The root of European Chivalry : this article claim an arab influence

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,104
Portugal
#31
In the famous words of Colin Powell - so what? He's well read and well-written - when someone is out of the square it's ok to take his/her opinion esp. when you know that truth lies behind it. I am an academic and I take it seriously.
I noticed that you quoted me (post #22) but you didn’t answer me in that post. I also don’t know if this post was for me or for other member. If it was for me I am not sure that I understood the context of Colin Powell’s words.

You state here that you are an academic and you said that you use Salloum’s articles when you teach. Well, I hope you don’t use this specific article and that he writes much better in his other articles.

I must say that in my times as a college student I would present this paper to my teacher of Medieval History, I would be called to his office and his words wouldn’t be nice.

But this isn’t a paper to present to a teacher, this is an “article”, that he, a published author, published.

You surely know that there are usually two kind of articles, the Academic/Scientific ones to be published in specific magazines that can be reviewed by peers, and the ones more “light”, more generic, broad-ranging, appropriate to be published in magazines bought by the general public (for instance: “History Today” some years ago, but now mostly online magazines). In the first case the language is more specific, more academic and the citations need to be fully made, in the second case the language is more loose and in the citations usually only the author and the book title is mentioned. Salloum’s linked article doesn’t even fulfil the second criteria.

Then we have a vague terminology “The Arabs are said to have been the first people to practice chivalry …” and “the Arabs are said to have been the first people to make” – who said this? Well, if Salloum knows, he keeps us in the ignorance. The question is not if the sentences are true or false, the question is that they are vague and unsupported.

Then Salloum quotes a certain “Gustav Leabeon” (he hope that the name is well written and not another Abanese):

“Gustav Leabeon writes that Islam, in its early days, gave women exactly the position that European women would take centuries to achieve. Leabeon concludes that after the chivalry of Andalusia (Spain) filtered into Europe, courteous behavior towards women became the main theme of European chivalry.”

And the second sentence is the main claim of Salloum in the article. It is here that he passes from the Chivalry among the Arabs to the European Chivalry, but again he forgets to identify the work, and not even in the end, when we can read “Books referenced in this article” we see a mention to Gustav Leabeon or to his work. Unless he is the Gustave Le Bon that you mentioned, the 19th century author with his work available online at the Université du Quebec, that I linked in a previous post.

Salloum ends the first part of the “article” with a mention to Titus Burckhardt, giving us this time the name of the work, in bold chracters, “Moorish Culture in Spain” and with the quote “Burckhardt maintains that the glorification of women and the depiction of noble knights with their many virtues came about as a result of the impact of the Arab qualities in battles, literature and daily lives — characteristics not familiar in the world of Christendom (in the 7th through 10th centuries — ed.).” No comment or explanation of Burckhardt’s words is given to the reader. Burckhardt dixit, so it must be true.

If we move on to the second part of the article we have the sub-title “Saladin, Chivalry and the Crusades” and Salloum begins “During the Arab era in the Iberian Peninsula and the years of the Crusades, chivalry with all its attributes was transferred to Western Europe.” So we think, OK, now the author is going to explain us how this happened. But no. He moves on, “Romantic chivalry as pursued in medieval Europe is nothing more than the continuation of al-furusiyyah al-arabiya.” and that quotes “Abanese” as a prove. Abanese dixit. Or Ipse dixit.

A couple of paragraphs ahead, Salloum opens it in a stlyte that is already familiar to us in this “article”: “It is said that chivalry was the most prominent characteristic of the Moors in the Iberian Peninsula.” The reason is again, that if it is said… than is true. And here it seems that we must assume that the Moors here are the Arabs and not the Berbers, or the Muslims in general.

In the following paragraph Salloum begins again “A historian once wrote…”

But than he has one of the most surprising sentences: “El-Cid, who was greatly influenced by Moorish culture, especially its poetry, composed a poem which is the oldest and finest ballad of medieval Spanish verse and is said to have given birth to the songs of chivalry in Christian Spain.”

Did I understood right and Salloum just said the El-Cid is the author of the Poem about El-Cid? Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar was a poet and is the author of “El cantar del mío Cid”? A epic poem that for centuries is atributd to an anonymous? That is a major discovery by Salloum, but again he fails to explain how he reached there. He just says “and is said…”

About the author and the date of the poem there is an interesting work online at Biblioteca Virtual Cervantes, by Timoteo Riaño Rodríguez and Maria del Carmen Gutiérrez Aja: http://www.cervantesvirtual.com/des...-cid-2--fecha-y-autor-del-cantar-de-mo-cid-0/

Jumping a bit, this is already long post, I saw a quite interesting sentence: “During the 14th century, an epic poem about Saladin was circulated in Europe” but Salloum fails to mention poem’s name. I presume that is this one: Le Pas Saladin : an old French poem of the third crusade / by Frnk E. Lodeman : Lodeman, Frank Emile : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive, but since Salloum didn’t stated the question mark remains.

Then: “and Dante included him among the virtuous pagan souls in Limbo in his Inferno”. Unfortunately I am not an expert in Dante but what does these two examples prove besides the idea that Saladin was seen had a virtuous glorified image in Europe? It doesn’t prove that the Chivalry came from the Arab world. These quotes seem to be that Salloum his showing to us his erudition, that failed to him some paragraphs back.

When we finally have a reasonable quote, from R.A. Nicholson, we have a “perhaps”: “The chivalry of the Middle Ages is, perhaps, ultimately traceable to heathen Arabia.”

So with the “perhaps” quote, Sollum concludes a few sentences after: “As such, chivalry became part of the many Arab contributions to the West”.

Again, Sollum’s problem in the article is not to defend the Arab influence in the Medieval Europe, many good academics made that before, Sollums problem in this article is that he shows to us that he is not a historian and lacked here the tools to prove to us his conjectures, writing a text full of unproved assumptions, vague terminology, wrong names of authors, quotes badly done, and with a few errors.

Andalus, since you give his articles in your classes to the students, I really hope that his other articles are better as I hope that his culinary books are better.

I almost done a “review” here, it was not my intent, usually a forum post isn’t the adequate place for that, but feel free to comment my mistakes or if you don’t agree to “review” positively the “article”.
 
Likes: Olleus
Oct 2015
5,089
Matosinhos Portugal
#32
Firstly I've read a lot about medieval history in Spain. It's bloody, messy and double-dealing - and that's just among the Christian kingdoms. 'Chivalry' doesn't really have much to do with it at all, although there are good guys and bad guys everywhere.

As for this 'Moors of Spain' nonsense. Does he mean arabs? Does he mean berbers? Or just the normal run of the mill Visigoths converted to islam? Nonsene if you ask me
I always read the occupation of the Moors in the Iberian peninsula - Hispania, I also always read the Moors in Portucalense later Portugal - their presence of the Moors was from 711 until 1249 their stay lasted 538 years in Portugal, I usually read that the Moors occupied the peninsula Iberian for 781 years that is a lie.

Yes I believe the Moors occupied 781 the country that today is called Spain

Yes the Moors occupied Portugal for 538 years

I think Portugal is in the Iberian peninsula

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Eu sempre li a ocupação dos mouros na peninsula ibérica -hispania,tambem sempre li os mouros em Portucalense mais tarde Portugal - sua presença dos mouros foi de 711 até 1249 sua estadia durou 538 anos em Portugal,costumo a ler que os mouros ocuparam a peninsula ibérica por 781 anos que e mentira.

Sim acredito os mouros ocuparam 781 o país que hoje se chama Espanha

Sim os mouros ocuparam Portugal por 538 anos

Penso que Portugal fica na peninsula ibérica

johnincornwall Calm down, my friend, do not get excited about me.

not my fault, but fault of johnincornwall

não minha culpa,sim culpa de johnincorwall

Joke hehehehe

abraço amigo John - hug friend John

Tulius please help John calm down and slowly drink a glass of wine from the port.

Tulius por favor ajuda John a ter calma e que beba devagar um cáliçe de vinho do porto.
 
Mar 2019
49
Belgium
#33
I believe I put Le Bon in ( I just noticed I missed a line) but the trans. should be along the lines of "Along the same lines (as Christian chivalry), Arab chilvalry possessed the following characteristics: generous and kind, value, amiability, talent, poetry, eloquence (in speech), strength, the ability to mount a horse, the skill of casting the spear, the sword a = and the bow (By the way, the chivalry I speak of here is what is called in Arabic 'muruu'a - the code of ethics for an Arab man that dates back to the pre-Islamic among the Arab tribes)
Nobody said that Arab didn' t have their own code of honor or that there weren't cross influences between crusader's chivalry and arabian furusiya. But saying that furusiya previous European chivalry is irrelevant.

Sorry but nobody will take you in serious if you bring that kind of sources. Yes yes an spirito - metaphysican is not a source. What's next? An Satanist member writing about the history of the church?

Don't try this in France, Belgium, in owerhole European academic. Maybe it can work in some ideological college in US but not in Europe.

European chivalry (which begenning in France in the IX century) came from three source :

Germanic tribe
Greco-Roman cavalry
The church

Arabs have nothing to do with it.
 
Last edited:
Nov 2010
7,507
Cornwall
#34
I always read the occupation of the Moors in the Iberian peninsula - Hispania, I also always read the Moors in Portucalense later Portugal - their presence of the Moors was from 711 until 1249 their stay lasted 538 years in Portugal, I usually read that the Moors occupied the peninsula Iberian for 781 years that is a lie.

Yes I believe the Moors occupied 781 the country that today is called Spain

Yes the Moors occupied Portugal for 538 years

I think Portugal is in the Iberian peninsula

---------

.
It is now, it wasn't then :D

Muslims ruled what is now Portugal for over 500 years. Some of the ruling classes were immigrants, some Visigothic and many of the common folk were originally Hispano-Roman, of course

However much it hurts amigo Latino :lol:

What became Portugal was forged from the ruins of the Almoravid and Almohad Empires, who sort of laid a historical smoke screen over the 'Spanish' muslims of the nearly 400 previous years
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,104
Portugal
#35
I always read the occupation of the Moors in the Iberian peninsula - Hispania, I also always read the Moors in Portucalense later Portugal - their presence of the Moors was from 711 until 1249 their stay lasted 538 years in Portugal, I usually read that the Moors occupied the peninsula Iberian for 781 years that is a lie.

Yes I believe the Moors occupied 781 the country that today is called Spain

Yes the Moors occupied Portugal for 538 years

I think Portugal is in the Iberian peninsula
The use of the word “Spain” although misleading to refer to the all of the Iberian Peninsula, since there is a historical entity different from the geographic one, and the two are often confused, it is not incorrect for the Medieval period. Even yesterday I was taking a look to the the Zurara’s “Crónica do Descobrimento e da Conquista da Guiné”/“Chronicle of the Discovery and Conquest of Guinea”, and he mentions several times the word Spain do describe all the Peninsula.

As for the “Moors” (Mouros/Moros), that is the terminology that in the Peninsula was used to describe all the Muslims, Moors (Berbers/Mauri), Arabs and others, in other languages there may appear different significances.

Arabs have nothing to do with it.
Here I disagree with this kind of statement. When Peoples and Civilizations are in touch during centuries they change ideas, concepts, technology… all. It is undeniable that Islam influenced the Christianity in the Middle Ages (and vice-versa). Did it influenced the concept of “chivalry”? Probably, or “perhaps”, in the language of the quoted R.A. Nicholson.

What we cannot do is, like Salloum did, give the jump from recognize a influence to a statement that Chivalry was one of the Arab contributions to the West, ignoring internal factors.
 
Oct 2015
5,089
Matosinhos Portugal
#36
It is now, it wasn't then :D

Muslims ruled what is now Portugal for over 500 years. Some of the ruling classes were immigrants, some Visigothic and many of the common folk were originally Hispano-Roman, of course

However much it hurts amigo Latino :lol:

What became Portugal was forged from the ruins of the Almoravid and Almohad Empires, who sort of laid a historical smoke screen over the 'Spanish' muslims of the nearly 400 previous years

However much it hurts amigo Latino :lol:
-------------------------------------- -------------------------
Calm friend.
Por favor, tem calma amigo.

we are portuguese since 1095

Our DNA is different from Hispano-Roman.

Do not get me wrong, I'm playing with my friend.We are a very happy people

hehehe

hug
 
Mar 2019
49
Belgium
#37
The use of the word “Spain” although misleading to refer to the all of the Iberian Peninsula, since there is a historical entity different from the geographic one, and the two are often confused, it is not incorrect for the Medieval period. Even yesterday I was taking a look to the the Zurara’s “Crónica do Descobrimento e da Conquista da Guiné”/“Chronicle of the Discovery and Conquest of Guinea”, and he mentions several times the word Spain do describe all the Peninsula.

As for the “Moors” (Mouros/Moros), that is the terminology that in the Peninsula was used to describe all the Muslims, Moors (Berbers/Mauri), Arabs and others, in other languages there may appear different significances.



Here I disagree with this kind of statement. When Peoples and Civilizations are in touch during centuries they change ideas, concepts, technology… all. It is undeniable that Islam influenced the Christianity in the Middle Ages (and vice-versa). Did it influenced the concept of “chivalry”? Probably, or “perhaps”, in the language of the quoted R.A. Nicholson.

What we cannot do is, like Salloum did, give the jump from recognize a influence to a statement that Chivalry was one of the Arab contributions to the West, ignoring internal factors.

He doesn't' just ignoring internal factors, he spit on it (and also at the same time on 99 % of medievist)
 

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