Ted Thornton
History of the Middle East Database

Ted Thornton
Department of History and Social Science
Northfield Mount Hermon School

Origins of Key Geographical Terms


History by Region or State


History by Time Period


Special Topics









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I have been teaching courses about the Middle East at Northfield Mount Hermon School since 1977. History of the Middle East Database was launched in unpublished print form in 1987 as a reference work for my students. It has since then passed through other (electronic) formats and appeared on the Web for the first time in 2000. Updates and revisions occur frequently. All photographs were taken by me unless otherwise credited. The Bibliography includes sources from which most of the material was drawn.  Other references occur in the text. The content is mainly intended as an introduction, a means of creating interest, and a quick reference resource.

Recent Additions

Recent events in the Middle East and relevant events elsewhere
Recent events in Iraq
Islamic Middle East Blog
August, 2009: Rocket attacks on Israel condemned as "war crimes."
August, 2009: German song lyric controversy.
July, 2009: Boko Haram jihad, northern Nigeria.
July, 2009: UN releases fifth Arab World Human Dev Report.
June, 2009: French President calls for ban on veils.
June 30, 2009: U.S. withdraws troops from Iraqi urban areas.
June, 2009: Disputed elections in Iran.
June 7, 2009: Parliamentary elections in Lebanon.
June 4, 2009: President Obama speaks to the Muslim world.
November, 2008: "U.S. Status of Forces Agreement" in Iraq.
November, 2008: Carnage in Mumbai.
Summer, 2008: Chill in U.S.-Pakistan relations.
Summer, 2008: Two key court decisions in Turkey.
June, 2008:  France denies citizenship to woman wearing the veil.
Feb, 2008: World Bank: "Arab world lagging in education."
Jan-Feb, 2008: Should the U.S. be trying to "contain" Iran?
July, 2007: Two art exhibitions challenge "clash of civilizations" thesis.
2005 - 2008: Political crisis in the Palestinian Territories.
2006 - 2008: Political crisis in Lebanon.
Wars of Words and Images: Religious Polemics.



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A database of online Middle East resources 

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Thornton Home Page

"Islamic Middle East" course

Islam unit "Religions of the World" course


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email: tthornton@nmhschool.org

Last Revised: August 7, 2009