Sunday, January 16, 2005

The Presentation of the Franks in Selected Muslim Sources

The Presentation of the Franks in Selected Muslim Sources - A dissertation traces the development of the attitudes of Muslims towards the Franks during the Crusades of the 12th Century.

From the site:

During the period of the Crusades a large number of Muslim writers wrote accounts of the events that took place at the time, and also kept records of their experiences. As a result of this, a large body of literature concerning the period was created, a reasonable proportion of which has survived up until the present day, in one form or another. The modern reader is able to examine these works in order to determine what the Muslim view was of the Crusades and those who fought in them, and so to understand the motives behind the Muslims’ initial reactions to the Crusaders and their subsequent interaction with the Franks who settled in the Holy Land.

As one examines the sources for the period, it becomes apparent from the way that the Franks are presented that there were certain initial characteristic attitudes that prevailed among the Muslims, which remained throughout the period, although they changed significantly as time progressed, as a consequence of increased contact with the Franks who now settled in the area. In addition, other attitudes developed later on, also as a result of this increase in contact. One can therefore examine the development of Muslim attitudes to the Franks, and see how this affected their interaction with them.

In this dissertation an attempt has been made to determine the development of the attitudes of Muslims towards the Franks during the period covering the Crusades of the 12th Century, by examining five major sources from the period, and seeing how the Franks are presented in each. As will be shown in following chapters, there are certain attitudes that remain throughout all five texts, whilst others develop as the texts progress chronologically.

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