All I’m saying is, he says it

Part of the purpose of this discussion is to demonstrate that the first need is to understand the medieval frontier using the political language of the time, rather than by imposing elaborate conceptual frameworks rich in jargon (at worst, the jargon of postmodernists) which often serve to obfuscate rather than enlighten, and are employed as much to deter those outside the charmed circle of disciples as to instruct those in search of genuine clarification.

(David Abulafia, “Introduction: seven kinds of ambiguity” in idem & Nora Berend (edd.), Medieval Frontiers: concepts and practices (Aldershot 2002), pp. 1-34 at p. 6.)

David taught me, a long time ago, and most of what I know about Islam and al-Andalus I know because he pointed me at it. In fact he pointed me at the article that set me looking at the Catalan frontier in the first place, Eduardo Manzano Moreno’s “Christian-Muslim Frontier in al-Andalus: idea and reality” (in Dionisius Agius & Richard Hitchcock (edd.), Arab Influence upon Medieval Europe (Reading IL 1994), pp. 83-96). Clearly that wasn’t the end of his influence on my thinking…

7 responses to “All I’m saying is, he says it

  1. Isn’t that pretty much what we want to do with all the history we do?

    btw, I responded to you at Historiann’s

  2. I think you should definitely read the book, but not have kept your oar out. In fact, you did us a service, because one of the responses was so out of line that we could finally make a multilateral call that there was a troll and do some judicious banning.

  3. I was convinced that was a sock-puppet myself, but then they didn’t disown it in their later posts. Oh well. Strange ways some people choose to have fun… The book, meanwhile, goes on the list for sure.

    • Cambridge UL have got ‘History Matters’, but I’ve got it out on loan at the moment :-). When I’ve finished blogging it, you can have it.

      • Oh, no hurry. I have quite a lot to read urgently at the moment, there’s no hope of non-paper-or-review-related reading reaching the surface for a month or two I’m afraid.

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