IMC 2008: Sessions

Session 1213: Supply and Demand: Water Use and Agriculture in Medieval Italy

Wednesday 9 July 2008, 14.15-15.45

Moderator/Chair:Graham A. Loud, School of History, University of Leeds
Paper 1213-aWater Supply and Water Use in Medieval Sicily
(Language: English)
Sarah Davis-Secord, Department of History, University of Texas, Arlington
Index terms: Economics - General, Islamic and Arabic Studies

Paper -a:
Two Arabic-language works provide insight into the landscape and water useage of 12th-century Christian Sicily. Ibn Jubayr, an Andalusian traveler who visited the Norman island in 1184, and al-Idrisi, a Muslim geographer writing under the patronage of king Roger II, in their descriptions of the island both took care to report on the rivers they found on the island and the ways in which the Sicilian population used these water supplies for agriculture and daily life. This paper will utilize these sources to address the exploitation of water supplies in medieval Sicily – through mills, irrigation, the strategic location of agricultural sites, and other means.