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This article’s subject is the migration of Apulian New Christians to Venetian Dalmatia in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century. These New Christians were the descendants of Jews who had converted to Christianity at the end of the thirteenth century but who continued to constitute a group distinct from the rest of society until many had to flee Apulia due to growing repressions at the turn to the sixteenth century. Based on archival material from Zadar, Split, and Venice, this paper studies the Venetian ruled town of Split as an example of how close and multifaceted the contacts between Apulian New Christians and Venetian Dalmatia were, ranging from grain trade to permanent settlement. Although Venice tried to expel all New Christians from its territories, including Dalmatia, in the 1490s, they appear to have been tolerated in Split. How this was possible and how the Apulian New Christians integrated themselves into the local society is studied in this article.

In: Medieval Encounters
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Abstract

Pelagius is most famously known as the saint who was martyred by the tenth-century emir of Córdoba for not submitting to his advances. The story has fascinated historians of gender and sexuality for the ways in which it appears to challenge gendered standards of sanctity. But was this how Pelagius was remembered in the sources with which he was first venerated? This article looks beyond the hagiographical narrative that has mostly concerned historians to the existing liturgies for the saint as celebrated according to the Old Hispanic Rite, with a Mass and three distinct offices surviving in multiple manuscripts from early medieval Iberia. Close study of the liturgy reveals how liturgists consciously shaped the identity of Pelagius, borrowing materials and tropes from both male and female saints in order to anchor an unusual contemporary saint in old models.

Open Access
In: Medieval Encounters
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Abstract

This article seeks to compare two of the most significant mystical corpora of Judaism and Islam, Zoharic literature and the oeuvre of Muḥyī al-Dīn Ibn al-ʿArabī (1165–1240) respectively. Following a few pioneering studies on relations between Jewish and Islamic mysticism in the medieval Iberian Peninsula from recent years, this article intends to contribute further to the understanding of such relations. It compares one motif or concept shared by both corpora, that of the spiritual garment, according to which the different realms of creation are divine “garments” that cover the Godhead or veil the primordial divine light. It suggests that the similarities between Zoharic literature and Ibn al-ʿArabī’s writings can be explained by their shared roots, which can be traced to the tradition of Arabic Neoplatonism. Some possible Neoplatonic sources for the similarity between the two corpora are also discussed.

In: Medieval Encounters

Abstract

It is clear that medieval Jews employed Christian wet nurses, as well as other Christian domestic servants, and that ecclesiastical condemnations did not prevail against social and economic interests. In Etsi Judeos Pope Innocent III, who had earlier complained loudly that Jews across France are unscrupulous usurers, thieves, blasphemers, and secret murderers of Christians, added the unsubstantiated complaint that “on the day of the Lord’s Resurrection,” i.e., Easter, after they have received the Eucharist, “the Jews make these women,” that is, Christian wet nurses, “pour their milk into the latrine for three days before they again give suck to the children.”

This paper surveys both the ecclesiastical and medical or natural-philosophical sources that contributed to a protracted medieval debate over maternal nursing versus the employment of wet nurses; examines Innocent III’s allegation that Jews force their Christian wet nurses to pour out their milk for three days after having received communion, and its novel implications; investigates complaints of cross-confessional nursing (whether of Christians nursing Jewish infants, or Jewish or Muslim wet nurses in Christian households); and explores a shift in later medieval and early modern Christian texts away from concerns over Christian wet nurses caring for Jewish infants toward racialized fears of Jewish women nursing Christian children.

In: Medieval Encounters
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Abstract

This article investigates the influence of Andalusī Sufism in the writings of Persian Sufi scholar Sayyid Ḥaydar Āmulī. It explores Āmulī’s major enterprise to unify Shiʿism and Sufism, which drew upon the conceptual frameworks articulated in Ibn al-ʿArabī’s teachings on the Perfect Human. Āmulī’s Shiʿi-Sufi synthesis is rooted in the concept of wilāya, the unifying element in the Shiʿi doctrine of the Imamate and Ibn al-ʿArabī’s theory of the Perfect Human. Finally, the article translates and analyses the key section on wilāya in Āmulī’s seminal work, Jāmiʿ al-asrār wa manbaʿ al-anwār (The Compendium of Mysteries and Source of Lights).

In: Intellectual History of the Islamicate World
In: Feminine Visibility in Contemporary Iran
In: Feminine Visibility in Contemporary Iran