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Christians in Al-Andalus ( 8th-10th centuries)

By Ann Christys

Abstract

The historiography of early Islamic Spain has become polarised between the Arabic narrative histories and the Latin sources. Although the Arabic sources have little directly to say about the situation of the conquered Christians, a willingness to engage with both Latin and Arabic texts opens up a wide range of material on such controversial topics as acculturation and conversion\ud to Islam.\ud \ud This thesis examines a number of texts written by or attributed to Christians living in Al-Andalus\ud before the fall of the caliphate, early in the eleventh century. It begins with two eighth-century Latin chronicles and their wholly Christian response to the conquest and the period of civil wars which followed it. The reliability of Eulogius' testimony to the Cordoban martyr movement of\ud the 850s is considered in the light of Alvarus' Vita Eulogii and other evidence. Tenth-century Cordoba is briefly described as a backdrop to the later sources. The passions of two Cordoban martyrs of this period show that hagiography allowed for different accounts of dissident\ud Christians. The status of bishop Recemund as the author of the Calendar of Cordoba and the epitome of 'convivencia' is re-evaluated. The translation into Arabic of Orosius' Seven Books of History Against the Pagans is set in the context of other Christian texts in Arabic. The final chapter considers the episodes in Ibn al-QuTiya's History of the Conquest of Al-Andalus dealing with the Christian population, and especially with the Visigothic family from whom he may have been descended.\ud \ud Whilst an attempt is made to draw this material together, the result is a series of Christian perspectives on the Islamic conquest, rather than a new narrative of cultural survival or assimilation

Publisher: School of History (Leeds)
Year: 1999
OAI identifier: oai:etheses.whiterose.ac.uk:509

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