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

Gautier de Compiègne

(139 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Walterius, Walter of Compiègne, Walter von Compiègne Date of Birth: unknown; probably late 11th century Place of Birth: unknown Date of Death: mid to late 12th century Place of Death: unknown Biography In the Otia de Machomete, Gautier gives his name as Walterius, and says that he is a monk writing at the bidding of his abbot; he also mentions the Cathedral of Sens.  He may well be the same Gautier who was monk at Marmoutier and later, from 1137 to 1155, prior of St Martin of Chartres, author of a history of Marmoutier and a collection of miracles of the Virgin Mary. Primary Sources of Information - S…

 Gennadiou thrēnos

(443 words)

Author(s): Todt, Klaus-Peter
ʻGennadius’s lamentationʼ Gennadius II Scholarius Date: June 21, 1460 Original Language: Greek Description In this work, Gennadius laments not only his personal fate but also that of his people. He does not know what he should complain about more, the physical enslavement of the Greeks or the corruption of their souls, the excesses of the barbarians or the errors in the souls of the faithful, the humiliation of the Church or the folly of its leaders. Many Christians fall away day by day, while those who adhe…

 Gennadiou tou patriarchou epi tē halōsei tēs poleōs kai tē paraitēsei tēs archierosynēs

(537 words)

Author(s): Todt, Klaus-Peter
‘Gennadius the Patriarch on the capture of the city and resignation from the archiepiscopate’ Gennadius II Scholarius Date: Late summer or autumn 1454 (before October) Original Language: Greek Description According to Blanchet, Scholarius wrote this work in his new official residence, the monastery of Theotokos Pammakaristos, in the late summer or autumn of 1454. It concerns the fall of Constantinople and his intention to resign as patriarch. He begins by apologizing for his long silence about the fall of the city and its c…

Gennadius II Scholarius

(1,233 words)

Author(s): Todt, Klaus-Peter
Gennadios II Scholarios, Geōrgios Kourtesēs Scholarios (monastic name Gennadius) Date of Birth: Between 1400 and 1405 Place of Birth: Constantinople Date of Death: Before October 1474 Place of Death: Monastery of St John Prodromos (the Baptist), Mount Menoikeus near Serres, Macedonia Biography Born in Constantinople between 1400 and 1405, Georgius Scholarius studied under Marcus Eugenicus (later metropolitan of Ephesus), John Chortasmenus, Joseph Bryennius, and Macarius Macres. He had a good knowledge of Latin and Western scholastic the…

Geoffrey Chaucer

(334 words)

Author(s): Schildgen, Brenda
Biography In a ‘Ballade’ addressed to Geoffrey Chaucer, the French poet, Eustache Deschamps, his contemporary, calls him a ‘grant translateur’. Deschamps explains what this term might mean by referring to the classical authors,Virgil and Ovid, for example, and the French Roman de la rose, which Chaucer has ‘translated’ into English (1360s). To confer on him the role of translatio studii of the ancient Romans and the contemporary French only slightly addresses Chaucer’s many allusions, borrowings, and general indebtedness to the matter of Rome, the matter of Britain, French 13th-cen…

George Akropolites

(570 words)

Author(s): Prinzing, Günter
Geōrgios Akropolitēs Date of Birth: 1217 Place of Birth: Constantinople Date of Death: 1282 Place of Death: Constantinople Biography George Akropolites belonged to a long-established Constantinopolitan family that, from the early 11th century, had produced several officials who worked in the Byzantine civil administration. A 12th-century lead seal of a certain George Akropolites, found in Argos, probably belonged to his grandfather. He lived till the age of 16 in Constantinople, and received his first education there. Then, from the age of…

George Pachymeres

(734 words)

Author(s): Mitsiou, Ekaterini
Geōrgios Pachymerēs Date of Birth: 1242 Place of Birth: Nicea Date of Death: After 1307 Place of Death: Probably Constantinople Biography George Pachymeres was born in 1242 in the exile state of Nicea to a family from Constantinople. It is unclear whether the two brothers John and Michael Pachymeres were his sons or nephews (see V. Laurent’s introduction to Tannery, Quadrivium de Georges Pachymère, p. xxvii, n. 3). At the age of 19, Pachymeres returned to Constantinople and studied philosophy, rhetoric, mathematics and logic, probably under George Akropolites (q…

George Sphrantzes

(771 words)

Author(s): Kolditz, Sebastian
Geōrgios Sphrantzēs Date of Birth: 30 August 1401 Place of Birth: Probably Constantinople Date of Death: After May 1477 Place of Death: Corfu Biography Biographical data referring to George Sphrantzes are entirely derived from his own memoirs. He belonged to an aristocratic family of late Byzantium with close connections to the imperial court, where his uncle served as instructor of the later Despot and Emperor Constantine XI. This circumstance forms the background of his personal relationship with Constantine from chi…

George the Archdeacon

(418 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
Biography A passing reference and two notices in The History of the patriarchs of Alexandria (Evetts, PO 5, pp. 20, 90-91; PO 10, p. 360) allow us to identify the author of one of its sources as Jirja, a monk (probably of the monastery of St Macarius in the Wādī al-Naṭrūn) and archdeacon who was the spiritual son of John III, (the 40th Coptic patriarch, 680-89), served as secretary to Simon, (42nd patriarch, 692-700), and was spiritual father to a relative who became Patriarch Cosmas I (44th patriarch, 729-30). While at the monastery of St Macarius, he wrote a collection of Lives…

George the Monk, George Hamartolos (‘the Sinner’)

(406 words)

Author(s): Efthymiadis, Stephanos
George the Monk Date of Birth: Unknown Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown Place of Death: Unknown Biography All we know about George (Georgios) the Monk is that he was a monk in Constantinople during the reign of Michael III (842-67). His epithet Hamartolos, ‘the sinner’, which appears in the title of his single work, was a common mark of humility for Byzantine monks. He is the author of a world Chronicle which extends from the creation to the end of the second Iconoclastic period (843). He was a staunch supporter of the iconophile cause, and it is perhaps no accident that his Chronicle…


(736 words)

Author(s): Bakhou and John Lamoreaux, Abgar
Gerasimos, Abbot of the Monastery of St Symeon Date of Birth: Unknown; perhaps 12th or early 13th century Place of Birth: Unknown; perhaps Antioch Date of Death: Unknown; perhaps 13th century Place of Death: Unknown; perhaps Antioch Biography Gerasimos is an exceedingly obscure figure. The body of his sole surviving work offers no biographical information. From its title, we learn that its author, Gerasimos, was ‘the abbot of the Monastery of the Blessed Saint Symeon the Wonderworker’, on the ‘wondrous mountain’ ( thaumaston oros). This would be the monastery of Symeon the Tha…

Gesta Francorum

(979 words)

Author(s): Bull, Marcus
Unknown author Date of Birth: Unknown Place of Birth: Unknown; possibly southern Italy Date of Death: Unknown; possibly late 11th or early 12th century Place of Death: Unknown Biography Nothing is known about the author of the Gesta Francorum other than what can be inferred from the text, which in fact amounts to very little. Since the time of Heinrich von Sybel and Heinrich Hagenmeyer’s researches into the text in the 19th century, however, a quite full biography has been constructed. The general belief has been that the author was a knight of Norman descent from …

 Gesta Francorum et aliorum Hierosolimitanorum

(1,635 words)

Author(s): Bull, Marcus
Gesta FrancorumThe deeds of the Franks and of others going to Jerusalem Gesta Francorum Date: Probably 1099 Original Language: Latin Description A little less than 20,000 words in length and occupying 97 pages in its most recent Oxford Medieval Texts edition, the Gesta Francorum et aliorum Hierosolimitanorum is a Latin prose history of the First Crusade between its preaching in France by Pope Urban II and the key events of the summer of 1099, that is, the crusaders’ capture of Jerusalem from Egyptian forces on 15 July and their defeat of a …

 Gesta regum Anglorum

(456 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
The deeds of the kings of the English, History of the English kings William of Malmesbury Date: 1125 (1st edition); 1135-40 (revised version) Original Language: Latin Description Queen Matilda, consort of Henry I, apparently asked William to produce a history of the kings of England. The result, the Gesta regum Anglorum, is a sweeping national chronicle that goes from the death of Bede in 735 to his own day: this clearly indicates that Bede was a model for William, whose chronicle is a sort of continuation of the Northumbrian monk’s Ecclesiastical history of the English people. William’s …

 Gesta Tandcredi in expeditione Hierosolymitana

(905 words)

Author(s): Packard, Barbara
The deeds of Tancred on the expedition to Jerusalem Ralph of Caen Date: 1112-18 Original Language: Latin Description Ralph of Caen began his work after the death of Tancred in 1112, writing in both verse and prose. In the RHC edition, the text takes up about 125 pages. In his preface, Ralph implies that he wrote only after the death of his lord so that he could not be accused of being bribed and told what to write. Ralph dedicated the work to Arnulf of Chocques, his former teacher and patriarch of Jerusalem. Throughout his work, he h…