Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Saracens: Islam in the Medieval European Imagination” as Want to Read:
Saracens: Islam in the Medieval European Imagination
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Saracens: Islam in the Medieval European Imagination

by
3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  43 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
In the first century of Islam, most of the former Christian Roman Empire, from Syria to Spain, was brought under Muslim control in a conquest of unprecedented proportions. Confronted by the world of Islam, countless medieval Christians experienced a profound ambivalence, awed by its opulence, they were also troubled by its rival claims to the spiritual inheritance of Abrah ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published May 1st 2002 by Columbia University Press (first published 2002)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Saracens, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Saracens

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 130)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Kimberly
Jan 28, 2011 Kimberly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: suny, history
Saracens by John Tolan provides a good introduction to the literate medieval person's mindset. Most literate people in the Middle Ages were religious leaders, so the majority of the sources he cites are church leaders. Tolan shows how beginning in the 8th C Syrian Christians were overrun by followers of Islam, most often referred to as Saracens, Ishmaelites, or Arabs.

Isadore of Spain had three categories for non-Christians: Jews, pagans and heretics. His typology was taken as truth for early me
...more
Charlie
Aug 25, 2015 Charlie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: medieval, islam
A very satisfying scholarly survey of Christian perceptions of Islam. Covers the early centuries of Islamic conquest through the thirteenth century, with perhaps a bit of a slant toward Spain. Concentrates on literary sources, mostly histories and treatises. The main thesis is that Christians, especially Latins, failed to understand Islam because it did not fit within their already existing conceptions of history, geography, and religion. The material is rather dense. Highly recommended, but onl ...more
Marc
Aug 08, 2011 Marc rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Although the writing style was a bit dense and dry to get through, Tolan does a good job of describing the primary sources from which he draws his conclusions. What's interesting/scary is that the same tactics used more than 1000 years ago continue to be used today, often for the same reason (defining one's in group at the expense of the "other", dehumanizing the enemy, misrepresenting their ideology through ignorance or willful choice, etc.).



It provides a good context for the crusades (a topic
...more
AskHistorians
A study of the Christian understanding of the Islamic Other.
Amadesu
Amadesu marked it as to-read
Jun 24, 2016
Dietmar Von Aist
Dietmar Von Aist marked it as to-read
Jun 19, 2016
Katja Krediet
Katja Krediet rated it really liked it
Jun 13, 2016
Zoi Kokka
Zoi Kokka is currently reading it
Jun 11, 2016
Jamie Mullen
Jamie Mullen marked it as to-read
May 15, 2016
Wulfnoth Cild
Wulfnoth Cild marked it as to-read
May 02, 2016
Charlotte Fraser
Charlotte Fraser marked it as to-read
Apr 02, 2016
Hamza Fazeel
Hamza Fazeel marked it as to-read
Mar 14, 2016
Paul
Paul marked it as to-read
Mar 08, 2016
Fakir Yahya
Fakir Yahya marked it as to-read
Feb 23, 2016
Zouina Sid Ahmed
Zouina Sid Ahmed marked it as to-read
Feb 08, 2016
Mattias
Mattias marked it as to-read
Feb 06, 2016
Oisín
Oisín marked it as to-read
Feb 06, 2016
Tim Martin
Tim Martin marked it as to-read
Feb 04, 2016
Bryn Hammond
Bryn Hammond marked it as to-read
Mar 17, 2016
Cambrone
Cambrone marked it as to-read
Feb 04, 2016
Christina Verdugo-Pazera
Christina Verdugo-Pazera marked it as to-read
Jan 29, 2016
Sergiu
Sergiu added it
Jan 26, 2016
Katie Monroe
Katie Monroe rated it it was ok
Mar 15, 2016
RK-ique
RK-ique marked it as to-read
Jan 21, 2016
Mohamed
Mohamed marked it as to-read
Jan 21, 2016
J. Rudy
J. Rudy marked it as to-read
Dec 28, 2015
Jpremz
Jpremz marked it as to-read
Dec 24, 2015
Sheikh Tajamul
Sheikh Tajamul rated it liked it
Nov 08, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
2522322
John V. Tolan works on the history of religious and cultural relations between the Arab and Latin worlds in the Middle Ages. He received a BA in Classics from Yale, an MA and a PhD in History from the University of Chicago, and an Habilitation à diriger des recherches from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He has taught and lectured in universities in North America, Europe ...more
More about John Tolan...

Share This Book