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Reading and Writing the Qur'an with Riccoldo da Monte di Croce

Thomas Burman, March 3, 2010

The manuscript of the Qur'an in Arabic that the Dominican Riccoldo da Monte di Cronce was actually reading while he wrote his widely read Contra legem saracenorum has survived to present in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (MS ar. 384). If we follow Riccoldo's abundant Latin annotations in its margins, we gain remarkable insight not only into how he read Islam's holy book, but also into how he made use of his other key sources. All this allows us to draw interesting conclusions about his process of reading the Qur'an in Arabic and citing it in Latin in his famous polemic.