Dante and the Arab Mediterranean
What did Dante know about the languages and cultures of the Mediterranean? What did he know about the Arabic-Islamic Mediterranean in particular? Dante was a creature of Florence, consumed by the politics and emergent literary culture of Florence and by the politics and culture of Latin Christianity. Yet he liked to pick apart technical questions, and those elements of Arabic-Islamic technology and theology that reached Florence and northern Italy from the broader Mediterranean world fascinated him. This talk explores Dante’s curiosity toward a tradition that he didn’t know – but that, when presented to him as an enigma, he was eager to understand.
This event is sponsored by the Global Medieval Studies Program, Department of Italian, Department of Arabic & Islamic Studies, and Georgetown Humanities Initiative.