A brief survey of a broad range of texts, including encyclopedias, maps, medical and astronomical treatises, chansons de geste, romances, and allegories reveal how Christian medieval writers and readers understood and explained the differences they saw between themselves and Muslims. This lecture explores medieval European encounters with Islam and the Orient in the pre-modern world and looks forward at how these medieval conceptions inform modern depictions and stereotypes of Muslims, Islam, and 'the Orient.'

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