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 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…

Carmen in victoriam Pisanorum

(55 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Unknown author Date of Birth: Unknown; early or mid-11th century Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown; late 11th or early 12th century Place of Death: Unknown Biography - Primary Sources of Information - Secondary Sources of Information - Works on Christian-Muslim Relations Carmen in victoriam Pisanorum John Tolan

 Roman de Mahomet

(449 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Roman de Mahon‘Story of Muḥammad’ Alexandre du Pont Date: 1258 Original Language: Old French Description The Roman de Mahomet is a French verse adaptation of Gautier de Compiègne’s Otia de Machomete (q.v.) . The content and treatment of Muḥammad’s life are essentially the same in both works, though in other aspects the translator takes considerable liberty with his source. Alexandre’s account is 1,996 verses long compared with Gautier’s 1,090, which is to some extent the result of the shorter verses of the French text, but is …

Alexandre du Pont

(68 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Biography Nothing is known about Alexandre du Pont, beyond his name (which he himself gives at line 22 of his work) and the fact that he completed his Roman in the city of Laon in 1258 (as he announces at the end of the work). Primary Sources of Information - Secondary Sources of Information - Works on Christian-Muslim Relations Roman de Mahomet John Tolan

Embrico of Mainz

(100 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Biography What little we know about Embrico is gleaned from the text of the Vita Mahumeti and from the Vita auctoris, a brief poem which states that the author of the Vita Mahumeti is named Embrico and is from Mainz.  It may well be the same Embrico who served as treasurer of Mainz cathedral from 1090 until 1112.  Primary Sources of Information Vita auctoris (Life of the author), contemporary Latin poem (edition and French trans. in Cambier, 'Embricon de Mayence', p. 469) Secondary Sources of Information See below Works on Christian-Muslim Relations Vita Mahumeti John Tolan

Gomes Eanes de Zurara

(303 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Biography The illegitimate son of a canon of Coimbra and Evora, Gomes Eanes de Zurara worked at the court of King Duarte of Portugal (1433-38) as a curator of the royal archives. During the reign of Afonso V (1438-81), he was knighted and eventually became the kingdom’s chief chronicler. He composed a number of chronicles narrating the reigns of the Portuguese kings and in particular their conquests in North Africa (in one of these, Crónica da Tomada de Ceuta, ed. R Brasil, Lisbon, 1992, pp. 271-…

Bertrandon de la Broquière

(259 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Bertrandon de la Broquère Date of Birth: About 1400 Place of Birth: Perhaps Broquère, Garonne Date of Death: 9 May 1459 Place of Death: Lille Biography Almost everything that is known about Bertrandon derives from his Voyage d’Oultremer. He was probably born to a minor noble family in the Guyenne. He first appears in archival sources in 1418, in the service of Archambaud de Foix, lord of Navailles, who was murdered along with his lord Jean sans Peur, Duke of Burgundy, on 10 September 1419. Bertrandon went into the service of the new duke Philip the Good as écuyer trenchant (carver) in 1421; h…

Gautier de Compiègne

(139 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Walterius, Walter of Compiègne, Walter von Compiègne Date of Birth: unknown; probably late 11th century Place of Birth: unknown Date of Death: mid to late 12th century Place of Death: unknown Biography In the Otia de Machomete, Gautier gives his name as Walterius, and says that he is a monk writing at the bidding of his abbot; he also mentions the Cathedral of Sens.  He may well be the same Gautier who was monk at Marmoutier and later, from 1137 to 1155, prior of St Martin of Chartres, author of a history of Marmoutier and a collection of miracles of the Virgin Mary. Primary Sources of Information - S…

 Iniquus Mahometus

(792 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
‘Deceitful Muḥammad’ Unknown author Date: Probably last quarter of the 13th century Original Language: Latin Description This anonymous text, which González Muñoz, ‘Dos versiones tardías’, dates to the last quarter of the 13th century, is extant in one late-14th- or early-15th-century MS, along with an edificatory treatise on the salvation of the soul and a number of hagiographical texts. The anonymous author relates that the evil heretic Nicolas, who practiced adultery and preached that wives should be held in common, was condemned by the holy church a…

Burchard of Mount Sion

(119 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Burchardus de Monte Sion, Brocardus Date of Birth: Probably mid-13th century Place of Birth: Uncertain; probably in the German Empire Date of Death: Probably late 13th century Place of Death: Unknown Biography Little is known about Burchard, other than what can be gleaned from his Descriptio Terrae Sanctae, which says that he was a Dominican friar associated with the convent of Magdeburg.  He travelled to the Holy Land sometime between 1274 and 1284, spending some time in the Convent of Mt Sion, and subsequently wrote a description of his travels. Primary Sources of Information Descripti…

 Responsiones ad dubitabilia circa communicationem Christianorum cum Sarracenis

(765 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Responsiones ad dubitabilia‘Responses to questions about the communication of Christians with Saracens’, ‘Responses to questions' Raymond of Penyafort Date: 19 January 1235 Original Language: Latin Description On 19 January, 1235, Raymond, at the time major penitentiary ( paenitentiarius) to Pope Gregory IX, wrote a letter to the Dominican prior and the Franciscan minister ‘in the kingdom of Tunis’. These two friars had written to the pope with 40 quite specific questions concerning problems they faced in serving the Christian comm…

Raymond of Penyafort

(1,017 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Ramon de Penyafort, Ramón de Peñaforte Date of Birth: About 1180 Place of Birth: Probably Penyafort, Catalonia Date of Death: 6 January 1275 Place of Death: Barcelona Biography Raymond studied law in Bologna in the 1210s and then taught there as master. He joined the Dominican order in the 1220s. In November 1229, Pope Gregory IX called on him to preach the crusade for James I’s conquest of Mallorca in southern France, including Arles and Narbonne ( Diplomatario, p. 11). Raymond subsequently became papal confessor and penitentiary, and as such he compiled the Decretals, a collection of …

De Saracenis

(45 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Unknown author Date of Birth: Place of Birth: Date of Death: Place of Death: Biography Primary Sources of Information Secondary Sources of Information Works on Christian-Muslim Relations De Saracenis et ritu ipsorum in oratione et ieiunio et aliis moribus ipsorum John Tolan

Petrus Alfonsi

(765 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Pedro Alfonso, Pierre Alphonse Date of Birth: Second half of 11th century Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown; after 1116 Place of Death: Unknown Biography Petrus Alfonsi is one of the key actors in the transmission and assimilation of Arabic scientific, literary and religious texts and ideas to Latin Europe in the early 12th century. His impact is attested in the survival of roughly 160 manuscripts of his works, in the frequent use made of them by key authors from the 12th century to the 16th, and in their wide diffusion through early printed editions. Petrus Alfonsi was born Mo…

 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…

 Instructio fidei catholicae ad soldanum

(357 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Instruction in the Catholic faith to the sultan Alexander III Date: Probably 1177 or 1178 Original Language: Latin Description The text, preserved in the correspondence of Peter of Blois, who was part of the papal curia in 1177-78, takes the form of a short letter (8 columns in the PL text) addressed by the pope to the sultan of Iconium (who is not named). The pope says that the sultan has made known, through letters and messengers, that he wishes to convert to Christianity. The sultan has already received a number of biblical books, and now t…

Unknown author

(20 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Biography Primary Sources of Information Secondary Sources of Information Works on Christian-Muslim Relations Iniquus Mahometus John Tolan

 De vita et malicia machometi prophete Turkorum et Sarracenorum

(449 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
De vita et malicia Machometi'On the life and malice of Muḥammad, prophet of the Turks and Saracens' De vita et malicia Machometi Date: 15th century Original Language: Latin Description This text, which is unedited and exists in one 15th-century manuscript, narrates the life of the pseudo-prophet Machometus. It cannot be dated exactly, though since another text in the manuscript bears the date 1443 (f. 153r), this gives a terminus post quam for the composition of the manuscript itself. (Other texts at the end of the manuscript are later still, but have been added i…

Unknown author

(42 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Istoria de Mahomet Date of Birth: Unknown Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown Place of Death: Unknown Biography Primary Sources of Information - Secondary Sources of Information - Works on Christian-Muslim Relations Istoria de Mahomet John Tolan

 Sobre la seta Mahometana

(1,222 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
‘On the Muḥammadan sect’ Pedro Pascual Date: 1298-1300, if indeed an authentic work of Pedro Pascual; otherwise 14th or 15th century Original Language: Castilian Description As with many of the works attributed to Pedro Pascual, there has been scholarly debate concerning the authorship of Sobre la seta mahometana. While both Pérez-Embid Wamba and Riera i Sans argue against attributing the tract to Pedro, Walter Mettmann argues convincingly in favor of it. The author of the tract clearly presents himself as Pedro Pascual and, if he is not the…
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