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Unity and Disunity across the Strait of Gibraltar

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Chapter Summary

This chapter contextualizes the six articles that form this Special Issue by situating them in relation to trends in the study of North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula. The Iberian Peninsula and the Maghrib are both set apart as marginal or exceptional in their respective fields of European and Middle Eastern studies. More recently, a number of scholars working in North Africa have edited and published medieval texts that underline the fundamental unity of the lands of the western Mediterranean and have written histories that consider these regions together. Muslim migrants moving into Iberia brought with them the Arabic language, the Muslim faith, and material and technological culture that led to the transformation of Iberian agriculture, as well as the introduction of Arabic science and learning. The complex web of traditions from Iberia and the Islamic world converged in Morisco expectations of an otherworldly savior.

Keywords: Iberian Peninsula; Maghrib; nationalism; North Africa; western Mediterranean



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