The Arabic Documents of Norman Sicily

Project Description:

Approximately eighty documents containing Arabic survive from the period of Norman and Hohenstaufen rule in Sicily (circa 1060 – circa 1250). They include both records of the Norman administration, such as descriptions of the boundaries of estates granted to Christian churches and lords, and registers of the Muslim families dwelling upon those estates, and documents issued under the authority of the Muslim cadi, such as property transactions. They also include commercial contracts, agreements governing the irrigation of agricultural land, records of boundary disputes, and documents binding Muslim peasants to pay a land tax and a religious poll tax (jizya) to their Christian lords. Together, the corpus provides a unique record of a Muslim society living under Christian rule.