Medieval Latin lives of Muhammad

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  • Throughout the Middle Ages, believers of Christianity told tales about Muhammad and the rise of Islam. They did so to inform, warn, and entertain Christian audiences. This volume brings together a set of such accounts that traces the biographical tradition of Muhammad as it evolved in the medieval West. These stories were all written in or translated into Latin, the chief literary and intellectual language of medieval Europe. With one exception, all texts in this collection were composed as stand-alone, independent works. To supplement them, we have included a passage dealing with Muhammad from Theophanes's early ninth-century chronicle. The Latin translation of this Greek work was widely available throughout much of Western Europe and is vital in understanding later developments. These texts help to explain the origin of many persistent clichés about Muhammad, and to document ways in which Western perceptions of Islam have influenced literature, theology, and religious debate and polemic.--


  • Includes bibliographical references and indexes.
  • Text in Latin with English translation on facing pages ; introduction and notes in English.


  • History of Muhammad -- Tultusceptru / from the Book of Lord Metobius -- Chronicle of Theophanes / Anastasius the Librarian -- Life of Muhammad / Embrico of Mainz -- Poeteic pastimes on Muhammad / Walter of Compiegne -- LIfe of Muhammad / Adelphus -- Apology of al-Kindi / Book of Nicholas -- Where Wicked Muhammad came from
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