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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Álvaro Pais

(1,269 words)

Author(s): Barros, Filomena
Álvaro Pais Gomes Charinho, Alvaro Pelagio, Alvarus Pelagii, Alvarus Pelagii Gometii Charinno Date of Birth: Between 1275 and 1280 Place of Birth: Salnès, Galicia Date of Death: 1349 Place of Death: Seville Biography Álvaro Pais lived in various places across Europe. He was an illegitimate child of aristocratic origin, born in Salnès, Galicia, and he himself testifies that he was raised in the court of King Sancho IV of Castile. On 22 September 1289, Pope Nicolas IV granted him a dispensation to take minor orders despite being …

Alvise da Ca’ da Mosto

(652 words)

Author(s): Frederiks, Martha
Alvise Cadamosto Date of Birth: Between 1426 and 1432 Place of Birth: Venice Date of Death: 16 July, 1483 Place of Death: En route to Rovigo, Italy Biography Alvise da Ca’ da Mosto was a 15th-century Venetian merchant-navigator, best known for his travels to and account of the Upper Guinea coast. Ca’ da Mosto is thought to have been born in Venice between 1426 and 1432 as one of the sons of a nobleman, Giovanni da Ca’ da Mosto (Verrier, Voyages en Afrique noire, p. 7; Crone, ‘Introduction’, pp. xxx-xxxi). Owing to intrigues involving his father, the family fell to into disgrac…

 Amārāt al-nubuwwa

(176 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
Tokens of prophethood Abū Isḥāq Ibrāhīm ibn Yaʿqūb ibn Isḥāq al-Saʿdī al-Jūzajānī Date: Before 873 Original Language: Arabic Description The contents of the work can only be known after examination of the surviving fragment in Damascus (Sezgin, GAS i, p. 135). Like other works of this genre, it may have contained stories about Muḥammad's life which showed divine support for his mission, notably his miracles and prophetic foreknowledge of events, and called for Jews and Christians to acknowledge that Islam abrogated their religions.…


(1,240 words)

Author(s): Croizy-Naquet , Catherine
Biography The only source of information about the author of L’Estoire de la guerre sainte is the work itself, and even there only a few details are given: the name Ambroise, which appears seven times, and frequent comments in the course of the story, in the third person singular (the usual practice in historiographical narratives) and the first person singular or plural. It has been suggested (though without convincing support) that Ambroise could be the Ambrosius, ‘a singing man in the royal chapel’ (Jamison, ‘The Sicilian Norman kingdom’, repr. 1992,  p. 182), who is mentioned in the Rot…


(1,049 words)

Author(s): Rowson, Everett K.
Abū l-Ḥasan Muḥammad ibn Yūsuf al-ʻĀmirī l-Nīsābūrī Date of Birth: Before 914 Place of Birth: Khurāsān Date of Death: 992 Place of Death: Nishapur Biography Al-ʿĀmirī was born in the eastern Islamic world, in Khurāsān, in the early 10th century, and lived most of his life there. Of his youth we know only that he studied with the aged Abū Zayd al-Balkhī (d. 934), a polymath and philosopher who had in turn studied with the philosopher al-Kindī (d. c. 870) (q.v.) in Baghdad. This intellectual genealogy is important, as al-ʿĀmirī, in …

ʿAmmār al-Baṣrī

(198 words)

Author(s): Beaumont, Mark
Biography Nothing is known about ʿAmmār’s personal circumstances except that he was associated with the city of Basra and with the East-Syrian Christian community. One datable note about him comes from the Fihrist of Ibn al-Nadīm, which mentions that Abū l-Hudhayl al-ʿAllāf (q.v.) wrote ‘a book against ʿAmmār the Christian in refutation of the Christians’, which is overwhelmingly likely to be against him. Since Abū l-Hudhayl died sometime between 840 and 850, ʿAmmār must have been active at about this time. The evidence of his own works (see below) indicates that he was alive after 838. Pr…

ʿAmr ibn Mattā

(866 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
Biography In the bibliographical chapter of his ecclesiastical encyclopedia Miṣbāḥ al-ẓulma, the Coptic priest and theologian Shams al-Riʾāsa Abū l-Barakāt ibn Kabar (d. 1324) devotes a lengthy entry to a work entitled Kitāb al-majdal li-l-istibṣār wa-l-jadal, which he attributes to an author of the Church of the East named ʿAmr ibn Mattā al-Ṭīrhānī (that is, from the town of Ṭīrhān in Iraq). As al-Shams’ detailed description makes clear, we are here dealing with a well-known work: Kitāb al-majdal (‘The tower’), a massive theological and ecclesiastical compendium in seve…

An anonymous monk from Kartli (Georgia)

(213 words)

Author(s): Abashidze, Medea D.
The Life and Passion of Kostanti-Kaxay Date of Birth: Unknown, probably 9th c. Place of Birth: Probably Kartli (Georgia) Date of Death: Unknown, probably late 9th c. Place of Death: Unknown Biography Nothing is known about the author’s personal circumstances, except that he was a monk and that he lived during the reign of the Byzantine Empress Theodora (r. 842-67), at the time when Muslims were carrying out persecutions of the Christian population throughout Kartli, Georgia, as can be deduced from his work The life and passion of Kostanti-Kaxay. He was acquainted with Christian lite…

An anonymous treatise about the excellences of ʿAlī

(84 words)

Author(s): Bertaina, David
Unknown author Date of Birth: Possibly 14th century Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Possibly 14th century Place of Death: Unknown; possibly Yemen Biography Nothing is known about the author of this treatise, though it can be inferred that he was a Shīʿī and was active in Yemen in the 14th century. Primary Sources of Information Secondary Sources of Information Works on Christian-Muslim Relations An anonymous treatise about the excellences of ʿAlī David Bertaina

 An anonymous treatise about the excellences of ʿAlī

(1,180 words)

Author(s): Bertaina, David
- An anonymous treatise about the excellences of ʿAlī Date: Probably 14th century Original Language: Arabic Description This treatise consists of a collection of historical reports ( akhbār) about the excellences of ʿAlī, and forms the second part of the 14th-century Yemeni author Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan al-Daylamī’s Irshād al-qulūb fī l-mawāʿiẓ wa-l-ḥukm (‘Guidance of hearts through exhortations and wisdom’). The book as a whole is composed of two volumes, and there is some debate about the authenticity of the second, which is dedicated to the vi…

Anastasius Bibliothecarius

(555 words)

Author(s): Neil, Bronwen
Biography Anastasius was brought up in Rome with Latin as his mother tongue, and acquired some knowledge of Greek at an early age. Created cardinal by Pope Leo IV in 847 or 848, Anastasius joined the imperial party opposed to Pope Leo and was exiled and excommunicated. Upon Leo's death in July 855, Anastasius marched on Rome with an army in an attempt to install himself on the papal throne. After only three days he was deposed by supporters of Benedict III. He was later readmitted to lay communion by Benedict.   Soon after the inauguration of Pope Hadrian II on 14 December 867, Anastas…

Anastasius of Sinai

(1,191 words)

Author(s): Binggeli, A.
Biography Except for a short entry in the Synaxarion of Constantinople on the date of his commemoration by the Byzantines, 21 April, all the biographical data concerning Anastasius of Sinai has to be gleaned from allusions in his works, especially in his two collections of stories discussed below. He was born in the first half of the 7th century in Amathus, a town in the south of Cyprus, and started his ecclesiastical career under the protection of the local bishop, John. He left Cyprus soon after the Arab conquest of the island in 649, and set out fo…

Andrea Biglia

(939 words)

Author(s): Meserve, Margaret
Andrea Bilius, Billia, de Biliis, de Beliis, Biglio Date of Birth: About 1395 Place of Birth: Milan Date of Death: 27 September 1435 Place of Death: Siena Biography Andrea Biglia was an Italian humanist churchman, academic, historian, and political commentator of the early 15th century. The author of a history in 12 books of The decline of Christianity in the East, he was the first Renaissance humanist to treat the history of Islam and the Islamic empires of the Near East in any detail. Born in Milan around 1394, he joined the Order of Augustinian Hermit…

 Al-anīs al-muṭrib bi-rawḍ al-qirṭās fī akhbār mulūk al-Maghrib wa-taʾrīkh madīnat Fās

(835 words)

Author(s): Rodríguez-Gómez, María Dolores
Rawḍ al-qirṭās; Qirṭās‘The entertaining companion in the maiden's garden, on reports of the kings of the Maghreb and the history of the city of Fez’ Ibn Abī Zarʿ Date: Before 1326 Original Language: Arabic Description This work is a history of the rulers of the Maghreb, and a local history of the city of Fez. The dynasties included are the Idrīsī, Maghrāwa, Banū Īfrān, Almoravids, Almohads and Marīnids. It gives personal details about individual rulers, together with significant facts about their rule. It is a valuable source for the history of the Maghreb in the 13th and 14th centuries, an…

 Annales Ianuenses, MXCIX-MCLXIII

(739 words)

Author(s): Airaldi & Alex Mallett, Gabriella
Annals of Genoa, 1099-1163 Caffaro of Genoa Date: Before 1166 Original Language: Latin Description In 1152, towards the end of his life, Caffaro presented to the consuls of Genoa his Annals, an account of the life of a commune that in the years it covers, 1100-63, had become an international power. His work was placed in the Public Archives, and, together with continuations, it became Genoa’s public version of its own history. It is an achievement of some innovation, in which Caffaro takes and revitalises the year-by-year ch…

 Anonymous apology in Sbath 1002

(402 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
Anonymous apology in Sbath 1002 Two texts from Sbath 1002 Date: Between 10th and 12th century Original Language: Arabic Description This treatise is addressed to an unknown ‘beloved son’, who is worried by the contradictions concerning Christ that he finds in the ‘books of the Christians’. This is a classical reproach made by Muslims, and consequently Graf and Samir assume that the addressee is a Muslim. It would, however, be unusual for a Christian author to address a Muslim as ‘beloved son’, which rather suggests…

Anonymous monk of the monastery of Qartmīn

(67 words)

Author(s): Palmer, Andrew
The Life of Gabriel of Qartmīn Date of Birth: 9th or 10th c. Place of Birth: Probably Bēt Qusṭān in Ṭūr ʿAbdīn Date of Death: Unknown Place of Death: Probably monastery of Qartmīn Biography Unknown Primary Sources of Information -- Secondary Sources of Information -- Works on Christian-Muslim Relations Tashʿītā d-qaddīshā mār(y) Shmūʾēl w-mār(y) Shemʿūn w-mār(y) Gabrīʾēl Andrew Palmer

 Antirrhēsis kai anatropē tēs deuteras epistolēs tēs staleisēs para tōn Agarēnōn pros Michaēl basilea hyion Theophilou epi diabolē tēs tōn Christianōn pisteōs‘

(222 words)

Author(s): Rigo, Antonio
Confutation and refutation of the second letter sent by the Hagarenes to the Emperor Michael, son of Theophilus, in order to slander the Christian faith Nicetas Byzantios, Nicetas of Byzantium Date: c. 860 Original Language: Greek Description This second letter to the Hagarenes reiterates some of the points raised in the first and also introduces new arguments and critical points vis-à-vis Islam. Among other things, Nicetas attacks the Muslim claim that man is not created in the image of God, the ‘unnatural’ way of life sanctioned …
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