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Religion In Catholic-Muslim Correspondence And Treaties

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Chapter Summary

As every student of medieval Catholic and Muslim diplomatics knows, Catholic as well as Muslim instruments were permeated with religious concepts and allusions. It is also well known that the concepts and allusions of one of these two civilizations were largely unacceptable to members of the other. An examination of a large number of Latin or vernacular renderings of such treaties reveals three basic approaches. The first was to fully translate the Arabic text, retaining its Islamic invocations and verbosity: this is true for instance of Pisa’s treaty with Egypt in 1154 and Venice’s treaties with Tunis in the years 1231, 1271, 1305 and 1317. The second approach was to abbreviate the Arabic text and shorten or even suppress the Islamic expressions. The third approach was to construe the text entirely according to Latin diplomatic conventions to the point that not even the hiǧrī date was spelled out.

Keywords: Arabic text; Catholic; Egypt; Islamic expressions; Islamic invocations; Muslim instruments; Pisa’s treaty; religious concepts; Venice’s treaties



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