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Medieval Empires and the Culture of CompetitionLiterary Duels at Islamic and Christian Courts$
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Samuel England

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474425223

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474425223.001.0001

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Saladino Rinato: Spanish and Italian Courtly Fictions of Crusade

Saladino Rinato: Spanish and Italian Courtly Fictions of Crusade

(p.141) 4 Saladino Rinato: Spanish and Italian Courtly Fictions of Crusade
Medieval Empires and the Culture of Competition

Samuel England

Edinburgh University Press

Completes the historical arc of the book, exploring the last generations of medieval writers, ushering in the Renaissance. Juan Manuel, Dante Alighieri, and Giovanni Boccaccio, created a new identity for Saladin after two centuries of European writing about the sultan. The refashioned Saladin challenged fellow knights on matters of chivalry, religion, and political history. Spanish and Italian literature used him in order to perform an allegorical, critical review of Christian identity. As these three European authors contemplated the fractious political spaces that their kingdoms were becoming, they found in Saladin a persona both chivalric and unsettling to chivalry as an institution. The Renaissance is known as the age in which Europe rediscovered Antiquity for the sake of intellectual progress, but that work was initiated through medieval reflections upon courtly life.

Keywords:   Saladin, Dante, Boccaccio, Don Juan Manuel, Renaissance, Jews in Italy, Fable, Chivalry

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