Discovering Islam as a Historical Phenomenon.The Case of the Latin Historiography of the Iberian Peninsula, 8th to 13th Century

Matthias M. Tischler

Professor of Medieval History, Dresden University

The rediscovery of the religious sphere, if not of the religions themselves, in the aftermaths of 9/11 seems to announce a new period of post-secular societies in Europe. The power of transcendence, shaping our modern cultures and societies, seems to be more uncontested than ever before. In this context, we should be very well aware of the everlasting cultural phenomenon of othering in religious terms: Religions have and make their history at every time and place, but they cannot find their identities without processes of mutual transfer and transformation. This article shows how Islam has become an item of growing importance within and via the Latin historiography of the Iberian Peninsula from the Early to the High Middle Ages. Muslim faith as a subject of Christian Latin historiography reveals its twofold historicity: turning into a subject of Latin historiography, this faith also became part of Christian history. A new religious tradition was born: Islam. In view of this, this article will by no means focus on how Latin-writing Iberian authors “perceived another religion”, because “a comprehensive study of widespread ideas and concepts, perceptions of and attitudes towards other religions” would be based on the unreflected heuristic premise of “religion” as a ready-made item. [1]

Preliminaries and Purpose

Curiously enough, the question we raise has found only little interest among historians working on the Medieval Latin historiography of the Iberian Peninsula (and further parts of Latin Europe). Generally speaking, research has been realised with a view to comparing selected historical works from a narrow chronological and regional framework. In 1971, Bernard Richard analysed the role played out by Muhammad and his followers in the historiography of León and Castile during the 12th and 13th centuries, [2] and ten years later Jean-Jacques Gautier-Dalché did quite the same without taking note of the former study. [3] In 1984, 2007 and 2008, respectively, Ron Barkaï, Matthias Maser and Simon Barton have studied again the historical writings in the Christian Iberian realms at the beginning of the 12th century, though they did not take into account Gautier-Dalché’s study. [4] Some years ago, I myself have published a general survey of the integration of biographical material on Muhammad within the European Latin historiography of the Early and High Middle Ages. Then my purpose was to determine the radical conceptional changes which historical writings on religious phenomena underwent during the 13th century in the works of the Dominican friars trained in the European schools of scholasticism. [5]

The purpose of this article is to discover several developments within the Iberian historical writings from the 8th to the 13th century concerning the historisation of the phenomenon of Muhammad and his religious movement that – in deep contrast to contemporary Judaism – included a political factor as well.

Discovering the Religious Dimension of the “Saracens”: Late Ancient and Biblical Patterns of Perception

Ekkehart Rotter, Dolores Oliver Pérez and Françoise Micheau have shown in thorough studies that the use of the collective term “Saracens” has undergone massive semantic changes and differentiation from the Early to the High Middle Ages. [6] First and foremost, Oliver Pérez has been able to trace the gradual shift in the term “Saracens” from the former ethnic-gentile to a more religious dimension, especially in the Iberian historiography from the beginning of the High Middle Ages. In this context, we must remember that the non-biblical collective term Sar(r)aceni of Late Antiquity firstly described a sole tribe of North-Western Arabia or the Sinai Peninsula [7] and only secondly all the nomadic Arabs of the desert. [8] In pre-Islamic Christian writing the word “Saracens” is a self-description of the Ismaelitae or Agareni of the Old Testament [9] deriving from Abra(ha)m’s wife Sara: In Jerome – the pre-Islamic authority of Western “Oriental Studies” of his time – “Ismaelites” and “Agarenes” are neutral terms for Arabic tribes living in the deserts of the Sinai Peninsula and Syria. [10] Only after Jerome [11] and Isidore of Seville, [12] early Latin-Christian polemics against the faith of Muhammad and his followers regarded “Saracens” as a (wrong) self-description of the Muslims, who wanted to veil the humble origins of their ancestor Ismael, son of Abra(ha)m’s servant Hagar. [13] Because of their biblical origin and their exegetical tradition, the growing use of Ismaelitae and Agareni in the Iberian historiography indicates the emerging consciousness of the eschatological dimension of their appearance: already at the beginning of the Bible, Ismael, Abra(ha)m’s and Hagar’s son, is foretold that his descendants will become a great people. [14] These Ismaelites will be the opponents of the descendants of his brother James, Abra(ha)m’s and Sara’s legitimate son. Using the term “Ismaelites” in the Iberian tradition therefore means to earmark the foreign occupying people as enemies of the new Israel. [15]

To conclude this section, we can state that Late Ancient and biblical-patristic perception and interpretation of the history of human salvation as a history of tribes and peoples was superseded by the originally non-biblical collective term “Saracens”, which gradually lost its ethnic-gentile semantic dimension. The consequent use of “Saracens” as a religiously connotated term has been so strong for centuries that it was impossible to replace it even in the High Middle Ages with the apparently more adequate dogmatic term heretici. [16]

Beginning of a Terminological Differentiation of Islam and the Arabization of the Vocabulary

The so-called Old Testament has provided two further collective terms for describing the new phenomenon: Arabes and Moabitae. The discovery of the cultural and religious plurality within the community of Islam through the terms Moabitae, Murabiti, Almorauedes, etc. is clearly the privilege of the best informed historians during the 12th and 13th centuries. Only in the 13th century the use of “Arabs” [17] instead of “Saracens” in order to describe the precise ethnic profile and geographical provenance of the new ruling classes of al-Andalus [18] started to converge into a proper history of the Arabs, forming part of the whole history of the peoples of Spain. [19]

Since we expect a thorough study of the term Moabitae by Miquel Barceló, I will not dwell on this: Suffice it to say that the typological use of the collective term Moabitae, descendants of the incestuous relationship between Lot and his elder daughter, [20] for designating the enemies of Israel, [21] fulfils a twofold function: On the one hand, it transforms the quarrel between Christians and Muslims into a fight between the New Israel and its new enemies in Spain. On the other hand, this terminological use enables the historians to distinguish between specific fractions of Islam. If I am not mistaken, since as early as the beginning of the 12th century Latin historians of the Iberian Peninsula had called the Almoravids (al-Murabitun) Moabitae, [22] Almorabites [23] or Almorauedes, [24] whereas they had named the Almohads (al-Muwahhidun) Muzmuti [25] or Almohades. [26] Also the qualifier “Muhammedan” can sometimes be found; [27] likewise the followers of Muslim faith were called “adherents of Muhammed” (Mamentjani) [28] or even “Muslims” (Muzlemiti). [29]

A specific Arabic terminology used to describe members of different fractions of Islam draws our attention to processes of lexicological exchanges which result from comparing Latin auxiliary terms like papa, ecclesia, synagoga, templum, lex, capitulum etc. with Arabo-Latin terms like caliph, mexita, mezquita, alc(h)oranus, zoara etc. referring to religious details of Muslim faith. It speaks volumes when we observe, for example, the consequent use of former Latin terminology in the otherwise well-informed Chronica Adefonsi imperatoris from about 1150 [30] which appears in sharp contrast to the Latinized Arabic vocabulary that Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada should use in his Historia Arabum about 100 years later. [31]

Integrating Muhammad’s Life and Law of Faith: Solving Problems of Chronology and Developing a Theology of History

I shall now concentrate on the problems that were generated by the integration of new information about Muhammad’s life and law of faith into the historical production of “Iberia”. Inserting biographical data of a hitherto unknown founder of a new religious movement meant solving problems concerning the chronological order transmitted by oral and written traditions arriving from the sources written in all the learned and popular Mediterranean languages (Arabic, Syrian, Greek, Latin and Proto-Romance); it also meant solving problems of weighing up contradictory statements and finally solving the problem of writing a new consistent history of God’s plan of human salvation.

First one has to state that lives and legends of Muhammad are rarely transmitted as individual manuscript texts. It is only thanks to their integration into collections of historiographical material that better chances of transmission were provided – as proves the case of Eulogius of Córdoba when discovering the oldest Latin Life of Muhammad in a historical compendium at the Navarrese monastery of Leyre in 850. [32]Establishing correctly the chronology of Muhammad and the faith of his followers did not seem to have been an easy task at the very beginnings of Latin historiography. [33] The results are divergent data on birth and appearance of Muhammad (“Hidjra”), often connected with data concerning contemporary rulers of the Mediterranean world affected by the spread of Islam: the emperors of Byzantium [34] and the Visigothic kings. Already before the end of the first millennium, combining Andalusian Latin polemical lives of Muhammad and further material on his religious movement with earlier historiographical material from the Christian North became very popular: Let us take a brief look at the three most important compendia of history collected around the year 1000 in the cultural and religious frontier region of Rioja: the Codex Vigilanus from San Martín de Albelda (974/976), [35] the Codex Aemilianensis from San Millán de la Cogolla (992) [36] and the so-called Codex Rotensis from Santa María de Nájera (10th/11th c.). [37]These manuscripts form the nucleus of the ever growing geographical, historical, cultural and religious identities of the Christian North, which is very well represented by the burgeoning new realm of Navarra. By affiliating itself to the realms of Oviedo and Toledo this fresh power is seeking its political and religious position against the Muslim South symbolised by the crumbling caliphate of Córdoba. In all the three manuscripts, Andalusian Latin Biographies and Legends of Muhammad progressively find their right places within Asturian chronicles from the late 9th and early 10th centuries, transmitted here for the first time. So, Muhammad’s life is moving toward the Iberian national and global chronicle traditions without being exactly integrated within their chronological framework. [38] One can even notice some growing understanding of the Muslim presence on the Iberian Peninsula when deciphering the different concepts of their historical integration: Whereas the Codex Vigilanus only updates the fall of the Muslim rule over al-Andalus from 884 to 984, [39] the Codex Aemilianensis explicitly expresses the mental, spiritual and religious resistance of the whole Spanish Church to Muslims (and Jews) emphasising its orthodoxy and integrity even under Muslim control. [40] Finally, the compiler of the Codex Rotensis can even accept the presence of the Muslims in al-Andalus as an important and unavoidable part of his own Spanish history without overlooking the increasing mental and religious opposition of the Christians in his time, passing from an eschatological and prophetical perspective on the general decline of Muslim rule in Spain and elsewhere to polemics against the very founder of Islam. [41] Although these three different concepts of historical and polemical “spaces” are certainly no indicators of real social and religious “conflict” or “convivencia” in their immediate milieus of production, these traditions nevertheless provide insights into the religious motivation of the older Latin historiography of the Christian Iberian North which mirrors the contemporaneous resistance to terror and destruction threatening the three “frontier monasteries” of the Rioja region in the times of al-Mansur (978-1002). [42]

All these cultural processes of dealing with an unknown (religious) phenomenon can explain the slow, but gradual discovery of the theological position of “Islam” within Latin-Christian historical thinking and writing. Discovering “Islam” as a historical phenomenon should be regarded as the third and last step of a threefold shift in the perception of this new religious system, that is eschatology – polemics – history: It was only after the earliest Andalusian and Asturian biblical-apocalyptical [43] and biblical-eschatological thought, [44] influenced by Mozarabs from Toledo and Córdoba, had appeared and after the further historiography of the Christian North had been impregnated with the polemics, that in the 13th century particularly bright authors took the risk to date and integrate Muhammad’s life and work in a more or less objective manner. [45] This threefold movement from eschatological and polemical to historical thought on Islam seems to be the basic model of perceiving the foreigner or the Other in the European Jewish-Christian culture. [46]

Thus, in the 8th and 9th centuries, the appearance of the Saracens in Latin Europe and the fall of the Visigothic realm is regarded as God’s punishment for the Christians’ sins; [47] in the 9th and 10th centuries first military successes of the Asturians (Covadonga) led to compare the situation of the Iberian Moors with the sinking of Pharao’s forces in the Read Sea (Ex 14) [48] and to revive Visigothic traditions of secular and ecclesiastical rulership; in the 12th and 13th centuries, since the Christians were regaining their military and social balance, it was possible to deal with the history of Muhammad and the Muslims, with the geographical spread of their religious movement on the three known continents, and with further elements of their faith, at least on a basic level. The absolute peak of this process was reached with the full integration of the Arabs (not: Muslims) of Spain into an official history of “Hispania” from its very origins. [49]

Conditions of Knowledge

A brief survey of the historical literature on Islam shows that geographical and social proximity or distance from the phenomenon are of much more importance as far as knowledge of it is concerned than the processes of learning in the course of time: first details like the role of Muhammad as the prophet of Islam or the central position of the Ka’aba (“House of Abraham”) at Mecca are already known by the authors of the Chronica Muzarabica [50] and the Chronica Byzantia-Arabica [51] in the 8th century, both relatively close to Muslim milieus, whereas one of the foreign authors of the Historia Compostellana, written nearly four hundred years later, far from al-Andalus, reproaches the Muslims for venerating Muhammad just like a saint by comparing him to St. James. [52]

Notwithstanding the public character of the Muslim cult (the muezzin’s call for prayer; feast of Ramadan, etc.) that certainly could not be hidden from the Christians, we have to reckon with the unconscious (because lengthily practised) or deliberate fade-out of specific information about Islam with the purpose of defining and strengthening the Christian identity. Accordingly, medieval writing on Islam was by no means a project of ever-growing knowledge about it. On the other hand, we cannot deny that there is a substantial condensation of detailed information about the faith and internal political structures of Andalusian and Maghrebi Islam in the time of successful Reconquista during the 13th century. [53] Thus, it is no surprise that at the very same time two Iberian chroniclers manage for the first time to integrate Muhammad’s life and work into the historical context of the Iberian Peninsula – finding two completely different solutions: [54]

Firstly, the canon Lucas of Túy from San Isidoro de León is producing Muhammad as the opposite figure to the Christian contemporary “doctor Hispaniarum”, Isidore of Seville, the victorious patron of his own house since 1063. In our eyes, this seemingly unhistorical “duel of faiths” between Isidore and Muhammad is the symbolic story of the physical and intellectual quarrel between Christians and Muslims on the Iberian Peninsula since its origins. [55] Secondly, the archbishop Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada of Toledo begins his History of the Arabs of Spain with a biography of Muhammad. [56] Performing a historical translation, the Arabs and their cultural traditions (Arabic Life of Muhammad) are integrated for the first time, as an interim period, into the course of a general Christian history of “Hispania”, which was meant to be a history of its different peoples under Castilian domination up to the mid-thirteenth century within an European framework of regions and peoples. [57]


[1] This, however, seems to be exactly the position of the ERC-project ‘The Perception of Other Religions in the Christian Occident during the Early and Central Middle Ages, 5th-12th Centuries’, directed at Hamburg University: This project 1) does not seem to realize the inadequacy of the term ‘religion’, a concept of the Enlightenment, for explaining medieval phenomena, 2) does not emphasize the constructive character of this category, and 3) finally wonders why the Christian image of and behaviour towards the ‘religious others’ have been thouroghly studied, but not the perception and interpretation of their ‘religion’. Furthermore it 4) wants to divide ‘religion’ from ‘religious doctrines’ and ‘religiosity’ without defining the dividing line between these three items.
[2] Bernard Richard, “L’Islam et les musulmans chez les chroniqueurs castillans du milieu du moyen âge”, Hespéris Tamuda 12 (1971), pp. 107-132.

[3] Jean-Jacques Gautier-Dalché, “L’Islam, les musulmans, les rapports entre Chrétiens et Musulmans dans la littérature de l’espace Léono-Castillan (xiième et xiiième siècles)”, in José Gentil da Silva / Alex Pollino (eds.), L’histoire à Nice 2: Actes du Colloque franco-polonais d’histoire ‘Les relations économiques et culturelles entre l’Occident et l’Orient’, Nice – Antibes, 6-9 novembre 1980: Relations marchandes et cadre culturel du viième au xvème siècle, Nice, Université de Nice, 1981, pp. 47-65.

[4] Ron Barkaï, Cristianos y musulmanes en la España medieval. El enemigo en el espejo, Madrid, Rialp, 1984, pp. 105-153; summary: Nikolas Jaspert, “Die Wahrnehmung der Muslime im lateinischen Europa der späten Salierzeit”, in Bernd Schneidmüller / Stefan Weinfurter (eds.), Salisches Kaisertum und neues Europa. Die Zeit Heinrichs IV. und Heinrichs V., Darmstadt, WBG, 2007, pp. 307-340, here 335-337; Matthias Maser, “‘Islamische Welt’ und ‘christliche Welt’ im Spiegel arabischer und lateinischer Quellen aus dem mittelalterlichen Spanien. Konditionen der Wahrnehmung zwischen Topos und Beobachtung”, Cristiani, ebrei, musulmani nell’Occidente medievale = Rivista di storia del cristianesimo 4 (2007), pp. 7-28 (passim); Simon Barton, “Islam and the West. A View from Twelfth-Century León”, in Simon Barton / Peter Linehan (eds.), Cross, Crescent and Conversion. Studies on Medieval Spain and Christendom in Memory of Richard Fletcher, Leiden/Boston, Brill, 2008, pp. 153-174.

[5] Matthias Martin Tischler, “Orte des Unheiligen. Versuch einer Topographie der dominikanischen Mohammed-Biographik des 13. Jahrhunderts zwischen Textüberlieferung und Missionspraxis”, Archa Verbi 5 (2008), pp. 32-62.

[6] Ekkehart Rotter, Abendland und Sarazenen. Das okzidentale Araberbild und seine Entstehung im Frühmittelalter, Berlin/New York, de Gruyter, 1986, pp. 68-77 and 130-145; Dolores Oliver Pérez, “‘Sarraceno’. Su etimología e historia”, al-Qantara 15 (1994), pp. 99-130; Françoise Micheau, “Saracens”, in Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages 2 (2000), p. 1304; Ekkehart Rotter, “Sarazenen”, Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde 26 (2004), pp. 461–465. Cf. furthermore Hans-Werner Goetz, “Sarazenen als ‘Fremde’? Anmerkungen zum Islambild in der abendländischen Geschichtsschreibung des frühen Mittelalters”, in Benjamin Jokisch / Ulrich Rebstock / Lawrence I. Conrad (eds.), Fremde, Feinde und Kurioses. Innen- und Außenansichten unseres muslimischen Nachbarn, Berlin/New York, de Gruyter, 2009, pp. 39-66, who, however, does not take into account the Iberian tradition.

[7] Rotter, Abendland, op. cit., pp. 68 and 100-104.

[8] Ammianus Marcellinus, Res gestae XIV 4, ed. Wolfgang Seyfarth, Ammiani Marcellini rerum gestarum libri qui supersunt 1: Libri XIV–XXV, Leipzig, Teubner, 1978, p. 8 sq.

[9] “Ismaelitae” in Gn 37, 25, 27 and 38; Gn 39, 1; Idc 8, 24; I Par 2, 17 and I Par 27, 30 and Ps (lxx) resp. Ps (Hbr) 82, 7; “Agareni” in I Par 5, 19 sq. and 27, 31.

[10] Note 7. Furthermore Eusebius/Jerome, Chronicon, ed. John Knight Fotheringham, Eusebii Pamphili Chronici canones latine vertit, adauxit, ad sua tempora produxit S. Eusebius Hieronymus, London, Milford, 1923, p. 24b, l. 1-5.

[11] Jerome, In Ezechielem VIII 25, ed. François Glorie, S. Hieronymi presbyteri opera 1: Opera exegetica 4: Commentariorum in Hiezechielem libri XIV (CChr.SL 75), Turnhout, Brepols, 1964, p. 335, l. 76-80; id., In Isaiam V 21, ed. Marc Adriaen, S. Hieronymi presbyteri opera 1: Opera exegetica 2: Commentariorum in Esaiam libri I-XI (CChr.SL 73), Turnhout, Brepols, 1963, p. 208, l. 17-19.

[12] Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae IX 2, 6 sq. and 57, ed. Wallace Martin Lindsay, Isidori Hispalensis episcopi Etymologiarum sive originum libri XX. 1: Libros I-X continens, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1911, p. 346, l. 14-16 and p. 351, l. 2 and 6-8. But neither Jerome nor Isidore meant to demonstrate the religious dimension of the collective term “Sarraceni”.

[13] Opening clause of the genealogy of the Umayyads to the so-called Chronica prophetica,ed. Yves Bonnaz, Chroniques asturiennes (fin ixe siècle), Paris, CNRS, 1987, p. 3, l. 22 sq.

[14] Gn 16, 12; Gn 21, 13 and 18.

[|5] Chronicon Albeldense, ed. Juan Gil Fernández, Crónicas Asturianas, Oviedo, Universidad de Oviedo, 1985, pp. 173, l. 1 – 181, l. 85.

[16] That is what Oliver of Paderborn, preacher of the crusades and traveller to the Near East, explicitly states in his Historia Damiatina c. 24, written between 1220 and 1222, ed. Hermann Hoogeweg, Die Schriften des Kölner Domscholasters, späteren Bischofs von Paderborn und Kardinalbischofs von S. Sabina Oliverus, Tübingen, Litterarischer Verein, 1894, p. 204, l. 5 sq.

[17] II Par 17, 11; 21, 16 and 22, 1.

[18] As in Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae IX 2, p. 13 sq. the ‘Arabs’ are differenciated from the ‘Saracens’, ‘Ismaelites’ and ‘Agarenes’, because they stem from Cham, not from Sem, ed. Lindsay, Etymologiae, op. cit., pp. 346, l. 27 – 347, l. 4. Another ethnic term is “Caldei”, designating the newly immigrated ‘Chaldean’, i.e. ‘Syrian’ section of the Muslim population; cf. Chronicon Rotense, ed. Gil Fernández, Crónicas Asturianas, op. cit., pp. 144, l. 10 – 146, l. 12; Chronica Adefonsi III, ed. Gil Fernández, Crónicas Asturianas, op. cit., p. 147, l. 10-13.

[19] Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada, Historia Arabum, ed. Juan Fernández Valverde, Roderici Ximenii de Rada Historiae minores. Dialogus libri vitae (CChr.CM 72 C), Turnhout, Brepols, 1999, pp. 87-149; cf. Matthias Maser, Die ‘Historia Arabum’ des Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada. Arabische Traditionen und die Identität der Hispania im 13. Jahrhundert. Studie – Übersetzung – Kommentar, Berlin, Lit-Verlag, 2006.

[20] Gn 19, 37.

[21] Nm 21, 13, 15 and 28 sq.; Nm 22; Nm 23, 6 sq. and 17.

[22] Historia Roderici vel Gesta Roderici Campidocti, passim, ed. Juan Gil Fernández, Chronica Hispana saeculi xii 1: Historia Roderici vel Gesta Roderici Campidocti (CChr.CM 71), Turnhout, Brepols, 1990, pp. 47-98; Historia Compostellana, passim, ed. Emma Falque Rey, Historia Compostellana (CChr.CM 70), Turnhout, Brepols, 1988, pp. 3-530; Chronica Adefonsi imperatoris I-II passim, ed. Antonio Maya Sánchez, Chronica Hispana saeculi xii 1: Chronica Adefonsi Imperatoris (CChr.CM 71), Turnhout, Brepols, 1990, pp. 149-248.

[23] Pelayo of Oviedo, Chronicon regum Legionensium, ed. Benito Sánchez Alonso, Crónica del obispo Don Pelayo, Madrid, Centro de Estudios Históricos, 1924, p. 82, l. 1-5.

[24] Chronica latina regum Castellae, ed. Luis Charlo Brea, Chronica Hispana saeculi xiii (CChr.CM 73), Turnhout, Brepols, 1997, pp. 39, l. 1 – 40, l. 6.

[25] Chronica Adefonsi imperatoris II 10, II 45, II 101, II 102, II 103, II 104 and II 109, ed. Maya Sánchez, Chronica Hispana, op. cit., pp. 200, l. 8, 216, l. 7, 244, l. 6, 244, l. 3, 245, l. 12, 245, l. 6 and 8 sq., 245, l. 3 sq. and 247, l. 2.

[26] E.g. Chronica latina regum Castellae, ed. Charlo Brea, Chronica Hispana, op. cit., p. 40, l. 25-29.

[27] Note 18.

[28] Paulus Albarus, Epistola 18 § 16, ed. Juan Gil [Fernández], Corpus Scriptorum Muzarabicorum 1, Madrid, CSIC, 1973, p. 258, l. 17-19.

[29] Samson of Córdoba, Apologeticus II Praefatio §§ 3 sq. and 8, II 10 and II 20 § 2, ed. Juan Gil [Fernández], Corpus Scriptorum Muzarabicorum 2, Madrid, CSIC, 1973, pp. 550, l. 7, 550, l. 10, 553, l. 21-25, 554, l. 30 sq., 585, l. 32 and 619, l. 37.

[30] I 36, ed. Maya Sánchez, Chronica Hispana, op. cit., p. 167, l. 10-13; I 59, ibid., p. 177, l. 1-4; II 93, ibid., p. 240, l. 16-18; II 95, ibid., p. 241, l. 1 sq.; II 106, ibid., p. 246, l. 1 sq.

[31] Note 19.

[32] Kenneth Baxter Wolf, “The Earliest Latin Lives of Muhammad”, in Michael Gervers / Ramzi Jibran Bikhazi (eds.), Conversion and Continuity. Indigenous Christian Communities in Islamic Lands. Eighth to Eighteenth Centuries, Toronto, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1990, pp. 89-101, here pp. 89-96.

[33] Chronicon Albeldense, ed. Gil Fernández, Crónicas Asturianas, op. cit., pp. 169, l. 5 sq., 182, l. 11 sq. and 185, l. 2-4. This chronicle does not connect the Muslims with
Mohammad, who is only mentionned three times: 1) during the reign of the Visigothic king Sisebut, 2) in a genealogy of the Umayyads and 3) in the final dating of the text.

[34]Chronica Muzarabica, ed. Gil Fernández, Corpus Scriptorum Muzarabicorum 1, op. cit., p. 18, l. 1-5.

[35] El Escorial, Real Biblioteca de San Lorenzo, Ms. d. I. 2.

[36] El Escorial, Real Biblioteca de San Lorenzo, Ms. d. I. 1.

[37] Madrid, Biblioteca de la Real Academia de la Historia, Ms. 78. I summarize here the most important results of my study “Spaces of ‘Convivencia’ ↔ Spaces of ‘Polemics’? Tracking Manuscripts of Christian Anti-Muslim Traditions in the Intellectual Landscape of the Iberian Peninsula, 9th to 13th Centuries”, Viator 2012 (forthcoming), based on a paper given in Madrid, May 29th, 2009 at the International Conference ‘Convivencia. Representations, Knowledge and Identities (500-1600 A.D.), organized by the CSIC/Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften.

[38] Appendix at the end of the first part of the manuscript: Codex Vigilanus, fol. 238v-242r: Chronicon Albeldense, fol. 243r-247r: Isidore of Seville, Contra Iudeaos (excerpts), fol. 247v-248r: Historia de Mahomat pseudopropheta, and fol. 248r/v: Norma fidei nostrae perenniter retinendae. Attachment to the Chronicon Albeldense: Codex Aemilianensis, fol. 394r: Chronicon Albeldense and fol. 394vbis-395rbis (= fol. 397v-398r): Historia de Mahomat pseudopropheta.

[39] By the little, but decisive intervention in the original text of the Chronica prophetica that dates the decline of Muslim reign over al-Andalus in 984 instead of 884.

[40] Especially by the symbolic ‘ecclesiastical wind rose’ of the 12 bishops representing the whole Spanish church (fol. 392v) and by the Norma fidei nostrae perenniter retinendae (fol. 395r/v), added just before and after the above mentioned narrative and polemical texts on Hispano-Arabic history.

[41] Isidore of Seville, Historia Gotorum: fol. 167r-176v, fol. 177r/v: Pseudo-Methodius, Revelatio (excerpt), fol. 178r-185r: Chronicon Rotense, fol. 185v: Tultusceptru de libro domni Metobii and fol. 186r-189v: Chronica prophetica with the Historia de Mahomat pseudopropheta inserted on fol. 187r-188r.

[42] Philippe Sénac, “Al-Mansûr et la reconquête”, in Thomas Deswarte / Philippe Sénac (eds.), Guerre, pouvoirs et idéologies dans l’Espagne chrétienne aux alentours de l’an mil. Actes du Colloque international organisé par le Centre d’Études Supérieures de Civilisation Médiévale, Poitiers-Angoulême, 26, 27 et 28 septembre 2002, Turnhout, Brepols, 2005, pp. 37-50, here pp. 43 and 45 note 35.

[43] Chronica Muzarabica, ed. Gil Fernández, Corpus Scriptorum Muzarabicorum 1, op. cit., pp. 16-54; Beatus of Liébana, Commentarius in Apocalypsin, ed. Henry Arthur Sanders, Beati in Apocalipsin libri duodecim, Rome, American Academy, 1930, pp. 1-645; ed. Eugenio Romero-Pose, Sancti Beati a Liebana Commentarius in Apocalypsin, Rome, Typis Officinae Polygraphicae, 1985, 1, pp. 3-671; 2, pp. 1-427; ed. Joaquín González Echegaray / Alberto del Campo / Leslie G. Freeman, In Apocalypsin B. Joannis apostoli commentaria. Las obras completas de Beato de Liébana. Edición bilingüe, Madrid, BAC, 1995, pp. 33-663.

[44] Chronica prophetica, ed. Bonnaz, Chroniques Asturiennes, op. cit., pp. 2-9; Biblia Hispalensis: Madrid, BN, Ms. Vitr. 13-1; cf. Otto Karl Werckmeister, “Die Bilder der drei Propheten in der ‘Biblia Hispalense’”, Madrider Mitteilungen 4 (1963), pp. 141-188 [with 7 figures, colour plates 1-2 and plates 63-86]; Manuel Cecilio Díaz y Díaz, Manuscritos visigóticos del sur de la Península. Ensayo de distribución regional, Seville, Publicaciones de la Universidad de Sevilla, 1995, p. 101.

[45] Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada, Historia Arabum, ed. Fernández Valverde, Roderici, op. cit., pp. 88-96.

[46] This model exists as well in the Byzantine polemics against Islam; cf. Matthias Martin Tischler, “Eine fast vergessene Gedächtnisspur. Der byzantinisch-lateinische Wissenstransfer zum Islam (8.-13. Jahrhundert)”, in Andreas Speer et al. (eds.), Kreuzungspunkt Byzanz (Miscellanea Mediaevalia 35), Berlin/New York, de Gruyter (in print).

[47] Chronica prophetica, ed. Bonnaz, Chroniques asturiennes, op. cit., pp. 3, l. 2-5 and 7, l. 6-10 and 14 sq. Chronica Adefonsi III, ed. Gil Fernández, Crónicas Asturianas, op. cit., pp. 119, l. 2 – 121, l. 9. Chronicon Rotense, ed. Gil Fernández, Crónicas Asturianas, op. cit., pp. 118, l. 2-7, 120, l. 13 sq. and 120, l. 7 – 122, l. 9. In sharp contrast to the Chronica prophetica, the Chronicon Albeldense in its original form wants to set free the clergy and the people of the Visigoths from the reproach that their sins have caused the fall of the Visgothic reign, for it is only in the recension of the Codex of Roda (note 37), supplemented with the help of the Chronica prophetica, that these reproaches are formulated, ed. Gil Fernández, Crónicas Asturianas, op. cit., p. 183, l. 2-5.

[48] Chronica Adefonsi III, ed. Gil Fernández, Crónicas Asturianas, op. cit., p. 129, l. 19-22; Chronicon Rotense, ed. Gil Fernández, Crónicas Asturianas, op. cit., p. 128, l. 17-19.

[49] Note 19.

[50] Ed. Gil Fernández, Corpus Scriptorum Muzarabicorum 1, op. cit., pp. 19, l. 7 and 26, l. 3 sq.

[51] Ed. Gil Fernández, Corpus Scriptorum Muzarabicorum 1, op. cit., pp. 9, l. 1-4 and 12, l. 4 sq.

[52] II 50, ed. Falque Rey, Historia Compostellana, op. cit., p. 308, l. 48-50.

[53] The Chronica latina regum Castellae e.g. inserted a short biography of Ibn Tūmart, Mahdi of the Almohads (§ 6), ed. Charlo Brea, Chronica Hispana , op. cit., pp. 39, l. 1 –
, l. 39.

[54] We should not forget that only some decades earlier also Marc of Toledo integrated a short Life of Muhammad in the preface to his Latin translation of the Qur’ān: ed. Marie-Thérèse d’Alverny / Georges Vajda, “Marc de Tolède, traducteur d’Ibn Tūmart”, al-Andalus 16 (1951), pp. 99-140 and 259-307, here pp. 261, l. 14 – 267, l. 4.

[55] Chronicon mundi III 6, ed. Emma Falque Rey, Lucae Tudensis Chronicon mundi (CChr.CM 74), Turnhout, Brepols, 2003, pp. 166, l. 1 – 168, l. 67.

[56] Note 45.

[57] Maser, ‘Historia Arabum’, op. cit.