Nasrid Granada: The Case for Spain’s Cross-Cultural Identity

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Drayson, Elizabeth 

jats:pFor 2000 years, the history of Granada has been the story of its peoples—native Iberian, Roman, Jewish, Muslim, Christian and gypsy—who bequeathed a multi-cultural heritage to the city, forged by momentous racial, religious and political conflicts. That heritage is central to Spain’s vexed quest for its own identity, and pre-eminent in that quest is the encounter between Islam and Christianity that took place there. Based on historical sources including oral and written testimonies, early historiography and contemporary historical views, this article considers the answers to two key questions, with specific reference to the Nasrid dynasty of Granada: (i) how did the Nasrids contribute to the culture of Andalusia and the late medieval Mediterranean, and (ii) was religious difference an obstacle to cultural dialogue in Granada in the late Middle Ages? The contention is that Granada’s importance as a meeting place between Islam and Christianity hinges on its apparent transition from Muslim state to Christian enclave, an event crucial to our understanding of the history of the Iberian Peninsula, and also of Europe.</jats:p>

43 History, Heritage and Archaeology, 4302 Heritage, Archive and Museum Studies, 4303 Historical Studies, 50 Philosophy and Religious Studies, 5004 Religious Studies
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