Christian-Muslim Relations 600 - 1500

Get access Subject: Middle East and Islamic Studies
General Editor: David Thomas, Alex Mallett
Associate Editors: Juan Pedro Monferrer-Sala, Johannes Pahlitzsch, Barbara Roggema, Mark Swanson, Herman Teule and John Tolan
Christian-Muslim Relations, a Bibliographical History Online is a general online history of relations between the faiths. It covers the period from 600 to 1500, when encounters took place through the extended Mediterranean basin and are recorded in Syriac, Arabic, Greek, Latin and other languages. Christian Muslim Relations Online comprises introductory essays on the treatment of Christians in the Qur’an, Qur’an commentaries, biographies of the Prophet, Hadith and Sunni law, and of Muslims in canon law, and the main body of more than two hundred detailed entries on all the works recorded, whether surviving or lost.

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 Pamet’ i Žitie blaženago učitelja našego Kostantina Filosofa prěvago nastav’nika sloven’sku jezyku

(1,516 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
Vita ConstantiniMemory and life of our blessed teacher Constantine the Philosopher, the first educator of the Slavonic peopleThe Life of Constantine-Cyril Unknown author Date: Between 873 and 880 Original Language: Old Church Slavonic Description The Life of Constantine-Cyril describes the life of the Christian missionary to the Slavs who became known as St Cyril. Born in 826/27 in Thessaloniki, Constantine was ordained in Constantinople, where he became widely known for his erudition. The greatest achievement for which he is rem…

 Panoplia dogmatikē

(551 words)

Author(s): Rigo, Antonio
Armour of doctrines Euthymius Zigabenus Date: About 1110 Original Language: Greek Description Following a prologue addressed to Emperor Alexius I, the Panoplia dogmatikē is divided into two parts (these do not agree with the division into two books given by the author): the first is devoted to the exposition of faith, while the second contains a refutation of various errors. Ch. 22, against the Iconoclasts, signals the change from past to present heresies, and Ch. 28, the last, is dedicated to Muslims; following chap…

 Panoplia dogmatikē

(1,559 words)

Author(s): Zorzi, Niccolò
Thesaurus orthodoxiae‘The armour of doctrine’ Nicetas Choniates Date: About 1206 Original Language: Greek Description This work comprises 27 books (i.e. ample chapters) on Christian heresies, starting with paganism and up to the author's time. Two books deal with Islam: Book XX is a compilation based mostly on earlier sources, and Book XXVI is an original composition. In the pinax of the Panoplia, the title of Book XX is: ‘On the Agarenes’ religion and on the ordo ( taxis) for those who convert from Islam to our pure and immaculate faith’ (van Dieten, Zur Überlieferung und Veröffentlic…

Pascal of Vitoria

(401 words)

Author(s): Guéret-Laferté, Michèle
Paschalis de Victoria, Pascal of Vittoria Date of Birth: Unknown; late 13th century Place of Birth: Spain, possibly Vitoria Date of Death: 1339 or 1340 Place of Death: Almaliq, Central Asia Biography Nothing is known of Brother Pascal’s life before his travels. There is much evidence that he was from Spain but, whilst Vitoria was definitely the location of the Franciscan monastery to which he belonged, it is not known whether it was also his birthplace. He left Spain around 1333, in the company of Gonsalvo Transtorna, for Avig…

 Passio Pelagii

(1,091 words)

Author(s): Henriet, P.
The Passion of Pelagius Raguel Date: Before 967 Original Language: Latin Description The Passio Pelagii tells the story of the young Pelagius, nephew of Bishop Ermogius of Tuy in Galicia. In 920, Ermogius was captured in battle, and his ten-year-old nephew Pelagius was sent to Cordova as a hostage in his place, only to be martyred in 925, when he was not yet 14 years old, because he refused to yield to the advances of the emir. The Passio Pelagii ( BHL 6617) is a fairly short text of about six pages in modern editions. It is conserved in at least six manuscripts, all Spanish…

 Passio Sancti Maximiliani

(430 words)

Author(s): Woods, David
The Passion of St Maximilian Unknown author Date: 8th or 9th c. Original Language: Latin Description This passion purports to describe the trial at Tebessa in the Roman province of Africa of a young conscript by the name of Maximilian who refused to accept military service and so was condemned to death on 12 March 295. It is an extremely short work (3-4 pages) whose simplicity has generally led to its acceptance as a reliable account of the death of a genuine Christian martyr in 295. Significance While the passion does not mention Islam, it has recently been argued that it is bett…

 Passio sexaginta martyrum qui passi sunt a Sarracenis (the original Greek title is lost)

(689 words)

Author(s): Woods, David
Legenda Sancti Floriani et sociorum suorumThe Passion of the sixty martyrs who suffered under the SaracensThe Story of Saint Florian and his companions Unknown author Date: Mid-7th c. Original Language: Greek Description The original Greek text seems to have described the execution of sixty Byzantine soldiers who refused to convert to Islam following their capture in Gaza, probably in 639. An Arab commander called Ammiras, perhaps identifiable as ʿĀmir ibn ʿAbdallāh ibn al-Jarrāḥ, ordered the execution of a first group of ten …

 Passio Thiemonis Archiepiscopi

(818 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Passio beati Thiemonis, juvanensis archiepiscopi Martyrdom of Archbishop Thiemo Martyrdom of Bishop Thiemo Date: Early 12th century Original Language: Latin Description Three hagiographical texts narrate the martyrdom of Archbishop Thiemo of Salzburg, who died in the crusade of 1101. The versions vary slightly, but accord in the events narrated. Thiemo, we are told, along with Duke Welf of Bavaria, led a group of Bavarians and Swabians toward Jerusalem, which was already under the rule of crusader Godfrey. As they a…

 Patmut‘iwn Aghuanits‘ ashkharhi

(1,776 words)

Author(s): Greenwood, Tim
History of Aghuank Movsēs Daskhurants‘i / Movsēs Kaghankatuats‘i Date: Compiled early 10th c., incorporating 7th and early 8th century elements Original Language: Armenian Description The History of Aghuank‘ can be accessed through Aṛakelyan’s modern critical edition and Dowsett’s older English translation. It is a composite text which was put together in the early 10th century. This relatively late date of compilation does not mean that it did not exploit and preserve much older materials, and herein lies the value of the text. Following a famili…

 Patmut‘iwn Ghewondeay

(1,686 words)

Author(s): Greenwood, Tim
History of Ghewond (excluding the Letter of Leo III to the Caliph ʿUmar II, [q.v.]) Ghewond = Łewond = Lewond Date: Late 8th or late 9th c. Original Language: Armenian Description Traditionally, the History has been treated as a product of the late 8th century, largely on the basis of its chronological scope, which extends to the year 789, the identification of its sponsor Shapuh Bagratuni as the shadowy son of Smbat Bagratuni, who was killed in 775, and quite simply in the absence of any other evidence. A minority of scholars,…

 Patmut‘iwn Hayoc‘

(835 words)

Author(s): Cowe, S. Peter
'History of the Armenians' Kirakos Ganjakec‘i or Arewelc‘i Date: 1265-66 Original Language: Armenian Description The tenth chapter of Kirakos’ history presents the martyrdom of Grigor, an Armenian nobleman from the eastern region of Xač‘en, against the complex background of inter-ethnic and religious tension in southern Caucasia at a pivotal transitional point between Georgian and Mongol suzerainty in the 1220s. A contingent of Kipchak Turks sought a place to settle in Georgia from King Giorgi IV Lasha (r. 12…

 Patmut‘iwn Sebēosi

(1,056 words)

Author(s): Greenwood, Tim
The History of Sebeos Sebēos, pseudo-Sebeos Date: In or shortly after 655, with short updating notices appended to the conclusion, advancing the chronological scope to 661 Original Language: Armenian Description The work offers a wide-ranging overview of Near Eastern history between 572 and 661. The final third of the text, comprising 41 pages of Abgaryan’s critical edition, records the emergence and expansion of a new and dynamic Islamic polity. It sketches key beliefs, tracing them back to Muḥammad, a preacher and legislat…

 Patmut‘iwn tann Artsruneats‘

(1,121 words)

Author(s): Greenwood, Tim
History of the House of Artsrunik‘ T‘ovma Artsruni Date: After 903 and before 908 Original Language: Armenian Description The work offers an extended study of the history of the Artsruni family from the time of Noah down to 904. Of this, some three-fifths, extending to 162 pages of Patkanean’s edition, is relevant to Christian-Muslim relations. After a brief and highly individual biography of the Prophet Muḥammad, according to which he was taught by an Arian monk named Sargis Baḥīrā and influenced by Salmān the P…

Patriarch Cyril III ibn Laqlaq

(1,092 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
Dāʾūd ibn Yūḥannā al-Fayyūmī, Ibn Laqlaq, Patriarch Kīrillus III Date of Birth: Unknown; late 12th century Place of Birth: Al-Fayyūm, Egypt Date of Death: 10 March 1243 Place of Death: Dayr al-Shamʿ, Giza, Egypt Biography We know very little about the early life of the man who would eventually become Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Kīrillus (Cyril) III (the 75th Coptic Orthodox patriarch, 1235-43). His name was Dāʾūd ibn Yūḥannā and he hailed from the Fayyūm oasis, where he became a monk (and where he counted among his fellow monks the great theologian Būlu…

Paul Alvarus (Albar, Alvaro)

(534 words)

Author(s): Wolf, Kenneth B.
Paul Alvarus Date of Birth: Unknown, probably early 9th c. Place of Birth: Unknown, probably Cordova Date of Death: Unknown Place of Death: Unknown Biography What little is known of Alvarus’ life comes entirely from his own writings and those of his friend Eulogius of Cordova (q.v.), with whom he studied under Abbot Speraindeo (q.v.). Those of Alvarus’ writings for which we have firm dates fall between 840 and 859. He was most likely a noble-born layman and man of letters. In an obscure passage, Alvarus seems to claim J…

Paul of Antioch

(508 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Būlus al-Rāhib al-Anṭākī Date of Birth: Unknown; possibly mid-12th century Place of Birth: Presumably Antioch Date of Death: Unknown; possibly early 13th century Place of Death: Unknown; maybe Sidon Biography For an author who stirred up such a great deal of controversy with his writings, surprisingly little is known about Paul of Antioch. Outside his own works almost nothing is said about him, and it is even difficult to give him accurate dates. Paul’s works give a few scant details about him: he was from Antioch, a Melkite Christian, he became a monk, and at some s…

 Pbios auō tpolutia mpenpetouaab neiōt ettaiēu nanankhōritēs auō narkhēmatritēs (sic) apa Samouēl peiōt ntkinonia etouaab ntparthenos mptoou nkalamōn hmptosh piom

(1,251 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
The Life and conduct of our holy and revered father, the anchorite and archimandrite Apa Samuel, the father of the holy community of the Virgin of the mountain of Kalamon in the province of Fayyūm, The Life of Samuel of Qalamūn Isaac the Presbyter Date: Late 8th or 1st half of 9th c. Original Language: Coptic Description The Life of Samuel of Qalamūn tells the story of the saint from his upbringing by wealthy and pious parents in lower Egypt, through his tumultuous career as a monk and organizer of a monastic community at Qalamūn, until his death at the ag…

Pedro de la Cavallería

(648 words)

Author(s): Echevarria, Ana
Biography The Cavallería family converted from Judaism to Christianity as a result of the Dispute of Tortosa. It is known that King Fernando I acted as godfather to Pedro’s brother Bonafós, and that Bonafós married the Christian Leonor de la Cabra. The only known details about Pedro’s own early life are given in the introduction to his Zelus Christi. This says that he was trained in Latin, Hebrew, Arabic and Aramaic, and that he had already participated in disputes. So it must be assumed that by the year 1414, when he wrote this, he was already an adul…

Pedro Pascual

(469 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Biography Pedro Pascual became bishop of Jaén in 1296; he was consecrated in Rome by Cardinal Matthew of Aquasparta, and in his bull of confirmation Pope Boniface VIII praises the new bishop’s erudition and character. In 1298 he was taken captive by Naṣrid troops and imprisoned in Granada. Despite efforts to raise the ransom of 5,000 gold doblas that Sultan Muhammad II demanded for his release, Pedro died in captivity in 1300. It is not clear whether he was executed or died of natural causes, but he was subsequently recognized as a martyr for the fait…


(1,042 words)

Author(s): McMillin, Linda A.
Pelagius Hrotsvit of Gandersheim Date: Unknown; probably about 955 Original Language: Latin Description Written in leonine hexameters and running to 413 lines, Pelagius tells the story of the martyrdom of a young Christian man in Cordova in 925 on the order of the Caliph ʿAbd al-Raḥmān III. Among Hrotsvit’s legends and plays, this is the only work focused on a contemporary figure and not based on written sources. Hrotsvit tells us that her source for the tale is a firsthand witness’s account. This would seem possible…

 Peri haireseōn

(1,316 words)

Author(s): Glei, Reinhold F.
De haeresibus, cap. 100On heresies, ch. 100 Johnannes Damascenus Date: The precise date of composition is unknown. It is part of the Pēgē gnōseōs that was completed after 743, but it is possible that several chapters were written earlier. Original Language: Greek Description Chapter 100 of De haeresibus is the last of the group of 100 heresies that form the second part of the Pēgē gnōseōs . Earlier numberings that count 101 or even more chapters must be rejected for reasons of uniformity and traditional use of the 'century' number. Some scholars have doubted t…

 Peri tēs monēs hodou pros tēn sōtērian tōn anthrōpōn

(673 words)

Author(s): Todt, Klaus-Peter
ʻOn the only way to salvation for humankind' Gennadius II Scholarius Date: 1455/56 Original Language: Greek Description Gennadius wrote this treatise at the request of Sultan Mehmed II. The sultan visited him at his new patriarchal residence in the Pammakaristos monastery in 1455, and asked detailed questions about the Christian faith. At the end of the conversation, Mehmed charged him to write down what he had said and to send it to him. Gennadius begins diplomatically by commenting that nobody can please God without the right faith, although the path that leads to …

 Peri tēs monēs hodou pros tēn sōtērian tōn anthrōpōn. Deuteron edothē touto, ezētēthē gar anti tou prōtou, syntomōteron kai saphesteron

(995 words)

Author(s): Todt, Klaus-Peter
ʻOn the only way to salvation for humankind. This was given as a second version, because it was ordered in a shorter and clearer version than the firstʼ Gennadius II Scholarius Date: 1455/56 Original Language: Greek Description Mehmed thought that the original ʻOn the only way to salvation for humankindʼ was too long and bulky and requested a shorter version. Gennadius therefore wrote this shorter version, probably in 1455 or the beginning of 1456, summarizing the most important Christian beliefs (the full title in manuscripts of the Ottoman Turkish translation is: Tou soph ōtatou kai l…

Peter of Cluny

(608 words)

Author(s): Iogna-Prat & John Tolan, Dominque
Petrus Venerabilis, Peter the Venerable Date of Birth: 1092 or 1094 Place of Birth: Montboissier, Auvergne Date of Death: 25 December 1156 Place of Death: Cluny, Burgundy Biography Peter of Cluny, known as Peter the Venerable since the end of the 12th century, was the ninth abbot of Cluny (1122-56). Born into a Montboissier family of the middle aristocracy of Auvergne, Peter became an oblate at the Cluniac monastery of Sauxillanges in the Auvergne, then followed a typical cursus honorum within the Cluniac church: choir monk at Cluny, schoolmaster at Vézelay, and prior at D…

Peter of Damascus

(287 words)

Author(s): Pahlitzsch, Johannes
Biography Peter was metropolitan of Damascus in the first half of the 8th century. John of Damascus wrote his Contra Jacobitas on his behalf (Kotter, iv, p. 109), and he was also the recipient of John’s Libellus de recta sententia ( PG 94, col. 1421A). According to Theophanes and Michael the Syrian, the Caliph al-Walīd II (r. 743-44) ordered that Peter should have his tongue cut out and be exiled to Yemen ( Arabia Felix) because he did not abstain from ‘reproving the impiety of the Arabs and Manichees’. Despite having no tongue, he was still able to recite the liturgy…

Peter of Toledo

(426 words)

Author(s): González Muñoz, Fernando
Petrus Toletanus Date of Birth: End of 11th or beginning of 12th century Place of Birth: Spain, perhaps Toledo Date of Death: After 1142 Place of Death: Unknown Biography In 1142, Peter of Toledo, in collaboration with Peter of Poitiers, the secretary of Peter of Cluny (q.v.), made the Latin translation of the epistles attributed to ʿAbdallāh ibn Ismāʿīl al-Hāshimī and ʿAbd al-Masīḥ ibn Ishāq al-Kindī (9th century). This translation is part of the Collectio Toletana, a corpus of texts on Islam written between the years 1142 and 1143 in the Iberian Peninsula, on the ini…

Peter Tudebode

(535 words)

Author(s): Bull, Marcus
Petrus Tudebodus, Petrus Tudebovis Date of Birth: Unknown Place of Birth: Unknown, probably western France in or near Poitou Date of Death: Unknown Place of Death: Unknown Biography Nothing is known about the historical figure of Peter Tudebode, other than what can be gleaned from a handful of autobiographical references in the text of his Historia. In three of the four surviving manuscripts his name is rendered as Petrus sacerdos Tudebovis Sivracensis. Since the first discovery and championing of the Historia by the 17th-century Poitevin scholar Jean Besly, ‘ Sivracensis’ has usual…

Petrus Alfonsi

(765 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Pedro Alfonso, Pierre Alphonse Date of Birth: Second half of 11th century Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown; after 1116 Place of Death: Unknown Biography Petrus Alfonsi is one of the key actors in the transmission and assimilation of Arabic scientific, literary and religious texts and ideas to Latin Europe in the early 12th century. His impact is attested in the survival of roughly 160 manuscripts of his works, in the frequent use made of them by key authors from the 12th century to the 16th, and in their wide diffusion through early printed editions. Petrus Alfonsi was born Mo…

Petrus de Pennis

(169 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Biography Little is known about Petrus de Pennis. He identifies himself as a Dominican friar, and the name ‘Pennis’ perhaps refers to the town of Penna in Calabria; his Latin vocabulary certainly suggests an Italian origin. He is the author of a tract against the Talmud ( Liber contra Judaeos, nomine Talamoth), a treatise on the incarnate Word ( Tractatus de notitia Verbi incarnate), and a Libellus de locis ultramarinis, a largely derivative description of the history and geography of the Holy Land based in good part on Jacques de Vitry (q.v.). Primary Sources of Information Petrus de Penn…

Petrus Marsilius

(437 words)

Author(s): Biosca, Antoni
Pere Marsili Date of Birth: End of 13th century Place of Birth: Unknown; probably Majorca Date of Death: Unknown Place of Death: Unknown Biography The Dominican friar Pere Marsili is known primarily for his work Cronice illustrissimi regis Aragonum domini Iacobi uictoriossimi principis, a Latin version of the Llibre dels fets of King James I of Aragon (q.v.), written in Catalan. This translation into Latin was commissioned by King James II of Aragon, grandson of James I. It is also known by the short title Liber gestorum regis Iacobi, a title that coincides with the Catalan origina…

Pfaffe Konrad

(1,034 words)

Author(s): Cammarota, Maria Grazia
Biography All that is known about this German author must be gathered from his work. In the epilogue (vv. 9017-94), which is preserved only in the Heidelberg manuscript, he says of himself Ich haize der phaffe Chunrât (v. 9079). The term ‘pfaffe’ is equivalent to clericus, which does not necessarily indicate a parish priest or a monk: in fact it is assumed that Konrad was a member of the clergy employed in a ducal chancellery. His clerical education – and therefore his knowledge of Latin – is confirmed both by the numerous biblical quotati…
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