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The Last Muslims in Italy

The Last Muslims in Italy

(p.235) The Last Muslims in Italy
Dante and Islam
David Abulafia
Fordham University Press

During Dante’s lifetime a Muslim city existed in southern Italy, Lucera, which had been settled with rebellious Muslims by Emperor Frederick II in the 1220s and 1230s. This article lays emphasis on their legal status as ‘servi’ of the royal chamber, which was similar to and derived from that of the Jews. Many were farmers and craftsmen. The dissolution of the Muslim colony in 1300 by King Charles II of Anjou has been attributed to the king’s need for money during the War of the Sicilian Vespers, since they were sold as slaves for considerable profit; but the article adduces religious motives in parallel with Charles II’s anti-Jewish policy.

Keywords:   Lucera, Sicily, Frederick II, Charles I of Anjou, Charles II of Anjou, Jews, Slaves

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