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Sons of IshmaelMuslims through European Eyes in the Middle Ages$
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John V. Tolan

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780813032221

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813032221.001.0001

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Rhetoric, Polemics, and the Art of Hostile Biography

Rhetoric, Polemics, and the Art of Hostile Biography

Portraying Muhammad in Thirteenth-Century Christian Spain

(p.35) 3 Rhetoric, Polemics, and the Art of Hostile Biography
Sons of Ishmael

John V. Tolan

University Press of Florida

This chapter discusses and compares several accounts of the life of Muhammad that were written in the Iberian peninsula during the second half of the thirteenth century by Ramon Martí, King Alfonso X of Castile and León, and Pedro Pascual. Two of these authors, namely King Alfonso X and Pedro Pascual, were taken by earlier historians to have indiscriminately mixed Muslim sources and scurrilous Christian legends in order to create strangely hybrid and derogatory accounts of Muhammad's life. However, they can also be read as carefully constructing an image of the Muslim prophet that could be both recognizable in its partial accuracy, and effective in denying legitimacy to Muhammad and his followers.

Keywords:   Muhammad, Iberian peninsula, Ramon Martí, King Alfonso X, Pedro Pascual, Muslim sources, Christian legends, Muslim prophet

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