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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 Opusculum tripartitum

(581 words)

Author(s): Burman, Thomas E.
'Three-part treatise' Humbert of Romans Date: Approximately 1273 Original Language: Latin Description Of the three issues that preoccupy Humbert in this work – the need for renewed crusade, the Greek-Latin schism, and Church reform – only the first is relevant to Christian-Muslim relations. Writing at almost the same time as Louis IX’s second failed crusade, Humbert admits in this first section that crusading in general has become deeply unpopular in the Latin world. He therefore sets himself the task of de…

 Opus maius

(3,341 words)

Author(s): Power, Amanda
- Roger Bacon Date: Put together between 1266 and 1268, almost certainly in part from existing treatises Original Language: Latin Description The Opus maius was written at the request of Pope Clement IV, who had asked to be told about Bacon’s remedies for an unspecified ‘great danger’. Its text, which was put together between 1266 and 1268, has yet to be fully established. The manuscript tradition is particularly complex because Bacon probably incorporated existing treatises into his argument for Clement and seems als…


(387 words)

Author(s): Zorzi, Niccolò
'Orations' Nicetas Choniates Date: Approximately 1185-1211 Original Language: Greek Description In various orations, delivered in different periods of Nicetas' career, mention is made of the Turks, mostly as enemies defeated by the emperors, both before and after the conquest of Constantinople in 1204 by the crusaders (see Orations 7, 9, 10, 14, 16). Oration 16, whose title reads To the Emperor Theodorus Lascaris, when he killed the sultan of Iconium, which was delivered on the occasion of an important victory of the emperor residing in Nicea over Sultan Kai-Khus…

Orderic Vitalis

(659 words)

Author(s): Mallett, Alex
Biography Orderic was born in Mercia in 1075 to a Norman father and English mother. His father was a clerk in the retinue of Roger of Montgomery, later the earl of Shrewsbury. Orderic was given a rudimentary education at a newly-built local abbey, before his father sent him away at the age of ten to the abbey of St Evroul, never to see him again. Despite his importance as a historian, little is known of Orderic except a few details that can be gleaned from his own work, so his life at the abbey is something of a mystery. His studies at St Evroul probably last…

 Original title unknown

(218 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
Life of Patriarch Michael Yuḥannis, Yuʾannis, Yūḥannā ‘John the Deacon’ is a convenient appellation Date: About 770 Original Language: Coptic Description Early in the Life of Patriarch Michael (Khāʾīl) I (743-67) as it is preserved in The History of the patriarchs of Alexandria, its author, John the Deacon, states that, while he would like to have written about Michael’s life as a monk (and his miracles) before becoming patriarch, he was concerned for length – and, in any case, he had already written a separate Life of Michael (see Seybold, 1904, p. 172; Evetts, PO 5, p. 114; Se…

 Original title unknown.

(1,033 words)

Author(s): Greisiger, Lutz
The Edessene ApocalypseThe Edessene Pseudo-Methodius or The Edessene Apocalyptic Fragment Unknown author Date: Shortly after 692 (alternatively, late 13th c.) Original Language: Syriac Description The text of the Edessene Apocalypse is fragmentary and its actual title is not preserved. The most comprehensive extant fragment covers 7 pages in manuscript, and Nau’s critical edition takes up 9 pages. The text is closely related to the Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius (q.v.), which led its editor to the conclusion that it was the Syriac version of the then known Gre…

 Oruʿutō luqbal ʿamō d-Arābōyē

(1,163 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
Dispute against the nation of the ArabsA response addressed to the Arabs Dionysius bar Ṣalibi Date: Unknown; before 1171 Original Language: Syriac Description The Dispute against the Arabs (designated as Arabōyē, Ṭayyōyē, Mhaggrōyē) belongs to a series of refutations which includes non-Jacobite Christian communities (Nestorians, Chalcedonians, Armenians), ‘Idolaters’, Phantasiasts, and the Jews, which originally may have formed one large heresiographical work. The tone of some of these refutations, especially of the Armenians …

 Otia de Machomete

(784 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Verses on Muḥammad Gautier de Compiègne Date: Before about 1155 Original Language: Latin Description This is a long poem (1,090 verses) narrating the life of ‘Machomes’ (Muḥammad), trickster, worker of bogus miracles, and false prophet of the Saracens. It is unclear what Gautier’s sources were; it is plausible that he knew and used Embrico of Mainz’s (q.v.) Vita Mahumeti, as G. Cambier argues, though Cambier’s argument is far from convincing. A number of the legendary elements in Gautier’s narrative circulated widely in 12th-century Europe, as various other texts show (e.g. G…

Otto of Freising

(1,355 words)

Author(s): Mégier, Elisabeth
Otto episcopus Frisingensis, Otto von Freising, Otton de Freising Date of Birth: Between 1111 and 1115 Place of Birth: Probably Klosterneuburg, near Vienna Date of Death: 22 September 1158 Place of Death: Morimond, Haute Marne, France Biography The fifth son of the Margrave Leopold III of Austria and of Agnes, daughter of the Emperor Henry IV, Otto was destined for an ecclesiastical career. He received his first education from the Augustinian canons of Klosterneuburg, where he was appointed prior in 1126. From about 1127 he continu…