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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Rabīʿ ibn Zayd

(453 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
Recemundo, Recemund Date of Birth: Unknown; early 10th century Place of Birth: Cordova Date of Death: Late 10th century or early 11th century Place of Death: Unknown Biography Rabīʿ ibn Zayd, whose baptismal name was Recemund (Recemundo), was a leader of the Christian communities in al-Andalus. He was a Christian official at the Cordovan court under the Caliph ʿAbd al-Raḥmān III (r. 912-61), and in 955-56 he was chosen to lead an embassy to the Emperor Otto I ( Hūtū) in Germany. This was in response to a mission sent by Otto to Cordova, led by John of Gorze (q.v.). He also…

 Radd Abī l-Qāsim ʿAbdallāh ibn Aḥmad al-Balkhī ʿalā l-Naṣārā fī kitābihi l-musammā Awāʾil al-adilla

(330 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
Abū l-Qāsim ʿAbdallāh ibn Aḥmad al-Balkhī's refutation of the Christians in his book entitled 'Fundamentals of the proofs' Ibn Zurʿa Date: 997 Original Language: Arabic Description The work replies to selected arguments that appeared in a lost theological compendium of the early 9th-century Baghdad Muʿtazilī Abū l-Qāsim al-Balkhī (d. 931) (q.v.). They include attacks on the Trinity, the anthropomorphization of God ( tashbīh) through comparing him with creatures, and the prophethood of Muḥammad. By the 10th century, all these topics had become familiar features of deba…

 Al-radd ʿalā ahl al-adyān

(207 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Refutation of the followers of the faiths Abū Zakkār Yaḥyā ibn Nuʿmān Date: early 9th c. Original Language: Arabic Description ʿAlī l-Ṭabarī mentions in his Kitāb al-dīn wa-l-dawla (ed. Mingana, p. 124) that Abū Zakkār's work included the point that no one who converted to Islam did so as a result of witnessing a miracle.  He also refers to 'an uncle of mine who was one of the learned and eloquent men among Christians' (pp. 44-45), surely the same person, arguing with respect to the claim that the Qurʾan's literary qualit…

 Radd ʿalā ahl al-dhimma wa-man tabiʿahum

(497 words)

Author(s): Mallett, Alex
‘Refutation of the dhimmis and those who follow them’ Ghāzī ibn al-Wāsiṭī Date: 1290-93 Original Language: Arabic Description Radd ʿalā ahl al-dhimma wa-man tabiʿahum is a vicious attack on Coptic Christians (and, less often, Jews), which consists almost entirely of anecdotes describing their supposed duplicity. It was one of a number of anti-Christian treatises written in the jihād atmosphere of the Mamluk empire with the aim of inciting popular antagonism against Christians, and a tone of bitterness runs throughout. The main criticism within the piece is that Christians …

 Radd ʿalā kitāb Abī l-Qāsim ʿAbdallāh ibn Aḥmad al-Bāghī

(139 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
Refutation of the work of Abū l-Qāsim ʿAbdallāh ibn Aḥmad al-Bāghī (sic) Abū Ḥakīm (Ḥalīm) Yūsuf al-Buḥayrī Date: 10th or 11th century Original Language: Arabic Description This work ascribed to Abū Ḥakīm is only preserved in the MS referred to in Sbath, Fihris, p. 258. It is probable that it is identical with Ibn Zurʿa’s refutation of the Awāʾil al-adilla composed by Abū l-Qāsim ʿAbdallah ibn Aḥmad al-Balkhī (q.v.). Significance It is not possible to specify the significance of the work. Manuscripts Aleppo, Karkur Saigh Collection (inaccessible MS in a private collection; see Sbath, Fih…

 Al-radd ʿalā lladhīna yaqūlūna inna kalimat Allāh makhlūqa

(187 words)

Author(s): Lamoreaux, John C.
The Refutation of those who say that the Word of God is created Theodore Abū Qurra Date: Late 8th or early 9th c. Original Language: Arabic Description Taking as its starting point the qurʾānic acknowledgment of Christ as the Word of God, this text seeks to explain how this Word was begotten without the physical accouterments of birth and why it is necessary that this Word be eternal like God himself. Significance Theodore's opponents in this text are unnamed. In that they acknowledge Christ to be the Word of God, however, it is clear that they are Muslims. The text…

 Al-radd ʿalā lladhīna yaqūlūna inna l-Naṣārā yuʾminū bi-ilāh ḍaʿīf idh yaqūlūna inna al-Masīḥ ilāh wa-innahu luṭima wa-ḍuriba wa-ṣuliba wa-māta wa-qāma

(245 words)

Author(s): Lamoreaux, John C.
The Refutation of those who say that Christians believe in a weak God, in that they say that Christ is God and that he was slapped, struck, crucified, died and rose (again) Theodore Abū Qurra Date: Late 8th or early 9th c. Original Language: Arabic Description This treatise seeks to answer the objection described in its title. Theodore argues that God is possessed of four attributes, justice, goodness, might, and wisdom; that it is because of these four attributes that he allowed his Son to suffer death on the cross; and that only thus could human beings be freed from slavery to the devil. Signifi…

 Radd ʿalā l-Muslimīn

(144 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
'Refutation of the Muslims' Ishoʿyahb bar Malkon Date: First half of the 13th century Original Language: Arabic Description The work exists in a manuscript preserved in a private collection, though this is not accessible, so no description can be given. It is not inconceivable that the work is the same as the treatise described above on the veneration of icons addressed to both Muslims and Jews, since, according to Sbath’s very brief comments, the same collection also contains a refutation of the Jews. Significance Nothing can be said about this. Manuscripts The only MS of this text i…

 Al-radd ʿalā l-mutanaṣṣir

(178 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
‘Refutation of the convert to Christianity’ Ibn ʿAbd al-Rafīʿ Date: Unknown; before 1333 Original Language: Arabic Description The work has not survived, and is only known from a passing reference in the 16th-century author al-Zarkashī’s Taʾrīkh al-dawlatayn, p. 57 (in the 1966 edition, p. 70, the title is given as Al-radd ʿalā l-muntaṣir, ‘Refutation of the victorious one’, though this is presumably a misprint). Who this convert was, and whether he was an individual or a representative of a whole group of former Muslims, cannot be ascertained. The book may …

 Al-radd ʿalā l-mutanaṣṣir

(425 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
Refutation of the convert to Christianity Ibn ʿAwf Date: Unknown; before 1185 Original Language: Arabic Description This work, which bears the same title as a work ascribed to another Mālikī jurisprudent, the Tunisian Ibn ʿAbd al-Rafīʿ (d. 1333; q.v.).has not survived, though from a handful of references elsewhere it appears that Ibn ʿAwf wrote it in response to an anti-Muslim polemic entitled Al-fāḍiḥ (‘Exposing disgrace’), in which the author, who had presumably abandoned Islam for Christianity, exposed inconsistencies within Muḥammad’s legal dispensation ( sharīʿa Muḥammadi…

 Radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā

(750 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Refutation of the Christians Abū ʿAlī l-Jubbāʾī Date: Unknown; before 915-16 Original Language: Arabic Description The work has not survived, and its original title, if different from that given above, is not known. ʿAbd al-Jabbār mentions in the Tathbīt p. 198 that Abū ʿAlī wrote a work against the Christians, but says nothing more about it. It is quite likely that the anti-Christian arguments he quotes from Abū ʿAlī by name in the Mughnī, although without identifying any source, are from this work. According to the sequence of fragments preserved by ʿAbd al-Jabbār, the refut…

 Radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā

(621 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Refutation of the Christians Abū Yūsuf Yaʿqūb ibn Isḥāq al-Kindī Date: Mid-9th c. Original Language: Arabic Description The work survives as quotations in the refutation made by the 10th-century Syrian Orthodox Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī, who refers to al-Kindī’s Maqāla fī l-radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā, ‘Treatise on the refutation of the Christians’. While Yaḥyā has undoubtedly reproduced what he thought were the main points, he may well have omitted other parts. G. Endress, The works of Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī, p. 100, suggests the Radd was originally part of a longer work, the Risāla fī iftirāq al-milal fī l-ta…

 Radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā

(278 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Refutation of the Christians Abū Jaʿfar Muḥammad ibn ʿAbdallāh al-Iskāfī Date: 1st half of the 9th c. Original Language: Arabic Description This work, of which the title ‘Refutation of the Christians’ is unlikely to be original, is lost. According to ʿAbd al-Jabbār ( Tathbīt dalāʾil al-nubuwwa, ed. ʿA.-K. ʿUthmān, 2 vols, Beirut, 1966, i, p. 148; cf. p. 198), it may, together with a number of other works, have referred to the popular Christian belief that God took Mary in the way that a man takes a woman as wife. It may also have contained two arguments quoted from al-Iskāfī by Abū a…

Radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā

(98 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Unknown author Date of Birth: Unknown; mid or late 12th century Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown; mid-13th century Place of Death: Unknown; probably North Africa Biography Nothing is known about this author apart from the details divulged by the work associated with him – that he was active in Ifrīqiya in the mid-13th century. Primary Sources of Information - Secondary Sources of Information M. de Epalza, ‘Notes pour une histoire des polémiques anti-chrétiennes dans l’Occident musulman’, Arabica 18 (1971) 99-106, p. 105 Works on Christian-Muslim Relations [Ra…

 Al-Radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā

(1,241 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Refutation of the Christians Abū ʿUthmān ʿAmr ibn Baḥr al-Fuqaymī l-Jāḥiẓ Date: mid-9th c., possibly before 847 Original Language: Arabic Description This work is usually referred to by later authors as simply al-Radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā. Al-Jāḥiẓ himself once refers to it as kitābunā ʿalā l-Naṣārā ( Kitāb al-ḥayawān, ed. Hārūn, iv, p. 28), but he also refers to kitābī ʿalā l-Naṣārā wa-l-Yahūd ( Kitāb al-ḥayawān, i, p. 9). These both appear to be descriptions rather than titles, and the latter can plausibly be taken as an account of the scathing criticisms of both…

 Al-radd ʿalā al-Naṣārā

(239 words)

Author(s): El Hour, Rachid
Refutation of the Christians Al-Yaḥṣubī Date: Before about 1120 Original Language: Arabic Description The work has not survived. Meier, ‘Ṭāhir aṣ-Ṣadafī vergessene Schrift’, offers some information about the circumstances in which it was written, though without mentioning sources. It appears that, in a battle against the Christian forces of the north, al-Yaḥṣubī fell from his horse and was captured, but he was then saved by fellow Muslims through God’s miraculous intervention. When his Jewish personal secret…

 Al-radd ʿalā al-Naṣārā

(298 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Refutation of the Christians Al-Qaḥṭabī Date: Unknown; before about 940 Original Language: Arabic Description All that has survived from this work is a list of the names of 60 Christian sects, as given by Ibn al-Nadīm ( Fihrist, p. 405), who also supplies its generic title. It is unclear whether al-Qaḥṭabī  went on to describe each sect, in the way that al-Nāshiʾ al-Akbar (q.v.) does in his work from the same period, or whether he merely listed the names as part of a general description of Christianity that may have focused on teachings or some major sects. Van Ess ( Häresiographie, pp. 81-83)…

 [Radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā]

(200 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
‘Refutation of the Christians’ Radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā Date: 1230 Original Language: Arabic Description Information about this putative work comes entirely from de Epalza, who mentions that he has been informed about a MS in the Library of the Royal Palace at Rabat that contains a refutation that was apparently written in Jerba in 1230. (Enquiries about this MS have not so far led to any identification.) The island of Jerba, off the southern Tunisian coast, was taken by the Muslims from the Byzantines in the 7th century. It was captured by the Normans in 1135, but was regained by the…

 Al-Radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā

(444 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Refutation of the Christians Abū l-Ḥasan ʿAlī ibn Sahl Rabban al-Ṭabarī Date: c. 850 Original Language: Arabic Description The work is not complete, though parts of its later sections are quoted by the 10th-century Christian convert to Islam al-Ḥasan ibn Ayyūb, whose work is preserved in Ibn Taymiyya, al-Jawāb al-ṣaḥīḥ, and by the 13th-century Copt al-Ṣafī ibn al-ʿAssāl (see Samir, 'Réponse').  It was written to mark ʿAlī l-Ṭabarī's conversion to Islam, and contains his basic objections to Christianity in a series of sections devoted to comparisons betwee…

 Al-Radd ʿalā l-thalāth firaq min al-Naṣārā

(158 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
The refutation of the three Christian sects Abū ʿĪsā Muḥammad ibn Hārūn ibn Muḥammad al-Warrāq Date: Unknown Original Language: Arabic Description It was presumably a summary of either of the longer versions of the Radd. The work has not survived, and is only known from Ibn al-Nadīm's list, ( Fihrist, p. 216) where it is referred to as Kitāb al-radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā l-aṣghar, 'The refutation of the Christians, shorter version'.   As with the medium version of the Radd, there is a slim possibility that traces of it are to be seen in Abū Bakr al-Bāqillānī's Kitāb al-tamhīd, 'Introduction'. Signifi…

 Al-Radd ʿalā l-thalāth firaq min al-Naṣārā, (longer version)

(480 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
The refutation of the three Christian sects Abū ʿĪsā Muḥammad ibn Hārūn ibn Muḥammad al-Warrāq Date: Unknown, but probably mid-9th c. Original Language: Arabic Description The Radd is preserved in Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī’s Tabyīn ghalaṭ Muḥammad ibn Hārūn, where it is quoted extensively and probably exhaustively in the course of the Christian’s response to its arguments. It contains a descriptive introduction to Christian beliefs about the Trinity and Incarnation, together with detailed refutations of the two doctrines as expressed by the M…

 Al-Radd ʿalā l-thalāth firaq min al-Naṣārā (medium version)

(235 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
The refutation of the three Christian sects Abū ʿĪsā Muḥammad ibn Hārūn ibn Muḥammad al-Warrāq Date: Unknown Original Language: Arabic Description It was presumably a summary of the longer version of the Radd. The work has not survived, and is only known from Ibn al-Nadīm's list ( Fihrist, p. 216) where it is referred to as Kitāb al-radd ʽalā l-Naṣārā l-awsaṭ, 'The refutation of the Christians, medium version'.   There is a slim possibility that traces of it are to be seen in Abū Bakr al-Bāqillānī's Kitāb al-tamhīd, 'Introduction', where the Ashʿarī theologian is clearly following…

 Al-radd ʿalā l-Yahūd wa l-Muslimīn alladhīna yattahimūna l-Naṣārā bi-ʿibādat al-aṣnām li-sujūdihim li-l-ṣalīb wa-ikrāmihim ṣuwar al-Masīḥ wa-l-Sayyida wa-l-qiddīsīn

(760 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
'Refutation of the Jews and the Muslims who accuse the Christians of worshipping idols since they venerate the cross and honor the images of Christ, our Lady and the saints’ Ishoʿyahb bar Malkon Date: First half of the 13th century Original Language: Arabic Description This work discusses objections by Jews and Muslims to the veneration of the cross and icons. In view of the fact that so many of the references are of interest only to a Christian readership, the aim of this treatise was probably to help Christians to formulate answers to q…

 Al-radd al-jamīl li-ilāhiyyat ʿĪsā bi-ṣarīḥ al-Injīl

(766 words)

Author(s):
Al-radd al-jamīlThe fitting refutation of the divinity of Jesus through what is evident in the Gospel Pseudo-Ghazālī Date: Unknown; before c. 1250 Original Language: Arabic Description Al-radd al-jamīl is a substantial refutation of the divinity of Jesus (63 pages in Chidiac’s edition, and 45 pages in Beaumont and El Kaisy-Freimuth’s edition), based on one of the most thorough analyses of Gospel texts that is known from a Muslim author.The main arguments of the Radd are concerned with the proper meaning of a series of verses from the Gospels, and the contradictions i…

 Radd al-Muṭīʿ ʿalā risāla malik al-Rūm

(603 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Al-Muṭīʿ’s refutation of the Byzantine emperor’s letter Al-Qaffāl al-Shāshī Date: 966 Original Language: Arabic Description This work is a response to the polemical poem sent in the name of the Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus Phocas (r. 963-69) to the Caliph al-Muṭīʿ in 966 (see the entry on Nicephorus Phocas’ representative; there was also another response by the Andalusī theologian Ibn Ḥazm [q.v.]), following a series of Byzantine victories in the mid-10th century, which are named there. It is written in the same ṭawīl meter as that poem, as convention demanded, and it seeks …

 Radd al-Naṣārā

(101 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
‘Refutation of the Christians’ Al-Dimyāṭī Date: Unknown; before 1306 Original Language: Arabic Description The work has not survived, and is known only from Ḥajjī Khalīfa ( Kashf al-ẓunūn, 2 vols, Istanbul, 1941-43, col. 838). It probably presented at least some of the traditional Muslim arguments against Christian doctrines and the authenticity of the Bible, and may also have included arguments in favor of the prophethood of Muḥammad. Significance It is not possible to say what this was. Manuscripts - Editions & Translations - Studies - Keywords Chronological Category: 1300-1350

 [Radd al-Naṣārā]

(179 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Refutation of the Christians ‘The polemicist from the West’ Date: Unknown, possibly 12th century Original Language: Arabic Description Nothing is known about the work, except the title (or maybe only the genre) as given by Ḥajjī Khalīfa. It can be assumed that it included arguments of a relatively traditional kind, against Christian doctrines and scriptural falsification, and also possibly defenses of the prophethood of Muḥammad. Significance The work attests to the continuing interest in Christian beliefs, if only to strengthen the teachings of Islam by showi…

 Radd al-Naṣārā

(97 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
‘Refutation of the Christians’ Al-Ruhāwī Date: Unknown; before 1215 Original Language: Arabic Description The work is mentioned by Ḥajjī Khalīfa ( Kashf al-ẓunūn, ed. G. Flügel, Lexicon bibliographicum et encyclopaedicum, 7 vols, London, 1835-58, iii, p. 353), though not by any earlier biographer. It has not survived, and its contents cannot be known. Significance It is not possible to say with any certainty what the significance of the work was. Manuscripts - Editions & Translations - Studies - Keywords Chronological Category: 1200-1300 Genre & Source Type: Refutations Theme:

Raguel

(124 words)

Author(s): Henriet, P.
Biography The name Raguel does not appear in the text of the Passio, though at the beginning of MS El Escorial b-l-4, which is dated to the beginning of the 11th century, there is a marginal note that reads 'Raguel presbyter doctor fuit huius passionis Cordobensis [ auctor]'. This in itself does not necessarily indicate, as is sometimes believed, that Raguel was himself a priest of Cordova, but simply that he was a priest and also the author of a text that reported events that occurred in Cordova. Details in the Passio, however, indicate that he knew the city intimately, and was proba…

Ralph of Caen

(387 words)

Author(s): Packard, Barbara
Raoul de Caen, Radulfo Cadomensi Date of Birth: About 1080 Place of Birth: Caen, Normandy Date of Death: Unknown; after 1118 Place of Death: Unknown Biography Ralph of Caen probably came from a prominent Norman family. He was likely tutored by Arnulf of Chocques, who was later to become patriarch of Jerusalem. It is not known whether he completed his studies and training for the priesthood before Arnulf’s departure for the Holy Land in 1096, but he was an ordained priest at least by 1106. That year, Bohemond of Taranto, …

Ramon Llull

(1,303 words)

Author(s): Hames, Harvey
Biography Ramon Llull was born in Majorca in the years following its conquest in 1229 by King James I of the Crown of Aragon. The king's expedition was probably funded in part by Llull’s father, who received lands in Palma and elsewhere on the island as a reward. The young Ramon received an education commensurate with his class, and he became the steward of the future king, James II of Majorca. He married Blanca Picany around 1257 and they had two children, Domènec and Magdalena. According to the Vita coaetanea (a selective autobiography dictated by Llull in 1311 in Paris to some Ca…

Ramon Martí

(1,427 words)

Author(s): Burman, Thomas E.
Biography It appears that Ramon Martí entered the Dominican order between 1234 and 1238, and was probably educated at the Domincan studium. He was assigned by the order to study Arabic in 1250, and we know that he was in Barcelona in 1264 and in Tunis in the summer of 1269. He was put in charge of organizing a school to teach Hebrew in Barcelona in 1281, and he died in Barcelona a few years later. Beyond these few facts we know almost nothing of his life.  Martí was the greatest linguist in the Dominican order and probably in all Latin Christendom during his lifetime.  He knew H…

Al-Raqilī

(232 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū Zakariyyā Yaḥyā ibn Ibrāhīm ibn ʿUmar al-Raqilī Date of Birth: Unknown; probably mid-14th century Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: 1405 Place of Death: Unknown Biography Little is known about Abū Zakariyyā Yaḥyā l-Raqilī, whose laqab is also given as al-Raqīlī and al-Rāqilī. He came either from Spain or Morocco, and probably not long before 1360 converted from Judaism to Islam. In typical manner, he then wrote against his former coreligionists. Al-Raqilī is best known for his rejection of Judaism, Taʿyīd al-milla (‘Confirmation of the community’), which he wrote in 1…

 Rasāʾīl Ikhwān al-Ṣafāʾ wa khillān al-wafāʾ

(1,654 words)

Author(s): Ali-de-Unzaga, Omar
The Epistles of the Brethren of Purity and Friends of Loyalty Ikhwān al-Ṣafāʾ Date: About 956 Original Language: Arabic Description The work is divided into 52 epistles ( rasāʾil), arranged into four sections (propaedeutical sciences, including mathematics, logic, music and ethics; natural sciences; sciences of the soul and the intellect; theological sciences). They total 1,900 pages in the 1957 Beirut edition. The Epistles are arguably one of the most interesting works in Arabic-Islamic culture regarding Christianity. The attitude towards Christianity of…

Al-Rashīd Abū l-Khayr ibn al-Ṭayyib

(669 words)

Author(s): Awad, Wadi
Biography According to al-Muʾtaman ibn al-ʿAssāl (q.v.) and Abū l-Barakāt ibn Kabar (q.v.), as well as some manuscripts of his own works, al-Rashīd Abū l-Khayr ibn al-Ṭayyib was a priest and a physician ( mutaṭabbib), though he is not mentioned in the History of the patriarchs or the Ṭabaqāt al-aṭibbāʾ. His dates are not known, though he lived after al-Ghazālī (d. 1111) (q.v.), Maimonides (d. 1204), Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. 1210) (q.v.) and al-Ṣafī ibn al-ʿAssāl (d. after 1265) (q.v.), and since he is known as a contemporary ( muʿāṣir – not collaborator, muʿāḍid, as is read by Mīkhā’īl …

 Rawḍat al-farīd wa-salwat al-waḥīd

(1,318 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
'The garden of the hermit and the consolation of the solitary' Simʿān ibn Kalīl Date: Unknown; possibly 1210-20 Original Language: Arabic Description Rawḍat al-farīd wa-salwat al-waḥīd is a remarkable work of Christian spiritual and moral theology that aims to guide its readers to the lives of virtue and godliness for which they were created. It is written in a delightful Arabic style, largely in rhymed prose, and is of considerable length: it occupies more than 240 folios in the oldest manuscript.  It is divided into 1…

Raymond of Aguilers

(270 words)

Author(s): Packard, Barbara
Biography Raymond of Aguilers was chaplain to Count Raymond IV of Toulouse (also known as Raymond of St Giles). He accompanied Count Raymond on the First Crusade (1095-99) and co-authored an account of the expedition with a Provençal knight, Pons of Balazun, until Pons was killed at the siege of Arqa (February-May 1099). Raymond addressed his work to the bishop of Viviers and stated that he aimed to correct false stories circulated by cowards and deserters from the army. Much of Raymond’s narrati…

Raymond of Penyafort

(1,017 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Ramon de Penyafort, Ramón de Peñaforte Date of Birth: About 1180 Place of Birth: Probably Penyafort, Catalonia Date of Death: 6 January 1275 Place of Death: Barcelona Biography Raymond studied law in Bologna in the 1210s and then taught there as master. He joined the Dominican order in the 1220s. In November 1229, Pope Gregory IX called on him to preach the crusade for James I’s conquest of Mallorca in southern France, including Arles and Narbonne ( Diplomatario, p. 11). Raymond subsequently became papal confessor and penitentiary, and as such he compiled the Decretals, a collection of …

 [Refutation of Christianity]

(513 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
- ʿAbdallāh al-Asīr Date: Unknown; possibly mid or late 13th century Original Language: Arabic Description Neither the title of the work nor its full contents have survived. All that is known is that it was written, in Arabic, against Christianity, and probably in response to hostile questions from a monk. It only survives as extracts in al-Qaysī’s early 14th-century Kitāb miftāḥ al-dīn. In the third, largely autobiographical part of his original Arabic work, al-Qaysī describes how he was compelled to take part in a religious debate with a monk. In the cou…

 Relatio

(1,667 words)

Author(s): Guéret-Laferté, Michèle
Itinerarium de mirabilibus orientalium Tartarorum; De rebus mirabilibus in variis partibus mundi; Odorichus de rebus incognitos; Libro delle nuove e strane e meravigliose cose; Les merveilles de la Terre d'Outremer; Incipiunt hic multe et diverse hystorie beati Odorici fratris Minoris de ritibus et condicionibus huius mundi et de martirio iv fratrum Minorum'Account'; 'The travels of friar Odoric of Pordenone' Odoric of Pordenone Date: 1330 Original Language: Latin Description The Relatio, roughly 60 pages long in modern editions, originally existed in two version…

 Replica magnae continentiae ad episcopum (Johannem Cabilonensem)

(938 words)

Author(s): Wolf, Anne Marie
Replica ad Johannem Cabilonensem'Lengthy reply to Bishop Jean Germain', 'Reply to Jean Germain' Juan de Segovia Date: 18 December, 1455 Original Language: Latin Description Jean Germain was a theologian closely associated with the Burgundian court of Philip the Good. Like Nicholas of Cusa, he had been at the Council of Basel, where Juan de Segovia had made his acquaintance. In July of 1455, a Carmelite monk from Burgundy visited Juan at the priory in Aiton in Savoy where he had retired, and had brought greetings from Germain and news about his writings. One of these was Germain's Débat  du c…

Representative of Nicephorus Phocas

(337 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Biography Nothing is known about the author of a polemical poem that was sent on behalf of the Byzantine emperor to the Muslim caliph in the mid-10th century, apart from what can be gleaned from the poem itself. The poem names this caliph as al-Muṭīʿ (r. 946-74), and the Muslim response names the emperor as Nicephorus Phocas (r. 963-69). The author was evidently a native Arabic speaker, with a facility for poetical composition. The knowledge of the Arab empire he displays, including details of its history and the layout of Baghdad, indicates that he was…

 Responsio domini Athanasii Patriarchae Hierosolymorum ad Georgium Metropolitae Corcyrae

(435 words)

Author(s): Pahlitzsch, Johannes
‘Response of Athanasius, Patriarch of Jerusalem, to George, Metropolitan of Corfu’ Athanasius II, Patriarch of Jerusalem Date: 1240 Original Language: Greek Description The correspondence between Athanasius and George Bardanes, Metropolitan of Corfu, consists of two letters preserved in a Latin translation made by Federigo Mezio, Bishop of Termoli, from the beginning of the 17th century (Hoeck and Loenertz, Nikolaos-Nektarios von Otranto, p. 148). The editors of George Bardanes’ letter date it to around 1236. However, Athanasius’ reply seems perfectly to…

 Responsiones ad dubitabilia circa communicationem Christianorum cum Sarracenis

(765 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Responsiones ad dubitabilia‘Responses to questions about the communication of Christians with Saracens’, ‘Responses to questions' Raymond of Penyafort Date: 19 January 1235 Original Language: Latin Description On 19 January, 1235, Raymond, at the time major penitentiary ( paenitentiarius) to Pope Gregory IX, wrote a letter to the Dominican prior and the Franciscan minister ‘in the kingdom of Tunis’. These two friars had written to the pope with 40 quite specific questions concerning problems they faced in serving the Christian comm…

 Revelatio S. Methodii de temporibus nouissimis

(852 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
Revelation of St Methodius on the present timesThe Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius Unknown author Date: End of 7th c. or early 8th c. Original Language: Latin Description The preface of one of the four manuscripts used by Sackur for his edition (MS BNF ‒ Lat. 13348; this is of dubious authenticity) states that this translation was made from Greek into Latin by Peter the monk at the request of his brothers in the monastery. Some linguistic features of the text of this manuscript suggest that he may have been a Syrian or Greek (Sackur, Sibyllinische texte , pp. 56, 59). Like the Syriac and Greek…
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