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.

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La Chanson de Roland

(45 words)

Author(s): Kinoshita, Sharon
Unknown author Date of Birth: Unknown Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown Place of Death: Unknown Biography - Primary Sources of Information - Secondary Sources of Information - Works on Christian-Muslim Relations La Chanson de Roland Sharon Kinoshita

 La Chanson de Roland

(1,341 words)

Author(s): Kinoshita, Sharon
The Song of Roland La Chanson de Roland Date: Late 12th century Original Language: Anglo-Norman Description Composed of 4,002 decasyllabic verses divided into stanzas ( laisses) bound by a common assonance, the anonymous Chanson de Roland (as preserved in the Oxford manuscript) is one of approximately 100 surviving chansons de geste (Old French epics); while the Oxford Roland manuscript is in old French, other manuscripts show dialectal traits in Franco-Italian, Picard-Lorrain, and Burgundian. The versions of the poem contained in manuscripts C, V7, P…

 La divina commedia

(2,871 words)

Author(s): de Ventura, Paolo
Commedia; Commedìa; Comedia‘The divine comedy’, ‘The comedy’ Dante Alighieri Date: Between 1304 and 1321 Original Language: (Florentine vernacular) Italian Description The Commedia (it is only called ‘divine’ from the 1555 Venetian edition by Lodovico Dolce) is a poem whose structural organization reflects the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, with three canticles ( Hell, Purgatory and Paradise), 33 canti in each canticle, plus the proem at the beginning, making 100 canti in all. Each canto is composed in tercets of three lines, each made up of 11 sylla…

 La Infidelita di MacomethaniInfidilitas Mahumathanorum que ortus in Saracenis

(935 words)

Author(s): McMichael, Steven J.
'The infidelity of the followers of Muḥammad'; 'The infidelity of the followers of Muḥammad which has originated among the Saracens'Sermons Roberto da Lecce Date: 1480s Original Language: Italian Description After some introductory remarks about the origins of Muḥammad, the major issue of the first of the three sections of Roberto’s Italian sermon on Islam is concerned with the miʿrāj – Muḥammad’s journey by night to Jerusalem and his ascent to heaven. The second section begins by asking why this ‘bestial and erroneous sect’ was able to draw in so many…

Landolfus Sagax

(87 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Biography Landolfus was a Lombard historian who wrote the Historia Romana in the last quarter of the 10th century.  Textual evidence suggests that he was a layman in the entourage of a southern Italian prince, perhaps of Benevento or Naples. No other sources of information about him exist. Primary Sources of Information - Secondary Sources of Information P. Chiesa, art. 'Landolfus Sagax', in Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani: LXIII Labroca – Laterza, ed. M. Caravale, Rome, 2004 Works on Christian-Muslim Relations Historia Romana John Tolan

Laonicus Chalcocondyles

(838 words)

Author(s): Preiser-Kapeller, Johannes
Laonikos (Nikolaos) Chalkokondylēs (Chalkokandylēs, Chalkokandēles) Date of Birth: Approximately 1423 Place of Birth: Athens Date of Death: After 1464 Place of Death: Unknown Biography Laonicus (Nikolaos) Chalcocondyles was born in about 1423 in Athens, which at this time was under the rule of the Florentine Acciaiuoli family. In 1435, his father George was serving as envoy of Antonio I Acciaiuoli’s widow to Sultan Murad II to gain lordship over Athens for her, but he was arrested by the Ottomans. After a flight to Con…

 La vie de Saint Louis

(1,697 words)

Author(s): Mallett, Alex
‘The life of St Louis’ John of Joinville Date: October 1309 Original Language: Old French Description The Life of St Louis was written by John of Joinville following a request by Joan of Navarre, the countess of Champagne and the wife of Louis’ grandson. Her purpose in commissioning the piece was to glorify Louis in two ways – for his sanctity in word, and for his sanctity in deed – and the work is split into two sections accordingly. While this was the primary goal of the work, John had several reasons of his own …

 Legal judgement

(279 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Unnamed work on Muslims acting as witnesses to dhimmī marriages Ibn ʿAbd al-Rafīʿ Date: Unknown; before 1333 Original Language: Arabic Description The work is only known from a brief mention by al-Zarkashī, Taʾrīkh al-dawlatayn, p. 56. He details the circumstances in which it was written as follows. Ibn ʿAbd al-Rafīʿ was in competition with Abū ʿAlī ʿUmar al-Hāshimī (q.v.), the judge in charge of the administration of marriage law in Tunis, over which of them was senior. When the latter sanctioned the practice of Muslims acting as witnesses …

 Legenda aurea sive legende sanctorum

(1,445 words)

Author(s): Mula, Stefano
Legenda aurea‘The golden legend or legends of the saints’, ‘The golden legend’ James of Voragine Date: Between about 1260 and 1298 Original Language: Latin Description James kept working on the Golden legend until the end of his life and produced two different versions, which Maggioni calls the first and the second redactions. James’ interest in Muḥammad is confirmed by the expansion of his life in the second version of the Golden legend, and in particular by his efforts to find reliable sources. It is, for instance, in the later version that James adds a cautionar…

 Le livre de Jehan de Mandeville

(6,091 words)

Author(s): Higgins, Iain
MandevilleLe Livre des merveilles'The book of John Mandeville''Mandeville's travels', 'The travels of Sir John Mandeville' John Mandeville Date: Unknown; after 1351 and before 1371 (the work dates itself to 1356 or 1357) Original Language: Old French Description A widely-circulated and much-translated guide to the East, The book of John Mandeville is a lengthy prose compilation that falsely passes itself off as a work of memory based on the personal experience of three-and-half decades of travel (1322-56) by a knight born and raised in St Alba…

Leo Choirosphactes

(575 words)

Author(s): Beihammer, Alexander
Leōn Magistros Choirosphaktēs, Leo Magistrus Choirosphactes Date of Birth: Early 840s Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: After 913 Place of Death: Studiou Monastery, Constantinople Biography Leo Magistrus Choirosphactes belonged to a family that enjoyed a certain influence at the court of the early Macedonian emperors Basil I (867-86) and Leo VI (886-912). There were also bonds of kinship with the ruling dynasty through Leo VI’s fourth wife Zoe Carbonopsina. An Arab account transmitted by al-Ṭabarī designated Leo Cho…

Leontius of Damascus

(250 words)

Author(s): Lamoreaux, John C.
Biography A native of Damascus, Leontius became a monk at the monastery of Mār Sabas toward the end of the 8th century. His spiritual turmoil brought him to Stephen, another monk at the monastery, and through Stephen's teachings and prayers, Leontius received freedom from certain disturbing thoughts. In time, Stephen accepted Leontius as a disciple. Over the course of the next four years, Leontius lived with Stephen, wandered the deserts with him, recorded his teachings, and collected stories about him. Shortly aft…

Leo VI 'the Wise'

(783 words)

Author(s): McGeer, Eric
Leo VI 'ho Sophos' Date of Birth: 19th(?) September 866 Place of Birth: Constantinople Date of Death: 11 May 912 Place of Death: Constantinople Biography Leo VI ascended the throne in 886 at the age of 20 and ruled for 26 years until his death in 912. His literary and intellectual endeavors earned him the epithet ‘the Wise’, and his reputation rests on his inspiration or production of significant codifications of law, the urban economy, and, in the case of the Taktika, military science. Foreign affairs presented constant difficulties throughout his reign. He had first to dea…

 Les gestes des Chiprois

(1,175 words)

Author(s): Edbury, Peter
‘The deeds of the Cypriots’ Les gestes des Chyprois Date: 13th and 14th century, before 1343 Original Language: French Description The compilation of historical narratives which, since its discovery in the 19th century, has been known as Les gestes des Chiprois survives in a single manuscript of Cypriot provenance dated 1343. The manuscript lacks the opening and the final folios and in its surviving form the narrative covers the period 1131-1309. It is likely that the history originally began with a series of brief annals from 1095 on…

Les gestes des Chyprois

(769 words)

Author(s): Edbury, Peter
A series of authors Date of Birth: Place of Birth: Date of Death: Place of Death: Biography There are three identifiable authors: the anonymous author (or authors) of the Annales de Terre Sainte; Philip of Novara; the 'Templar of Tyre'. The Annales de Terre Sainte exist in a number of recensions, some of which end in 1291 with the fall of Acre. Although not a feature of the section that comprises the first part of the Gestes des Chiprois, the large number of necrologies of Latin clergy to be found in this work suggests that some at least of the compilers were themselves c…

 Les ordonnances de Temir Bey; Histoire de Tamerlan

(574 words)

Author(s): Casali, Chiara
'The orders of Timur'; 'The life of Timur' John of Sulṭāniyya Date: 1403 Original Language: Old French Description John wrote this brief biography of Timur during his embassy’s stay at the court of Charles VI of France in 1403. (The circulation of the booklet is attested by the court chronicler, who also translated it into Latin.) The purpose of the embassy was to create new commercial relations between East and West, so the biography was meant to be first and foremost a means of making Timur known in European courts and thus encouraging trade. The text was published in 1894 by Moranvill…

 Les prophéties de Merlin

(1,203 words)

Author(s): Koble, Nathalie
Les prophesies de Merlin; Les prophecies de Merlin; Les prophecies Merlin'The prophecies of Merlin' Les prophéties de Merlin Date: Late 13th century Original Language: Old French Description The work appears to have been written in several stages, making a cleverly crafted compilation that is difficult to date precisely and in which prophetic fragments alternate with narrative episodes about Arthur and his knights. Allusions to contemporary events lead to a date around 1270 for the oldest layer of prophecies, and thus the…

Les prophéties de Merlin

(262 words)

Author(s): Koble, Nathalie
'Richard d’Irlande' Date of Birth: Unknown; probably early 13th century Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown; late 13th or early 14th century Place of Death: Unknown Biography The author’s name ‘Richard d’Irlande’ is a pseudonym. It appears in a single work, written in French, probably by a Venetian Franciscan in the third quarter of the 13th century (Paton, Les Prophecies de Merlin, ii, pp. 328-51; this study still constitutes the fundamental reference on historical allusions in the text). The author hides behind a pseudonym both in order to mask…

 L'estoire de Eracles empereur et la conqueste de la Terre d'Outremer

(1,842 words)

Author(s): Edbury, Peter
'The Old French Continuations of William of Tyre' The Old French Continuations of William of Tyre Date: 13th century Original Language: Old French Description William of Tyre completed his history of the crusades and the Latin East in 1184, and at some point during the first three decades of the 13th century it was translated from Latin into French. Then, in the 1230s, against a background of continuing interest in the crusades in western Europe, the French translation was brought up to date by adding material covering the period 1184-1232 adap…

 Letter 59 (Disputation with the Caliph al-Mahdī); incipit of oldest manuscript: Tub dilēh kad dīlēh d-mār Ṭīmātēʾōs qāṭōlīqā drāshā da-ʿbad lwāt Mahdī ʾamīrā da-mhaymānē b-sharbā d-haymānūtā da-kresṭyānūtā ba-znā d-shūʾālā wa-dpūnāy petgāmā

(1,877 words)

Author(s): Heimgartner, Martin
And now the disputation of the same Catholicos Mār Timothy with Mahdī, the Commander of the Faithful, about Christianity in the form of question and answer Timothy (Ṭīmāteʾōs), East-Syrian patriarch Date: 782/83 Original Language: Syriac Description Letter 59, the so-called Disputation ( drāshā) or Dialogue or Apology, is a conversation on religion, which Timothy held in Arabic with the Caliph al-Mahdī (r. 775-85) in Baghdad on two days of the year 782/83. Afterwards he wrote down the conversation in the form of a record from memory (' Gedächtnisprotokoll’) in a letter to a friend…
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