THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN THE VENETIAN AND ISLAMIC CIVILIZATIONS – MARCO ZANETTO
The first international recognition of the effective breakaway by the people of the lagoon from the powerful Byzantine rulers came from an Arab source: from the 10th century, in Ibn Al Aucal’s nautical charts the Adriatic was known as “Giun al Banadinquin”, or the “Gulf of the Venetians”. Subsequently, there were fruitful cultural exchanges, especially in the era of the Egyptian Fatimid Sultans Al Khamil and Nasser Mohamed. In the High Middle Ages, the Arab scholars Subh Al Arba and Ibn Khaldoun wrote of their admiration for the civilization in the lagoon. Words were exchanged between the two languages as readily as precious goods. At the time, the legal personality of females was acknowledged by the Islamic civilization. The Turkish/Persian/Arab Safavid dynasty rekindled the ties and extremely interesting tales about the cultural links between Venetians, Arabs and Turks have been left to us by writers such as Naima Tarihi, Evliya Çelebie and Niyazi Fazil.
By Marco Zanetto
Coordinator: Sergio Fragiacomo