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Ibn al-Lihyani: sultan of Tunis and would-be Christian convert (1311–18)

Ibn al-Lihyani: sultan of Tunis and would-be Christian convert (1311–18)

By Michael Lower

Mediterranean Historical Review, Vol. 24:1 (2009)

Abstract: The fifteenth century is often seen as a turning point in Iberian Christian relations with North Africa, with the crusading rhetoric of recovery, or recuperatio, giving way after 1492 to the language of conquest and conversion, or dilatatio. In this paper, I consider an earlier example of North African–Iberian relations that brought the dilatatio theme to the fore. In this case, however, it was a Muslim prince who took the initiative. His name was Ibn al-Lihyani, and he seems to have understood the Christian urges of conquest and conversion well enough to turn them to his own advantage.

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