Bar Sauma, a Christian born in China, debated with cardinals in Rome. Franciscan Friar William of Rubruck debated in the Mongol court in central Eurasia.
Wāqid’s account of Bābak and the Khurramī uprising figuratively denigrated Bābak and his fellow Khurramīs’ pre-Islamic, non-Arabic culture.
Sexual seduction is a more fertile field for elite literary elaboration than is religious or political fidelity, yet less socially functional.
Christian icons were used spiritually before Islam, continued to be used through Byzantine iconoclasm, and were prevalent in the 9th-century Islamic world.
The music business in ancient Eurasia was not just a specialized, elite urban profession. It included small, traveling enterprises.
Via Armenian captive’s dialogue with infidel women, Matthew of Edessa points to capabilities of eye and ear beyond grand public prophecy and chronicle.