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Al-Idrisi’s Norman Kingdom in the South

The Book of Roger in Translation

174 pages
Amsterdam University Press

The Book of Roger is a twelfth-century Arabic geographical treatise commissioned by King Roger II of Sicily and compiled by the Muslim polymath al-Idrisi. On its completion in around 1157 it was the most detailed description of the known world produced up to that point. This translation covers Sicily, the seat of King Roger’s government, along with the other parts of the Norman kingdom in the South: southern Italy, the Adriatic, and Ifriqiya, as well as the book’s preface.

Presented in English translation for the first time this text offers insight into Roger’s motivation in commissioning such an endeavour, and the relationship between king and scholar. A comprehensive introduction explores what this important work tells us about the Norman kingdom in the South in the Middle Ages, while a series of detailed maps will enhance the reader’s appreciation of the richness of al-Idrisi’s data.

Author Bio
Katherine Jacka ===============

Katherine Jacka has a PhD in Middle Eastern History and Arabic from the University of Sydney. Her work has appeared in various publications including The Medieval Globe and The Conversation. She has taught medieval history at Macquarie University and in secondary schools in Sydney.

Ahmed Fatima Kzzo =================

Ahmed Fatima Kzzo has a PhD from the University of Rome “Sapienza”. Ahmed has been a member of the Italian Expedition in Ebla (Syria) since 2004 and is currently a fellow at the Columbia University Global Centre in Amman.

Matt King =========

Matt King is Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of South Florida and works on the medieval Mediterranean. His first monograph, Dynasties Intertwined: The Zirids of Ifriqiya and the Normans of Sicily, was published in 2022.

Sherif Abdelkarim =================

Sherif Abdelkarim is Assistant Professor in English at Grinnell College, Iowa. Sherif specializes in English historical linguistics and Old English, Middle English, and classical and early postclassical Arabic literature. His work has appeared in New Literary History and PMLA, amongst others.