Tue, November 08, 2016
18:00 – 19:30
Villa La Pietra
Via Bolognese, 120
50139 Florence, ITALY
On March 30th, 1282, at sunset, a group of Sicilian conspirators rose up against and massacred the French at Palermo. The episode marked the beginning of what came to be known as the War of the Sicilian Vespers, an event that has resonated in Italian history and become a symbol of national pride. This lecture reframes the Sicilian Vespers, viewing the events from the perspective of North Africa. In this manner, it highlights the deep connections between the histories of Italy and North Africa. The War of the Sicilian Vespers, it argues, was only part of a longer story, the story of European ambitions in Tunis in the Middle Ages.
Hussein A. Fancy
Associate Professor of History, Department of History, University of Michigan
His research and writing focus on the social, cultural, and intellectual history of religious interaction in the medieval Mediterranean. His first book, The Mercenary Mediterranean, examined the service of Muslim soldiers from North Africa to the Christian kings of the Crown of Aragon in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. He is currently working on two projects. The first, entitled The Outlaw Sea: The Making of the Medieval Mediterranean, follows the activities of criminal merchants — pirates and smugglers — in order to rethink the relationship between religion and trade. The second, entitled The Eastern Question, examines western views of Islam from the seventh century to the present.