The Near West: Medieval North Africa, Latin Europe and the Mediterranean in the Second Axial Age (Hardcover)

The Near West: Medieval North Africa, Latin Europe and the Mediterranean in the Second Axial Age By Allen James Fromherz Cover Image

The Near West: Medieval North Africa, Latin Europe and the Mediterranean in the Second Axial Age (Hardcover)

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This book tells stories of interaction, conflict and common exchange between Berbers, Arabs, Latins, Muslims, Christians and Jews in North Africa and Latin Europe. Medieval Western European and North African history were part of a common Western Mediterranean culture. Examining shared commerce, slavery, mercenary activity, art and intellectual and religious debates, this book argues that North Africa was an integral part of western Medieval History. The book tells the history of North Africa and Europe through the eyes of Christian kings and Muslim merchants, Emirs and Popes, Sufis, Friars and Rabbis. It argues North Africa and Europe together experienced the Twelfth Century Renaissance and the Commercial Revolution. When Europe was highly divided during twelfth century, North Africa was enjoying the peak of its power, united under the Berber, Almohad Empire. In the midst of a common commercial growth throughout the medieval period, North Africa and Europe also shared in a burst of spirituality and mysticism. This growth of spirituality occurred even as representatives of Judaism, Christianity and Islam debated and defended their faiths, dreaming of conversion even as they shared the same rational methods. The growth of spirituality instigated a Second Axial Age in the history of religion. Challenging the idea of a Mediterranean split between between Islam and Christianity, the book shows how the Maghrib (North Africa) was not a Muslim, Arab monolith or as an extension of the exotic Orient. North Africa, not the Holy Land to the far East, was the first place where Latin Europeans encountered the Muslim other and vice versa. Medieval North Africa was as diverse and complex as Latin Europe. North Africa should not be dismissed as a side show of European history. North Africa was, in fact, an integral part of the story.

Allen Fromherz is Professor of History at Georgia State University and director of the Middle East Studies Center. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Dartmouth College in 2002 and received his PhD from St. Andrews University in Scotland in Medieval Islamic History in 2006. Dr. Fromherz has held several international fellowships including Fulbright, Gerda Henkel Stiftung, the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center. He was a senior fellow in the humanities at NYU Abu Dhabi (2016). He has lived in various parts of the Gulf, including Oman, United Arab Emirates and Qatar. He is President of the American Institute for Maghrib Studies (AIMS). His publications include: Ibn Khaldun (Edinburgh University Press, 2010); The Almohads (IB Tauris, 2012); Qatar (Georgetown Univeristy Press, 2016) and The Near West (Edinburgh University Press, 2016).

Product Details ISBN: 9780748642946
ISBN-10: 0748642943
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Publication Date: March 22nd, 2016
Pages: 304
Language: English