Discovery of the Roman West
Roman civilization provided large parts of Western Europe with a physical infrastructure in the form of roads and urban settings. It laid the foundations of a system of administration, which was adapted to new circumstances in the period of the so-called ‘great migrations’, and eventually exported to regions beyond the original sphere of Roman influence. Moreover, it provided medieval Western European societies with the religious orbit of Christianity and a written culture in Latin.
If Arabic-Islamic scholars were to understand the historical roots of Latin Christendom, they had to form an understanding of its Roman past. Since the general features of the Arabic-Islamic vision of Roman history have already been analysed by Marco di Branco,  the present chapter focuses on what knowledge medieval Arabic-Islamic scholars acquired about the western dimension of Roman rule.