The Mercenary Mediterranean: Sovereignty, Religion, And Violence In The Medieval Crown Of Aragon

Hardcover | March 22, 2016

byHussein Fancy

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Sometime in April 1285, five Muslim horsemen crossed from the Islamic kingdom of Granada into the realms of the Christian Crown of Aragon to meet with the king of Aragon, who showered them with gifts, including sumptuous cloth and decorative saddles, for agreeing to enter the Crown’s service.
           
They were not the first or only Muslim soldiers to do so. Over the course of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the Christian kings of Aragon recruited thousands of foreign Muslim soldiers to serve in their armies and as members of their royal courts. Based on extensive research in Arabic, Latin, and Romance sources, The Mercenary Mediterranean explores this little-known and misunderstood history. Far from marking the triumph of toleration, Hussein Fancy argues, the alliance of Christian kings and Muslim soldiers depended on and reproduced ideas of religious difference. Their shared history represents a unique opportunity to reconsider the relation of medieval religion to politics, and to demonstrate how modern assumptions about this relationship have impeded our understanding of both past and present.

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Sometime in April 1285, five Muslim horsemen crossed from the Islamic kingdom of Granada into the realms of the Christian Crown of Aragon to meet with the king of Aragon, who showered them with gifts, including sumptuous cloth and decorative saddles, for agreeing to enter the Crown’s service.             They were not the first or only...

Hussein Fancy is assistant professor of history at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:296 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.1 inPublished:March 22, 2016Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022632964X

ISBN - 13:9780226329642

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
On Names, Places, Dates, and Transcriptions


Introduction: A Mercenary Logic
Chapter One: Etymologies and Etiologies
Chapter Two: A Sovereign Crisis
Chapter Three: Sovereigns and Slaves
Chapter Four: A Mercenary Economy
Chapter Five: The Unpaid Debt
Chapter Six: The Worst Men in the World
Epilogue: Medievalism and Secularism

Abbreviations
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

"Fancy’s remarkable deployment of archival material from the Archivo de la Corona de Aragón, Arabic chronicle sources, and other North African material makes The Mercenary Mediterranean a superb contribution to our understanding of the unexplored relationships between the jenets, or Muslim mercenaries, and the Crown of Aragon. With unfailing insightfulness, Fancy unravels the complex world of relations between Islam and Christianity, the Crown of Aragon and North African polities, and the role of warfare in binding and separating the medieval Western Mediterranean world. This is a major scholarly achievement."