The Muslims Of Medieval Italy By Alex M

1507 words 7 pages
The Muslims of Medieval Italy by Alex Metcalfe Less than two hundred years after the death of the prophet Muhammad the rule of Islam had spread from the Arab Peninsula to Italy after the Roman Empire had crumbled away; eventually it spread all the way to Iberia. The book The Muslims of Medieval Italy by Alex Metcalfe focuses on the Muslim-Christian dynamic and the respective ruling entities by examining the chronological timeline of events and more cultural history of the dynamic in the region. The first half of the book is more obviously focused on the chronological explanation of events and delving into the reasons for why things happened the way they did. As the book progresses, it noticeably starts to focus on the more cultural …show more content…

George Antioch, adviser to Roger II, is one central figure in this time period because he transcended his administrative role by being involved in patronage of public work as well as helping to govern the Arab speaking citizens. His knowledge of Arab-Islamic lands, ruler, culture, languages, etc set him apart and is one example of how the Normans were influenced by a culture they had conquered. The next part of the book look at the Norman occupation and rule more from a Muslim point of view. The Muslims were the majority on Sicily for quite some time after being conquered. This section is helpful in seeing the differences in how Muslims ruled people who were not like them and how Christians did. This is not to say one does it better or worse for there were certain Muslim-Arabic Administrations under the Normans and vis versa, but they were approached differently. There is a turning point in the book though, beginning with the subject of the art of embroidery that starts to tie in more specific bits of Muslim culture and how they played into Norman Sicily. It is worth noting that the Normans did eventually conquer North Africa and the book devotes plenty of time to this as well, but Sicily is a focal point because of its “middle ground” status between Italy (European Mainland) and North Africa. The book then goes into anti-Muslim acts and eventually