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Artefacts could reveal closer connection between the Vikings and the Islamic world

Swedish researchers have uncovered Kufic characters, an ancient Arabic script, in artefacts from Viking Age Scandinavia. Their study also indicates that both the names ‘Allah’ and ‘Ali’ can be seen in these artefacts.

New Medieval Books: Byzantium and the Islamic World

Five recent books that looks at the first centuries of contact and conflict between the Byzantine Empire and the Islamic world.

Medieval Islamic Thought and the ‘What is X?’ Question

Medieval Islamic Thought and the “What is X?” Question By Thérèse-Anne Druart American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, Vol.73:1 (1999) Introduction: In his early dialogues Plato presents a Socrates who goes around raising the famous “what is x?” question and receiving no satisfactory answer. In the case of Medieval Islamic Thought the raising of the “what is x?” […]

Monstrous Muslims? Depicting Muslims in French Illuminated Manuscripts from 1200-1420

This paper examines depictions of Muslims in illuminated manuscripts produced in France between 1200-1420 that feature images of Christian-Muslim interactions.

‘Nothing is true, everything is permitted’: The Portrayal of the Nizari Isma’ilis in the Assassin’s Creed Game Series

Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed does a remarkable – though not flawless – job in presenting a well-balanced game narrative, which incorporates not only a historically justified representation of the Nizari Isma’ilis, but also implicitly corrects one of the most famous Western legends about the so-called ‘Assassins’

Medieval Mass Media and Minorities

The portrayal and (mis)use of the figure of the Jew and the Muslim in vernacular sermons and wall paintings from medieval Denmark and Sweden.

Petrified Powers: Materials, Forms, and Theories of Medieval Islamic Talismans

Persis Berlekamp is working on Islamic talismans created in the 12th to 15th centuries, focusing on objects from the Seljuk, Mongol and Timurid milieux.

Cultural Exchange in the Languages and Literatures of Medieval Spain

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

The Global Side of Medieval at the Getty Centre: Traversing the Globe Through Illuminated Manuscripts

Los Angeles correspondent, Danielle Trynoski takes through the, ‘Traversing the Globe Through Illuminated Manuscripts’ exhibut at the Getty Museum.

Friendship, Betrayal, War: “Soldier of God” Movie Review

A Templar and a Muslim; their strange friendship is the premise of this week’s movie based in the 12th century immediately after the disastrous Battle of Hattin.

Early Medieval Muslim Graves in France: First Archaeological, Anthropological and Palaeogenomic Evidence

Given all of these data, we propose that the skeletons from the Nimes burials belonged to Berbers integrated into the Umayyad army during the Arab expansion in North Africa.

Medieval Hangover Cures

Here are a few hangover cures from days gone by, because people who partied like it was 1399 also needed a little help the morning after.

Science and Religion in the Middle Ages

Why did science and natural philosophy suffer such disparate fates in the two great civilizations of Christendom and Islam?

The Mythical Ghoul in Arabic Culture

Though the ghoul has origins as old as the Mesopotamian civilization, Arabs were largely responsible for popularizing it. Because Islam incorporated this being in its doctrine, the ghoul remained a source of fear and mystery in the Arab culture.

Medieval Lisbon: Castelo de São Jorge

Above Lisbon’s skyline of colourful tiled houses and red roofs lies Castelo de São Jorge, a dominating, but beautiful, 11th century fortress in the heart of this vibrant city…

Qur’an manuscript discovered in England could be over 1400 years old

Experts at the University of Birmingham believe they have discovered a manuscript of the Qur’an that is at least 1370 years old, making it the oldest known copy of the Islamic Holy Book.

A Comparative Analysis of the Concepts of Holy War and the Idealized Topos of Holy Warrior In Medieval Anatolian And European Sources

This thesis focuses on the relations between the idea of holy war and the portrayals of holy warriors in medieval narratives composed by those in the service of power-holders.

David Nirenberg on ‘Religion and Violence’

Do the respective claims of the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic holy texts contribute to the violence between the various communities that read them? Or do they provide a basis for solidarity between the three Abrahamic religions?

The Military Legacy of Richard the Lionheart

Authors look back at the entirety of the reign and reach two common conclusions: 1) he was a neglectful and mostly-absent ruler of England, but 2) he attained spectacular success in war, which was, after all, his primary interest.

Imagining Islam: The Role of Images in Medieval Depictions of Muslims

Instead, one finds accurate, even rather compassionate accounts of Islamic theology side by side with bizarre, antagonistic, and even hateful depictions of Muslims and their belief.

Women’s role in politics in the medieval Muslim world

The objective of this paper will be to demonstrate in what ways medieval women (the upper-class women) of the Middle East made themselves visible and wielded influence or power over affairs of the state.

The First Arab Siege of Constantinople

The details of the siege remain, however, shrouded in mystery: its exact dates (670–7 or 674–8?) and length (4 or 7 years?) are a matter of controversy; it is disputed whether the Arabs subjected Constantinople to a regular siege or only to a naval blockade; and the overall logic of events is far from clear.

Islamophobia, the First Crusade and the Expansion of Christendom to Islamic World

Through the description of the First Crusade, mostly from the Western sources, this paper is intended to show that it was the Pope who systematically sown the seeds of Islamophobia among Western Christians so that they will realise his vision of expanding his Imperial Christendom to the Islamic World.

‘De civitatis utriusque, terrenae scilicet et caelestis’: Foundation Narratives and the Epic Portrayal of the First Crusade

My summary of a paper given at the Institute of Historical research on the accounts of Antioch and Jerusalem during the First Crusade.

The Morality of Misogyny: The Case of Rustico Filippi, Vituperator of Women

At the outset of his influential study on Rabelais, Mikhail Bakhtin makes an interesting observation. The scholar dedicates several pages to detail how the French author’s critical reception changed over time. Bakhtin illustrates how the attempt to comprehend an author can frequently be stymied by the cultural changes that occur across the centuries.

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