Orientalism and the study of Islam 1889-90
Crawford H. Toy First to Teach Islamic History
The division of “Semitic Languages” founded by Professor Toy was re-named “Semitic Languages and History” and his “History of the Spanish Califate” became the first course on Islamic history taught at Harvard. This course and “Political and Literary History of the Bagdad Califate” were then offered in alternate years and were both expanded over time to include topics such as the Qur’an, the history of Islam in India and Egypt, the Crusades through Muslim sources, the Barbary States, and Muslims in Sicily. Professor Toy’s Arabic offerings also expanded in subsequent years to include the study of Wright’s Grammar, The Thousand and One Nights, the Muʿallaqāt, Mutanabbī, Ibn Khaldūn, and Kitāb al-Aghānī.