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Muslims of Medieval Latin Christendom, c.1050–1614


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  • Date Published: August 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521717908

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About the Authors
  • Through crusades and expulsions, Muslim communities survived for over 500 years, thriving in medieval Europe. This comprehensive study explores how the presence of Islamic minorities transformed Europe in everything from architecture to cooking, literature to science, and served as a stimulus for Christian society to define itself. Combining a series of regional studies, Catlos compares the varied experiences of Muslims across Iberia, southern Italy, the Crusader Kingdoms and Hungary to examine those ideologies that informed their experiences, their place in society and their sense of themselves as Muslims. This is a pioneering new narrative of the history of medieval and early modern Europe from the perspective of Islamic minorities; one which is not, as we might first assume, driven by ideology, isolation and decline, but instead one in which successful communities persisted because they remained actively integrated within the larger Christian and Jewish societies in which they lived.

    • Offers the first comprehensive study of the phenomenon of Muslim minorities in Latin Christendom
    • Provides a unique narrative of the history of late medieval and early modern Europe from the perspective of Islamic minorities
    • Combines detailed regional case studies with analysis of the Muslim experience across Europe as a whole
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    • Winner (in Hardback) of the 2014 Albert Hourani Book Award, Middle East Studies Association

    Reviews & endorsements

    'The time is right for a sustained synthesis of the last few generations' mountain of research on the experience of Muslims under Latin-Christian rule in the Mediterranean lands. Brian Catlos has accomplished that difficult feat impressively in this volume, but much more as well. On offer also are his own extensive knowledge of the vast primary-source base that has undergirded that research, his own unfailingly deft analysis of complex social and cultural realities, and his ever energetic and readable prose, making Muslims of Medieval Latin Christendom, c.1050–1614 not just an essential summation of Mudejar studies, but a model for future research on this rich topic.' Thomas E. Burman, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

    'Muslims of Medieval Latin Christendom, c.1050–1614 is one of the most significant works on Christian-Muslim relations to have been published in the past twenty-five years. The book is original and scholarly, and its conclusions are wise.' Simon Barton, University of Exeter

    'This is the first monograph that analyzes the Muslim communities of medieval Latin Christendom. Brian Catlos combines a focus on the diversity of experiences of these minorities in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Hungary with insightful discussions of general traits that shaped Islamic societies across medieval Europe. Making excellent use of the explosion of academic studies into this field of the last years on the one hand, and showing a passion for pioneering work on archival documents and manuscript sources on the other, Catlos brings the study of the economic, social, cultural and religious life of these minorities a major step forward.' Gerard Wiegers, University of Amsterdam and Visiting Research Fellow, Käte Hamburger Kolleg, Ruhr University Bochum

    'The first modern scholarly work on this subject in any language, Brian Catlos's magisterial new book is likely to command its field for a long while to come. Well-known for his studies of religious minorities in medieval Spain, Catlos here not only synthesises an immense literature on mudéjar societies but writes with equal authority on Italy, Hungary, the Crusader States, and indeed everywhere that Muslim subalterns, slaves or captives were to be found within medieval Latin Europe. In its range, learning, archival depth, clarity and vigour, this is an astonishing achievement.' Peregrine Horden, Royal Holloway, University of London

    'This book will quickly become (and long remain) a vade mecum for students interested in the topic.' R. T. Ingoglia, Choice

    'This book will become the standard book in English for any aspect of Muslim presence in Christian society in the Middle Ages.' Charles Burnett, Journal of Islamic Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521717908
    • length: 650 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 34 mm
    • weight: 0.93kg
    • contains: 2 b/w illus. 8 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: Islam and Latin Christendom to 1050
    Part I. Static Diasporas: Muslim Communities of Latin Christendom:
    1. The tide turns: the Christian Spains I (c.1050–c.1150)
    2. A triumph of pragmatism: the Christian Spains II (c.1150–c.1320)
    3. Pushing the boundaries: Italy and North Africa (c.1050–c.1350)
    4. Infidels in the Holy Land: the Latin East (1099–1291)
    5. Diversity in an age of crises: the Christian Spains III (c.1350–1526)
    6. Strangers in strange lands: foreign Muslims and slaves in Latin Christendom (c.1050–c.1550)
    7. Christians in name: the Morisco problem (1499–1614)
    Part II. Living in Sin: Islamicate Society under Latin Dominion:
    8. Thought: images and ideals of Muslims and Islamicate society in Latin Christendom
    9. Word: law, administration and Islamicate society under Latin rule
    10. Deed: the economic, social and cultural life of the Muslims of Latin Christendom
    Postscript: Convivencia, intolerance … or 'questions badly put'?

  • Author

    Brian A. Catlos, University of California, Santa Cruz
    Brian Catlos spent over a decade living and travelling in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia before completing his PhD (Medieval Studies, Toronto) and joining the History Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is a former President of the American Academy of Research Historians of Medieval Spain, Co-Director of the Mediterranean Seminar, PI of the University of California Multi-Campus Research Project on Mediterranean Studies, an affiliate of the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, an associate of Spain's national research council (CSIC), and a member of several journal boards. He has published extensively on religious minorities and Christian-Muslim-Jewish relations in medieval Europe and the Islamic world, and has received numerous grants and awards, including an NEH Faculty Fellowship. His first academic book, The Victors and the Vanquished, was awarded two prizes by the American Historical Association, and recent articles, 'The de Reys' and 'Accursed, Superior Men', won the Bishko Prize and the Webb Prize. In 2009 he was appointed to Religious Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder, with cross-appointments in Jewish Studies and Humanities. He appeared in the PBS documentary 'Cities of Light', and writes travel guide books.


    • Winner (in Hardback) of the 2014 Albert Hourani Book Award, Middle East Studies Association
    • Winner, 2018 Haskins Medal, The Medieval Academy of America
    • Co-winner, 2018 Eugene M. Kayden Award, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder

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