Between minorities and peripheries. Prolegomena for a study on Arabised
Christians in Sicily
In the last decades, interest in the history of medieval Sicily has grown thanks to the publication of essays on the Arab-Islamic element of the Norman and Swabian periods (12th-13th century). Our understanding of the language, social and cultural life of Sicilian Muslims has gained much from a huge amount of material conserved in Sicilian archives. Through the documentary evidence produced by the trilingual administration (Arabic, Greek and Latin), the island is placed within a Mediterranean context that reveals its close ties with the Islamic world of that age. Nevertheless, after Michele Amari (1806-1889), the great historian of the Muslims of Sicily, the existence of a Siculo-Arabic period has been neglected (827-1091). Indeed, new sources still need to be accurately defined as new documents are still coming to light. This will hopefully reveal unexpected glimpses into the history of medieval Sicily. This paper is part of a trend of renewed interest in the study of Islamic Sicily; it opens new perspectives on interreligious relationships between Muslims/Jews and Christians during the Islamic period.