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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 Apocalypsis Jesu Christi in Biblia Sacra cum glossa ordinaria

(974 words)

Author(s): Krey, Philip
Apocalypsis‘Nicholas of Lyra's Apocalypse commentary’; ‘Apocalypse commentary’; ‘Apocalypse commentary (1329)’ Nicholas of Lyra Date: 1329 Original Language: Latin Description Nicholas of Lyra's Apocalypse commentary of 1329 in the Literal Postill is more than likely a revision of his early lectures on the Apocalypse. It interprets the Book of Revelation as a successive narrative of church history from the time of the apostles to the end of the world. His analysis of the role of Islam in this history represents a departure …

 Apodeixeis historiōn

(2,011 words)

Author(s): Preiser-Kapeller, Johannes
'Demonstrations of histories' Laonicus Chalcocondyles Date: 1463/64 Original Language: Greek Description The ten books of the Apodeixeis historiōn cover the period from 1298 to 1463 (ed. Darkó, Historiarum demonstrationes, i, pp. 1-205; ii, pp. 1-307). Laonicus’ main topic is the rise of the Ottomans from their first appearance in western Asia Minor to the emergence of an empire which replaced Byzantium, seeking reasons for this phenomenon in a way similar to his model, Herodotus. Almost the whole of his work is therefore …

 Apokriseis synoptikai kai exēgēseis pros erōtēseis diaphorous kai aporias grapheisai pros ton basilea kyron Michaēl ton Doukan

(465 words)

Author(s): Lauritzen, Frederick
Synoptic answers and explanations to various questions and difficulties written for the Emperor Lord Michael Doucas, De omnifaria doctrina Michael Psellus Date: Between 1059 and 1078; possibly 1071 Original Language: Greek Description This is a collection of short chapters dealing with various subjects, mostly philosophical, and presented to the Emperor Michael VII Doucas (r. 1071-79) either before his accession, when Psellus was his tutor, or during his reign. Among these, Appendix iv deals with two answers from Psellus to a …

Apologetic commentary on the Creed

(134 words)

Author(s): Masri & Mark N. Swanson, Pierre
Unknown author Date of Birth: Probably first half of the 12th century Place of Birth: Unknown; perhaps Baghdad Date of Death: Probably late 12th century Place of Death: Unknown; perhaps Baghdad Biography Nothing is known about the author of an Arabic apologetic commentary on the Nicene Creed other than what can be gathered from the commentary itself, which reflects the milieu of Baghdad in the 1160s. The author was a scholar of the (‘Nestorian’) Church of the East and possessed of wide learning, including a profound knowledge …


(716 words)

Author(s): Coope, Jessica A.
- Abbot Samson Date: 864 Original Language: Latin Description The Apologeticus occupies 152 pages in Gil’s edition. Most of the material on Christian-Muslim relations is in the second book of the treatise, which is 101 pages long. The Apologeticus is primarily an attack on two Christians: Hostegesis, Bishop of Malaga, and Servandus, Count of Cordova, both of whom conspired to drive Samson out of Cordova. It is nevertheless relevant to Christian-Muslim relations in that Samson condemns these two men and their supporters for their clo…

 Apologiai tessares, Logoi tessares kata Moameth

(1,933 words)

Author(s): Todt, Klaus-Peter
‘Four apologies', 'Four orations against Muḥammad’ John VI Cantacuzenus Date: Before June 1373 Original Language: Greek Description These four extensive apologies and significantly shorter orations against Muḥammad (Förstel, Johannes Kantakuzenos, pp. 2-233 and 235-415 respectively) are undoubtedly by Cantacuzenus. The three oldest manuscripts containing them were copied during his lifetime, between 1373 and 1375, and are more or less autographs (Todt, Kantakouzenos, pp. 135-40). Since they are found together in all manuscripts, they can be regarded as a …

 Aqwāl, Maqālāt, Jawāb masʾala, Masʾala

(349 words)

Author(s): Awad, Wadi
'Sayings' Michael, Bishop of Atrīb and Malīj Date: Between 1242/3 and 1247 Original Language: Arabic Description The Aqwāl consist of 13 texts that deal with a variety of topics (Sbath identifies only 12, and is followed in this by all later authors on this work). The author does not number them or use consistent titles: he calls one of the ‘sayings’ a ‘Treatise’, another ‘Response to a question’, and others ‘Question’. The lengths vary from one text to another; the longest is the first, and the shortest the last. The first saying (on the rejection of the Jews by God) and the last a…

 Al-aqwāl al-qawīma fī ḥukm al-naql min al-kutub al-qadīma

(1,173 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
‘Just words on the permissibility of quoting from the ancient books’ Al-Biqāʿī Date: 1475 Original Language: Arabic Description Al-Biqāʿī felt driven to write this defense as a result of the criticisms he was receiving about his use of the Bible in his Qur’an commentary (see Saleh, In defense of the Bible, pp. 24-33, for the complex of events that led up to the decision). He began it in Cairo in 1469 and continued to work on it in Damascus until its full publication in 1475. It comprises a brief preface and introduction, followed by eight chapt…

Arabic-Islamic perceptions of Western Europe in the Middle Ages

(8,304 words)

Author(s): G. König, Daniel
There are many texts of different kinds in which Muslims from the period between the 7th and the 15th centuries depict aspects of Western Europe in Arabic. The generalization that a distinctly bipolar world-view setting 'righteous Muslims' over against 'barbarian infidels' characterizes Arabic-Islamic perceptions of medieval Western Europe, permeates the majority of studies that approach this subject from a macro-historical point of view.[1] The impact of Henri Pirenne’s famous hypothesis, that the Muslim expansion of the 7th and 8th centuries must be seen as the primary …

Aṙak‘el Bałišec‘i

(526 words)

Author(s): Cowe, S. Peter
Biography Aṙak‘el Bałišec‘i developed many of his skills as a poet, cleric, pedagogue, and musician under the tutelage of one of the most famous Armenian scholars of his time, Grigor Xlat‘ec‘i, celebrating his martyrdom in a verse lament of 1425, and expatiating more broadly on his life and exploits in a vita the following year ( Patmutiwn k‘aj ew tiezeraloys vardapetin Grigori Xlat‘ac‘woy). However, his first literary work was the martyrology of the vardapet Step‘annos and priest Petros of Xizan of 1424. Later in life, he also produced versions of the liv…

ʿArīb ibn Saʿīd

(392 words)

Author(s): Serrano Ruano, Delfina
Abū ʿAlī/Abū l-Ḥasan ʿArīb ibn Saʿīd al-Kātib al-Qurṭubī Date of Birth: Late 9th or early 10th century Place of Birth: Cordova Date of Death: 980-81 Place of Death: Cordova Biography ʿArīb ibn Saʿīd was a physician, chronicler and poet, who held the position of secretary ( kātib) and other functions to the caliphs ʿAbd al-Raḥmān III and al-Ḥakam II, and for the chancellor al-Manṣūr ibn Abī ʿĀmir (Almanzor). Very little is known about his life. As Castilla observes, his short genealogical chain may suggest a recent conversion to Islam, either by some Christian ancestor,…

 Aŕ Ibrahim amirayin vasn hawatoc‘ Grigoroy ordoy Vasakay asac‘eal , Patasxani Ibrahimi amirayi, zor xndreac‘ mi vasn imastasirut‘ean ew mi vasn hawatoy

(1,156 words)

Author(s): van Lint, Theo Maarten
Letters to Amir Ibrahim Grigor Magistros Date: Unknown; possibly 1045 Original Language: Armenian Description Among Grigor’s correspondence are two letters (ed. Kostaneanc‘, nos 70 and 71) in answer to queries by an otherwise unknown Amir Ibrahim, who is Armenian on his mother’s side, and born of a Muslim father. In the first letter, Grigor answers Ibrahim’s questions on Christianity, and in the second he expounds on philosophy. Letter 70 is excessively long according to the rules of rhetoric, but necessarily so, Grigor explains. He mentions the common ancestry…

 Aŕ Manuč‘ē, Hazartołean

(1,124 words)

Author(s): van Lint, Theo Maarten
Magnalia DeiThe mighty acts of God, 'To Manuche' Grigor Magistros Date: 1045 Original Language: Armenian Description Magnalia Dei (also known as Aŕ Manuč‘ē, though this has now been proven to be erroneous, and as Hazartołean), occupies between slightly fewer than 20 and just over 40 folios in the manuscripts listed by Terian. Its authenticity has never been doubted. Conceived to demonstrate that the Bible is as inspired a work as the Qurʾan, if not more so, the Magnalia Dei functioned as an apology for the Christian faith, and as an instrument to prevent Armenian Christia…

Arsen of Ikalto

(440 words)

Author(s): Gabidzashvili, Enrico
Arsen Iqalt‛oeli Date of Birth: Unknown; probably in the 1050s Place of Birth: Ikalto, eastern Georgia Date of Death: Unknown; probably soon after 1125 Place of Death: Monastery of Ikalto Biography Arsen of Ikalto, also known as Arsen Beri (the Monk Arsen), Arsen Vač‛esże (Arsen the Son of Vache) and Arsen Kaliposeli (Arsen of Kalipos), is remembered as an author and translator. In the Georgian Church he is regarded as a saint. The very little that is known about his life is to be found in his own writings and brief observations from others. Arsen was probably born in the 1050s in the vi…

 Ars fidei catholicae

(578 words)

Author(s): Dreyer, Mechthild
Liber (tractatus) de articulis fidei, Edicta fidei catholicae, De articulis fidei catholicae, Summa [...] de arte fidei catholicaeThe catholic faith Nicholas of Amiens Date: Between 1187 and 1191 Original Language: Latin Description The Ars fidei catholicae is a theological summa which presents the most important aspects of the Christian faith in a systematic order. It is divided into five books and discusses the following topics: God and Trinity (book 1); the creation of angels and humans, and the problem of free will (book 2); …

 Ars lectoria

(821 words)

Author(s): González Muñoz, Fernando
The art of reading Aimericus of Angoulême Date: 1086 Original Language: Latin Description The Ars lectoria is a long treatise about rules for spelling, pronunciation and accentuation of Latin, similar to the identically titled book by Seguinus (q.v.). In Book III (Reijnders, ‘Aimericus, Ars lectoria (3)’, p. 141), in relation to the term cronica, Aimericus sets out a series of chronological calculations. Among them, he says that between the birth of Christ and the death of a deacon named Ocin (var. Adocin), whom Muslims called Maumitum, 607 years elapsed. Ocin was sent to Hispan…

 Ars lectoria

(371 words)

Author(s): González Muñoz, Fernando
The art of reading Magister Seguinus or Siguinus Date: 1087/88 Original Language: Latin Description This is a long treatise on the orthography and rules for pronunciation and accentuation of the Latin language, similar in many cases to the Ars lectoria of Aimericus (q.v.). This fact leads the editors to think that both works are an adaptation of an earlier one. The author expressly says that he wrote it in 1087/88, though the editors suggest a date between this and the early 12th century (ed. Kneepkens and Reijnders, p. xxiv). The only significant passage dealing with relationships …

Al-Asʿad ibn al-ʿAssāl

(1,332 words)

Author(s): Awad, Wadi
Al-Asʿad Abū l-Faraj Hibat Allāh ibn al-ʿAssāl Date of Birth: Unknown; later 12th century Place of Birth: Miṣr (Old Cairo) or Cairo Date of Death: Between 1253 and 1259 Place of Death: Miṣr or Cairo Biography Al-Asʿad Abū l-Faraj Hibat Allāh ibn Abī l-Mufaḍḍal ibn Abī Isḥāq, known as Ibn al-ʿAssāl, was one of the famous ‘Awlād al-ʿAssāl’, four brothers who contributed greatly to the Copto-Arabic literary ‘renaissance’ of the 13th century. He was the full brother of al-Ṣafī (q.v.) and half brother of al-Muʾtaman (q.v.). He wrote less than these two brothers and has…

 Asfār al-asrār; Risālat al-burhān wa-l-irshād ilā l-maḥabba, thamarat al-dīn wa-l-iʿtiqād

(1,432 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
'The books of the secrets; Demonstration and guidance to love, fruit of religion and belief' Ṣalībā ibn Yūḥannā Date: 1332 Original Language: Arabic Description In response to a request from friends, the priest Ṣalībā ibn Yūḥannā wrote an epistle ( risāla), which he described as being ‘from the sincere, loving Easterners ( mashāriqa, members of the Church of the East) to their Western brethren’. In it Ṣalībā stresses their fundamental unity in the Christian faith; recounts how the faith of the Church of the East was tested by persecution under th…

 ʿAshara masāʾil saʾala ʿanhum baʿḍ al-talāmīdh min muʿallimihi

(738 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
Kitāb al-muʿallim wa-l-tilmīdhTen questions that one of the disciples asked of his master, Book of the master and the disciple (10 questions) Ten questions Date: Late 11th to early 12th century Original Language: Arabic Description Ten questions is a short treatise in erotapokriseis or question-and-answer form. Through the questions of a ‘disciple’ and the responses of his spiritual ‘master’, it teaches – in simple Arabic – the fundamental doctrines (Trinity, Incarnation, and redemption) and practices (prayer, Eucharist, fasting, and al…
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