By Katharine Scarfe Beckett
Beckett reviews the approximately 5 centuries from the increase of an Islamic coverage (A.D. 622) to the 1st campaign (A.D. 1096), having a look intimately on the wisps and strains 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 devour foodstuffs in mystery, until because of very nice sickness, because it is hypocrisy and a Saracen practice"? Or that Offa, the king of Mercia (a zone of the Midlands, north of London) in the course of the years 757-96 had a gold piece struck in his identify, now to be had for view on the British Museum, which bore, as Beckett places it, "a a bit of bungled Arabic inscription on obverse and opposite in imitation of an Islamic dinar"?
In fleshing out darkish a while' reactions to the hot religion, Beckett very usefully establishes the primitive base from which the English-speaking peoples even this present day eventually draw their perspectives. She tells concerning the detailed English traveler's account to the center East relationship 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 japanese imports, resembling pepper, incense, and bronze bowls. She unearths "continuing community of exchange 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 stated has reached the purpose that his theories approximately Western perspectives of Muslims now succeed in 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 some degree" to dispute these theories.
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Additional resources for Anglo-Saxon Perceptions of the Islamic World
Lamoreaux, ‘Early Eastern Christian Responses’, pp. 4–7 and 11–18; Brock, ‘Syriac Views of Emergent Islam’, p. 20; and Kaegi, ‘Initial Byzantine Reactions’, p. 148. Crone and Cook provide references to a number of non-Muslim accounts of the rise of Islam in their notes to Hagarism; very useful is Hoyland’s broad survey of early responses to Islam, Seeing Islam as Others Saw It. 44 Jacob of Edessa, Scholia, p. 42. John of Nikiu, Chronicle, pp. 79–80. 40 Islam during the Anglo-Saxon period the Apocalypse was to present the conquests as a sign of the impending Day of Judgement, thereby promising an end to Islamic rule and the ultimate triumph of Christianity.
580–3. 49 Even in Anglo-Saxon England in the early eighth century, Bede, as noted above, knew that the Saracens had by then made extensive conquests in Asia, Africa and Europe. These reports present Islam only as a military, not as a religious entity. 50 This was partly due to the actions of the Muslims themselves, who at first succeeded in segregating their communities and religion from those of the more numerous Christian and Jewish inhabitants. However, as time went on, more and more non-Muslims seem to have become assimilated within Islamic society, blurring the cultural divisions between Andalusian Christians, Jews and Muslims.
107–8, etc. The dhimm¯ı, as unbelievers, were not supposed to hold public office or obtain authority over Muslims; nevertheless, many did so, and proved useful to the Muslim authorities as representatives of minority religious communities. 56), but forced conversions almost certainly took place at times; see Fattal, Le statut l´egal, pp. 236–63 and 170– 2; Ye’or, The Dhimmi, pp. 55–63; Tritton, The Caliphs and Their Non-Muslim Subjects, especially pp. 18–36 and 127–36; and Dennett, Conversion and the Poll-Tax in Early Islam.
Anglo-Saxon Perceptions of the Islamic World by Katharine Scarfe Beckett