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Arsen Of Ikalto

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Chapter Summary

Arsen was probably born in the 1050s in the village of Ikalto in east Georgia. Arsen is connected with the construction of a number of monasteries and churches in Georgia. This chapter presents a short description of the book X’senebay sitqwisgebisay da sasjelisay shjulisatʿwis k‘rsitianetʿay da sarkinoztʿa, 'Account of the polemics, and judgment about the belief of Christians and Saracens' on Christian-Muslim relations. The work reflects the clear anti-Islamic sentiments of Georgian society. It also makes plain that there were Georgian monks who were fluent in Arabic and possessed considerable knowledge of Islam and the Qurʾan. This was a result of Georgian contacts with Arabs in general, but especially with Arabic-speaking Christians in Syria-Mesopotamia, Palestine and Sinai.

Keywords: Arsen; Christian-Muslim relations; Ikalto



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