Placing the mechanisms of transmission and reception at the centre of enquiries seems particularly important if one considers the range of studies and, even more relevant, the dominant macro-historical hypotheses on the subject hitherto available. So far, no study has set out to analyse and interpret the extant material thematically and in chronological order, thus tracing and explaining the processes of transmission, reception, and contextualization that facilitated the production of the extant Arabic-Islamic records on certain Latin-Christian phenomena.

Range of Available Studies

General works on Arabic-Islamic geography focus on the specificities of the prevalent geographic world-view. They deal with descriptions of Latin-Christian Europe as one among many aspects of medieval Arabic-Islamic geography. Such works [1]

only reproduce the most obvious information on the Latin-Christian sphere, and neglect to analyse in detail how Arabic-Islamic scholars acquired and processed this information over a longer period.87

A large number of mainly smaller publications analyse specific source texts, individual authors, or a limited corpus of texts with regard to the depiction of a specific aspect of Latin-Christian Europe. Case studies include articles on the geographic perception of Europe as a whole.88 They deal with Arabic-Islamic records on certain regions, polities, and cities of Christian Spaing9 locations on the Apennine Peninsula^0 in particular the city of Rome,9i the lands of the Franks as well as central and eastern Europe,92 and the British Isles.93 Other studies discuss Arabic-Islamic records on peoples and groups including the Visigoths,94 the Franks along with Charlemagne,95 the Vikings,96 and the crusaders.97 So far, only two institutions characteristic of Latin-Christian Europe have been dealt with on the basis of Arabic-Islamic source material—the papacy98 and the medieval emperor.99

  • 87 Miquel, Geographie (2001), 4 vols; Nazmi, 1-mage (2007).
  • 88 Ashtor, ‘Geografia’ (l983), pp. 647—708; Ducene, ‘L’Europe’ (2008), pp. 251-67; Schulze, ‘Land’ (2008), pp. 217-34.
  • 89 Millas i Vallicrosa, ‘Textos’ (1922), pp. 125-61; Huici-Miranda, ‘Djillikiyya’ (1965), p. 541; Chalmeta, ‘Araghun’ (1980/2004), p. 80; Chalmeta, ‘Liyun’ (1986), p. 781; Al-Azmeh, ‘Enemies’ (1992), pp. 259-72; Bramon Planas, Textos (1998); Maillo Salgado, ‘Reino’ (2002), pp. 229-50; Jarar, zaman (2004); Bennison, ‘Peoples’ (2007), pp. 157-74; Martinez-Gros, ‘L’histoire’ (2007), pp. 77-86.
  • 90 Schiaparelli, ‘Notizie’ (1888), pp. 304-16; Nallino, ‘Venezia’ (1963), pp. 111-20; Simone, ‘Mezzogiorno’ (1999), pp. 261-93; Piacentini, ‘Mezzogiorno’ (1999), pp. 225-59; Rizzitano, ‘Italiya’ (1978), p. 274; Branco, ‘Marcese’ (2004), pp. 137-40.
  • 91 Guidi, ‘Roma’ (1942), pp. 10-21; Nallino, ‘Descrizione’ (1964), pp. 295-309; Nallino, ‘Mira- bilia’ (1966), pp. 875-93; El-Munajjid, ‘Rome’ (1968), pp. 51-61; Miquel, Geographie, vol. 2 (2001), pp. 368-77; Mohring, ‘Konstantinopel’ (1989), pp. 73-83; Samir, ‘Confusions’ (1991), pp. 93-108; Traini, ‘Rumiya’ (1995), pp. 612-13; Scarcia, ‘Roma’ (2002), pp. 129-72; Simone and Mandala, Limmagine (2002); Penelas, ‘De nuevo’ (2005), pp. 343-52; Branco, ‘Roma’ (2006), pp. 312-20; Mandala, ‘Descrizione’ (2010), pp. 45-60.
  • 92 Jacob, Berichte (1927); Hoenerbach, Deutschland (1938); Lewicki, ‘Ecrivains’ (1962), pp. 1-39; Lewicki, ‘L’apport’ (1965), pp. 461-528; Miquel, ‘L’Europe’ (1966), pp. 1048-64; Lewicki, ‘Namen’ (1974), pp. 39-51; Urbanczyk, ‘Identities’ (2012), pp. 459-76.
  • 93 Dunlop, ‘Scotland’ (1947), pp. 114-18; Dunlop, ‘Isles’ (1957), pp. 11-28.
  • 94 Machado, ‘Historia’ (1944), pp. 139-53.
  • 95 Lewis, ‘Mas udi’ (1960), pp. 7-10; Lewis and Hopkins, ‘Ifrandj’ (1971), p. 1044; Jahn, ‘Abend- land’ (1976), pp. 1-19; Clement, ‘Perception’ (1987), pp. 5-16; Schilling, ‘Karl’ (2004), pp. 201-21; Clement, ‘France’ (2006), pp. 44-5; Schulze, ‘Land’ (2008), pp. 217-34; Clement, ‘Nommer’ (2009), pp. 89-105; Konig, ‘L’Europe’ (2012), pp. 669-77; Mallett, ‘Franks’ (2013).
  • 96 Seippel, Rerum Normannicarum fontes (1896/1928); Jacob, Berichte (1927), p. 38; Allen, Poet (1960); El-Hajji, ‘Relations’ (1967), pp. 67-110; Melvinger, ‘al-Madjus’ (1986), p. 1118; Dietrich, ‘al-Ghazal’ (1998), pp. 64-6; Christys, ‘Vikings’ (2012), pp. 447-58.
  • 97 Gabrieli, ‘Historiography’ (1962); Cahen, ‘Crusades’ (1965), p. 63; Fiorani Piacentini, ‘Croci- ate’ (1987/1990), pp. 227-52, 265-310; Hillenbrand, Crusades (2000), pp. 257-327; Nanai, ‘L’image’ (1997), pp. 11-39; Dorlian, ‘L’image’ (1997), pp. 211-18; Micheau, ‘Croisades’ (2000), pp. 52-71; Edde, ‘Saint Louis’ (2000), pp. 72-111; Renterghem, ‘Reaction’ (2000), pp. 37-59; Humphreys, ‘Dawiyya’ (2004), p. 204; Chevedden, ‘Interpretation’ (2006), pp. 90-136; Leclercq, Portraits (2010); Mallett, Reactions (2014).
  • 98 Oesterle, ‘Papst’ (2008), pp. 57-72; Konig, ‘Ausstrahlung’ (2010), pp. 1-52; Beihammer, ‘Kirche’ (2013), pp. 267-97.
  • 99 Gottschalk, ‘al-anbaratur’ (1958), pp. 31-6; Oesterle, ‘Papst’ (2008), pp. 57-72; Konig, ‘Ausstrahlung’ (2010), pp. 1-52. On Frederick II, see Leder, ‘Kaiser’ (2008), pp. 82-91.

Few studies explain how Arabic-Islamic scholars understood Western Europe from a historical point of view, e.g. with respect to its Roman past, the continent’s Christianization, or the transformation of political landscapes in conjunction with the rise of certain polities.100

The case studies considered so far limit their analysis and evaluation to a limited corpus or topic. Another genre of texts, dealt with in detail below, sets out to tackle this study’s main question of how to evaluate the entire corpus of Arabic- Islamic source material on medieval Western Europe. More often than not, these are comparatively short articles, often the product of conference papers, which pursue the aim of defining what ‘the Muslim world’ saw in medieval Western Europe on a very limited number of pages.m Monographs on the topic are few and differ from the present study in their approach to the sources. Most often, they deal with Muslim perceptions of Europe on a level that spans the chronological period from the Middle Ages to contemporary times with a clear emphasis on the latter. A short presentation of supposed medieval realities leads up to a discussion of the present relationship between both spheres. 102 Among the monographs that focus on the period under investigation, one reconstructs Arabic-Islamic views of ‘the [European] Other’ by focusing on two works of ethnography, a few travel accounts, and poetry written between the ninth and the twelfth century.103 Another is extremely enumerative and lacks analysis^4 while its alternatives largely compile evidence for the dominant hypotheses discussed hereafter.105

  • [1] 4 Lagardere, Occident (1995), fatwa no. 150, p. 42. 85 Borgolte, Gesandtenaustausch (1976); Senac, ‘Carolingiens’ (2002), pp. 37—56. 86 Levi della Vida, ‘Corrispondenza’ (1954), pp. 21—38; al-Rashid b. al-Zubayr, al-dhakha4r, ed.Hamldullah, pp. 9—17 (Introduction), trans. al Hijjawl al-Qaddumi, pp. 11—13 (Introduction); Christys, ‘Queen’ (2010), pp. 149—70.
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