Presents the story of Leo Africanus and his famous sixteenth-century geography of Africa that was to introduce the continent to European readers, in a detailed history that documents such elements of his life as his imprisonment by the pope, work as a Christian writer, and relationships with powerful individuals from a range of cultures and religions.
"[A] fascinating tale of a man forced . . . to live between incompatible worlds. Highly recommended." --Library Journal Al-Hasan al-Wazzan--born in Granada to a Muslim family that in 1492 went to Morocco--became famous as the great Renaissance writer Leo Africanus, author of the first geography of Africa to be published in Europe (in 1550). He had been captured by Christian pirates in the Mediterranean and imprisoned by the pope; when he was released and baptized, he lived a European life of scholarship as the Christian writer Giovanni Leone; by 1527, it is likely that he returned to North Africa and to the language, culture, and faith in which he had been raised. Natalie Zemon Davis offers a virtuoso study of the fragmentary, partial, and often contradictory traces that al-Hasan al-Wazzan left behind him, and a superb interpretation of his extraordinary life and work.
Seema Alavi challenges the idea that all pan-Islamic configurations are anti-Western or pro-Caliphate. A pan-Islamic intellectual network at the cusp of the British and Ottoman empires became the basis of a global Muslim sensibility—a political and cultural affiliation that competes with ideas of nationhood today as it did in the last century.
During the early modern period, hundreds of Turks and Moors traded in English and Welsh ports, dazzled English society with exotic cuisine and Arabian horses, and worked small jobs in London, while the "Barbary Corsairs" raided coastal towns and, if captured, lingered in Plymouth jails or stood trial in Southampton courtrooms. In turn, Britons fought in Muslim armies, traded and settled in Moroccan or Tunisian harbor towns, joined the international community of pirates in Mediterranean and Atlantic outposts, served in Algerian households and ships, and endured captivity from Salee to Alexandria and from Fez to Mocha. In Turks, Moors, and Englishmen, Nabil Matar vividly presents new data about Anglo-Islamic social and historical interactions. Rather than looking exclusively at literary works, which tended to present unidimensional stereotypes of Muslims—Shakespeare's "superstitious Moor" or Goffe's "raging Turke," to name only two—Matar delves into hitherto unexamined English prison depositions, captives' memoirs, government documents, and Arabic chronicles and histories. The result is a significant alternative to the prevailing discourse on Islam, which nearly always centers around ethnocentrism and attempts at dominance over the non-Western world, and an astonishing revelation about the realities of exchange and familiarity between England and Muslim society in the Elizabethan and early Stuart periods. Concurrent with England's engagement and "discovery" of the Muslims was the "discovery" of the American Indians. In an original analysis, Matar shows how Hakluyt and Purchas taught their readers not only about America but about the Muslim dominions, too; how there were more reasons for Britons to venture eastward than westward; and how, in the period under study, more Englishmen lived in North Africa than in North America. Although Matar notes the sharp political and colonial differences between the English encounter with the Muslims and their encounter with the Indians, he shows how Elizabethan and Stuart writers articulated Muslim in terms of Indian, and Indian in terms of Muslim. By superimposing the sexual constructions of the Indians onto the Muslims, and by applying to them the ideology of holy war which had legitimated the destruction of the Indians, English writers prepared the groundwork for orientalism and for the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century conquest of Mediterranean Islam. Matar's detailed research provides a new direction in the study of England's geographic imagination. It also illuminates the subtleties and interchangeability of stereotype, racism, and demonization that must be taken into account in any responsible depiction of English history.
"I, Hasan the son of Muhammad the weigh-master, I, Jean-Leon de Medici, circumcised at the hand of a barber and baptized at the hand of a pope, I am now called the African, but I am not from Africa, nor from Europe, nor from Arabia. I am also called the Granadan, the Fassi, the Zayyati, but I come from no country, from no city, no tribe. I am the son of the road, my country is the caravan, my life the most unexpected of voyages." Thus wrote Leo Africanus, in his fortieth year, in this imaginary autobiography of the famous geographer, adventurer, and scholar Hasan al-Wazzan, who was born in Granada in 1488. His family fled the Inquisition and took him to the city of Fez, in North Africa. Hasan became an itinerant merchant, and made many journeys to the East, journeys rich in adventure and observation. He was captured by a Sicilian pirate and taken back to Rome as a gift to Pope Leo X, who baptized him Johannes Leo. While in Rome, he wrote the first trilingual dictionary (Latin, Arabic and Hebrew), as well as his celebrated Description of Africa, for which he is still remembered as Leo Africanus.
Religious warfare has been a recurrent feature of European history. Norman Housley's readable and intelligent new study examines the spectrum of conflicts waged in God's name in the period from the Later Crusades to the early Reformation, making an important contribution to both areas of research. Professor Housley explores the interaction between Crusade and religious war in the broader sense, and argues that the religious violence of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries sprang from deeply rooted proclivities within European society.
This book shows how the concept of 'religion' and 'the religions' arose out of controversies in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England. The birth of 'the religions', conceived to be sets of beliefs and practices, enabled the establishment of a new science of religion in which the various 'religions' were studied and impartially compared.
It would seem unlikely that one could discover tolerant religious attitudes in Spain, Portugal, and the New World colonies during the era of the Inquisition, when enforcement of Catholic orthodoxy was widespread and brutal. Yet this groundbreaking book does exactly that. Drawing on an enormous body of historical evidence--including records of the Inquisition itself--the historian Stuart Schwartz investigates the idea of religious tolerance and its evolution in the Hispanic world from 1500 to 1820. Focusing on the attitudes and beliefs of common people rather than those of intellectual elites, the author finds that no small segment of the population believed in freedom of conscience and rejected the exclusive validity of the Church. The book explores various sources of tolerant attitudes, the challenges that the New World presented to religious orthodoxy, the complex relations between popular and learned culture, and many related topics. The volume concludes with a discussion of the relativist ideas that were taking hold elsewhere in Europe during this era.
To receive a royal pardon in sixteenth-century France for certain kinds of homicide--unpremeditated, unintended, in self-defense, or otherwise excusable--a supplicant had to tell the king a story. These stories took the form of letters of remission, documents narrated to royal notaries by admitted offenders who, in effect, stated their case for pardon to the king. Thousands of such stories are found in French archives, providing precious evidence of the narrative skills and interpretive schemes of peasants and artisans as well as the well-born. This book, by one of the most acclaimed historians of our time, is a pioneering effort to us the tools of literary analysis to interpret archival texts: to show how people from different stations in life shaped the events of a crime into a story, and to compare their stories with those told by Renaissance authors not intended to judge the truth or falsity of the pardon narratives, but rather to refer to the techniques for crafting stories. A number of fascinating crime stories, often possessing Rabelaisian humor, are told in the course of the book, which consists of three long chapters. These chapters explore the French law of homicide, depictions of "hot anger" and self-defense, and the distinctive characteristics of women's stories of bloodshed. The book is illustrated with seven contemporary woodcuts and a facsimile of a letter of remission, with appendixes providing several other original documents. This volume is based on the Harry Camp Memorial Lectures given at Stanford University in 1986.
Located at the intersection of Asia, Africa, and Europe, the Mediterranean has connected societies for millennia, creating a shared space of intense economic, cultural, and political interaction. Greek temples in Sicily, Roman ruins in North Africa, and Ottoman fortifications in Greece serve as reminders that the Mediterranean has no fixed national boundaries or stable ethnic and religious identities. In The Mediterranean World, Monique O’Connell and Eric R Dursteler examine the history of this contested region from the medieval to the early modern era, beginning with the fall of Rome around 500 CE and closing with Napoleon’s attempted conquest of Egypt in 1798. Arguing convincingly that the Mediterranean should be studied as a singular unit, the authors explore the centuries when no lone power dominated the Mediterranean Sea and invaders brought their own unique languages and cultures to the region. Structured around four interlocking themes—mobility, state development, commerce, and frontiers—this beautifully illustrated book brings new dimensions to the concepts of Mediterranean nationality and identity.
These essays, three of them previously unpublished, explore the competing claims of innovation and tradition among the lower orders in sixteenth-century France. The result is a wide-ranging view of the lives and values of men and women (artisans, tradesmen, the poor) who, because they left little or nothing in writing, have hitherto had little attention from scholars. The first three essays consider the social, vocational, and sexual context of the Protestant Reformation, its consequences for urban women, and the new attitudes toward poverty shared by Catholic humanists and Protestants alike in sixteenth-century Lyon. The next three essays describe the links between festive play and youth groups, domestic dissent, and political criticism in town and country, the festive reversal of sex roles and political order, and the ritualistic and dramatic structure of religious riots. The final two essays discuss the impact of printing on the quasi-literate, and the collecting of common proverbs and medical folklore by learned students of the "people" during the Ancien Régime. The book includes eight pages of illustrations.
Scholars of the period will find this to be a richly informative and thoroughly engrossing read.
Animals in Ottoman Egypt examines the multiple changing relationships between humans and animals in a place that affords perhaps the longest documentary record of the human-animal relationship. Egypt was home to the world's first zoo (circa 2500 BCE), one of the oldest religions to incorporateanimal forms, and perhaps the first domesticated dogs. During the crucial centuries of Ottoman rule in Egypt between 1517 and 1882, the changing relationships between humans and animals were central to the transformation of Egypt from an early modern society fully ensconced in an Ottoman imperialsystem of rule to a nineteenth-century centralizing state. Egypt in this period transitioned from being an early modern world characterized primarily by intense human-animal interactions to being one in which this relationship was no longer the basis of commercial and social life. The results ofthis transition were a fundamental reordering of political, economic, social, and ecological power. This book thus seeks to explain one of the most important historical transitions of the last 500 years through the story of changes to one of the most historically significant of human relationships -those with other animals.This history also makes evident how what happened to animals in Ottoman Egypt would eventually happen to certain kinds of humans. Just as livestock, dogs, and elephants were stripped of their constructive social and economic functions in the early nineteenth century, so too were Egyptian peasants,the uneducated, the disabled, the poor, the sick, the criminal, and the itinerant cut out of the productive social and economic realms of Egypt later in the century. As their animal counterparts were confined in veterinary holding pens and the zoo, these humans would be subjected to similarnineteenth-century projects of enclosure - the prison, asylum, conscription camp, hospital, and school. As the social became more strictly, vigorously, and narrowly defined, fewer living human and nonhuman beings were given access to it and its borders came to be more intensely defended throughviolence, coercion, and discipline. Thus, Ottoman Egypt's transition to modernity was a wrenching and painful experience for most animals and humans alike. The story of what happened to the animal in Ottoman Egypt is also the story of what happened to the human - a story of the animal in all ofus.
During the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, countless slaves from culturally diverse communities in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia journeyed to Mexico on the ships of the Manila Galleon. Upon arrival in Mexico, they were grouped together and categorized as chinos. Their experience illustrates the interconnectedness of Spain's colonies and the reach of the crown, which brought people together from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe in a historically unprecedented way. In time, chinos in Mexico came to be treated under the law as Indians, becoming indigenous vassals of the Spanish crown after 1672. The implications of this legal change were enormous: as Indians, rather than chinos, they could no longer be held as slaves. Tatiana Seijas tracks chinos' complex journey from the slave market in Manila to the streets of Mexico City, and from bondage to liberty. In doing so, she challenges commonly held assumptions about the uniformity of the slave experience in the Americas.
"This book is a translation of historian Carlo Ginzburgʼs latest collection of essays. Through the detective work of uncovering a wide variety of stories or microhistories from fragments, Ginzburg takes on the bigger questions: How do we draw the line between truth and fiction? What is the relationship between history and memory? Stories range from medieval Europe, the inquisitional trial of a witch, seventeenth-century antiquarianism, and twentieth-century historians."--Provided by publisher.
and Malta. From the first non-European description of Queen Elizabeth I to early accounts of Florence and Pisa in Arabic, from Tunisian descriptions of the Morisco expulsion in 1609 to the letters of a Moroccan Armenian ambassador in London, the translations of the book's second half draw on the popular and elite sources that were available to Arabs in the early modern period." "Matar notes that the Arabs of the Maghrib and the Mashriq were eager to engage Christendom, despite wars and rivalries, and hoped to establish routes of trade and alliances through treaties and royal marriages. However, the rise of an intolerant and exclusionary Christianity and the explosion of European military technology brought these advances to an end. In conclusion, Matar details the decline of Arab-Islamic power and the rise of Britain and France." --Book Jacket.
Southern Gothic gets a whole new twist in this debut novel, sure to appeal to fans of the New York Times bestselling Beautiful Creatures series. The swamp in Sterling's small Louisiana town proves to have a power over its inhabitants when her brother disappears and no one but Sterling even remembers that he existed. Now Sterling, with the help of brooding loner Heath, who's had his own creepy experience with the swamp, must fight back and reclaim what—and who—the swamp has taken. Beware the Wild is a riveting and atmospheric page-turner readers won't want to miss.
Much theoretical and historical work engaged with the question of the "postcolonial" is built upon an imagined, unified premodern "Middle Ages" in Europe. One of the results of this has been that in recent years scholars in medieval and early modern studies have been critically assessing the uses of postcolonial and subaltern theoretical perspectives in their fields, and considering what their periods have to say to postcolonial theorists. This book offers a series of original essays that explore with specificity the methodological, textual, cultural, and historiographic moves required for postcolonial engagements with premodern times.
Selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title "Speak of me as I am," Othello, the Moor of Venice, bids in the play that bears his name. Yet many have found it impossible to speak of his ethnicity with any certainty. What did it mean to be a Moor in the early modern period? In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, when England was expanding its reach across the globe, the Moor became a central character on the English stage. In The Battle of Alcazar, Titus Andronicus, Lust's Dominion, and Othello, the figure of the Moor took definition from multiple geographies, histories, religions, and skin colors. Rather than casting these variables as obstacles to our--and England's--understanding of the Moor's racial and cultural identity, Emily C. Bartels argues that they are what make the Moor so interesting and important in the face of growing globalization, both in the early modern period and in our own. In Speaking of the Moor, Bartels sets the early modern Moor plays beside contemporaneous texts that embed Moorish figures within England's historical record--Richard Hakluyt's Principal Navigations, Queen Elizabeth's letters proposing the deportation of England's "blackamoors," and John Pory's translation of The History and Description of Africa. Her book uncovers the surprising complexity of England's negotiation and accommodation of difference at the end of the Elizabethan era.

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