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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Konstantin Mihailović

(355 words)

Author(s): Veinstein, Gilles
Konstantin Mihailović of Ostrovica; Konstantin, son of Mihail Konstantinović of Ostrovica; Muslim name: Ishaq Kahya Date of Birth: About 1435 Place of Birth: Ostrovica, or Ostrvica Date of Death: Unknown; before 1500 Place of Death: Unknown; possibly in Poland Biography Little is known about Konstantin’s early years. He was born in Ostrovica (or Ostrvica), which may be either the town of that name about 65 kilometers south of Belgrade near Rudnik, or another town further south, close to Novo Brdo, between Nerodimlja and Sirinić. The y…

 Kōnstantinou en Christō basilei aiōniō basileōs Rōmaiōn diēgēsis apo diaphorōn athroistheisai historiōn peri tēs pros Augaron apostaleisēs acheiropoiētou theias eikonos Iēsou Christou tou theou hēmōn, kai hōs ex Edesēs metekomisthē pros tēn pandaimona tautēn kai basilida tōn poleōn Kōnstantinoupolin.

(2,371 words)

Author(s): Guscin, Mark
Narratio de Imagine Edessena BThe narration of Constantine, Emperor of the Romans in the eternal Emperor Christ, collected from different stories, about the divine image not made by hands of Jesus Christ our God, which was sent to Abgar, and how it was translated to this all-blessed and queen of cities, Constantinople Narratio de Imagine Edessena Date: Mid-10th century, after 944 Original Language: Greek Description The Narratio de Imagine Edessena, which must have been written after 944, since it describes the arrival of the Image in Constantinople in that year,…

 Kōnstantinou en Christōi basilei aiōniōi basileōs Rōmaiōn pros ton idion huion Rōmanon ton Theostephē kai porphyrogennēton basilea

(3,566 words)

Author(s): Vaiou, Maria
De administrando imperioConstantine in Christ the eternal emperor, emperor of the Romans to his son Romanus the emperor crowned of God and born in the purple, Imperial administration Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus Date: 952 Original Language: Greek Description De administrando imperio, a manual of how to rule addressed by Constantine to his son Romanus to teach him how to be a wise ruler, provides a wide range of historical and political information on the relations between Byzantine Christians and Muslims. The work is similar to Ib…

 Kōnstantinou tou philochristou kai en autō tō Christō tō aiōniō basilei basileōs hyiou Leontos tou sophōtatou kai aeimnēstou basileōs syntagma ti kai basileiou spoudēs ontōs axion poiēma

(2,541 words)

Author(s): Vaiou, Maria
De ceremoniisDe ceremoniis aulae byzantinae Treatise and work worth the imperial effort of Constantine, friend of Christ and emperor in the same Christ, the eternal emperor, son of Leo, the most wise emperor of eternal memory, On ceremonial Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus Date: Before 959 Original Language: Greek Description De ceremoniis is intended to restore rhythm and orderliness to imperial ceremonial, so as to demonstrate how the harmony in the structures of the empire represents the harmony imparted by its Creator. Constantine VII, or t…

 Kronika turecka (Czech); Pamietniki Janczara (Polish)

(1,349 words)

Author(s): Veinstein, Gilles
'Turkish chronicle'; 'Memoirs of a janissary' Konstantin Mihailović Date: Between 1497 and 1500, with some parts added after the author’s death Original Language: Serbian Description The Memoirs are divided into 48 very short chapters and a final note. The surviving manuscripts are in Czech and Polish, though the lost autograph was in Serbian. Konstantin begins by giving information about the religion of the Muslims – the ‘ignoble heathens’, their history, buildings, ceremonies and institutions, a portrayal that is not o…

Ktābā d-ʿal-idaʿtā da-shrārā

(65 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
Unknown author Date of Birth: Unknown; possibly 11th century Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown; possibly 11th century Place of Death: Unknown Biography This author was an otherwise unknown West Syrian (Jacobite) Bishop of Edessa. Primary Sources of Information - Secondary Sources of Information - Works on Christian-Muslim Relations Ktābā d-ʿal-idaʿtā da-shrārā aw d-ʿElat d-kull ʿellān Herman G.B. Teule

 Ktābā d-ʿal-idaʿtā da-shrārā aw d-ʿElat d-kull ʿellān

(677 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
The book of knowledge of the truth or of the Cause of all causes Ktābā d-ʿal-idaʿtā da-shrārā Date: Probably 11th century Original Language: Syriac Description This work, originally divided into nine memrē (discourses), the last two of which are lost (the work ends at memrō 7, ch. 2), is a reflection and meditation on God’s creation, based on the reading and interpretation of the ‘Book of nature’, nature being the father and teacher of the human race, and on the study of scripture, especially the ‘Book of Moses’. In the introduction, the …

 Ktābā d-buyyāʾē awkit d-egrātā

(527 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
‘Consolations’ (i.e. letters) Ishoʿyahb III of Adiabene (Ḥadyab) Date: 628-59 Original Language: Syriac Description After his consecration as bishop, Ishoʿyahb conducted a lively correspondence with various individuals (monks, fellow bishops, the patriarch) on a variety of subjects. Two letters give information about the Muslim presence in the territories of the Church of the East: Letter 48, addressed to some monks and written when he was bishop of Mosul, hence before 637, and Letter 14 during his time as Catholicos (hence composed after 649), add…

 Ktābā d-deboritā

(550 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
Ktābā d-luqāṭē ‘Book of the bee’; ‘Book of selected works’ Solomon of Basra Date: Unknown; early 13th century Original Language: Syriac Description The Book of the bee relates the history of salvation, beginning with the creation of the world and ending in Solomon’s own time. Most attention, however, is given to the biblical period, and for later periods Solomon limits himself to a list of patriarchs of the Church of the East (this was continued by some scribes down to the 16th century), and a list of rulers to the end of the Sasanian dynasty. These are followed by a very br…

 (Ktābā d-)Eskolyon

(603 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
Liber scholiorum Book of scholia Theodore bar Koni (Konay) Date: 791/92 Original Language: Syriac Description This is a general biblical, theological and ecclesiastical encyclopedia, written for ‘beginners’ (students, novices) and addressed to an otherwise unknown exegete, Mar Yoḥannān. Memrā 10 is an apology for the Christian faith, more particularly of the East-Syrian Christological position, and a refutation of a number of objections made by Muslims, called ḥanpē, ‘pagans’. Like the rest of the work, the apology is cast in the question-and-answer genre. The…

 Ktābā d-maktab zabnē

(624 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
Syriac Common SourceChronography Theophilus of Edessa, Theophilus bar Tuma, Thawfīl al-Rūmī Date: Shortly after 754 Original Language: Syriac Description The work is not extant. Its title is known through Barhebraeus ( Chronicon Syriacum, p. 127). A partial reconstruction is possible on the basis of the quotations from this chronicle found in the works of three later historiographers. The Syrian-Orthodox Dionysius of Tell-Maḥrē (q.v.) used it as a source. Although his own chronicle is no longer extant, it in its turn is partially preserved in the works of Michael the Syrian and the Ch…

 Ktābā d-marganitā

(505 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
'The book of the pearl' ʿAbdishoʿ of Nisibis Date: November 1298 Original Language: Syriac Description At first sight, the Ktābā d-marganitā seems an internal Christian theological work, dealing with the traditional issues of East Syrian doctrine and ecclesiastical practice. In the introduction, however, the author explains that the pearl mentioned in the title is the pearl of the truth of Christianity in general, apparently not just of the truth of his own community, the Church of the East. It would appear that he…

 Ktābā d-rēsh mellē

(1,736 words)

Author(s): Greisiger, Lutz
The Book of main points John bar Penkāyē, Yōḥannān bar Penkāyē, John of Penek (Fenek) Date: Between 686 and 693 Original Language: Syriac Description The Ktābā d-rēsh mellē, subtitled History of the world of time, is an outline of world history (the title is a literal translation of the Greek kephalaiōsēs istoria) from creation to the author’s days, dedicated to his friend Sabrīshōʿ. The work comprises 15 books of which the five covered by Mingana’s edition (10-15) fill 171 pages; in the manuscripts the whole work fills c. 400 pages. Only the co…

 Ktābā d-simātā

(1,094 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
Book of treasures Job of Edessa, Job ‘the Spotted’, Ayyub Urhāyā, Ayyūb al-Ruhāwī ‘al-Abrash’ Date: Probably c. 817 Original Language: Syriac Description This extensive work, which covers almost 300 pages in Mingana’s translation, comprises a detailed analysis of a wide range of natural phenomena which aims at detecting how the principle characteristics of the elements shape the natural world. The fact that Job states that he hopes to finish the book despite the war that was raging (p. 154), has led Mingana to assume…

 Ktōbō d-maktbōnut zabnē, Part 1

(1,075 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
Chronography‘Civil chronicle’, ‘Chronicon Syriacum’ Barhebraeus Date: After 1276; Gregory continued to update it until near his death Original Language: Syriac Description This major work of Barhebraeus is a universal chronicle from the creation to almost the end of his own days. It is divided into two parts: the first deals with secular history, and the second describes ecclesiastical events. The two were separated and considered as individual works, even in the early manuscript tradition. This is also the case with modern text editions and translations. The secular or civil pa…

 Ktōbō d-maktbōnut zabnē, Part 2. Ktōbō d-eqlesiastiqi

(471 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
Chronography‘Ecclesiastical chronicle’, ‘Chronicon ecclesiasticum’ Barhebraeus Date: After 1276, though Gregory continued to update it until near his death Original Language: Syriac Description The Ecclesiastical chronicle is divided into two parts. The first gives the succession of the Jewish high priests, beginning with Aaron, followed by their Christian successors, the patriarchs of Antioch, starting with the Apostle Peter and ending one year after the consecration of Patriarch Philoxenos Nemrod, in 1284. The second…

 Ktōbō d-yawnō

(378 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
‘Book of the dove’ Barhebraeus Date: Probably written after the Ethicon, hence later than 1279 Original Language: Syriac Description The Book of the dove takes up the same themes as the Ethicon, but whereas the Ethicon was written for any Christian believer, monk or lay-person, the Book of the dove discusses these themes only from the perspective of monks and solitaries. The similarity with the Ethicon implies that the Dove is also largely based on al-Ghazālī’s Iḥyāʾ ʿulūm al-dīn. Book 4 of the Book of the dove has no equivalent in the Ethicon, and consists of an autobiographical accou…

 Ktōbō d-zalgē

(431 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
‘The book of rays’ Barhebraeus Date: Before 1272, probably the same period as 'The lamp of the sanctuary' Original Language: Syriac Description The Book of rays comprises ten books and is, like the Lamp of the sanctuary, a compendium of West Syrian theology, dealing with the same themes. Though it is significantly shorter than the Lamp of the sanctuary and deals with several subjects in a similar way, the Book of the rays is not a mere compendium and in some passages has a different or a more elaborate approach to the same issue. In Book 3 (on the Incarnation), Barhebraeus discusses agai…

 Ktōbō (or fragmatyā) d-simōtō

(818 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
‘Book of treasures’ Jacob bar Shakkō Date: 1231 Original Language: Syriac Description This still unedited work is a theological compendium written in a concise and condensed style that makes some passages difficult to understand. Bar Shakkō refers several times to other works, now lost, in which he deals more elaborately with the same themes. The compendium is divided into four parts ( ōdshē), dealing with: 1. the Trinity; 2. the Incarnation (and including some sections on monasticism and liturgy); 3. providence; and 4. a variety of subjects, including the…