Home Geography Arabic-Islamic views of the Latin West : tracing the emergence of medieval Europe
The Visigoths. History of a Conquered People
Scholars working on the origins of the Christian polities in the North of the Iberian Peninsula and the ideological background of the so-called Reconquista have devoted considerable attention to the reception of Visigothic history. With a clear focus on its reception in Christian Europe, Jocelyn Nigel Hillgarth even provided a synthesis that covers the period between 711 and the seventeenth century.
Arabic-Islamic material on the Visigoths has been used repeatedly to reconstruct the interdependence of various Andalusian sources.  However, most studies dealing with this material focus on Arabic-Islamic depictions of the last Visigothic king Roderic5 and other figures involved in the Muslim invasion such as the legendary count Julian. Research on the so-called ‘muwalladun or ‘muladfes’, i.e. Iberian converts to Islam and their descendants, has addressed their often difficult status within the Arabic-Islamic society of al-Andalus, and, in the cases of Ibn H afsun (9th cent.) and Ibn al-Qutiyya (d. 367/977), has taken their perception of Visigothic history into account. Notwithstanding, a general overview on the Arabic- Islamic reception of Visigothic history is still lacking.i°
Muslim elites directly superseded the Visigothic rulers of Toledo, thus being forced—in one way or another—to position themselves vis-a-vis their predecessors. With this in mind, the present chapter aims at understanding when, how, under what circumstances, and for which reasons Arabic-Islamic scholars of the medieval period acquired or failed to acquire knowledge about Visigothic history.
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