13th century Anglo-English/African cultural exchange

September 2, 2010 at 3:41 am (Uncategorized)

A colleague of mine is entertaining a project tracing Anglo-English/African aesthetic exchange through 1200s-1700s using both “high” and popular culture materials (e.g., a thirteenth-century African oral epic, oral-traditional “history” songs from thirteenth-century Mali and Ghana).  He’s found that scholarship regarding African-European contact beyond the Islamic world usually starts with the fifteenth century.   I know zilch about what primary sources are out there for him, but he’s getting some input from folks working with African literature and with early modern English literature.  Surely “medieval studies” has something to offer him here – any ideas?

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1 Comment

  1. Jonathan Jarrett said,

    1200’s a bit late for me, as you know, but one angle that springs to my mind, predictably, is coinage, particularly the use of gold ‘mancuses’, which are Arabic dinars, in Europe. If that were of interest, I would point your friend at:
    Philip Grierson, “Muslim coins in thirteenth-century England” in D. K. Kouymijian (ed.), Near Eastern Numismatics, Iconography, Epigraphy and History: studies in honor of George S. Miles (Beirut 1974), pp. 387-391, repr. in Grierson, Later Medieval Numismatics, Variorum Collected Studies Series 98 (Aldershot 1979), VIII.
    We can probably find updates if it acquires import.

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