Anglo-Saxon Perceptions of the Islamic World by Katharine Scarfe Beckett

Anglo-Saxon Perceptions of the Islamic World by Katharine Scarfe Beckett

By Katharine Scarfe Beckett

Beckett reports the approximately 5 centuries from the increase of an Islamic coverage (A.D. 622) to the 1st campaign (A.D. 1096), taking a look intimately on the wisps and lines of English wisdom of, touch with, and attitudes towards Muslims. the consequences are hugely interesting.

Who knew that Bishop Georgius of Ostia, a papal legate to England, said in 786 to the pope on synods he had attended and incorporated this decree: "That no ecclesiastic shall dare to eat foodstuffs in mystery, until as a result of very nice ailment, because it is hypocrisy and a Saracen practice"? Or that Offa, the king of Mercia (a sector of the Midlands, north of London) throughout the years 757-96 had a gold piece struck in his identify, now on hand for view on the British Museum, which bore, as Beckett places it, "a just a little bungled Arabic inscription on obverse and opposite in imitation of an Islamic dinar"?

In fleshing out darkish a long time' reactions to the recent religion, Beckett very usefully establishes the primitive base from which the English-speaking peoples even this present day eventually draw their perspectives. She tells in regards to the precise English traveler's account to the center East courting from this period (that of Arculf); tallies the dinars present in such locations as Eastborne, St. Leonards-on-Sea, London, Oxford, Croydon, and Bridgnorth; and totes up the center jap imports, reminiscent of pepper, incense, and bronze bowls. She reveals "continuing community of alternate and diplomatic hyperlinks" attached western Christendom to the Muslim countries.

As for attitudes, they weren't simply uninformed yet static. Beckett notes that preliminary responses to Islam have been formed by way of pre-Islamic writings, specially these of St. Jerome (c. A.D. 340-420), on Arabs, Saracens, Ismaelites, and different easterners. This lengthy impact resulted from a suggested loss of interest at the a part of Anglo-Saxons and such a lot different Europeans.

To finish on a jarringly modern notice: dismayingly, the impression of Edward acknowledged has reached the purpose that his theories approximately Western perspectives of Muslims now achieve even to the early medieval interval; Beckett devotes web page after web page to facing his theories. fortunately, she has the boldness and integrity (in her phrases) "to a point" to dispute these theories.

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Cast out the handmaid and her son! For the wicked Saracen people, follower of unclean traditions, has from a long time ago oppressed the holy places, in which the feet of the Lord rested, with violent despotism’; William of Tyre, Chronicon, CCCM 63, 132. Cf. Gen. 10, Gal. 28–30 and (on Saracens as descendants of Hagar) see below, pp. 93–5. 24 Introduction Said himself, on another level, suggested a parallel between Orientalism and the literary tradition to which Jerome, Bede (the only Anglo-Saxon author he mentions) and others vigorously contributed.

Breckenridge, ‘The Two Sicilies’, pp. 42–3. Between the 840s and the 870s, Muslim garrisons and possibly arsenals were also established at Bari and Taranto on the Italian mainland, threatening Naples (in AD 837) and even Rome (AD 846 and 849) and northern Italy. The emperor Basil I responded with campaigns in southern Italy between 876 and 886, but paid less attention to Sicily. Between 882 and 915, the renewal of Byzantine authority in southern Italy ended permanent Muslim occupation. However, a Muslim military colony near Garigliano continued to raid in Campagna and southern Latium: see Lewis, The Arabs in History, p.

Has acquired a place both in the culture and in the polity that is very well defined’ (Covering Islam, p. 157; my emphasis). 25 Anglo-Saxon perceptions of the Islamic world Said promotes instead a mode of scholarship that he calls ‘secularism’ or ‘worldliness’, according to which the scholar is engaged with the world. 63 The influence of canonical texts upon Anglo-Saxon perceptions of Islam has until now not been analysed, and the argument below remedies this lack. It is also an appropriate time to consider aspects of early English thought which have as yet remained largely unexamined by Anglo-Saxonists.

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