«In locis qui sunt Fraxeneto vicina». Real and alleged Saracens between
Provence and Italy
We can often observe in the medieval documents (and we provide here an important example) the tendency to manipulate the destruction by the Saracens for political purposes. It is no wonder then that the historical reconstructions, made centuries later on the basis of alleged folk traditions of epic-literary origin, have greatly amplified, in time and space, the effects of “Guerra santa” e conquiste islamiche nel Mediterraneo the damage caused by the Saracen raids. Even very important scholars assigned to these traditions give them more consideration than they deserve, leading one to believe that the Saracens of Fraxinetumintroduced the great values of Islamic culture to the countries affected by them, while no evidence of this was found. On the contrary, there is reason to believe that Fraxinetum was a simple haunt of pirates who acted on behalf of the Caliphs of Córdoba and who abandoned it to itself when they believed that it was no longer useful to their political goals in the Western Mediterranean.