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Jason Busic

Abstract

The Latin authors of ninth-century Umayyad Córdoba Eulogius, Albarus, and Samson are known for their opposition to acculturation, Arabic learning, and, in the case of Eulogius and Albarus, their defense of the martyrs’ movement of the 850s. One generation later, the first known Christian-Arabic theologian of Hispanic origin appears, Ḥafṣ b. Albar. His adoption of Islamized Arabic has traditionally represented an ideological break from the previous generation of Christian intellectuals in Córdoba. This article questions this discontinuity through analysis of Samson’s Apologeticus contra perfidos (864 CE) and Ḥafṣ’s extant work. The article argues that the Apologeticus engages kalām and proves relevant for its Islamic context. Further, the article argues that Ḥafṣ’s work continues the project laid out by Samson, though with a more polemical eye towards Islam.

Kirsten Schut

Abstract

This article seeks to shed light on attitudes towards Jews and Muslims in the Kingdom of Naples during the early fourteenth century by examining references to non-Christians in the quodlibets, disputed questions, and sermons of the Dominican theologian John of Naples (Giovanni Regina, d. ca. 1348). John’s patron, King Robert of Naples (r. 1309–1343) has traditionally been portrayed as a more tolerant monarch than his predecessor Charles II, and John’s views seem to accord well with Robert’s: he does not advocate conversion, but rather allows Jews and Muslims a limited place within Christian society. Treating topics as diverse as biblical exegesis, blasphemy, sorcery, slavery, mercenaries, and medical ethics, John’s writings on Jews and Muslims were inspired both by traditional scholastic questions and contemporary events. While his views on non-Christians are far from positive, John stops short of disseminating the more virulent polemics of his time.

Inés Monteira

Abstract

In the south gallery of the cloister of the Cathedral of Santa María, Girona, we find one capital that is differentiated from the rest because of its formal as well as its iconographic characteristics. The four faces of capital no. 4 contain two repeated and two alternating motifs: the archer on horseback and the lion attacking a bull. Both the dress of these horsemen and their physical traits identify them as Muslim horsemen. This identification creates an interpretive context for the capital as a whole that also conditions the reading of the conquering lion. Both images will be examined within their constructive context in the light of events and legends that surrounded the cathedral of Girona in the twelfth century. Moreover, we will trace the origin of these motifs that have their parallels in ivories of the art of the caliphal and taifa periods as well as in Catalan Romanesque and Sicilian-Norman art. This overview will enable us to interpret the meaning and significance of the capital in its historical-artistic context and enrich our knowledge of the artistic transfers between Andalusian and Romanesque art.

Andrew Sorber

Abstract

The Indiculus Luminosus has been discussed for its polemical depiction of Muḥammad, its author’s lament over the loss of Latinity in Umayyad Córdoba, or its relation to the so-called Córdoban Martyrs of the 850s. None of these, however, comprehends the purpose of the work as a whole. A layman, Paulus Alvarus, wrote the Indiculus in 854 CE to galvanize the Córdoban Christian elites to oppose Islam through public preaching and affirmation of their Christian identity without compromise. Asserting prophetic authority and appropriating ecclesiastical modes of discourse to engage and influence the elites of an early medieval society, Alvarus’s Indiculus provides a crucial, if idiosyncratic, witness to a time of profound cultural and religious change.

Series:

Edited by Laura Whatley

A Companion to Seals in the Middle Ages is a cross-disciplinary collection of fourteen essays on medieval sigillography. It is organized thematically, and it emphasizes important, often cutting-edge, methodologies for the study of medieval seals and sealing cultures.
As the chronological, temporal and geographic scope of the essays in the volume suggests, the study of the medieval seal—its manufacture, materiality, usage, iconography, inscription, and preservation—is a rich endeavour that demands collaboration across disciplines as well as between scholars working on material from different regions and periods. It is hoped that this collection will make the study of medieval seals more accessible and will stimulate students and scholars to employ and further develop these material and methodological approaches to seals.
Contributors are Adrian Ailes, Elka Cwiertnia, Paul Dryburgh, Emir O. Filipovi, Oliver Harris, Philippa Hoskin, Ashley Jones, Andreas Lehnertz, John McEwan, Elizabeth A. New, Jonathan Shea, Caroline Simonet, Angelina A. Volkoff, and Marek L. Wójcik.

Abraham Ibn Ezra’s Introductions to Astrology

A Parallel Hebrew-English Critical Edition of the Book of the Beginning of Wisdom and the Book of the Judgments of the Zodiacal Signs. Abraham Ibn Ezra’s Astrological Writings, Volume 5

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Shlomo Sela

The present volume offers a critical edition of the Hebrew texts, accompanied by English translation and commentary of Reshit Ḥokhmah (Beginning of Wisdom) and Mishpeṭei ha-Mazzalot (Judgments of the Zodiacal Signs) by Abraham Ibn Ezra (ca. 1089–ca. 1161). The first, the summa and by far the longest of his astrological works, the target of the most cross-references from the rest of that corpus and the most influential, enjoyed the widest circulation among Jews in the Middle Ages and after. The second, by contrast, is the most obscure. It is never referred to elsewhere by its author and is the only work for which Ibn Ezra’s authorship must be substantiated. Reshit Ḥokhmah and Mishpeṭei ha-Mazzalot were written in order to explain concepts common to the various branches of astrology that Ibn Ezra addressed elsewhere and to elucidate the worldview that underlies astrology. These two treatises are the richest and most varied with regard to the astrological information they present. Reshit Ḥokhmah and Mishpeṭei ha-Mazzalot also exemplify the close collaboration between astronomy and astrology in medieval science and are the two components of Ibn Ezra’s astrological corpus with the most extensive, comprehensive, and significant astronomical content.

"A critical edition with English translation of Reshit Ḥokhmah was published in 1998 by Epstein. Sela has not only aspired to improve it but also supplied a commentary to render the text more comprehensible. Sela’s mission is successfully accomplished for both treatises. This multifarious book is another important contribution to a deeper understanding of the life and work of one of the most important medieval Jewish polymaths." - Ilana Wartenberg, Universität Bern, in: Journal for the History of Astronomy 50.1 (2019)

Locating Religions

Contact, Diversity, and Translocality

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Edited by Reinhold Glei and Nikolas Jaspert

This collection of articles is an innovative contribution to religious studies, because it picks up concepts developed in the wake of the so-called “spatial turn”. Religions are always located in a certain cultural and spatial environment, but often tend to locate (or translocate) themselves beyond that original setting. Also, many religious traditions are not only tied to or associated with the area its respective adherent live in, but are in fact “bi-local” or even “multi-local”, as they closely relate to various spatial centers or plains at once. This spatial diversity inherent to many religions is a corollary to religious diversity or plurality that merits in-depth research. The articles in this volume present important findings from a series of settings within and between Asia and Europe

Lux in Tenebris

The Visual and the Symbolic in Western Esotericism

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Edited by Peter J. Forshaw

Lux in Tenebris is a collection of eighteen original interdisciplinary essays that address aspects of the verbal and visual symbolism in the works of significant figures in the history of Western Esotericism, covering such themes as alchemy, magic, kabbalah, angels, occult philosophy, Platonism, Rosicrucianism, and Theosophy. Part I: Middle Ages & Early Modernity ranges from Gikatilla, Ficino, Camillo, Agrippa, Weigel, Böhme, Yvon, and Swedenborg, to celestial divination in Russia. Part II: Modernity & Postmodernity moves from occultist thinkers Schwaller de Lubicz and Evola to esotericism in literature, art, and cinema, in the works of Colquhoun, Degouve de Nuncques, Bruskin, Doitschinoff, and Pérez-Reverte, with an essay on esoteric theories of colour.

Contributors are: Michael J.B. Allen, Susanna Åkerman, Lina Bolzoni, Aaron Cheak, Robert Collis, Francesca M. Crasta, Per Faxneld, Laura Follesa, Victoria Ferentinou, Joshua Gentzke, Joscelyn Godwin, Hans Thomas Hakl, Theodor Harmsen, Elke Morlok, Noel Putnik, Jonathan Schorsch, György Szönyi, Carsten Wilke, and Thomas Willard.

The Crown, the Court and the Casa da Índia

Political Centralization in Portugal 1479-1521

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Susannah Ferreira

In The Crown, the Court and the Casa da Índia, Susannah Humble Ferreira examines the social and political context that gave rise to the Portuguese Overseas Empire during the reigns of João II (1481-95) and Manuel I (1495-1521). In particular the book elucidates the role of the Portuguese royal household in the political consolidation of Portugal in this period. By looking at the relationship of the Manueline Reforms, the expulsion of the Jews and the creation of the Santa Casa da Misericordia to the political threat brought on by the expansion of Ferdinand of Aragon into the Mediterranean, the author re-evaluates the place of the overseas expansion in the policies of the Portuguese crown.