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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 Chanson d’Antioche

(3,006 words)

Author(s): Sweetenham, Carol
The Song of Antioch (though it is seldom referred to as such) The Old French Crusade Cycle Date: In its current form, from the end of the 12th/beginning of the 13th century Original Language: Old French Description The Chanson d’Antioche forms part of a trilogy with two other texts: the Chanson de Jérusalem, which takes the Crusaders through the fall of Jerusalem to the battle of Ascalon; and the Chanson des Chétifs, a fantasy compilation of three tales loosely linked to the First Crusade, which serves as a bridge between the two. The text is part of a wider complex of chansons de geste known as …

 Chanson de Jérusalem

(1,182 words)

Author(s): Mallett, Alex
The song of Jerusalem (though the French title is almost always used) The Old French Crusade Cycle Date: About 1135 Original Language: Old French Description The Chanson de Jérusalem is an Old French epic poem running to almost 10,000 lines. Its central theme is the siege and capture of Jerusalem during the First Crusade in 1099, and it covers the period from the arrival of the crusading army in mid-June until a battle against the Muslims shortly after the capture of the city, which is believed to be the battle against the Fatimids at Ascalon on 12 August. Like the chansons de geste, the poem i…

Christian–Muslim diplomatic relations. An overview of the main sources and themes of encounter (600–1000)[1]

(22,121 words)

Author(s): Drocourt, Nicolas
There is a multiplicity of sources available to historians and scholars of Christian-Muslim relations in the field of diplomatic contacts. These texts and documents show us, above all, the variety that exists in contacts of this kind between Muslim and Christian rulers, from the very beginning of Islam: official messages and letters, embassies or treaties, open negotiations and secret dealings, and in Arabic, Greek, Latin, Syriac, Coptic, Armenian and Persian.[2] This multiplicity of documents is also important when we consider their nature: narrative as well as n…

Christian-Muslim religious interaction 1200-1350. A historical and contextual introduction

(6,908 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
The years 1200-1350 witnessed many important political changes that dramatically affected relations between Christians and Muslims. Insight into the historical developments that occurred in these years is necessary background for appreciating the works and authors discussed in this volume.[1] Political developments The destruction of Baghdad by the Mongols in 1258 not only marked the end of the Abbasid dynasty, which had determined, at least in part, the course of the Islamic world for more than half a millennium, but also led to a fur…

Christians and Christianity in ḥadīth works before 900

(3,637 words)

Author(s): Cook, David
The h ̣adīth literature presents Christianity as a dangerous theological opponent to Islam. However, the attitude towards Christians is far more nuanced. It ranges from the outright hostility and warfare described in the apocalyptic literature to the awe and respect towards the monastic community (cf. Q 5:81-2) that is to be found in the ascetic literature. For the most part, Christians are in the background (compared with Jews) because the personal contact between the Prophet Muḥammad and individual Christians was comparatively limited. Thus, while a great many literary h ̣ adīth a…

Christians and Christianity in Islamic exegesis

(11,552 words)

Author(s): Gilliot, Claude
Introduction Great efforts have been made to shed light on the conudrums of the Arabic Qurʾān, both linguistically, lexically and philologically, 1  and thematically and historically. 2  In recent decades the tendency has been to consider that it belongs, at least in part, within the textual or discursive framework of the early Christian or patristic eras, or the world of late antiquity. 3  Indeed, pre-Islamic Arabia ‘was not isolated from the main currents of world culture and religion’, 4  as appears in the striking continuity between the sources of the Qurʾān on Jesus, …

Christians and Christianity in the Qurʾān

(4,161 words)

Author(s): Hämeen-Anttila, Jaako
For Muslims, who regard the Qurʾān as the Word of God, the possibility of any human influence on it is excluded, and the question of Christian presence in the Arabian peninsula in the early seventh century is irrelevant for understanding its origins or contents. On the other hand, early Western authors often dismissed it without further analysis as no more than a concoction of materials taken from Christian and Jewish sources. 1 More serious study of the Qurʾān in the West was given impetus in the nineteenth century by T. Nöldeke’s Geschichte des Qorāns, published in 1860. 2  Since then, the…

Christians and Christianity in the Sīra of Muḥammad

(6,368 words)

Author(s): Mourad, Suleiman A.
The books on the Sīra (life and career) of Muḥammad feature a number of references to Christianity and Christian groups who came into contact, directly or indirectly, with the prophet of Islam. Such references include descriptions of encounters and disputations that Muḥammad had with Christians, sermons he delivered about Christianity, and letters that he sent to Christian rulers. Undoubtedly, there is a problem with the historicity of some or all of these encounters and stories in that no contemp…

Christians in early and classical Shīʿī law

(5,805 words)

Author(s): Freidenreich, David M.
            Most Western research into Islamic law governing Christians and other non-Muslims focuses on Sunnī sources. This is to be expected, as Sunnīs have always comprised the vast majority of Muslims. Shīʿī treatments of this subject, however, differ in some significant ways from those of their Sunnī counterparts and therefore merit attention in their own right. Studies that do address the status of non-Muslims in Shīʿī law focus primarily on modern sources, specifically those that have sha…

Christians in Early and Classical Sunnī Law

(6,668 words)

Author(s): Freidenreich, David M.
Islamic law devotes considerable attention to regulations related to Christians, who comprised a significant minority population within the medieval Islamic Near East. Such regulations appear in numerous areas of law, and every compendium or treatise that addresses one or more of these areas is likely to address Christians. Comprehensive documentation of references to Christians in Islamic legal literature, of the sort attempted in the preceding essay on Muslims in canon law, is therefore practi…

 Chronica Adefonsi Imperatoris

(1,251 words)

Author(s): Barton, Simon
Chronicle of the Emperor Alfonso Chronica Adefonsi Imperatoris Date: Unknown, probably between 1147 and 1157 Original Language: Latin Description The Chronica Adefonsi Imperatoris is a panegyric in prose and verse devoted to the deeds of Alfonso VII of León-Castile (1126-57) from his accession to the throne down to the eve of the conquest of the Muslim city of Almería in 1147. The work is divided into two books. The first is chiefly concerned with Alfonso VII’s attempts to bolster his authority over his kingdom and o…

Chronica Adefonsi Imperatoris

(92 words)

Author(s): Barton, Simon
Unknown author Date of Birth: Unknown; early 12th century Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown; late 12th century Place of Death: Unknown Biography - Primary Sources of Information - Secondary Sources of Information J.M. Canal Sánchez-Pagín, ‘Elías, canónigo rotense, posible autor de la Chronica Adefonsi Imperatoris’, Anuario de Estudios Medievales 30 (2000) 735-54 S. Barton and R. Fletcher, The world of El Cid. Chronicles of the Spanish Reconquest, Manchester, 2000, pp. 155-51 (includes discussion of earlier works) Works on Christian-Muslim Relations Chron…

 Chronica Albendensia, Epitome Ovetensis, Crónica Albeldense

(1,406 words)

Author(s): Deswarte, Thomas
The Chronicle of Albelda, The Prophetic Chronicle Unknown authors Date: The author of the Chronicle of Albeda was a cleric or a monk from the entourage of Alphonse III of Oviedo (866-910). Gómez Moreno identifies him as a monk from Monte Laturce (‘Las primeras crónicas’, 565-70), but Sánchez Albornoz argues against this (‘El autor de la Crónica’). Original Language: Latin Description The Chronicle of Albelda, or Liber Cronice, is a universal history which forms a heterogenic whole, made up of writings of diverse origins and genres. After a series of short geogr…

 Chronica Hungarorum

(2,905 words)

Author(s): Ayton, Andrew
'Chronicle of the Hungarians' János Thuróczy Date: 1488 Original Language: Latin Description Thuróczy’s Chronica Hungarorum, as printed, is composed of four separate works (each with its own preface) that have been stitched together end to end, thereby covering the history of the Hungarians in four parts of unequal length: from the earliest times to 1342 (129 chapters of the 1985 edition), 1342 to 1382 (55 chapters), 1382 to 1386 (9 chapters), and 1387 to 1487 (68 chapters). The first three parts are heavily dependent on existing texts, the second being a straight copy of Küküllei’s Gesta…

 Chronica majora

(1,187 words)

Author(s): Luchitskaya, Svetlana
‘The great chronicle’ Matthew Paris Date: Approximately 1240-59 Original Language: Latin Description In his Chronica majora Matthew reworks the Flores historiarum of Roger Wendover, and continues it from 1235. For history prior to 1236, he simply abridges and copies from other monastic annals and chronicles, but in its coverage of the period from 1235 to 1259 his chronicle gives a detailed account of the events of his own lifetime. He draws information from prominent personages, including the King Henry III of Engl…

 Chronica mendosa et ridicula Sarracenorum

(1,175 words)

Author(s): de la Cruz Palma and Cándida Ferrero Hernández, Óscar
Mendacious and ridiculous chronicle of the Saracens Robert of Ketton Date: 1143 Original Language: Latin Description The polemical title given to this translation of an anonymous Arabic chronicle shows the purpose of Robert’s work (if indeed the title is his, though the incipit makes his authorship clear: Prologus Roberti translatoris, uiri enim eruditi et scolastici, ad dominum Petrum abbatem Cluniacensem). Its prologue, which has not survived in all the manuscripts, has sometimes been interpreted as a letter addressed to Peter of Cluny. In addition, …

 Chronica Naierensis

(1,566 words)

Author(s): Henriet, P.
Chronicle of Najera Chronica Naierensis Date: Between about 1173 and 1190 Original Language: Latin Description The Chronica Naierensis has conventionally been dated to the middle of the 12th century, but its most recent editor, Juan A. Estévez Sola, has identified borrowings from the Historia scholastica of Petrus Comestor. This work was completed in 1173, giving a terminus post quem for the writing of the Chronica. Other elements suggest a date of composition to the 1180s at the earliest. However, Estévez Sola has suggested that there was a first, earlier r…

Chronica Naierensis

(203 words)

Author(s): Henriet, P.
Unknown author Date of Birth: Unknown; probably early or mid-12th century Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown; probably late 12th or early 13th century Place of Death: Unknown Biography The author of the Chronica Naierensis has traditionally been identified as a Cluniac monk from the priory of Santa-María de Nájera. It is certain that he was particularly interested in this monastery, and reports its foundation. He was familiar with and made use of a Cluniac text (Gilo's Vita Hugonis), which no one in the Iberian peninsula previously knew. Recently, Carlos Reglero…

 Chronica Visegothorum

(1,699 words)

Author(s): Deswarte, Thomas
Adefonsi Tertii Chronica, Chronicon SebastianiChronicle of Alphonso III (Version ‘Rotensis’, ‘Rotense’ or ‘Barbare’. Version ‘Ovetensis’, ‘Ovetense’, ‘Ad Sebastianum’ or ‘Erudite’), Chronicle of Alphonso III Alfonso III (author or patron) Date: This chronicle, which runs until the death of Ordoño I in 866, was perhaps undertaken at this ruler’s instigation (Gil, Crónicas asturianas, pp. 74-75). Sánchez Albornoz (‘¿Una crónica asturiana perdida?’) suggests that it was inspired by a lost chronicle from the end of the 8th…

 Chronicle of Matthew of Edessa

(1,726 words)

Author(s): L. Andrews, Tara
Chronicle Matthew of Edessa Date: 1122-37 Original Language: Armenian Description The Chronicle of Matthew of Edessa is the first work of Armenian ‘diaspora’ history, in that it was written a lifetime after the fall of the Armenian kingdom in the mid-11th century, by an Armenian living in the Syrian city of Edessa.  It is arranged annalistically, and it uses a form of language that is not strictly classical, features that are reminiscent of Byzantine chronicles.  It covers the years 401-577 of the Armenian era, that is, 952/3-1128/9.  The Chronicle currently exists in two 19th-century e…


(1,315 words)

Author(s): Frassetto, Michael
ChroniqueChronicle Ademar of Chabannes Date: 1025-28. Ademar originally completed the work in 1026, and revised it over the following years and made a final version in 1028. Original Language: Latin Description The work is a history of the Frankish kingdoms and especially Aquitaine from the Merovingian age to the early 11th century. Its focus is on the deeds of Frankish kings, nobles, bishops and other clergy, and at various points throughout the work references are made to contacts between Christians and Muslims. Ademar’s history includes acco…

Chronicon ad annum 1234 pertinens

(194 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
Unknown author Date of Birth: Unknown Place of Birth: Possibly the region of Edessa Date of Death: Around 1240 Place of Death: Unknown Biography Little information is available about the author of this chronicle. The fact that the chronicle pays much attention to the region of Edessa (Urhōy) suggests that he lived for some time in this city. Some events that occurred there in the last quarter of the 12th century and the beginning of the 13th, among them the destruction of a number of local churches, are described in great detail as if the author had personally witnessed them In 1187, the autho…

 Chronicon ad annum 1234 pertinens

(675 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
Chronicon civile et ecclesiasticumMaktab zabnē d-ʿal-sharbē ʿōlmōnōyē w-ʿedtōnōyē ʿadamō la-shnat 1234 la-Mshiḥō'Anonymous Syriac chronicle' Chronicon ad annum 1234 pertinens Date: About 1237-40 Original Language: Syriac Description Like the more or less contemporary Syriac chronicle of Barhebraeus (q.v.), this work is also divided into a civil and an ecclesiastical part. It begins with the creation of the world and continues to the year 1203-4, at which point the author seems to have ended – but more probably only inter…

 Chronicon Hugonis Monachi Virdunensis et Divionensis Abbatis Flaviniacensis

(1,193 words)

Author(s): Healy, Patrick
The Chronicle of Hugh of Flavigny Hugh of Flavigny Date: Approximately 1085-1102 Original Language: Latin Description The Chronicle of Hugh of Flavigny is an incarnation chronicle that purports to be a history of the world from the birth of Christ down to Hugh's own day. In its later stages this chronicle narrows down to become, in effect, a local history of church reform in the dioceses most familiar to its author, Verdun and Autun. Hugh supports his historical analysis with copies of many important primary sources…

 Chronikē diēgēsis

(2,182 words)

Author(s): Zorzi, Niccolò
Historia'History' Nicetas Choniates Date: Between about 1185 and 1208/9 Original Language: Greek Description The History of Nicetas Choniates is the main narrative source for the history of Byzantium in the years 1118-1207, a period that saw frequent conflicts between Byzantium and various Muslim powers: the Byzantine Empire had to counter the Turkish expansion in Asia Minor, and military expeditions also reached Syria (1137-38, 1144 or 1145, 1159) and Egypt (1169). The History thus offers ample evidence of political and military confrontation between Christian and…

 Chronikē syngraphē

(781 words)

Author(s): Prinzing, Günter
Chronikē diēgēsisHistorēma […] archomenon apo tēs halōseōs Kōnstantinoupoleōs‘History’, ‘Historical account’‘History ... beginning with the conquest of Constantinople’ George Akropolites Date: 1260s, perhaps in or soon after 1267 Original Language: Greek Description Since it was written by a leading official, statesman and judge, the History is in general a trustworthy and reliable source for relations – which were both very close and friendly, and also hostile – between the Nicean emperors from 1196 to 1261 (Alexius III Angelus to Micha…

 Chronikon syntomon ek diaphorōn chronographōn te kai exēgētōn syllegen kai syntethen hypo Geōrgiou hamartōlou monachou

(944 words)

Author(s): Efthymiadis, Stephanos
A compendious chronicle based on various chroniclers and interpreters, gathered together and arranged by George, a sinner monkThe Chronicle of George the Monk George the Monk, George Hamartolos (‘the Sinner’) Date: Between 843 and 867 Original Language: Greek Description George’s Chronicle is full of excerpts from the Church Fathers, citations of the Acts of the Church Councils, and anecdotes and stories of varied content. The section which refers to the Prophet Muḥammad at length (ed. de Boor, pp. 697-706) is inserted in the section …


(3,168 words)

Author(s): Vaiou, Maria
Chronography Theophanes the Confessor, Homologētēs Date: Between 810 and 814 Original Language: Greek Description The Chronographia is an extension of the unfinished world chronicle (entitled Eklogē chronographias) of George the Synkellos (d. after 810), which covered the period from the creation to the emperor Diocletian (r. 284-305). It makes reference to Christian-Muslim relations in the entries for the years 629/30 to 812/13. In the first of these, which consists of the regnal years of rulers and bishops, the name of…

 Chronographia tripertita

(1,112 words)

Author(s): Neil, Bronwen
- Anastasius Bibliothecarius Date: 871-74 Original Language: Greek Description The Chronographia tripertita is made up of excerpts from three ninth-century iconophile sources: 1. Nicephorus of Constantinople’s Chronographikon Syntomon, a series of date tables for various significant figures in the history of the world, from Adam and the Jewish patriarchs, to the Byzantine emperors up to Michael III, and empresses of Byzantium up to Eudocia, as well as lists of the books of the Old and New Testaments and Apocrypha. The sec…

 C’(mid)isa da net’arisa m(a)misa č(ue)nisa I(oa)ne monazonisa da xucisa damask’elisa sit’q’(ua)j cx(o)r(e)bisa da γ(ua)c’lta q’(ovla)d d(ide)b(u)lisa P’(e)t’re axlisa mγd(e)lm(o)c’(a)misa K’ap’et’olelta k(a)l(a)ksa š(in)a c’ameb(u)lisata

(821 words)

Author(s): Efthymiadis, Stephanos
An Oration of our holy and blessed father John, monk and priest of Damascus, concerning the life and most illustrious deeds of the pious neo-martyr Peter, who was put to death in the city of Capitolias, The Martyrdom of Peter CapitoliasThe Life of Peter the Younger, martyr of Capitolias Unknown author Date: Unknown Original Language: Greek Description The Martyrdom of Peter of Capitolias (d. 715) survives only in Georgian. It tells the story of a married priest who had one son and two daughters and who devoted himself to the learning of ‘the Scripture and …
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