Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Medieval Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Larry Simon

Second Advisor

Dr. Rand Johnson

Third Advisor

Dr. Thomas Burman

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only


This study pertains to a twelfth-century project commissioned by the abbot of Cluny to translate several Islamic theological texts, namely the Qur'an, from Arabic to Latin. Previous scholarship has limited itself by using sources which explicitly discussed the project, relying mainly on the opinion of the abbot, who did not translate any texts. Such research has omitted the process of translating and discussed instead the finished product with little regard for how the translators might have discussed the project's goals and purpose. This work considers the implicit and indirect connections between the translators to argue that these men interacted at a high level during the translating process. My research found that they articulated a unified mindset throughout the project by examining their letters, prologues and other various works. Although they expressed themselves with their own style, each man presented the project's goals and themes in a uniform way. The best evidence of collaboration is found in the marginal annotations of the earliest copy of the translations, showing that these men interacted both to create this uniformity and to present this mindset to their readers. The project's intended application for its society reveals that not all medieval works on Islam were rhetorical or purely academic, but were interested in effective apologetics and reliable reference works.

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