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Ringing Bells In Ḥafṣid Tunis: Religious Concessions Tochristian Fondacos In The Later Thirteenth Century

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Chapter Summary

On July 29, 1287, amidst political troubles in both of their realms, the Aragonese king Alfonso III and the Ḥafṣid Tunis claimant 'Abd al-Wāḥid b. al-Wāthiq drew up a treaty of mutual support that promisedamong other thingsextensive religious freedoms for western Christians living in the European fondacos in Tunis. A church or chapel needed a priest in order to conduct services, and there is considerable evidence beyond the 1261 grant by James I to confirm the presence of Christian religious functionaries in Tunis during the later thirteenth century. The early twelfth-century text of Ibn Abdun, describing Seville, ruled that the ringing of bells should be suppressed in all Muslim territories and the sound should only be heard in the lands of the Christians. Bells were a potent element within the medieval discourse on religious power.

Keywords: Ḥafṣid Tunis; Christian religious; European fondacos; later thirteenth century; ringing bells



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