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Language, Diversity, and Orientalism in the Iberian Peninsula

Tuesday, November 28, 2017  
Posted by: ALC
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The Iberian Peninsula was influenced by various cultures and their languages, including Arabic, Latin, Hebrew, and Romance. In chapters three and five in The Arts of Intimacy, Dodds, Menocal and Balbale weave together Iberian history – in the time when Christian rule is becoming more predominant – with the influences of language on art, culture and the political climate. Two instances mentioned by the authors include: (1) the use of calligraphy in architecture and (2) the use of various languages in poetry. In Chapter 5: Babel, for example, there is a discussion of Arabic inscriptions used in Christian Spain. The authors explain how Arabic was used, sometimes alongside Hebrew, Latin or Castillian, on structures built by Muslims, Christians and Jews. In some instances illegible or “pseudo”-Arabic was also used in ornamentation,[1] which demonstrates the impact of Arabic script and calligraphy as an artistic style since it did not always convey an actual written message.

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