Medieval Sicily, al-Andalus, and the Maghrib: Writing in Times of Turmoil

This volume explores a millennium of multilingual literary exchanges among the peoples of Sicily, the Iberian Peninsula, and North Africa: the Maghrib, or westernmost strongholds of medieval Islam.

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Carol Symes

Nicola Carpentieri

This volume explores a millennium of multilingual literary exchanges among the peoples of Sicily, the Iberian Peninsula, and North Africa: the Maghrib, or westernmost strongholds of medieval Islam. Beginning in the seventh century, Muslim expansion into the western Mediterranean initiated a new phase in the layering of heterogeneous peoples and languages in this perennial contact zone: Arabs and Berbers, Christians and Jews, Sunnī and Shīʿa Muslims, Greeks and Latins all shaped, shared, and contested identities, hybrid genealogies of knowledge, and fragile but vital political alliances. Waves of migration and the movement of scholars and poets transmitted and expanded canonical and convergent literary forms while facilitating the rise of new vernaculars and the adoption of “foreign” cultural practices and themes. These essays excavate the complexities of the literary artefacts produced in these times of turmoil, offering new perspectives on the intellectual networks and traditions that proved instrumental in overcoming the often traumatic transitions among political and/or religious regimes.

Contents

Introduction: A Mediterranean Ecumene in Crisis – Nicola Carpentieri and Carol Symes
The Indiculus luminosus and the Creation of a Ninth-Century Prophetic Conflict between Christianity and Islam – Andrew Sober
Empire and Caliphate in the Life of John of Gorze – Natalie Levin
The Writing of Munāẓarāt in Times of Turmoil: Disputations in Fatimid Ifriqiya – Aslisho Qurboniev
Messaging and Memory: Notes from Medieval Ifriqiya and Sicily – Alex Metcalfe
“And God dispersed their unity”: Historiographical Strategies for Recounting the End of Muslim Rule in Sicily and al-Andalus – Roberta Denaro
A Wondrous Past, a Dangerous Present: The Egyptian Temple of Akhmīm and the Martorana Church in Palermo as Seen through Ibn Jubayr’s Travelogue – Giovanna Calasso
How Does a Moorish Prince Become a Roman Caesar? Fictions and Forgeries, Emperors and Others from the Spanish Flores Romances to the Lead Books of Granada – Keith Budner