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Learning in a Crusader City
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Book description

Did the Crusades trigger significant intellectual activity? To what extent and in what ways did the Latin residents of the Crusader States acquire knowledge from Muslims and Eastern Christians? And how were the Crusader states influenced by the intellectual developments which characterized the West in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries? This book is the first to examine these questions systematically using the complete body of evidence from one major urban centre: Acre. This reveals that Acre contained a significant number of people who engaged in learned activities, as well as the existence of study centres housed within the city. This volume also seeks to reconstruct the discourse that flowed across four major fields of learning: language and translation, jurisprudence, the study of Islam, and theological exchanges with Eastern Christians. The result is an unprecedentedly rich portrait of a hitherto neglected intellectual centre on the Eastern shores of the medieval Mediterranean.


'… Learning in a Crusader City offers a refreshing look at thirteenth-century Acre as a crossroads of languages and cultures where intellectuals worked and thrived. Scholars of many different disciplines, including interfaith contact, jurisprudence, and translation, will find much to ponder in this narrow, yet illuminating, case study.'

Scott G. Bruce Source: The Medieval Review

‘… this is a very strong piece of work and its overall conclusion is both plausible and very well evidenced … Acre’s centrality within the commercial, diplomatic, and crusading networks of the thirteenth century, as well as Rubin’s scrupulous attention to other texts connected to the Franks’ other Levantine cities, give this work a scope and reach that extends far beyond Acre’s ramparts.’

Nicholas Morton Source: The Journal of Religious History, Literature and Culture

‘… this book makes valuable contributions to the field of intercultural exchanges … Rubin draws attention to the wide range of genres available in French, Latin and Hebrew and the intercultural exchanges that took place in the city, in the process relocating Acre from the periphery of the Latin West to identify the city as a centre of cultural exchange in the Latin East.’

Danielle E. A. Park Source: The English Historical Review

‘Rubin has successfully put Acre back on the medieval intellectual map, and his work should be of interest not only to historians of the Crusades, but also to anyone interested in the wider topics of learning and intercultural interaction in the Mediterranean World.’

George Summers Source: Comitatus: A Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies

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