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The Transformation of Culture-Power In Indo-Europe, 1000-1300

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While it is no easy matter to identify convincing and coherent Eurasia-wide transformations during the early centuries of the second millennium (section 1), it is possible to demonstrate unequivocally that much of South Asia and Western Europe underwent comparable changes in culture and power, with vernacular replacing cosmopolitan forms of language and literature in many areas of cultural production, and regional forms of polity replacing empire (this are briefly exemplified here by the cases of Hoysala Karnataka and Alfonsine Castile, section 2). Far more difficult is it to account for the peculiar structure and synchrony of these transformations. Any monocausal explanation for so complex a transformation is inherently improbable. A range of factors that may have contributed include the dynamic expansion of world trade and agriculture, the rise of the nomadic empires, and the spread of Islam on its western and eastern frontiers. Yet none of these factors is obviously causal, nor even as an ensemble do they fully explain why the culture-power complex changed the way it did only in South Asia and Europe (sections 3-4).


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