Cultural Exchange in the Languages and Literatures of Medieval Spain

Spanish crest from Valencia. Photo by

Professor David Wacks’s fascinating discussion of the Iberian Peninsula and it’s incredible linguistic heritage.

The Achievements of Albucasis in the Field of Oral Surgery

Medieval Islamic dentistry

In this research, we are going to study the Historical period where Albucasis lived, and the famous physicians there. Then we have to study the most important achievements of Albucasis in oral surgery

Some Pharmaceutical Recipes for the Treatment of the Bubonic Pest Contained into the Kitab Al-Tahsil of Ibn Khatima (d.1369)

Illustration of the Black Death from the Toggenburg Bible (1411)

This paper is a study of fragments of the work entitled in Arabic Tahsil gharad al-qasid fi-tafsil al-marad al-wafid, which was written in the 14th century by the well known Spanish physician Ibn Khatima

Managing the Commons: The role of the elites in the uses of common lands in the Midlands of the kingdom of Valencia during the Middle Ages

Valencia's Cathedral

In a recent paper, Danie Curtis has given a framework for classifying preindustrial societies in accordance with four variables, these are, the property, the power, the market of basic products and the modes of production.

The role of women in medieval Andalusian Arabic story-telling


Our aim in this paper is to collect anecdotes about women whose existence is well established in history, and to determine why they have been considered worth mentioning in literary or historical works.

The Caliph’s Favorite: New Light from Manuscript Sources on Hasdai ibn Shaprut of Cordova

Abd-ar-Rahman III and his court in Medina Azahara, by Dionisio Baixeras Verdaguer. (19th century)

By approximately 930, the Jewish family of Hasdai son of Joseph ibn Shaprut had moved from their hometown of Jaen to the Muslim capital of Cordova,

Building the past through the eyes of the present: Were the Kingdoms of Medieval Spain a model of tolerance?

16th century map of Iberia

In this paper I am going to look at the ways in which contemporary concerns have shaped historians’ depictions of Medieval Iberian societies, and how that distant past is now used by politicians.

Coexistence among the Peoples of the Book under Abd al-Rahman III

Abd-ar-Rahman III and his court in Medina Azahara, by Dionisio Baixeras Verdaguer.

A policy of coexistence among the Peoples of the Book was pursued by Abd al-Rahman III as such an existence was conducive to economic prosperity. To pursue these ends, the Jewish community was tolerated and protected, while the muwallads, mozarabs and Christian principalities were managed through violence and enforced cooperation within the Iberian Peninsula.

Fraxinetum: An Islamic Frontier State in Tenth Century Provence

Paul Signac: Port St. Tropez, 1899

How did a Muslim mini-state emerge on the southern coast of France in the tenth century?

Christian reactions to Muslim conquests (1st-3rd centuries AH; 7th-9th centuries AD)

Dynamics in the History of Religions between Asia and Europe

We in fact find a great diversity of reactions to Muslim expansion from Christian authors, depending on their particular circumstances and point of view

Thieves of Pleasure: A vicious fraternal war rewards Alfonso VI with the artistic and poetic treasures of al-Andalus

Alfonso VI of Castile and Leon

As the balance of power began to shift from Muslim to Christian, a power struggle erupted among Christian rulers that would continue for generations, even as the light of Arabic poetry burned bright enough to influences centuries of Western verse.

Islamic Monuments and National Patrimony in Modern Spain

Islamic Monuments and National Patrimony in Modern Spain

In Spain, the Islamic past usefully differentiates Iberia from the rest of Europe, and its monuments—particularly the Great Mosque of Cordoba and the Alhambra—are a source of pride. However, the Islamic past is treated as ‘distant.’

The Meaning of the Great Mosque of Cordoba in the Tenth Century

Mosque Cordoba - photo by Timor Espallargas

The Great Mosque of Cordoba is universally recognized as one of the most singular monuments of medieval architecture. Celebrated for its harmony, balance, dramatic use of light and decoration, and its overall unity and aesthetic sensitivity, the monument belongs to an established functional type, the hypostyle mosque, but amounts to more than a mere variant of this type.

Falcons and Falconry in Al-Andalus

Medieval Birds - This folio from Walters manuscript W.659 depicts a starling, a quail, and a royal falcon.

Falconry was valued as a major element of the cultural transfer between the medieval elite of western Christianity and Islam, connecting the pre-Islamic world of the Near East with the Umayyad and Abbasid courts on one hand and Christian Europe on the other.

Iberian Uniqueness in the Arab Invasion of Spain

Tarik ibn Ziyad - 19th century depiction

In the spring of the year AD 711, the Visigothic kingdom of Iberia was invaded and conquered by an army from the nearby Muslim Empire.

Translators, Interpreters and Cultural Mediators in Late Medieval Eastern Iberia and Western Islamic Diplomatic Relationships

Map of Spain from 1700

Although linguistic competence and language knowledge were essential, rulers often looked for the cultural aptitudes of their official translators to guarantee the success fo the diplomatic missions.

The Finest Castle in the World


Robert I. Burns, S.J., and Paul E. Chevedden describe how a much-besieged citadel became the focus for Christian-Muslim co-existence in medieval Spain.

Dialogues between religions in Andalusia

Image of a Jewish cantor reading the Passover story in al-Andalus, from a 14th century Spanish Haggadah

The distinctive way of life that developed in the Umayyad and Abbasid periods lasted for eight centuries in the Muslim West, in the fertile lands of North Africa and Andalusia, until 1492.

Divine Constructions: A Comparison of the Great Mosque of Cordoba and Notre-Dame-du-Chartres

Chartres Cathedral

However different the two buildings may be the impulse to create them was the same. The glittering stained glass windows of Chartres share something with the elegant Kufic inscriptions in Cordoba.

Ibn Tufayl’s Treatise on Asthma, Lost and Found


‘Asthma occurs when it is hot, and on examination the lungs are distended, a pathognomonic sign.’ – Ibn Tufayl

Historia Baetica: Dramatic Play or Historical Document?

Alhambra, Granada - photo by jan zeschky from glasgow, scotland

When the news of the capitulation of Granada reached Rome on the second of February 1492, it was marked by religious as well as public celebrations.

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