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Title: A study in evil : Najm al-Dīn II-Ghāzī and Renaud of Châtillon as 'the other' in the histories of the crusading period
Author: Mallett, Alex
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2009
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Throughout the medieval period, the chroniclers who wrote the sources which modern historians use as the bases of their enquiries wrote them with particular concepts in their minds. These concepts permeate every aspect of their work, from grand, sweeping themes to the vocabulary employed, and each aspect makes a contribution, large or small, to the history of ideas. This thesis will use a case-study approach to explore one aspect of medieval chronicles of the crusades: the concept of the evil 'other'. This will be achieved by examining the image of two of the most controversial figures in the history of the crusades, Najm al-Dīn II-Ghāzī and Renaud of Châtillon. This thesis will examine the themes in the writings of the period, to understand the reasons for the presentations of the individuals in each chronicle, and whether the themes cross political and religious boundaries, and if so, why. In the first chapter, the image of II-Ghāzī in the Christian chronicles will be examined, to help in the understanding of the reasons for and development of Christian ideas of the Muslim as evil. This will be followed by his image in the Islamic chronicles, in the second chapter, to elucidate whether the same characteristics are highlighted or not, and why this might be. In the third chapter, the image of Renaud of Chatillon in the Islamic sources will be studied, in order to illuminate the reasons why the Islamic writers saw the Christian as an evil other. Finally, Renaud's image in the Christian sources will be expounded in chapter four, to shed light on whether he is presented in the same way as the Muslim sources, or not, and the reasons for this. The conclusions reached through these chapters will provide a contribution to the history of ideas of the 'other', particularly the underlying reasons behind these ideas. This thesis will also evaluate current views on how the chroniclers perceived the individuals, as well as helping to establish whether current historical theories involving II-Ghāzī and Renaud are tenable.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available