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Legends Of The Fall: Conde Julián In Medieval Arabic And Hispano-Latin Historiography

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the development of the Conde Julián legend in the earliest extant accounts of the Muslim expansion into the Iberian Peninsula. It shows that both Arabic and Hispano-Latin chroniclers used the Julián figure to articulate the views of the Strait of Gibraltar as either a bridge connecting the Maghreb to al-Andalus or as a border between Africa and Europe. While the Julián figure is a border-crosser in all medieval chronicles, its specific treatment in each account varies in order to reflect shifting relations between realms. In early Arabic historiography, the Julián figure reflects tensions between the ʿAbbāsids and the Umayyads, whereas in the Hispano-Latin tradition, it reflects relations between Christian and Muslim domains within the Iberian Peninsula. In both traditions, this anomalous figure mediates between mutually-exclusive hegemonies without subsuming itself within either side. An example of a Spanish foundational narrative is the Julián legend.

Keywords: al-Andalus; Arabic historiography; Conde Julián legend; Hispano-Latin historiography; Iberian Peninsula; Muslim expansion

10.1163/ej.9789004179196.i-276.59
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004179196.i-276.59
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