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The Expanding Latin-Christian Sphere

Already one and a half centuries before pope Urban II preached the First Crusade, al-Mas'udi (d. 345/956) regarded the Carolingian thrust into the Spanish Levant and the campaigns against Muslims in southern Italy as expressions of cooperative action against Islam by the Christian progeny of Yafeth.[1] [2] These campaigns in the late eighth and the ninth centuries constituted the prelude to a period that can justifiably be termed an ‘age’ of Latin-Christian expansionism.2 The Norman invasion of Sicily in the eleventh century and the series of campaigns that made up the crusades and the so-called Reconquista wrested various territories from Muslim control.

  • [1] al-Mas'udl, muruj, ed./trans. Pellat, § 910, p. 145 (AR), p. 343 (FR); § 922, pp. 151—2 (AR),pp. 347—8 (FR). See the translated quotations in Chapters 6.4.1. and 8.2.3.
  • [2] Cf. Bartlett, Making (1993); France, Crusades (2005); see also the multi-volume series by JamesMuldoon and Felipe Fernandez-Armesto (eds), The Expansion of Latin Europe, 1000—1500, 12 vols(2007-2014).
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