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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Hibat Allāh ibn al-Tilmīdh

(299 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
Biography Hibat Allāh ibn al-Tilmīdh was a renowned physician, working at the prestigious ʿAdudiyya hospital. His medical activities are elaborately recorded by Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿa and al-Qifṭī. He was an influential member of the (‘Nestorian’) Church of the East, as appears from his presence at the patriarchal consecration of Elias II (q.v.), recorded in the patriarchal lists of the Kitāb al-majdal ( The tower) and the Asfār al-asrār ( The books of secrets). He is also the author of an important theological work (see below). Primary Sources of Information Patriarchal chronicle of The tow…

 Ḥikmat Sibillā ibnat Harqalus raʾs ḥunafāʾ Afasus, allādhī tanabbaʾat ʿalā l-manẓar allādhī naẓarū hāʾulāʾika l-miʾat rajul fī layla wāḥida (This is according to the oldest manuscript, Sinai Ar. 461 (9th-10th c.), fol. 34a, although details vary from manuscript to manuscript. The first noun in the title may be ḥikma (‘wisdom’), qiṣṣa (‘story’), or nubuwwa (‘prophesy’), while the name of the prophetess is written in various ways with uncertain vocalization, e.g. Sibilla/Sabilla or Sabīla, ending either in alif or tāʾ marbūṭa.

(1,438 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
The Wisdom of Sibilla, daughter of Heraclius, head of the pagans of Ephesus, which she prophesied concerning the vision which those hundred men saw in a single night’The Arabic Sibylline prophecy, The oriental Sibylline Unknown series of redactors Date: The ‘primitive’ Arabic recension may date to the 8th century. An expanded recension took shape c. 815. Original Language: Arabic Description A Christian apocalyptic legend which has come down to us in a variety of Latin, Greek, Arabic and Ethiopic recensions relates how an elderly prophetess or sibyl inte…


(324 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Sadīd al-Dīn Maḥmūd ibn ʿAlī ibn Ḥasan al-Ḥimmaṣī l-Rāzī Date of Birth: Unknown; probably mid-12th century Place of Birth: Unknown; in or near Rayy Date of Death: After 1204 Place of Death: Unknown Biography Maḥmūd ibn ʿAlī ibn Ḥasan al-Ḥimmaṣī (who is sometimes confused with the 14th-century figure Maḥmūd ibn ʿAlī ibn Maḥmūd al-Ḥimmaṣī) was an Imāmī Shīʿī jurist and theologian whose activities spanned the latter part of the 12th century. He is not well known, though, since he taught Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (q.v.), his influence may have been greater than it first appears. In theology, al-Ḥ…

 Historia Arabum

(1,939 words)

Author(s): Maser, Matthias
‘History of the Arabs’ Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada Date: Between 1243 and 1245 Original Language: Latin Description The Historia Arabum consists of 49 chapters, covering 63 pages in the authoritative edition by J. Fernández Valverde. The main focus of the work lies on the history of the regnum Cordube, the Muslim realm of al-Andalus, from the Arab invasion in 711 to the conquest by the Berber Almoravids after 1086. Chapters 1 to 9 treat the pre-history of this Andalusian history, describing the alleged foundation of an ‘Arab kingdom’ in the East …

 Historia Damiatina

(1,799 words)

Author(s): Bird, Jessalynn
‘The history of Damietta’; ‘The capture of Damietta’ Oliver of Paderborn Date: 1219-23 Original Language: Latin Description Oliver began writing his extensive history (some 89 chapters) during the campaign of the Fifth Crusade and edited it after that campaign’s disastrous denouement for use in the planning of and recruitment for the crusade of Frederick II. The Historia Damiatina presents the Fifth Crusade as a logical progression of the histories Oliver had written earlier, the Descriptio Terre Sancte (which portrays the Holy Land as the chosen land sanctified by the …

 Historia de duabus civitatibus

(1,918 words)

Author(s): Mégier, Elisabeth
HistoriaChronica: De mutatione rerum History of the two citiesChronicle, History, About change in (all) things Otto of Freising Date: First edition dedicated to the monk Isengrimus, 1143-46; second edition dedicated to the Emperor Frederick I, 1157 Original Language: Latin Description The Historia covers 457 pages in the MGH SS rer. Germ. edition. The passages referring to the ‘Saracens’ and their religion are to be found on pp. 241 (book V, 9) and 317-18 (book VII, 7). See also Historia VII, 3, pp. 312-13 Otto presents a combination of authentic information and legend or inve…

 Historia de Hierosolymitano itinere

(1,156 words)

Author(s): Bull, Marcus
The history of the journey/pilgrimage to Jerusalem Peter Tudebode Date: Written in two phases, 1099-c.1101, and c.1101-c.1110 Original Language: Latin Description About 23,000 words in length and occupying 119 pages in its most recent edition, the Historia de Hierosolymitano itinere is a Latin prose history of the First Crusade between its preaching in France by Pope Urban II and the climax of the expedition in July and August 1099, when the crusaders captured Jerusalem and then defeated an Egyptian relief force at Ascalon on 12 Augu…

 Historia de ortu Jerusalem et eius variis eventibus

(703 words)

Author(s): Bird, Jessalynn
‘History of the origin of Jerusalem and the various events affecting it’; ‘History of Jerusalem’ Oliver of Paderborn Date: After November 1219, probably February 1220-21 Original Language: Latin Description Written by Oliver of Paderborn during the campaign of the Fifth Crusade, this work of over 125 chapters on the origins and history of Jerusalem and its environs (from the Fall until the city’s capture by crusaders in 1099) was drawn largely from Peter Comestor’s Historia scholastica and the Old Testament (with the addition of a catalog of Roman caesars, a descriptio…

 Historia ecclesiastica

(1,540 words)

Author(s): Mallett, Alex
Ecclesiastical history Orderic Vitalis Date: Mainly between 1123 and 1137, with additions until 1142 Original Language: Latin Description The Ecclesiastical history was written, at the request of the abbot of St Evroul, as an historical record of the abbey, but it soon grew to become a much wider historical work. Starting with the life of Christ, the Apostles and subsequent popes in Books 1 and 2, it describes the events in a chronological framework that adds little to previous writings. It is with Book 3 that the …

 Historia ecclesiastica

(2,610 words)

Author(s): Mégier and Martin de Ruiter , Elisabeth
Historia ecclesiasticaChroniconEcclesiastical historyChronicle Hugh of Fleury Date: First redaction, 1109, second redaction, 1110 Original Language: Latin Description The first redaction (hereafter: no. 1) covers 110 folios in MS Paris, BNF - Lat. 4963, of which one and a half, fols 96r-97r, contain Hugh’s account of the conquests of the Sarraceni and the story of Muḥammad. In the manuscripts of the second redaction (no. 2), most of which are incomplete, this account usually takes up one folio (fol. 64r-v in MS Vat - Reg. lat. 545). Hugh relies on the information about Muḥammad …

 Historia Francorum qui ceperunt Iherusalem

(1,204 words)

Author(s): Packard, Barbara
History of the Franks who captured Jerusalem Raymond of Aguilers Date: Approx. 1101 Original Language: Latin Description The Historia Francorum qui ceperunt Iherusalem, almost 100 pages of Latin text, was probably completed about 1101. Raymond of Aguilers does not mention the death of Count Raymond at Tripoli in 1105, suggesting he had completed his work before that date. Another crusade historian, Fulcher of Chartres (q.v.), who probably finished his account of the First Crusade by 1101, used Raymond’s work, again suggesting an early date for the completion of Raymond’s narrative. R…

 Historia Hierosolymitana

(1,635 words)

Author(s): Bull, Marcus
Gesta Francorum Iherusalem peregrinantiumThe Jerusalem historyThe deeds of the Franks on pilgrimage to Jerusalem Fulcher of Chartres Date: 1101-27 Original Language: Latin Description The Historia Hierosolymitana is an important historical text in two chief respects. First, alongside the anonymous Gesta Francorum et aliorum Hierosolimitanorum (q.v.) and Raymond of Aguiler’s (q.v.) Liber, it is one of the three so-called ‘eyewitness’ Latin narratives of the First Crusade. Second, unlike the other two texts, whose accounts end in 1099, Fulcher ex…

 Historia Iherosolimitana

(1,265 words)

Author(s): Bull, Marcus
Jerusalemite HistoryHistory of the First Crusade Robert the Monk Date: c. 1107 Original Language: Latin Description Occupying about 160 pages in its RHC edition, the Historia Iherosolimitana is a Latin history of the First Crusade between the launching of the crusade at the Council of Clermont in November 1095, and the battle of Ascalon on 12 August 1099. The text is about 35,000 words in length and is divided into nine books, which probably reflects the author’s original design; most of the text is in prose, but there a…

 Historia Nikēta basilikou klērikou

(465 words)

Author(s): Pratsch, Thomas
Report of the imperial cleric Nicetas Nicetas Clericus Date: 947 Original Language: Greek Description This letter is about the miracle of the fire in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher on Holy Saturday 947. Nicetas Clericus writes to the Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus about the ceremony, and in particular about the difficulties connected with it that year. An emir had come from Baghdad with the express purpose of informing the patriarch that this ceremony would no longer be allowed because it was no more than a trick. The patriarch replied that…

Historians of Tʿamar Queen of queens

(433 words)

Author(s): Abashidze, Medea D.
Historians of Queen Tʿamar Date of Birth: Mid-12th century Place of Birth: Georgia Date of Death: Probably mid-13th century Place of Death: Georgia Biography There is no certain information about either of the two scholars known as the Historians of Queen Tʿamar, except that they were both living during Tʿamar’s reign (1184-1213) and wrote their works in the decades following. The first historian was evidently highly educated. He was familiar with Western and Eastern literature, and also with details of world history, and he wrote prose of a highly wroug…

 Historia occidentalis

(565 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
‘History of the West’ Jacques de Vitry Date: About 1226 Original Language: Latin Description The second part of Jacques’ Historia Hierosolymitana, the Historia occidentalis, is a portrait of the Latin Church, a rather dark portrait indeed, particularly at the beginning. Jacques describes a society plunged in the mire of sin: the powerful fleece the poor, the avaricious practice usury, the princes let taverns and brothels flourish, the peasants refuse to pay their tithes and rents, the priests celebrate mass with filth…

 Historia orientalis

(1,216 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
‘History of the Orient’ Jacques de Vitry Date: Probably 1216-24 Original Language: Latin Description The Historia orientalis is the first part of the Historia Hierosolymitana. It was probably begun in 1216 and finished in 1223-24 (see Donnadieu, Historia orientalis, pp. 10-12). Jacques paints a fresco of the geography and history of the East, and Jerusalem in particular, for him the center of the world, the sacred city of the chosen people, from the days of Melchizedek to the early 13th century. He presents a moralized vision of history: when the people honor God and show …

 Historia regum Terre Sancte

(885 words)

Author(s): Bird, Jessalynn
'History of the kings of the Holy Land’ Oliver of Paderborn Date: 1219-22 Original Language: Latin Description Oliver wrote his cultural, political and religious history of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (beginning with the First Crusade and ending with preparations for the Fifth Crusade) during the campaign of the Fifth Crusade. Drawing on Fulcher of Chartres (q.v.), William of Tyre (q.v.), and other sources (possibly including a version of the Estoire de Eracles), he describes how God punished his chosen people, the Christians (to whom the Holy Land fell after the…

 Historia Rhōmaikē

(383 words)

Author(s): Heilo, Olof
‘Roman history’ Nicephorus Gregoras Date: 1337/1346-c. 1360 Original Language: Greek Description In accordance with the image of a Palaeologan ‘Renaissance man’, Gregoras was a prolific writer on a vast range of subjects. His main historical work is the Historia Rhōmaikē, which describes the fate of the Byzantine Empire after 1204. Its general emphasis centers on the lifetime of the author and the Hesychast controversy in particular, and is expanded with details that were brought to Gregoras during his house arrest by his pupil, Agat…

 Historia Romana

(393 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
History of Rome Landolfus Sagax Date: Probably last quarter of the 10th century Original Language: Latin Description The Historia Romana is a compilation of materials principally from earlier chroniclers including Eutropius, Paulus Diaconus, Orosius, and Anastasius Bibliothecarius' (q.v.) Chronographia tripertita. Landolfus relates the history of Rome from Aeneas to the Emperor Nicephorus II Phocas (r. 963-69). The later chapters of the Historia focus on Constantinople, reflecting Landolfus’ southern Italian perspective. From Anastasius, Landolfus reproduces the b…
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