IMC 2017: Sessions

Session 515: What's in a Name?: Medieval Perspectives on Ethnicity

Tuesday 4 July 2017, 09.00-10.30

Organiser:Josephine van den Bent, Afdeling Geschiedenis, Europese studies en religiewetenschappen, Universiteit van Amsterdam
Moderator/Chair:Ilya Afanasyev, Birmingham Research Institute for History & Cultures, University of Birmingham / The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities, University of Oxford
Paper 515-aThe Tatar Face: Status and Ethnicity in Late Medieval Italy
(Language: English)
Hannah Barker, Department of History, Rhodes College, Tennessee
Index terms: Law, Politics and Diplomacy, Social History
Paper 515-bEthnicity, Etymology, and Name Bashing at 12th-Century Western European Schools
(Language: English)
Claire Weeda, Instituut voor Geschiedenis, Universiteit Leiden
Index terms: Political Thought, Social History
Paper 515-c'Mongol' or 'Tatar'?: Perceived Ethnicity in Medieval Arabic Sources
(Language: English)
Josephine van den Bent, Afdeling Geschiedenis, Europese studies en religiewetenschappen, Universiteit van Amsterdam
Index terms: Islamic and Arabic Studies, Social History
Abstract

While the actual etymological connection between ‘Tartar’, the European name for the Mongols, and the classical hell Tartarus has been a subject of debate, the two were indubitably linked in the minds of the medieval public, who were confronted with this ‘new’ ethnic group and sought to understand it. Like they did and had done with other ethnic groups they encountered, both Europeans and Middle Easterners attempted to fit this new group with whom they were confronted into their worldview. This panel examines two main topics: ideas about the ethnicity of the Mongols or Tatars in both medieval Europe and the Near East, and the function of ethnic names in ideas of ethnicity. Through these topics we aim to analyse medieval ideas about ethnicity in Europe and the Arab world.