Tales of Mediterranean Coexistence
David Abulafia, Philip Mansel, Felipe Fernández-Armesto
Al-Andalus in Islamic Spain and the 19th Century Levant are often mentioned as legendary times and places of peaceful co-existence between different peoples and religions. But how much real social, cultural and economic interaction actually existed among Jews, Christians and Muslims? In what way was the Jewish experience distinctive from that of other faiths?
In this talk chaired by Professor Felipe Fernández-Armesto, two major historians of the region, Professor David Abulafia, author of the magisterial The Great Sea, and Dr. Philip Mansel, whose most recent book focused on The Levant, gave us a whirlwind tour of Granada, Palermo, Smyrna, Beirut, Alexandria and Tel Aviv/Jaffa from the 15th Century to today and even a glimpse into the future.
David Abulafia is Emeritus Professor of Mediterranean History at the University of Cambridge. His previous books include Frederick II, The Western Mediterranean Kingdoms and The Great Sea, which has been translated into a dozen languages. He is a member of the Academia Europaea, and in 2003 was made Commendatore dell'Ordine della Stella della Solidarietà Italiana in recognition of his work on Italian and Mediterranean history. He won the 2020 Wolfson History Prize for The Boundless Sea.
Felipe Fernández-Armesto is a historian who resists specialisation. He has taught at Oxford and held Chairs at Queen Mary College, London and Tufts University. He joined the University of Notre Dame in 2009 and his most recent book is 1492: The Year our World Began.