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Arabic-Islamic Views of the Latin WestTracing the Emergence of Medieval Europe$
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Daniel G. König

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198737193

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198737193.001.0001

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The Visigoths

The Visigoths

History of a Conquered People

(p.150) 5 The Visigoths
Arabic-Islamic Views of the Latin West

Daniel G. König

Oxford University Press

Chapter 5 analyses how Arabic-Islamic scholars approached the history of the Visigoths. Before the Muslim invasion, the Arabic-Islamic world had little knowledge of the Iberian Peninsula and its Visigothic ruling elite. Consequently, the earliest depictions of the Visigoths were written from the conquerors’ perspective. Because early Andalusian scholars mainly looked to the Middle East for orientation, Visigothic history only began to arouse their curiosity after a regional identity had emerged in Muslim al-Andalus. Thanks to the disclosure of important Latin sources, Andalusian scholarship of the ninth and tenth centuries acquired a thorough overview of Visigothic history that was assimilated by Middle Eastern scholars in the following centuries. In the Muslim West, however, Visigothic history lost appeal in the face of the expanding Iberian Christians’ claim to the Visigothic heritage. Thus, a heritage gained was largely lost as a consequence of geopolitical changes in the Western Mediterranean.

Keywords:   Visigoths, al-Andalus, Muslim invasion of the Iberian Peninsula, Reconquista, regional identity, Andalusian scholarship, exchange between al-Andalus and the Middle East

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