Islam & Early Modern Europe: Images, Encounters, Approaches

Volume 46 (2012)

Reviewed Work(s)

Margaret Meserve. Empires of Islam in Renaissance Historical Thought. By Margaret Meserve(Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA, 2008). Pp. 370. Cloth, $57.50.

L’Islam visto da Occidente: Cultura e religion del Seicento europeo di fronte all’Islam.  Edited by Bernard Heyberger, Mercedes Garcia-Arenal, Emanuele Colombo, Paola Vismara (Genova-Milano: Marietti, 2009). Pp. 372. Paper, €24.00.

Britain and the Islamic World, 1558-1713. By Gerald MacLean and Nabil Matar (Oxford University Press: 2011). Pp. 304. Cloth, $65.00.


European interest in the Islamic world was a multifaceted phenomenon, arising as it did during the age of discovery and exploration, the consolidation of vast empires and nation-states, and the beginning of European colonialism.  The early modern era also saw the rise of global Christianity in the backdrop of the Reformations, as Europeans (particularly Catholic missionaries) struggled to define the relationship between Christianity and culture.  All of these political, social, and cultural processes shaped the outlooks which European Catholics and Protestants brought to their interactions with Muslim men and women, as well as the attitudes that they brought to their studies of Islam, Arabic, and the Ottoman Empire.

An important feature of the European encounter with Islam was how very closely intertwined the imagined and actual encounters were.  Stage plays, learned treatises, and scholarly histories of the Ottoman Empire and its ruling dynasty shaped the attitudes of travelers, missionaries, diplomats, and merchants.  Once in the Levant (the region bordering the eastern half of the Mediterranean Sea, from modern-day Egypt to Turkey), Europeans frequently turned to the writings of other travelers to help them make sense of their own experiences.  In turn, their accounts of their experiences in the Levant reflected the debts which they owed their predecessors, and inspired yet another generation of footloose and curious Europeans.  These travelers, like their predecessors, would use previous writing about the Levant as a prism through which to view and understand their own experiences.

Through this cyclical process, European writers and thinkers developed a discourse about Middle Eastern religions, cultures, and persons, both Muslim and Christian, which Edward Said would later come to characterize and condemn as orientalism, the intellectual counterpoint to modern European colonialism.[1]  Early modern orientalism, though initially born from European insecurity and weakness, would support later incursions into Muslim-majority societies, when the balance of power shifted between the Ottoman Empire and European powers like France and England in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  In the early modern period, however, European orientalism was an attempt to come to terms with a dynamic and flourishing empire expanding rapidly through Central Europe: an empire that could not be ignored, excused, or dominated.

The three recent publications, profiled below, join a variety of new works on European relations with Islam and the Ottoman Empire in the early modern period.  As cultural historians have shifted to favoring transnational and cross-cultural approaches, scholars have rediscovered how very closely connected the Mediterranean world really was.  Understanding the nature of these connections has become particularly important, because, like Italian Renaissance humanists, modern scholars are also motivated by the concerns of the present moment.  Recent political developments, like the Arab Spring, the Iraq War, the ongoing Middle East conflict, and terrorism have made understanding the relationship between Christianity and Islam more important than ever.


Humanist Crusaders: Renaissance Scholarship on the Ottoman Turks

In his article in Islam visto da Occidente, Ziad Elmarsafy claimed that Enlightenment thinkers wrote about Islam because “Islam was good to think with.”  In Elmarsafy’s case, Enlightenment thinkers adapted a traditional Islamic fable as they sought to formulate their own philosophy of a “rational” religion.[2]  Other intellectuals also found Islam to be a helpful analytic category.  Margaret Meserve’s Empires of Islam in Renaissance Historical Thought (2008)examines how and why Renaissance humanists found the rise of the Ottomans and the Safavids (the ruling dynasty of present-day Iran, c. 1600) such fruitful subjects of study following the fall of Constantinople in 1453.[3]  Meserve’s work is the earliest chronologically, and is also the most purely “imagined” encounter between Europeans and the Islamic world.  While some of the humanists that Meserve surveys, such as Francesco Filelfo, spent considerable time in Constantinople before the Ottoman conquest, these humanists made little overt allusion to their experiences abroad in their writings.  Renaissance humanists based their authority to write the history of the Ottoman Turks not in any first-hand experience of Anatolia, but on their mastery of obscure classical and late antique chronicles and geographical surveys – for which they alone possessed the necessary philological skills to translate and interpret.[4]

Treatises on the Ottoman Empire constitute a surprisingly large body of humanist texts, particularly considering that the rise of the Ottoman Turks postdated the classical past which humanists hoped to recover.  Many of these orations, letters, histories, and treatises were commissioned in support of papal-led crusades to retake Constantinople after the Ottoman conquest.  As a discrete body of easily accessible and culturally significant texts, humanist writings on the Ottoman Turks were among the earliest subjects of scholarly analysis on early modern European views of Islam, since Schwoebel’s The Shadow of the Crescent, written in the shadow of the Cold War and published in 1967.[5]  Another reason for their appeal is purely linguistic: European historians can dissect and analyze Renaissance humanist texts without using Arabic or Ottoman Turkish.

In part, Renaissance “crusader” writings have attracted so much interest because they present a scholarly conundrum.  Humanists’ desire to recover and recreate the classical world moved them to compose their writings in flawless Ciceronian prose, without including a single “barbarism.”  How then did humanists incorporate the postclassical rise of Islam or the Ottoman Turks into their research agendas?  In Empires of Islam in Renaissance Historical Thought, Meserve wrestles with this conundrum.  As the largest body of sources on a post-classical subject, Meserve argues that Renaissance treatises on the Ottoman Turks not only reveal aspects of early modern Europe’s encounter with Islam, but also allow us to examine how Renaissance humanists came to terms with the realities of their post-classical world.[6]

Humanist writing on the rise of the Ottoman Turks was conditioned by certain beliefs about ethnicity, culture, and destiny, which humanists had inherited from classical historians and ethnographers like Herodotus and Tacitus.  Since Ottoman “character” was fixed and immutable – so the argument went – the Ottoman Turks would continue to behave in 1560 just as they did in 1360.  Understanding the factors which brought about the rise of the Ottoman Turks would thus help understand Europe’s current (sixteenth-century) situation vis-à-vis the Ottomans, and offer insights into the future.  (In reality, of course, the Ottoman Turks were quite an ethnic and religious hodgepodge, not at all the cultural monolith that Renaissance humanists assumed them to be).[7]  Renaissance humanists’ scholarship on the Ottoman Turks, like their writings on other Islamic powers in the Near East, was thus motivated by their patrons’ geopolitical concerns.  By characterizing the Ottomans as the descendants of “Scythians,” a barbaric people from the Caucasus, Renaissance humanists delegitimized Ottoman rule over former Byzantine territories.  In the same way, humanist efforts to “rehabilitate” the Ottomans’ enemies – particularly the Persian Safavids – legitimized “good” Islamic powers to which the papacy might later appeal.[8]

It is difficult to discuss Meserve’s work without making reference to another recent work on Renaissance scholarship on the Ottoman Turks, Nancy Bisaha’s Creating East and West, which traced an increased secularization in European attitudes towards Islam.[9]  Secularization, of course, did not lead to a greater openness or acceptance of Islam in the early modern period.  Renaissance humanists condemned the Ottoman Turks as “barbarians,” rather than as “enemies of the faith.”  In so doing, Bisaha argues that Renaissance humanists created a learned discourse of barbaric East and civilized West that would retain power long after Julius II and Leo X passed from the scene.[10]  Bisaha situates her own work within a larger history of Europe’s relations with “Others,” and frequently draws on cross-cultural theory in her analysis of humanist texts.

Meserve argues instead that Renaissance humanists, confronting the immense variety of Islamic empires in Anatolia, Persia, and India, could not create a single “Islamic Other.”  Nor were they particularly interested in doing so.  Renaissance humanists’ writings were motivated by the concerns of their patrons, and the papacy, the most frequent patron of Renaissance humanists, did not wish to subsume its foes and potential allies within a single analytic category.  For this reason, Meserve concludes that situating humanist texts on the Ottoman Turks within a larger discourse of “alterity” is not helpful.[11]  Rather, humanist texts on the Ottomans may be best understood in light of Renaissance scholarly practices.  Meserve thus situates humanist production of texts on Islamic societies within the cultural and political milieux of Renaissance Italy, which may very well be the best way to examine how these texts were produced.  Understanding how European-published, Christian texts on Islamic peoples developed is important and interesting in its own right.  Meserve’s approach, however, does not answer the equally interesting question of how these texts were consumed by their patrons, and by a wider audience.


Mediators & the Medieval Inheritance:

One of the most significant features about the early modern Europeans’ encounter with the world of Islam was that it was not the first encounter.  Unlike Matteo Ricci’s encounter with Confucianism and Buddhism in China, or Portuguese sailors’ encounter with Hinduism in India, early modern Europeans with an interest in Islam had a rich body of medieval sources upon which they might draw to develop their own knowledge about Islam: crusaders’ chronicles, missionaries’ travelogues, and translations of Eastern Christian polemical texts.  They could even turn to “free” translations of the Qur’an composed in the thirteenth century, like the medieval theologian Robert of Ketton’s Latin paraphrase, which adapted the language and style of the Qur’an to conform more closely to European literary standards.[12]  Many of these texts and translations were commissioned by Peter the Venerable, an important figure within the Cistercian monastic reform movement.

Later medieval and early modern intellectual practices would soon elevate this body of works to canonical status; early modern scholars of Islam, both Catholic and Protestant, would turn to these medieval texts over and over.[13]  As their own knowledge of Arabic improved (and consequently, their ability to read the Qur’an), early modern writers would gradually discard more fantastical elements of their medieval inheritance, and add others.  Nevertheless, these medieval sources about Islam continued to shape European perceptions until the Enlightenment, when European scholars would first begin to approach Islam without overt reference to Christian analytic categories.

Renaissance humanists, however, dismissed the vast majority of these high medieval sources, focusing instead on late antique chronicles and geographical texts.  In part, humanists’ decision to avoid these texts is not surprising.  While humanist writers had undertaken rigorous philological training, they had not received the scholastic or theological training that would equip them to analyze a text like Robert of Ketton’s Latin Qur’an.  They relied on other skills, and other contacts with the greater Islamic world, to assist them in drafting their work, finding new sources, and understanding the thoughts and beliefs of societies that they considered to be very different from their own.

Meserve draws attention to the significant role of Byzantine émigré scholars as cultural intermediaries, introducing Italian humanists to their own scholarly tradition of writing on Islam, and the Ottoman Turks.[14]  These Byzantine émigrés were one of many waves of cultural intermediaries and interpreters of Islam and Islamic societies.  Their interpretation of Islam, like those of Maronite and other Eastern Christians who would take up residence in Rome in the seventeenth-century, would influence Europeans’ perceptions of Islam, Ottoman rule, and “Oriental” peoples and cultures.[15]  Renaissance humanists, from Petrarch to Lorenzo Valla, were always very eager to claim how radically different and more scholarly advanced they were than their medieval predecessors, and modern scholars of Renaissance humanism, lured into a false sense of security by Renaissance humanists’ elegant Latin, have perhaps been too inclined to believe their statements about their own relationship to the medieval past.

As Bernard Heyberger points out in his own analysis of early modern missionaries’ scholarship on Islam in Islam visto da Occidente, many, if not most texts on Islam in the early modern period were not written for an Islamic audience.[16]  These texts were intended to be consumed by Europeans; in Meserve’s own case, by the Renaissance courts and Italian patrons who commissioned them.  Meserve’s work reveals that even Europeans who had no actual experience or encounter with Islam could and did still engage with the “problem” of Islam in Renaissance Europe.


The Seventeenth-Century: The Turning Point

A variety of political, religious, and intellectual factors make the early seventeenth-century a pivotal period in the history of European engagement with Islam.  With the development of orientalist studies, which focused primarily upon Arabic, but also included languages important for theological study, like Syriac, Europeans interested in learning more about the world of Islam finally could read important texts – and converse with Arabic-speaking Christians and Muslims – in their own languages.  As the article by Giovanni Pizzorusso in Islam visto da Occidente suggests, many of these new linguistic centers developed out of evangelization concerns, and were part of a greater cultural movement in Catholic Europe to bring about the conversion of all peoples to Catholic Christianity.[17]  Evangelization and a heightened intolerance for religious difference in the wake of the Council of Trent (1545-1563) suggests how deeply grounded the development of Italian and French orientalism was in the experience of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations.

The essay collection, Islam visto da Occidente features articles from an international conference on perceptions of Islam in early modern Europe, held in Milan in 2007.[18]  Islam visto da Occidenteoffers a rich array of topics for the historian interested in exploring the field of European-Ottoman relations, and for historians more accustomed to the field in search of new ideas and new directions for future research.  The collection features essays in Italian, French, and English, discussing the production and consumption of works concerning Islam, Arabic, and/or the Ottoman Empire in Italy, Spain, France, and, in Ziad Elmarsafy’s case, Enlightenment England.  Unlike Meserve’s work, Islam visto da Occidente concentrates on European cultural engagement with Islam in the seventeenth and eighteenth century.  It also focuses almost exclusively on the nations of Catholic Europe, particularly Italy and France, and explores how the cultural changes of the Catholic Reformation did or did not impact European relations with the Islamic world.

Ultimately, no one “model” for Continental interactions with the Islamic world emerges from the collection of essays.  Instead, authors stress the multifaceted ways in which seventeenth-century Europeans interacted with the Ottoman Empire and the world of Islam: through religious controversy, travel literature, and, for Venice, diplomatic and political pragmatism.  A glance through the many articles contained within Islam visto da Occidente emphasizes not only the thriving state of studies on European relations with the Ottoman Empire, but also how deeply intertwined the Ottoman Empire and its peoples, religions, and cultures were with the society and culture of early modern Europe.  Europeans were intensely curious about the world of the Ottoman Empire.  With the tremendous body of literature on the topic circulating in Europe, it was not necessary for Europeans to take a trip to the Ottoman Empire to satisfy their curiosity.  Sometimes, only a trip to the bookstall was necessary for curious Europeans to inform themselves about the Ottoman Empire and its many peoples and cultures.

Thought-provoking articles by both Bernard Heyberger and Emanuele Colombo stress the paradoxical relationship between religious polemic, scholarship, and evangelization in early modern Europe.  Bernard Heyberger’s “L’islam dei missionary cattolici (Medio Oriente, Seicento)” explores the dilemma that scholars of intellectual history face when turning to early modern scholarship about Islam.  Despite the development of greater philological skills – and the accumulation of increased empirical knowledge of the lived experience of Islam in the Ottoman Empire and elsewhere – missionary authors on Islam continued to repeat many of the same tropes about Muhammad, the Qur’an, and Islamic teachings on marriage and sexuality that Peter the Venerable and his associates used in the thirteenth century.  Bernard Heyberger argues that European understandings of Islam, which were shaped and motivated overwhelmingly by polemical concerns, did not advance beyond that of medieval scholars.[19]  Emanuele Colombo’s article, “Jesuits and Islam in Seventeenth-Century Europe: War, Preaching, and Conversions” offers additional reasons why polemic became such a powerful tool and dominating mode for European clerics (in this case, for the members of a Catholic religious order, the Society of Jesus).  Polemics against Islam emerged in reference to contemporary writings which sought to define Christian “orthodoxy” against recent challengers, such as Lutheranism and Calvinism.[20]

Traditionally, medieval clerics, observing certain similarities between Christianity and Islam (particularly the reverence for Christ and his mother in Islam) were inclined to classify Islam as a heresy, rather than as a separate religion.  The emergence and formation of new religious confessions during the Protestant Reformation made heresy a particularly timely subject in early modern Rome.  In the eyes of seventeenth-century Jesuit writers, all of these belief systems were equally “wrong,” and so traditional polemics against Islam could be deployed effectively against other “heresies,” such as Calvinism and Lutheranism.  While many preachers acknowledged the difficulty in converting Muslims to Christianity, they often added that the arguments which they offered against Islam in port-cities like Malta or Messina would be equally effective on passing Protestant merchants, suggesting how very closely intertwined the experience of the Protestant Reformation and renewed interest in engaging with the Islamic world was for many seventeenth-century Catholic missionaries.  Early modern interest in evangelizing the Islamic world did not arise out of a vacuum.

More “secular” developments in the early seventeenth century also signal the significance of that century in the history of European engagement with the Islamic world.  The elevation of France as the Ottoman Empire’s favored military ally and trading partner – solemnized in the Capitulations – offered Catholic missionaries in the Ottoman Empire the institutional support which they had never previously enjoyed in their interactions with any Muslim-majority society, with the exception of post-Reconquista Spain.[21]  The dominance of Catholic powers like France and Venice in the Levant in part explains the close relationship between scholarship on the Catholic Reformation and on European interactions with the Near East.  Though high-ranking Protestant clerics like Archbishop William Laud entertained ambitions of uniting the Greek Orthodox Church and other Eastern Christian churches with the Church of England, these efforts did not amount to much in the early modern period.[22]

More than simply providing support and shelter for ambitious French missionaries, the Capitulations(and other agreements which the Ottoman Empire issued to European powers) encouraged the growth of trade and the formation of large, relatively stable expatriate communities in the Ottoman Empire, both in traditional commercial centers like Aleppo and new trading cities, like Izmir.[23]  Historians like Daniel Goffman and Nabil Matar have already explored the significance of these new commercial centers for Europeans in commercial and cultural terms, both as the source of raw materials that helped develop new European industries (such as silk), as well as through the importation of new luxury goods, like coffee, which created new patterns for European sociability.[24]  As most European historians who explore European-Ottoman trade tend to be more interested in exploring the impact of the trade on European societies (and lack the research languages that permit them to pursue Ottoman archival research), the impact of European trade on the Ottoman Empire must be found instead in the body of Ottoman literature on the topic.

The movement of missionaries, merchants, travelers, diplomats, and ambassadors in the Ottoman Empire, and the incorporation of Ottoman trade more deeply within European economies, piqued both popular and scholarly interest in Islam and the Ottoman Empire.  The movement of peoples, ideas, and goods across the Mediterranean provided Europeans with access to more information than ever before about the Ottoman administration, Ottoman society, and Islamic beliefs and practices.  The maturation of print technologies and the growth of literacy made the dissemination of that material possible in ways which had been impossible to imagine in the days of Francesco Filefo and Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini, the great fifteenth-century Renaissance humanists.  Even British readers of relatively humble means could afford to buy pamphlets of captivity tales.  The seventeenth century thus forms an important period in the history of European engagement with Islam and Islamic societies, and, as Nabil Matar argues in Britain and the Islamic World, British encounters with the Islamic world during this period would lock into place Britons’ most enduring prejudices about the relationship between the Islam, deviant sexuality, and violence.[25]


Britons in the Mediterranean

   Nabil Matar’s recent book, co-authored with Gerald MacLean, joins a number of other recent works, such as Goffman’s Britons in the Ottoman Empire, that are an outgrowth of formal and informal collaboration between British historians, scholars of English literature, and/or Ottoman historians. Many of these recent works engage with exciting current debates in early modern English historiography, notably those related to the growth and formation of the British Empire, and how British experiences in the Mediterranean basin impacted the formation of an imperial consciousness and national identity.

Britain and the Islamic World, 1558-1713 is unique among most studies of European engagement with the Islamic world in that it explores not only North Africa and the Ottoman Empire, but also early modernity’s other two great Islamic powers: Persia and Mughal India.  MacLean and Matar, like Margaret Meserve, emphasize the multiplicity of European relations with Islam.  Traumatic experiences of captivity in North Africa, and the fear engendered by the Ottoman Empire’s expansion into Central Europe were the first experiences which many Britons had of Islam.  The proliferation of pamphlets and captivity tales, which Nabil Matar has examined elsewhere in his trilogy on British captives in North Africa, shaped British readers’ imaginary of Islam and led them to associate Islam with violence and sexual deviance.[26]

Though this dark image of Islam ultimately came to dominate printed texts in early modern England, British interactions with Muslims at the Mughal court and in Persia were much more positive, and marked by shared commitments to profits.  British merchants at the court of the Mughal emperor, and among the Safavids in Isfahan, were rarely, if ever, subject to any pressure to convert to Islam.  Instead, merchants were warmly welcomed by Islamic rulers who, at least in the case of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir, promoted an extremely syncretic version of Islam which attempted to harmonize Islam with other belief systems, such as Christianity and Hinduism, and may have been a separate religion in its own right.[27]  Yet ultimately, the more positive accounts of British adventurers like the Shirley brothers, stressing the respect and good relations which they enjoyed with their hosts in Persia and India, rarely, if ever, made it into print, and certainly never had the circulation that captivity tales enjoyed – a lost opportunity which Nabil Matar and Gerald MacLean lament.[28]

Matar and MacLean are strongest when discussing British experiences in the Ottoman Empire. Their chapter, “The Peoples of the Islamic Empires,” is among the strongest and most though-provoking of the set.[29]  An important point which can often be lost when examining early modern Europe’s relationship with the Islamic world is the fact that the Ottoman Empire, like Safavid Persia and Mughal India, contained large, thriving non-Muslim communities.  Many of these religious minorities (particularly Eastern Christians, but also occasionally Jews) played crucial roles as translators, brokers, and cultural intermediaries.  Armenians and Sephardic Jews in particular built up sophisticated trading networks across the Mediterranean which European merchants were eager to tap to gain access to valuable commodities like raw silk.

For many Europeans, coming from the world of cuius regio, eius religio, the coexistence of these many different religious and ethnic communities challenged them religiously and intellectually.  In many ways, the religious and ethnic diversity of the Ottoman Empire was the most substantive interpretive hurtle between early modern European societies like Spain, England, and Italy, which considered religious and cultural homogeneity essential for ensuring domestic tranquility.[30] Muslims and Christians’ shared material culture, occasional intermarriages or more informal liaisons, and close living and working relationships also challenged European beliefs about how Christians and Muslims ought to relate to each other.

The pluralistic nature of Ottoman society, which came as such a surprise to early modern European visitors and observers, is perhaps the quality that makes the Ottomans most familiar and attractive to historians today.  However, as studies of toleration in the early modern Europe have demonstrated, toleration did not translate into equality.  While Peoples of the Book – Christians and Jews – were granted freedoms and liberties in the Ottoman Empire which non-Christians did not enjoy in Europe, they were still considered second-class citizens.  Nevertheless, the Ottoman state’s openness to diverse peoples, religions, and cultures challenged European perceptions not only about how Christians and Muslims ought to relate to each other, but also about the proper ordering of society.


The Ottomans Today: New Directions and Future Research

This admittedly select tour of recent scholarship on Islam and Early Modern Europe can only offer a hint of the many recent, exciting publications on Europeans’ interactions with the religions, peoples, and cultures of the Middle East.  Examining European interactions can reveal not only the development of European perspectives on Islam – which are important in and of themselves – but can also offer new insight into topics that have lain close to the heart of early modern history.  Early modern Europeans found Islam to be such a fruitful subject of study because it allowed them to explore so many questions and issues that they could not do otherwise, and their writings on Islam reveal as much about their understanding of themselves as they do about Islam.  By exploring European relations with Muslim-majority societies, early modern historians can come to a deeper understanding of such topics as Renaissance humanism, early modern state-building, the formation of national and confessional identities, Deism, imperialism, and the scientific revolution.  European studies of Islam have not only increased our understanding of Europeans’ relations with the wider world, but have also contributed to our understanding of developments “at home” in so many ways.

Rosemary Lee

University of Virginia


[1] Edward Said, Orientalism (New York, Pantheon Books, 1978).

[2] Ziad Elmarsafy, “Philosophy Self-Taught: Reason, Mysticism, and the Uses of Islam in the Early Enlightenment,” in Islam visto da Occidente, 135-6.

[3] Margaret Meserve. Empires of Islam in Renaissance Historical Thought, Harvard Historical Studies 158 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008).

[4] Ibid, 15.

[5] Robert Schwoebel, The Shadow of the Crescent: The Renaissance Image of the Turk (1453-1517),Nieuwkoop: B. de Graaf, 1967.

[6] Meserve, Empires of Islam, 2-8.

[7] A classic text on the rise of the Ottomans is Cemal Kafadar, Between Two Worlds: The Construction of the Ottoman State (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995).   

[8] For humanist writing on Persia, see Meserve, Empires of Islam, 218-221; for the Turks, see Ibid, 115-6.

[9] Nancy Bisaha, Creating East and West: Renaissance Humanists and the Ottoman Turks(Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004).

[10]  Bisaha, Creating East and West, 6-7.

[11] Ibid, 9-13.

[12] Thomas E. Burman, Reading the Qur’an in Latin Christendom, 1140-1560, Material Texts, (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007), 29-35.

[13] Norman Daniel explores this body of work in his landmark Islam and the West.  Norman Daniel,Islam and the West: The Making of an Image, Revised Edition (Oxford, England: OneWorld, 1993).

[14] Meserve, Empires of Islam, 15.

[15] The importance of Eastern Christians as cultural mediators is discussed in Mercedes Garcia-Arenal’s recent work, Un Oriente Español.  Mercedes Garcia-Arenal and Fernando Rodriguez Mediano, Un Oriente Español: Los Moriscos y el Sacromonte en tiempos de Contrarreforma.  (Madrid: Marcial Pons Historia, 2010), 17.

[16] Bernard Heyberger, “L’Islam dei missionari,” 313-4.

[17] Giovanni Pizzorusso, “La preparazione linguistic e controversistica dei missionary per l’Oriente islamico: scuole, testi, insegnanti, a Roma e in Italia,” Islam visto da Occidente, 253-288.

[18] Bernard Heyberger, Mercedes Garcia-Arenal, Emanuele Colombo, Paola Vismara, eds.  L’Islam visto da Occidente: Cultura e religion del Seicento europeo di fronte all’Islam.  Atti del convegno internazionale.  Milan: Università degli Studi, 17-18 ottobre 2007.  (Genova-Milano: Marietti, 2009).

[19] Heyberger, “Islam dei Missionari,” in Islam visto da Occidente, 309, 313.

[20] Emanuele Colombo, “Jesuits and Islam in Seventeenth-Century Europe: War, Preaching, and Conversion,” in Islam visto da Occidente, 324-5.

[21] John V. Tolan, Saracens: Islam in the Medieval European Imagination (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 233.

[22] G.J. Toomer, Eastern Wisedome and Learning: the Study of Arabic in Seventeenth-Century England(Oxford, UK:  Clarendon Press, 1996), 105.

[23] Daniel Goffman, Britons in the Ottoman Empire 1642-1660, Publications on the Near East (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1998), 29.

[24] Gerald MacLean and Nabil Matar, Britain and the Islamic World, 1558-1713 (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press: 2011), 199-202.

[25] Matar and MacLean, Britain and the Islamic World, 2.

[26] Matar and MacLean, Britain and the Islamic World, 124-9.

[27] Ibid, 231.

[28] Ibid, 232.

[29] Matar and MacLean, “The Peoples of the Islamic Empires,” in Britain and the Islamic World, 156-197.

[30] Matar and MacLean, Britain and the Islamic World, 157.  Goffman also makes this argument. Goffman, Britons in the Ottoman Empire, 19-20.






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