otras religiones.

    • Eh, pero es una lectura comprensible, de hecho. No era así en el occidente musulmán, pero en el oriente, desde la era abasí y hasta inicios de los imperios otomano y mogol, sí parece haber habido una especie de imaginario en que se estereotipaba a los científicos como persas. No es fortuito que los selyúcidas tomaran el persa como lengua científica y política hasta que un bey de Karamán decretó el uso exclusivo del turco ogúz anatolio, y creo haber leído que fue el mismo caso con los mogoles (hablantes de turco kipchák) hasta que a Akbar el Grande se le ocurrió intentar sincretizar tradición islámica con védica.

      Tal vez me equivoco en algún detalle, pero es comprensible confundir lo que las fuentes primarias dan a entender con lo que pudo haber ocurrido en realidad.

  4. Today at 12:35 AM

    salamun alaikum Br. Mohamad Ballan
    I enjoy your website ballandulas.wordpress.com-excellent.
    If you have finished your Phd – conratulation , if not then wish you best wishes, long and healthy life.
    I am US Citizen of Pakistani origin , getting old , live in Indianapolis.
    Please do not get upset , your name suggests , could be a Syrian or Lebanese origin.

    Where can I get a book by the name of Meezan -il–Faris by Hujjatullah Abdul Qadir Ali Al-Moosvi. I heard this book is banned in Iran. Is there an English translation available. I can also live with a Persian version. Please help me find it.
    Please respond.
    abdalaziz ariff 317-495-0595

  5. Is there a way to get Muslim Spain and Portugal: A Political History of al-Andalus by Hugh Kennedy at a reasonable price? Amazon is currently selling it at an exorbitant rate.

    Could you write a post detailing recommended books to read about Al Andalus?

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