Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Religious Studies

First Advisor

Brian A. Catlos

Second Advisor

Elias Sacks

Third Advisor

Celine Dauverd

Abstract

This thesis examines the role of intermediaries and cultural mediators in shaping the relations between the thirteenth-century Crown of Aragón and the Muslim Mediterranean. Exemplified by the life of Abrahim Abenamies, these agents crossed with ease between the cultures, languages, religions, and political environments of the Western Mediterranean. In his role as agent of the Crown, fluidity was an asset for Abenamies and his royal patrons. Fluidity, however, also introduces an impediment for the modern researcher as identity boundaries seem to shift with movement and personal loyalties appear temporary. Because of the dynamic nature of my subject, I rely on the Mediterranean Perspective in order to properly disentangle the webs of actions, loyalties, and responsibilities that enfolded Abenamies. The Mediterranean Perspective provides me with the necessary tools to analyze Abenamies in his proper context as an intermediary and ask questions that highlight the centrality of cultural mediation in the thirteenth-century.

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