Europe and the Islamic World sheds much-needed light on the shared roots of Islamic and Western cultures and on the richness of their inextricably intertwined histories, refuting once and for all the misguided notion of a "clash of civilizations" between the Muslim world and Europe. In this landmark book, three eminent historians bring to life the complex and tumultuous relations between Genoans and Tunisians, Alexandrians and the people of Constantinople, Catalans and Maghrebis--the myriad groups and individuals whose stories reflect the common cultural, intellectual, and religious heritage of Europe and Islam.
Since the seventh century, when the armies of Constantinople and Medina fought for control of Syria and Palestine, there has been ongoing contact between the Muslim world and the West. This sweeping history vividly recounts the wars and the crusades, the alliances and diplomacy, commerce and the slave trade, technology transfers, and the intellectual and artistic exchanges. Here readers are given an unparalleled introduction to key periods and events, including the Muslim conquests, the collapse of the Byzantine Empire, the commercial revolution of the medieval Mediterranean, the intellectual and cultural achievements of Muslim Spain, the crusades and Spanish reconquest, the rise of the Ottomans and their conquest of a third of Europe, European colonization and decolonization, and the challenges and promise of this entwined legacy today.
As provocative as it is groundbreaking, this book describes this shared history in all its richness and diversity, revealing how ongoing encounters between Europe and Islam have profoundly shaped both.
John Tolan is professor of history at the Université de Nantes. His books include Saracens and Saint Francis and the Sultan. Gilles Veinstein (1945-2013) was professor of history at the Collège de France. His books include Merchants in the Ottoman Empire. Henry Laurens is professor of history at the Collège de France. He is the author of L'empire et ses ennemis: La question impériale dans l'histoire.
"[T]his is serious history and, as such, seriously worthwhile."--Robert Irwin, Literary Review
"[Europe and the Islamic World] is an important contribution to an ever more urgent debate. By providing a wealth of inconvenient detail that fails to fit in to the simplistic stereotypes, it challenges the very notion that humanity can be divided into separate 'civilisations', however bitter at times the conflict between them."--Jonathan Harris, History Today
"The comprehensive coverage of the subject matter makes this work the new standard in the field."--Choice
"Europe and the Islamic World is a major antidote of this dangerous myopic worldview, offering a critical and balanced assessment of a historic encounter marked not only by religious competition and conflict but also by coexistence and cooperation in domestic politics and foreign relations, trade and commerce, science and culture."--Lisa Kaaki, Arab News
"As provocative as it is groundbreaking, this book describes this shared history in all its richness and diversity, revealing how ongoing encounters between Europe and Islam have profoundly shaped both."--World Book Industry
"This book is a solid scholarly work on the current and ongoing debate on the relations between Europe and the Islamic world. It differs from previous works on two major grounds: it offers a detailed narrative of key neglected aspects of this history and it refutes the notion of the 'clash of civilizations.'"--Adel Manai, Canadian Journal of History
"Tolan clearly shows how to approach the history of Islam and Christianity during the medieval era in a much more sensitive manner, paying respect to here to fore often suppressed or muted voices on both sides."--Albrecht Classen, Mediaevistik
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