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Cluny and the Muslims of La Garde-FreinetHagiography and the Problem of Islam in Medieval Europe$
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Scott G. Bruce

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452994

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452994.001.0001

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Monks Tell Tales

Monks Tell Tales

(p.41) Chapter 2 Monks Tell Tales
Cluny and the Muslims of La Garde-Freinet

Scott G. Bruce

Cornell University Press

This chapter analyzes the kidnapping of Maiolus as it appears in texts written by Cluniac monks in the early eleventh century. These comprise the three earliest accounts of the life of Abbot Maiolus (ca. 1000–1030) and the Five Books of Histories (Historiarum libri quinque) written in the 1040s by the monastic historian Rodulfus Glaber. The chapter illustrates how the telling of the story changed over time, explains why these changes occurred, and deduces what these changes reveal about the spread of knowledge of Muslim peoples and their religion in northern Europe. In the end, none of the hagiographers were attached to an impartial retelling of the events; instead, each of them recounted the abduction episode to fulfill the expectations of his respective audience and to promote his own individual devotional enterprise.

Keywords:   Maiolus abduction, Cluniac monks, Five Books of Histories, Historiarum libri quinque, Rodulfus Glaber, Muslim peoples

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