Between the eighth and the fifteenth century a long conflict between Christianity and Islam took place on the Iberian peninsula. Much has been written about the seven-centuries-long phenomenon: battles, incursions, and sieges have been the focus of accurate descriptions. This volume offers a brief account that goes beyond political and military history and also examines the Muslim expansion and the gradual Christian Reconquista in terms of cultural history. Using Latin and Arab sources, the author discards well-established definitions and throws light on the period's thick network of everyday relationships, commercial trade, and cultural ties, in which religious and political identities were markedly confused.
Alessandro Vanoli teaches Comparative Mediterranean Politics at the University of Bologna.