'The dramatic story of the earliest encounters between Christians and Muslims.'
Links forged through conquest, diplomacy, pilgrimage and trade brought peoples of both faiths into frequent contact-sharing inventions such as paper and the abacus, while merchants travelled throughout the Mediterranean trading textiles, furs, spices, incense, ivory and even slaves. Yet despite these fruitful interactions, Christians viewed Muslims as bloodthirsty pagans, and Islam looked on Christendom with scorn as a jumble of confused sects. As Richard Fletcher argues, it was this failure to understand each other that spurred them into frequent and bloody conflicts.
Fletcher provides a clear-sighted and illuminating description of the ways in which Islam and Christianity have coexisted and clashed since their earliest encounters - a story that has lasting implications for our own time.