Christian-Muslim Relations 600 - 1500

Get access Subject: Middle East and Islamic Studies
General Editor: David Thomas, Alex Mallett
Associate Editors: Juan Pedro Monferrer-Sala, Johannes Pahlitzsch, Barbara Roggema, Mark Swanson, Herman Teule and John Tolan
Christian-Muslim Relations, a Bibliographical History Online is a general online history of relations between the faiths. It covers the period from 600 to 1500, when encounters took place through the extended Mediterranean basin and are recorded in Syriac, Arabic, Greek, Latin and other languages. Christian Muslim Relations Online comprises introductory essays on the treatment of Christians in the Qur’an, Qur’an commentaries, biographies of the Prophet, Hadith and Sunni law, and of Muslims in canon law, and the main body of more than two hundred detailed entries on all the works recorded, whether surviving or lost.

Subscriptions: see

Al-Bāhilī l-Baṣrī

(222 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū ʿUmar Muḥammad ibn ʿUmar ibn Saʿīd al-Bāhilī al-Baṣrī Date of Birth: Unknown, early 9th century Place of Birth: Basra Date of Death: About 915 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography Al-Bāhilī spent the first part of his life in his native Basra, where he gained a reputation as a skilled theologian. He was a student and close associate of Abū ʿAlī l-Jubbāʾī (q.v.); Ibn al-Murtaḍā reports ʿAbd al-Jabbār recounting how the two were inseparable, and Ibn al-Nadīm says that they attended public sessions together. He also served as …

 Al-bāhir fī l-radd ʿalā l-Yuhūd wa-l-Muʿtazila

(313 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
The dazzling book, in refutation of the Jews and the Muʿtazila Sāwīrus ibn al-Muqaffaʿ Date: Unknown; perhaps before Sāwīrus composed Kitāb miṣbāḥ al-ʿaql (see below) Original Language: Arabic Description MZ no. 3, HP no. 3 In the third chapter of Sāwīrus’ Kitāb miṣbāḥ al-ʿaql, there is a reference to a book the author had written in refutation of opponents; a few lines back he had specifically mentioned ‘the Jews, Sabellius, and the Muʿtazila’ (Samīr, Miṣbāḥ, text, p. 30). The reference may be either to the work treated here, Al-bāhir, or to the work treated in the next entry, Al-balīgh. (I…


(460 words)

Author(s): Zomeño, Amalia
Abū l-Walīd Sulaymān ibn Khalaf ibn Sa‘d al-Tujībī l-Bājī l-Qurṭubī l-Dhahabī Date of Birth: 28 May 1013 Place of Birth: Badajoz Date of Death: 21 December 1081 Place of Death: Almería Biography Al-Bājī was one of the most important scholars of al-Andalus, a jurist, theologian and poet. As a jurist, he may be considered as one of the renovators of Andalusī Mālikism in the 11th century. Both his parents came from families of legal experts. He himself spent 13 years travelling in the East, where he came to know the foremost scholars of his time. When he returned…


(260 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn Abū l-Ḥasan ʿAlī ibn Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ibn al-Khaṭṭāb Date of Birth: 1234 Place of Birth: Uncertain; possibly Badajoz Date of Death: February 1315 Place of Death: Cairo Biography ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn al-Bājī was known mainly as a Shāfiʿī jurist of Maghribī origins. He studied in Damascus, and served as faqīh and walī l-quḍāʾ in al-Karak during the time of Baybars I, al-Malik al-Ẓāhir (r. 1260-77). He later taught in Cairo, where he also featured in political life. His best known works are: Kashf al-ḥaqāʾiq (‘Disclosure of the truths’) on logic, Ghāyat al-sūl fī ʿilm al-uṣūl (…

 Al-balīgh fī l-radd ʿalā l-Yuhūd [wa-l-Muʿtazila]

(114 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
The eloquent book, in refutation of the Jews [and the Muʿtazila] Sāwīrus ibn al-Muqaffaʿ Date: Unknown; perhaps before Sāwīrus composed Kitāb miṣbāḥ al-ʿaql (see below) Original Language: Arabic Description MZ no. 4, HP no. 11. See on Al-bāhir fī l-radd ʿalā l-Yuhūd wa-l-Muʿtazila above. Significance See on Al-bāhir fī l-radd ʿalā l-Yuhūd wa-l-Muʿtazila above. Manuscripts - Editions & Translations - Studies Samīr Khalīl [Samīr], Sāwīrus ibn al-Muqaffaʿ (al-qarn al-ʿāshir al-mīlādī), introduction, pp. 45-46; text, p. 30 Keywords Chronological Category: 900-1000 Thema…


(598 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū Bakr Muḥammad ibn al-Ṭayyib ibn Muḥammad ibn al-Bāqillānī Date of Birth: Unknown, about 941-42 Place of Birth: Basra Date of Death: 5 June 1013 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography Although the date of al-Bāqillānī’s birth is not known, from details of his later life it is possible to say that he was probably born just after 940 (Allard, Le problème des attributs divins, p. 291). He studied under scholars who had been students of al-Ashʿarī (q.v.), and the intellectual promise he showed brought him to the attention of the Būyid amīr ʿAḍud al-Dawla, who att…

 Barāhīn ʿalā ṣiḥḥat al-Injīl

(295 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
'Proofs of the truth of the Gospel' Ishoʿyahb bar Malkon Date: First half of the 13th century Original Language: Arabic Description In this brief text Ishoʿyahb attempts to provide conclusive evidence for the truth of the Gospel. His arguments may be summarized as follows: the Gospel is spread among different and even hostile nations; it urges people to attend to spiritual matters and to act in ways contrary to their nature and customs; it is accepted by the nations on rational grounds; it was accepted by philosophers and scholars; it teaches the sunna of love rather than that of justi…


(2,765 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
Abū l-Faraj Gregory Bar ʿEbrōyō, Abū l-Faraj Jamāl al-Dīn Ghrīghūriyūs ibn Tāj al-Dīn Hārūn ibn Tūmā al-Malaṭī bar ʿEbrōyō, Bar ʿEbrāyā, Ibn al-ʿIbrī Date of Birth: Late 1225 or 1226 Place of Birth: Malaṭya (Melitene, today Eskimalatya, Battalgazi) Date of Death: 30 July 1286 Place of Death: Marāgha; his relics were later transferred to the Monastery of Mar Mattay near Mosul, his official place of residence as maphrian Biography Gregory Barhebraeus was a prolific author as well as a capable religious leader who occupied important ecclesiastical positions within t…

 Bartholomaiou tou Edesēnou (sic) elenchos Agarēnou

(1,153 words)

Author(s): Niehoff-Panagiotidis, Johannes
Bartholomew of Edessa's refutation of an Agarene Bartholomew of Edessa Date: Last decades of the 12th century Original Language: Greek Description The main feature of the work is its unsystematic character: it lacks a logical structure and is full of repetitions and inconsistencies, which is partly due to Bartholomew’s outbursts: ‘B. est incapable de s’en tenir à la ligne d’un argument. Aussitôt qu´il a commencé à en développer un, sa passion bouillonne, la colère le prend’, (Abel, cited by Todt, p. xxvi). The resul…

Bartholomew of Edessa

(363 words)

Author(s): Niehoff-Panagiotidis, Johannes
Bartholomaios Edessēnos Date of Birth: Unknown, but before 1146 Place of Birth: Edessa, now Urfa (Turkey) Date of Death: Unknown; late 12th or early 13th century Place of Death: Unknown Biography It used to be thought that Bartholomew was active in the 9th century (see e.g. Beck, Kirche und theologische Literatur im byzantinischen Reich, Munich, 1959, p. 531). However, since the convincing re-dating by Todt, it is beyond any reasonable doubt that Bartholomew wrote during the last decades of the 12th century, or even later. All we know about Bartholomew is to be deduced from his …

Bartholomew the Younger

(417 words)

Author(s): Martin Hoffman, Lars
Bartholomaios hēgoumenos, Bartholomaios ho neos, Batholomaeus abbas, Bartholomaeus iunior, Bartholomew the Abbot Date of Birth: Approximately 980 Place of Birth: Calabria; probably Rossano Date of Death: Approximately 1050/55 Place of Death: Grottaferrata Biography Bartholomew the Younger was born about 980 in Calabria, probably at Rossano. According to his Vita, at the age of 12 he became a spiritual disciple of Nilus of Rossano (though this could be a hagiographical topos). In about the year 1000, he accompanied his teacher to Montecassino …

 Bayān al-Adyān

(704 words)

Author(s): Mallett, Alex
Enumeration of the religions Abū l-Maʿālī Date: 1091/92 Original Language: Persian Description The Bayān al-Adyān is an encyclopaedia of sorts, listing and describing the various religious sects which were known to Abū l-Maʿālī. Completed in 1091/92, as the author relates, Kafafi, p. iii, believes it is the earliest extant Persian book on religions. It was written after Abū l-Maʿālī took part in a discussion about pre-Islamic religions and Islam at the royal court, presumably in the city of Ghazna, whose libr…

 Bayān madhhab al-Naṣārā

(212 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
An explanation of the doctrine of the Christians Al-Ashʿarī Date: Unknown, between 932 and 935 Original Language: Arabic Description The work is lost, and its original title is unknown. All that is known is this brief description of it in a list of al-Ashʿarī’s late works by Ibn Fūrak, which Ibn ʿAsākir incorporated into his list ( Tabyīn, p. 135; McCarthy, Theology, p. 227, no. 84). As the reference indicates, it set out what were in all likelihood the main Christian teachings of the Trinity and Incarnation, possibly going into details about the differen…

 Al-bayān al-mughrib fī [ikhtiṣār] akhbār mulūk al-Andalus wa-l-Maghreb

(1,555 words)

Author(s): Serrano Ruano, Delfina
The surpassing explanation, on the [summary of the] history of the kings of al-Andalus and the Maghrib Ibn ʿIdhārī al-Marrākushī Date: Uncertain; around 1312-13 Original Language: Arabic Description This chronicle, which has not been preserved in its complete form, covers the period starting with the conquest of Egypt in 640-41 and ending with the fall of the Almohads. The last events to which it refers took place in 1312-13, which may mark the time at which Ibn ʿIdhārī left off writing. It is divided into three parts. The…

 Bayān ṣiḥḥat al-diyāna l-masīḥiyya

(83 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
Exposition of the soundness of the Christian religion Yūsāb, bishop of Akhmīm Date: Unknown; mid- to late 13th century Original Language: Arabic Description This was an apologetic text of the True Religion genre. Significance Nothing can be said about the significance of this work. Manuscripts Inaccessible MS once in the possession of al-qummuṣ ʿAbd al-Masīḥ Ṣalīb al-Baramūsī l-Masʿūdī, according to Sbath, Fihris i, p. 74 (no. 601) Editions & Translations Studies Keywords Chronological Category: 1250-1300 Mark N. Swanson

 Bella Antiochena

(907 words)

Author(s): Edgington, Susan B.
The Antiochene wars Walter the Chancellor Date: Unknown; Book 1 probably between late 1115 and mid-1119; Book 2 after 1119 Original Language: Latin Description The Bella Antiochena occupies 54 pages in its modern edition (Hagenmeyer), and 94 in translation (Asbridge and Edgington). It is an account of two wars waged by the Latin Christians against the Turks in northern Syria: Book 1 covers the war of 1115, in which Count Roger of Antioch defeated Bursuq ibn Bursuq of Hamadān (14 September); Book 2 describes the defence o…

Benedetto Accolti

(764 words)

Author(s): Black, Robert
(Messer) Benedetto di messer Michele di Santi di Grazia Accolti, Benedictus Aretinus, Benedetto d'Arezzo, Benedictus Accoltus Date of Birth: 1415 Place of Birth: Arezzo Date of Death: 26 September, 1464 Place of Death: Florence Biography Benedetto Accolti was descended from two Aretine legal dynasties. Although the Accolti (as well as his mother’s family the Roselli) were leading citizens of Arezzo, his father (also a lawyer) emigrated to Florence, and Benedetto lived up to family expectations by taking degrees himself in civil a…

Benedict of Alignan

(597 words)

Author(s): Arnold, John H.
Biography Benedict was born into the minor nobility in Languedoc, perhaps as early as 1190, and as a youth joined the Benedictine monastery of Lagrasse (midway between Carcassonne and Narbonne), where he became abbot in 1224. This position implicated him politically as well as spiritually in the Albigensian Crusade (1209-29): in 1226, he attempted to persuade Carcassonne and Béziers to submit to Louis VIII, and played a similarly diplomatic role between Louis and the count of Roussillon. In 1229,…

Bertrandon de la Broquière

(259 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Bertrandon de la Broquère Date of Birth: About 1400 Place of Birth: Perhaps Broquère, Garonne Date of Death: 9 May 1459 Place of Death: Lille Biography Almost everything that is known about Bertrandon derives from his Voyage d’Oultremer. He was probably born to a minor noble family in the Guyenne. He first appears in archival sources in 1418, in the service of Archambaud de Foix, lord of Navailles, who was murdered along with his lord Jean sans Peur, Duke of Burgundy, on 10 September 1419. Bertrandon went into the service of the new duke Philip the Good as écuyer trenchant (carver) in 1421; h…