Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 25 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This article describes the role of the Middle East in world history. The Middle East is both a strategic concept and a geo-cultural region. As a concept and a specific label of identification, it is a product of analysts writing about twentieth-century world affairs. However, as a region, its peoples and cultures are associated with the history of humanity from ancient times. This regional name itself shapes a way of understanding the history of the broad region of Southwestern Asia and Northern Africa. Both of the terms in the name — ‘Middle’ and ‘East’ — identify the region in relationship to other world regions and reflect the importance of the region's involvement in broader global historical processes. Along with examining the history of the region, the discussion also notes how the concepts of the historical units involved in that history have changed in the presentations of the history of the Middle East.

Keywords: Middle East, world history, ancient history, Southwestern Asia, Northern Africa

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.